Why melting icebergs don’t contribute to sea level rise

Article by Hazell Ransome.

Some ice rests on the sea rather than on land. This is known as sea ice, which can cover huge areas of the ocean, or make up small individual icebergs [1].

While Antarctica is covered by ice sheets, the ice in the Arctic is largely sea ice [2].

Arctic sea ice melt doesn’t contribute much at all to sea level rise because the extra water simply replaces the ice in the space it filled before [3].

However, it does mean polar bears have to walk and swim over greater distances which can be particularly dangerous for young cubs [4].

Moreover, melting sea ice increases global warming. This is because ice reflects sunlight much more than water, so without sea ice the oceans absorb more heat, causing them to get warmer [5]. You can see an infographic of this if you swipe across!


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