Sea levels have been rising steadily since the 19th century, but the melting of glaciers is increasing the pace of that rise. If some scientists' prediction of a 1m rise come true, it could have a devastating effect on coastal areas around the world.
- Satellite data shows that global sea levels rose at a rate of about 3mm per year since 1993, and by 10-20cm in the past century
- The UN climate body, the IPCC, predicts a rise of between 18 and 59cm above today's levels by the end of the century
- Some scientists say this prediction is too low given the increased melting of glaciers and ice-sheets
- Melting glaciers contribute roughly half of the rise to the world's oceans. The other main contributor is thermal expansion
- The contribution from the melting ice-sheets of Antarctica and Greenland is hardest to predict, but could be huge
- If the ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica melted entirely, sea levels would rise by around 70 metres.
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