We use first and third party cookies to improve our service, personalize your advertising and remember your website preference. If you continue to browse, you accept the use of cookies on our site. For more information (e.g. how to disable cookies) please see our cookies policy.

National Geographic Society
National GeographicNat Geo WildNat Geo People


• In the early 1980’s, the Columbia started flowing faster and began calving far more ice into the ocean than was being replenished by snowfall upstream.

• In the last thirty years the Columbia has receded 16 kilometres up the fjord.

• The Columbia is moving at 16 metres per day, eight times faster than it was thirty years ago.


• In the last decade, temperatures in Greenland have shot up by about 3 degrees Celsius.

• Roughly 125,000 years ago, temperatures rose by about four degrees Celsius. The entire southern portion of Greenland’s ice sheet melted, and global sea levels rose by over three metres.

• Jakobshavn glacier in Greenland is now moving at a clip of 14 Kilometres per day, almost twice as fast as a decade ago.

• Greenland is already losing 150 billion metric tons more ice every year than it gains in snowfall.

• As Greenland’s ice sheet cooks down, the meltwater collects in depressions in the ice, forming thousands of lakes, some over several kilometres wide and nearly 15 metres deep.


• Over the last forty years, temperatures in Alaska have risen about 2 degrees Celsius - twice as fast as the global average.

• Rapidly calving glaciers are the main contributors to rising sea levels.

• The consensus is that in the next 50 to 100 years, mountain glaciers almost everywhere will simply disappear.

• From the loss of mountain glaciers alone, sea levels will rise by almost 30 centimetres, displacing millions of people around the world.

• Ice cores show layers, and thickness that tell how much snow fell that year.

• Right now, greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere are even higher than they were 125,000 years ago, and higher than they have ever been in the last half million years.

• Meltwater lake water drops all the way to the bedrock. There, it lifts and lubricates the ice sheet and accelerates its slide.

• In the next hundred years, the oceans will expand on their own as they warm, accounting for about 30 centimetres of sea level rise.

• A 30 centimetre rise in sea level will likely come from the loss of the world’s mountain glaciers as they melt away.

• The total rise in sea level equals an estimated sea level rise approaching one metre by about 2100.

• Over 100 million people live within a metre of sea level.



  • Green Issues photo

    Green Issues

    Climate experts continue to examine what effect each rise of 1ºC could have on the world.

  • All Videos