Since 1993, the sea level has risen about 3 millimeters (1/8 inch) a year, although this is expected to increase a little bit in coming years. While this may not sound like much, it does add up over time.
Over the past one-hundred years, the sea level has been rising at an average rate of 1.8 mm per year. From 1993-2003, however, the sea level has been rising at a rate of 2.8 mm to 3.1 mm per year. This increase in rate of sea level rising is caused by human induced global warming, and oceans will continue to rise as a result for more than the next one-hundred years. The sea level rise is primarily caused by thermal expansion of water, and not as much by glacial melting.
Sea levels are rising at higher rates every year due to the melting of some of the ice sheets on Greenland and in the Arctic. The rate of rise in 1993-2003 was between 2.8-3.1 mm every year, this is much higher than the 1.8mm rate that was observed over the previous century. The primary cause of the rise in sea level is thermal expansion, which is the increase in volume of water at warmer temperatures. Scientists estimate that over the next century sea levels could rise by as much as 880 mm.
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