INTRODUCTIONClimate from late winters and early springs/summers.(iii) The

INTRODUCTIONClimate change has greatly affected the Earth and its inhabitants, with catastrophes such as droughts, intense floods, increase in storm severity, etcetera. But easily one of the worst products of climate change would be the impending rising sea-level.WHAT IS HAPPENINGOver the past 100 years, satellite measurements have told us that the average sea level height or the Global Mean Sea Level has risen by 4 to 8 inches. However, the yearly rate of the past 20 years has been 0.13 inches a year, almost twice the average speed of the previous 80 years.The burning of fossil fuels, as well as other human and natural activities over the past 100 years, has released tremendous amounts of heat-trapping, greenhouse-gases such as carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. These emissions have caused the Earth’s surface temperature to rise heavily, and the oceans absorb roughly 80% of this additional heat.WHY THIS IS HAPPENINGWhy does the Earth heating directly impact the rise in sea level? There are three main factors all contributing to this key concept. These are (i) Thermal Expansion: As water heats up, it expands–the same way molecules spread further apart in hotter conditions. Roughly 50% of the past century’s rise in sea level is attributable to warmer oceans taking up more space.(ii) The most significant of all is the melting of Polar Ice Caps and Glaciers. Large ice formations, such as the polar ice caps and glaciers, naturally melt a small amount each summer. In winter, snow made from evaporated seawater balances out the melting, putting the ice formations in a state of equilibrium. Recently, however, growing temperatures due to global warming have led to greater-than-average summer melting as well as less intense snowfall from late winters and early springs/summers.(iii) The most significant of the ice formations; West Antarctica and Greenland: As well as the glaciers and ice caps, increased heat is causing the enormous ice blankets over Antarctica and Greenland to melt at an accelerated speed. Scientists believe melted water from above and seawater from below is seeping beneath Antarctica’s and Greenland’s ice sheets, effectively lubricating ice sheets and allowing them to move more quickly into the sea. Hotter sea temperatures are causing the large ice shelves that extend out from Antarctica to melt from below, loosen, and then eventually break off.


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