The ice sheets collapsing and causing sea levels to rise represent the worst case scenario for hundreds of millions of people that inhabit the world’s coasts. We are already observing that the seas are rising quickly, threatening to turn cities like Miami into swamps and that’s not so far into the future. No, this could happen within the lifetime of people who are alive today.
The worst case scenario, as we said before, would be that the ice sheets which can be found in Antarctica and Greenland would start to collapse. Then, the rate of sea levels would rise tremendously, skyrocketing as they will make coastal cities uninhabitable and, at the same time, this would destroy properties and infrastructure with an estimate of trillions of dollars.
In order to slow or prevent these floods from washing over cities, we might need to embark on the most innovative civil engineering project in the history of humanity. At least that’s what some researchers said in a study published in the European Geosciences Union journal The Cryosphere this Thursday.
Basically, the project would have people building massive walls under the ice which will stop these sheets from falling apart. This would really be a way of reworking our planet, a geoengineering project which could buy time for coastal cities to try to adapt while the rest of humanity works on reversing at least some of the warming it caused.
So far, the project works just in theory because this sort of geoengineering today would be at the edge of what we, as a species, are capable of doing. However, we must take into account that the catastrophic ice sheet collapse isn’t too far in the foreseeable future.