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?