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What if the world’s icecaps melted overnight?

New maps show how the world would change if the polar icecaps completely melted – rising sea levels would flood large parts of Britain, Europe and the US

New maps show how the world would change if the polar icecaps completely melted – rising sea levels would flood large parts of Britain, Europe and the US
Yahoo News
By Chris Hall | Yahoo News – 17 hours ago

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In 5000 years’ time, this is what Britain could look like as the polar icecaps melt. (National Geographic/JASON TREAT, MATTHEW TWOMBLY, WEB BARR, MAGGIE SMITH, NGM STAFF, ART: KEES VEENENBOS)
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Yahoo News – In 5000 years’ time, this is what Britain could look like as the polar icecaps melt. (National Geographic/JASON TREAT, MATTHEW TWOMBLY, WEB BARR, MAGGIE SMITH, NGM STAFF, ART: KEES VEENENBOS)

It sounds like the plot of a Hollywood disaster film – what would happen if the polar icecaps completely melted in one go?

But you could also see it as the eventual product of global warming – as levels of carbon build up in the atmosphere, temperatures will one day rise to the point where all ice on Earth has melted.

Luckily for the millions of people whose homes would be flooded by this change, scientists estimate that melting all the ice in the Arctic, Antarctica and Greenland would take at least 5,000 years. The total volume of ice on Earth is currently estimated at between 5million and 7.5million cubic miles. Melting all of it would cause the sea level to rise by a minimum of 216 feet (66m).

The impact of such a drastic change to the sea level is shown by these National Geographic maps. Some parts of the world would be largely unaffected, but every continent would undergo significant changes. In addition, Antarctica would emerge as a landmass for the first time in 15million years.
Coastlines around Europe would shrink, with some countries disappearing altogether. (National Geographic/JASON …

The UK and Ireland would change enormously. The east coast of Britain would flood as far inland as Leicester and as far north as Harrogate. London and the Thames valley would all be underwater, with Kent and Norfolk reduced to a scattering of islands.

Much of western Ireland would flood, except for the highlands of County Mayo and Galway. Wales and Scotland would be less heavily affected.

In Europe, the Netherlands would be completely submerged. Denmark, Belgium, Estonia and Latvia would also be significantly flooded. The Black and Caspian Seas would connect directly to the Mediterranean, and huge areas of Russia and Kazakhstan would flood.
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