Climate pacing of millennial sea-level change variability in the central and western Mediterranean

Matteo Vacchi, Kristen M. Joyse, Robert E. Kopp, Nick Marriner, David Kaniewski, Alessio Rovere

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Future warming in the Mediterranean is expected to significantly exceed global values with unpredictable implications on the sea-level rise rates in the coming decades. Here, we apply an empirical-Bayesian spatio-temporal statistical model to a dataset of 401 sea-level index points from the central and western Mediterranean and reconstruct rates of sea-level change for the past 10,000 years. We demonstrate that the mean rates of Mediterranean industrial-era sea-level rise have been significantly faster than any other period since ~4000 years ago. We further highlight a previously unrecognized variability in Mediterranean sea-level change rates. In the Common Era, this variability correlates with the occurrence of major regional-scale cooling/warming episodes. Our data show a sea-level stabilization during the Late Antique Little Ice Age cold event, which interrupted a general rising trend of ~0.45 mm a−1 that characterized the warming episodes of the Common Era. By contrast, the Little Ice Age cold event had only minor regional effects on Mediterranean sea-level change rates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4013
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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