Bruce Mapstone, chief, CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research, Hobart, Tas
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Mean sea level (MSL) is a measure of the average height of the ocean's surface (such as the halfway point between the mean high tide and the mean low tide); used as a standard in reckoning land elevation. MSL also plays an extremely important role in aviation, where standard sea level pressure is used as the measurement datum of altitude at flight levels
........Ice shelves float on the surface of the sea and, if they melt, to first order they do not change sea level. Likewise, the melting of the northern polar ice cap which is composed of floating pack ice would not significantly contribute to rising sea levels. Because they are lower in salinity, however, their melting would cause a very small increase in sea levels, so small that it is generally neglected.