Past sea level rise? Scientists find evidence for several million years
A group of scientists studying evidence preserved in cave formations have discovered that sea level was as much as 52 feet higher than today more than 3 million years ago.
Their findings are based on an analysis of the deposits from the Arta Cave on Mallorca Island depicts a time when the Earth was two to three degrees Celsius warmer than in the pre-industrial era, and reflected on the study of rising levels of sea level today.
Sea level rises as a result of melting ice sheets, but scientists have long worked to answer how fast and how much can rise during a warming period.
"Limiting models for sea level rise due to increased warming is critically dependent on actual measurements at the past sea level," said senior scientist Victor Polyak in a statement. "This study provides many robust measurements of sea level elevations during the Pliocene. . "
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The project relies on cave deposits that form in coastal caves at the "interface" between salt water and cave air when ancient spaces have been flooded by rising seas.
"We can use the knowledge gained from past warm periods to tonal ice sheet models, which are then used to predict the future response of the current global warming ice sheet," explained the professor at the USF Department of Geological Sciences
Researchers were particularly interested in the Pliocene time, known as the mid-Piocene warm period, which was about 3 million years ago.
"The interval also marks the last time Earth's atmospheric CO2 has been as high as it is today, providing important clues as to what the future holds for this anthropogenic warming," Onats said.
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In this August 15 photo, a large iceberg sails as the sun sets near Kulusuk, Greenland. (AP Photo / Felipe Dana)
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The results are published in the journal Nature.