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Melting ice, in a glass of water will not change the level of the water. How can melting icebergs change our ocean levels?

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  • 1 month ago

    That ice floating in your glass of water is slightly sticking up out of the water. When you push it under the water, the water will rise in the glass just a tad. Maybe not enough that you can see, but it still rises. Some glaciers on land are far above the sea levels and may contain trillions of square feet of water. Antarctica is a continent almost completely covered with thick glaciers thousands of feet thick and hundreds of square miles wide that are continuously sliding towards the open sea.   

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  • Fred
    Lv 5
    2 months ago

    A  floating cube of ice melting in a glass of water will not change the level of the water in the glass.

    A  stone continent covered with high mountainous  ice melts from it's stone base and slides into an ocean and then floats away will cause the level of our oceans to rise!

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  • 2 months ago

    They won't. Everyone is freaking out over the ice sheets covering Antarctica and Greenland. Greenland hasn't changed at all in the last century or so, and Antarctica is geologically active, so its ice cap is going to slide around and melt off anyway.

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  • 2 months ago

    Think about it.  You have to add the ice to the glass of water from somewhere.  It's not just present in the water in some magical way.  The more ice you add to the water in the glass, the higher the level of the water.  Same goes for the real world.  Melting ice that raises the ocean level doesn't just appear out of nowhere.  It starts off on the land from accumulated snowfall.  Over time the fallen snow compresses by its own weight to ice.  If the temperature raises high enough, the ice eventually melts and this melting is what raises the ocean level.

    • Atarah Derek
      Lv 7
      2 months agoReport

      You completely missed the point.

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  • 2 months ago

    Actually the problem is not with the ice floating on the sea water. It was with the ice melting on the land. When you browse about the rise of sea water in internet, mostly you can see the videos/ pictures of the melting ice on the land. 

    So when there is no melting, the ice will be holded by land. If it starts melting, then that water (melted ice) will be added to the Sea water which leads to the rise in Sea water.

    That's it... :)

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  • Ron
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    Icebergs come from ice that accumulated on land and flowed into the sea.  As they break off and fall into the sea, the water level is increased.  Once they are in the sea and melt, the level doesn't change.

    Sea ice is frozen seawater and when it melts there is no change.

    Icebergs, however, are glacial ice that formed on land.  They are freshwater.  When icebergs form, they add freshwater ice to the sea and increase the sea level and decrease salinity.  It's like adding ice cubes to a glass of water.  When you drop the ice cubes in, the water level rises.  As they melt, the water level remains the same.

    It is believed that if all glacial ice melted and/or fell into the sea, the sea level would increase in excess of 200 feet.

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  • Elaine
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    Icebergs floating in the water have already displaced their weight/ volume.  The ice sheets on the other hand are still on the land and haven't displaced any water. You can try the experiment yourself by using a glass of water.  Put water in the glass and take a measure. Then add the ice cube and take the measure. The moment you put the ice cube into the water it displaced the water. The ice cube not in the glass is the ice sheet. 

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  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    Lol. 

    It absolutely does change the level. The level will lower in a glass of water as ice is less dense than water. (Water expands when it freezes).

    But in the context of the ice caps and the oceans. The levels will rise. Because an awful lot of the ice at the poles is ABOVE water.....it's on land. So when it melts and goes into the sea, there will be more water in the sea than there was before it melted. 

    This is all fairly obvious, if you've ever seen a picture of the north or south pole, it usually a scene of fields of snow and cliffs of ice. All of this isn't submerged and therefore currently has no influence on the ocean water level. 

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  • 2 months ago

    they do not (well, only in a very minor way that all water changes volume with temperature change, and it is not actually the melting itself which causes thermal expansion of the liquid as it warms above the density maximum).

    The sea level changes are dominated by storage of ice on land (outside the oceans, or outside the glass of your analogy) and the return of that ice to ocean when it melts and flows downhill to the oceans.  Three km of ice across a continent such as Antarctica makes for a lot of water that is outside the oceans now but once was in the ocean, and presumably will once again be in the oceans.

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  • Satan
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    A lot of the ice is not in the sea

    The continent of Antartica, and the massive glaciers of Greenland would increase the sea level.

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