of people live in areas that will become increasingly vulnerable to flooding.

Sea Level Rise

50 Feet

The melting of ice in Antarctica could cause sea levels to rise more than 50 feet by 2500.

illustration of Eastern US now and with new shoreline after 50 foot sea rise


On the east coast of the United States alone, more than 36,000,000 people, as well as major U.S. cities, will be displaced by rising sea levels.

Thermal Expansion

The hydrogen bonds that form in warm water are longer than those that form in cold water. The volume of warm water is greater than cold water.

illustration of the properties of the hydrogen bonds in warm and cold water

Increasing Seas

Caused by melting ice and thermal expansion.

illustration of the causes of sea level rise

Speeding Up

Not only are sea levels rising, but the rate of sea level rise is increasing—to 0.17 inches per year during the last decade.

chart showing the global sea level rise


[sources: Nature, NASA, US Census, Nanyang Technological University // photo by: emin kuliyev /]