Contrary to popular belief, the melting of floating ice (in the form of ice shelves, icebergs and sea ice) may have a non-zero impact on sea level. This is because the melting process cools and dilutes the oceans on average, and unless these opposing effects exactly balance each other there will be a net change in the ocean density. We discuss how these subtle effects can be quantified and put bounds on the potential sea level rise associated with melting of the ice masses that are currently afloat in the world's oceans.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)