Scientists do not agree on an exact answer to
your question, but we do have some idea. Sea
level has risen about 15 cm (6 in) in the last 100
years as mountain glaciers melt and their water
runs into the oceans.
We expect this type of sea level rise to
continue and get faster as the planet warms.
That means that in the next 100 years we might
should expect 30-100 cm (1-3 feet) of sea level
rise. This might not seem like much, but 100
million people live within 3 feet of sea level and
that is a lot of people to find new homes for!
Certain poor countries like the Maldives
(an island nation with a top elevation of 8 ft
above sea level) and Bangladesh (Asian
country with 70 million within 3 ft of sea level)
will suffer the most and have very little money to
help them make the adjustment.
There is an unstable portion of Antarctic ice,
called the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, that
may melt and could cause sea level to rise 6 m (20
ft)! This would flood many of the major cities in
the world. However, scientists do not think this
will happen in the next 100 years. If it does
happen sometime in the future, it would melt
gradually and would not cause a sudden (over
night) flood. Instead, humans would have to
move all their coastal cities uphill over the
course of a generation or two.
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