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Rates of Interglacial Sea-level Change, and Responses

Objective

Global sea-level rise is one of our greatest environmental challenges and is predicted to continue for hundreds of years, even if global greenhouse-gas emissions are stopped immediately. However, the range, rates and responses to sea-level rise beyond 2100 are poorly understood. Current models that project sea-level rise centuries into the future have large uncertainties because the recent observations upon which they are based, encompass too limited a range of climate variability. Therefore, it is crucial to turn to the geological record where there are large-scale changes in climate. Global temperatures during the Last Interglacial were ~1oC warmer than pre-industrial values and 3-5oC warmer at the poles (a pattern similar to that predicted in the coming centuries), and global sea level was 6-9 m higher, far above that experienced in human memory.

Through the RISeR project, I will lead a step-change advance in our understanding of the magnitude, rates and drivers of sea-level change during the Last Interglacial, to inform both global and regional sea-level projections beyond 2100. Specifically I will:

1. Develop new palaeoenvironmental reconstructions of Last Interglacial sea-level change from northwest Europe;
2. Provide the first ever chronological constraints on the timing, and therefore rates, of relative sea-level change that occurred in northwest Europe during the Last Interglacial;
3. Use state-of-the-art numerical modelling to distinguish the relative contributions of the Greenland and Antarctica ice sheets to global sea-level rise during the Last Interglacial;
4. Provide estimates of the land areas and exposed populations in northwest Europe at risk of inundation by long-term (2100+) sea-level rise, providing high-end scenarios critical for coastal-risk management practice.

These ambitious objectives will result in a state-of-the-art integrated study of the most appropriate analogue for a critical global environmental challenge; future sea-level rise.

Host institution

UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS
Net EU contribution
€ 1 978 233,00
Address
Woodhouse Lane
LS2 9JT Leeds
United Kingdom

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Region
Yorkshire and the Humber West Yorkshire Leeds
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Non-EU contribution
€ 0,00

Beneficiaries (2)

UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS
United Kingdom
Net EU contribution
€ 1 978 233,00
Address
Woodhouse Lane
LS2 9JT Leeds

See on map

Region
Yorkshire and the Humber West Yorkshire Leeds
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Non-EU contribution
€ 0,00
UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHAMPTON
United Kingdom
Net EU contribution
€ 19 447,50
Address
Highfield
SO17 1BJ Southampton

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Region
South East (England) Hampshire and Isle of Wight Southampton
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Non-EU contribution
€ 0,00