During the last interglacial period, sea level rose several meters more than previously estimated, suggests a study of ancient corals that grew near the sea surface. During the last interglacial, which peaked around 125,000 years ago, the average global temperature was 1 to 2 degrees C warmer than the present, and sea level was several meters higher. The most commonly accepted estimate has put this sea-level increase at 4 to 6 meters, but the new study by Andrea Dutton and Kurt Lambeck suggests that it was probably higher than that, perhaps even as much as 10 meters above current levels. The researchers compiled and analyzed a set of isotope records from corals around the world. A key part of their approach involved separating local, “relative” sea-level changes, produced by vertical movement of nearby landmasses, from the global, “eustatic” sea-level changes caused by the melting of land-based ice. The results suggest that sea level peaked between 6 and 10 meters above present sea level, which would mean that the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets melted more than researchers have generally assumed.
Article #8: "Ice Volume and Sea Level During the Last Interglacial," by A. Dutton; K. Lambeck at The Australian National University in Canberra, ACT, Australia; A. Dutton at University of Florida in Gainesville, FL; K. Lambeck at École Normale Supérieure in Paris, France.