Using sediment core evidence taken from the sea floor off Greenland’s coast Rob Hatfield and Joe Stoner of the P-mag lab in collaboration with Anders Carlson (OSU) and Alberto Reyes (U. Alberta) and others were able to estimate the extent of the Greenland Ice Sheet during an interglacial period 400,000 years ago, when global sea levels were much higher than today. Published in Nature the study was also reported by the Oregonian, Yahoo News UK, the International Business Times, and the New Scientist

Editors summary from the Nature website: “There is remarkably little geological evidence from which to determine the magnitude of the retreat of the Greenland ice sheet during past interglaciations, which in turn limits our ability to estimate its future contributions to sea-level rise in a warming world. Alberto Reyes et al. now provide isotopic evidence from an ocean sediment core from the nearby Labrador Sea that suggests that the bulk of the southern Greenland ice sheet collapsed during the Marine Isotope Stage 11 ‘super interglacial’ about 400,000 years ago. The authors comment that this ice-sheet collapse occurred in response to climate conditions that are within the range of those anticipated by the end of the twenty-first century.”

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