We hear an awful lot about global warming these days, but what if that concept was taken to the extreme and the entire planet’s ice melted?

Ever found yourself tossing a few choice curse words out in the direction of an icy patch of road you’re attempting to navigate, snow tires be damned? Although in our everyday life naturally occurring ice may seem like a slippery inconvenience, be careful before you wish it would all just disappear instantly. Ice is frozen power just waiting to be unleashed (or should we say, “unmelted.”)

If it ever came to the point where all of Earth’s ice quickly melted away, the effects would be global devastation. Shorelines would be reforged as over two hundred feet of ice water would spread inland. In the United States, cities like Miami and New Orleans would be completely submersed.

In South America, Paraguay and Buenos Aires would be blue on any new maps published. On the European front, London would become a memory and Amsterdam might have to rebrand itself as that place where scuba divers go to get legally high while underwater.

Currently, there are 5 million cubic miles of ice on Earth, and that ice is melting – science has already proven the fact. While the scenario presented here is hypothetical (apologies if we’ve alarmed the severe alarmists in the room), scientists are predicting in approximately 5,000 years Earth’s average temperature will have risen from its current 58 degrees Fahrenheit to a retiree-friendly level of 80. Pack your sunscreen, grandma – and your wetsuit.

Every square inch of ice disappearing would also mean a very debilitating (and deadly) economic domino effect ensuing. Almost half of the globe’s human populations lives in coastal regions, and along with the loss of homes comes the destruction of industries, manufacturing and farmland. With no ice, the world would be a very, very wet mess. And the odds of cleaning up a spill like that would be impossible.

Story by Jay Moon