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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2016 Mar 15;113(11):E1434-41. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1517056113. Epub 2016 Feb 22.

Temperature-driven global sea-level variability in the Common Era.

Author information

1
Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences, Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ 08854; Institute of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08901; Rutgers Energy Institute, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08901; robert.kopp@rutgers.edu.
2
Department of Earth & Ocean Sciences, Tufts University, Medford, MA 02115;
3
Earth System Analysis, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, 14473 Potsdam, Germany;
4
Institute of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08901; Sea-Level Research, Department of Marine & Coastal Sciences, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08901; Earth Observatory of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 639798; Asian School of the Environment, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 639798;
5
Department of Geology and Geophysics, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, MA 02543;
6
Environment Department, University of York, York YO10 5NG, United Kingdom;
7
Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences, Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ 08854; Institute of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08901; Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138.
8
Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138.
9
Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences, Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ 08854; Institute of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08901;

Abstract

We assess the relationship between temperature and global sea-level (GSL) variability over the Common Era through a statistical metaanalysis of proxy relative sea-level reconstructions and tide-gauge data. GSL rose at 0.1 ± 0.1 mm/y (2σ) over 0-700 CE. A GSL fall of 0.2 ± 0.2 mm/y over 1000-1400 CE is associated with ∼ 0.2 °C global mean cooling. A significant GSL acceleration began in the 19th century and yielded a 20th century rise that is extremely likely (probability [Formula: see text]) faster than during any of the previous 27 centuries. A semiempirical model calibrated against the GSL reconstruction indicates that, in the absence of anthropogenic climate change, it is extremely likely ([Formula: see text]) that 20th century GSL would have risen by less than 51% of the observed [Formula: see text] cm. The new semiempirical model largely reconciles previous differences between semiempirical 21st century GSL projections and the process model-based projections summarized in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's Fifth Assessment Report.

KEYWORDS:

Common Era; climate; late Holocene; ocean; sea level

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