Land-ice decay has led to rise in global sea-levels at rates of up to 5.5 metres per century, reveals research.
An international team of researchers developed a 500,000-year record of sea-level variability, to provide the first account of how quickly sea-level changed during the last five ice-age cycles and found that more than 100 smaller events of sea-level rise took place in between the five major events.
Katharine Grant, from the Australian National University (ANU), Canberra, who led the study, said that the really fast rates of sea-level rise typically seem to have happened at the end of periods with exceptionally large ice sheets, when there was two or more times more ice on the Earth than today.
She said that time periods with less than twice the modern global ice volume show almost no indications of sea-level rise faster than about 2 metres per century, while those with close to the modern amount of ice on Earth, show rates of up to 1 to 1.5 metres per century.
The study was published in the latest issue of Nature Communications.