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Climate change: The evidence

Sea levels rose on average by 1.7mm a year during the 20th century. Since 1993 levels have been rising by 3mm a year, according to the IPCC.

The average temperature of the oceans is also rising, and has increased by 0.10C over the period 1961-2003.

Higher sea levels are partly explained by water expanding as it heats up and partly by melt-water from ice sheets and glaciers finding its way into the oceans.

This rise in sea levels has obvious consequences for people living in low-lying coastal regions.

The Maldives

Low-lying islands like the Maldives face an uncertain future
Graph on sea levels and temperatures

Thames Barrier, London

The Thames Barrier: London's defence against floods


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