When asked, why is the sea levels rising, scientists and even laymen would immediately give a universally known reply – melting of giant ice sheets in the Antarctica and Greenland. But, do you know, this ice shedding is just 12% of the current rate of global sea level rise? What is responsible for the rest of the phenomenon?
The expansion of water as it warms, and ice melting from mountain glaciers and caps outside Greenland and Antarctica are to be held responsible for the remaining 88% of the current rise.
But, whatever, you just can’t ignore shrinking of Greenland and Antarctica altogether! It is crucial because together they hold enough water to make the sea levels rise by 70 meters! This can eventually submerge vast land swathes and displace millions.
Duncan Wingham from University College London said,
Most people don’t realise that Antarctica is so cold there isn’t much melting going on.
Image: Ian Howat