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View Diary: European Space Agency's CryoSat-2 satellite: Antarctica shedding 160 billion tonnes of ice a year (56 comments)

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  •  surprisingly, by my reckoning, it's a neglible (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mightymouse, bernardpliers

    amount compared to the oceans' surface.

    surface area of ocean: 360,000,000 km^2

    = 360,000,000 x (1000 m ) x (1000 m)
    = 360,000,000 x (1000 x 100 cm) x (1000 x 100cm)
    =3.6 x 10^18 cm^2

    160,000,000,000 tonnes
    =160,000,000,000 x 1000 kg
    =160,000,000,000 x 1000 x 1000 g
    = 1.6 x 10^17 cm^3.

    if you divide the volume by the area:

    (1.6 x 10^17 cm^3)/(3.6 x 10^18 cm^2)

    you get .0444cm ocean rise per year -- 20 years to go up 1 cm.

    In other words, although it's an incomprehensible volume of fresh water we're pouring into the ocean, it's still just the first trickle of the eventual deluge.

    Unless I messed up somewhere.
     

    To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

    by UntimelyRippd on Thu May 22, 2014 at 07:55:36 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  sea level rise is a few millimeters/yr now (0+ / 0-)

      so this loss from Antarctica accounts for approximately 10-15% of the total. however, loss of ice from Antarctica and Greenland is likely speeding up.

      I think your math is right.

      An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

      by mightymouse on Thu May 22, 2014 at 08:25:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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