Blog Archive

Monday, June 20, 2011

"Climate related sea-level variations over the past two millennia" by Andrew C. Kemp et al., PNAS,

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, published online before print June 20, 2011; doi: 10.1073/pnas.1015619108

Climate related sea-level variations over the past two millennia

  1. Andrew C. Kempa,b
  2. Benjamin P. Hortona,1
  3. Jeffrey P. Donnellyc
  4. Michael E. Mannd
  5. Martin Vermeere 
  6. and 
  7. Stefan Rahmstorff
+Author Affiliations
  1. aDepartment of Earth and Environmental Science, Sea Level Research, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104;
  2. bSchool of Forestry and Environmental Studies and Yale Climate and Energy Institute, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06511;
  3. cDepartment of Geology and Geophysics, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, MA 02543;
  4. dDepartment of Meteorology, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802;
  5. eDepartment of Surveying, Aalto University School of Engineering, P.O. Box 11000, FI-00076, Aalto, Finland; and
  6. fPotsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Telegrafenberg A62, 14473 Potsdam, Germany
  1. Edited* by Anny Cazenave, Center National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES), Toulouse Cedex 9, France, and approved March 25, 2011 (received for review October 29, 2010).


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.

No comments: