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This could happen, but no one knows when it might happen.

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The main ice covered landmass is Antarctica at the South Pole, with about 90 percent of the world's ice and 70 percent of its fresh water. Antarctica is covered with ice an average of 2, meters 7, feet thick. If all of the Antarctic ice melted, sea levels around the world would rise about 61 meters feet. In fact in most parts of the continent it never gets above freezing. At the other end of the world, the North Pole, the ice is not nearly as thick as at the South Pole. The ice floats on the Arctic Ocean.

North America

There is a significant amount of ice covering Greenland, which would add another 7 meters 20 feet to the oceans if it melted. Because Greenland is closer to the equator than Antarctica, the temperatures there are higher, so the ice is more likely to melt. But there might be a less dramatic reason than polar ice melting for the higher ocean level -- the higher temperature of the water.

Water is most dense at 4 degrees Celsius.

Above and below this temperature, the density of water decreases the same weight of water occupies a bigger space. So as the overall temperature of the water increases it naturally expands a little bit making the oceans rise.

service worker

In the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued a report which contained various projections of the sea level change by the year They estimate that the sea will rise 50 centimeters 20 inches with the lowest estimates at 15 centimeters 6 inches and the highest at 95 centimeters 37 inches.

The rise will come from thermal expansion of the ocean and from melting glaciers and ice sheets.

Twenty inches is no small amount -- it could have a big effect on coastal cities, especially during storms. A little click can go a long way.

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