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"Habitability Of Antarctica If All Ice Melted (Part II)?" Topic


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8,950 hits since 24 Oct 2011
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Comments or corrections?

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP24 Oct 2011 11:54 a.m. PST

This was discussed a very long time ago:

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Articles from way back then:

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rense.com/general52/ahbi.htm

However . . . with new scientific information and understanding, your opinions may have varied a bit. That was then, this is now.

Let's start with some maps:

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This map shows contours below the current ice, but does not seem to take into account subsequent sea level rise:

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QUESTIONS:

What do you think these days?

1) Considering the overwhelming pressures that would come with major sea rise level to obtain new land and resources, could Antarctica ever be warm enough to be settled/colonized extensively, perhaps starting with major mining bases or rogue groups (that may not care one bit for international protection treaties)?

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2) What gaming scenarios do you think could be played using this premise?

More:

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Dan
PS. As the first map link shows, from bases in Antarctica, post apocalyptic raiders might be able to reach Australia, South America and Africa relatively easily. Don't you think?
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mad monkey 124 Oct 2011 12:21 p.m. PST

Use the map for a fantasy world.

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP24 Oct 2011 12:23 p.m. PST

Mad Monkey 1,

It would have a really cool-looking coastline!

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Dan

Eclectic Wave24 Oct 2011 12:27 p.m. PST

One thing you might be overlooking is the rebound effect. Fancy name, but what it means is that the gound is being pushed down by the weight of the ice on it. As the ice melts, the ground has less weight on it and starts 'rising' up. Greenland is experincing this right now. You might find that there is more "land" then you might think after the ice melts.

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP24 Oct 2011 12:28 p.m. PST

Eclectic Wave,

Good point! Two miles of ice does make a difference.

Well then. There might be a lot more land than I thought.

Dan

Little Big Wars Inactive Member24 Oct 2011 1:04 p.m. PST

Assuming precipitation in the area doesn't speed up, I really don't think you're going to be able to inhabit the southern continent. It would probably continue to remain far too cold, and in addition you'd have to desalinize all of your water, something that's not at all cheap.

Garand24 Oct 2011 1:39 p.m. PST

Agree; Antarctica despite all the ice is actually a desert. I would expect even without the ice it would have a climate more akin to Siberia and northern Canada than say Mid-Atlantic US states. I don't think it would be "good land" to inhabit, and if it was ever settled, would probably be pretty sparse…

Damon.

Shagnasty Supporting Member of TMP24 Oct 2011 2:30 p.m. PST

But, after the poles shift?

Grizzlymc Inactive Member24 Oct 2011 2:35 p.m. PST

Yeah, but the Antarcticanians would burn all their coal and cause the earth to warm up more, this would bake the northeners (S AMerica, Australia and anyone north to Canada) but give them balmy weather.

Grizzlymc Inactive Member24 Oct 2011 2:36 p.m. PST

Oh, and the rebound effect is called isostacy, it moves slooowwwlllllyyyyyy.

skippy0001 Supporting Member of TMP24 Oct 2011 3:42 p.m. PST

Unless its moved into a temperate or equatorial lattitude it will still be barren.
A axial tilt would work for that, make it 100,000 to 1,000,000 years in the future, either a fantasy or sci-fantasy genre.
In Heinleins' 'Have Space Suit Will Travel' there was a Alien coalition planning on inducing a axial tilt to throw the human race back to the stone age because they declared earth to be a threat.
Lets say that happens and every country beaches 'Arks' on the new coast of a temperate-zoned Antarctica, who goes where, what do they bring with them and what RPG/Skirmish rules would you use?(hmmm…Mcmurdo Baywatch…)
If there were ancient ruins under the ice, would they be crushed to a powder or still intact?

nvdoyle24 Oct 2011 5:26 p.m. PST

Keep it barren, but populated by the oil companies, their mercenaries, the gov't militaries and research groups, the UN trying to keep a lid on all of it…

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP24 Oct 2011 5:44 p.m. PST

If this is any indication, there's gotta be some really cool stuff under all that ice:

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Dan

Mako11 Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member24 Oct 2011 5:46 p.m. PST

Very nice, but they'll have to get it up to a nice 75 – 80 degree F during the day to get me to want to relocate there.

MKGipson24 Oct 2011 5:48 p.m. PST

Don't forget the secret ancient alien bases that get uncovered by the melting ice.

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP24 Oct 2011 5:55 p.m. PST

And seeds, fungi and all kinds of goodies hiding under all that ice, that will take advantage of the open land.

Birds, floating trash and strong winds will bring lots and lots more too. Almost like terraforming a planet, but on high speed.

Volcanic islands normally get tons of growth soon after rising from the waters, right?

On Surtsey Island (near Iceland):

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More:

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imaggeo.net/view/246
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Dan

Personal logo gamertom Supporting Member of TMP24 Oct 2011 7:36 p.m. PST

And lets not forget that ancient city built by the Elder Things and the shoggoths the Elder Things created. Not to mention whatever drove Danford mad when he caught a glimpse of what was on the high plateau beyond the Elder Things' city. Must be a reason why the Mountains of Madness have not been further explored since that failed Miskatonic University expedition in the early 1930's.

Shagnasty Supporting Member of TMP24 Oct 2011 8:26 p.m. PST

Indeed. It is never mentioned in the faculty club.

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP24 Oct 2011 8:54 p.m. PST

This is interesting . . . about plants already on ice-free areas of Antarctica (and new invasive* ones taking root):

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Pretty soon we'll be able to introduce some caribou and polar bears. :)

Dan
* Funny how people think that every island or continent should be kept under a glass dome.

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP25 Oct 2011 8:26 p.m. PST

Maybe, once the ice thaws, we'll find artefacts there like this weird prehistoric head carving from the Balkans:

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Martians:

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Coincidence? I think not!!! :)

Dan

WarpSpeed Inactive Member25 Oct 2011 9:12 p.m. PST

The great undersea cave to the secret alien base…except they arent greys,they are refugees from the future..

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP25 Oct 2011 9:50 p.m. PST

WarpSpeed,

Is this what you mean?

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Dan

Personal logo John Treadaway Supporting Member of TMP26 Oct 2011 4:27 a.m. PST

A axial tilt would work for that, make it 100,000 to 1,000,000 years in the future, either a fantasy or sci-fantasy genre.

Depends if you think axial tilt of the Earth is the only thing that determins the position of land masses on the surface of the globe (relative to the warming rays of the sun). This is an interesting read link

The concept the the mass of the ice caps reaches a critical point and 'tugs' the loose 'skin' of the crust of the earth around causing (relatively) rapid movement of the Earth's crust is a great one…

An I think there are g'zillions of gaming opportunities surrounding that idea (and I've certainly used them myself in RPGs)

John T

Eclectic Wave26 Oct 2011 10:40 a.m. PST

Anyone ever read Larry Niven's "World out of time" – Set 3 million years from now, Earth's sun red giant's early when a colony of Earth who is at war with Earth, drops a gas giant into the sun. Earth ends up getting moved (How do you move a planet? is one of the big mysteries of the book) out to orbit Jupitor, and ends up having it's enviroment so screwed up so that the only inhabitable land is … Antaritica.

It's a good read, classic Niven at his best.

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP26 Oct 2011 10:43 a.m. PST

Guys,

CHECK OUT THIS "REPORT":

"University of British Columbia Professor published an on-line article that projected an 800m asteroid would hit Antarctica in the fall of 2012.

The article hypothesized a 94% probability that the asteroid would impact on the Filchner-Ronne ice shelf and cause 2/3 of ice on Antarctica to crumble into sea. The article surmised the total collapse of all Antarctic ice within 2-4 months after impact. "A deep enough impact would crack the ice shelf like a window and total structural collapse would be inevitable, a few months at the outside." If the ice on Antarctica was added the the world's ocean it would raise them by 70 meters."

So, according to that "report", within 2-4 months this is what the world would look like by the start of 2013, when all land-based ice hits the oceans (either as broken ice or icemelt) and the sea level goes up 60-100 meters:

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Today's global warming trend would be a mute point, I think.

Dan
PS. That report is all over the Internet, but is bogus. However, think of the gaming scenarios it can spawn!!!
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