Around the time climate change became a 'public issue' (let's say shortly after An inconvenient truth came out), figures started getting published about the expected (global) sea level rise in case of 'catastrophic' meltdowns of the large land ices masses.
Quoting from Table 4.1 in the 2013 IPCC report (Ch. 4, the Cryosphere) these are approximately:

  • 58.3 meters for the Antarctic ice sheet
  • 7.4 meters for the Greenland ice sheet

Other reports quoted similar numbers, e.g. in Poore, R.Z., Williams, R.S., Jr., and Tracey, Christopher, 2000, Sea level and climate: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 002–00 this was split into:

  • East Antarctic ice sheet: 64.8
  • West Antarctic ice sheet: 8.1
  • Greenland: 6.6

These are world-wide numbers, i.e. sea level rise would be distributed equally over all oceans.

Somewhere in 2013 (IIRC) new research came out, also considering the gravitational effects of the ice masses themselves, which result in a non-uniform distribution of the meltwater (example).
In my country, The Netherlands, the expected sea level rise in case of a Greenland 'meltdown' would not be 6 meters, but less, in the order of 2-3 meters.
IIRC, sea level on the eastern US coast would actually drop in this scenario.

Question: I'm looking for a dataset showing the expected sea level rise, at any place on earth, taking these gravitational effects into consideration, for the 3 scenarios 'melting of Greenland, Western Antactica, entire Antactica'.

I would like to use this to have people indicate where they live, and then show them what would happen at their place.

So this would have the following requirements:

  • inland data available as deep inland as the land would be affected (that's coastal regions and preferably rivers as well);
  • input could be longitude/latitude. I would have to convert city names or map coordinates to this;
  • for practical reasons I'm looking for off-line data that I can download
    (unreliable Internet available at the place I want to use this).

I'm not sure what scale/resolution would be required, I'm letting that depend on what's available.

Note: I could've asked this question on OpenData, but my guess is I'll have more success here.

  • $\begingroup$ part of the issue is that the heat required to melt the ice will generate a certain amount of rise all on its own just due to thermal expansion. . $\endgroup$
    – John
    Feb 6, 2017 at 21:25
  • $\begingroup$ This site should help you model/visualize it. downside it maxes out at around 6ft. coast.noaa.gov/digitalcoast/tools/slr this one is also good. calculatedearth.com $\endgroup$
    – John
    Feb 6, 2017 at 21:25

1 Answer 1


You should try to use the equations and maps presented by Mitrovica et al., (2011), entitled On the robustness of predictions of sea level fingerprints. In this paper they present the history of sea level rise equations and then present their own robust equation with comparisons. There are maps showing the differences as well. Soon they will provide fortran code so that you can try it out yourself, which will be published here.


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