You don't have to be a scientist to apply knowledge about how long ice lasts in 70 degree weather.
Actually you do. You don't just eyeball values of solar joules and latent heat of ice. Anyone who lives in the north will tell you it can take quite a while for a mound of snowplowed ice to melt depending on how much ice there is in the mound, even in 70-degree weather.
And then there’s the ice. We are supposedly melting the ice; the literature is filled with papers making this claim. These papers invariably whine about human activity warming the planet, but they never seem to get around to discussing how much energy is actually required, or how it gets to the ice. But do humans really generate enough energy to melt significant amounts of ice?
How much energy is needed to melt 1.32X10^6 Km3 of ice?
It takes 333.55X10^3 J to melt 1 kg of ice.
Doing the math, we see it takes 3.07X10^17 J to melt a cubic km of ice. This is our basic unit of heat energy for melting any large amount of ice in Antarctica, or anywhere else.
We have determined how much ice is involved in an 11-foot ocean rise: a volume of 1.32X10^6 Km3. To melt it, the ice must receive 1.32X10^6 Km3 X 3.07X10^17 J, or 4.05X10^23 J. This is true regardless of what process gets the heat to Antarctica. A steady melt would require 2.03X10^22 J per year to melt it in 20 years, or 8.1X10^21 J per year to melt it in 50 years.
We can argue until the cows come home about how that much heat can reach the glaciers. But for our nontechnical friends, it’s interesting to compare the energy requirement with how much energy humans produce. In other words, if humans set out to deliberately melt the Thwaites and Pine Island Glaciers in the Antarctic, could they even do it?
Well, let us see!
According to the US Energy Information Administration, in 2016 the world produced 84.412479 quadrillion (84.412479X10^15) BTU. That converts to 8.906X10^19 J, consisting of fossil fuel (the largest component), nuclear, and renewable. And if we used all of the world’s energy to do nothing but melt the ice, we could not do it in 20 years, or even in 50 years. We could do it in about 4,500 years.
That kind of heat to melt that much ice in 20 years would also require a significant increase in solar joules, one that would cause temperatures to rise far above 70 degrees F.