The aim of the KARSTODYSSEE mission is to better understand how global warming changes the sea level, in order to prepare coastal populations to necessary changes for a next future.
It is in the caves of the Mediterranean coast that the Karstodyssee project focuses on studying the past sea levels associated with the global warming. Indeed, 125,000 years ago, at a time where the human industry was only flint cutting, a global warming has already caused a rising up of the sea level. The study of ancient shorelines preserved in the caves shows that water was higher than today. The main causes were the Sun, the oceans and the volcanoes.
Traces of mussels perforations, sand, shells and corals that prove the presence of ancient shorelines, were naturally protected from erosion in the caves, which allowed their preservation till today. Raw data collected in Nice area (France), show that the sea level reached approximately 26 m above the current level. They suggest rising up speeds exceeding 2 cm per year.
Through a better understanding of these natural mechanisms, decrypted by a multidisciplinary and international team, it will be easier to adapt to this unavoidable evolution.