The Melting Icebergs

A common area of climate science for people to be misinformed about is the idea that sea levels are rising due to melting icebergs. This just is not true.

If you pour yourself a glass of water with a few cubes of ice, as the ice starts to melt, the water level does not rise. Why? The water in the ice has already displaced the same volume of water as it would have had it been a liquid and so the overall volume of water in the glass does not change. The physics of this, in terms of sea levels is the exact same, but on a planetary scale.

Therefore, a massive, melting iceberg floating in the sea does not contribute to rising sea levels, but that doesn’t mean our sea levels aren’t on the up.

What does contribute to sea level increases is the melting of glaciers and the warming of the atmosphere. Glaciers are essentially massive bodies of ice, the same as an iceberg, but on land rather than in the sea. When these melt, the water stored in the ice makes its way to the sea and the sea level increases.

Meanwhile, the atmosphere is heating, subsequently heating the oceans. When water warms, it also expands, further contributing to rising waters.

This phenomenon is a massive problem for human civilisation. Hundreds of millions of people are at risk of their homes being submerged by the sea which is a pretty bloody big deal if you think about it.

This is, again, a very fixable problem. If humans come together, fully comprehend the threat of climate change, and work together to reduce our carbon emissions, sea levels will stop rising and return to their natural levels.






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