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# I dug up the garden of Mrs. Thwaites

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So, supposedly the Thwaites ice glacier is going to come crashing down sometime soon, thanks to a hole discovered underneath it, no doubt dug up by the Digging-est Dog.

This is billed as a VERY BAD THING on the order of catastrophic sea rise of two feet or so everywhere.

I’m interested in the supporting math.

The earth has 139.7 million square miles of ocean. That’s 5.608E17 square inches. To raise all of that 1 inch would take 5.608E17 cubic inches of water I presume, given square-sided oceans. That is 2200 cubic miles of water, unless I missed a step.

NBC claims a rise of 2 feet possible, so 24 x 2200 =~53000 cubic miles of water. Or a 1000 ft thick glacier that is 279400 square miles, or roughly the size of Texas.

What say you? Anyone got a slide rule handy?

(Title borrowed from my favorite childhood book)

 — RayfordSteele, Feb 07 2019

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So, ways to insulate the icebox so the hot hot Antarctic sea water doesn’t melt it further?
 — RayfordSteele, Feb 07 2019

Gah, the units. Why don't you go the whole hog, and use chains or furlongs?
 — Loris, Feb 07 2019

//catastrophic sea rise of two feet// Thank gods it's imperial water - England is metric, and hence protected.
 — MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 07 2019

//England is metric, and hence protected// - although post-Brexit, as part of 'regaining control' and recapturing our 'glorious past' we'll be giving up the metric system, decimal currency, antibiotics, flush toilets and a Copernicus-based model of the universe.
 — hippo, Feb 07 2019

Uh, shirley we'll get to keep antibiotics and flush toilets, and it'll be the Europeans who have to give them up?
 — MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 07 2019

Ah yes, but we get see extra bendy bananas again.
 — xenzag, Feb 07 2019

A plus then, I can stop hiding mine from EU inspectors.
 — Skewed, Feb 07 2019

And as any fule kno the preferred unit of land area is 'the size of Wales'.
 — bhumphrys, Feb 08 2019

 Step One: Install caryatids.

 Step Two: Turn underwater, plinth-mounted handles to activate concealed jacks, so that the caryatids perform a sort of synchronised Pilates-stretch until the ice is lifted clear of the water.

Spacing of caryatids will depend on the shear strength of the ice and the sheer strength of the jacks.
 — pertinax, Feb 08 2019

//a Copernicus-based model of the universe.//
I don't think we've ever used that have we? For as long as I can remember (which isn't all that long these days, admittedly) England has always been placed firmly, unflinchingly & patriotically at the centre of the Universe.
 — DrBob, Feb 08 2019

 Will you surrender the metric system back to the French?

Will you go back to using pounds shillings, and pence, or LSD? (Anyone wanting to have anything to do with Pence must be on LSD honestly).
 — RayfordSteele, Feb 09 2019

Pounds, shillings, pence & LSD? sounds good, lead on macduff.
 — Skewed, Feb 09 2019

 The UK is a hard metric country, and I’m not aware of any plans to devolve into the dark ages regarding that facet. No longer being in the EEC does not as far as I’m aware have any bearing on whether a country is metricated or not. The UK planned to go metric in the very late 1700’s, introducing (finally, after much resistance by stupid people in positions of power) our first decimal coin in 1849 — the Florin. Other weights and measures were then to follow. The prospect of EEC membership in the ’60s finally tipped that situation, but it wasn’t the cause of our metrication, we fully intended to anyway.

Australia, for example, is not in the EU, and is a hard metric country. Most other countries around the world are hard metric, while having nothing much to do with the EU either.
 — Ian Tindale, Feb 09 2019

 Hard metric except speed limits?

I suppose hardness is not the same as thoroughness, so we might say something like "hard metric except the last mile". Progress towards full metrication inches forward.
 — pertinax, Feb 09 2019

That is a weighty answer, Ian, for a light jab. How many stones does it weigh I wonder?
 — RayfordSteele, Feb 09 2019

Well, there are exceptions to our metrication unfortunately – road speeds seem to be antiquated for some reason, but as I don’t drive, that doesn’t bother me. A few other things are stuck in the days of the horse and cart too, such as the way that drinks are sold in a pub (unlike the more poetic way they’re sold in Australia). But generally we’re hard metric, which means one or more of two things: Measurements of physical things are manufactured in the exact metric measurement, such as nuts and bolts – they’re not merely the imperial measurement sold with the nearest metric equivalent stated also, they’re the metric one sold with the nearest imperial equivalent stated also (in both cases this depends on the tolerance in use for the situation). The other ramification is that in a hard metric country the metric unit is given first, then the imperial second, and in parenthesis or brackets. A soft metric country is the other way round – imperial first, and the metric equivalent (which may not be exact, but the nearest within tolerance) given second and in brackets.
 — Ian Tindale, Feb 09 2019

 //drinks are sold in a pub//

They still do that? I thought all the pubs had been re-purposed as flats already.
 — Skewed, Feb 09 2019

 //the metric equivalent (which may not be exact, but the nearest within tolerance) given second and in brackets// What happens if you want to buy brackets?

As regards road signs being in mph, this is because the roads themselves are, for the most part, imperial. If we used metric for roads, you'd get signs like "BASINGSTOKE 23.77331 KM", which would be confusing because nobody wants to go to Basingstoke.
 — MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 09 2019

Drinks are not only sold in a pub, they’re also bought in a pub. I’ve even done so myself (although I don’t think anyone here has witnessed it).
 — Ian Tindale, Feb 09 2019

 // I’ve even done so myself //



 // confusing because nobody wants to go to Basingstoke. //

No, because the signs are on the sides of the roads leading away from Basingstoke, reassuring travellers that they are getting further away.
 — 8th of 7, Feb 09 2019

 //"BASINGSTOKE 23.77331 KM"//

Brings back that old question of whether nature is metric, imperial or something else. </baton's down hatches ( couldn't find a hammer), pushes couches against doors>
 — wjt, Feb 10 2019

 Sp. Battens

Carry on
 — pertinax, Feb 10 2019

 The Planck length is ~1.6 E-35 meters. 1 mile is ~1.6 km. Therefore nature is imperial-based. 1 Planck length ~1 E-38 miles.

BOOM!
 — RayfordSteele, Feb 10 2019

 Imperial as far as I’m aware seems to be made from bits of anatomy, bits of plants, bits of horses, and events such as how far one can see or walk or do something within a reasonable boundary of time, and random receptacles which you happen to have around the house. It’s all too arbitrary and variable.

 In SI units, you know, like wot scientists use, a litre of water is a kilogram and is equal to a cubic decimetre, and has a mass of almost exactly a kilogram. The original definition of a kilogram (1795) was defined as the mass of a cubic decimetre of water at melting point of ice. Since then the definition has become something else a bit more scientific, so that relationship is not locked in any more.

I don’t consider imperial or SI units to be particularly ‘nature’ based, in terms of the universe as we know it, I’m sure there’s an even more systemic measurement scheme out there waiting for us to decide to use it in the distant future, but I do consider SI to be vastly more advanced in this direction than imperial ever was.
 — Ian Tindale, Feb 10 2019

When did Captain Obvious hook up with The Mansplainer?
 — RayfordSteele, Feb 10 2019

It's not widely known, but Captain Obvious and The Mansplainer are in fact, the very same person.
 — LimpNotes, Feb 10 2019

Missed opportunity to start that with 'Well, actually...'
 — RayfordSteele, Feb 11 2019

Sp. ~BOOM
 — pertinax, Feb 11 2019

Ha ha!
 — LimpNotes, Feb 11 2019

[pertinax] There's a decimal place,hexidecimal place and all the other different bases' places. Is the general term 'base place' or is there a specific term?
 — wjt, Feb 11 2019

I'm sorry, [wjt], I haven't a clue.
 — pertinax, Feb 11 2019