Sea-level changes during the Common Era

Earth Surface Science Institute seminar. Speaker Dr. Robert Barnett, Exeter University.


Common Era records of past sea-level changes are important for understanding geophysical processes across multidecadal to millennial timescales. They also provide a baseline for pre-industrial rates and magnitudes of natural sea-level variability, against which recent sea-level accelerations can be compared to better understand the effects of climate change. The largest contributions to future sea-level rise will come from land based ice melt and steric effects. In regions of isostatic subsidence, the effects of these contributions will be exacerbated by negative vertical land motion. It is necessary to better understand these processes over timescales beyond the satellite era in order to develop improved sea-level prediction models that are more robust at forecasting further into the future. This presentation will demonstrate how Common Era sea-level reconstructions are being developed from salt-marsh sediments using intertidal microorganisms (foraminifera, diatoms, testate amoebae) and will present recent progress in and insight from the statistical analysis of these records.