Earth’s orbit controlled sea-level rise for millennia but now it’s driven by man-made climate change, study reaffirms

Earth’s history of glaciation far more complex than previously thought, according to researchers at Rutgers University, reports Louise Boyle

Friday 15 May 2020 21:58 BST
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Male, Maldives: the entire country could be submerged by 2100 due to sea-level rise
Male, Maldives: the entire country could be submerged by 2100 due to sea-level rise (Getty/iStock)

Current sea-level rise is linked to human activities and not changes in Earth’s orbit, according to a new study, reaffirming scientific consensus on the effects of human-induced climate change.

The new research found that in the last 66 million years, the planet had almost ice-free periods when carbon dioxide (CO2) levels were not much higher than today’s measurements. The research also discovered glacial periods in times previously believed to have been ice-free.

The study, conducted by a team from Rutgers University’s Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, concluded that minor variations in Earth’s orbit was the controlling force on ice volume and fluctuations in sea levels for millennia – the same which cannot be said today.

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