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Historical sea level CHANGES
A very brief history of sea level:
- Over the last 140,000 years sea level has varied over a range of more than
120 metres. The most recent large change was an increase of more than 120
metres as the last ice age ended
- Sea level stabilised over the last few thousand years, and there was little
change between about 1AD and 1800AD
- Sea level began to rise again in the 19th century and accelerated
again in the early 20th century
- Satellite altimeter measurements show a rate of
sea-level rise of about 3 mm/year since the early 1990s - a further increase in the rate
The last 140,000 years
Sea level varied by over 100 metres during glacial-interglacial cycles as the major ice sheets
waxed and waned as a result of changes in summer solar radiation in high northern
hemisphere latitudes. Paleo data from corals indicate that sea level was 4 to 6 m (or more)
above present day sea levels during the last interglacial period, about 125 000 years ago.