The iGlass consortium was well represented at this years EGU conference in Vienna. Highlights included the co-organised session (CL5.11) “Sea level in interglacials and the last deglaciation” which included the “Milutin Milankovic Medal Lecture” given by Maureen Raymo. It thematised her career with a special focus on her work on the climate variability over the past four million years.
iGlass members gave talks on their current work: Roland Gehrels spoke on the variability of sea-level in the north atlantic during the last millennium; André Düsterhus on the uncertainties of sea-level during the last interglacial and; Fiona Hibbert on a global repository of coral and speleotherm records for past sea level change.
iGlass was also well represented at the poster sessions: Emelie Capron presented a high latitude temperature evaluation across the last interglacial (see current blog), Katy Pol summarised climate in older interglacials (MIS 7,9 and 11); Joy Singarayer presented insights into the modelling of the thermometric contribution to global and regional sea-level rise during the last interglacial; Margot Saher looked at the modes of interglacial sea-level change; Karine Wainer showcased new constraints for MIS 5 and 7 for the Bermuda sea level and; Felicity Williams presented two posters on the use of isostatic scenarios to access coherence between continuous and instantaneous sea level indicators during the last interglacial.
Furthermore, many more contributions of iGlass members were presented in other sessions during the conference week. All in all the conference was seen as a good showcase for our work, which showed the broad range and depth of this project to a wider scientific community!
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: