New Afrodite Seminar
"Sea level during the Mid Pliocene Warm Period: an analogue for the future"
Dr. Alessio Rovere, PhD - LDEO, Columbia University, New York
CAMPUS SAVONA MA 116 | 10.00 AM | 06.07.2012
Proxy data suggest that atmospheric carbon dioxide levels during the middle of the Pliocene epoch (about 3 Myr ago) were similar to today, leading to the use of this interval as a potential analogue for future climate change. Atmospheric temperature was 2-3Â°C higher than today. Estimates for mid-Pliocene sea levels range from 10 to 40m above present, and a value of circa 25m is often adopted in numerical climate model simulations. A eustatic change of such magnitude implies the complete deglaciation of the West Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets, and significant loss of mass in the East Antarctic ice sheet. However, the effects of glacial isostatic adjustments have not been accounted for in Pliocene sea-level reconstructions, and field data are affected by large uncertainties. The Pliomax project aims to increase the accuracy of global sea level estimates for the mid-Pliocene warm period surveying new field data, measuring and organizing existing ones into a crowdsourced database, and accounting for glacio-isostatic adjustments to sustain a better sea level 'fingerprinting' for this time period.