If all of Antarctica was to melt, it would increase the sea level by nearly 60 metres and would see cities such as Sydney disappear.
It's not a pleasant thing to think about but for Australian National University scientist Adele Morrison, it's something that she considers on a daily basis.
The climate and fluid physicist researches oceanic movements around Antarctica's ice sheet to determine when coastal cities will be at risk of rising sea levels. It is this work which on Monday saw her awarded a fellowship and a $25,000 grant from the L'Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science program.
The L'Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science program aims to address the under-representation of women in science.
According to United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) data, less than 30 per cent of the world's researchers are female.