Sorry for any bad English

In order to give a reason for humanity to get out of Earth or hide in their floating city shelter, what is the best way to rise up sea level fast and furiously? I am thinking of melting ice, if so , what's the best course of treatment?

Other solutions are also welcomed.

Thank you

  • $\begingroup$ Please define your "best". $\endgroup$ – Mołot Jan 15 '18 at 9:42
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    $\begingroup$ the most efficient way to melt all ice , thx :) $\endgroup$ – Susuia Jan 15 '18 at 9:48
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    $\begingroup$ What makes you think our current approach is insufficient? $\endgroup$ – Euphoric Jan 15 '18 at 11:10
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    $\begingroup$ to Euphoric: the current situation can last for at least a thousand years, which is too long. I want to make it less than 100 years. So I am looking for a way to rise up sea level $\endgroup$ – Susuia Jan 15 '18 at 12:27
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    $\begingroup$ Note that you can use the '@<username>' syntax to notify one user per comment. $\endgroup$ – Frostfyre Jan 15 '18 at 13:29

To melt ice you need heat, like an hair drier or a stove.

Unfortunately, melting all the ice stored at the Poles is not something you achieve with an hair drier, unless you have a very large hair drier.

One of the biggest and easily accessible heat source we have available is few kilometers under our feet: the Earth mantle.

If you manage to trigger massive volcanic eruptions under the Poles, the heat coming from the lava will melt the ice caps, as it already happened on a smaller scale in Iceland

A jökulhlaup (Icelandic pronunciation: ​[ˈjœːkʏl̥øip]) (literally "glacial run") is a type of glacial outburst flood. It is an Icelandic term that has been adopted in glaciological terminology in many languages. It originally referred to the well-known subglacial outburst floods from Vatnajökull, Iceland, which are triggered by geothermal heating and occasionally by a volcanic subglacial eruption, but it is now used to describe any large and abrupt release of water from a subglacial or proglacial lake/reservoir.

On a side note, the massive volcanic eruptions would also slightly rise the sea floor level, pushing further up the water level, and also fill the atmosphere with ashes and dust, shielding solar radiation.

Though the latter may actually freeze back the waters on the medium term, for sure it will make the planet unlivable, which is your goal.

  • $\begingroup$ Cool, can a weapon of mass destruction triggers the volcanic eruption as mentioned above? $\endgroup$ – Susuia Jan 15 '18 at 9:52
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    $\begingroup$ Pretty sure the biggest heat source available is the sun, ALWAYS. $\endgroup$ – Ville Niemi Jan 15 '18 at 9:57
  • $\begingroup$ @VilleNiemi correct, but the Sun is too feeble at the poles. And massive greenhouse effect won't happen in hours... anyway, edited my answer $\endgroup$ – L.Dutch Jan 15 '18 at 10:25
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    $\begingroup$ Right, so you wanted it THAT fast. Although, I can't help thinking that a volcanic eruptions large enough to melt the polar ice caps in any reasonable time would make the sea level rise irrelevant. $\endgroup$ – Ville Niemi Jan 15 '18 at 10:58

You want a story diverging from our actual timeline. What about doing nothing? Take the current climate change reports, the most pessimistic ones. They would be somewhat in the direction of what you want.

(For more emphasis, but diverging from our history:

  • Don't do all the eco thingies we (as humanity) still do, such as wind turbines and solar cells.
  • For even more emphasis let no atom bombs and atom power be invented. However, long-term space-faring might be a problem then.
  • Or let oil crisis never happen, 6 L muscle-cars for everyone in the world where no one heard of dieselgate.)

Will the polar capes have melt somewhat by year 2200? Yes. Would it be enough to warrant a global exodus of humanity from Earth? No.

And it's not fast, but you can bank on accumulating effects. So to say, the rise of 2 degree average temp. pro year was somewhat Ok, until it reached the bar of XX degree, then shit hit the fan.

  • $\begingroup$ Thank you, but my story is based on real world setting (it's a Science fiction set in the near future). I might take it if I couldn't think of anything else. $\endgroup$ – Susuia Jan 22 '18 at 7:26

I would go with very large, orbital reflectors oriented toward the poles. Basically just focus a lot of sunlight on them and ramp up the temperature at the poles fast. Since you gave a century to get it done, it should be feasible to build the reflectors in time (I have no idea what budgetary constraints you might have).

  • $\begingroup$ Thx. Maybe they will use this orbital reflectors to melt the thick ice of Antarctica so to extract oil and other minerals,I suppose? $\endgroup$ – Susuia Jan 22 '18 at 7:33

Start a campaign to sprinkle soot

I've briefly covered this in my answer here. Essentially, you should have a concerted effort to make the ice caps less reflective. This is easily done by sprinkling a layer of something dark on top of them. In places where there is permafrost, this will start releasing trapped methane and CO2, and, in some cases, will cause peat/coal seam fires, which will release still more CO2 and methane, and also sprinkle more soot on surrounding ice.

If you go out and start actually setting coal/peat fires you'll have even better results.

  • $\begingroup$ Sounds good. Maybe when the third world rises, this would happen. Thank you. $\endgroup$ – Susuia Jan 22 '18 at 7:30

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