Climate related sea-level variations over the past two millennia

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Kemp, Andrew C.
Horton, Benjamin P.
Donnelly, Jeffrey P.
Mann, Michael E.
Vermeer, Martin
Rahmstorf, Stefan
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We present new sea-level reconstructions for the past 2100 years 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. It then increased for 400 years at a rate of 0.6 mm/yr, 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/yr, representing the steepest, century-scale increase of the past two millennia. This rate was initiated between AD 1865 and 1892. Using an extended semi-empirical modeling approach, we show that these sea-level changes are consistent with global temperature for at least the past millennium.
Author Posting. © The Author(s), 2011. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of National Academy of Sciences for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 108 (2011): 11017-11022, doi:10.1073/pnas.1015619108.
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