ScArEcRoW wrote:Let's see. Massive blocks of ice just randomly floating around in the ocean and we don't expect them to melt over time? Ice melts Cate.
Indeed ice does melt over time.
We are living in what climatologist term "a warm interglacial period". What could be termed a relatively "little ice age" occurred about 600 years ago that slowed the natural glacial inland retreat. While the surface of the ice sheets are solid and brittle, the bottom is flexible. Inland glaciers retreat as inflowing streams of water (warmer than ice) ebb underneath. The hot magna in the earths core account for some of the rise in Ocean temperstures that influenced glacial retreat.
The problem is relentless extended rising temperatures in the earths biosphere cannot preserve or create our glaciers. The Oceans have risen 7.5 inches since the beginning of the 20th Century. More ice sheet melting will produce more rising Ocean water. It has no place to go other than onto land mass. Unfortunately those waters cannot flow into parched inland deserts, but will certainly redefine continental shorelines.
"A glacier forms when more snow falls each winter than melts the next summer. With alternating freezing and thawing, the snow becomes granular ice. As these layers build up, the ice recrystallizes, becomes denser, and eventually forms a massive sheet. The ice needs to be about 100 feet (30 m) thick for a glacier to form and have a surface area of at least 25 acres." U.S. Dept of Interior, Nationsl Parks.