Rising Water Levels



Sea Level Rise (SLR)

Melting ice from a warming ocean and atmosphere is being added to the world's oceans. This ice has been stored on land for millions of years in large glaciers. The largest of these glaciers are called ice sheets and sit on Greenland and Antarctica. They hold the greatest potential for raising sea level around the world.

Here we focus on Greenland, demonstrating how much water is in her ice sheet. As you click on the sections of Greenland's ice, you will see it "melt away", changing the sea level in the world's oceans. Scientists have estimated there is approximately 24 feet of global SLR in Greenland's ice sheet.

This is significant but Antarctica's ice sheet, divided into two parts, holds much more. West Antarctica holds 19 feet of SLR and East Antarctica holds 170 feet of SLR. All together ~213 ft. of SLR is sitting in these polar ice sheets.

Reference: Bell, R. E., 2008a. "The Unquiet Ice." Scientific American 298 (2): 60-67. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=the-unquiet-ice