Photograph: © SAF
Coral off Tahiti has linked the collapse of massive ice sheets 14,600 years ago to a dramatic and rapid rise in global sea-levels of around 14 meters.
The finding will help scientists currently modelling future climate change scenarios to factor in the dynamic behaviour of major ice sheets.
Oxford University scientist, Alex Thomas said: ‘The Tahitian coral is important because samples, thousands of years old, can be dated to within plus or minus 30 years. Because Tahiti is an ocean island, far away from major ice sheets, sea-level evidence from its coral reefs gives us close to the ‘magic’ average of sea levels across the globe, it is also subsiding into the ocean at a steady pace that we can easily adjust for.’