Scientists Find Caribbean Sea Levels Were 1 Meter Higher 5300 Years Ago…Today Rising More Slowly

5300 years ago sea level near Surinam and Guyana was about 1m higher than today

By Dr. Sebastian Lüning and Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt
(German text translated/edited by P. Gosselin)

A paper authored by Khan et al. 2017 looked at the Caribbean over the past 10,000 years.

After the end of the last ice age some 11,000 years ago, sea level rose around Surinam and Guyana at a rate of 11 mm per year. That’s about 5 times faster than today.

During the middle and late Holocene, i.e. over the past 5000 years, sea level rise was only 2.4 mm per year. By the way: 5300 years ago sea level at both countries was about 1 meter higher than today’s level. Surprised? Abstract:

Drivers of Holocene sea-level change in the Caribbean
We present a Holocene relative sea-level (RSL) database for the Caribbean region (5°N to 25°N and 55°W to 90°W) that consists of 499 sea-level index points and 238 limiting dates. The database was compiled from multiple sea-level indicators (mangrove peat, microbial mats, beach rock and acroporid and massive corals). We subdivided the database into 20 regions to investigate the influence of tectonics and glacial isostatic adjustment on RSL. We account for the local-scale processes of sediment compaction and tidal range change using the stratigraphic position (overburden thickness) of index points and paleotidal modeling, respectively. We use a spatio-temporal empirical hierarchical model to estimate RSL position and its rates of change in the Caribbean over 1-ka time slices. Because of meltwater input, the rates of RSL change were highest during the early Holocene, with a maximum of 10.9 ± 0.6 m/ka in Suriname and Guyana and minimum of 7.4 ± 0.7 m/ka in south Florida from 12 to 8 ka. Following complete deglaciation of the Laurentide Ice Sheet (LIS) by ∼7 ka, mid-to late-Holocene rates slowed to < 2.4 ± 0.4 m/ka. The hierarchical model constrains the spatial extent of the mid-Holocene highstand. RSL did not exceed the present height during the Holocene, except on the northern coast of South America, where in Suriname and Guyana, RSL attained a height higher than present by 6.6 ka (82% probability).The highstand reached a maximum elevation of +1.0 ± 1.1 m between 5.3 and 5.2 ka. Regions with a highstand were located furthest away from the former LIS, where the effects from ocean syphoning and hydro-isostasy outweigh the influence of subsidence from forebulge collapse.”

8 responses to “Scientists Find Caribbean Sea Levels Were 1 Meter Higher 5300 Years Ago…Today Rising More Slowly”

  1. TedL

    Some of the most obvious elevated beaches relating to past Caribbean high stands can be seen along the Gulf of Campeche in Mexico. Find the town of Frontera on the satellite view of Google Maps and you will see stripes of elevated beaches extending many miles inland. There must be literature on these high-stands but I have not found it. Of interest is the effect of sediment deposition by rivers flowing into the Gulf. One can see that the alignment of the beaches is affected by the Grijalva River, but a similar pattern located inland along the Usumacinta River suggests that it was the main river flowing into the Gulf some time in the past.

    1. Yonason (from a friend's comp)

      Thanks TedL

      Looking up “elevated beaches” . . .

      Here’s just one I found.

      “Coastal Geomorphology, McMurdo Sound, Antarctica”

      They attribute a rise of about 67′ to isostatic rebound.

      Must have been one huge chunk of ice that was lifted off that area, all without any human involvement at all.

      Geology changes. Climate changes. Humans are mere spectators – not the cause of any of it then, or now.

      1. SebastianH

        Humans are mere spectators – not the cause of any of it then, or now.

        Why would humans have cause any noticeable change back then? And how is humans not having caused something in the past something that leads you to believe humans have nothing to do with what is happening now? It just makes no sense and you are falling for the nonsense of your skeptic “false prophets”.

        P.S.: What I don’t get in all this is that conspiracy theorists are more than likely also “skeptics” regarding the human influence on climate. They believe in the most impossible fantasies, but man-made climate change is suddenly where they draw the line. That’s where they declare that everything is normal and “they” are making something up instead of the usual modus operandi where the declare that instead of normal everything is abnormal and “they” are only making it appear normal.

        1. spike55

          I’ll ask again seb,

          I expect NOTHING this time as well.

          Q1. In what way has the climate changed in the last 40 years, and how are those changes scientifically attributable to human activity ?

          Q2. Do you have ANY EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE that humans have changed the global climate in ANYWAY WHATSOEVER?

        2. tom0mason


          As I’m a real skeptic (not like your fake skepticism), I fail to see any evidence of elevated atmospheric CO2 levels causing any weather or climate effects. It’s all just propaganda.
          Please provide some links for your much advertised CO2 effects, or is it just that your are an empty headed propagandist (useful idiot)?

          Just like meatless burgers, where’s the beef SebastianH? 😉

          1. Yonason (from a friend's comp)


            Not Even Vegan!

  2. Jamie

    More support that it was warmer then. Downside is that if we keep warming the sea levels should return to those levels. Looks like 300 to 400 years for that

  3. spike55


    Remember the “no coffee because of climate change” scare?


    Brazil looking at record harvest !

    Is there ANYTHING they AGW scammers have yapped about that has actually come true???

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