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Climate of the Past An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 6, issue 1 | Copyright

Special issue: Marine Isotope Stage 11

Clim. Past, 6, 19-29, 2010
© Author(s) 2010. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

  19 Jan 2010

19 Jan 2010

Sea level ~400 000 years ago (MIS 11): analogue for present and future sea-level?

D. Q. Bowen D. Q. Bowen
  • School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, Cardiff University, Cardiff, CF10 3YE, UK

Abstract. Comparison of the sea-level today with that of 400 000 years ago (MIS 11), when the Earth's orbital characteristics were similar may provide, under conditions of natural variability, indications of future sea-level during the present interglacial. Then, as now, orbital eccentricity was low and precession dampened. Evidence for MIS 11 sea-level occurs on uplifting coastlines where shorelines with geochronological ages have been preserved. The sea-level term and the uplift term may be separated with an "uplift correction" formula. This discovers the original sea-level at which the now uplifted shoreline was fashioned. Estimates are based on average uplift rates of the "last interglacial" sea-level (MIS 5.5) using a range of estimates for sea-level and age at that time at different locations. These, with varying secular tectonic regimes in different ocean basins, provide a band of estimates for the MIS 11 sea-level. They do not support the hypothesis of an MIS 11 sea-level at ~20 m, and instead show that it was closer to its present level.

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