Climate related sea-level variations over the past two millennia

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Abstract

We present new sea-level reconstructions for the past 2100 y based on salt-marsh sedimentary sequences from the US Atlantic coast. The data from North Carolina reveal four phases of persistent sea-level change after correction for glacial isostatic adjustment. Sea level was stable from at least BC 100 until AD 950. Sea level then increased for 400 y at a rate of 0.6 mm/y, followed by a further period of stable, or slightly falling, sea level that persisted until the late 19th century. Since then, sea level has risen at an average rate of 2.1 mm/y, representing the steepest century-scale increase of the past two millennia. This rate was initiated between AD 1865 and 1892. Using an extended semiempirical modeling approach, we show that these sea-level changes are consistent with global temperature for at least the past millennium.

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Kemp, A. C., Horton, B. P., Donnelly, J. P., Mann, M. E., Vermeer, M., & Rahmstorf, S. (2011). Climate related sea-level variations over the past two millennia. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 108(27), 11017–11022. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1015619108

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