Showing posts with label Archimedes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Archimedes. Show all posts

May 21, 2010

Melting Icebergs

We read a lot about melting icebergs and rising ocean levels, but what is the real story. This has nothing to do with global warming or cooling. That is another argument for another day. This is about the facts regarding ice and water.

Archimedes' principal states that a floating object displaces its own weight of fluid and should not add more water when it melts. Also, the weight of the displaced fluid is directly proportional to the volume of the displaced fluid. Of course there is some land based ice that is also melting, and it would raise the level of water if it is not absorbed by the land on which it sits.

Melting icebergs cause sea levels spread evenly across the globe to rise by just 49 micrometers a year, about the width of a human hair. At that rate, it would take 200 years for the oceans to rise by a centimeter (an inch is 2.54 centimeters).

If all the floating ice was to melt, sea levels would rise by only 4cm (less than 2 inches), according to scientists published in the journal of Geophysical Research Letter, April 2010. So, if the climate folks are correct, it will take a bit less than 800 years to raise the sea levels by a bit less than two inches. Hmmm. . .