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MELT AND SEA-LEVEL RISE A warming climate holds important implications for other aspects of the global

e nvironment. Because of the slow process of heat diffusion in water, the world s oc eans are li ely to continue to warm for several centuries in response to increas es in greenhouse concentrations that have ta en place so far. The combination of seawater s thermal expansion associated with this warming and the melting of moun tain glaciers is predicted to lead to an increase in global sea level of 0.21 0.48 metre (0.7 1.6 feet) by 2100 under the BAU emissions scenario. However, the actua l rise in sea level could be considerably greater than this. It is probable that the continued warming of Greenland will cause its ice sheet to melt at accelera ted rates. In addition, this level of surface warming may also melt the ice shee t of West Antarctica. Paleoclimatic evidence suggests that an additional 2 °C (3.6 °F) of warming could lead to the ultimate destruction of the Greenland Ice Sheet, an event that would add another 5 to 6 metres (16 to 20 feet) to predicted sealevel rise. Such an increase would submerge a substantial number of islands and lowland regions. Selected lowland regions include substantial parts of the U.S. Gulf Coast and Eastern Seaboard (including roughly the lower third of Florida), much of the Netherlands and Belgium (two of the European Low Countries), and hea vily populated tropical areas such as Bangladesh. In addition, many of the world s major cities such as To yo, New Yor , Mumbai (Bombay), Shanghai, and Dha a are loca ted in lowland regions vulnerable to rising sea levels. With the loss of the Wes t Antarctic ice sheet, additional sea-level rise would approach 10.5 metres (34 feet). While the current generation of models predicts that such global sea-leve l changes might ta e several centuries to occur, it is possible that the rate co uld accelerate as a result of processes that tend to hasten the collapse of ice sheets. One such process is the development of moulins, or large, vertical shaft s in the ice that allow surface meltwater to penetrate to the base of the ice sh eet. A second process involves the vast ice shelves off Antarctica that buttress the grounded continental ice sheet of Antarctica s interior. If these ice shelves collapse, the continental ice sheet could become unstable, slide rapidly toward the ocean, and melt, thereby further increasing mean sea level. Thus far, neith er process has been incorporated into the theoretical models used to predict sea -level rise.Current sea level rise From Wi ipedia, the free encyclopedia This article is about the current and future rise in sea level associated with g lobal warming. For sea level changes in Earth's history, see Sea level#Changes t hrough geologic time. Trends in global average absolute sea level, 1870-2008.[1] Changes in sea level since the end of the last glacial episode. Even though the oceans are all connected, sea level does not rise or fall unifor mly over the planet.[2] The map above shows where average sea level in 2011 was above or below the long-term average. Places where sea level rose up to 8 inches higher than the 1993-2011 average are dar blue, average levels are white, and places where sea level fell below average are brown.[2] Sea levels around the world are rising. Current sea-level rise potentially impac ts human populations (e.g., those living in coastal regions and on islands)[3] a nd the natural environment (e.g., marine ecosystems).[4] Between 1870 and 2004, global average sea levels rose 17 cm (6.7 in).[5] From 1950 to 2009, measurement s show an average annual rise in sea level of 1.7 ± 0.3 mm with satellite data sho wing a rise of 3.3 ± 0.4 mm from 1993 to 2009,[6] a faster rate of increase than o riginally estimated.[7] It is unclear whether the increased rate reflects an inc rease in the underlying long-term trend.[8] Two main factors contributed to observed sea level rise.[9] The first is thermal expansion: as ocean water warms, it expands.[10] The second is from the contrib ution of land-based ice due to increased melting. The major store of water on la nd is found in glaciers and ice sheets. Sea level rise is one of several lines of evidence that support the view that th









1 Polar ice 8 Effects of sea-level rise 8.[16] Contents [hide] 1 Overview of sea-level change 1. and possibly the West Antarctic ice sheet. Atmospheric p         .2 Short-term and periodic changes 2 Longer-term changes 2. but these numbers do not include "uncertainties in climate-carbon cycle feedbac s nor do they include th e full effects of changes in ice sheet flow".2 Short-term variability and long-term trends 3 Past changes in sea level 3. The weight of the ice sheet depresses the unde rlying land. Local mean sea level (LMSL) is defined as the height of the sea with respect to a land benchmar .1 Projections 4.[12] Sea level rise is expected to continue for centuries. and glaciers. could contribute 4 to 6 m (13 to 2 0 ft) or more to sea level rise.1 Island nations 9 Satellite sea level measurement 9.1 The sedimentary record 3. Some land movements occur because of isostatic adjustment of the mantle to the melting of ice sheet s at the end of the last ice age. averaged over a period of time (such as a month or a year) lon g enough that fluctuations caused by waves and tides are smoothed out.[14] Although IPCC explicitly refra ined from projecting an upper limit of total sea level rise in the 21st century.3 IPCC Third Assessment 4.5 Australian sea-level change 4 Future sea-level rise 4.3 US tide gauge measurements 3.[13] In 2007.2 Estimates of past changes 3. which can be of the same order (mm/yr) as sea level changes. the melting of ice sheets could resu lt in even higher sea level rise.2 Projected impacts 4.1 Individual studies 10 See also 11 Notes 12 References 13 Further reading 14 External lin s [edit]Overview of sea-level change [edit]Local and eustatic sea level Water cycles between ocean.e climate has recently warmed. atmosphere. one meter of sea level rise is well within the range of more recent projections .4 Glacier contribution 5 Greenland contribution 6 Antarctic contribution 7 Effects of snowline and permafrost 7.[11] It is very li ely that human-induced (anthrop ogenic) warming contributed to the sea level rise observed in the latter half of the 20th century. sea level will rise another 18 to 59 cm (7. Partial deglaciation of the Greenland ice shee t.4 Amsterdam Sea Level Measurements 3. and when the ice melts away the land slowly rebounds.1 to 23 in).[14][15] On the timescale of centuries to millennia.1 Local and eustatic sea level 1.1 Glaciers and ice caps 2. the Intergove rnmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) projected that during the 21st century. One must adjust perceived changes in LMSL to account for vertical movements of the land.

the global sea level has risen by about 10 to 25 cm . as well as a greater reliance on the longest tide-gauge rec ords for estimating trends.[17]Sea level rise due to global warming 17. The ice sheets remain a major source of uncerta inty in accounting for past changes in sea level because of insufficient data ab out these ice sheets over the last 100 years. the s ea level is measured relative to a land-based tide-gauge benchmar .g. neotectonism. Sea level change is difficult to measure. The major pr oblem is that the land experiences vertical movements (e. while the observed retreat of glaciers an d ice caps may account for about 2-5 cm. Other factors are more difficult to qua ntify. Over the last 100 years.     . The rate of observed sea level rise suggests that there has been a net po sitive contribution from the huge ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica. have provided greater confidence that the volume of ocean water has indeed been increasing.ressure. However. such as changes in the volume of water in the world oceans or chan ges in the volume of an ocean basin. On this time scale. but ob servations of the ice sheets do not yet allow meaningful quantitative estimates of their separate contributions. Relative sea level changes have been d erived mainly from tide-gauge data. causing the sea level to rise within the given range. and these get incorporated into the measur ements. improved methods of filtering out the effects of long-term vert ical land movements. and sedimentation). the w arming and the consequent thermal expansion of the oceans may account for about 2-7 cm of the observed sea level rise. ocean currents and local ocean temperature changes also can affect LMSL . It is li ely that much of the rise in sea level has been related to the concurre nt rise in global temperature over the last 100 years. Eustatic change (as opposed to local change) results in an alteration to the globa l sea levels. from isostatic effec ts. In the conventional tide-gauge system.