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Letter: Sea level rise caused by melting of land-based ice

Editor, Gazette-Journal:

The letter to the editor by Sue Long ("Simple experiment refutes sea level rise," May 3 Readers Write) presenting the idea that water levels will not rise as a result of melting Arctic sea ice is correct as far as it goes. But it is attacking a paper tiger: the argument that sea level rise will be caused by floating ice.

The reality is that global climate change is causing land-based ice masses in locations—including Greenland, Alaska, the Canadian North, Siberia and Antarctica—to shrink. The land-based ice contains water that was sequestered from the world’s oceans. Climate change is returning these sequestered waters to the oceans.

I believe a much more appropriate analogy is to take a glass of water and note the water height. Then add an ice cube to the glass. You will see water level rise. This effect, writ large, is what we will face as land-based ice masses continue to melt.

Eric Rosenfeld

Gloucester Point, Va.

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