As a result the temperature of the planet's surface and ocean is largely dependent upon the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

The long-lived nature of CO therefore means that the oceans (and the atmosphere) will continue to warm, albeit at a comparatively much slower rate, even long after humans have ceased pumping planet-warming greenhouse gases into the atmosphere (Meehl [2012]).

In other words, we have yet to see the land-based ice fully respond to human intervention in the Earth's climate.

In examining ancient sea level it would, of course, be preferable to be able to match sea level at any given point in Earth's history with global temperature, especially as further warming is in the pipeline.

However, a number of problematic assumptions have to be made in order to transform various paleo data into global temperature estimates over seperate geological periods.

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All IPCC definitions taken from Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. (in parts per million) and global sea level (in metres) over the duration of the ice core record.

Working Group I Contribution to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Annex I, Glossary, pp. The dashed horizontal line depicts the pre-industrial state for comparison (b) Shows the cross-plot of CO Carbon dioxide is the most significant of the greenhouses gases, gases that trap heat in Earth's atmosphere and reduce the rate of heat loss to space in the upper layers of the atmosphere.

Foster & Rohling (2013), therefore, quantified the relationship between two entities that could be measured more directly - land ice volume/sea level and carbon dioxide levels.