How much does the ice weigh?
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02-09-2012, 12:13 AM (This post was last modified: 02-09-2012 12:23 AM by Janus.)
How much does the ice weigh?
The continent of Antarctica is covered by a gigantic slab of fresh water ice on average 3 kilometers (2 miles) thick! That is 10 Empire State Buildings stacked on top of each other! Across the entire continent!

Imagine the incredible weight of that much ice!

In fact that weight is so great that it depresses the interior of the continent by hundreds of meters into a bowl shape! The ice dents the continent!

So how heavy (approximately) would all that ice covering Antarctica actually be? I mean in e.g. billions, or possibly even trillions of tonnes.
Antarctica's ice covered surface area is 13,720,000 km2 (5,300,000 sq mi), but I don't know how to factor in the weight of 3 kilometers (2 miles) of ice!

Somebody here have a clue?
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02-09-2012, 12:40 AM
RE: How much does the ice weigh?
The average thickness of the ice over Antarctica is 2km (sauce: http://hypertextbook.com/facts/2000/MaySy.shtml)

13720000 * 2 = 27440000 km3 = 2.744e10 m3

The density of ice at -30C (a good round number for the temperature in Antarctica) is .920 kg/m3


2.744e10 m3 * .920 kg/m3 = 2.524 * 10^10 kg

Or 2.524e7 tonnes. That's a little more than twenty five million (25,000,000) tonnes. Or a little under twenty seven million (27,000,000) short tons.

E 2 = (mc 2)2 + (pc )2
614C → 714N + e + ̅νe
2 K(s) + 2 H2O(l) → 2 KOH(aq) + H2 (g) + 196 kJ/mol
It works, bitches.
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02-09-2012, 12:43 AM
RE: How much does the ice weigh?
Actually made an order of magnitude mistake, derp. Didn't multiply by 1000 when converting to meters. So it's actually 25 billion tonnes of ice. My bad.

E 2 = (mc 2)2 + (pc )2
614C → 714N + e + ̅νe
2 K(s) + 2 H2O(l) → 2 KOH(aq) + H2 (g) + 196 kJ/mol
It works, bitches.
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02-09-2012, 12:46 AM
RE: How much does the ice weigh?
Volume x Density = Mass...

Density of Ice < Density of Water.

Density of Water = 1.0 g cm^-3 approx = 1000 kg m^-3.

Average iceberg = 10% above water therefore 90% under water. So take 1 m^3 iceberg.

Mass of water displaced by iceberg = mass of iceberg (Archimedes principle).

water displaced by iceberg = 0.9 m^3 therefore mass displaced = 900 kg. Therefore density of ice approx 900 kg m^-3.

Area of Antarctica = 1.372 x 10^10 m^2. Thickness = 3 x 10^3 m.

Volume = 4.116 x 10^13 m^3

Mass = 0.9 x 4.116 x 10^13 kg = 3.7044 x 10^13 kg

Dunno about weight. Weight involves forces and gravity and stuff - more complicated. Hope I haven't screwed up the calcs royally, just went off top of head...
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02-09-2012, 12:48 AM
RE: How much does the ice weigh?
Heh. Beat me to the punch Phaedrus Smile But glad to see our calcs agree - I used 3 km instead of 2 km but otherwise pretty much the same Smile
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02-09-2012, 04:29 AM
RE: How much does the ice weigh?
Watch out, we got MATH NERDS over here.

Hey, MoronDog, How about you calculate your virginity?Tongue

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02-09-2012, 04:31 AM
RE: How much does the ice weigh?
(02-09-2012 04:29 AM)Atothetheist Wrote:  Watch out, we got MATH NERDS over here.

Hey, MoronDog, How about you calculate your virginity?Tongue

Dude, those are calculations that anyone with a high school diploma should be able to do.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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02-09-2012, 04:34 AM
RE: How much does the ice weigh?
(02-09-2012 04:31 AM)Chas Wrote:  
(02-09-2012 04:29 AM)Atothetheist Wrote:  Watch out, we got MATH NERDS over here.

Hey, MoronDog, How about you calculate your virginity?Tongue

Dude, those are calculations that anyone with a high school diploma should be able to do.

Big Grin I was joking... Consider

Did I fool the Almighty Terse and Deadly one with my Psuedo-Terse?

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02-09-2012, 04:37 AM
RE: How much does the ice weigh?
Heh Tongue Screw you guys. Just 'cos it's easy doesn't mean it's no fun. That's a real calc of a real amount of real ice, assuming the input data was correct. A *lot* of ice Smile
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02-09-2012, 04:53 AM
RE: How much does the ice weigh?
(02-09-2012 04:34 AM)Atothetheist Wrote:  
(02-09-2012 04:31 AM)Chas Wrote:  Dude, those are calculations that anyone with a high school diploma should be able to do.

Big Grin I was joking... Consider

Did I fool the Almighty Terse and Deadly one with my Psuedo-Terse?

Hook, line, and sinker. Weeping

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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