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- Helmholtz Centre Potsdam Germany
- Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research Germany
- INSTITUT FRANCAIS DE RECHERCHE POUR L'EXPLOITATION DE LA MER France
- GeoForschungsZentrum Potsdam Germany
- Leibniz Association Germany
- Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Res Germany
- University of Bremen Germany
- Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research Germany
- Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres Germany
Abstract Based on a radiocarbon and paleomagnetically dated sediment record from the northern Red Sea and the exceptional sensitivity of the regional changes in the oxygen isotope composition of sea water to the sea-level-dependent water exchange with the Indian Ocean, we provide a new global sea-level reconstruction spanning the last glacial period. The sea-level record has been extracted from the temperature-corrected benthic stable oxygen isotopes using coral-based sea-level data as constraints for the sea-level/oxygen isotope relationship. Although, the general features of this millennial-scale sea-level records have strong similarities to the rather symmetric and gradual Southern Hemisphere climate patterns, we observe, in constrast to previous findings, pronounced sea level rises of up to 25 m to generally correspond with Northern Hemisphere warmings as recorded in Greenland ice-core interstadial intervals whereas sea-level lowstands mostly occur during cold phases. Corroborated by CLIMBER-2 model results, the close connection of millennial-scale sea-level changes to Northern Hemisphere temperature variations indicates a primary climatic control on the mass balance of the major Northern Hemisphere ice sheets and does not require a considerable Antarctic contribution.