I'm curious about a couple of scenarios involving a habitable or partially-habitable Antarctica. I'm not all that concerned about how to get there from present-day Earth, though it might be interesting to discuss; I'm much more interested in what it would look like given these particular scenarios.

Couple things in advance:

  • I'm assuming that not much else changes about Earth, except things caused ultimately by the temperature increase alone. This is meant basically as an extreme global warming scenario, and most other things (continental movements, intentional human terraforming, etc) are slower or more fantastical than I'm interested in.
  • I'm aware of Antarctica's subglacial topography, and I know there would be a lot less land area without the glaciers. I also know that isostatic rebound is a thing, but I'm mostly disregarding that for this purpose - it's too slow.
  • I'm aware of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, and I know that thanks to that, it would take a very large temperature increase in the rest of the world to make Antarctica even approach habitabilty. (I am curious just how much, though.)

The first scenario would extend habitability (which I guess could be defined as 'temperatures high enough to allow forestation') to around 80 degrees south - inland a bit, but not to the actual centre. The second would extend habitability all the way to the centre.

I'm curious primarily about the temperature gradations across latitudes, and how different the interior would be from the coast. If the coast was habitable, I imagine the centre would still be a frozen wasteland, but how far would that extend? If the centre was habitable, how hot would the coasts get?


closed as too broad by Bellerophon, sphennings, L.Dutch, AndreiROM, Ash Oct 19 '17 at 16:43

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to the site. We always advise one question per post otherwise questions are closed as too broad. Maybe you could ask a series of questions to with one question per post. $\endgroup$ – Bellerophon Oct 19 '17 at 15:40
  • $\begingroup$ This all seems to me like one overarching question, and splitting it up into sub-questions seems like you'd have to cross-reference between the questions too much to make it easy. How would you divide it? $\endgroup$ – Sjiveru Oct 19 '17 at 15:51
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    $\begingroup$ I would first ask only your last question (about how hot the world is) as this fuels all the others, Once you have that you can ask second and third questiosn which summarise the information here as well as whatever answer you got to part 1. In those you should ask about winds (and possibly temperature gradients) and in the other you ask about habitability and the day night cycle. Finally you ask about Bouvet and the Keguelens whilst giving as much information about the wind, temperature and vegetation as you have. $\endgroup$ – Bellerophon Oct 19 '17 at 15:59
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    $\begingroup$ If you need help with the questions, or just someone to check them over, we have a sandbox for questions: worldbuilding.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/4835/… $\endgroup$ – Bellerophon Oct 19 '17 at 15:59
  • $\begingroup$ @Sjiveru As a rule bonus questions are a bad idea and should be deleted. As per the help center questions on this site should be specific and answerable. You can edit your question to make it a better fit for this site. $\endgroup$ – sphennings Oct 19 '17 at 16:01

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