High rates of sea-level rise during the last interglacial period

E. J. Rohling, K. Grant, Ch. Hemleben, M. Siddall, B. A. A. Hoogakker, M. Bolshaw, M. Kucera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The last interglacial period, Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 5e, was characterized by global mean surface temperatures that were at least 2 8C warmer than present. Mean sea level stood 4-6m higher than modern sea level, with an important contribution from a reduction of the Greenland ice sheet. Although some fossil reef data indicate sea-level fluctuations of up to 10m around the mean, so far it has not been possible to constrain the duration and rates of change of these shorter-term variations. Here, we use a combination of a continuous high-resolution sea-level record, based on the stable oxygen isotopes of planktonic foraminifera from the central Red Sea, and age constraints from coral data to estimate rates of sea-level change during MIS-5e. We find average rates of sea-level rise of 1.6m per century. As global mean temperatures during MIS-5e were comparable to projections for future climate change under the influence of anthropogenic greenhouse-gas emissions, these observed rates of sea-level change inform the ongoing debate about high versus low rates of sea-level rise in the coming century.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-42
Number of pages5
JournalNature Geoscience
Volume1
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2008

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Last Interglacial
marine isotope stage
sea level
sea level change
planktonic foraminifera
oxygen isotope
ice sheet
coral
stable isotope
greenhouse gas
reef
surface temperature
rate
sea level rise
fossil
climate change
temperature

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

Cite this

Rohling, E. J., Grant, K., Hemleben, C., Siddall, M., Hoogakker, B. A. A., Bolshaw, M., & Kucera, M. (2008). High rates of sea-level rise during the last interglacial period. Nature Geoscience, 1(1), 38-42. https://doi.org/10.1038/ngeo.2007.28
Rohling, E. J. ; Grant, K. ; Hemleben, Ch. ; Siddall, M. ; Hoogakker, B. A. A. ; Bolshaw, M. ; Kucera, M. / High rates of sea-level rise during the last interglacial period. In: Nature Geoscience. 2008 ; Vol. 1, No. 1. pp. 38-42.
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Rohling, EJ, Grant, K, Hemleben, C, Siddall, M, Hoogakker, BAA, Bolshaw, M & Kucera, M 2008, 'High rates of sea-level rise during the last interglacial period', Nature Geoscience, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 38-42. https://doi.org/10.1038/ngeo.2007.28

High rates of sea-level rise during the last interglacial period. / Rohling, E. J.; Grant, K.; Hemleben, Ch.; Siddall, M.; Hoogakker, B. A. A.; Bolshaw, M.; Kucera, M.

In: Nature Geoscience, Vol. 1, No. 1, 01.2008, p. 38-42.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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