Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union

Two millennia of sea level data: The key to predicting change

Authors


Abstract

[1] Sea level reconstructions spanning the late Holocene (the past 2000 years) provide a preindustrial context for understanding the patterns and causes of contemporary and future change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assumed that global sea level change during the past two millennia (prior to the middle of the nineteenth century) was close to zero [Bindoff et al., 2007], but understanding of late Holocene sea level variability is limited. Glaciers and ice sheets changed significantly in size during this period, and therefore sea level likely oscillated on the order of several decimeters. In addition, ocean dynamics, solid Earth movements, steric (density) changes, and gravitational effects contributed to complex regional patterns of sea level change.

Acknowledgments

This is a contribution to Paleo-Constraints on Sea Level Rise (PALSEA), a Past Global Changes/International Marine Past Global Change Study (PAGES/IMAGES) working group (http://eis.bris.ac.uk/~glyms/working_group.html). We acknowledge research support from the Natural Environment Research Council (UK), the European Commission, the Israel Antiquities Authority, the Survey of Israel, and the U.S. National Science Foundation.