Two millennia of sea level data: The key to predicting change

W. Roland Gehrels, Benjamin Horton, Andrew C. Kemp, Dorit Sivan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Sea level reconstructions spanning the late Holocene (the past 2000 years) provide a preindustrial context for understanding the patterns and causes of contemporary and future change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assumed that global sea level change during the past two millennia (prior to the middle of the nineteenth century) was close to zero [Bindoff et al., 2007], but understanding of late Holocene sea level variability is limited. Glaciers and ice sheets changed significantly in size during this period, and therefore sea level likely oscillated on the order of several decimeters. In addition, ocean dynamics, solid Earth movements, steric (density) changes, and gravitational effects contributed to complex regional patterns of sea level change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)289-290
Number of pages2
Issue number35
StatePublished - 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

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