2009 paper confirming IPCC sea level conclusions withdrawn, mistakes cited

From the Guardian, finally some refreshing honesty in Science:

Climate scientists withdraw journal claims of rising sea levels

Study claimed in 2009 that sea levels would rise by up to 82cm by the end of century – but the report’s author now says true estimate is still unknown

sea level
The Maldives – poster child for bad science Photograph: Reuters

Scientists have been forced to withdraw a study on projected sea level rise due to global warming after finding mistakes that undermined the findings.

The study, published in 2009 in Nature Geoscience, one of the top journals in its field, confirmed the conclusions of the 2007 report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). It used data over the last 22,000 years to predict that sea level would rise by between 7cm and 82cm by the end of the century.

At the time, Mark Siddall, from the Earth Sciences Department at the University of Bristol, said the study “strengthens the confidence with which one may interpret the IPCC results“. The IPCC said that sea level would probably rise by 18cm-59cm by 2100, though stressed this was based on incomplete information about ice sheet melting and that the true rise could be higher.

Many scientists criticised the IPCC approach as too conservative, and several papers since have suggested that sea level could rise more. Martin Vermeer of the Helsinki University of Technology, Finland and Stefan Rahmstorf of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany published a study in December that projected a rise of 0.75m to 1.9m by 2100.

Siddall said that he did not know whether the retracted paper’s estimate of sea level rise was an overestimate or an underestimate.

Announcing the formal retraction of the paper from the journal, Siddall said: “It’s one of those things that happens. People make mistakes and mistakes happen in science.” He said there were two separate technical mistakes in the paper, which were pointed out by other scientists after it was published. A formal retraction was required, rather than a correction, because the errors undermined the study’s conclusion.

In a statement the authors of the paper said: “Since publication of our paper we have become aware of two mistakes which impact the detailed estimation of future sea level rise. This means that we can no longer draw firm conclusions regarding 21st century sea level rise from this study without further work.

h/t Claude Harvey

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144 thoughts on “2009 paper confirming IPCC sea level conclusions withdrawn, mistakes cited

  1. Are all of these withdrawals and revelations occurring now because of the strength of the vast fossil fuel funded skeptic industry or is the mainstream media finally smelled enough blood in the water to go after the Climate Industry on it’s own. I do not think we would have seen this 5 months ago.
    Thanks
    Ed

  2. I congratulate the scientists involved for retracting a flawed study rather than trying to brazen it out or “move on” as has been the habit of others.

  3. Basically any paper that supports the idea of catastrophic global warming should be expected to be withdrawn in the next few weeks.

    Alarmism is dead. Next.

  4. I agree!

    It’s great to see the retraction of a climate paper published in Nature because “we can no longer draw firm conclusions regarding 21st century sea level rise.”

    With kind regards,
    Oliver K. Manuel

  5. Given the gross incompetence that Rahmstorf has demonstrated in the past, I’m surprised that even a kindergarten journal would take his work.

  6. Humm,

    Sorry we made some mistakes, and with all the fuss going on from some…nitwits who don’t believe, well, we now need more study.

    Please may we have another grant or three to recheck our data??

    Thanks

    Uh huh, I think I get it, (reaches to protect his wallet)

    Mike Bentley

  7. Alarmism is NOT dead. It is wounded. The would isn’t mortal either.

    There is too much money, politics, and pride behind the AGW movement still. Expect them to regroup and come back with a vengeance when summer returns to the northern hemisphere.

  8. The average sea level rise per century for the past 12,000 years (100M) has been 83cm. They need much bigger numbers to get into unprecedented-catastrophic territory.

  9. Good on them for withdrawing once the mistakes were found. If only some others were prepared to do the same. I hope that they can reanalyse their data and republish a corrected version. That is the way science is supposed to make progress.

  10. Slightly off-topic, but it’s interesting that two days previously The Guardian posted this article:

    “Climate sceptics are recycled critics of controls on tobacco and acid rain”

    by Jeffrey Sachs

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/cif-green/2010/feb/19/climate-change-sceptics-science

    This article, in my opinion, is one of the most ludicrous statements to come out of the AGW movement in recent times.

    “We are witnessing a predictable process by ideologues and right-wing think tanks and publications to discredit the scientific process. Their arguments have been repeatedly disproved for 30 years”

    Haha!

  11. The AGM Emperor’s are down to their thongs in Europe, loin cloths is India & shredded boxers in the USofA… LOL. OMG, forgive me if I have sinned… etc, etc. LOL, again… !

    Do you all smell the accelerated pace of the awakening of ‘the little people?’ It seems that more & more Deniers are born everyday, or is that the sacrament of conversion in the air?

    I think the global market for tree ring counters is collapsing. Speaking of collapsing, any one know a good “green stock” I can short?

  12. Mistakes were made.
    Really? Sounds more like things got really sloppy on AR4.
    Ok, where the catch? There’s always a catch with these people.

  13. When this paper came out, it was trumpeted by many as debunking the increasingly bizarre sea level prognostications being made by the alarmist fringe, most notably Rahmstorf (of the “hockey team”). It is interesting how some skeptics (for the record, I am a skeptic) are spinning this retraction. Good on them for fessing up to an error (paging Michael Mann, paging Michael Mann), but from a skeptic’s viewpoint that is the only plus to come out of this.

  14. Corey (19:57:24) :
    Here’s the paper, for anyone interested:
    Constraints on future sea-level rise from past sea-level change

    A good exercise would be for all the smart cookies here to spot the two mistakes…

  15. the authors of the paper said: “..we can no longer draw firm conclusions regarding 21st century sea level rise from this study..

    Oh dear! This was a study that was supposed to “strengthen the confidence with which one may interpret the IPCC results“.

    If we can no longer rely on the “peer reviewed” studies the IPCC relies on, maybe be can rely on Al Gore’s gut feeling instead? After all if he bought a beachside property just after the global drowning alarm, he must be pretty sure that its safe.

  16. New quote of the week: People make mistakes and mistakes happen in science.

    That is the point. The debate never happened and the science is not settled.

  17. Remember, we almost got sold out, at COP15, over this type of s**t.
    Thanks to Anthony (and too many others to name), we didn’t.
    Thanks, to all of you!

  18. The Guardian prints that story,and makes sure to point out what others are saying about sea level rise,by providing a link to a paper.
    The paper they link to says that
    How much faster? Pfeffer et al. (25) provided an independent
    estimate of maximum ice discharge based on geographic constraints
    on ice flow; they concluded that sea-level rise in the 21st
    century is very unlikely to exceed 200 cm. If this estimate is correct, a nonlinear dynamical ice-sheet response may not
    change our estimate upward by very much.
    To limit global sea-level rise to a maximum of 1 m in the long
    run (i.e., beyond 2100), as proposed recently as a policy goal (26),
    deep emissions reductions will be required. Likely they would
    have to be deeper than those needed to limit global warming to
    2 °C, the policy goal now supported by many countries. Our
    analysis further suggests that emissions reductions need to come
    early in this century to be effective.
    Software code accompanying this article is available (SI
    Sea-Level Code).
    End
    They are shifting the goal post again,now we have to reduce our emissions to limit sea rise beyond 2100.
    The more you give,the more they take.

  19. Dr. Robert (19:24:24) ,
    “Alarmism is dead. Next.”

    Next?

    Any Nobel earned with the alarmism of catastrophic global warming should be expected to be withdrawn in the next few weeks.

  20. What are those whisker-like things protruding from the island in that photo? I’m assuming it must be man made since it’s so symmetrical and unnatural looking. It looks like some kind of pontoons.

    REPLY: Tourist huts on stilts with a boardwalk connecting them. -a

  21. edward (19:19:53) :

    “Are all of these withdrawals and revelations occurring now because of the strength of the vast fossil fuel funded skeptic industry..”

    You, like most followers have been kept in the dark about the mission funding. Open your Own Eyes an Look For Yourself, Think For Yourself.

    At the bottom of this page:

    http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/about/history/

    From the Climate Research Units own web site you will find a partial list of companies that fund the CRU.
    It includes:

    British Petroleum, ‘Oil, LNG’
    Broom’s Barn Sugar Beet Research Centre, ‘Food to Ethanol’
    The United States Department of Energy, ‘Nuclear’
    UK Nirex Ltd. ‘Nuclear’
    Sultanate of Oman, ‘LNG’
    Shell Oil, ‘Oil, LNG’
    Tate and Lyle. ‘Food to Ethanol’
    Nuclear Installations Inspectorate, ‘Nuclear’
    KFA Germany, ‘Nuclear’
    World Wildlife Fund, ‘Political Advocates’
    Greenpeace International, ‘Political Advocates’

    You might what to check out what these and the other funding companies actually do.

    So can you climate scientologists please stop with the skeptics in the pockets of Big Oil thing, it’s getting old. These companies have been funding the CRU for years and years. British Petroleum and Royal Dutch Shell were in there right at the start in 1974.

  22. Eve

    Spot ON!

    Steven Oregon,

    Best not hold your breath – Nobels used to be something special, now available in the bargan section at your local Walmart.

    Mike Bentley

  23. there’s probably a new paper about to be fast-tracked through the peer review process saying the sea rise will actually be 82m by the end of the century!

    guardian is spinning as usual, but “true estimate is still unknown” is all we need to know for now.

  24. Who do we have to thank for ‘uncovering’ this error, for performing some sort of due diligence, analyzing the ‘analysis’ or perusing the ‘raw data’ and pesting the poor authors with FOIA requests to get to the ‘bottom’ of this/the ‘paper':

    Robert ? (Troll Robert from Willis’ post, not Dr. Robert above)

    Joel Shore?

    RC?

    NONE of the above?

    .
    .

  25. From the Guardian, I find this deliciously ironic:

    Nature Publishing Group, which publishes Nature Geoscience, said this was the first paper retracted from the journal since it was launched in 2007.

  26. It looks like some of the Real Climate boys realized they need to take credit for finding mistakes before the skeptics do, in order to re-gain eroding public trust. Maybe, and finally, the beginning a good honest trend.

  27. Leif Svalgaard (20:09:37) :

    Corey (19:57:24) :
    Here’s the paper, for anyone interested:
    Constraints on future sea-level rise from past sea-level change
    A good exercise would be for all the smart cookies here to spot the two mistakes…

    I’m not one of the resident smarties, but I can spot one issue right off the bat: Not using a large enough data set for fig 3! Even in the Method section they state “for the last century, projected into next century.”

    I was actually tipped off by the fact that the Fig 3 graph doesn’t even predict a POSSIBILITY of the sea level going DOWN….every modelled scenario produces a HIGHER value. That got my spidey senses tingling, cuz if they had enough observational data, surely the sea level has been LOWER in the past. (I don’t know for certain…I’m just using instinct here.)

    Am I close? Do I pass? I have no clue what the other transgression might be.

  28. Oceanographer James McCarthy, the AAAS’s president-elect, said that after initial successes in tripping up the IPCC, sceptics will redouble their efforts to highlight other errors.
    How about finding the errors first and not worrying about the sceptics.

  29. The main point to take from this is that the paper in question had been peer reviewed, which review had failed to spot the errors in question. It was then examined by other scientists AFTER publication, who found the errors. I wonder if these scientists will now be vilified for “reducing the sum of human knowledge”, as Gavin Schmidt has recently accused Steve McIntyre of doing?

    This actually is the way science is supposed to work, with papers subject to detailed scrutiny by the wider community after publication. It further illustrates that the adjective “peer reviewed” is of little relevance in establishing the validity or otherwise of research.

  30. Relax guys. The authors retracted the paper potentially because their sea level rise estimates were *lower* than what is modelled.

    “In the Nature Geoscience retraction, in which Siddall and his colleagues explain their errors, Vermeer and Rahmstorf are thanked for “bringing these issues to our attention”.

    “Martin Vermeer of the Helsinki University of Technology, Finland and Stefan Rahmstorf of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany published a study in December that projected a rise of 0.75m to 1.9m by 2100.”

    But this is important in a different dimension:
    This paper now leaves the Vermeer and Rahmstorf paper dangling without support (not that there is any lack of such papers).

    It reduces the confidence in the IPCC by the same amount it increased it in, when it was published.

    It shows that honesty is possible in climate science. Unlike other ‘scientists’ who believe, the message is more important.

    Shub

  31. I think you are jumping the gun here a little bit. First of all these mistakes were pointed out by Stefan Ramsdorf – a guy who claims that sea level rise “will surpass worst case senario”.

    Am I the only one smelling a rat here?

  32. Richard K (20:56:35) :

    Oceanographer James McCarthy, the AAAS’s president-elect, said that after initial successes in tripping up the IPCC, sceptics will redouble their efforts to highlight other errors.
    How about finding the errors first and not worrying about the sceptics.
    ————-
    In my line of work, my biggest worry was the mistakes i missed, not the ones i found.

  33. Oh I forgot the second point. The UK Guardian? Hello?

    What do we have more of then the other guys? Truth – at least that’s the way I see it.

    What happens if we lose our credibility?

    They’re trying to submarine us. Don’t let them do it.

  34. Bruckner8 (20:52:56) :
    I’m not one of the resident smarties, but I can spot one issue right off the bat: Not using a large enough data set for fig 3! Even in the Method section they state “for the last century, projected into next century.”
    Not knowing your model, I can’t tell. But another thing that struck me was their assumption that the temperatures in the past that they use to ‘tune’ their model [note the use of R^2 !] have no errors. If there are errors in the reconstructions [and they must be] then those will feed into their projections and increase the error in the projection.

  35. Andrew30 (20:21:38) :

    edward (19:19:53) :

    “Are all of these withdrawals and revelations occurring now because of the strength of the vast fossil fuel funded skeptic industry..”

    You, like most followers have been kept in the dark about the mission funding. …

    edward was just being facetious.

  36. Red:
    It seems that more & more Deniers are born everyday, or is that the sacrament of conversion in the air?

    Skeptics, not deniers, I find few totally denying. Seems to be the few AGW proponets that have appeared here of late. They are doing more for the awakening than most scientifically minded skeptics could ever do. Visitors can now view their methology up close and personal.

  37. The peer review process rarely catches errors. Its more like a sniff test which has problems of its own (as has been mentioned on this site and CA).

    The real peer review happens when other scientists examine data and methodology via attempted replication. That’s why data sharing and methodological transparency are so important.

    It is rare to see a paper withdrawn by its authors but credit to them that they took it on the chin and did the right thing.

    We are too cynical sometimes. Climate science is working its way back to normal science.

  38. ‘Are all of these withdrawals and revelations occurring now because of the strength of the vast fossil fuel funded skeptic industry..’

    How do I apply? So far I worked out how to be a sceptic without any outside help. Just saw the fishy nature of the Warmists claims, and the even dodgier nature of some of them.

    But if there’s a slush fund somewhere, I could do with a few bob.

    Is there an examination to qualify, and must I provide backup data? Or does self-certification (a la Jones and Mann) count? Do I wait until a ‘shadowy figure’ from the ‘Big Oil complex’ comes knocking on my door?

  39. Don’t be overly excited about the paper being withdrawn. The mistakes found were found by people who believe sea level rise will be much higher than the mistaken paper had concluded.

  40. Am I the only one who read this as being a retraction based on the supposition that the projected numbers were too small?

    I realize everyone here is seeing ‘retracted’ as admission of a too-large error, but that seems to me to be wishful thinking.

    “Whoops, we were wrong… the sea’s gonna hit +348 cm by Sept 2013.”

    The original (guardian? telegraph?) article reads this way anyway.

  41. Oliver K. Manuel (19:29:25) :

    ‘ It’s great to see the retraction of a climate paper published in Nature because “we can no longer draw firm conclusions regarding 21st century sea level rise.” ‘

    Permissable, however, would be a statement like “the only firm conclusion regarding 21st century sea level rise is that it is the interval between low tide and high tide. For predictions beyond that, we now rely on a crystal ball.”

  42. I don’t want to sound alarmist, but if my memory serves me correctly,
    in terms of the activity noted on the sun, a period of more clouds is now coming or on its way (Svensmark’s theory).
    Obviously more cloud cover leads to more precipitation and subsequent (global) cooling.
    I think therefore it not so strange to observe that as a result we have:
    1) more snow (everywhere in the NH during winter)
    2) more rain (now Madeira) also here in South Africa (except for the southern parts)
    3) which eventually may lead to a rise in river levels in the areas where we have this excessive precipitation

    hence we should check all our river levees???!!!

  43. Re: Leif Svalgaard (Feb 21 20:09),

    A good exercise would be for all the smart cookies here to spot the two mistakes…

    The paper is way above my head, but if I had to throw a dart at it, I’d aim at the very last paragraph..

    We remind the reader that by defining deltaT0 and a given polar amplification factor, any future warming is relative, so that the same deltaT0 is representative of polar warming or the global mean warming.

    Doesn’t the IPCC project higher warming at the polar regions than the global mean?
    That would lead to the claim the paper may have “underestimated” future sea level rise.
    That’s where my dart hit anyway.

  44. Guys – this paper was withdrawn because the sea level rise was too low to suit the alarmists (i.e. it is not scary enough). It would have never been withdrawn if the paper served the alarmist political objectives.

    The fact that it was withdrawn while other papers like MBH98 with more serious errors remain on the record demonstrates once again how hopelessly corrupt the scientific establishment is.

    It is NOT evidence of science working the way it should.

  45. And their mistake for not consulting one of the world’s leading experts on the subject.

    http://www.climatechangefacts.info/ClimateChangeDocuments/NilsAxelMornerinterview.pdf

    Logic doesn’t win, however….as “sea level rise” in this predisposed entity….is just like like “global warming” or the “melting polar ice caps.”

    Sea levels rise….and they fall….as they have done for billions of years.

    We really have alot to learn.

    As has been said previously here…”science in the end is self-correcting.”

    YES.

    Survival of the fittest….survival of the truth.

    Hopefully we will evolve beyond the fiasco of the past 10 years of the unnatural forcing of Gore, Hansen, and Mann….where they have successfully scammed the world….violating the public trust in science.

    That will change. It has to.

    Hoping for the best.

    CHRIS
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  46. OT. There is a sleepy seaside resort near where I live called Akaroa. On the hillside above the town there are two historic graveyards. One graveyard is clearly marked for Roman Catholics only and the other is simply called Dissidents. Reading comments on the most recent RealClimate posts gives me clearer understanding of what that was all about.

  47. nigguraths (21:05:09) :

    Relax guys. The authors retracted the paper potentially because their sea level rise estimates were *lower* than what is modelled…..It reduces the confidence in the IPCC by the same amount it increased it in, when it was published….

    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………..

    I think you are understating.

    The paper shows the IPCC is acting like Chicken Little. The pulling of the paper will do more damage than the help it originally did for the IPCC. This is exactly what the IPCC didn’t need now—more damage to their credibility.

    What ‘-gate’ will be next?

  48. “the report’s author now says true estimate is still unknown”

    Not too worry, it’s much worse than we thought!

  49. “the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). It used data over the last 22,000 years to predict that sea level would rise by between 7cm and 82cm by the end of the century.”

    Whoa, thanks for narrowing it down, I was worried for a while there.

  50. I think there is a hockey stick in the IPCC estimate of sea level rise. I looked at the long baseline tide gauge data e.g. New York – it was linear. But the IPCC said it had increased in the 20th century. When I looked into the basis for that statement, all I could find was a single paper Church, J.A., and N.J. White, 2006: A 20th century acceleration in global sea-level rise. Geophys. Res. Lett., 33, L01602, doi:10.1029/2005GL024826 which I think was published too late for use in AR4, but it was there nevertheless, perhaps because one J.Church was one of the lead authors of that section of WG2. Figure 2 in Church and White gives the hockey stick – between 1870 and 1940, they estimate a sea level rise of 0.7mm/a and between 1940 and today a rise of around 2.3mm/a. Why can one not see such a change in the raw data?

  51. ““Mistakes were made”-the Nuremburg excuse.”

    Comparing scientists identifying their own mistakes to mass murder by the Nazis . . . climate skepticism at its finest.

    “No doubt Tamino would consider Hansen’s prediction to be statistically significant.”

    Steve, you really should stop using that term until you learn what it means.

    “Troll Robert from Willis’ post”

    I find it amusing that the community here glorifies “skepticism” — attacking the science on climate in the face of near-universal disagreement from climate scientists — yet if anyone dares question THEM — well, that person is clearly a troll.

    Apparently skepticism is only admired when it is directed towards objects you despise, not when your own views are confronted with it.

  52. @ John A (19:22:20) : | Reply w/ Link
    “I congratulate the scientists involved for retracting a flawed study rather than trying to brazen it out or “move on” as has been the habit of others.”

    Hear, hear! Well, said. Mistakes do happen in science. These guys should be given credit for acknowledging their errors, and it should be assumed that they were honest errors unknown before publication. It’s not easy to admit you were wrong especially when many months or years may have been devoted to the work. I hope they will be able to publish on their revised findings regardless of which side their new conclusions may favor.

  53. IPPC Ocean-Gate

    From an interview with Dr. Nils-Axel Mörner:

    “Another way of looking at what is going on is the tide gauge. Tide gauging is very complicated, because it gives different answers for wherever you are in the world. We have to rely on geology when we interpret it. So, for example, …the IPCC choose Hong Kong, which has six tide gauges, and choose the record of one, which gives a 2.3 mm per year of sea level. Every geologist knows that that is a subsiding area. It’s the compaction of sediment; it is the only record which should not [be used]. And if that [2.3 mm] figure is correct, then Holland would not be subsiding, it would be uplifting. And that is just ridiculous. Not even ignorance could be responsible for a thing like that. So tide gauges, you have to treat very, very carefully.”

    Dr. Nils-Axel Mörner is the head of the Paleogeophysics and Geodynamics department at Stockholm University in Sweden. He is past president (1999-2003) of the INQUA Commission on Sea Level Changes and Coastal Evolution, leader of the Maldives Sea Level Project. Dr. Mörner been studying the sea level and its effects on coastal areas for some 35 years.

    http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/2010/02/sea-level-expert-sea-is-not-rising.html

  54. Don’t worry, for every report that gets pulled there are more to take its place.

    Methane

    http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/methane-levels-may-see-runaway-rise-scientists-warn-1906484.html

    They are worried about an increase of 7ppm on 1630ppm in 6 months, how come this causes concern when increasing snow cover over 10 years is not statiscally significant. Lots of ifs buts and maybes but the scare continues.

    Give me a Grant-R-Us

    They go on: “During the first half of 2009, globally averaged atmospheric CH4 was [approximately] 7ppb greater than it was in 2008, suggesting that the increase will continue in 2009. There is the potential for increased CH4 emissions from strong positive climate feedbacks in the Arctic where there are unstable stores of carbon in permafrost … so the causes of these recent increases must be understood.”

    Professor Nisbet said at the weekend that the new figures did not necessarily mark a new excursion from the trend. “It may just be a couple of years of high growth, and it may drop back to what it was,” he said. “But there is a concern that things are beginning to change towards renewed growth from feedbacks.”

  55. The errors of this paper was highlighted on realclimate.org a long time ago.

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/08/ups-and-downs-of-sea-level-projections/

    Most of you guys dont seem to get the significance of this withdrawal. The withdrawal actually strengthens the growing consensus in the sea level community that the IPCC projections were much too low. Most (if not all) new sea level projections are roughly 3 times higher than the IPCCs estimates.

  56. I wonder if anyone has found the time (or inclination) to inform prince Charles? I’m sure he’d be most interested…

  57. from the NZ Herald:

    “I am indebted to a reader for sending me a copy of an article which appeared in this newspaper and which I hadn’t read.

    Under the headlines “Man is making the earth too warm, Threat of melting polar caps”, it quoted a prominent physicist as saying that the levels of the oceans could rise 12m and flood vast areas of the Earth in the next half century unless atmospheric temperatures were controlled.

    The physicist, Dr Joseph Kaplan, professor of physics at the University of California, said such flooding could occur as a result of accelerated melting of the polar ice caps.

    ..Now the reason I missed that story is that it appeared in this newspaper on Tuesday, April 9, 1957, at which time I was 16 years old and preparing to travel by ship to the United States on an American Field Service scholarship.”

    Climate hysteria won’t last test of time

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=10626802

  58. Why would they publish a retraction and not define the errors?

    What did they asssume that is incorrect? If the paper was based on past work by Briffa, Mann, etc, then the paper assumes we are now in an unprecedented time of warmth, and likely overestimates SL rise. OTOH I am confident that this has nothing to do with why it was withdrawn, as the community is not ready to abandon the hockey stick.

  59. Robert (23:38:58):

    Ok I will bite. I have no science background. I am not a climatologist.

    I am a true skeptic, like lots of people here. I like to see the evidence presented so that I can form my own opinion. I have tried to ask questions on various warmist websites but none of my posts have been allowed. My questions, or comments, have not been insulting in any way. They have been enquiring asking for answers when I do not understand the science being discussed. I have posted here, but never had my posts moderated or deleted. I visit plenty of websites to try and gain the balance I would like.

    Over the past few months I have seen lots of articles here and elsewhere that seriously question the damage caused the the climate by humans burning fossil fuels, and generally increasing CO2 levels. I have been shown mistakes in the IPCC reports. I have been shown errors in data and assumptions. I have been denied balanced reporting in the media when these revelations have come to light. I have seen claim and counter claim by both sides.

    I have been seeing your comments over the past few weeks. Some have been interesting and questioning, allowing me to go and look elsewhere and verify what you have said. But some of your posts have had arguments that do not stand up to scrutiny. Some of the questions you have asked the author of the topic seem logical and I always follow them through.

    So basically my questions are these:

    What qualifications (or experience) do you have in climate science (or any other science for that matter)?

    What is your website (or blog) address? I ask this so that I can see your substansive posts and not just comments.

    Have you actually written any rebuttals to any of the topics here (or anywhere in skeptical sites?) You seem as though you are very knowledgeable of the subject, and have a good understanding so you should use that for the education of others like me.

    So basically I am asking this: Why should I trust your comments over others here?

    I would like to trust your comments enough so that I keep checking what you say, so please be kind enough to answer.

  60. Monty Python always comes to mind when I think of AGW Proponents… I’m sorry, but I just can’t help it;-)

    The AGW Black Knight tries to stop the Skeptical Knights from crossing the scientific divide and discovering truth……

  61. Don’t forget that this study is just one of many that predict alarming sea level rises. The research of Al Gore proved that the sea level will rise by 20ft in the near future.

  62. @ J.Hansford

    “The AGW Black Knight tries to stop the Skeptical Knights from crossing the scientific divide and discovering truth……”

    You mean there are other AGW skeptics out there who like to walk around humping the air while pretending to ride imaginary horses? Wow! All this time I thought I was the only one ;-)

  63. Another month rolls by and more and more of the claims in the IPCC document are shown to be wrong.
    It is interesting to consider the Gravy Train , similar to that enjoyed by the Bankers, enjoyed by the IPCC.
    This is yet another section of society desperately trying to enjoy an elevated life style , the difference is they have political sponsorship and an entrenched position eventually the same people who are leading the Human Induced Global Warming farce will be given equally elevated positions espousing a new cause possibly Natural Variability in Global Climate.

  64. “Science is self correcting” Yeah we knew the world was round and even how big it was 2500 yrs ago but with the burning down of the Alexandria library (destruction of data) and an anti-science agenda,(manipulation of info) the truth took two millennia to correct itself. We were on the verge of a of a repeat with much graver consequences to intellectual endeavor, freedom, and indeed, economic survival. Don’t get too touchy feely with good honest fellows jumping off a sinking ship. The author’s remark that they don’t know if its an under- or over estimate pretty much neutralizes his scientific honesty. It’s no estimate at all if It’s a mistake!

  65. Justin (01:02:45) :
    I believe some of your questions have been asked by others but Robert seems a little shy of admitting to any actual qualifications in the field of climate science.

    Just for the record I have none. I may also be a little thick, because I have not actually understood what Robert is getting at in recent posts – perhaps he could be a little more to the point in future.

  66. Støre / Gore cited Rahmstorf (2007) in their Copenhagen report : Melting sea and ice: a call for action. It predicts a sea level rise of 0,5 – 1,5 meters by 2100. Støre then went on to say in his presentation that “scientists are conservative, the real figure could be 2 meters by 2100″ :) So much for science.

    A little sidetrack regarding northern hemisphere snow extent: the Støre/Gore report also states that northern hemisphere snow cover is decreasing, stating:

    “This decreasing trend is occurring throughout the year, particularly during spring and summer, with exceptions only mid-winter” (ref: Armstrong/Brun 2007).

    A masterpiece of deceptive writing.

    As we all know – most places in the northern hemisphere only has snow during winter. The only place with summer snow cover is the arctic. So a slight decline of summer snow in the arctic has now become a general trend of snow decrease for the whole northern hemisphere.

    And the snow cover extent in winter (and fall) is increasing in the northern hemisphere. A fact conveniently left out.

    The report can be downloaded here:

    http://brage.bibsys.no/npolar/handle/URN:NBN:no-bibsys_brage_10762

  67. GaryPearse (02:16:53) :

    Alexandria was burned was burned by the romans and sacked several times before christianity arrived on the scene. The libel that christians burned the library there is just that – a libel. False. Misleading at bes, given that at the time the library was claimed to have been burned, it was almost non-existent. In fact most of the library that survived the previous (pre-christian) sackings of Alexandria was distributed around the Roman empire and most of what survived ended up in Rome.

    The belief that the world was flat was a minority view throughout christian times and well before. The myth that the church claimed the world was flat was put about less than 150 years ago by anti-catholics here in England an quickly soaked into the popular consciousness, but it was just a myth. The geocentric model of the universe adopted by the church and based on pre-christian beliefs, whilst incorrect in itself, was based on the assumption that the earth was a sphere. It wouldn’t have worked otherwise.

  68. Robert (23:38:58) :
    I find it amusing that the community here glorifies “skepticism” — attacking the science on climate in the face of near-universal disagreement from climate scientists — yet if anyone dares question THEM — well, that person is clearly a troll.

    Well, when “that person” persists in using AGW talking points to refute *measured* scientific data…

  69. Here’s a backdoor you can drive locomotive thru: From: http://www.farmpolicy.com/?p=1930

    Environmental Regulation (NEPA) and the Farm Bill

    Noelle Straub of Greenwire reported on Friday at The New York Times Online that, “A top Obama administration official yesterday defended a new draft proposal that will require federal agencies to consider climate change during environmental analyses of proposed projects as ‘straightforward, common-sense guidance.’

    “Under the draft guidance released yesterday by the White House Council on Environmental Quality, agencies will have to consider greenhouse gas emissions and climate change effects when carrying out National Environmental Policy Act reviews. CEQ will take public comment for 90 days on the proposal.”

    Friday’s article added that, “‘I think there was really no question that there are environmental effects associated with climate change, and how could we not have that as part of agencies’ thinking as they look at their NEPA obligations and looking at environmental impacts?’ Sutley told E&E. ‘I think what we’ve tried to craft is some very straightforward, common-sense guidance.’

    “Agencies will need to look at emissions that may be produced by projects such as a landfill or coal-fired power plant. They also must consider climate change effects on projects — for example, whether plans for infrastructure along the coast would need to change due to projected sea level rise.”

    Washington Post writer Juliet Eilperin added additional perspective on the CEQ development in an update posted on Thursday at the Post Carbon Blog: “NEPA, a 40-year old law, requires the federal government to evaluate the environmental impact of any activity it takes part in or sanctions, whether it’s providing funds for a highway or allowing snowmobile riders into Yellowstone National Park.”

    Ms. Eilperin noted that, “Nancy Sutley, Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, said the move represented an attempt to modernize the landmark federal law. ‘Our country has been strengthened by the open, accountable, informed and citizen-involved decision-making structure created by NEPA,’ Sutley said. ‘We are committed to making NEPA workable and effective, and believe that these changes will contribute significantly to both goals.’”

    As the executive branch fosters NEPA application with respect to climate change issues, some have openly speculated and suggested that the law should be applied to the Farm Bill.

  70. Where in the world would fifteen inches of water come from? We’re talking some odd 140,840 square more kilometers of water, yes?

  71. They got the flawed info published before Copenhagen, wasn’t that the point of the series of flawed articles like this? Influence the pols in Copenhagen to get something done. If it took a little fake science, it would have been worth it.

    Withdrawing it now, was probably always the play. Anyone think I’m paranoid?

  72. Robert,

    I mostly agree with your objections and critique of people’s tone.

    Things have gotten bit ugly.

    Anyway, sceptic people objected to being likened to old german socialists* and now AGW proponents object to being likened to old german socialists. You know, coal trains and all that. It can be offensive.

    So now, what about all the data and stuff? What’s your take on the strength of AGW hypothesis? Because that’s really the bottom line here on this site.

    * dodging the filter

  73. It’s worth pointing out that the paper was withdrawn because it contained mistakes in it’s methodology, not because it supported the IPCC’s assessments. Most studies continue to suggest that sea levels will rise.

  74. One of the authors is Thomas F . Stocker. Is that the same person as Thomas J. Stocker, recently featured in Climate Audit as one of the “leading authors” of the IPCC?
    And “leading author” of the part where they do serious hard science, not WWF- and Greenpeace-stuff?

  75. Ten – you seem to like numbers. Why stop?

    You’ve postulated 140,480 km^2 of water – what is that supposed to represent? Surface area of the oceans? It’s more like 360,000,000 km^2. Multiply that by the 15 inch (about 38 cm) you pose and you get 137,000 km^3 of water. Now, looking at that, it seems you must have meant 140,000 km^3 of water in your post. That’s a cube of water about 50 km on a side. Where would we find that?

    Greenland has an estimated 2,800,000 km^3 of ice.
    Antarctica has an estimated 30,000,000 km^3 of ice.

    Any more questions about where the water could come from?

  76. OK. So the paper has been retracted. However, I am SKEPTICAL that we will hear nothing more about this paper. I am sure it will still be referenced in future studies as supporting information of other effects of AGW/ACC (alarming, disastrous effects at that).

  77. Jryan (07:57:38) :
    “The AGW ship is sinking… this was previously attributed to rising sea water.”

    LOL. first I thought you were right, then I realised the first explanation might be more accurate.

    Rising water lifts all boats. Except the ones firmly anchored to the bottom.

  78. Apparently skepticism is only admired when it is directed towards objects you despise, not when your own views are confronted with it.

    Ah yes, Robert. Projection at its finest.

  79. Ref – Robert (23:38:58) :
    “Apparently skepticism is only admired when it is directed towards objects you despise, not when your own views are confronted with it.”
    __________________________
    If you build it , they will come.

  80. I am happy to see that “climate skeptics” know the word “honesty”. Luckily, “climate skeptics” have never made any mistakes in their vast number of peer reviewed scientific papers and will never make any mistakes.

    rc

  81. So…..if there has been no statitical significant increase of temperature for 15 years…… how can sealevel rise?

    AHA, MODELS……….

  82. The study, which confirmed the rather conservative conclusions of the IPCC-Report 2007, according to the post above, has been withdrawn by the authors after methodological mistakes were found. Why are many of you ranting here so happily about this as if this was a victory for you? Somehow you don’t seem to get it. Like there are just reflexes triggered in you, but nothing else.

    rc

  83. Jay (05:53:41) :

    It’s worth pointing out that the paper was withdrawn because it contained mistakes in it’s methodology, not because it supported the IPCC’s assessments. Most studies continue to suggest that sea levels will rise.

    How odd. That’s the same thing they always say about bull markets (dot com, housing, etc.).

  84. @kwik:

    Who was talking about a sea level rise within a 15 year time period? Please remind me.

    BTW: Who says the increase in the global temperature hasn’t been statistical significant for the last 15 years? I suppose you refer to what Phil Jones said. He talked about the 95%-significance level regarding the CRU-data analysis. And with respect to this “but only just”. That is, the increase is very probably statistically significant at the 90%-level. Perhaps, even at the 94%-level.

    Also, I really don’t understand why people don’t understand that the statistical significance of the warming signal increases with increasing period analyzed.

    The funny thing is that “climate skeptics” suddenly care about statistical significance, although how often have “climate skeptics” claimed a recent global cooling trend based on data from even shorter time periods than 15 years?

    rc

  85. @rbatemen:

    “How odd. That’s the same thing they always say about bull markets (dot com, housing, etc.).”

    Are you talking about scientific studies, when you say “they”? Or are you just trying to ridicule a valid statement with a logically fallacious comparison?

    rc

  86. I find Robert amusing.

    A bit nonplussed by the withdrawal of this paper. As others have alluded to above, one suspects that this is a deliberate ploy prior to the publication of another, showing higher sea level rises.

  87. @ rootless cosmo. The amount of warming depends on where you cherry-pick your baseline start date, doesn’t it? Nil from the middle of the MWP, lots from the middle of the LIA…

  88. @Jeef:

    Of course, the suspicion of a conspiracy with sinister motives is always the first one, right?

    “The amount of warming depends on where you cherry-pick your baseline start date, doesn’t it? Nil from the middle of the MWP, lots from the middle of the LIA…”

    Since anthropogenic emissions have become significant after 1850 it is plausible, not cherry-picking to see whether the temperature has changed significantly during the same time period. It is always a matter of the question one asks.

    Of course, when one want to see whether the observed warming is unprecedented compared to a longer time period one has to use data from the longer time period. Then one has to use other data, though, proxy-data, which have a higher uncertainty than the instrumental temperature record, which only reaches back up to about 1850 with about sufficient coverage of Earth’s surface to get an about representative picture for global climate.

    How do you know the warming has been nil since “MWP”?

    rc

  89. Archonix (03:15:02) :

    GaryPearse (02:16:53) :

    Alexandria was burned by the romans and sacked several times before christianity arrived on the scene. The libel that christians burned the library there is just that – a libel. False. Misleading at best, given that at the time the library was claimed to have been burned, it was almost non-existent. In fact most of the library that survived the previous (pre-christian) sackings of Alexandria was distributed around the Roman empire and most of what survived ended up in Rome.

    The belief that the world was flat was a minority view throughout christian times and well before. The myth that the church claimed the world was flat was put about less than 150 years ago by anti-catholics here in England and quickly soaked into the popular consciousness, but it was just a myth. The geocentric model of the universe adopted by the church and based on pre-christian beliefs, whilst incorrect in itself, was based on the assumption that the earth was a sphere. It wouldn’t have worked otherwise.

    ——-

    To add to what Archonix says (thanks!) the whole reason Galileo got into trouble was that he was challenging the Aristotelian model of the universe that had been adopted by the Church much earlier: in that model the earth is a sphere and the planets, sun, moon and stars rotate around it. The church used this model because it was the basic model adopted by the geographer-astronomer Ptolemy in the second century A.D. and his methods remained the most successful for making astronomical predictions which were needed to set the dates of church feasts and high religious days. Although the Church offered little support for science in general, it needed Aristotelian-Ptolemaic astronomy, and amongst the educated, at least, knowledge that the earth is a sphere was never lost from Aristotle’s time onward.

    Archonix, I had always thought the flat-earth stuff was an American myth that puffed up Columbus’s achievements; interesting that it was anti-catholic propaganda. I find that whatever its origin, this belief that educated people thought the earth was flat is stronger in N. America.

  90. ““the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). It used data over the last 22,000 years to predict that sea level would rise by between 7cm and 82cm by the end of the century.”

    “The National Hurricane Center predicts this hurricane will hit somewhere between Maine and Rio. With a 50% chance of rain and wind.”

    Next

  91. vigilantfish (12:07:53) :
    I find that whatever its origin, this belief that educated people thought the earth was flat is stronger in N. America.
    Many beliefs in wrong things are stronger in N. America…

  92. Of course, the suspicion of a conspiracy with sinister motives is always the first one, right?

    This from the side that seems to assume that all (any?) skeptics are ‘in the pay of big oil’?

    Of course there’s value in showing a variety of baselines when showing recent climate trends. Personally, I distrust almost any single graph – I prefer to see both long and short-term graphs describing the same data before I think I have a good enough picture of what’s happening.

  93. vigilantfish;
    Archonix, I had always thought the flat-earth stuff was an American myth that puffed up Columbus’s achievements; interesting that it was anti-catholic propaganda>

    I don’t recall the RC church promoting the notion of a flat earth. They didn’t make that claim, so Archonix has demolished a myth whose existance is a myth. The RC church did dispute Galileo’s assertion that the earth circled the sun, threatened him with ex-communication and torture if he did not recant and eventually sentenced him to death. His sentence was commuted to lifetime house arrest, and funding was provided to other scientists who “proved” that the other planets reverse course in their orbits for brief periods to explain Galileo’s observations, and claimed that this made more “sense” than the notion of the earth curcling the sun.

    It is a tragic example of a time in history when the facts threatened the power of the establishment and “scientists” produced what ever results they were asked to regardless of how illogical it was, that it contradicted considerable science that was done before, and those who stood up for the truth were threatened, villified, and discredited with falsehoods and contrived evidence.

    Sorry for switching topics all of a sudden, for clarity first paragraph is about the dark ages and second paragraph is about present time.

  94. John: I congratulate the scientists involved for retracting a flawed study rather than trying to brazen it out or “move on” as has been the habit of others.

    Admitting mistakes shows your integrity – which is why I’m so sceptical of climate “science”.

  95. rootless cosmopolitan (11:35:08) :

    @Jeef:

    The amount of warming depends on where you cherry-pick your baseline start date, doesn’t it? Nil from the middle of the MWP, lots from the middle of the LIA…”

    How do you know the warming has been nil since “MWP”?

    Hey! I’ve seen 1million years BC and I can tell you it was a lot hotter back then! Any hotter and rachel welsh would be ….

    But seriously, that’s a good point, proxy reconstruction has to be used together with historical accounts to give a broad picture. And having read the historical texts for other reasons, there’s not a lot of detail so the answer really is “who knows?”

  96. davidmhoffer (12:43:56) :

    David,

    You missed an earlier posting in which Archonix was explaining that the myth that the RC Church taught that the earth was flat was a product of English (C of E ?, T.H. Huxley’s followers? both groups?) anti-Catholicism 150 years ago. Neither he nor I agreed with the myth – I was just unaware of its source.

    What you say about Galileo is generally true, although the ‘scientists’ of that time (the term scientist was coined in 1832 by English philosopher William Whewell) were Aristotelian philosophers, and they had no need to ‘prove’ the epicyclic retrograde motion of the planets, because this model was generally accepted. But they were sure willing to argue about it with Galileo, and to condemn him to the Church because his sun-centred universe challenged their philosophy and therefore their livelihoods. I agree with you about the modern parallels in climate science.

  97. Just another one of these little anomalies which – prior to it’s discovery – invariably worked in favour of the “we’re all gonna drown” crowd.

  98. vigilantfish
    You missed an earlier posting in which Archonix was explaining that the myth that the RC Church taught that the earth was flat was a product of English (C of E ?, T.H. Huxley’s followers? both groups?) anti-Catholicism 150 years ago>

    Well then, I retract my accusation regarding the accusation.

  99. “”” vigilantfish (13:52:00) :

    davidmhoffer (12:43:56) :

    David,

    You missed an earlier posting in which Archonix was explaining that the myth that the RC Church taught that the earth was flat was a product of English (C of E ?, T.H. Huxley’s followers? both groups?) anti-Catholicism 150 years ago. Neither he nor I agreed with the myth – I was just unaware of its source.

    What you say about Galileo is generally true, although the ’scientists’ of that time (the term scientist was coined in 1832 by English philosopher William Whewell) were Aristotelian philosophers, and they had no need to ‘prove’ the epicyclic retrograde motion of the planets, because this model was generally accepted. “””

    Well when I was in “University”, I actually read a textbook all about those epicyclic orbits of the planets.

    And even today, Astronomers talk about retrograde motion of the planets.

    So I don’t see anything wrong with the ancient epicyclic model of the solar system. The numbers in that old textbook were pretty darn accurate.

    Only if we insist that the sun is the center of the universe do those epicycles look strange; they aren’t, to observers here on earth.

  100. Recipy (00:25:53) :

    “The withdrawal actually strengthens the growing consensus in the sea level community that the IPCC projections were much too low.”

    Oh really? So you believe the output from their expensive Playstation? Next time when it spew out another number, will you believe it more? Why?

  101. “”” rootless cosmopolitan (11:35:08) :

    @Jeef:

    Of course, the suspicion of a conspiracy with sinister motives is always the first one, right?

    “The amount of warming depends on where you cherry-pick your baseline start date, doesn’t it? Nil from the middle of the MWP, lots from the middle of the LIA…”

    Since anthropogenic emissions have become significant after 1850 it is plausible, not cherry-picking to see whether the temperature has changed significantly during the same time period. It is always a matter of the question one asks.

    Of course, when one want to see whether the observed warming is unprecedented compared to a longer time period one has to use data from the longer time period. Then one has to use other data, though, proxy-data, which have a higher uncertainty than the instrumental temperature record, which only reaches back up to about 1850 with about sufficient coverage of Earth’s surface to get an about representative picture for global climate.

    How do you know the warming has been nil since “MWP”? “””

    How do you know “anthropogenic emissions have become significant after 1850” ?
    And significant compared to what ? Zero, Natural emissions, total atmospheric emissions content, whatever ??

    In what way has this significance manifested itself ?

    When one considers the increase in Anthropogenia after 1850; I can’t see that anthropogenic emissions are in any way out of line with the number of sources.

  102. “”” latitude (12:23:29) :

    ““the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). It used data over the last 22,000 years to predict that sea level would rise by between 7cm and 82cm by the end of the century.” “””

    Well you see the mean global temperature is proportional to the logarithm of the sea level rise. That increase from 7 cm to 82 cm is 3 1/2 doublings, and since the “sea level sensitivity” is 3 deg C per doubling, that means about 10 deg C rise by 2100, in line with IPCC predictions; excuse me, projections !

  103. OT. Help! All you guys are very smart so I know someone will know the answer to this. I use IE8, have tried with Firefox and Chrome, but cannot get the Guardian website to load. Any Ideas? Thanks

  104. Sioned L (16:19:07) :
    OT. Help! All you guys are very smart so I know someone will know the answer to this. I use IE8, have tried with Firefox and Chrome, but cannot get the Guardian website to load. Any Ideas? Thanks>

    Since you a) tried three different browsers and b) I assume those browsers are working fine on other sites then:

    1) You may have a firewall on your computer that is blocking that site
    2) Your computer may be on a local area network that has a firewall blocking that site
    3) Your ISP might be blocking that site

    Once you get through those there could be 30 or 40 other things to try.

  105. While it’s likely that many of you won’t be around to see any predicted rise, the rewritten paper is ‘highly likely’ to estimate higher, not lower sea levels, given that the flaws resulted in an underestimate, not an overestimate.

    It’s not news to anyone who keeps and eye on what’s going on in the literature. The flaws were recognised with comments on the internet some time ago.

    That’s how science works!

    It’s comments like the ones here that add to the probability of higher sea levels, because there seem to be quite a number of people who don’t realise the situation we’re facing and therefore will discourage and slow the action needed to mitigate.

  106. Sou (22:00:56) : “That’s how science works!”

    Yes, we see how the IPCC works science. Fight to the death to keep dubious multi proxy studies, never withdraw one of them, inflate like hell any potential maybe disaster, underestimate or ignore any “known” benfit of increased AGW, refuse to reveal the data behind your studies, use activist journals to distort the weak science further, and in generosity withdraw one paper, only because it does not show the SL rise desired. We do indeed see “how the science works”

  107. Henry @ Sou

    We are heading for a period of global cooling, not global warming. As predicted it will start off with lots of more cloud cover (Svensmark theory) and as a result much more precipitation.
    The problem will therefore not be the rising sea levels but the rising river levels. Are we sure the levees are going to hold when this massive amount of snow that we had everywhere in the NH is going to start melting again? + the additional rain due to global cooling….

  108. @David A:

    “Yes, we see how the IPCC works science. Fight to the death to keep dubious multi proxy studies”

    “Dubious” because you claim so.

    “never withdraw one of them”

    And this, although you demand it. How could they dare.

    “inflate like hell any potential maybe disaster”

    So you claim.

    “underestimate or ignore any “known” benfit of increased AGW”

    So you claim.

    “refuse to reveal the data behind your studies”

    So you claim.

    “use activist journals to distort the weak science further”

    So you claim. And how would you know it’s weak science? What’s your criteria for this? Gut feeling?

    “and in generosity withdraw one paper, only because it does not show the SL rise desired”

    What are you smoking? IPCC doesn’t withdraw papers. Papers are being withdrawn by their authors, or by the scientific journals where the papers are being published. IPCC doesn’t publish papers. How could they withdraw any of them, then? Also, the reason for the withdrawal you claim here is just an equally baseless accusation, for which you don’t have any evidence. But I guess, as “climate skeptic” you are allowed to make assertions and accusations without any evidence.

    Well, since “climate skeptics” make such a fuss about a few mistakes in the IPCC-report (how many have been discovered so far? Two? Three? A handful?), and of a handful non-peer-reviewed references (among hundreds papers from scientific journals for each chapter), and present these as “proof” that the IPCC-report as a whole and its core conclusions must be invalid, I expect they will hold up any “study” by “climate skeptics” to the same high standards in the future. Just kidding. I don’t expect this.

    rc

  109. @ kwik:

    “Yes, its a victory. They were afraid of SealevelGate.

    Hehe.

    But it will come anyway;”

    And your conviction regarding this is founded on some interview published in a journal of the LaRouche-sect. Good luck with that.

    rc

  110. @Shane O.:

    “This from the side that seems to assume that all (any?) skeptics are ‘in the pay of big oil’?”

    Why does it seem to you that I assume and what I assume? Have I made any statement that implies this? Or are you just making an assumption yourself about my assumptions?

    At the end, the evidence counts, also with respect to any statement about who is paid by whom, doesn’t it?

    rc

  111. @kwik:

    “Oh really? So you believe the output from their expensive Playstation? Next time when it spew out another number, will you believe it more? Why?”

    Of course, this is just a caricature of what is actually done to ridicule results from scientific research that contradicts your own ideological bias and, therefore, isn’t liked. You apparently prefer to believe dubious, non-scientific sources like what is produced by LaRouche, because those are certainly much more trustworthy. It’s your choice.

    rc

  112. Firstly – very many thanks to Anthony and all the contributors to WUWT. I am not a scientist, my formal education stopped at school senior level Maths, Physics and Chemistry therefore a lot of the technical arguments are beyond my learning. I have however travelled extensively and being an offshore sailor and traveller I have experienced a great number of nature’s excesses up front and personal. These range from volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, artic cold, desert heat, water spouts and Atlantic storms. The power of nature has always fascinated me, but I have also seen its more gentle side in the calm after the storm, flowers growing on volcanic rims and a desert scene sprouting in bloom after spring rains. Also as a sailor I make use of sea current, wind and solar energy to run my offshore sailing boat.
    These experiences led me to doubt that man was or is ever powerful enough to greatly influence earth’s natural elements. In the early days I felt that I stood out rather against the tide, being insulted, mocked and general dismissed as some sort of crank with a hidden agenda. The excessive and alarmist predictions using doctored photographs and mass political in-doctrine just reinforced my opinion. Thanks to sites such as WUWT the groundswell of opinion has slowly changed and we are seeing knowledgeable challenges to the data on which the predictions are based.
    I am passionate about looking after our habitat and our natural resources but recognise that our efforts in that direction are small compared with natures capability to adjust and manage itself.
    In the UK it is taking some time for our mainline institutions(Government, BBC, Met Office and many science journals/newspapers) to get off Climate Change bandwagon. Once they do we will be able to get sensible discussion and debate around this subject. That time cannot come soon enough.
    Grateful to you all.

  113. I believe some are in danger of overplaying their satisfaction at this retraction – as some have already mentioned.

    In their original paper, Siddall, Stocker & Clark had stated :

    “In response to the minimum (1.1C) and maximum (6.4C) warming projected for AD2100 by the IPCC models, our model predicts 7 and 82cm of sea-level rise by the end of the twenty-first century, respectively.”

    http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v2/n8/abs/ngeo587.html

    Vermeer & Rahmstorf, however, stated in their contemporaneous paper :

    “For future global temperature scenarios of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fourth Assessment Report, the relationship projects a sea-level rise ranging from 75 to 190 cm for the period 1990–2100.”

    http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2009/12/04/0907765106.full.pdf

    That means that they are predicting a FAR LARGER rise.

    Now, Siddall admits they were wrong and states :

    “We thank S. Rahmstorf and M. Vermeer for bringing these issues to our attention.”

    http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/ngeo780.html

    Siddall et al’s (lower) projection withdrawn; Rahmstorf & Vermeer’s (higher) not.

    What does that tell you : That the lower estimate was too low ? Most likely.

  114. jc,

    We see you are a young, impressionable person caught up in what is supposedly known and having no clue about what is unknown and the uncertainty in what is known. You will learn one day. You will feel foolish and you will learn from this mistake. Good luck.

  115. Steve Goddard wrote :

    “Sea level is rising at no more than 32cm/century.

    not 2,500cm as has been attributed to Hansen.
    http://www.physics.utoronto.ca/news_repository/will-oceans-surge-59-centimetres-this-century-or-25-metres

    Come on – that is very laboured.

    The Hansen et al. paper from 2007 referred to one by Dowsett et al. which states :

    “These data indicate middle Pliocene sea level was at least 25 m higher than present, presumably due in large part to a reduction in the size of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet. Sea surface temperatures were essentially equivalent to modern temperatures in tropical regions but were significantly warmer at higher latitudes. Due to increased heat flux to high latitudes, both the Arctic and Antarctic appear to have been seasonally ice free during the middle Pliocene with greatly reduced sea ice extent relative to today during winter.”

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6VF0-488G8SP-2&_user=10&_coverDate=12%2F31%2F1994&_rdoc=1&_fmt=high&_orig=search&_sort=d&_docanchor=&view=c&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=e2fb263a1aa7f9459d4956f147c56f95

    Hansen et al. say, among other things :

    “It is possible, but uncertain, that such a sea-level rise would occur with additional warming less than 1°C today. But what is clear is that global warming to the level of the middle Pliocene, when sea level was 25±10 m higher, would be exceedingly dangerous.

    That history reveals large changes of sea level on century and shorter time-scales. All, or at least most, of glacial-to-interglacial sea-level rise is completed during the ca 6 kyr quarter cycle of increasing insolation forcing as additional portions of the ice sheet experience albedo flip. There is no evidence in the accurately dated terminations (I and II) of multi-millennia lag in ice sheet response. We infer that it would be not only dangerous, but also foolhardy to follow a BAU path for future GHG emissions.

    The imminent peril is initiation of dynamical and thermodynamical processes on the West Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets that produce a situation out of humanity’s control, such that devastating sea-level rise will inevitably occur. Climate forcing of this century under BAU would dwarf natural forcings of the past million years, indeed it would probably exceed climate forcing of the middle Pliocene, when the planet was not more than 2–3°C warmer and sea level 25±10 m higher (Dowsett et al. 1994). The climate sensitivities we have inferred from palaeoclimate data ensure that a BAU GHG emission scenario would produce global warming of several degrees Celsius this century, with amplification at high latitudes.”

    http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/365/1856/1925.full

    By the way, I recommend everyone go to that Royal Society website and take advantage of their free access to all papers, to celebrate their 350th birthday.
    Start here :

    http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/by/year

  116. An interesting paper on sea level trends is “Recent global sea level acceleration started over 200 years ago?” GRL 2008 by Jevrejeva, Moore,Grinsted, and Woodworth. Non-paywall access at http://www.pol.ac.uk/psmsl/author_archive/jevrejeva_etal_1700/2008GL033611.pdf

    It shows how the acceleration in sea level trends started at the end of the 18th century. Figure 3 shows sea level trend since 1700 as an oscillatory curve of period around 60 years, with an underlying acceleration.

    A relatively easy read. 4 pages. I highly recommend it to get a general feel for the natural variation and increase in sea level rate-of-rise over the last 300 years.

  117. JMurphy (15:38:19) : “Yes. Another one which reckons the IPCC projections are too low.”

    And it supports the hypothesis that CO2 induced global warming was in full swing 200 years ago. Or ………. it also supports the hypothesis that much of what we are seeing today is natural variation.

    Your pick as to which interpretation makes the most sense.

  118. Henry @ Charlie and JMurphy

    Interesting paper but something is still not clear to me. Do we have any measurements on salinity, and how has salinity increased over the past 100 years? You see what I am getting at: what are the main drivers that cause the rise in the level? I suspect it is not just melting ice.

  119. @Henry Pool — google “steric expansion sea level rise”

    The estimates on the rise caused by the expansion of water as it warms is around 1/2mm/yr by most calculations, perhaps 1mm/yr by other.

    One would expect that melting ice would make up the rest, but the estimates for that are much smaller than the remainder of sea level rise actually observed.

    I haven’t seen salinity changes being postulated as a significant portion of the sea level rise.

    Perhaps somebody else can point to a good a paper with between the estimated values for the sea level rise due to each of several components and a reconciliation between the sum of these component estimates the actual observed sea level rise, but I think there is still a big discrepancy.

    As with many climate related items, it is clear that we have a lot more to learn.

  120. Charlie A wrote :

    “And it supports the hypothesis that CO2 induced global warming was in full swing 200 years ago. Or ………. it also supports the hypothesis that much of what we are seeing today is natural variation. ”

    Well, since sea levels have been rising since the last glacial maximum about 20,000 years ago, what needs to be ascertained is how much extra that level is down to us. And since industrialisation has been ongoing since the mid to late 17th Century, perhaps there is no surprise about the increasing rise since 1700.

    As the paper states : “…sea level acceleration up to the present has been about 0.01 mm/yr2 and appears to have started at the end of the 18th century. Sea level rose by 6 cm during the 19th century and 19 cm in the 20th century.” I.E. The rate has been increasing each century since the late 1700s. It certainly wasn’t in ‘full swing’ until later periods.

    The paper also states that if “the conditions that established the acceleration continue, then sea level will rise 34 cm over the 21st century.” I.E. It is still increasing. Why ? The paper suggests “the conditions that produce the present day evolution of sea level will continue into the future–though the acceleration will depend on the actual rate of temperature increase in the 21st Century.”

    What is causing that ‘temperature increase’ ? What ‘natural variation’ do you have in mind ?

  121. Henry Pool wrote :

    “Do we have any measurements on salinity, and how has salinity increased over the past 100 years? You see what I am getting at: what are the main drivers that cause the rise in the level? I suspect it is not just melting ice.”

    WIKIPEDIA is often a good place to start, because there are plenty of references to follow, which will lead elsewhere :

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea_level_rise

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea_level#Changes_through_geologic_time

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seawater

    It would appear that salinity has been pretty stable for billions of years. It is the pH level that is changing : the seas becoming less alkaline.

  122. I threw out a geologic perspective at the beginning of this thread. Another perspective might be this: If one takes numbers from the UN, spurious as they may be, regarding the volume of water used in crop irrigation, and apply that number to sea volume, one can account for 2/3rds of sea level rise, ~2.2mm/yr. It would be easy to see where lawns and flower gardens can account for the rest.

  123. JMurphy (02:49:10) :Well, since sea levels have been rising since the last glacial maximum about 20,000 years ago, what needs to be ascertained is how much extra that level is down to us. And since industrialisation has been ongoing since the mid to late 17th Century, perhaps there is no surprise about the increasing rise since 1700.
    As I pointed out at (2/21-19:42:37), the rate of increase for the past 12,000 years has been 83cm/century which is 8.3mm/year. So how is 3.3mm/year an increase?

  124. Steve Keohane wrote :

    “As I pointed out at (2/21-19:42:37), the rate of increase for the past 12,000 years has been 83cm/century which is 8.3mm/year. So how is 3.3mm/year an increase?”

    Sorry, missed that. Could you provide your source for that, please ?

  125. Some thoughts ..

    The reason for most that has gone scientifically wrong in climate science the last 20 years is that it in part has come under the control of radical environmentalists, UNEP/IPCC etc.. and the UNFCCC political established doctrine on human made global warming and that it is a problem in the future.

    Due to this situation we are getting more and more hockey sticks on past climate and todays climate.(HAdley CRU and Mann).

    I just stumbeled over this:

    http://ioc-unesco.org/


    The importance of the oceans to global climate change cannot be underestimated. The GOOS contributes directly to the UN Framework for Climate Change Convention as the ocean component of the Global Climate Observation System. IOC science programmes support many studies of the impacts of climate change, including the International Ocean Carbon Coordination Project (IOCCP). The surface ocean currently absorbs almost one-third of the CO2 that is emitted to the atmosphere from human activities, including fossil fuel combustion, deforestation and cement production. The IOCCP coordinates continuous monitoring and research of the effects of increasing CO2 levels on the future acidity of the oceans, the effects on calcifying organisms and coral growth rates, and the changing climate effects on atmosphere/ocean exchange of CO2. ”

    Just a tought:
    What if the radical environmentalists UNEP/IPCC have the same control over IOC as they had over the Hadley CRU/Mann team?

    Since global warming seems to be going nowhere. They really need somthing new and different in order to scare and distract away from ClimateGate etc..?

    And that the field is open up for “projected” Hocey Stick’s that can scare so much that “Action Now”(radical change of society) is back on the front pages?

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