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Interview with iGlass: Rohling and Haigh following publication of new paper

Following the publication of their recent paper in Scientific Reports, Professor Eelco Rohling was interviewed by Australia’s 9News programme and Dr Ivan Haigh was interviewed by local radio station Wave102. The recent paper looked at modern sea level rise within the context of information from the geological record. They conclude that the present rate is rea level rise is rising rapidly by natural standards. Present sea level rise is currently (just) within natural limits but continued monitoring is needed to determine if and when it goes outside of these limits (and our current understanding) with potentially severe consequences.

You can hear Ivan’s interview here and watch Eelco’s interview


iGlass EGU session


CL5.11: Sea level in interglacials as a constraint on future changes

iGlass will be running a session at EGU2014. We would like to strongly encourage you to submit an abstract to our session (deadline for abstract submission: 16th January 2014)

Session details: Sea level appears to have been at a higher level than today in at least some of the recent interglacial periods. In this session, we aim to understand how the respective climate histories led to those higher sea levels, and assess how this information can help us constrain projections for future sea level over a range of timescales. Contributions will be welcome that:

  • derive sea level in any of the Quaternary interglacials, either at a single site or across the globe
  • describe or model the (polar) climates that led to higher sea levels
  • model interglacial ice sheet histories, or the respective sea levels
  • link past sea levels with future projections

The session will include work from the UK project iGLASS, but other contributions addressing the above questions will be equally welcome.

Convenors: Eric Wolff, Fiona Hibbert and Dan Lunt

iGlass paper: A geological perspective on potential future sea-level rise

Sea-level versus carbon dioxide concentrations

A new paper by iGlass members suggest modern sea level changes is rapid by past interglacial standards (Rohling et al., 2013 Scientific Reports).

“During ice-age cycles, continental ice volume kept pace with slow, multi-millennial scale, changes in climate forcing. Today, rapid greenhouse gas (GHG) increases have outpaced ice-volume responses, likely committing us to > 9 m of long-term sea-level rise (SLR). We portray a context of naturally precedented SLR from geological evidence, for comparison with historical observations and future projections. This context supports SLR of up to 0.9 (1.8) m by 2100 and 2.7 (5.0) m by 2200, relative to 2000, at 68% (95%) probability.”

The research led by Prof. Eelco Rohling and Dr Ivan Haigh suggests that comparison of present changes in sea level to the natural context outlined in this paper, may be used to identify if and when sea-level response becomes ‘special’ (i.e., unprecedented during geological interglacials).

Professor Rohling concludes: “For the first time, we can see that the modern sea-level rise is quite fast by natural standards. Based on our natural background pattern, only about half the observed sea-level rise would be expected. Although fast, the observed rise still is (just) within the ‘natural range’. While we are within this range, our current understanding of ice-mass loss is adequate. Continued monitoring of future sea-level rise will show if and when it goes outside the natural range. If that happens, then this means that our current understanding falls short, potentially with severe consequences.”

Australia’s 9 News interview with Prof. Eelco Rohling:

UK Wave 102 radio interview with Dr Ivan Haigh:


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