Antarctic Thesaurus

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sea levels

Data: John Church
World Climate Research Program, Greenhouse 2007
Sound: Jack Colwell
Sydney 2007

The most important reason for sea level rise in the 20th century, and we expect to be in the 21st century, is oceans thermal expansion. As the ocean warms the water expands, sea level rises.

The second largest contribution is from the melting of glaciers and ice caps, so these are glaciers in places like Alaska, the Himalayas, New Zealand, Switzerland, etc., and they've been melting, and melting an increasing rate over the past 50 years.

And the third contribution, and potentially the largest contribution on the longer timeframe, but we don't think there's been a large contribution in the last century, are the ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica. Greenland contains enough water to raise sea levels by about seven metres, and Antarctica over 60 metres.

John Church, 2007

CSIRO transcript: Sea level on the rise



Lisa Roberts, 2010

Antarctica Registers Changes

Prism art space, Sydney 2011


This work combines data from the CSIRO (2007) with diatom forms that were inspired by Sydney Nolan's Designs for the ballet, Icarus, 1939 - 1940. See: Artwork Information