The warming of Earth is primarily due to accumulation of heat-trapping greenhouse gases, and more than 90 percent of this trapped heat is absorbed by the oceans. As this heat is absorbed, ocean temperatures rise and water expands. This thermal expansion contributes to an increase in global sea level. Temperature measurements of the sea surface, taken by ships, satellites and drifting sensors, along with subsurface measurements and observations of global sea-level rise, have shown that the warming of the upper ocean caused sea level to rise due to thermal expansion in the 20th century. Using measurements from Argo profiling floats, we know this warming has continued, causing roughly one-third of the global sea-level rise observed by satellite altimeters since 2004.
Thinning and calving both contribute to the loss of ice shelves in the Antarctic, but how to they affect sea level?
Scientific assessments are designed to help island residents cope with potential threats from sea level rise.
Kelvin waves, a potential precursor of El Niño conditions in the ocean, are rolling across the equatorial Pacific toward the coast of South America.