Geology Paper on Seas do not rise evenly-It matters which glaciers melt

Seas do not rise evenly-It matters which glaciers melt


The article in Scientific American falls under climate category and vehemently gives a prediction on how coastlines of countries across the world are likely to be affected by melting ice in different places. The article is written by Chelsea Harvey, a recognized freelance journalist who specializes in science and writes more about environmental health and policies. Some of environmental articles she has authored include how global carbon emissions have consistently rose in three consecutive years, the link between Epidemics and climate change in Ancient China and how ice sheet is melting from the bottom up in Greenland.

Relation of the Article to life

The article relates to life by bring into light all the issues surrounding melting glaciers, increase in sea levels and how it affects daily human life. According to this article, sea levels in New York are likely to be affected by the massive ice melting in Greenland (Chelsea, 2017). In addition, other areas such as Sydney, shrinking glaciers on the Antarctic Peninsula are also likely to be affected (Chelsea, 2017). This is not an opinion but good science considering how studies have revealed that melting glaciers is a major concern to the world because it significantly affects global sea level. Notably, this is one of the deep-rooted fact about climate change and the effects it has on the environment. However, based on studies conducted, areas where melting glaciers are located often makes the big difference on how sea level is likely to be disrupted and those areas likely to be affected (Chelsea, 2017). Normally, detailed examinations always point to coastal cities around the world as areas that are greatly affected by melting glaciers than other areas. Therefore, this article support the assertions events are hardly the same in respect to different locations considering that the intensity of water and vicinity to coastlines is often different.

This article is anchored on the research studies conducted by Eric Larour, Erik Ivins and Surendra Adhikari who work in the propulsion laboratory of NASA.  They stipulate that their techniques can be applied on specific coastlines around the world in association with government and coastline planners whose efforts are geared towards helping in preparing people for future global warming predicament. The assertions by the author rely on basic fundamental physics of planet earth suggesting that rise of sea levels do not always occur uniformly across the earth (Chelsea, 2017).  In this case, the knowledge from the article disqualifies beliefs of people thinking that oceans appear to be contained in a massive bathtub that little addition of water rises evenly throughout. In reality, several factors greatly affect the movement of sea water around the earth and this is supported by evidence from research studies. Among some of the factors affecting the movement of ice include gravity where large glaciers considerably attract sea water based on the force of gravity. In principle, when glaciers melt they potentially lose mass thereby reducing the attraction prompting water to flow away from diminishing glacier. Consequently, other factors affecting sea level is the changes in currents as melt waters pours in, changes in an ocean’s bottom topography and rotation of the Earth.

How Topic Affects the Earth

The topic affects the earth in different ways. This is anchored on the assertion that when sea level rises as a result of melting glacier then coastal towns are likely to be flooded leading to massive destruction of property and loss of life. Moreover, increase in sea levels effectively contaminates drinking water by interfering with fresh waters sources such as aquifers, salt water resulting from melting glaciers is also not safe for drinking. Further, melting ice also affects human activities on the earth’s surface such as farming. Most of the freshwater sources used for drinking are also useful in irrigation and therefore intrusion of salt water lowers the pH level and thus stunting and killing crops due to increased acidity. Consequently, increase in seal levels uniformly greatly changes the coastal flora life because of altered soil composition and increased temperature. Plants are more sensitive to changing environments and these may determine whether a plant survives or not. When salt water as result of melting glacier is introduced into coastal regions some plants may be unable to cope with changes in soil salinity and may become extinct from the shorelines. Moreover, wildlife populations along the shorelines are also likely to be affected because when sea levels increase their habitats on the beaches are greatly eroded making animals living in these places such as shorebirds and sea turtles to suffer. Endangered species such as sea turtles are likely to face extinction because their habitats may be damaged by flooding and therefore can no longer support them. Lastly, changes in sea level can potentially hurt the economy by discouraging tourism activities and real estate developers in coastal towns. For instance, North Carolina is one such area that has shown conflict between the economy and climatic science in light with a report published that predicted an increase in sea level by three feet towards the end of the century.

How the article can be improved

The article can be improved by comprehensively incorporating recent research studies that have developed models applicable to specific coastal towns to determine how glaciers may affect them and how policy makers can implement tactics aimed at protecting communities around such areas. Moreover, the study can be improved by integrating online simulation method has adversely been used to show how melting waters is likely to affect coastal towns around the world. New York has specifically been cited as one of the cities likely to be affected by the Petermann Glacier in northwest Greenland and Northeast Greenland Ice Stream. Analysis from the study reveals that potential rise of sea level and its effects in New York are lower than the global average, stipulating that other cities may experience greater effects. However, the article reveals that there are still some uncertainties on the how Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets are to be affected in future due to climate changes and global warming. Therefore, the study can greatly be improved by extensively documenting investigations on the many physical processes that affect melting and collapse of ice. Once such studies are conducted, scientists will gain more knowledge on which glaciers pose great challenge globally. Policy makers can also determine the kind of threats posed to coastal towns and how to effectively plan for the future.


Climatic science is an area that has gained more popularity considering how it directly affects people. This article has extensively discussed how sea levels are likely to change due to a series of factors such as climate change, increase in temperature, and rotation of the earth among others. This article is therefore significant to climatic science scholars who are involved in several studies to understand how environmental changes can effectively affect the earth and people. Also, this investigation is therefore significant to policy makers, physical infrastructure planners and climatic change scholars.


Chelsea Harvey. (2017, November 16). Seas do not rise evenly: It matters which glaciers melt.

Scientific American. Retrieved November 17, 2017 from