Gulf Coast Visitor Center

Warmth and Water

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How do Warming Temperatures Cause Sea Level Rise?

Sea level rise due to climate change is mostly caused by melting snow and ice, and by expanding water.

Melting Snow and Ice

Glaciers and ice caps hold monumental amounts of water. As Earth warms, temperatures intensify more at the poles—where most of the glaciers and ice caps are located. Subtle changes in temperature result in large amounts of land ice melting. Glaciers in Alaska and nearby Canada have contributed more to global sea level rise than the Greenland Ice Sheet in the last 50 years —likely due to their low elevations and the calving retreats of tidewater glaciers.

Move the slider to see how some of the glaciers at Kenai Fjords National Park changed over the last 100 years.

A Century of Change

Northwestern Glacier



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Why Melting Glaciers Matter to the Coasts

Expanding Water

Another cause of global sea level rise is thermal expansion. Warm water takes up more space than cold water. See how, in this video.

How Warming Leads to Sea Level Rise

No Room to Rise

Everglades National Park is very vulnerable to sea level rise due to its low elevation. Slide through the maps to see how sea level rise will affect the Everglades here.


Sea Level Rise

Average Sea Level in 2000

1 ft. Sea Level Rise

3 ft. Projected Sea Level Rise in 2100

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