Sea Level Rise: Hype and Reality

UPDATE: The feckless gold digger weighs in here with a chorus of usual suspects. It is quite humorous to watch.

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Guest post by Thomas Fuller

At the conclusion of the last ice age, there was a surplus of ice on many parts of the planet. Nature took care of most of that over the next few thousand years, melting most of it, and sometimes it got pretty dramatic. The resulting legends have become part of the mythology of many cultures, from Gilgamesh to Noah, as dramatic release of pent up ice and/or water flooded lands and drove people before it relentlessly.

Sea level rose 110 meters in 8,000 years. It’s risen a couple of meters in the 6,000 years since then. It is now rising at somewhere between 2 and 3 millimeters a year. (We think. It’s very tough to measure, because the earth is changing its levels and the sea gets pushed around by the wind, getting quite a bit higher in some places than others. And when the change is that small, it’s tough to be sure.)

It is the most effective way to get people’s attention about global warming, and it has been used, overused and abused since 1988. It’s one thing to worry about the cuddly cubs of polar bears, and we can watch with (very) detached sympathy as farmers struggle under drought, but show us a picture of a modern city with water above the window line and we will pay attention.

Wikipedia, which doesn’t always play fair when climate issues are discussed, has the chart everyone needs to see to provide perspective on sea level rise. Titled ‘Post Glacial Sea Level Rise, it shows a dramatic rise in sea levels that stopped dead 6,000 years ago and a very flat line since. You could balance a glass of water on the last 6,000 years of that graph.

This hasn’t stopped the marketing gurus from trying to play to our ancestral horror stories and modern fears of flooding. Because there’s still enough ice left in Antarctica and Greenland to cause dramatic sea level rises, all they have to do is say that global warming will melt that ice and we’re in trouble. And so they do.

Again, we are forced to separate the hype from the science. Remember that the IPCC projects sea level rise this century of 18-59 cm, unless dramatic loss of Greenland and/or Antarctic ice occurs. That’s from their AR4 report. They thus wash their hands and ask what is truth? From the minute that AR4 was published, a string of papers, conferences, publicity events (such as parliamentary cabinet meetings held underwater) have been screaming from the headlines and news reports, drumming into us the message that dramatic loss of Greenland and/or Antarctic ice will in fact occur.

But just as with other aspects of their publicity push, they have to contradict their own scientific findings and theories to make this case.

As the climate has warmed over the past 130 years or so, the margins at the ends of both Greenland’s and Antarctica’s ice caps have melted a bit. Climate theory predicts that increased precipitation in the much larger middle of these ice caps will be in the form of snow, which will turn into ice and counterbalance some, most or all of the melt around the edges. It would take millenia to melt it all, and the IPCC thinks that even with the world continuing business as usual, that our emissions will peak around the end of this century, shortly after the population peaks. Emissions will then decline.

But, in a scenario that many will find sadly familiar, those with a political agenda have grabbed on to some straws, such as the GRACE studies we looked at yesterday, and are busy hyping possible mechanical changes to the ice sheets (which do happen) and are simultaneously trying to blame those mechanical changes on global warming. They hijacked the science and spun it. (It’s not the scientists–not in this case.)
The upshot is that spear carriers for the activist side of climate politics are still going on about dramatic sea level rise. They’ve responded grudgingly to criticism and are not as quick to say it will happen soon, but they’re afraid to acknowledge that what they fear would actually take millenia and would need continuous warming for the entire period for it to come to pass.

They can’t give up on the images that have the most visceral impact. They will dance around the details for days, using rhetorical tactics and resorting to whatever level of insults are necessary to change the subject–as I know from personal experience on dismal wailing sites such as Deltoid and Only In It For The Gold, which could make a fortune selling sackloth and ashes online.
The bulk of Greenland’s ice cap sits in a basin that the ice itself helped to create. It isn’t going anywhere. Nor is the vast majority of ice in Antarctica, although the thin peninsula that points to South America has been judged to be at grave risk in studies that date back to the 1930s–long before global warming was of much concern.
The need for exaggerated images such as those of flooded American cities has caused as much anti-scientific double talk as the Hockey Stick chart, which is really saying a lot. And with more of their symbols getting picked off one by one, thanks to the work of people like Anthony Watts and Steve McIntyre, they are holding on to this one for dear life.
When journals like Nature ponder what they call an anti-scientific backlash and aim it at the conservatives in the United States, they really should preface their remarks with a frank examination of how science has been abused in both practice and communication, and analyse how those trumpeting the modern call of Doom have started this reaction.
As a liberal Democrat who believes in moderate global warming, I feel a bit left out. But I think Nature is just looking for an easy target and throwing mud at it, hoping some of it will stick. I will be on the other side of the fence come election time, but not because of that.

Thomas Fuller http://www.redbubble.com/people/hfuller


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173 thoughts on “Sea Level Rise: Hype and Reality

  1. “As a liberal Democrat who believes in moderate global warming,…”

    Do you mean ‘anthroprogenic’ moderate global warming?

    I wish I had a dollar for every time the warming trend since the LIA gets passed off as human caused, through the slight of hand of dropping ‘anthroprogenic’.

  2. Tom,

    Perhaps also good to mention the wiki graph current sea level rise: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Current_sea_level_rise

    In the 20th century sea level has risen faster than in the few thousands of years before, and it has slightly increased over the course of the 2oth century.

    On the basis of what exactly do you dismiss the multiple recent studies that point to likely rates of sea level rise of one meter (+/- 0.5 or so) up to 2100 (and continuing thereafter btw)?

  3. It looks greener over there on your side of the fence, but it’s the nature of manure to inure you to illusion.
    ==============

  4. I have to laugh at the use of polar bears as the icon for alarmist scare stories. [ I think the Atlantic cod was their first choice but who can get worked up over a fish ? ]

    Polar bears cannot possibly exist. Regardless of the impostors in the zoo, whatever they are, polar bears all drowned in the last warming period [or 3 ] unless they could tread water for 100 years or more.

    They evolved between 120,000 and 200,000 years ago and it has been much hotter than today several times since then.

    http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/temperature/temperature.html#65Myr

  5. Before anyone criticises Tom for being too ‘lukewarm’
    Check out the ‘attacks’ in the comments he gets at the likes of deltoid, and
    ‘Only in it for The Gold’ – Michael Tobis

    http://initforthegold.blogspot.com/2010/09/fullerminations.html

    Also remeber, Tom is the CO-author of ‘Climategate: the crutape letters. That Anthony Watts prominently displays at the top of this blog!!

    You won’t see much support for him as any sceptical comments will be ‘moderated away. Except Tom’s as that would be too obvious.. 9maybe you could try?)

    Tom is a guest here – and in my opinion, it is also one of the best posts here, because.

    It is in the language that most Main Stream Journalists can understand…

    clearly seperating IPCC science (up to 59cm rise – within the realms of natural variability anyway) and the hype and scares of the various emotive, lobby groups…

    At some point the MSM will decide to depart ‘en herd’ from the CAGW bandwagon, and decide that they were all real ‘sceptical’ all along..

    this moderate ‘lukewarm’ voice will do much to achieve this…..whilst very sceptical of catstrophic AGW alarmism, as it shows middle ground that most members of the general public can support…. the public, who, until now have found it difficult to express any ‘mild’ scepticism, such is the extreme tribalism of the ‘climate’ camps.

    I must start my own blog, it does seem fun

  6. Wonder how the “Post-Glacial Sea Level Rise” graph would look after being processsed by Hansen and Mann through their computers at GISS and the University of Pennsylvania?

  7. You know what the whole problem is? In the last 6000 years, all the change in sea level can simply be attributed to measurement error. How did you measure the sea level 6000 years ago, to a point of accuracy of mm? Just no way.

    Do we know that what changes we see in sea level are not due to the crust uplifting/sinking because of plate tectonics, or just crustal motion in general?

    It’s complicated.

  8. OOh Bart I can answer that one… On the basis that they are unsupported by the actual availabale data and they require temperature changes wildly above those observed or reasonably predicted, and/or they seem unaware of the latent heat of fusion for all or that ice and imagine that it isn’t necessary.

    A computer model with garbage assumptions is not science even if it is a “recent study”.

  9. Sea level follows the geode which is not the same as the surface of the earth. For instance the sea levels in the Indian Ocean are some 140 mt below that of the Atlantic. The latest estimates shows that some Pacific islands, thought to be drowning, are actually growing in size. This may not be sea level fall but the fact that these islands are coral islands and coral has the property of growth so making new land. Most corals will grow to follow sea level rise so claims of drowning coral reefs is another load of rubbish. What coral cannot live with is sea level falls.

  10. Bart Verheggen says:
    September 10, 2010 at 5:26 am

    On the basis of what exactly do you dismiss the multiple recent studies that point to likely rates of sea level rise of one meter (+/- 0.5 or so) up to 2100 (and continuing thereafter btw)?

    ummm, because they are models and have yet to be proven with observed data?

  11. Thomas:

    Pleas stop these silly posts. I have a great Ark building business that I am starting and my neighbors are interested as they read The Toronto Star (Sometimes known as the Red Star) and know that a flood of biblical proportions is imminent. This is my first opportunity to make money in ages and you would ruin it. All of my Arks will be powered by wind turbines…. may I send you a brochure? I can offer a 10% discount of you will cease these rational articles.

    Please include a picture of a drowning Polar Bear in your next article so I may offer it to my neighbors as proof of Al Gores coming 20M sea rise which will flood the interior of Ontario!

    Thank you for your attention to this important matter!

    … seriously — keep up the good work. You do know I was kidding — don’t you?

  12. The bottom line in that post was that emissions are causing global warming.

    “Climate theory predicts that increased precipitation in the much larger middle of these ice caps will be in the form of snow, which will turn into ice and counterbalance some, most or all of the melt around the edges. It would take millenia to melt it all, and the IPCC thinks that even with the world continuing business as usual, that our emissions will peak around the end of this century, shortly after the population peaks. Emissions will then decline.”

    Every one of your posts contains a tenet of AGW heavily wrapped in the bleedin obvious. The banal coating is so thick that commenters are sidestepped into discussions about the icing and not the cake. Anybody new to this site and to the climate debate would read one of your peices uncritical of AGW ‘science’, see that there is no opposition and assume that even the skeptics agree in the CO2 pollutant premise.

    I am in no doubt that this is the intention of your recent series. Lumumba couldn’t have done it better.

  13. John:
    Are you referring to this little gem:
    Webb, A.P., Kench, P.S., The dynamic response of reef islands to sea-level rise: Evidence from multi-decadal analysis of island change in the Central Pacific, Global and Planetary Change (2010), doi:10.1016/j.gloplacha.2010.05.003
    I do like the fact that their measurement approach is simple, very direct and readily validated. It involves no computer models with debatable assumptions.

  14. Ron Broberg-

    The oildrum sea level graph you linked to, with modern sea level rise extrapolated back in time, is absolutely hilarious! Thanks for the great cartoon to end the week.

    You linked to this graph as a joke, right?…

  15. If I am. Wrong, I am, but in studying Glacial geology books I recently purchased, I just do not believe Sea level ice can rise much higher. Based on the Milankovich cycles, we appear to be on the latter part of the inter-glacial period.

    We just left our third global cooling period 310 years ago in the last 10,000 years. The Axis of the Earth has slowly been tilting up for the last 5000 years of the first half of a 26,000 year cycle causing less exposure to Polar over the next 7,000 years.

    Somewhere there is a breaking point when the axis tilt is so high, the Earth is farther away from the Sun and sunspot activity drops off that, Somewhere in front of us is a 10,000 year slide into the pre-stages of the next Ice Age.

    On a side bar, per Halley’s Bible Handbook’ 1st 100 pages, The Missoula Glacier Lake Model and the known migration of people here on Earth during the last Ice Age, one of the most feasible places for a re-creation of the Missoula Model in the Mount Ararat area is the Country of Armenia, today.

    Armenia is a Mountain Bowl. It is off the valley between the Caucus and the Black Seas. It is a feasible set up for the first major Glacier deluge from Russia about 16,000 years ago.

    It would also explain why the deluge myth of Noah ended up in 12 countries from England to the American Indians with roughly the same story line and the same number of people.

    In studying the Mountain ridges to the SE of Armenia, using satellite maps, one can find water line marks on the higher, dryer ridges.

    If you read Halley’s Bible Handbook, keep in mind that it was written by a Christian scholar at a time ice age research was 60 years old, Christian thought had the Earth created in 4004 B.C. and the Earth was still cooling from creation.

    In summary, the myth of Moses, recorded in Genesis could be a 14,000 year old oral history handed down in many languages and writings before recorded by Moses.

    Since Moses was an adopted son of Pharaoh and trained in his court, he was priveleged to the Pharoah’s Libraries and Teachers.

    Just a exerpt from a Power Point presentation and paper of mine.

    Paul

  16. RE:
    Paul Pierett says:
    September 10, 2010 at 6:12 am

    I have graphed the Milankovitch cycles if you ever need a visual of where earth is in relation to each (both historic and future). That said, caution should be used in referring to them. Over brief periods of time a measurable effect from them really does not exist. The eccentricity of orbit will remain quite constant for an extended period of time yet without significant change. Obliquity is double edged. Less polar exposure in the winter… more in the summer. As the angle decreases though the difference in solar radiation between equator and poles increases.

  17. (It’s not the scientists–not in this case.)
    ===================================
    Tom, the scientists are just as guilty.
    Don’t make me have to drag out all those “what if” papers….

  18. Thomas Fuller I appreciate your post here trying to sift out the misinformation, propaganda, and spin and get to the truth.

    That is what this site is all about.

    [No sure why you can still be a moderate "global warmer"....I guess you meant to tack on that word anthropogenic?....but I won't hold that against you.] ;-)

    Heck, I guess that makes most of us mild global warmers….because no one I don’t think is disputing the Earth has warmed over the past century.

    But all in all, excellent post.

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  19. At the conclusion of the last ice age, there was a surplus of ice on many parts of the planet. Nature took care of most of that over the next few thousand years, melting most of it, and sometimes it got pretty dramatic. The resulting legends have become part of the mythology of many cultures, from Gilgamesh to Noah, as dramatic release of pent up ice and/or water flooded lands and drove people before it relentlessly.

    I rather suspect that these events are too remote in time, and that more recent events, like the Mediterranean breaching the Bosphorus (sp?) is closer in time and more likely to have been the impetus for legends that have come down to us via the cultures that spread out from that region.

  20. According to S. J. Holgate, a recognised world authority in geophysical research at the UK-based Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory in Liverpool, in his paper published in 2007, the following results represent the most comprehensive measurements of decadal sea-level change rates during the 20th century.

    Between 1904 and 1953 global sea levels rose by 2.03 mm per year, whereas from 1954 to 2003 they rose by only 1.45 mm per year, giving an annual mean rate of 1.74 mm per year over the 100 years to 2003, or seven inches per century. Importantly, there was no increase in the rate of change over the whole century.

    So, based on these peer reviewed and generally accepted numbers, 20th century sea levels rose at a 25% slower rate in the second half of the century than the first which, on any reasonable interpretation, contradicts the notion that global temperature increases during the last 50 years contributed to any sea level rise!

  21. Global warming? It doesn’t exist, says Ryanair boss O’Leary

    “Do I believe there is global warming? No, I believe it’s all a load of [snip]. But it’s amazing the way the whole [snip] eco-warriors and the media have changed. It used to be global warming, but now, when global temperatures haven’t risen in the past 12 years, they say ‘climate change’.”

    http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/global-warming-it-doesnt-exist-says-ryanair-boss-oleary-2075420.html

    [even if you are quoting someone verbatim, that kind of language is not welcome here. Please think before you post (jove~mod)]

  22. I’m ticked off with Noah. If he would not have put those two polar bears onto his ark we would not have to worry about the polar bears today.
    ;-)

  23. Tom Fuller,

    I am starting to see a pattern to your style. Again, as you of course are free to do so, you state your belief in ~AGW of (what you call) the moderate variety. You have done so rather consistency in your high frequency of posts to WUWT in the past weeks.

    I agree somewhat with the above comment by Philip Thomas [September 10, 2010 at 6:08 am]:

    Every one of your posts contains a tenet of AGW heavily wrapped in the bleedin obvious. The banal coating is so thick that commenters are sidestepped into discussions about the icing and not the cake. Anybody new to this site and to the climate debate would read one of your pieces uncritical of AGW ‘science’, see that there is no opposition and assume that even the skeptics agree in the CO2 pollutant premise.

    You thinly clad your “belief” in some standard positions that you perceive are acceptable to many of the WUWT readers who are critical of the so-called accepted climate science. Then proceed to a sort of journalistic rallying of supporters to your belief.

    My impression of your articles is that you are pressing advocacy for moderate AGW as an established fact. I think your middle-of-the-road position is journalistic leveraging for exposure. I am a capitalistic kind of guy and, therefore, sincerely with you good luck with that. But, it just appears to be primarily an advocacy tactic.

    I enjoyed your first several posts here at WUWT, thanks for those.

    John

  24. Bart,
    Is it not rather telling for an AGW promoter like yourself to be depending on wikipedia, which has even less credibility than the IPCC, as a reference to support your alarmist position?
    I would suggest that if the past 100 years have seen accelrating increases in sea levels, someone has forgotten to tell the shorelines of the world.

  25. Bart Verheggen says:
    September 10, 2010 at 5:26 am
    On the basis of what exactly do you dismiss the multiple recent studies that point to likely rates of sea level rise of one meter (+/- 0.5 or so) up to 2100 (and continuing thereafter btw)?

    The word ‘likely’ is not evidence. The word ‘likely’ and computer model output is not evidence.

    “No significant acceleration in the rate of sea level rise during the 20th century has been detected”

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2010/2009JC005630.shtml

    We’re all going to drown. Ahhhhhhhh!

  26. The IPCC’s original expression of the 18 – 59 cm rise this century was 0.18 – 0.59 m. They learned pretty quickly that the public school-educated Americans that 59 cm is a bigger number than 0.59 m.

    But the interesting thing about that is this: according to the work of Rhodes Fairbridge in the 1970s (and others) and his Holocene sea level reconstruction, the IPCC predicted rise would not even get the sea level up to the average sea level of the past 6,000 years. Whether it’s Fairbridge or Vostock, it is widely known that for most of the period from 4500 BCE to 1 AD, it was warmer and the sea level was upwards of 3 m higher than now. But I guess we can’t let facts get in the way of a good crisis.

  27. Richard Sharpe says:
    September 10, 2010 at 6:42 am

    I rather suspect that these events are too remote in time, and that more recent events, like the Mediterranean breaching the Bosphorus (sp?) is closer in time and more likely to have been the impetus for legends that have come down to us via the cultures that spread out from that region.
    sphorus (sp?) is closer in time and more likely to have been the impetus for legends that have come down to us via the cultures that spread out from that region.

    Flood legends and the effects of impressively large floods are found all over the planet and they do bear some similarities. In the past this has been used as evidence of the biblical account of Noah’s flood.

    It is unlikely that the Bosporus alone would account for flood legends in South America and Australasia, flood-related creation myths in India and Africa or various other flood-related cultural mythologies in other parts of the world. The possibility of an earlier, world-wide set of catastrophic floods related to the end of an ice-age could account for these legends. The depth of these events in time isn’t a barrier to their being absorbed in to human culture and, in fact, in a pre-literate society where legends are passed orally, the likelihood is for such legends to persist in an immediate form far longer than they do in literate societies. They remain fresh and current as each generation learns the stories and passes them on.

  28. John Whitman says:
    September 10, 2010 at 7:14 am
    My impression of your articles is that you are pressing advocacy for moderate AGW as an established fact
    ========================================================
    Of course it is John. This is the “new” AGW.
    Since the doom and gloom one has worn thin, this is the morph….

    Doesn’t really matter though. The majority of people are not listening to any of it….
    The majority is tired of being blackmailed and held hostage by a minority….

  29. “As a liberal Democrat who believes in moderate global warming, I feel a bit left out.”

    lol, yup, and us ultra conservatives will take all the credit for debunking the myth!. :-)

  30. RE: Tom Carter says:
    September 10, 2010 at 5:34 am

    The Hockey Team captain Dr. Michael Mann worked first at UVa, and now at Penn State, and has never worked at the University of Pennsylvania. These two universities are sometimes mixed up, but the folks at U of P tend to be offended by any confusion. Unless the reference is to the quality of the football program, the folks at Penn State are pleased when put in the same category as U of P.

  31. A superb Google ad on this post here – unfortunately I couldn’t open the web page. If enough women used this would it cause sea level rise?

    Ads by Google

    SHEWEE – urination funnel
    Stand to wee! Avoid unhygienic WCs Essential Festival Item For Women
    http://www.shewee.com

  32. To T. Fuller

    The critics was interesting for the first part and seemed credible, but then you turned it to the political arena – and the real motivation of the article came at the very bottom with the magical phrase ”I will be on the other side of the fence come election time.

    Most of the article, you blamed one side of having a political agenda, but at the end you’re doing the exact same thing. I do aggree the political world are using/hyping the science for there agenda, but are’nt you doing the same thing ? Why is your saying be more credible or valuable then the other side if you tinted/painted them with your own political point of view ?

    There junk, is not better/worst then what you just provide when tinted (if not painted) with a political agenda.

  33. latitude says:
    September 10, 2010 at 6:32 am

    (It’s not the scientists–not in this case.)
    ===================================
    Tom, the scientists are just as guilty.
    Don’t make me have to drag out all those “what if” papers….
    =========================================================

    More than that.

    Tom, if the scientists were not guilty, then where is the outrage of the scientists when an activist mis-uses, mis-quotes, take out-of-context, the scientists? They remain quizzically silent. This, too, is purposeful. I believe its called “plausible denialbility”. The scientists can, on one hand stay silent as the activist twists the words of the scientist to fit the alarmist view. If called on the misinformation, the scientist can conveniently state, “I never said that.” And, it would be true, but it should be noted, while many scientists are engaged in activism, I have yet to see one, clarify, or shout down the activists that twist their own words. In this case, the silence is an endorsement of the activist alarmists.

    But, Tom, you knew that already. Don’t try to defend the indefensible. Its a Quixotic venture and not worthy of pursuit.

  34. Mr. Fuller I have the “Crutape letters” prominently displayed in my library. Hoping one of my warmist acquaintances-like my retired college prof. neighbor sees it and lights
    off like a roman candle. Even he is slowly coming around to the fact that things do not seem as dire as predicted.
    I’m not a warmist,by any stretch, but I appreciate a clear thinking view from a reasonable position. Good post.

  35. latitude says:
    September 10, 2010 at 7:49 am

    John Whitman says:
    September 10, 2010 at 7:14 am
    My impression of your articles is that you are pressing advocacy for moderate AGW as an established fact

    Of course it is John. This is the “new” AGW.
    Since the doom and gloom one has worn thin, this is the morph….

    Doesn’t really matter though. The majority of people are not listening to any of it….
    The majority is tired of being blackmailed and held hostage by a minority….

    ————

    latitude,

    The repackaging of the failed CAGW approach to an ~AGW of the middle-of-the-road variety does appear to be an accelerating recent tactic of those still trying for achievement of some ulterior political/financial/religious purposes. That includes, apparently, some journalists.

    The pages of WUWT appear to be getting fuller of such tactics recently. [!!! That pun WAS intended !!! ] : )

    John

  36. Tom appears to be quite reasonable to me. Are there really individuals who believe there is no contribution from man to co2 or that co2 is not a green house gas? I’m afraid if there are then you are out there all on your own because I can’t think of a single scientist that agrees with you. Why jump on him for stating the obvious? Man is in fact changing the environment. CO2 does cause warming. The argument is over how much. I personally believe it to be very little since the empirical evidence indicates a climate sensitivity of 1C. As far as sea levels go, I’ll get more concerned when the rate of rise changes to that above what it has been since 1880 and when the attribution of sea level rise takes into account all significant factors such as ground water depletion and deforestation. To the best of my knowledge the fastest rate of rise in the recent past was still around the 1950s. It would seem fairly reasonable to relax a bit until we at least pass that benchmark.

  37. I look at the supposedly endangered coral atolls and say to myself ( since no one else listens) “Didn’t the coral grow under the water ” ?
    “Wasn’t sea level therefore higher in the fairly recent past ” ?
    The whole darn thing is a bad joke.
    A lie told to scare school children.
    That the author is going to vote wrong for the wrong reasons is not very interesting to me, but since he mentions it, it does indicate an unwillingness to de-couple himself from bad ideas.
    Free your mind dude, your behind will follow.
    Sea Level rise is a non-issue.

  38. John Whitman and Latitude,

    First, thanks for the criticism and your honest replies. I would like to be clear that I don’t have any underlying agenda in my guest posts here. I’m not trying to convince either you or unaware newcomers to the site of my opinions, or that what I think it actually what Anthony or you think. In fact, that’s why I try and go out of my way to write about the differences in our opinions.

    We are sort of in the situation described as ‘the enemy of my enemy can be my friend.’ Although I must say I greatly appreciate the civility and open-mindedness I find here, as opposed to when I comment in warmist blogs.

    I also think it’s somewhat important that I mention occasionally that I am a liberal Democrat because it’s easy for some in the media to pretend this is strictly a Rep/Dem political catfight, which does the climate debate a disservice.

    I am fighting with you against the misrepresentation of the results of climate science, because I think the hyperbole makes it less likely that we will do what we need to do once the results are in.

    And I don’t think all the results are in yet. My best understanding (and I am not a scientist, remember) is that it is clear that the planet has warmed during the same time frame that we industrialized the planet and that there is a clear mechanism available to explain some of that warming–the CO2 we have emitted.

    I think it would be foolish not to examine this to find out if it is just coincidental correlation or, as I suspect, that CO2 causes some part of that warming.

    I don’t think we’re very far along in that process, and I confess I don’t see how we will accurately separate the contribution from CO2 from other influences, including the natural variability of climate and other things humans do to change this climate.

    I think the rush to blame CO2 for all our weather woes is completely political and horribly damaging to good faith efforts to construct two very necessary things:

    A research plan that will result in accurate attribution of factors influencing our climate.

    And an agreement that would include people like you on what best to do next.

    I do not seek to convince you here. What I am trying to do here at WUWT is to fight the same people you are fighting. Allies with different goals at the end of the day–that’s how I perceive you.

    I hope that as long as I am honest about it, that we can continue to communicate.

  39. Thomas Fuller …. after your absurd post about ‘climate change being a non-forever problem’, you lost a lot of credibility and you haven’t done yourself any favours here again. What is going on here ? WUWT has turned into some kind of self-indulgent psuedo-philosophical wasteland ! What is this post about .. that activists are erroneously hyping sea level rise ? And you feel upset ? What are you trying to say here ???

    You pull some chart off Wikipedia and use this as a basis for your own ‘philosophising’ ? Take your first sentence …”At the conclusion of the last ice age, there was a surplus of ice on many parts of the planet” What the hell is a ‘surplus of ice’ ? Whats does that mean ? Surplus to what ? Since when do you get to dictate what is too much or too little ?

    And it doesn’t get much better What kind of science would use the words ‘many parts of the planet’ , ‘It’s very tough to measure’, ‘You could balance a glass of water on the last 6,000 years of that graph’, ‘ice caps have melted a bit’ …. etc etc etc bla bla bla.

    Please stop. If you’re going to use this site for your own random ramblings, a lot of people are going to get turned off.

  40. steven says:
    September 10, 2010 at 8:20 am

    Tom appears to be quite reasonable to me. Are there really individuals who believe there is no contribution from man to co2 or that co2 is not a green house gas? I’m afraid if there are then you are out there all on your own because I can’t think of a single scientist that agrees with you. Why jump on him for stating the obvious? Man is in fact changing the environment. CO2 does cause warming. The argument is over how much. I personally believe it to be very little since the empirical evidence indicates a climate sensitivity of 1C.

    ——————

    steven,

    Evoking belief systems is what got us to the CAGW scenario. To invoke, as Tom Fuller does, the same belief systems for an ~AGW middle-of-the-road position is just more of the same erroneous tactics.

    Of course man, or polar bears, or squirrels (don’t forget the squirrels) will affect the earth. Duh.

    The science process, if finally free of all belief systems (including middle-of-the-roader journalists), will have theories and data consistent with climate reality, regardless of beliefs. Let’s really see what the scientists who become finally unfettered say. I am tired of the belief thing in climate discussion.

    John

  41. WillR says: September 10, 2010 at 6:01 am
    … seriously — keep up the good work. You do know I was kidding — don’t you?

    Hard to tell these days without a [sarc] statement. I have seen more over the top statements than yours and they were serious.

  42. I don’t think anybody suggested anything of the sort. This is a straight forward straw man argument being used to support a moderate AGW stance. In the last few days I think we have been targetted by an advocacy campaign. Can we all be vigilant?

  43. steven says:
    September 10, 2010 at 8:20 am

    “Tom appears to be quite reasonable to me. Are there really individuals who believe there is no contribution from man to co2 or that co2 is not a green house gas? I’m afraid if there are then you are out there all on your own because I can’t think of a single scientist that agrees with you. Why jump on him for stating the obvious?”

    I don’t think anybody suggested anything of the sort. This is a straight forward straw man argument being used to support a moderate AGW stance. In the last few days I think we have been targetted by an advocacy campaign. Can we all be vigilant?

  44. Tom Carter said:
    >>Wonder how the “Post-Glacial Sea Level Rise” graph would look after being processsed by Hansen and Mann through their computers at GISS and the University of Pennsylvania?<<
    Mann is not at Penn, but at Penn State. The University of Pennsylvania is an Ivy-League school in Philadelphia, and Penn State is a state school in Center County, PA.

  45. Lee Kington says:
    September 10, 2010 at 6:28 am

    I have graphed the Milankovitch cycles if you ever need a visual of where earth is in relation to each (both historic and future). That said, caution should be used in referring to them…
    ________________________________________________
    Milankovitch cycles are the stage setting you need the actors; sun, ocean, volcanoes and what have you act as the trigger.

    Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in an article titled:Abrupt Climate Change: Should We Be Worried? says: “Fossil evidence clearly demonstrates that Earth vs climate can shift gears within a decade….” This indicates that there is a trigger when everything else is set right.

    The Graph of changes in summer insolation over four interglacials (yellow) shows we are on the down hill slope for insolation. This despite a recent paper Solar activity reaches new high – Dec 2, 2003 that says: “The researchers found that there has been a sharp increase in the number of sunspots since the beginning of the 20th century. They calculated that the average number was about 30 per year between 850 and 1900, and then increased to 60 between 1900 and 1944, and is now at its highest ever value of 76.” However that just changed thanks to solar cycle 24.

    If you zoom in and look very closely at the tail end of the summer insolation graph you can see a plateau. Whether this means we have managed to miss an ice age or not is a guess based on what the other players on the stage may do.

    This paper agrees the potential, thanks to the present point in the Milankovitch cycle, is there. Lesson from the past: present insolation minimum holds potential for glacial inception (2007)

    “Because the intensities of the 397 ka BP and present insolation minima are very similar, we conclude that under natural boundary conditions the present insolation minimum holds the potential to terminate the Holocene interglacial.”

    To completely ignore that potential and tell people to prepare for “global warming” verges on the criminal in my opinion. The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution article states.

    “Most of the studies and debates on potential climate change, along with its ecological and economic impacts, have focused on the ongoing buildup of industrial greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and a gradual increase in global temperatures. This line of thinking, however, fails to consider another potentially disruptive climate scenario…..
    But the concept remains little known and scarcely appreciated in the wider community of scientists, economists, policy makers, and world political and business leaders. Thus, world leaders may be planning for climate scenarios of global warming that are opposite to what might actually occur…

  46. Robuk says:
    September 10, 2010 at 6:29 am

    “Prince Charles, a poster child for the negative aspects of inbreeding, baffled by ‘extraordinary’ climate change scepticism.”

    Fixed that for ya!

  47. cagw_skeptic99 says: “Dr. Michael Mann worked first at UVa, and now at Penn State, and has never worked at the University of Pennsylvania. These two universities are sometimes mixed up…”

    Not to mention that third institution, the state pen. Hmm.

  48. I don’t see how anyone can pretend to know one way or the other that the planet has warmed owing to the pathetic state of the equipment that’s supposed to accurately measure ground temps. Get that fixed to a point where readings don’t need to be adjusted (tortured?) and wait 50 years for some history to develop and then I’ll be able to actually have an informed opinion. Until then it’s all conjecture.

  49. steven says:
    September 10, 2010 at 8:20 am
    Are there really individuals who believe there is no contribution from man to co2 or that co2 is not a green house gas?
    ================================================
    Well thanks Steven, pick the most far out there example you can think of, and then make them out to be stupid.

    How about a middle of the road?
    The whole thing is so over blown and hyped up, that there’s some people that just don’t think it’s all that dangerous and not that big of a deal. They don’t think man’s actual contribution to the total CO2 levels makes that big of a difference. Have yet to be shown anything more than a theory based on our ignorance of other things that can also be in play. Have yet to be shown where the climate of this planet is “average” or “static” and given a choice, warmer is a whole lot better.

    And their common sense tells them that our ‘science’ has not progressed to the point that we know enough about “climate” to have any idea what any of this means or what causes it….

  50. Tom Carter says:
    September 10, 2010 at 5:34 am
    Wonder how the “Post-Glacial Sea Level Rise” graph would look after being processsed by Hansen and Mann through their computers at GISS and the University of Pennsylvania?

    As a U of P graduate, I am very sensitive to the University of Pennsylvania being confused with Penn State. Mann works for Penn State, not the University of Pennsylvania. Actually, I am proud of my alma mater’s contributions to the global warming debate see:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/08/30/breaking-new-paper-makes-a-hockey-sticky-wicket-of-mann-et-al-99/

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/06/08/legal-beagle-says-manmade-global-warming-science-doesn%e2%80%99t-withstand-scrutiny/

  51. Tom: luke-warmism is currently a tenable position, in my opinion, given that theoretical physics supports some possible increased “greenhouse” effect in a very narrow band of the spectrum. The error bands are wide in climatology (and are often hidden to support CAGW.) Still, AGW and CAGW remain hypothetical, regardless of the studies and the theory. Plain old, garden variety GW seems certain, based solely on recovery from the last ice age. But people have become so disgusted by the antics of Michael Mann, James Hansen, Al Gore, and various spittle-spewing freaks, that they now lump GW, AGW, and CAGW together as a pathological quasi-religious political movement, rather than as scientific tenets: “A pox on all their houses, climate change, and the horse they came in on.”

  52. Bart Verheggen at 5.26

    I am surprised to see you referencing the wiki graph as if it has some credibility. Go one step in and look at the history;

    http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Current_sea_level_rise&action=history

    Yes, our old friend William Connelly was busy on it as late as yesterday- we had naively thought he had been banned.

    No matter. It must be true of course as it emanates from the IPCC. Before deconstructing their graph can I ask you to read my 20 link post here about sea levels.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/09/07/the-unbroken-record-of-broken-icons/

    Plus the addendum at 4.08 on 7th September

    Now please go and look at AR4 chapter 5 which is the one referenced by wiki. Their graph showing historic sea level rise (page 3) is highly misleading as it does not provide any context. Chapter five of the IPCC 4 assessment is the relevant document (link given below)

    http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar4/wg1/ar4-wg1-chapter5.pdf

    This is the entire 800 page IPCC Assessment 4 from which it is taken. This is substantially different in tone and content to the Summary for Policymakers (SPM) used by politicians.

    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/publications_ipcc_fourth_assessment_report_wg1_report_the_physical_science_basis.htm

    Figure 5.13 on page 410 is the basis of many graphs used by Government and their agencies to promote scary sea level rises which are then eagerly picked up by the more sensationalist media and Al Gore.

    This paper provides context as it expresses the IPCC’s own caveats (which can be read in Chapter 5 of the link above) It can be seen that much of the historic sea level record is a computer generated model as the actual historic global tidal gauge measurements either simply do not exist, or are based on data gathered from three highly fractured historic tide gauges in Liverpool, Amsterdam and Stockholm. (Referenced in my links)

    In this respect it is useful to look at figure 5A2 (above) which shows tide gauge numbers used. These slowly grew from 3 in the 1700’s until in 1900 they stood at 20 in the Northern Hemisphere and 2 in the Southern Hemisphere.

    There are only 7 gauges that have not moved that are at least 100 years old.
    Here they are under slide 27 of this presentation by The US National Academy of Sciences

    http://www.nasonline.org/site/DocServer/Yokoyama_Yusuke.pdf?docID=53500

    That’s it. A global sea level has been manufactured based on a tiny number of northern hemisphere tide gauges in which much of the information has been made up.

    FAQ5.1 on page 409 ‘global mean sea level deviation’ lies at the heart of much of the sea level rise debate, giving a worrying future prediction through the selection of a particularly pessimistic IPCC ‘scenario.’ In reality the historic global tide gauge data is a totally inadequate representation of the 70% of the globe that is water, and becomes more theoretical the further back in time one goes as has been shown.

    Figure 5.19 in the IPCC TAR Chapter 5 of working Group 1 (Levitus Et al, page 415) shows a graph of sea level change due to thermal expansion.
    The sharp drop (in the rate of increase) shown since 2003 is evident due to cooling oceans and the consequent lack of thermal expansion. Figure 5.1 page 389 in Chapter 5 (to 2005) shows heat content change for the 0 to 700m ocean layer (this to 2005) The drop in temperature can again be seen and has continued ever since, as measured by the Argo project of 3000 sinking buoys.(which of course then needed to be ‘adjusted’)

    If we look at information contained in Chapter five of AR4 the key IPCC error here (in AR4) is its switch from one
    • method of measurement (tide gauges) covering one
    • scope of measurement (several coastal points, where sea level has a significance for us land dwellers) over one
    • time period (prior to 1993)

    to a totally different;
    • method (satellite altimetry),
    • scope (the entire ocean except coastal and polar regions, which cannot be captured by satellite), and
    • time period (1993-2003),
    •and then comparing the two to claim an acceleration between the two time periods.

    They only call attention to this change in a small footnote (Table SPM.1, p.7 of the SPM report):
    “Data prior to 1993 are from tide gauges and after 1993 are from satellite altimetry.”
    Although the graph boldly shows figures back to 1850 it is misleading as they are not comparing like for like in the methodology used, using enough gauges to create a genuinely global picture, nor have enough solid information to be able to claim the high level of accuracy for a global figure..

    Although we have to take into account land height changes etc we know that sea levels were generally higher in Roman times and the MWP- caused by thermal expansion and glacier melt during times warmer than today. This rise reached a peak around 1300 or so before dropping during the LIA. It started rising again at a modest rate from around 1880 or so as the climate warmed again in one of its regular natural variations.

    As noted elsewhere;

    “According to S. J. Holgate, a recognised world authority in geophysical research at the UK-based Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory in Liverpool, in his paper published in 2007, the following results represent the most comprehensive measurements of decadal sea-level change rates during the 20th century.
    Between 1904 and 1953 global sea levels rose by 2.03 mm per year, whereas from 1954 to 2003 they rose by only 1.45 mm per year, giving an annual mean rate of 1.74 mm per year over the 100 years to 2003, or seven inches per century. Importantly, there was no increase in the rate of change over the whole century.
    So, based on these peer reviewed and generally accepted numbers, 20th century sea levels rose at a 25% slower rate in the second half of the century than the first which, on any reasonable interpretation, contradicts the notion that global temperature increases during the last 50 years contributed to any sea level rise!”

    This is graphically illustrated here.

    Average rate of rise:
    1904-1953: 2.03 ± 0.35 mm/year 1954-2003: 1.45 ± 0.34 mm/year

    Those proclaiming their vast knowledge of sea level rises and the dramatic effect that glacier melt will have on it, have their claims falsified by the advert carried by the Met office this time last year. Admitting they had no idea of the effects of glacier melt on sea levels the Met office were seeking a glacier modeller. I posted the advert here last year.

    So, water levels higher in the past, the misuse by the IPCC of a tiny number of tidal gauges to create a meaningless and misleading global average. Sticking a highly inaccurate satellite record on top of it. No knowledge of the current effects of glacier melt. You might call this climate science Bart, but I can think of another much less flattering word for it.

    Tonyb

  53. Tom Fuller

    I greatly enjoyed your article although I don’t know how you can remain a warmist in the face of all the evidence to the contrary.

    tonyb.

  54. Bert: “Perhaps also good to mention the wiki graph current sea level rise”

    You mean the one that shows the same rise from 1910 on? Do you mean the 1910 that was the coldest period in the 20th century?

    Do you mean the natural pre-CO2 warming from 1910 on?

  55. Tom, I’ve enjoyed your posts, though I disagree strongly with you (as many do here) on the influence of C02 on climate. As you now know, this is not a Liberal vs Conservative, or Democrat vs Republican issue, though the Alarmists love to portray it as such. The proof is as simple as the fact that many long-time Democrats/Liberals (I am one), once we began investigating the issue could soon see that, with regard to manmade warming aka “climate change”, there was very little evidence, a great deal of cherry-picking, and hanky-panky with the facts, along with bluster and intimidation of those who dared believe otherwise. We saw that the emperor indeed was bereft of clothing.
    You need to realize that climate science has been corrupted, and Climategate is but the tip of the iceberg. You really should try to delve more deeply into the science. It doesn’t take a scientist to do this, just some persistence, perspiration, and a bit of perspicacity. You seem intelligent, and I know you could if you really wanted to.

  56. As another liberal Democrat who finds himself somewhat isolated in being a strong climate skeptic, I’m glad you’re posting here, and hope you continue. I don’t quite understand those here who are aghast that you defend the notion of “moderate AGW”, in that even most skeptical scientists acknowledge some greenhouse warming due to increased man-made CO2. The idea that such ideas must be purged for ideological reasons of purity is absurd to me. I’m with Richard Lindzen that CO2 climate sensitivity is probably somewhere on the order of 0.5-1.0C per doubling, which is what I would consider “moderate AGW”. That figure may be wrong, and feedbacks may actually be negative as Spencer and others suggest, but it’s at least a reasonable estimate based on the actual data, rather than on illiberal modeling suppositions. My impression is that most of the skeptic community thinks along these lines as well, so I find it odd that you would be attacked for accepting these views. Does Lindzen get attacked as someone trying to infilitrate warmist ideas into the skeptic community? Hardly. Nor should you be for adopting a similar position to his.

  57. Tom Fuller says:
    September 10, 2010 at 8:37 am
    =============================
    Tom, no one really cares if you are a liberal, conservative, or even a black liberation theologist, whatever. (ok ixnay on that last one, as long as you don’t believe the white man is the devil)
    We all do appreciate you taking the time to write out what you are thinking, really.

    Just please don’t try to justify the science of climate by trying to morph it into something more palatable because all the hype is losing ground.

  58. steven says:
    September 10, 2010 at 8:20 am
    “Tom appears to be quite reasonable to me. Are there really individuals who believe there is no contribution from man to co2 or that co2 is not a green house gas? I’m afraid if there are then you are out there all on your own because I can’t think of a single scientist that agrees with you. Why jump on him for stating the obvious? Man is in fact changing the environment. CO2 does cause warming. The argument is over how much. I personally believe it to be very little since the empirical evidence indicates a climate sensitivity of 1C.

    Their are at least two serous problems with the conjecture that the tiny extra amount of man made CO2 when added to what is already only a trace gas can lead to catastrophic global warming, via the mechanism of strong positive feedback.

    The first issue is that the conjecture doesn’t have the required tests built in to allow the theory to be falsifiable. This means believers have to accept it as an act of faith – it becomes cargo cult ‘science’.

    The second issue is that our climate is driven by deterministic chaos. This means that all climate metrics oscillate in a series of quasi-cycles of differing period. This makes trying to use linear trends for an individual metric e.g. Global Mean Temperature meaningless. It also negates the value of the various climate models, which purport to indicate what will happen in the future, as we do not know the initial conditions accurately enough and many assumptions, like the role of CO2, are assumed.

  59. There was a paper that I read awhile ago that I can’t seem to locate right now. Basically, the author argued that over time, cultural mythology biologically imprints certain primal fears onto the human mind. Its apparently a physical mechanism that the primitive part of human brain uses to pass knowledge of past catastrophes onto future generations at a core biological level. But because these fears reside in the primitive part of our brains, we’re not always consciously aware of their effects on our behavior. The flood myth was used as exhibit one in the authors argument.

    Skillful politicians can tap into these biologically imprinted fears to promote a particular agenda.

  60. I would simply like to see more factual information in Thomas Fuller’s writings here. There is a lot of words but too few facts in form of graphs, statistics and other references.

  61. I also want to add that I am making every effort to write in plain English and avoid using ‘sciency’ jargon in these posts.

    I am not a scientist. I am trying to write in plain language my best understanding of the hundreds of academic papers I have read, the thousands of blog posts and comments I have read, the videos and debates I have watched, etc.

    The point of this series of posts is to highlight how symbols are being misused. I am not trying to prove or disprove global warming. I’m certainly not capable of doing so, and I don’t believe the ‘state of the science’ has done so in any event.

    What I am doing here is media criticism, not scientific debate. I just refuse to couch it in any other terms.

  62. “Evoking belief systems is what got us to the CAGW scenario. To invoke, as Tom Fuller does, the same belief systems for an ~AGW middle-of-the-road position is just more of the same erroneous tactics.”

    It causes none, some or a lot of warming. Everyone here has an opinion but not absolute knowledge. That is a belief regardless of if you object to the terminology or not.

    “Well thanks Steven, pick the most far out there example you can think of, and then make them out to be stupid.

    How about a middle of the road?”

    I haven’t seen anything thus far to lead me to believe Tom has been in support of CAGW. Isn’t that middle of the road?

    “I don’t think anybody suggested anything of the sort. This is a straight forward straw man argument being used to support a moderate AGW stance.”

    I guess I am bewildered as to what is wrong with a moderate AGW stance. That’s where I am and I thought I was pretty much on the same side of the argument as the majority of posters here. It sounds to me like that’s where Tom is also. If you believe co2 to be a GHG but not leading to catastrophic warming isn’t that what you have? A moderate AGW stance?

    Any other responders please just pick out the part that pertains to you. It is silly to attack people on your side of the argument just for saying AGW. That’s my opinion.

  63. Thomas, in your text there’s a good guy, Climate Theory, and a bad guy, called Hype. What some of us have tried to get across to you is: the good guy has often been the bad guy. He just wears a white hat like a good guy.

    What the bad guy wants is the crippling of western industrial society with taxes, carbon trading and inefficient energy generation.

    Plain enough?

  64. Tom Fuller

    Bruce Cobb said this a littly way upstream;

    “You need to realize that climate science has been corrupted, and Climategate is but the tip of the iceberg. You really should try to delve more deeply into the science. It doesn’t take a scientist to do this, just some persistence, perspiration, and a bit of perspicacity. You seem intelligent, and I know you could if you really wanted to.”

    Bruce is right. Sea levels are a real can of worms. Global temperatures are a flaky concept that become flakier the further back in time you go as stations move position, become affected by UHI or the record simply becomes unreliable due to the hugely fluctuating numbers in any one decade. The hockey stick relied on a distortion of climatic history in order to gain credence. Arctic sea ice melts and reforms with astonishing regularity.

    The media have certainly been guilty in promoting all these aspects and more as part of an ‘inconvenient truth.’ As for it being orchestrated by the media rather than the scientists? Well that is something you are attempting to show. Scientists are on the whole pretty poor at marketing themselves so I’m inclined to agree that someone else has a purpose in pushing the often flaky science.

    Who that ‘someone’ is and what their ‘purpose’ might be will be up to people like you to unravel. But heres a start for you, where I look at the politics of climate change when the British Govt – long time leaders in funding research into the subject – were very heavily implicated in making it a political issue in order to promote their own agenda. It is very well referenced with numerous links and quotes from such bodies as the Environmental Audit Committee of the House of Commons.

    http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2009/10/19/crossing-the-rubicon-an-advert-to-change-hearts-and-minds/#comments

    I don’t think you need to look much further than the UK govt and a PR outfit called Futerra, enthusiastically cheered on by lots of green minded NGO’s in order to see the genesis of the current level of global scaremongering.

    Hope you will be writing here again soon-it’s good to have a range of views and articles.

    Tonyb

  65. Tom Fuller says:
    September 10, 2010 at 8:37 am

    John Whitman and Latitude,

    First, thanks for the criticism and your honest replies. I would like to be clear that I don’t have any underlying agenda in my guest posts here. I’m not trying to convince either you or unaware newcomers to the site of my opinions, or that what I think it actually what Anthony or you think. In fact, that’s why I try and go out of my way to write about the differences in our opinions. . . . [edit] . . .

    —————-

    Tom Fuller,

    I admire you for doing these posts. Sincerely. I haven’t been brave enough yet to do what you do. My compliments to you.

    I do not agree with what you write. I meant no personal dislike and hope that I did not come across like that to you.

    My compliments to you. You appear to be a gentleman and you handle the criticism quite well. I could learn more about handling criticism as well as you do.

    Please deep posting. You do bring out the fundamental issues.

    John

  66. About a year ago, Dr. Stefan Rahmstorf, Professor of Physics of the Oceans at Potsdam University and Department Head at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research made quite a splash at Oxford by proclaiming that a two-meter sea-level rise had now become practically ‘unstoppable.’ It looks like he may be a German equivalent of Dr. Phil Jones.

  67. Jimash says:
    September 10, 2010 at 8:37 am

    I look at the supposedly endangered coral atolls and say to myself ( since no one else listens) “Didn’t the coral grow under the water ” ?
    “Wasn’t sea level therefore higher in the fairly recent past ” ?
    The whole darn thing is a bad joke.

    The coral that’s above-water came from coral sand and rubble that was pushed onto the island by storm surges. The sand came from parrot fish nibbling down the coral.

  68. “Now here’s a funny thing” – which maybe someone more expert than I can explain:

    > With regard to satellite sea level altimetry, NOAA say
    > they take a datum from tide gauges. Why would they do this, which
    > presumably involves them in subjective selection of tide gauges –
    > which are themselves subject to vagaries of detailed geometry,
    > periodic replacement, man-made or natural changes in local hydraulics,
    > reading irregularities, etc., etc. Why not take a datum from a
    > selection of tectonically stable ground points under the satellite
    > track; with comparative terrestrial tide measurements all reduced to the same datum?

    Maybe I’d better explain my interest; I’m a Civil Engineer, who worked in Tidal Flood Defence for 20 years – hence my interest in sea level changes. I fear I’m not convinced by either “side” in the Climate Change debate, but as a layman note the Vostok Ice Core results (also various other ice and sediment cores), and in the absence of some pretty dramatic change in circumstances, would expect the cyclical pattern of climate change to continue in the future.

    Regards to all, JohnH.

  69. SeaLevelGate is in my opinion the largest gate of them all. It illustrates what has happened in many areas;

    Those experts who is using measurements from the real world, is totally silenced by IPPC model day-dreamers. Dr. Moerner in this case.

    It is truly a disgrase, and I am blaming people like Stoere, Brown, Obama, Merckel,Rudd etc etc for it.

    Shame on them for letting the real scientist’s down.

  70. Roger Knights says:
    September 10, 2010 at 12:33 pm
    The coral that’s above-water came from coral sand and rubble that was pushed onto the island by storm surges
    ============================================
    Roger, I live out in the Caribbean on a rock. My house is built 9 ft above MHT (mean high tide), on a solid ancient coral reef. Not sand and/or rubble. The highest point on our island is 17ft above MHT, and it is an old coral rock quarry. Also solid coral rock.

    Our coral rock has been dated to around 100,000 years ago, the Sangamon interglacial, when sea levels were 300ft lower than they are now.

  71. At the conclusion of the last ice age, there was a surplus of ice on many parts of the planet
    and NO WHISKEY until the near Holocene!

  72. Paul Pierett
    September 10, 2010 at 6:12 am

    If the past is any indication, then during the inconvenient Holocene climatic optimum, temps were 4 to 6 C higher then today and the sea was about 5 meters higher. BTW, notice the greenies are trying to make this period disappear … “Oh, it was not a global event.”

  73. Tom, I think even your observation of the correlation of warming with industrialization is questionable. While the temp. rise fro ca 1975 to ca 2000 is probably real, the size of the increase as measured by surface instruments and then massaged and averaged is unquestionably overstated. It is very likely that the recent peak (1995-2006?) was actually lower than the the last peak (1934-1944). All we can be confident of is that we have just passed the approx. 30 year upside of a 60 year cycle, oscillating around a warming trend since the end of the LIA. and that long warming trend is the upside of a much longer cycle oscillating around a cooling trend since at least the Minoan Optimum. the current optimum seems cooler than the MWP, and both seem to lie on a pretty straight-line cooling trend with the Roman and Minoan optima being previous peaks. If there is an industrialization contribution it is small and maybe correlates because technological peaks coincide, unsurprisingly, with climate optima. I suspect that warming drove industrialization more than the other way around. Murray

  74. Mr. Fuller,

    This is not a negotiation, i.e. ‘if you let up on the CO2 thing, we will go easy on the sea-level thing’.
    I, and I am sure many others, read this blog as a means to assist in finding the facts. It is not a club, an advocacy group or vested interest organisation. We are not in a position to negotiate collectively. I respect your opinions on the science and the politics, I may or may not share some of them but a middle of the road pitch (for that is what it comes across as) doesn’t assist in moving the debate forward IMHO.

  75. Bart Verheggen:

    I take the sea level rise prediction of one meter seriously. In fact, I think we should plan for a 1meter rise in the next 90 years. the question is: “what is the most cost effective and fair way of handling this risk.

    1. do we tax everyone to prevent the damage down to those who live in costal areas?
    2. Do we apply the cost at the source of the problem and act locally.

    The decision to live, work, and build in areas that will be damaged by a meter rise is a choice. People choose to live in houses on slits in malibu, often as their second or third residence. People choose to return an build in hurricane impact zones, below sea level in some cases. Governments choose to allow building in risky areas. On the cost side of things, in 1991 the EPA estimated that for the US a one meters sea rise could be addressed with about 400Billion, through a mixture of retreating, building dikes and other measures. 400 Billion over 90 years is a pretty cost effective solution. The cost of living in danger zones is currently subsidized by government policy. It would seem that the wise thing to do is to put the cost where the problem is. Why allow building in areas our best science tells us will be under water? why impose a tax on a farmer in Iowa to pay for the protection of hollywood actor’s homes in Malibu? Why rebuild cities that probablity tells us will be swamped someday by a CAT 5 hurricane? Why try to prevent a sea rise that it is cheaper to handle through mitigation? the community of folks who believe in global action have had their chance. It’s time to allow the discussion of local action. If sea level rise is an issue for some people in the US, then those people engaging in risky behavior should bear the cost, not people in developing countries who will need to burn more fossil fuels to attain our standard of living and not those people who choose to live in places that will not be effected. When the cost to solve a problem is levied where it belongs, you will see that people act rationally.

  76. Fuller: It’s risen a couple of meters in the 6,000 years since then. It is now rising at somewhere between 2 and 3 millimeters a year.
    Hmmm, lemme see: at a rate of 2.5 mm/year, it would rise 15 meters in 6000 years, so the current rate of rise is 15/2=7.5 times as high as during those 6000 years. This seems a pretty large increase, wouldn’t you say?

  77. steven says:
    September 10, 2010 at 11:25 am

    John Whitman says:
    September 10, 2010 at 8:44 am
    Evoking belief systems is what got us to the CAGW scenario. To invoke, as Tom Fuller does, the same belief systems for an ~AGW middle-of-the-road position is just more of the same erroneous tactics.
    It causes none, some or a lot of warming. Everyone here has an opinion but not absolute knowledge. That is a belief regardless of if you object to the terminology or not.


    —————
    Steven,
    Thanks for your comments. Tom Fuller does know how to raise some intellectual discourse.

    This discourse is not about terminology or semantics. If it is belief discussed then it is not science discussed. Tom and you did use the word belief, therefore, what are we to think?

    The possibilities of the climate system resulting from a so-called GHE are not fully listed by you. You say it (so-called GHE) causes none, some or a lot of warming. But it can also potentially cause all of them at the same time but in different regions and/or altitudes.

    I leave it at that for now, though I was sorely tempted to ask why you so assuredly eliminated the possibility that the so-called GHE (when acting in coordination with all the other earth system processes) causes none, some or a lot of cooling. It is one idea to postulate that the so-called GHE cannot directly, inherently, by itself, cause cooling. But, quite a different idea is to postulate that it (so-called GHE) could assist cooling when all other processes in the earth system are considered. Intriguing ideas they are. But, ahhh, in another post.

    John

  78. LOL If I keep this up, I’m going to have to quit my job.
    Obviously I can’t do both!

    “when sea levels were 300ft lower than they are now.”

    When sea levels were 300ft higher than they are now.”

  79. Mr. Fuller,
    In my post above, I forgot to mention that I actually have read all your recent posts here. You may have others lined up which I look forward to. Will one be about Big Carbon together with utopians, environmental charities, government science grants, expanding bureaucracies and post-normal science?
    If not, a hint for your consideration: Capitalists chase money, scientists chase recognition, religion chases adherents, politicians chase voters.

  80. Thanks Tom for another interesting, well written guest post.
    I suspect that at the end of the day, when the real science makes it to the fore and all of the hyperbole has been set aside that we will be very close to the same end point in this journey. Yeah, we probably caused the earth to warm a little at the same time that it was in a natural upswing, but there was never any reason for anyone to get their knickers in a knot.
    Hopefully the real outcome will be that many more people will warier of those who would use “science” to further their political agenda. And if those who are finally publicly shown as the worst of those offenders get a public butt kicking, that would be a good thing, too.
    Keep up the good work.

  81. Leif Svalgaard says:
    September 10, 2010 at 1:23 pm

    At 2 to 3 inches of rise in the last 50 years, I am quite sure we can outrun that resulting tsunami.

  82. Steven mosher says:
    September 10, 2010 at 1:22 pm
    When the cost to solve a problem is levied where it belongs, you will see that people act rationally.
    The decision to live, work, and build in areas that will be damaged by a meter rise is a choice
    =======================================================
    Thank you for clearing that up.

    I suppose all of the people living on Caribbean islands should start packing now………

    A meter in the next 90 years.
    So you’re saying 39 inches in the next 90 years.
    That’s about 4 inches a year. I guess starting from today, right?

    I’ve been living on this same rock my whole life, nothing has happened so far,
    but you’re saying 4 inches a year.

    I should be able to notice that, you think?
    Or is this going to be something like Gore’s movie and I’ll wake up in the middle of the night treading water?

    (does anyone fall for this [snip] any more)

  83. Bart Verheggen says:
    September 10, 2010 at 5:26 am

    Tom,

    Perhaps also good to mention the wiki graph current sea level rise: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Current_sea_level_rise

    A wiki graph. lol…

    In the 20th century sea level has risen faster than in the few thousands of years before, and it has slightly increased over the course of the 2oth century.

    On the basis of what exactly do you dismiss the multiple recent studies that point to likely rates of sea level rise of one meter (+/- 0.5 or so) up to 2100 (and continuing thereafter btw)?

    Why dismiss it? Why not just watch? A one metre rise means 1cm per year rise. That means, by Christmas the sea level will have risen by 2.5 mm.

    Since we can measure 2.2mm (the currently alleged annual sealevel rise) with no problems what-so-ever, we should be able to measure 2.5mm even more easily. Report back at Christmas with before and after figures.

    We’ll wait.

  84. “4 inches in 10 years”

    Mosh, I just went down and put a mark on the water line.
    I’ll let you know in 10 years if it’s gone up 4 inches.

  85. Tom, I am intrigued by your phrase:

    “As a liberal Democrat who believes in moderate global warming…”

    It seems that voters and politicians of a left-leaning persuasion like to make a link between their party politics and Global Warming/Climate Change, or at least to talk about Global Warming/Climate Change as a belief system. For example, Julia Gillard, new prime minister of Australia, in her speech on assuming office a couple of months ago, said:

    “I believe in Climate Change.”

    Surely this is the crux of the issue, that (Anthropogenic) Global Warming/Climate Change has become a widely followed political belief system, like others that have come and gone before. This belief system now has its own momentum, even though politicians have recently become very cautious in the light of changing public opinion.

    Only time will tell if the parties of the left are able to sidestep to a more “moderate” or “luke-warmist” position. This is hard for them, as (a) without alarmism, the AGW movement has little or no political traction, and (b) they will surely alienate the eco-warriors and other “useful idiots” (Lenin’s words, not mine) of the far left. The problem is more severe in the USA, because of the entrenched two party political system (no minor parties).

    All the best.

  86. As a liberal Democrat who believes in moderate global warming, I feel a bit left out.

    Why? You’ve had your global warming. Now the Earth will cool. Once it has finished cooling, it’ll warm again – so you’ll get a second bit of the cherry. Can you wait 30 years? (OK the Russian reckon 50, but let’s be optimisitic here…)

  87. Enneagram says:
    September 10, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    At the conclusion of the last ice age, there was a surplus of ice on many parts of the planet
    and NO WHISKEY until the near Holocene!

    “And it’s a travesty…”

  88. Leif are you saying you believe that part of that SLR is because of humans, if so how much, you’ve only got 150 years to play with since say the end of LIA.
    I’m reminded that on the east coast of Australia the sea level was 1.5 metres higher 4000 years ago, so what caused that rise?

  89. steven says:
    September 10, 2010 at 8:20 am

    Tom appears to be quite reasonable to me. Are there really individuals who believe there is no contribution from man to co2 or that co2 is not a green house gas? I’m afraid if there are then you are out there all on your own because I can’t think of a single scientist that agrees with you.

    Oh there we go – argumentum ad populum.

  90. Leif Svalgaard says:
    September 10, 2010 at 1:23 pm

    Fuller: It’s risen a couple of meters in the 6,000 years since then. It is now rising at somewhere between 2 and 3 millimeters a year.
    Hmmm, lemme see: at a rate of 2.5 mm/year, it would rise 15 meters in 6000 years, so the current rate of rise is 15/2=7.5 times as high as during those 6000 years. This seems a pretty large increase, wouldn’t you say?

    It’s even worse than that. Looking at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harlech_Castle we get the words “Harlech is also notable for an unusual feature: the “way from the sea”. Edward’s forces were often in danger from land-based attack, but he enjoyed total supremacy on water. Many of his castles included sally ports which allowed resupply from the sea, but Harlech’s is far more elaborate. Here, a fortified stairway hugs the rock and runs almost 200 feet (61 m) down to the foot of the cliffs, where (at the time of construction) the sea reached. Today, the sea has retreated several miles,”

    So something is wrong somewhere. I’d blame the castle personally…

  91. Will someone please post the graphic of modern sea level rise?
    Some are getting carried away with the figures, why I don’t know.
    It’s 2-3 mm per year, which is roughly 8 – 12 years to rise a mere inch.
    That’s millimeters, not centimeters, inches, feet, meters or whatever else gets flung at the wall.
    1 inch = 25.4 millimeters.

  92. The Fallacy of the Multitudes involves offering evidence for a vast generality where the quantity of evidence on both sides of the debate is beyond the grasp of a single mind.

    Arguing that sand is mainly black and offering a black grain of sand as proof while your oponent argues that sand is mainly white while offering a white grain of sand as proof, is not rational debate, but merely a rhetorical contest between two fools pretending to know what they cannot know. They cannot know it because the multitude of evidence (all the sand) is too vast to be comprehended by the human mind. That is the Fallacy of the Multitudes.

    Only fools think they know what the temperature of the earth is. Only greater fools think they know what the trend of the temperature of the earth is. Only colossal fools think they know what the cause of the trends of the temperature of the earth is. Only liars claim to know what to do about it. Only sociopaths claim the debate is over because one side won.

  93. Not unlike the issue of temperature measurement locations and biases resulting from this, locations of tide gages present a bias as well. Most are located on the passive margins and very few are located at the active margins. The supposed rate of rise is well within tectonic rates of change. Take for example the subsidence rate along the East / Gulf coast of the US.

  94. To Tarpon,

    About six thousand years ago, the Med Sea was re-flooded by the Atlantic as rain subsided off the area.

    There is some evidence put out by the Libya government that demonstrates the Med Sea left its banks and flooded Libya down to Chad during the latter part of the last Ice Age.

    They study stuff from ocean core samples and a couple of them are consistent in telling the story.

    Paul

  95. RE to : jcl says:
    September 10, 2010 at 6:21 am

    Ordinarily the work of MAD AVE really irks me, but I got a laugh out of the ad you shared. I think the fellow who wrote it had a real sense of humor, and understood that using the polar bear as a symbol would make a lot of people cringe, awaiting some bomb of depressing pessimism. To have the ad end “happily” is bound to end the cringing with a sigh of relief. Even people who loathe electric cars would be bound to feel better about electric cars, simply because the depressing pessimism we have been trained to expect didn’t happen.

    Very effective public relations.

    It may turn out, in the end, that what redeems America is our sense of humor.

  96. Neville says:
    September 10, 2010 at 3:41 pm
    Leif are you saying you believe that part of that SLR is because of humans
    No, not at all, just pointing that whatever the cause, the recent rise is 7 times larger than the average over the past 6000 years. It irks me a bit that people use different units [perhaps partly to obscure the truth or to make a point]. Fuller would have been intellectually honest if his post had started: ” It’s risen at an average rate of 0.3 millimeter over the 6,000 years since then. It is now rising at somewhere between 2 and 3 millimeters a year, almost 10 times as fast”. That would have struck quite a different tone right from the start, wouldn’t it?

  97. Thanks, Lee Kington,

    I would have to disagree for the reason that if we ignore solar energy, slight variations in our orbit, sunspot activity and the Earth’s axis and write them off as insignificant, then we just joined the other side of the argument and in doing so, we claim CO2, water vapor, Ozone and Methane as the leading causes in global warming and our Ice Ages.

    My work shows that main cause in global warming at this time is a favorable elliptical orbit, the Earth’s axis tilt and a large number of sunspot activity from 1933 to 2007.

    We just had another blank sun day today and thus, 30 years of cooling are upon us.

    My work is posted at nationalforestlawblog.com Oct. Newsletter under my name.

  98. The records of raised beaches worldwide do point to recent sea level falls in a great many places, and the largely stable, isolated continental margin of Western Australia is a very good place ot study these, away from the effects of active plate tectonics, coastal uplift and mountain building.

    However, even on a stable, isolated continetal margin the effects of tectonic movements make sea level change studies problematical. For instance, the Rockingham-Becher coastal plain just south of Perth has a beautifully documented sequence of seaward-retreating beaches, which have been carbon-dated in detail using buried wood fragments. This shows a continuous, progressive drop in sea level of about 2.5m over the past 6,000 years, corresponding nicely to the cooling and regrowth of ice cover since the recently-mentioned Holocene Optimum that ended about 6,000 years ago. Unfortunately though, when you look elsewhere up and down the Western Australian coast, the sea-level changes recorded by the raised beaches and wave-cut platforms stranded above present sea level don’t correspond as neatly as they should, due to fault movements along the coastline, presumably in response to residual subsidence of offshore Perth Basin.

    Nonetheless, the overall record is one of a couple of metre of sea-level fall over the past 6,000 years along one of the world’s more stable coastlines, and this does seem to be in response to a general global cooling, with a corresponding increase in polar ice cover and drop in sea level.

    (A good starting reference for such studies is the Geological Survey of WA publication:
    Geology and landforms of the Perth Region – J. R. Gozzard – 2007 , available through the GSWA website at: http://www.dmp.wa.gov.au/ebookshop/searchMain.asp )

    The point being that, from a geological perspective, the more recent, questionably ‘global’, measured changes in sea level and temperature do seem to be well within the limits of natural variability over that past 6,000 years and also well below the absolute maxima reached just a few thousand years ago.

    The picture becomes more complicated somewhere like the south of England, where you have Roman, Saxon and later ports and coastal settlements now several miles inland from the coast (Chichester, Bramber, Winchelsea, etc., etc.), as there may still be uplift occurring along this northernmost limit of the alpsine fold belt. But again, the record is of raised beaches and seaward-retreating coastlines during historic times and over the preceding few thousand years.

    Sea level, ice cover and global temperature have always been naturally dynamic, even on the timescale of few thousand years. The only problem is that most people are completely unaware of this, and can therefore be sold the idea that any change is a new and terrifying thing that they ought to be desperately worried about.

  99. Tom Fuller. You write well but assume much, a simple fact check method for the assumption that CO2 causes warming would be in order. Refer to a replicated work of science that supports each of your contention. As the belief now stands, I’m not buying any of it. Good public policy is seldom based upon unsubstantiated belief. Just the facts would be a fine start but you seem to be arguing for negotiation of belief, when ignoring the team hysteria and checking the science available has been all that any semi sapient individual has needed to make up their own mind.Of course being old enough to have been taught the scientific method has been a bonus.Seems the liberals think feelings are more important than facts, and I feel than to be true, thats why children were the first targets of the panic campaign. Your approach would be appropriate if climate science was not a science…Oh right; my appologises, you are correct, negotiate to your hearts content.

  100. OK, the conversation has established a couple of important and germane facts.

    1) that the last 6K years have been very stable (The excellent, if unsourced graph in the article)
    2) that sea levels were much higher in the Eemian (the prior interglacial about 110 K ago)

    I will gladly stipulate both of those facts. I urge readers to consider them as a pair of conditions in contemplating the real substantive question regarding ice sheets and climate in general.

    The substantive question is this: what is the cause of the unusual recent stability, and how big a kick would it take to move the planet off it?

    I think we have only guesses to either question as things stand, but we have plenty of indication that the edges of the ice sheet should be crumbling, and that they are. The fact that such decay is susceptible to sudden acceleration is demonstrated in the record Fuller points to, and as I tried to explain to deaf ears, the mechanism for such sudden accelerated melt is known and is considered likely.

    To say that no such kick is possible is refuted by the fact that the prior interglacial sailed past this point to considerable melting in Greenland and the absence of anything resembling the West Antarctic ice sheet.

    I remain quite disappointed that Fuller engaged in tedious hairsplitting in response to my attempt to outline the situation as it is understood by practitioners in the field, and then flounced over here to give you guys a polished and well written pile of feeble nonsense.

    Further, the statement “Remember that the IPCC projects sea level rise this century of 18-59 cm, unless dramatic loss of Greenland and/or Antarctic ice occurs. That’s from their AR4 report.” cannot be treated as anything but spin. They said 18 – 59 “exclusive of” loss of Greenland or Antarctic ice. Think what you will of IPCC, but at least refrain from changing the import of what they said.

    As for “It would take millenia to melt it all,” Fuller is just guessing.

    And as for “and the IPCC thinks that even with the world continuing business as usual, that our emissions will peak around the end of this century, shortly after the population peaks. Emissions will then decline.” we see Fuller still not getting the idea that emissions accumulate and concentrations drive climate. I have made several patient attempts to explain this to him.

    Anyway, I hope everyone will keep in mind the fact that the last few millenia have been a period of unusual stability, and that the prior interglacial was substantially warmer and did have substantially deeper oceans. Unlike the putative Medieval Warm Period and the similar tiny wiggles that y’all keep trying to make a federal case out of, these facts matter.

    That would amount to some progress.

  101. Michael Tobis,

    You were doing OK until you said, ” Unlike the putative Medieval Warm Period and the similar tiny wiggles that y’all keep trying to make a federal case out of…”

    Do you know what “putative” means? It means “supposed.” There was no “supposed” MWP; it clearly existed, as numerous peer reviewed studies show. There is plenty of evidence, such as rising tree lines, oxygen isotopes in stalagmites, and other proxies clearly showing the MWP. There is nothing “putative” about it.

    Since the planet was significantly warmer a thousand years ago [and colder during the LIA], the Hokey Stick is broken along with the CO2=CAGW conjecture.

  102. Michael Tobis says:
    September 10, 2010 at 7:38 pm
    The substantive question is this: what is the cause of the unusual recent stability, and how big a kick would it take to move the planet off it?
    For 6000 years past the total rise has been 2000 mm or 0.3 mm/year and this is indeed very stable. The current rise is supposed to be 2-3 mm/year, so we have already moved off that stable plateau and are now rising 7 times as fast. It has already happened. We have, it seems, already had that ‘big kick’.

  103. Leif Svalgaard says:
    September 10, 2010 at 8:09 pm

    Too short of a timeframe to compare 100-150 years @ 2-3mm/yr to 6000 years @ 0.3mm/yr.
    If the next 150 years drops 1.7-2.7mm/yr then the 6000 year stability is retained.
    It is reasonable to expect that the 6000 yr record had hiccups in it, like all climactic eras do.
    Still, a few millimeters/year is not the stuff of big kicks, unless one is going to live 1,000 years.

  104. Climate changes, get used to it, in the Eemian 135,000 to 115,000 years ago the temp was much higher than the Holocene and certainly higher than today.
    Near Margaret river in West Australia coral grew and sea levels were 3 to 4 metres higher than today, perehaps 6 metres for a time and the sea temps were much warmer and all with a population of a few million human beings.

  105. Laurence Kirk says:
    September 10, 2010 at 7:22 pm

    At many points along the Central California coast one can see the old sea shore terraces high & dry.
    They either got there through at least 3 big uplifts (dramatic & fast) or the sea fell in abrupt steps.

  106. To Leif and others, did sea level travel in a gentle rise of whatever for that 6,000 thousand years or does it rise and fall over that time?
    For example how much did SLR during the LIA ?

  107. rbateman says:
    September 10, 2010 at 8:49 pm
    Too short of a timeframe to compare 100-150 years @ 2-3mm/yr to 6000 years @ 0.3mm/yr.
    We have to go by the data we have. Your argument also applies then to sunspots, global temperatures, anything you can think of. And that makes any debate moot.

  108. Mr. Tobis has perhaps put up with me as long as he can stand. It’s pretty mutual, by now. As an example, I see little or no difference in our characterizations of what the IPCC said.

    The edges of the ice caps have melted somewhat and if it continues to warm they will continue to melt. But the more stable and far larger interiors of both Greenland and Antarctica do not seem vulnerable at all on a scale of anything less than two or three millenia.

    Unless of course you believe the GRACE story–in which case it might be one millenium. Of uninterrupted monotonic warming. But you didn’t show up on that thread, of course.

    Michael, every time you try to tell me that it’s the concentrations, not the emissions, I always say I know that. Michael, I know that. But we’re measuring and talking about controlling emissions, not concentrations. And like many others, I have questions about concentrations.

    Concentrations seem at the end of the day to be part of the sensitivity question. Oceans outgas CO2 when they warm. What happens when they cool? How long does CO2 really stay in the atmosphere? And what if other aspects of the equation change?

    And given the length of time people have been talking about the demise of WAIS, why are you linking that to global warming? It may be hastening it along, but to a predetermined end, don’t you think?

    So it comes down once again to robbing symbols. The edges may melt. Not the interiors. GRACE seems flawed–or at least a definite candidate for a do-over study. WAIS was always a goner.

    But there is nothing remotely substantial that suggests the huge volumes of ice in the Greenland basin and the Antarctic high plains are at any risk for a thousand years.

  109. Lawrence Kirk points to validity of measuring sea level decline over the Holocene in Western Australia where there is a stable craton compared to England where you need to separate tilting, rising coastline (fault blocks) from sea level. Tony B points to the lack of consistent sea level gauges (7) over the last hundred years and to the questionable merger of satellite data with tidal gauges since 2003. My own read on the current satellite data is that the 3 cm per year promoted by warmists with an error of +- 3 cm a year is that they are using the uncertainty to try to accommodate their belief in estimates of sea level rise from Greenland / Antarctic glacial melts and thermal expansion from increases in SST. The new data from Greenland and Antarctica suggests that the mass contribution as been exaggerated by 50%. The choice now to get to 3 cm a year is to adjust the SST temps to create more thermal expansion or admit that SLR is less than 3 cm a year. The missing heat neeeds to be found.
    As a graduate (long time ago) in geophysics from Penn State I am very embarassed. My hat is off to UP.

  110. Neville says:
    September 10, 2010 at 9:04 pm
    To Leif and others, did sea level travel in a gentle rise of whatever for that 6,000 thousand years or does it rise and fall over that time?

    You miss my point, which is:
    “No, not at all, just pointing that whatever the cause, the recent rise is 7 times larger than the average over the past 6000 years. It irks me a bit that people use different units [perhaps partly to obscure the truth or to make a point]. Fuller would have been intellectually honest if his post had started: ” It’s risen at an average rate of 0.3 millimeter over the 6,000 years since then. It is now rising at somewhere between 2 and 3 millimeters a year, almost 10 times as fast”. That would have struck quite a different tone right from the start, wouldn’t it?”.

  111. Mr. Svalgaard, I didn’t make that point because I’m not particularly interested in a date 6,000 years from now. The point I was trying to illustrate in the graph is that the current rate of sea level rise does not appear threatening over the course of the relevant time frame–the century or so it will take us to get our energy solutions sorted out.

  112. A coincidence oft remarked by those
    robust pickers of cherries: where’er goeth
    the Fuller, there also goeth the Tobis.

    Doth the Fuller thereby cause the Tobis
    to frequent more often every orchard?
    Or doth the presence of the Tobis
    in sundry places signify myriad causes
    of which the Fuller is but one,
    mayhaps e’en a gnat’s worth?

    ‘Tis a matter of little import,
    and not worth the loss of sleep o’er’t;
    like as if a man tossed all night
    wond’ring if a mouse’s breath could
    unhinge the whole great globe and send it
    spinning into Hades’ fiery grasp.

  113. Leif,

    “” It’s risen at an average rate of 0.3 millimeter over the 6,000 years since then. It is now rising at somewhere between 2 and 3 millimeters a year, almost 10 times as fast”.

    This only makes sense if sea level rise has been continuous over the last 6000 years, with no rise and fall in between. A sign wave moving at a continuous rate will demonstrate variations in the rate of rise and fall without showing anything but a miniscule “average” rate of change over the long haul. That doesn’t mean in the short run one won’t see relatively more rapid rises and falls that dwarf the “average”. It also means the average is a rather meaningless number if there is a cyclical pattern of rising and falling in between two points used to take an “average”. To evaluate whether the current rate of sea level rise is out of the ordinary, we would have to know the full story of the last 6000 years of sea level rise and fall, not merely the mathematical average.

  114. Tom Fuller says:
    September 10, 2010 at 9:41 pm
    the current rate of sea level rise does not appear threatening over the course of the relevant time frame–the century or so it will take us to get our energy solutions sorted out.
    A agree that 25 cm or foot or even IPCC’s 18-59 cm seems manageable. I also find it important that the increase now is 7 times larger than the 6000-year average, so we need to figure out if the current rate will stay constant or what its long-term behavior will be.

  115. conradg says:
    September 10, 2010 at 10:14 pm
    if there is a cyclical pattern of rising and falling in between two points used to take an “average”.
    But we do not know if there are such cycles. So what you are saying is: “assuming it is not so bad, we don’t need to worry”. This does not seem a reasonable stance. We need to find out what the long-term behavior has been and will be, and not just assume something. I may be in a minority on this, but so be it.

  116. It is discocenting that I am more confident over the rise in sea level over the last six thousand years than I am what is reported by ‘experts’ today.

  117. “This discourse is not about terminology or semantics. If it is belief discussed then it is not science discussed. Tom and you did use the word belief, therefore, what are we to think?”

    So people in science do not have opinions? be·lief   /bɪˈlif/ Show Spelled[bih-leef] Show IPA
    –noun
    1. something believed; an opinion or conviction
    —Synonyms
    1. view, tenet, conclusion, persuasion

    Legal Dictionary

    Main Entry: be·lief
    Function: noun
    : a degree of conviction of the truth of something esp. based on a consideration or examination of the evidence

    So a perfectly legitimate definition of belief is an opinion based upon the evidence. Would you be kind enough to show me where in science it says not to form an opinion based upon the evidence?

    I don’t know what you are to think but what I think is that you don’t understand the entire definition of the word belief.

  118. Leif Svalgaard says:
    September 10, 2010 at 9:04 pm

    In one sense, yes. But sunspots have not been rising over 6,000 years and attained a different rate suddenly the last 150 years. The sea level rise as measured in 2-3 mm /yr is drowned (that’s an intended pun) in noise of oceanic sloshing, wind patterns, tectonic movement, tsunamis, volcanic burial, etc. And at this rate, sea level rise is a non-threatening issue. It is most definately not a catastrophic event or rate of rise. Mankind can outrun/adapt to this.
    Your academic point is not in question. Rather, it’s the panicky sense of urgency that some are want to attach to it that is moot.

  119. Correction:
    “Your academic point is not in question”
    should read
    “Your academic point is not THE question”.

  120. John Whitman says:
    September 10, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    “If it is belief discussed then it is not science discussed.”

    Er… beg to differ. A lot in scientific theory is belief. Were it not so, then it wouldn’t be belief, but knowledge.

    We know a lot about *what* we can observe, but when it comes to the *why* or *how* of it, that is usually subject to revision over time, and at any one moment, we have beliefs about what it means.

    That is fine as long as we are aware we are believers and not knowers. However, and sadly, many scientists in each generation tend to think they have the ultimate answer, and the more agree with them, the more assured they feel about that.

    It is very hard for people, even scientists, to accept the inevitable fact of uncertainty.

  121. Right.

    Take, for instance, my home, the point on the east coast of the US, where sea level “rise” is the most pronounced.

    More like “land level sink”.

    Atlantic coastal plain muck….

    …..plus isostatic rebound from the last glaciation (New York is still popping up from a mile-thick ice sheet, pushing it surrounding area down, like a footprint in the wet sand…..

    ….plus the fact that we sit on the edge of on of the largest impact craters in the world…

    ….plus aquifer depletion and land use issues.

    Twice a week I run in hills that are ancient dunes form the early Holocene.

    Sea level rises in spurts and sputters.

    I would like to hear what Morner, the Sea Level equivalent to the Solar Leif god, has to say, about all this…

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  122. Correction: “that we sit on the edge of ONE of the largest impact craters”

    And I meant “Solar Leif god” in respect, in case what I said is misinterpreted.

    He is a very very smart man.

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  123. I also find it important that the increase now is 7 times larger than the 6000-year average, so we need to figure out if the current rate will stay constant or what its long-term behavior will be.

    Or how we explain short term variability eg Ablain et al 2009

    Abstract. A new error budget assessment of the global
    Mean Sea Level (MSL) determined by TOPEX/Poseidon and
    Jason-1 altimeter satellites between January 1993 and June
    2008 is presented using last altimeter standards. We discuss
    all potential errors affecting the calculation of the global
    MSL rate. We also compare altimetry-based sea level with
    tide gauge measurements over the altimetric period. Applying
    a statistical approach, this allows us to provide a realistic
    error budget of the MSL rise measured by satellite altimetry.
    These new calculations highlight a reduction in the rate of sea
    level rise since 2005, by ~2 mm/yr. This represents a 60%
    reduction compared to the 3.3 mm/yr sea level rise (glacial
    isostatic adjustment correction applied) measured between
    1993 and 2005. Since November 2005, MSL is accurately
    measured by a single satellite, Jason-1. However the error
    analysis performed here indicates that the recent reduction in
    MSL rate is real.

  124. Leif Svalgaard says:
    September 10, 2010 at 10:46 pm

    And the next part would be: It’s fallen off the last 2 cycles.
    So, should we also expect this non-issue and overly hyped sea-level rise to continue Trend without End, Amen?
    Or should we not expect it to vary, like the sunspot cycles have been doing?
    In both cases, adaptation is required, not panic and hysteria driven hype.

  125. rbateman says:
    September 10, 2010 at 11:33 pm

    In both cases, adaptation is required, not panic and hysteria driven hype.

    =========================================

    The absolute crux of the matter, no doubt, Robert!

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  126. rbateman says:
    September 10, 2010 at 11:33 pm
    Or should we not expect it to vary, like the sunspot cycles have been doing?
    Again that would be conjecture. The thermal inertia of the oceans is large. I don’t think we can make a comparison other than wishful thinking. But adapt we can and must, no matter how large or small the rise is.

  127. Amidst the many non-sensical replies (future projections are all based on a model of some sort, so not trusting something because it’s based on a model is a non-sequitur) I spotted Mosher actually engaging the question in a meaningful way.

    Mosher seems to argue to let those who will be affected take care of (and pay for) the problem. I think it’s more fair to let those who caused the problem take care of (and pay for) it.

    Mosher’s argument seems based on somehow blaming those who live in threatened areas, whereas in most cases, they chose to live there unaware of the potential future risk (partly thanks to the great efforts of WUWT and other outlets like it). Moreover, building infrastructure is usually not an individual decision, but are affected by many stakeholders. To blame the person who lives there because that’s where the jobs are doesn’t seem quite right imo.

  128. Tom,

    Are you saying that because sea levels have risen 120 metres (over the course of thousands of years) in the past, that therefore sea level rise that we can hardly decipher on a graph stretching 20,000 years isn’t going to be a problem?

    That would seem a stretch to me.

  129. I’ll listen to the expert on this one.
    Nils-Axel Mörner
    (1) In the last 2000 years, sea level has oscillated with 5 peaks reaching 0.6 to 1.2 m above the present sea level.

    (2) From 1790 to 1970 sea level was about 20 cm higher than today

    (3) In the 1970s, sea level fell by about 20 cm to its present level

    (4) Sea level has remained stable for the last 30 years, implying that there are no traces of any alarming on-going sea level rise.

    (5) Therefore, we are able to free the Maldives (and the rest of low-lying coasts and island around the globe) from the condemnation of becoming flooded in the near future.

    Read more: http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/fpcomment/archive/2009/10/20/maldives-president-all-wet-on-sea-level.aspx#ixzz0zHJdnR3V

  130. But surely Sea Level is generally a local issue.

    Venice is sinking (man-made). The Maldives are actually rising not sinking (bad press for someone holding their hands out for International sympathy and cash). The Ganges Delta is being diverted in places causing flooding in others. etc. etc.

    Here in New Zealand, tectonic activity is lifting the eastern side of the Country, causing rapid sea-level drop. In downtown Wellington, in the main CBD, plaques mark the waterfront as it was in 1840. The airport exists 30 feet amsl on uplifted land.

    In many places, we have accretion, yet in others erosion is impacting far more than any small variations in “Global Average” Sea Level

    Andy

  131. Leif Svalgaard says:
    September 10, 2010 at 9:19 pm
    “No, not at all, just pointing that whatever the cause, the recent rise is 7 times larger than the average over the past 6000 years.

    This would only be true if the “recent” rise were the 2-3mm/yr claimed. Which it isn’t. Actual observations suggest a figure more like ~0.5+/-1mm/yr over the past twenty years. This includes my personal observations, and the like observations of many other coast-living people, which frankly trump anything that anyone with an ideological axe to grind might publish to the contrary and agree with the work of experts like Mörner. This figure is fully consistent with a claim that sea levels are rising at or about the average rate for the past 6000 years. It would also be consistent with a claim that sea levels are currently falling.

  132. I am perplexed at the apparent need for some people to rigidly adhere to the IPCC version of sea level rise even though it is demonstrably inaccurate or misleading, and they admit as much in their careful wording of how it was put together.

    Let us give some highlights of the empircal evidence we have which demonstrates a frequent oscillation of sea level to around 1 metre higher than today. All these are detailed and substantiated within the numerous links I made in a detailed post I made here at 10am on 10th September, which included the material I had posted on the previous thread.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/09/10/sea-level-rise-hype-and-reality/

    *England was part of the continent until as recently as 6000 BC when rising sea levels caused by post ice age warming filled the North sea. This displaced the people of ‘Doggerland’ who had peviously inhabited this area. By 3000 BC the ocean was at near modern levels.

    * The North Sea had a ‘nasty little jump’ between 350 and 550AD, flooding the coasts of northern Europe with an extra 2 feet of water and sending its inhabitants — Angles and Saxons — fleeing (although “conquering” might be the better word) into ill-prepared Roman territories. Many of those posting here would have names that would suggest they had ancestors affected by this climatic ‘tipping point.’

    * After falling in the subsequent centuries, sea levels rose significantly again after 1000 AD. Over the next two centuries the North sea rose as much as 40-50 cms above today’s height in the low countries then slowly retreated again as temperature fell.

    *There was ‘innundation’ around 1200AD of many parts of low land coastal Europe including Holland and Britain. This displaced thousands of coastal dwellers and caused conflict with those whose land they tried to move on to, further inland. Sea levels then were about 0.50cm higher than today. The Vikings are thought to have used the deeper rivers at the start of this period to raid Eurpope, sailing their shallow draught ships up the Seine and deep into the continent in an attempt to destroy Charlemagnes Holy Roman empire.

    *Sea levels subsequently fell during the sporadic periods of intense cold we know as the LIA. They started rising again by 1850 which is the point the IPCC choose to measure from.

    * In AR4 Chapter 5 they confirm that in 1900 there were only some 20NH tide gauges and 2 in the SH.

    * Of these some 7 were unchanged in location since first measuring from around 1850/80. However in the modern equivalent of UHI, development happened around them e.g New York, rendering their information less useful.

    * There are some 3 NH tide gauges, all from the same tidal basin, which date back around 100 years further. These have all moved and their data is very intermittent but was subsequently ‘interpolated.’

    * According to the IPCC “Data prior to 1993 are from tide gauges and after 1993 are from satellite altimetry.

    * Satellite data has their own inherent problems with an admitted accuracy of some 5cm-dependent on methodology used. The earlier data is particularly dubious.

    * So highly imperfect satellite data was grafted on to virtually non existent tidal gauge information. From this embarassingly sparse data the IPCC constructed a global sea level. Bearing in mind the relative size of land and ocean this methodology is akin to using some 4 or 5 short term thermometers, all clustered in much the same area and with large chunks of missing data and affected by development, and then proclaiming it as some sort of highly accurate measurement of a global temperature

    So what is our best guess of what has actually happened recently-apart from the evidence of our own eyes and those of our ancestors- and whilst remembering that complications set in due to land rising/falling and deposition.

    *According to S. J. Holgate, a recognised world authority in geophysical research at the UK-based Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory in Liverpool, in his paper published in 2007, the following results represent the most comprehensive measurements of decadal sea-level change rates during the 20th century.
    Between 1904 and 1953 global sea levels rose by 2.03 mm per year, whereas from 1954 to 2003 they rose by only 1.45 mm per year, giving an annual mean rate of 1.74 mm per year over the 100 years to 2003, or seven inches per century. Importantly, there was no increase in the rate of change over the whole century.

    So, based on these peer reviewed and generally accepted numbers, 20th century sea levels rose at a 25% slower rate in the second half of the century than the first which, on any reasonable interpretation, contradicts the notion that global temperature increases during the last 50 years contributed to any sea level rise!”
    This is graphically illustrated here.

    Average rate of rise:
    1904-1953: 2.03 ± 0.35 mm/year 1954-2003: 1.45 ± 0.34 mm/year

    * If we want to believe satellites have an accurate handle on all this, here is Ablain et al 2009
    Abstract. A new error budget assessment of the global
    Mean Sea Level (MSL) determined by TOPEX/Poseidon and
    Jason-1 altimeter satellites between January 1993 and June
    2008 is presented using last altimeter standards. We discuss
    all potential errors affecting the calculation of the global
    MSL rate. We also compare altimetry-based sea level with
    tide gauge measurements over the altimetric period. Applying
    a statistical approach, this allows us to provide a realistic
    error budget of the MSL rise measured by satellite altimetry.
    These new calculations highlight a reduction in the rate of sea
    level rise since 2005, by ~2 mm/yr. This represents a 60%
    reduction compared to the 3.3 mm/yr sea level rise (glacial
    isostatic adjustment correction applied) measured between
    1993 and 2005. Since November 2005, MSL is accurately
    measured by a single satellite, Jason-1. However the error
    analysis performed here indicates that the recent reduction in
    MSL rate is real.

    It is somewhat meaningless to cite a steady rise in sea levels over the last 6000 years. It rose quickly then has oscillated round a metre up and down on around 5 occasions. Current sea level rise is extremely modest and has fallen back from the already modest increases seen from around 1850/80.

    To experience a sea level rise of up to a metre by the end of the century requires a fantastic rate of increase of around 1.10cm a year, that’s around 2inches over a five year period, which is not being observed, and has not been observed.

    All the links to the information encapsulated above are contained in my link made on this thread at 10am on the 10th septemberr. It is here.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/09/10/sea-level-rise-hype-and-reality/

    This includes the link to the IPCC AR4 chapter 5.

    I would very much like to see an article from Bart Verheggen or Michel Tobis in which-after looking at the empirical information and the history behind it-they justify their understanding of sea level rise. Whilst they are about it they can also justify the supposed accuracy of historic sea surface temperatures .

    Tonyb

  133. steven says:
    September 10, 2010 at 10:35 pm
    So a perfectly legitimate definition of belief is an opinion based upon the evidence. Would you be kind enough to show me where in science it says not to form an opinion based upon the evidence?
    I don’t know what you are to think but what I think is that you don’t understand the entire definition of the word belief.
    —————-
    Michael Larkin says:
    September 10, 2010 at 10:41 pm
    Er… beg to differ. A lot in scientific theory is belief. Were it not so, then it wouldn’t be belief, but knowledge.
    We know a lot about *what* we can observe, but when it comes to the *why* or *how* of it, that is usually subject to revision over time, and at any one moment, we have beliefs about what it means.
    That is fine as long as we are aware we are believers and not knowers. However, and sadly, many scientists in each generation tend to think they have the ultimate answer, and the more agree with them, the more assured they feel about that.
    It is very hard for people, even scientists, to accept the inevitable fact of uncertainty.

    ———————-

    Steven and Michael Larkin,

    Thank you for commenting.

    Definitions of “belief” applicable to law, social discourse, theology and psychological phenomena aside; I very very rarely run across actual “belief” involved in specific formal physical science. Where I have found “belief” in such cases, it is incidental to the science.

    I would argue that a quite good working definition of science (strictly for the purpose of our discussion only) is: Science is a non-belief based body of knowledge.

    A non-belief body of knowledge would hold:
    aaa – assumed things are stated as assumptions
    bbb – unknown things are stated as unknown
    ccc – uncertainty is openly admitted and shown
    ddd – data, code and methods are documented and preserved
    ggg – reality, per se, is the only authority that can establish validity
    hhh – etc, etc, etc

    Note #1: In my experience, it is common to find some scientists (whom I respect in a given field) who have belief systems (for example religion) in their private life. But in their professional life I respect them because they are non-belief oriented.

    Note #2: Private research can be science in a private sense. To belong to the public body of science, privately held non-belief must be released to the public.

    John

  134. Michael Tobis says:

    “Admittedly, if CO2 were the only important forcing…”

    Now we’re on the same page. The problem with the alarmist crowd is that they hang their hats on CO2 being the primary cause of the runaway global warming conjecture.

    If everyone was in agreement with you that the effect of CO2 is not the primary determinant of temperature, and that there are other factors that have a much greater impact, then the basis for taxing the air we breathe would be negated; the lucrative grants would be jeopardized, and we could move on to discussing the actual causes of climate variability.

    But that will not happen, because taxing “carbon” is the primary goal of the CO2=CAGW scam. Money and politics have corrupted climate science, so a harmless and beneficial trace gas must be demonized. There is no alternative for those with their hands deep in the taxpayers’ pockets.

  135. The folks at Wikipedia say –
    “Water vapor accounts for the largest percentage of the greenhouse effect, between 36% and 66% for clear sky conditions and between 66% and 85% when including clouds.[8] Water vapor concentrations fluctuate regionally, but human activity does not significantly affect water vapor concentrations except at local scales, such as near irrigated fields. According to the Environmental Health Center of the National Safety Council, water vapor constitutes as much as 2% of the atmosphere.[31]”
    “The Clausius-Clapeyron relation establishes that air can hold more water vapor per unit volume when it warms. This and other basic principles indicate that warming associated with increased concentrations of the other greenhouse gases also will increase the concentration of water vapor. Because water vapor is a greenhouse gas this results in further warming, a “positive feedback” that amplifies the original warming. This positive feedback does not result in runaway global warming because it is offset by other processes that induce negative feedbacks, which stabilizes average global temperatures.”

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

    NOW… why isn’t the EPA going after the biggest game in the fish bowl? Why are they piddling around with the little fish when the BIG Game in the bowl is WATER VAPOR? Hummm… I think it has something to do with misguided loyalty, or money under the table (know what I mean?). Yhep! When the Supremes get the case on the EPA and the viscious attacts these crooks are making on a little thing like CO2, the TRUTH will then come out. The Boys & Girls on THE COURT will tell them where to go and what to fight. They will too! Just you wait.

    I think we ought to tackle the BIGGEST Problem first. WATER VAPOR has got to go! Well, OK, we gotta’ bring it down in a BIG BIG way. So how do we do that? First we get that crazy artist fella that covers up everything –like Hoover Dam– with orange cloth to cover the oceans in white shiney, plastic coated silk to reflect all that heat back into space AND keep all that water vapor in. That’ll kill a couple birds with one stone, as they say. Then, of course, we blow all the dams and send all that restricted water to where it’s supposed to be, and not where we want it. And resevours, they gotta go. And waste water treatment plants, them too! Now, I know, that’s going to cause a lot of flooding and eventually things are going to get mighty dry and smelly, but let’s face it, that’s just the price you have to pay to fight this beast. Oh! And spagetti -no more noodle boiling, that’s gotta go too.

  136. Leif Svalgaard says:
    September 11, 2010 at 12:19 am

    Oceanic Thermal Inertia, that’s a terrestrially significant shock absorber you identified there.
    It would take an Extra-Terrestrial event to rapidly alter it.
    By the way, how is NASA (or anybody else) doing with plans to divert a large impacting body?

  137. Mean Sea Level rise rate has slowed to around 1.3mm/year since 2005

    The Sun’s energy heats the oceans by penetrating many metres into it, not downwelling IR from the atmosphere, which can’t penetrate the surface much beyond it’s own wavelength, and simply causes evaporation at the surface.

    The simplest and most likely correct explanation for the drop in ocean heat content is the reduction in solar energy entering the ocean since 2003.

  138. John, a reference for belief being unscientific in nature and not just your “belief” that it is or drop it.

  139. steven says:
    September 11, 2010 at 8:15 am

    John, a reference for belief being unscientific in nature and not just your “belief” that it is or drop it.

    ——————-

    steven,

    OK, dropping it with following observation.

    There recently has been an age of reason for reason’s sake; however, it appears we are now starting into an age less so; rather one of ascendant belief in the name of reason itself. In other words, reason for belief’s sake. As a case in point, just look at the history of climate science for the last two decades.

    John

  140. I still don’t think there has been any appreciable rise in the last 2000 years. The Med is a good place to look, as it has no tides to complicate the issue, and plenty of known sea level locations (harbours) from over 2000 years ago.

    Some ancient harbours, like Alexandria are below sea level, but then it was built on the sands of a river delta. Others, like Ephesus, are now 2km from the sea. Many, however, are exactly where they should be, in terms of sea levels.

    How much has the land changed in its level? Who knows, the reports I have looked at contradict each other so much, they appear to be no better than guesswork.

    .

  141. Bart Verheggen says: September 11, 2010 at 1:45 am
    Amidst the many non-sensical replies (future projections are all based on a model of some sort, so not trusting something because it’s based on a model is a non-sequitur) I spotted Mosher actually engaging the question in a meaningful way.
    Mosher seems to argue to let those who will be affected take care of (and pay for) the problem. I think it’s more fair to let those who caused the problem take care of (and pay for) it;
    Mosher’s argument seems based on somehow blaming those who live in threatened areas, whereas in most cases, they chose to live there unaware of the potential future risk (partly thanks to the great efforts of WUWT and other outlets like it). Moreover, building infrastructure is usually not an individual decision, but are affected by many stakeholders. To blame the person who lives there because that’s where the jobs are doesn’t seem quite right imo.

    1. Provide data indicating how far a person must travel to get to work if sequestered 1 m higher than present abode.
    2. Provide data on coastal property values and the income of those living there.
    3. Provide data on the relative cost/return on building infrastructure situate in coastal areas relative to inland.
    4. Provide data on alledged islanders ignorance of the effect of tsunamis, hurricanes, or other typical inclement oceanic effects.
    5. Include in your thesis why Al Gore, who owns ocean front property is ignorant of the alledged catastrophic sea level increases.

    When you’ve done that, I’m sure you will come to the conclusion that people will live in flood prone areas regardless of the potential for loss. People are moving back into New Orleans, next to the Mississippi in other areas near oxbows (former river channels), on a manmade island in Dubai, etc. I live in the center of tornado alley. How incredibly stupid is that? But I’m prepared for the possible event, insured, capable of hearing sirens, have a well stocked basement, purchased a $29 weather scanner (instead of a case of twinkies and a twelve pack of sugar), and can watch TV weather. I take responsibility for my DECISION TO LIVE WHERE I DO. If some idiot has his TV blaring rap on MTV so loud he/she gets a swirley, then so be it. If he/she lived through the tornado, later in life he/she would inevitably try to hug a polar bear (see thread on that). People had FIVE days leave New Orleans, and I have to pay to rebuild?

    You are under the liberal illusion that people should not be held responsible for individual decisions, regardles of how asinine. Typical idealistic, government-required problem solving. I’m not responsible for every stupid decision people selfishly make. If they’re ignorant of facts, it’s because somewhere in life they made a personal decision to disregard attempts to educate. Maybe not knowingly, but a decision none the less.
    And though most warmists probably are not willing to admit it, they have made the decision to believe and defend CAGW without taking the time to research the facts (which of course, does not apply to those who have a vested interest in promotion).

    I’m with Mosh on this.

    If you feel the government ever solves problems rationally, then petition them to enforce a ban on building at elevations within 1m of the ocean level. Otherwise leave me the heck out of it.
    If you feel I’m being too harsh, you are correct. You just happened to present me with the opportunity to vent. Thank you. I feel much better.

    /rant

  142. You will never erase the geopolitical and geostrategic importance of New Orleans.

    It is one of the most important port cities in the world as it empties America’s heartland, the “Breadbasket”.

    It may have to be moved one day, but, for now, it is not going anywhere and is a great city.

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  143. Lief,

    “But we do not know if there are such cycles. So what you are saying is: “assuming it is not so bad, we don’t need to worry”.

    Show me where I said anything like that. As with the subject itself, you are making an inference about my comment with no evidence to back it up. You are the one who is presuming that there has been no rise and fall in sea levels over the last 6000 years, without any evidence to back up that claim. I am the one who is simply pointing out what ought to be obvious to anyone with the slightest scientific background – that without knowing the history of sea level change over the last 6000 years, it’s meaningless to compare the current rate of change with the “average” change by simply looking at starting and ending points. In effect, you are creating a “sea level hockey stick” by presuming an unchanging, flat rate of sea level rise over the last 6000 years, and then tacking on a sudden rate of rise, without having enough detailed data about the history of sea level to see if there’s anything uncommon about this rate of rise over that period of time. If you don’t know what constitutes the natural variations in sea level rise and fall, you can’t make an intelligent comment about whether the current rise is something unnatural or worrisome. I’m not saying “don’t worry, nothing to see here”, I’m merely pointing out that in the absence of more detailed knowledge about the pattern and cycles of sea level rise, you can’t say much of anything intelligent about the current rate of change, whether we should worry about it or not. Similar situation with climate temps.

  144. You could rant in a similar fashion about the very vulnerable 1.7 million people of the Tidewater, the Virginia coast, where I live.

    And yeah Norfolk has the highest “sea level rise” on the East Coast [more aptly termed "land level sink" LOL].

    But Norfolk also has the largest navy base in the world, and the greater Tidewater area in which Norfolk is the seat, also boasts the largest military concentration in the country outside of Northern Virginia / Washington DC.

    Our ships dispatch to every crisis, including September 11, and our F-16s scrambled to protect the nations capital on that fateful day.

    The Peninsula portion of my area has the second highest per capita concentration of engineers and scientists in the country, second only to Silicon valley.

    There are good reasons all of this is here….

    The largest natural deepwater harbor in the world which guards the entrance of one of the busiest and largest estuaries in the world, the Chesapeake Bay.

    They have to come through us to get to DC, Philadelphia, Annapolis, and Baltimore.

    Tidewater [or "Hampton Roads"] is THE most infrastructure-dependent major metropolitan statistical area in the country.

    And we are woefully underfunded by our own state and the Federal Government in terms of transportation, infrastructure, and evacuation routes.

    But like I said before, there is a reason all of this is here, geopolitically and geostrategically, and it ain’t going away any time soon.

    Nor would you want it to.

    Being in the top 2 or 3 MSA’s in the country in terms of national security also means that we are one of the most important to INTERNATIONAL security on the planet.

    We keep the balance of peace. At least we try…

    Do you think the American taxpayer should foot the bill?

    You damn well better believe it!

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  145. savethesharks says:
    September 11, 2010 at 10:39 am
    You will never erase the geopolitical and geostrategic importance of New Orleans.
    It is one of the most important port cities in the world as it empties America’s heartland, the “Breadbasket”.

    The Port of New Orleans is strategic, not the city where located, below sea level. There are better places upstream where relocation would have been enormously simpler and cheaper. The river has already been constrained. If people want to relocate below sea level, don’t use tax dollars.

    Do you think the American taxpayer should foot the bill?
    You damn well better believe it!

    Military funding is constitutional. Anything associated with Naval installations is fair game for federal dollars. However, military personnel who live offbase should have their own insurance. Again, that is a decision. If there are insufficient domiciles onbase, then perhaps pay should be supplemented with an amount to cover insurance, which I believe it is in some cases. And don’t tell me ,Chris, that they don’t get paid enough for insurance. I purposely included the twinkies and soda in my previous post. My wife and I made a decision when first married to live within a bare-bones budget. Deviations from that budget are required to be justified. We pay ourselves first. Unfortunately, insurance is a necessary evil. But over the years it has been made increasing obvious to us that we have lost the desire for triviality, and ar the better for it. Frugal prudence has resulted in current comfort. Again, we made the decision. 95% (or somewhere thereabouts, pre recession value) of the US population live paycheck to paycheck. In ALL cases, that is a decision. Regardless of income, there are means to get where you want to be financially if willing to make hard sacrifices and tough decisions. I rode a Honda 90 to work (10 miles) for 5 years, rain, sleet and snow (Colorado). Not because I needed the exercise, but because I was unwilling to purchase a car without cash. I know people who have never worked with flat screen tv and $400 cellphones. I have neither. Chris this tirade is not necessarily directed at you. I read in the Wichita eagle the the EPA is forcing Kansas to permit the CO2 monster. http://www.kansas.com or my post in Tips and notes.

    I’m just pissed at excuses and ignorance today. I’d probably use a swear word if R. Gates spewed some of his garbage about now. ;~P

  146. The IPCC projections of 2.3mm rise per year is based on one – yes ONE – tidal gauge (GLOSS 77) at Quarry Station in Hong Kong Harbor. Ironically, this one gauge is situated on geology that is subsiding at the rate of – you guessed it – 2.3 mm per year. The entire argument of rising sea levels is a total sham. This is Sea-Level-Gate.

  147. Leif Svalgaard says:
    September 10, 2010 at 10:30 pm

    conradg says:
    September 10, 2010 at 10:14 pm
    if there is a cyclical pattern of rising and falling in between two points used to take an “average”.
    But we do not know if there are such cycles. So what you are saying is: “assuming it is not so bad, we don’t need to worry”. This does not seem a reasonable stance. We need to find out what the long-term behavior has been and will be, and not just assume something. I may be in a minority on this, but so be it.

    Go back to the link/paragraph I posted about the welsh castle. Sea level has self-evidently fallen since the castle was constructed. So you do now know there are such cycles.

  148. Steven says:

    CO2 does cause warming.

    Do N2, O2, and H2O not cause warming? What is the justification for attributing enormous effects to a very small amount of CO2?

  149. Ralph says:
    September 11, 2010 at 9:37 am

    I still don’t think there has been any appreciable rise in the last 2000 years. The Med is a good place to look, as it has no tides to complicate the issue, and plenty of known sea level locations (harbours) from over 2000 years ago.

    Some ancient harbours, like Alexandria are below sea level, but then it was built on the sands of a river delta. Others, like Ephesus, are now 2km from the sea. Many, however, are exactly where they should be, in terms of sea levels.

    How much has the land changed in its level? Who knows, the reports I have looked at contradict each other so much, they appear to be no better than guesswork.

    —…—…—…

    Now, to show

    (1) that Man (not just Mann and his biased cohorts!) does affect the local sea level environment, I need to remind ALL reader of Brownwood subdivision in Baytown TX, just off the Houston ship channel on the northside of Galveston Bay.

    Industrial water demands for the refineries, plastics, and processing industries along the Houston Ship Channel, and commercial/residential/personal water withdrawal from nearby towns led to a ten-twelve foot drop in land elevation in the few years between 1950 and 1995. The sea level did NOT rise, the land dropped by almost 3.0 meters. Some similar drops are being found now in southern Taiwan as ground water is withdrawn for irrigation.

    As a result the Brownwood subdivision of Baytown was flooded out several times by hurricanes – though the residents themselves were not at fault for being “moved” into a more dangerous position – and the town eventually forced to close the subdivision and move people to higher ground.

    2) Now consider that this involved not 1.2 mm per year occurring over a 100+ year span, but 3000 .0 mm occurring over a 40 year span. And yet only a few families needed to be moved in one town – in a region very highly populated in the third most populous state in America. So, how dangerous is sea level rise? IF it is happening at all.

    Relative sea level rise is more controlled by land motion (up and down) than by water level rise. And relative sea level rises are the only change that matters. Where land is rising/rebounding from ice age weight release or coral buildup, or where relative sea level is rising because of land subsidence, the small amount of supposed temperature-based increase (estimated at 1/3 of the net rise) and ice melt increase (the remaining increase) is not under man’s control. Publicity about it is completely under Mann’s control. Deliberately.

    The “scientists” who use sea level rise to advertise and scare their funding sources for Gaia-based-semi-religious beliefs and for greater funding and political influence (Nobel Prize rewards and NASA grants and public recognition and Congressional publicity and trips to foreign conferences and incestuous peer reviews) deserve the curses they receive.

  150. When we talk about greenhouse gases we need to keep a few things in mind, “How does a green house work?”

    The warming hoax based on man-made global warming is based on Green house gases.

    Greenhouses don’t warm them selves, it is always based on solar heat. So, the gases provide a climate lag buffer.

    However, Ozone may be a greenhouse, global warming feature, much as hurricanes and tropical storms. If ozone can’t be produced during warm summers, the hole in the ozone is going to show up.

    Vapor is already dropping in the upper atmosphere. That is two of the four EPA greenhouse gas pollutants.

    We may find the earth as a whole must be warmed up and cooled down, not just the greenhouse gases.

  151. Beale, “co2 causes warming” does not have the word enormous encompassed in it.

    Z, I assume you checked to see if the land was rising before you assumed the sea level was falling.

  152. rbateman said on Sea Level Rise: Hype and Reality
    September 11, 2010 at 8:05 am
    By the way, how is NASA (or anybody else) doing with plans to divert a large impacting body?
    mulling…

  153. The insurance rates for NOLA should be as high as building a mansion in the Bay of Fundy at low tide. Of course, they’d have to be pretty quick up there and could take a little more time ‘down there’ in that hole in the Mississippi Delta.

  154. I see that another ‘alarming’ climate-related report from the Associated Press has just popped up on Google News saying that tens of thousands of walruses have come ashore in northwest Alaska because their normal sea ice habitat has just been melted. It says such mass walrus migrations are unusual in the United States, but similar events have been observed twice before in 2007 and 2009.

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jkeClh5thU2svqQ7A0w-J662aFRwD9I76L380

  155. Sorry this is a bit late. I very much enjoyed John Reading’s contribution on 10th September. Could he (or anyone else) supply a reference or attribution to “The Fallacy of the Multitudes”? A Google search returns only two results including his own post.

    Hamish

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