Currently, total sea level rise is about 3 millimeters per year (about one-eighth of an inch per year). Of that amount, about one-third comes from Greenland and Antarctica, one-third from glaciers (like those in Alaska or the Himalayas), and one-third from the expansion of seawater as it warms.

In the future, scientists expect Greenland and Antarctica will contribute larger amounts. By 2100, the latest estimates of sea level rise contributions from Greenland and Antarctica sum up to about 1 meter (about 3 feet), but totals may be as high as 2 meters (over 6 feet). By 2300, total sea level rise from those ice sheets may be as high as 5 meters (about 16 feet).

Contributions to sea level rise from the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets are expected to continue for millennia to come, with total amounts depending on how society responds to global warming.

Learn more