sealevel Nauru

The wide-spread belief is that as more arctic ice melts with global warming, this will happen.

There are two problems with this theory, however.

Firstly, solid water (ice) occupies more volume than liquid water does.  Icebergs melting in the sea (and the whole North Pole zone is one giant iceberg, 90% of it below sea level) should result in a reduction of the volume of seawater, not an increase.  An easy experiment: fill a container with ice-cubes, pour in some water to represent sea level and see what happens to it when all the ice-cubes are melted.

Secondly, higher atmospheric temperatures should result in more seawater and freshwater evaporation into the atmosphere. Every minute, 900 million litres of rainwater fall on the world.  If more evaporates when it has fallen on land, less will flow into the sea.

It’s easy to see how the science involved with it all is the subject of a lot of debate.

This article on the Whale Oil blog examines the issue.

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