Global warming is a pressing issue that affects everyone. Though it may be hard to tell right now while we still have polar ice caps, National Geographic recently created a series of maps that illustrate how visually different the Earth would look if all the ice on the planet melted. The maps reveal a world with far fewer land masses that are above sea level. With all the glacial bodies thawing, it would lead to a rise in water levels by 216 feet. As a result, many of the continents’ current coastal areas would be submerged.
National Geographic explains: “There are more than five million cubic miles of [ice], and no one really knows how long it would take to melt it all. Probably more than 5,000 years, some scientists says. But if we burn all the earth’s supply of coal, oil, and gas, adding some five trillion more tons of carbon to the atmosphere, we’ll create a very hot planet, with an average temperature of perhaps 80 degrees Fahrenheit instead of the current 58. Large swaths of it might become too hot for humans. And it would likely be ice free for the first time in more than 30 million years.”