"Unless you have a house by the coast and plan to live a very long time, I would not worry too much. For Greenland to shed all of its ice, would take until the end of the century - 81 years away."
READERS BEWARE! The panic merchants are out in full force now. You do not have to look far to find another article about our watery future. You know, when because of all these muscle cars being driven in the United States, the average temp of Mother Earth is going to keep on rising. It will finish off the glaciers in North America, then any remaining ice in the Alps and the Himalayas. Then the ice sheet of Greenland, the entire Arctic Circle, and finally, Antarctica. Or will it?
Most of us who took geology back in high school or college know this old planet has had a few ice ages. Technically, we are still in one (of sorts). Ice grows, ice recedes as the eons go on. Some experts are predicting that Greenland, the Earth's largest island, might end up actually looking green for a while. Maybe all the ice will melt. Maybe all the ice in the Arctic Circle will melt. The Russians would love that, as they would get more seaworthy ports.
Here is the difference if both the Arctic Circle and Greenland melt. If the ice in the Arctic Circle melts, since it is just ice which floats on the ocean, there would be no increase in ocean level. Just a whole bunch of polar bears with no place to go. However - if all the ice from Greenland melted, ocean levels would rise - by an estimated twenty feet or so.
But the real panic merchants are trying to sell the real doomsday scenario. The ice sheet of Antarctica melting. I mean, this is one huge ice cube down there. An average ice depth of 7,000 feet, on a chunk of land bigger than the United States. 90% of all ice in the world is down there. It contains 70% of all the fresh water on Earth. There is only one thing which stands between us and an additional 200 feet rise in the oceans - is reality.
Unless there is a shift in the Earth's crust which moves Antarctica much closer to the equator, it will never melt. Just too dang cold down there. The average temperature is below zero. So this ice sheet may fray a bit around the edges, but the brutal temps down there should keep that giant ice sheet intact.
What is the bottom line? Unless you have a house by the coast and plan to live a very long time, I would not worry too much. For Greenland to shed all of its ice, would take until the end of the century - 81 years away. I would be much more worried about being hit by a meteor or asteroid during that time frame.
For those of us in flyover land, living at an elevation of 900 feet, we worry not. We are optimists. If the ocean levels did rise 200 feet, it would not be bad news at all for us. Not only could we could get rid of those liberal bastions on the East Coast and West Coast - more importantly, we would have a much shorter drive to visit the beach!