Heated Water Takes Up More Space

Scientists believe ocean levels will rise for several reasons. The first is thermal expansion. When objects are heated, they tend to expand. People regularly use this principle in the kitchen. If there is a lid stuck on a jar, one way to remove it is to run the lid under hot water. When the lid is heated, it expands so that it can be easily removed (the glass jar expands too, but at a slower rate).

When water is heated, it expands and takes up more space. Thus, if global temperatures rise, the ocean will heat up, and the water in the ocean will take up more space. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) "projects that thermal expansion will be the main component of expected sea-level rises over the 21st century."1

Not all scientists agree that global warming will result in the thermal expansion of water. Marcel Leroux, a French climatolo-gist and a prominent opponent of global warming theories be

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