The Drowned World

If we burned all the world’s deposits of coal, oil and natural gas, the global temperature would go up enough to melt the entire sheet of ice covering Antarctica as well as all the ice on other landmasses, driving the level of the sea up by more than 200 feet.

[That] would put almost all of Florida; much of Louisiana and Texas; the entire East Coast of the United States; large parts of Britain; much of the European Plain and huge parts of coastal Asia under water. The cities lost would include Miami, New Orleans, Houston, Washington, New York, Amsterdam, Stockholm, London, Paris, Berlin, Venice, Buenos Aires, Beijing, Shanghai, Sydney, Rome and Tokyo.

Half the melting would take place in less than 1,000 years.

Sidelight: Paleoclimatologists have established that Antarctica was once a lush, green continent, icing over only in the past 35 million years, amid a general cooling of the world’s climate. Also, sea levels far higher than today, have occurred in the past, but that was way before the dawn of human civilization.

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