Fossil reef terraces, formed during the last interglacial, marine oxygen isotope (MIS) substage 5e (~ 128–116 ka), are prevalent on many tropical shorelines and there has been ongoing debate as to the height reached by sea level during that highstand.Observations from numerous last interglacial sites suggest that sea level was at least 3 m above present sea level, implying less extensive icesheets than at present.
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The subject of many raids by Saracens, this 7th century metropolis eventually fell not to soldiers but to mosquitoes as malaria forced its residents out.
A time capsule on life almost 2,000 years ago, Pompeii continues to fascinate those who visit.
Now a hotel with self-catering rooms, it is a regal place to stay with a lush, colourful garden, a child-friendly pool area and access to the town's blue flag beach easily gained when you nudge a mysterious-looking wooden door in the palace's walls.
Mid-week we hurtled back up the A3 to spend a morning marvelling at Pompeii before taking a meandering return journey via the hairpin bends that connect Sorrento, Positano and Ravello.
The eyes are still wild but instead of roaming swamps, they now bolster the economy.
The Vannulo farm is a modern, high-tech incarnation of a centuries-old industry - each buffalo is chipped and the milking equipment recognises them individually.
Interpretations show considerable variability between sites, with still greater uncertainties about sea-level timing and elevation during previous interglacials.
Future study of extensive sequences of fossil reefs preserved on rapidly subsiding margins could address these uncertainties.
An elevation of 6 m has commonly been adopted when correcting tectonically active sites for uplift.
Recent compilations suggest elevations up to 8–9 m, but incorporate few observations from reefs where the last interglacial is found below sea level.
These studies have shown the sensitivity of reefs to rapid sea-level rise associated with meltwater pulses, with some reefs drowning while others back-stepped.