Mean atmospheric O2
Geologic Time Scale
Europe with sea level +100m
This is how Europe, North Africa and the Middle East may appear with mean sea level about 100 meters (330 feet) above today's. Such a dramatic rise in sea level could occur if all of the Earth's glaciers were to melt.
In this image nearly every European country has been flooded with sea water to some extent. Much of the United Kingdom and France have become part of the Atlantic Ocean while Denmark and The Netherlands are completely submerged as are Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. The Black Sea has grown to include much of Bulgaria and Ukraine.
The Mediterranean Sea now covers parts of Egypt (including all of the Nile delta), Libya and Tunisia and all of western Israel. The Persian Gulf has completely submerged Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and much of Iraq and United Arab Emirates. To the west some of Mauritania and all of Senegal have become part of the Atlantic Ocean.
A likely cause of a catastrophic melting of the Earth ice stores would be a change in climate, a sudden rise in the global temperature accelerated by a runaway greenhouse effect. While the amount of water held by the Earth's glaciers can be calculated with some accuracy, the exact mechanism that would set those glaciers to melting, and how long it would take for them to melt, is poorly understood. Some models suggest that several millennia of higher temperatures would be required to melt all the world's glaciers, while others predict much faster processes on the scale of centuries, or even decades.
Copyright © Walter B. Myers. All rights reserved.
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