Edwards, R.J. (2006) 'Sea levels: change and variability during warm intervals' in Progress in Physical Geography 30, 6, (2006), 785-796
Progress in Physical Geography 30 6
The challenges associated with understanding precisely how climate affects sea level
have been regular features of Progress Reports since the 1990s (e.g. Woodroffe,
1993; 1994, Woodroffe & Nash, 1995; Long, 2000; 2001; 2003; Edwards, 2005).
Warm intervals like the Holocene are generally associated with high sea levels, but
quantifying precisely how high these levels were, how quickly they were attained and
what volumes or sources of water were involved remain important foci of research.
These issues are of critical importance given current concerns about climate change,
and the fact that oceanic thermal inertia seems to mean future rises are inevitable
(Wigley, 2005). This review examines developments in our understanding of
interglacial, postglacial and recent changes in sea level, with particular reference to
the information provided by sea level highstands. These are compared with new data
from a series of studies concerned with changes in the Greenland and Antarctic ice
sheets. The picture of variability emerging poses particular challenges for models
seeking to predict future trajectories of change.
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