Ice Volume and Climate Changes From a 6000 Year Sea-level Record in French Polynesia

Abstract: Mid- to late-Holocene sea-level records from low-latitude regions serve as an important baseline of natural variability in sea level and global ice volume prior to the Anthropocene. Here, we reconstruct a high-resolution sea-level curve encompassing the last 6000 years based on a comprehensive study of coral microatolls, which are sensitive low-tide recorders. Our curve is based on microatolls from several islands in a single region and comprises a total of 82 sea-level index points. Assuming thermosteric contributions are negligible on millennial time scales, our results constrain global ice melting to be 1.5–2.5 m (sea-level equivalent) since ~5500 years before present. The reconstructed curve includes isolated rapid events of several decimetres within a few centuries, one of which is most likely related to loss from the Antarctic ice sheet mass around 5000 years before present. In contrast, the occurrence of large and flat microatolls indicates periods of significant sea-level stability lasting up to ~300 years.

Author: Hallmann, N., G. Camoin, A. Eisenhauer, A. Botella, G.A. Milne, C. Vella, J. Fietzke
Year: 2018
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Nature Communications 9(1). doi:10.1038/s41467-017-02695-7

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