Researchers at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton have compared reconstructions of atmospheric CO2 sea level concentrations over the past 40 million years, and they have determined that greenhouse gases equaling 400 parts per million, a concentration similar to today’s rates, were associated with a rise in sea level by 9 meters.
The data used by scientists was derived from compiling thousands of pairs of C02 sea level data points which spanned critical points during the last 40 million years. This included climates that were colder, similar and warmer than present. Scientists crunched the data in order to cover a wide variety of climate states which enables them to detect and evaluate systematic relationships and can therefore make better predictions about the future.
So what does this mean? Professor Eelco Rohling from the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton believes the implications from the geologic record indicate a future climate with a maximum warming of approximately two degrees centigrade (with CO2 stabilized at 400 to 450 ppm).
Scientists believe there may be dire consequences due to the Earth’s warming. Based on their data, which document how the global system has operated in the past, future, they posit that stabilization of CO2 levels at 400-450 parts per million is unlikely to be sufficient to avoid a significant steady long-term sea level rise.