Aveneu Park, Starling, Australia

The There are three main factors all contributing to

The sea level is steadily rising and is rising at a faster rate each year. Climate change has greatly affected the Earth and its inhabitants, with catastrophes and natural disasters such as droughts being more common, intense, ravenous floods, and increases in storm severity. Easily one of the worst products of climate change is the ever-rising sea-level. This issue has the potential to displace millions,  of people, leaving coastal areas and communities submerged and uninhabitable.Over the last century, satellite measurements have told us that the average sea level height or Global Mean Sea Level has risen by four to eight inches. However, the yearly rate of the past twenty years has been point one-three inches a year, almost twice the average speed of the previous eighty years (According to NASA, GSML) At this rate the sea level will be rising much more than was originally thought. (Satellite info. Provided by NASA)The reason this is happening at such a fast rate is due to the lasting effects of Climate change and Global Warming. The burning of fossil fuels, as well as other human and natural activities over the last hundred years, has released tremendous amounts of heat-trapping, greenhouse-gases like carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. These greenhouse-gas emissions have caused the Earth’s surface temperature to rise significantly, and the oceans absorb roughly eighty percent of this additional heat. (According to National Geographic)Why does the Earth’s temperature directly impact the rise in sea level? There are three main factors all contributing to this key concept. These are (i) Thermal Expansion: As water heats up, it expands–the same way molecules spread further apart in hotter conditions. Roughly fifty percent of the past century’s rise in sea level is attributable to warmer oceans taking up more space. (According to National Geographic)(ii) The most significant of all is the melting of Polar Ice Caps and Glaciers. Large ice formations, such as the polar ice caps and glaciers, naturally melt a small amount each summer. In winter, snow from evaporated-seawater balances the melting, putting the ice formations in a state of equilibrium. Recently, however, growing temperatures due to global warming have led to greater than average summer melting as well as less intense snowfall from late winters and early springs/summers.(According To National Geographic)(iii) The most significant of the ice formations; West Antarctica and Greenland: As well as the glaciers and ice caps, increased heat is causing the enormous ice blankets over Antarctica and Greenland to melt at an accelerated speed. According to National Geographic, glaciers that flow into the ocean (Antarctica and Greenland) are the most susceptible to climate change’s effects. Scientists believe melted water from above and seawater from below is seeping beneath the Antarctic and Greenland’s ice sheets, effectively lubricating ice sheets and allowing them to move more quickly into the sea. Hotter sea temperatures are causing the large ice shelves that extend out from Antarctica to melt from below, loosen, and then eventually break off.(According to National Geographic)The glaciers and ice sheet of Greenland cover a land area greater than the combined countries of France, Italy, Germany, and Spain. If all of Greenland’s ice melted, sea levels would rise by roughly 23 feet. The number of people living in countries less than thirty feet above the sea level is six-hundred and thirty-four million.(According to National Public Radio) As NOS – Ocean Facts has stated: “Higher sea levels mean that deadly and destructive storm surges push farther inland than they once did, which also means more frequent nuisance flooding.” According to the U.N. Atlas of Oceans, ‘In the united states roughly 40% of the population (one-hundred and twenty-three million) live in dense, coastal areas where they are at risk of flooding, and shoreline erosion.’The Impending rise in Global Mean Sea Level is an incredibly important issue that needs to be altered and stopped before too many people have lost their homes due to flooding. Some populations are already experiencing this around the world.Photograph by Kennedy Warne¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯Kiribatian families are forced to live in insignificant areas, where flooding from high tides is growing. We need to reduce our carbon footprint and lower greenhouse gases before the Global Mean Sea Level rises to irreversible heights, flooding major cities such as New York, and in some cases states Such as Florida.

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