This book gives a comprehensive overview of our present
understanding of the Earth's cryosphere, its changes and their
consequences for mean sea level changes. Since the middle of the
19th century there has been an increase of sea level height by
20-25 cm. Some 8-10 cm of this is due to net losses from glaciers,
the remainder being due to mass losses from land ice and thermal
expansion of the oceans. The mean sea level rise is slowly
accelerating; at present it is some 3 mm/year. Recent space
observations made by the GRACE satellite combined with ocean
temperature and volume measurements have enabled the separate
contributions to sea level rise from melting ice and from thermal
expansion to be better estimated. The estimation of mean sea level
change is complicated by changes in land level due to tectonic
effects and to ongoing changes following the latest major
glaciation. The book gives an up-to-date survey of our present
knowledge of this crucial subject.
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