Image source: NASAIce loss is a major contributor to sea level rise. Glaciers have been shrinking and losing mass worldwide with the rate of melt faster in the past 20 years than it was prior to 1993. The melt of ice sheets has also been accelerating. The Greenland and Antarctic (Antarctic Peninsula and the Amundsen Sea sector of West Antarctica) ice sheets have lost more than four trillion metric tons over the past two decades.
Image source: Adam Jones/Wikipedia
Image source: Wikimedia Commons
Image source: Climate Central
Image source: Tim J. Keegan/flikrGlobal average sea level has risen 7.5 inches over the past century, with the rate of rise accelerating over the last two decades. Warmer water expands, while melting glaciers and ice sheets are adding additional water to the oceans. Sea levels rose almost twice as fast from 1993 to 2010 as they did from 1901 to 2010.
Image source: NASA
Image source: Climate CentralThe extent of Arctic sea ice has been decreasing 3.5 to 4.1% per decade (1979-2012). Multi-year ice, ice that lasts throughout the year, has decreased 11% per decade. During this same time, Antarctic sea ice extent increased 1.2-1.8% per decade. Sea ice is important because it reflects incoming radiation from the Sun and helps cool the planet. Since sea ice is frozen seawater already at the surface of the ocean, it does not affect global sea level.
Image source: Matt Kieffer/flickr
Image source: Oregon State University/flickr