1. Rising Water Temperatures

Temp_SeaLevelLGM As air temperature increases it causes ocean temperature to increase. Starting at the surface, then deeper with time as water mixes, the water will warm and expand. This causes the water to expand through thermal expansion. Thermal expansion was a major source of sea level rise after the Industrial Revolution and is estimated to be responsible for 2.5 cm of rise during the second half of the 20th century.

2. Melting of Land Ice

Recent-Causes-of-SLR_Thumbnail Global temperature continue to rise, the rate in which Land Ice is meltng has increased. Land Ice is the grouping for glaciesrs, ice caps, and ice sheets. As these ice formations continue to melt, it adds the "new" water to the world's oceans. Melting of land ice was responsible for a little more than 50% of the total increase from 1993 - 2008, but has been more recently responsible for over 75% between 2003 - 2007. Areas such as Greenland and Antarctica have the largest total land ice on the planet.

3. Land Subsidence

landsubsidence The other two issues are what causes sea level to flucuate globally, but sea level rise can change at a local rate as well. This effect is due to land sinking, or subsiding. Land subsides due many natural actions, but is also an effect due to the melting of land ice. Naturally land subsides in the ongoing process of tectonic plates moving. Melting of land ice causes a shift in pressure of land mass allowing it to subside more quickly.