A new paper published in Quaternary Science Reviews is the "First synthesis of post-glacial sea level data around Australia in over 25 years," and shows that sea levels around Australia were from about 1 to 2.5 meters higher than the present 7000 years ago during the Holocene Thermal Maximum [which lasted 4000 years between 9000 to 5000 years ago]. The authors note that Australia is relatively stable tectonically and thus sea level data is not complicated by post-glacial isostatic and other adjustments, which would add considerable uncertainty to sea level reconstructions.
According to the authors,
"Many of the issues, which challenged sea-level researchers in the latter part of the twentieth century, remain contentious today. Divergent opinions remain about: (1) exactly when sea level attained present levels following the most recent post-glacial marine transgression (PMT); (2) the elevation that sea-level reached during the Holocene sea-level highstand; (3) whether sea-level fell smoothly from a metre or more above its present level following the PMT; (4) whether sea level remained at these highstand levels for a considerable period before falling to its present position; or (5) whether it underwent a series of moderate oscillations during the Holocene highstand."
|Sea levels rose at a much faster rate from the peak of the last ice age around 20,000 years until about 8,000 years ago, and have been relatively stable over the past 8000 years. |