Sea level rise

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Current Sea Level Rise has occurred at a mean rate of 1.8 mm per year for the past century,[1][2] and more recently, during the satellite era of sea level measurement, at rates estimated near 2.8 ± 0.4[3] to 3.1 ± 0.7[4] mm per year (1993–2003). Current sea level rise is suggested to be due significantly to global warming,[5] which will increase sea level over the coming century and longer periods.[6][7] Increasing temperatures result in sea level rise by the thermal expansion of water and through the addition of water to the oceans from the melting of mountain glaciers, ice caps and ice sheets. At the end of the 20th century, thermal expansion and melting of land ice contributed roughly equally to sea level rise, while thermal expansion is expected to contribute more than half of the rise in the upcoming century.[8]

Values for predicted sea level rise over the course of this century typically range from 90 to 880 mm, with a central value of 480 mm. Models of glacier mass balance (the difference between melting and accumulation of snow and ice on a glacier) give a theoretical maximum value for sea level rise in the current century of 2 metres (and a "more plausible" one of 0.8 metres), based on limitations on how quickly glaciers can melt.[9]


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