Since 1850, sea level rise has been steadily accelerating During the 20th century, sea level increased about 15-20 centimetres (roughly 1.5 to 2.0 mm/year). Sea level rise is affected by a couple of factors including thermal expansion, the melting of glaciers and ice caps, and the loss of ice from the Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets.
Sea level rise from Satellite Data: 1993-Present
First, thermal expansion, owing to the ocean heat content has risen; the water will expand, contributing to sea level rise due to thermal expansion. Over the 21st century, the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment projected that thermal expansion would increase sea levels about 17-28 cm (plus or minus about 50%). Second, the melting of glaciers and ice caps has been rising dominantly the sea levels. It is estimated that, during the second half of the 20th century, melting of mountain glaciers and ice caps led to about a 2.5 cm rise in sea level. There is projected that sea level will be increased approximately 10-12 cm because the melting of glaciers and ice caps. Third, the loss of ice mass from Greenland and Antarctica, a process that would likely take many centuries to millennia, sea level would go up by proximately 7 meters.
- Pachauri, R.K. and Reisinger, A. (Eds.). (2007). Climate Change 2007: Synthesis Report. IPCC, Geneva, Switzerland. Retrieved from https://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar4/syr/ar4_syr_full_report.pdf