Why are you predicting rising sea levels from melting polar ice caps since ice is less dense than water?

Weather Blog

Dear Tom,
Why are you predicting rising sea levels from melting polar ice caps since ice is less dense than water?
John Dempsey, Pontiac, Michigan

Dear John,
The density difference of ice versus water has nothing to do with the predicted rise in the world’s oceans. Ice floating on the Arctic Ocean has no effect on the level of the ocean because, when it melts, water displaced by the melted ice occupies the same volume as the ice did. At the South Pole however, most of the ice is on land .. Antarctica. Upon melting or plunging into the ocean at the periphery of the continent, there is a consequent net rise in the sea level. This is true of the ice cap on Greenland, as well. Antarctic ice, if completely melted would cause approximately a 200 feet rise in sea levels. Greenland’s ice, if melted, would add about another 20 feet.

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Popular

Latest News

More News