Sea levels, Carbon dioxide concentrations, and Global temperatures have moved together over the last 450,000 years.
The graphs show the movement over the last 450,000 years of:
. Sea levels (the blue line)
. Carbon dioxide concentrations in the air (the green line), and
. Global temperatures (the red line).
The carbon dioxide concentrations have fluctuated between about 180 and 280 parts per million (ppm) over this period of 450,000 years, but in the last 50 years it has shot up 400 ppm. (This is circled in red on the graph.)
The Sea levels and temperatures have moved with carbon dioxide levels in the past. If sea levels and temperatures move with the recent increase in carbon dioxide the planet will become a very different place.
The graph shows five periods of high temperatures. We are living in one of those warm periods. During the previous warm period, about 120,000 years ago, the temperature was a few degrees warmer than at present, but sea level rose about 8 meters higher than the
The graph is adapted from the work of Hansen and Sato
(John Englander: Oceanographer)