The Earth hasn't always been partially covered with ice. During the Eocene Epoch 50 million years ago, the planet was actually ice-free. So what happens if the glaciers melt today? What about the polar ice caps? What would actually happen if all that ice was gone? How would it change the world?
Scientists have a pretty good idea of how glaciers melting would change the world because, well, they already are! The effects of glaciers melting and polar ice caps dwindling is easy enough to observe and study, and scientists have been doing so for a long time. The state of the planet if all the ice melted is fun to speculate about but likely wouldn't happen for thousands and thousands of years (if it happens at all). This list includes some of the impacts that such a thaw would have on the world today.
Florida Would Be FloodedPhoto: Metaweb / CC-BY
A Day Would Be About 2/3 of a Second Longer
There Could Be Massive Earthquakes
There Could Be Civil Unrest and War
It Could Release Prehistoric Viruses
Polar Bears Would Be Pushed To The Brink Of Extinction