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Rates of Interglacial Sea-level Change, and Responses

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.
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Host institution

UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS

Address

Woodhouse Lane
Ls2 9jt Leeds

United Kingdom

Activity type

Higher or Secondary Education Establishments

EU Contribution

€ 1 978 233

Beneficiaries (2)

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UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS

United Kingdom

EU Contribution

€ 1 978 233

UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHAMPTON

United Kingdom

EU Contribution

€ 19 447,50

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 802281

Status

Ongoing project

  • Start date

    1 February 2019

  • End date

    31 January 2024

Funded under:

H2020-EU.1.1.

  • Overall budget:

    € 1 997 680,50

  • EU contribution

    € 1 997 680,50

Hosted by:

UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS

United Kingdom