Sea-level variability over five glacial cycles

K. M. Grant, E. J. Rohling, C. Bronk Ramsey, H. Cheng, R. L. Edwards, F. Florindo, D. Heslop, F. Marra, A. P. Roberts, M. E. Tamisiea, F. Williams

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161 Scopus citations


Research on global ice-volume changes during Pleistocene glacial cycles is hindered by a lack of detailed sea-level records for time intervals older than the last interglacial. Here we present the first robustly dated, continuous and highly resolved records of Red Sea sea level and rates of sea-level change over the last 500,000 years, based on tight synchronization to an Asian monsoon record. We observe maximum 'natural' (pre-anthropogenic forcing) sea-level rise rates below 2 m per century following periods with up to twice present-day ice volumes, and substantially higher rise rates for greater ice volumes. We also find that maximum sea-level rise rates were attained within 2 kyr of the onset of deglaciations, for 85% of such events. Finally, multivariate regressions of orbital parameters, sea-level and monsoon records suggest that major meltwater pulses account for millennial-scale variability and insolation-lagged responses in Asian monsoon records.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5076
JournalNature communications
StatePublished - Sep 25 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was contributed by UK NERC projects NE/H004424/1, NE/E01531X/1 and NE/I009906/1, a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award and a 2012 Australian Laureate Fellowship FL120100050 (E.J.R.), NERC grant NE/I008365/1 (M.E.T.), the DTS-MIUR NextData project (F.F. and F.M.), ARC Grant DP110105419 (D.H. and A.P.R.), US NSF Grants 1103403 and 1211299 (H.C. and R.L.E.) and NSF Grant 41230524 (H.C.).

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