Talk:Future sea level

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This issue has become politicized and because of this, wikipedia needs to be more careful than usual to maintain neutrality and objectivity on this issue.

The discussion in this seems biased to me in that some significant evidence of gain in mass of some of the Antarctic ice sheet exists, and the images presented in the body of the article seem to depict that the ice sheet is in all places either losing mass, and shows no net gain anywhere. The below referenced papers from respectable academic sources indicate the facts are otherwise. At the very least wikipedia needs to reference the fact that this information (that ice mass loss is not uniform but no net gain takes place in any wide areas of Antarctica) is disputed among academics in this field.

[1] Royal Society Newsletter

[2] "Mass balance of the Antarctic ice sheet" D. J. WINGHAM, A. SHEPHERD, A. MUIR, AND G. J. MARSHALL: Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A (2006) 364, 1627–1635

The conclusions of the last paper are very interesting in that large areas of the ice sheet is gaining mass about as fast as the other large areas are losing it, with net zero (within measurement error) effect on sea level rise.

My position is that the wiki article should be edited to reflect this dispute, and that the data and conclusions of the latter paper (graphics if permitted by copyright) should also be included as opinion of some researchers in this area that some areas of the Antarctic Ice sheet are gaining mass, and that the loss of ice in Antarctica cannot be a significant factor in observed sea level rise to date.

Montestruc (talk) 07:40, 13 December 2009 (UTC)


Thank you for your suggestion. When you believe an article needs improvement, please feel free to make those changes. Wikipedia is a wiki, so anyone can edit almost any article by simply following the edit this page link at the top. The Wikipedia community encourages you to be bold in updating pages. Don't worry too much about making honest mistakes—they're likely to be found and corrected quickly. If you're not sure how editing works, check out how to edit a page, or use the sandbox to try out your editing skills. New contributors are always welcome. You don't even need to log in (although there are many reasons why you might want to).-Shahab (talk) 07:41, 15 December 2009 (UTC)


I agree this article shows clear bias and doesn't comport with statements in the overview at — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:46, 2 November 2012 (UTC)

This article is critical in broadening understanding of the potentially most damaging impact from warming. The article best serves if free of the charge of bias. I urge the above to negotiate your differences and edit to strengthen neutrality. On a related matter, is there a way to add a new section concerning reduction of greenhouse gas as the primary mechanism for slowing sea rise without igniting controversy and charges of disputed point of view? Crodney (talk) 17:48, 6 February 2013 (UTC)


This article could use a map showing coastal topology and which areas would be inundated under which scenarios. -- Beland (talk) 15:32, 7 November 2013 (UTC)

The existing map (showing 6m sea level effect in red colour) is a misleading graphic - it looks like areas where the coastline is variegated have bled together into a large red mass, making it look like those are flat areas near the sea which will be inundated. For example - the coastline of Norway, Patagonia, Alaska - none of these areas are low-lying, yet they look pretty much the same as Holland, which is largely flat land. (talk) 07:13, 20 June 2017 (UTC)

Merger proposal[edit]

See discussion here prokaryotes (talk) 14:55, 12 May 2015 (UTC)

POV tag[edit]

This article sounded quite biased upon first reading, so I just added a POV tag and noticed that several editors already complained above. The text mostly refers to alarmist studies from the 2007–2009 time frame; it is structured like an essay, with repetitive arguments and a "conclusion". It makes relatively benign changes of a few millimeters per year sound unprecedented and catastrophic. Needs lots of trimming, balancing coverage with more recent and more diverse sources, and indeed a merger with the more comprehensive Sea level rise article. — JFG talk 07:19, 17 August 2016 (UTC)

@JFG: I don't mind the tag, but would note that catastrophism is normal, due, and neutral POV when talking about catastrophes. Global warming is an unprecedented event in the history of mankind. We are talking of ice melting at an average temperature slightly above 0°C, on a planet where the poles are quite singular, in the sense that continental shelves preclude convective water flows (analogous to Hadley Cells) which makes for non-uniform temperature and hence even harder previsions. 1m previsions are extremely careful, inasmuch as ice melting is either not considered, or considered by linear extrapolation of present-day measurements. Quoting Pfeffer et al. (cited in the article) who make one such prediction:

Accurate [sea level rise] SLR forecasts on the century time scale are imperative for planning constructive and cost-effective responses. Underestimates will prompt inadequate preparation for change, whereas overestimates will exhaust and redirect resources inappropriately. Raising California Central Valley levees only 0.15 m, for example, will cost over $1 billion (13); the nonlinearly ncreasing costs of raising levees 2 m or more without clear and compelling cause would entail enormous expenditures otherwise used for different responses as demanded by a smaller but still significant SLR.

However, ice calving and melting is also non-linear, as anyone can experience, as it depends not only on the temperature but also on the shape of glaciers and their surroundings. See this, for example. The antarctic ice sheet alone has a potential of more than 50m SLR (see bedmap2 studies, cited in that article). Hence, I think, what is difficult to explain is how come the sea would only rise 1m when the ice melts. How long would it take to melt a half of it if it were at the equator? Quoting Pfeffer et al. again:

We considered four scenarios: velocities were calculated for both the “marine-based” gate (170 km 2 ) and the “total aggregate” gate (290 km 2 ) given both projected [surface mass balance] SMB and 10× inflated SMB losses. We then considered whether those velocities are realistic.

Their extremely cautious way of reasoning is to consider "realistic" what is within a reasonable 10× factor from observation. On the one hand, that's totally flawed for non-linear phenomena. On the other hand, there are no known established models for the specific phenomenon. Thus they lean on linear factors to discriminate between likely and possible. For more detail:

The scenario velocities far exceed the fastest motion exhibited by any Greenland outlet glacier. For example, the near-doubling of ice discharge from Jakobshavn Glacier in 2004–2005 was associated with an acceleration to 12.6 km/year (7). Similarly, a temporary 80% increase in the speed near the terminus of Kangerdlugssuaq produced a velocity of 14.6 km/year (6). A comparison of calculated (Table 2) and observed (1.23 km/year) average velocities shows that calculated values for a 2m SLR exceed observations by a factor of 22 when considering all gates and inflated SMB and by a factor of 40 for the marine gates without inflated SMB, which we consider to be the more likely scenario. With the exception of discharge through all gates at inflated SMB (26.8 km/year), none of the velocity magnitudes shown in Table 2 has ever been observed anywhere, even over short time periods.

    • Now that that is out of the way, can the pointless POV tag be removed? The facts are the facts no matter what Trumpite armchair warriors may want to claim; levels are rising. End of. And that is what the article states. Article is not POV. (talk) 20:49, 19 December 2016 (UTC)