Putting the Brakes on Acceleration

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

Various pundits and scientists keep talking about a threatened acceleration in the sea level rise. Here’s the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report:

Anthropogenic forcing is also expected to produce an accelerating rate of sea level rise (Woodworth et al., 2004).

The usual font of misinformation says:

Church and White (2006) report an acceleration of SLR since 1870. This is a revision since 2001, when the TAR stated that measurements have detected no significant acceleration in the recent rate of sea level rise.

Over at the inversely named “SkepticalScience” blog, which is inadequately skeptical, we find:

The blue line in the graph below clearly shows sea level as rising, while the upward curve suggests sea level is rising faster as time goes on. The upward curve agrees with global temperature trends and with the accelerating melting of ice in Greenland and other places.

The Guardian gets in their licks:

Sea levels are already on the rise as a result of increasing temperatures, because the oceans expand as they warm up, but until now scientists have had a poor understanding of how quickly ice sheets such as those in Greenland and Antarctica will begin to disappear.

Meanwhile, back in the world of reality we have the latest satellite data up to September of 2010:

Figure 1. Satellite-measured sea level rise. Errors shown are 95% confidence intervals. Data Source.

The smaller trend of the recent half of the record is statistically different from the larger trend of the first half. Will this reduction continue into the future? Who knows? I’m just talking about the past, and pointing out that we sure haven’t seen any sign of the threatened acceleration in the satellite record. Quite the opposite, in fact.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled warnings of global inundation from accelerating sea level rise …

w.

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169 thoughts on “Putting the Brakes on Acceleration

  1. When the sea level has already risen 400 feet since the end of the last ice age, the last ‘few millimeters’ is nothing but measurement error. Afterall, how do we know that 10,000 years ago the sea level didn’t really rise 410 feet? Or 390 feet? or +-20 feet of the Al Gore movie?

    Engineering calls this measurement error.

    When the “data” reality doesn’t meet up with the doom-saying science predictions, just change the dates, and or adjust the predictions — Junk science has a simple beauty all it’s own … LOL.

    BTW, not criticizing the author, just what is going on.

  2. The gentle rising curve in the chart immediately suggests to me a segment of a sine wave plot just beginning to nose over toward its peak, with a period of perhaps 120 -150 years.

    As always our data history duration is so short we won’t be able to confirm that for a life time or two.

    Larry

  3. I don’t think the average person knows what the technical definition of acceleration means. The term seems to mean, in common vernacular, simply an increase in the thing being observed.

  4. The Australian government have warned local councils to get ready for much faster ocean rising in the future.
    They have provided maps of threatened towns, villages and cities.

    That puts many property owners in great difficulty as there are no buyers for property said to be threatened by rising sea levels.
    Many people will have lost all their assets and be destitute if this nonesence is allowed to continue.

    The only way out would be for someone harmed by this nonsense to take it to court.
    It would need ample funds to pursue unless a class action could be started.
    It would also require an able barrister who can understand some simple science.
    Plus a judge who is experienced in examining evidence and is not afraid of kicking up a bit of a rumpus..

  5. Absolutely spot on Willis. It is clear from the satellite measurements (when viewed upside down) that sea levels are in decline. I wish my share portfolio graph showed such a lack of acceleration. I would be rich!!! Must be a slow news day at WUWT to publish this analysis. Sea levels are headed in one direction: UP.

    MJK

  6. But it’s all about the tipping points, runaway positive feedbacks, paradigm shifts, and the last straw that breaks the camel’s back. When the atmosphere reaches any one of those points, then all hell will break loose.

    /sarcasm

  7. Has someone noticed that the moon is orbiting the Earth faster? Sea levels do have an accelerating rise twice every day ;-)

  8. 3 cm every 10 years. OMG, we are doomed! How can we possibly adapt to these extreme changes?

    I don’t think I will be able to sleep tonight knowing that the sea level will be 8 microns closer to drowning me in my sleep.

  9. Hi Willis, thanks for continuing to point out the continuing nonsense about sea acceleration of sea level increase.

    Before putting too much faith in the TOPEX/Poseidon figures, you may want to look at how the are calculated (adjusted?): see http://www.mdpi.org/sensors/papers/s6030131.pdf

    It would be useful to have a formal reconciliation of the TOPEX/Posiedon numbers and the numerous conclusions in the literature of 1.5-1.9 mm per year (e.g., Wunch 2007, Leuliette 2009).

  10. This interview is a MUST READ in any discussion on sea level rise. Dr Mörner discusses trends in the 20th century (1.1 mm/yr), Pacific Islands such as Tuvalu, and below I have excerpted his discussion of satellite data ‘corrections’.

    Interview: Dr. Nils-Axel Mörner
    Claim That Sea Level Is Rising Is a Total Fraud

    Tide gauging is very complicated, because it gives different answers for wherever you are in the world. But we have to rely on geology when we interpret it. So, for example, those people in the IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change], choose Hong Kong, which has six tide gauges, and they choose the record of one, which gives 2.3 mm per year rise of sea level. Every geologist knows that that is a subsiding area. It’s the compaction of sediment; it is the only record which you shouldn’t use.

    Now, back to satellite altimetry, which shows the water, not just the coasts, but in the whole of the ocean. And you measure it by satellite. From 1992 to 2002, [the graph of the sea level] was a straight line, variability along a straight line, but absolutely no trend whatsoever

    Then, in 2003, the same data set, which in their [IPCC’s] publications, in their website, was a straight line—suddenly it changed, and showed a very strong line of uplift, 2.3 mm per year, the same as from the tide gauge.

    It was the original one which they had suddenly twisted up, because they entered a “correction factor,” which they took from the [Hong Kong] tide gauge.

    It looks like it is measured from the satellite, but you don’t say what really happened. And they answered, that we had to do it, because otherwise we would not have gotten any trend!

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

    Dr. Nils-Axel Mörner is the head of the Paleogeophysics and
    Geodynamics department at Stockholm University in Sweden.
    He is past president (1999-2003) of the INQUA Commission
    on Sea Level Changes and Coastal Evolution, and
    leader of the Maldives Sea Level Project. Dr. Mörner has
    been studying the sea level and its effects on coastal areas for
    some 35 years. He was interviewed by Gregory Murphy on
    June 6 for EIR. [June 22, 2007]

  11. what’s more funny, that this article is missing the slower sea level rise before 1992, or that some readers won’t even accept the article because they refuse to accept sea level satellite data.

  12. Sorry for the typos in the earlier post.

    See Wunsch (2007) at – http://ocean.mit.edu/~cwunsch/papersonline/Wunschetal_jclimate_2007_published.pdf . Dr. Wunsch will never agree to be called a “skeptic” (and despite teaching at MIT I doubt he’s a Republican) but this paper is the souce of the quote “It remains
    possible that the database is insufficient to compute mean sea level trends with the accuracy necessary to discuss the impact of global warming—as disappointing
    as this conclusion may be”.

    See Leuliette (2009) abstract at http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2009/2008GL036010.shtml

    See also Wöppelmann (2009) – http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2009/2009GL038720.shtml

  13. A few years ago, the U of Colo Jason/Topex chart was showing an overall 3.2 mm/yr rise, now it’s down to 3.1, and unless things pick up shortly, they may have to drop it to 3.0 mm/yr.

    Also, the Jason 3 satellite is under construction by Thales Alenia, and will be launched in 2013. A subsequent satellite, Jason CS, is on the drawing board for 2017.

  14. You can possibly see the effects of the 1998 El nino and 2008 La Nina in the data, looks like these satellites are measuring something real.

    I think the acceleration comes in an earlier period. It seems to coincide with the change over from gauges to satellite, something that worries me about this particular observation.

    I’m not sure why anybody would expect acceleration in SLR over the satellite period. The global temp data isn’t showing an acceleration over the second half of the satellite period.

    Neither is ocean heat content

    Willis’s conclusion for this period sounds like it should also be the expectation of the climate scientists.

    Willis are you assigning then IPCC acceleration to the wrong part of the record?

  15. Jerejeva et al., 2008 show that 20th century sea level rise alternated between roughly 30-yr periods of ~3 mm/yr rises punctuated by roughly 30-yr hiatus periods…

    Jerejeva, 20th Century Sea Level

    The Jerejeva reconstruction goes back to 1700. The CU satellite data tie right into the Jerejeva reconstruction with a small static shift…

    Jerejeva and CU Sea Level

    The warm up from the Little Ice Age began in the 1600’s… Less than 100 years before sea level started its current rise (sea level has actually been rising since the Holocene transgression – But that’s a different story). CO2 started rising in about 1850.

    Post hoc ergo propter hoc might be a logical fallacy… But… If the warming started before sea level started to rise… And both of those started before the CO2 started rising… It’s not very likely that CO2 caused the warming and the sea level rise.

  16. David L @ 4:05 am —
    I don’t think the average person knows what the technical definition of acceleration means. The term seems to mean, in common vernacular, simply an increase in the thing being observed.

    mjk @ 4:17 am
    I wish my share portfolio graph showed such a lack of acceleration. … Sea levels are headed in one direction: UP.

    A very prescient comment there, David L. Who would have thought someone would have proved your point quite so succinctly and quite so quickly?

  17. Willis, the Universty of Colorado graph you show does not look as flat as the Universitry of Colorado graph shown on the ENSO section of WUWT. Maybe my eyes are off , but if not WUWT?

  18. I’m not a statistician, but surely the best tool for detecting time-trend anomalies is a statistical process control (SPC) chart? Or doesn’t it work on top of underlying trends?

  19. I’m more worried about post glacial sea level rises stopping as that would be an indication that we are headed for the next glacial period. A whole lot more folk are going to die if it gets colder rather than warmer. I’m still wondering where all these sea levels are rising, I’ve visited quite a few seaside places here in the UK and the sea is still were I found it many, many years ago as a child. Maybe urbinisation and industrialisation of coastal areas has something to do with the land moving under our feet? Or maybe we only measure sea levels where we worry about them? It will be interesting to see what data our satellites come up with over the next few decades (once we are sure they are accurate enough).

  20. mjk says:
    January 8, 2011 at 4:17 am

    You might want to look up the term “acceleration”. Of course sea level has been rising, just as it has since the end of the last ice age, but that isn’t the point. On a graph, an acceleration would appear as a parabola, arcing upwards. But, if you put a straight edge on that line you will see just the opposite. Oops.

  21. AusieDan says:
    January 8, 2011 at 4:06 am

    The Australian government have warned local councils to get ready for much faster ocean rising in the future.
    They have provided maps of threatened towns, villages and cities.

    That puts many property owners in great difficulty as there are no buyers for property said to be threatened by rising sea levels.

    ##############################
    Chance for somebody with money to pick the property up cheap and hold it until the truth is out. A greenie would never do that, would they?

  22. My question is how, where and when do they measure the sea level.

    The above graph as a range of +- 20mm I would have thought that the surfaces of the oceans are constantly changing.

    Am I missing something?

  23. Good find Willis.

    A polynomial fits the data better than a linear trend. A polynomial extension of the data only gives modest rise in sea level by 2100.

    I downloaded the Aviso sea level data (which is a little more up to date, includes the Envisat satellite and includes all the adjustments that should be done like seasonality as well) in addition to the University of Colorado.

    http://www.aviso.oceanobs.com/en/news/ocean-indicators/mean-sea-level/products-images/index.html

    Aviso as well is not a linear trend.

    Extending out both to 2100, we see only 6 inches of sea level rise in Aviso by 2080 after which it peaks (and the University of Colorado data shows a peak occuring a little too soon so perhaps Aviso is better).

  24. Beesaman says:
    January 8, 2011 at 5:49 am
    …I’ve visited quite a few seaside places here in the UK and the sea is still were I found it many, many years ago as a child…
    =====================================================
    Same here in tiny Malta, middleof the mediterranean sea. No indication of any visually identifiable signal of any sea-level changes whatsover, positive or negative. Our old traditional fisherman would definitely notice since these have made many markings, boat hooking points on the rocks, steps cut in granite etc…. NO CHANGE.
    Sarc on: Maybe it’s because we do not have glaciers….LOL.

  25. SL is very important issue and it will probably be the issue to wake people up. It is obvious that it already stopped rising and it will be dropping soon, much faster than it rose in the last few decades.

  26. re ‘acceleration’ as used by the warmists – this is typical ‘get out of jail free’ card used by propagandist types to ensure the original fact of continuous (i.e. since LIA) sea level rise is ignored. Instead of describing decadal (or whatever) changes in rates of SL rises, they use the term acceleration to be deliberately alarmist. The truth is (from this article) that acceleration is slowing – but I wonder how many MSM articles will ever say that!
    I suspect the satellite data is pretty useless (+/- 20mm is not that useful when one can do real measurements at harbours etc) but yet again it doesn’t exactly get prime media coverage because it does not show what the alarmists want!

  27. Sea level rise seems to be more policy than science. Will the earth they claim to be saving cooperate? We know tax hungry politicians will, if elected.

  28. Please see:
    TOPEX-Poseidon Radar Altimetry:
    Averaging the Averages
    by John L. Daly (5 Dec 2001)

    John Daly died 2004. This article is very well written and informative. I have some knowledge of radio and radar and think most of what John wrote almost 10 years ago is correct.

    Agust

  29. If you separate the Topex data from the Jason data and plot trend lines you can see that there has been a lowering of the rate of rise. The change may be due to the satellite differences.

  30. hotrod ( Larry L ) mentions sine wave plots. I was just thinking of a slightly more general question about trends. If, hypothetically, you have several independent climate phenomena, each following a natural sine wave, then mathematically one fourth of these will be accelerating upwards at any point in time. Similarly, one fourth will be accelerating downwards. So given the various natural climate cycles, the odds should be pretty good of finding a trend that either seems to be increasing exponentially or looks like it’s in a “death spiral”. It’s almost surprising that the best example anyone can find is arctic sea ice.

  31. I will post this again, if you don’t mind.

    The evidence from the Mediterranean (which no tides to confuse the issue) counts against sea level rise.

    There are deep undercuts on the cliffs around Greece and Turkey, which lie precisely on the sea level (caused by wave action). Now I did think these cliffs may be ‘recent’ due to erosion. However, I have now found deposited curtains of calcite deposits, from streams flowing over the cliff-top, with layered deposits 25cm deep. This means these cliffs have been a feature in this state (with undercuts at sea level) for many centuries.

    Now unless one proposes that land movement is exactly in synch with sea level rise, for the erosion to be exactly at sea level, the evidence seems to suggest that sea levels have not changed for between two and five centuries (depending on how long it takes to deposit 25cm of calcite, from a stream that can only flow in the winter months).

    And these undercuts are precisely at sea level. There was a glass sea a couple of months ago, and the sea was sitting just on the lower platform of the undercut. Within 5cm.

    .

    This is in addition to Greek and Roman ports being at or above sea level, all over the eastern Med. Now you might argue land rise for the above sea level ancient ports – but you cannot argue the same for the cliff undercuts, otherwise you would have other undercuts left high and dry above the present sea level.

    .

  32. onion says:
    January 8, 2011 at 5:10 am
    I guess people might want to check the SkepticalScience article that the article quotes but does not link to:

    How much is sea level rising?

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php?p=3&t=104&&a=68

    ________________________________________

    As with mjk, I suggest you look up the definition of acceleration. The chart in the article you link to clearly shows EXACTLY the point Anthony was making, i.e. that there is no acceleration in the rate of sea level rise.

    As tarpon pointed out in the first comment, the VERY SMALL rate of rise at this point, relative to the significant change over the recent (in geological terms) past is measurement error. Now even that rate seems to be slowing, so where’s the concern?

    Oh, and interesting that the article you linked to only shows the data up to 2005, omitting the data since then. I wonder if that could be because the data since then, as shown by Willis above, shows even More clearly that the rate of sea level rise is DECELERATING, not accelerating?

    Hmmmmmmmmmmm… a bit of cherry picking methinks.

    KD

  33. mjk says:
    January 8, 2011 at 4:17 am
    Sea levels are headed in one direction: UP.
    ================================================
    and there’s not one thing we can do about it…..
    ….does that make you wet your pants

  34. Over the satellite record, the rise rate is trending down and perhaps the ocean cooling of the last decade accounts for some of that?

  35. Rather than getting all geeky about how closely we can measure sea level to mm precision, why not take some clues from geology and look at the big picture?

    Search “Holocene sea level” and follow some of the links. The rapid melting of continental ice sheets after the glacial maximum actually peaked about 6000-4000 years ago when sea level was roughly 2 METERS higher than today.

    This evidence comes from wave-cut terraces and stranded corals that are presently sitting high and dry above the surf. These sites were not affected by isostatic rebound or tectonic uplift.

    The Antarctic probably held substantially less ice during that Holocene Climatic Optimum when “global temperatures” were several degrees warmer than today.

  36. mjk says:
    January 8, 2011 at 4:17 am
    Absolutely spot on Willis. It is clear from the satellite measurements (when viewed upside down) that sea levels are in decline. I wish my share portfolio graph showed such a lack of acceleration. I would be rich!!! Must be a slow news day at WUWT to publish this analysis. Sea levels are headed in one direction: UP.

    Look at this graphic graphic showing sea level rise since the end of the last ice age. Initially it looks quite alarming then gets less so over time.

  37. Very interesting, but if you take the longer period of observed decadal sea level rise, even the figures quoted are a slight exaggeration I would suggest. 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, indeed, they slowed down in the fifty years to 2003. These numbers have, incidentally, been fully accepted by the scientific establishment!

  38. mjk says:
    January 8, 2011 at 4:17 am

    Absolutely spot on Willis. It is clear from the satellite measurements (when viewed upside down) that sea levels are in decline. I wish my share portfolio graph showed such a lack of acceleration. I would be rich!!! Must be a slow news day at WUWT to publish this analysis. Sea levels are headed in one direction: UP.
    ========================================================

    As stated earlier, congrats to David L for showing a predictive prowess and having a finger on the pulse of alarmists. Also to MJK for having a desire to be posted on WUWT over a desire to type “acceleration define” in his/her search bar.

    I’m feeling a bit generous this morning, so MJK, this is your lucky day.

    Definitions of acceleration (n)
    ac·cel·er·a·tion [ ak sèllə ráysh'n ] Audio player

    1. increase in speed: the rate at which something increases in velocity
    2. increase in rate of progress: an increase in the rate at which something happens or develops
    3. act of accelerating: the act of accelerating, or the process of being accelerated

    Synonyms: speeding up, stepping up, hastening, hurrying, quickening, rushing

    Please note the synonyms (words that have same or similar meanings).

    In Willis’ graph, did you see any quickening or speeding up? No? So sea level rise isn’t accelerating. But, you’re probably more focused on the sea level rise. The fact that the sea level is rising at all probably causes you much concern and alarm. This is a sad but known phenomenon. You see, when we exit a glaciation, (that’s where much of the earth is covered with glaciers), the dastardly glaciers melt on us! In spite of some heroic efforts to sequester the melted ice from the sea, inevitably, we fail, and the melted water making it to the sea raises the sea level.

    Go here and scroll down to see a graphical representation of historic sea levels.

    http://www.johnstonsarchive.net/environment/sealevel.html

  39. There you go again, ruining a perfectly good narrative with that silly “data” stuff. If any of the sea level rise is due to warmer ocean water (and I think we know the answer to that…) then the flat to cooling temperatures of the ocean (Loehle, C. 2009. Cooling of the Global Ocean Since 2003. Energy & Environment 20:99-102.) would make the sea level rise curve start to turn down, as you show.

  40. Jim Cole says: January 8, 2011 at 7:24 am

    Rather than getting all geeky about how closely we can measure sea level to mm precision, why not take some clues from geology and look at the big picture?

    Search “Holocene sea level” and follow some of the links. The rapid melting of continental ice sheets after the glacial maximum actually peaked about 6000-4000 years ago when sea level was roughly 2 METERS higher than today.

    I know I have read of archeological digs along the Gulf Coast c.>2000 years ago, and the shore line was ~50 miles north of today’s as the Gulf was 2 meters higher.

  41. David wrote: “… the Universty of Colorado graph you show does not look as flat as the Universitry of Colorado graph shown on the ENSO section of WUWT. Maybe my eyes are off , but if not WUWT?”

    What gets me is the ‘diagonal black line’ on that graph…to me the trendS look like this:

  42. One thing that is always missing from these discussions is the fact that coastlines are not static. Even if we leave out subsidence and uplift, other factors have an impact on the ‘height of the coast. Plants are constantly trying to build up the land along the shore. Waves can can deposit sediment along the coast or take it away, depending on many different factors.

    Bangladesh, one of the supposedly more vulnerable places on Earth to sea level rise, has seen a tremendous gain in ‘dry’ land area due to these processes.

    It is not scientifically feasible to take the current rate of sea level rise, project it out hundreds of years, then draw maps of flooded regions. It won’t happen that way.

  43. Do continents “float” ?? . . . . I know clouds do . . . and they are heavy especially right before it rains!

  44. Methinks the gloom and doom crowd have decimal dust emitting from their carbon wands. BOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  45. onion says: what’s more funny, that this article is missing the slower sea level rise before 1992, or that some readers won’t even accept the article because they refuse to accept sea level satellite data.

    Orion, you clearly have little understanding if you make that type of comment. Let me give you a very simple example of the problem. I was recently trying to find the level of the sea at the Eastern Terminus of the Antonine wall when it was built. After contacting the best authorities on the subject they were unable to tell me whether the sea level had risen or fallen. The problem is that the last ice age depressed the area of Scotland and the land mass itself has been rising. In addition there have been sea level changes. The result is that not only should you expect long term sea level change, but you should also expect long term land level change – particularly in a region close to plate boundaries.

    If you want to see evidence for land level change just pick up a rock. There’s a 100% certainty that it was formed when the land was at a different level – otherwise how e.g. would limestone rise above sea level? Or granite, or metamorphic stones, or sandstone become compacted – and if it’s mudstone then where is the mud now?

    Land level is constantly changing. Some land masses are rising and some are falling and how anyone thinks it is possible to get an accurate measure of sea level from a few tide gauges is beyond me because there is no way to tell whether a change in the level of the gauge is due to a rise/fall in the land and/or a rise/fall in the sea level.

  46. Its more understandable if you use ‘Rate of change’ instead of acceleration.

    And the rate of change is decreasing.

  47. onion says:
    January 8, 2011 at 5:10 am
    I guess people might want to check the SkepticalScience article that the article quotes but does not link to:
    ========================================================
    onion, That post was made Oct 2009, referencing a paper written two years earlier 2007.

  48. @August Bjarnason

    http://www.john-daly.com/altimetry/topex.htm

    Thank you for the link. John Daly wrote:-
    “But while T/P has proved successful in these other areas, its use as a global sea level monitor is highly restrained by the limitations on its accuracy once millimetric scales are sought. To suggest that changes in the global level of the heaving oceans can be determined to a resolution of tenths of a millimetre, or even a centimetre, is to make unsustainable claims about the inherent capabilities of the technology itself. Statistics cannot compensate for the limitations imposed by the electronics and by radiation physics and claims to the contrary are simply not credible.”

    My understanding of John Daly’s commentary is that the satellite data is accurate to plus or minus 457 mm (1.6ft). How the sattelite deals with swells in the ocean is beyond me.

    You know what, if you want something on climate or related issues come to Watts up With That.

  49. Perhaps all of this debate is best left to the market to decide just as is the case with the constant debate about gold, silver, oil, etc. If you believe then sell short, sell your ocean-front property while it’s still above water and move inland with your family and possessions, confident that history will illustrate your genius. If you don’t believe then go long the market. Buy those cheap ocean-front villas being abandoned by the land-lubbers and hold for the inevitable parabolic upturn in value.

    I think we already know where AlGore stands.

  50. We are pretty much going to see the same pattern before and after the 2009-2010 El Nino as we did back in 98.
    A steep rise and then a flattening curve for 1-2 years and then the climb will continue. This time it will climb slower though.
    The steep rise has allready happened after 2009-2010 El Nino and now we can expect the sea surface level to be virtually flat until the end of 2011 and possibly into 2012 before a slow rise resumes.

  51. Willis,
    there is pumping of ground water and also of fossile water, mainly for food production, which includes approx. 300 km3 per year. This takes place in arid countries. There is a recent paper on this topic, which, I thought, was presented on WUWT. UNESCO does not really provide any data on ground water level changes, so do not the US. I learned that altogether approx. 1200 km3 are pumped worldwide, but 900 km3 are considered to be pumping just ahead of the rain fall. 1 mm sea level raise corresponds to 350 km3 water.
    It should also be mentioned that all usable fossile water under the continents comprises of approx. 20 million km3 water, which is about the same amount as stored in the two ice sheets of Greenland and Antartica.

  52. onion says:
    January 8, 2011 at 5:10 am

    I guess people might want to check the SkepticalScience article that the article quotes but does not link to:

    How much is sea level rising?

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php?p=3&t=104&&a=68

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

    Beautiful! hahahahahhaahhhahaha Thanks onion! Once again, the alarmist community is touting a graph that splices two distinct data sets into one graph. Onion, send John my thanks. At least he has an inset and a paragraph about it. Onion, those are apples and oranges. They don’t belong together. More, that very subtle (almost imperceptible) arc on the graph is probably indicative of the graphing technique employed.

    But speaking of links not posted, from Cooks’ article, “…… Indeed, deriving millimeter-level accuracy from orbit is a stunning technical feat so it’s not hard to understand why some people find such an accomplishment unbelievable. In point of fact, researchers demonstrate this height measurement technique’s accuracy to be within 1mm/year. ……..

    Yeh? Calling bs on that one. They’re not accurate to 1mm at any particular time, much less over a year. Of course he didn’t link proof of that assertion. From his intermediate tab http://www.skepticalscience.com/images/Sea-Level-2.gif
    Now, enlarge it. See the end of the graph? Much like the new found phenomena of warmcold, we see slowerspeeding up.

    More, from this fountain of misinformation of the omitting type, “Tidal estimates from sediment cores go even further back to the 1300’s. They find sea level rise is close to zero in the early part of the sedimentary record.” Hmm, now I wonder, why and how could that be? Let me think…….just taking a WAG at this, but it may have something to do with THE WORLD WAS INTERRING THE LITTLE ICE AGE!!!! You know, that period of time where much of the earth’s water was transformed into ice.

    Is it that you guys wouldn’t be happy unless you have something to be terrified about or do you like scaring children? Look at the ice on the Antarctic. (That’s the place where much of the earth’s solid H2O is kept from the seas). Quit letting Cook or anyone else think for you. Apply a little logic to this. Until the temps of the Antarctic raise over 32 F, it isn’t going anywhere.

    Here, the hottest and most northern place in the Antarctic today, in the midst of their summer, http://www.wunderground.com/wundermap/?lat=-63.40000153&lon=-56.97999954&zoom=8&pin=Base%20Esperanza%2c%20Antarctica&type=hyb&rad=0&wxsn=0&svr=0&cams=0&sat=1&sat.num=1&sat.spd=25&sat.opa=85&sat.gtt1=109&sat.gtt2=108&sat.type=VIS&riv=0&mm=0&hur=0

    http://www.wunderground.com/global/stations/88963.html

    High of 41 F. I think we’ll ok for a bit.

  53. I took some measurements off the above graph on the blue line. Transferred the data into excel, and got a poly fit. To make the arithmetic a bit easier, I called 1993, year 1, etc. The result is the sea level anomaly as a function of time (years)

    SLA = -.0755t^2 + 4.59t -22.88

    The SLA velocity will be the derivative of the above equation:

    dSLA/dt = 2*(-.0755)t + 4.59

    which give SLA velocities of 4.4mm/year in 1993 and about 2.0 mm/year in 2010

    NOW… the acceleration is the derivative of the velocity, vis:

    D^2SLA/dt^2 = 2*-.0755 = -.151 mm/yr^2

    i.e the acceleration is negative, which means at present the sea level velocity is decreasing. If that continues the sea level velocity will eventuall reach zero… no change in sea level.

    Why can’t these people remember their basic calculus and physics???

  54. The latest issue of New Sceintist goes big on how Greenland ice is melting and how it has the capacity to cause the sea level to rise by 7 meters. Quite honestly I switched off after reading the headlines because I do not trust the magazine to write balanced articles on AGW.

  55. Its the place just south of Izmir in Turkey. Zooming in on Izmir, you find it just to the west of Selcuk. Its a fantastic place. They even had water-closets in the ancient roman empire.

  56. NOAA’s sea level trends are interesting, odd what’s happening in the West Pacific, but not the East Pacific. Also there seems to be a bubble rising near the South West of Greenland. Of course this could be to do with other things rather than indications of overall global sea level rising. Just wondering how these ‘high’ spots skew average? Not that you’d be interested in a ‘world’ average rather more what was happening on your own beach. That of course, as we all know, could involve many other factors.

  57. All of these climate disaster scenarios are no more probable than a large impactor causing havoc. Climate and sea levels have changed in the past and will continue to change and the variables that cause this change are multiple as discussed many times over on WUWT. What we do as a species has little or nothing to do with any of it.

  58. 1.Ralph of Malta

    In the bay of Naples, far above the sea sits a large Roman villa. In the cliff face under the villa sits a sea cave containing a fish farm designed to hold and breed lampreys. A Roman delicacy. These need the circulation of fresh sea water and indeed function today, at sea level as designed and operated by the Romans. There has only been one modification to the set up, they no longer feed recalcitrant slaves to the lampreys.

    2, Jim

    Where I live you can walk into sea caves through the rice paddy fields. You can see clearly the undercuts and places where the sea beat upon the shore. These must now be about 3 metres or more above sea level. These are a common feature throughout South East Asia and relate to the previous sea level maximum.

  59. Mike Haseler,
    I too have been trying to find out about sea levels at Bo’ness 2000 years ago, with the same result as you, although a local archaeologist thinks that the Romans took boats as far up the Carron as Camelon, which would make sea level higher at that time.

  60. Hi Willis

    I have often said here that sea levels are an even greater distortion of history than the hockey stick was. The problem is that we need to know where we have been in the past in order to put modern day trends into their proper context and the IPCC researchers rarely do this.

    I have some 20 studies from a variety of authors researched for my own three part article ‘Historic variations in sea levels’

    This covers research from the Roman and Medieval Warm Period which, combined with much physical evidence- such as sea castles stranded as levels dropped following their construction- enable us to consruct an accurate picture of the past.

    A useful graph is shown here covering the period 200AD to 1999 (sea levels have very arguably risen some 15mm since that time-see later citation)

    It is part of a more general article on sea levels here;

    http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=1240

    Extract;
    “Figure 1. Global sea level from 200 A.D. to 2000, as reconstructed from proxy records of sea level by Moberg et al. 2005. The thick black line is reconstructed sea level using tide gauges (Jevrejeva, 2006). The lightest gray shading shows the 5 – 95% uncertainty in the estimates, and the medium gray shading denotes the one standard deviation error estimate. The highest global sea level of the past 110,000 years likely occurred during the Medieval Warm Period of 1100 – 1200 A.D., when warm conditions similar to today’s climate caused the sea level to rise 5 – 8″ (12 – 21 cm) higher than present. Image credit: Grinsted, A., J.C. Moore, and S. Jevrejeva, 2009, “Reconstructing sea level from paleo and projected temperatures 200 to 2100 AD”, Climate Dynamics, DOI 10.1007/s00382-008-0507-2, 06 January 2009 ”

    As can be seen levels have been higher in the past but the IPCC have tried to alarm people with extraordinary projections showing accelerated sea level rise which simply is NOT happening.

    Satellite measurements are notoriously inacurate-tide gauges and physical observations are much better-and there is no such thing as a global sea level dating back to the 1800’s-the gauges were simply not available ot have been moved. The IPCC base their ‘historic’ records on 21 tide gauges for the ENTIRE globe.

    Tonyb

  61. Werner said

    Quote

    1 mm sea level raise corresponds to 350 km3 water.

    Unquote

    So how many cubic kilometers of spoil are eroded and dumped into the sea every year bu natural processes. I seem to remember the Bangladesh report mentioned how much is dropped there every year and its a substantial amount.

  62. Jim Clarke says:
    January 8, 2011 at 8:02 am

    One thing that is always missing from these discussions is the fact that coastlines are not static. Even if we leave out subsidence and uplift, other factors have an impact on the ‘height of the coast. Plants are constantly trying to build up the land along the shore. Waves can can deposit sediment along the coast or take it away, depending on many different factors.

    Bangladesh, one of the supposedly more vulnerable places on Earth to sea level rise, has seen a tremendous gain in ‘dry’ land area due to these processes.

    It is not scientifically feasible to take the current rate of sea level rise, project it out hundreds of years, then draw maps of flooded regions. It won’t happen that way.
    —————————————————————
    Thanks, Jim. I cannot comprehend how people with even a basic understanding of geography can use the term ‘sea level rise’ in the way that they do – and when they start talking about mm/year on a global level, it is just a joke. It is pretty hard to justify even at a micro level – and as many WUWT posters have pointed out, there are many places where sea levels have not changed noticeably for a couple of hundred years.

    In popular parlance, it is as if the Earth was flat (with levees at the edges), and if the ice at the Poles melted, we would all be flooded – since water seeks its own, equal level.

    I won’t even start about the issues to do with mapping coastlines – including ice boundaries at the Poles. But, any geographer will know what I am talking about. Numbers like 0.01, or even 0.1, are very suss in that context.

  63. Willis, referring to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Current_sea_level_rise , says,

    The usual font of misinformation says: ….

    While correcting the text of a warmist Wikipedia article may be a fool’s mission, it is often possible to add resilient External Links to articles. I’m not planning to do it, but some reader might want to add a link to this post there.

    Current external links on that article include “The Sinking of Tuvalu” at http://www.thesinkingoftuvalu.com/ , another topic dear to Willis.

    There is a warning on the article that some of the external links there may violate Wiki guidelines and should be removed, but this post is more relevant than many of the others.

  64. Before I read any article in Wikipedia I look at the discussion tab. If I see the name:

    William M. Connolley

    In the discussion I rate the article as propaganda. The wikipedia article on sea level rise is just such an article.

    The simple fact is that Wikipedia has been taken over for political purposes to generate money for a select group of scientists in the name of “saving the world”.

  65. Tonyb

    Simply, the sea is gravitationally flat. Add one inch in one place results in a one inch rise everywhere. Slight variations due to wind, land shape and pressure of course.

    Thus in truth a single well sited tide gauge subject to neither uplift or sinking is all you really need.

    In that sense, its not really rocket science but the devil is in the details.

  66. The problem with Wikipedia is that it allow one author to delete the work of another. A very simple bot is all that is required to monitor web pages for changes. For example:

    http://www.pcworld.com/article/8133/this_bot_babysits_your_web_sites.html

    You can quickly confirm for yourself what is going on. Try and correct any climate related article on Wikipedia. Within a matter of seconds your work will be undone. For all practical purposes this could only be achieve by the use of an automated monitor. As such, trying to manually fix Wikipedia cannot work.

    There are perhaps 2 ways to solve this:

    1. publicly expose the problem.
    2. build bots to combat the bots.

  67. Ralph says:
    January 8, 2011 at 7:08 am

    The evidence from the Mediterranean (which no tides to confuse the issue) counts against sea level rise.

    There are deep undercuts on the cliffs around Greece and Turkey, which lie precisely on the sea level (caused by wave action). Now I did think these cliffs may be ‘recent’ due to erosion. However, I have now found deposited curtains of calcite deposits, from streams flowing over the cliff-top, with layered deposits 25cm deep. This means these cliffs have been a feature in this state (with undercuts at sea level) for many centuries.

    Exactly where are these? Do you have photos? I assume that’s a geologically active area, but I suspect the activity is mostly strike-slip faulting (sideways) instead of thrust faulting (with a veritcal component). I hope I have that right.

    —–

    Geoff says:
    January 8, 2011 at 4:41 am

    Before putting too much faith in the TOPEX/Poseidon figures, you may want to look at how the are calculated (adjusted?): see http://www.mdpi.org/sensors/papers/s6030131.pdf

    This looks helpful wrt the next item, thanks.

    —–

    Dave in Delaware says:
    January 8, 2011 at 4:47 am

    This interview is a MUST READ in any discussion on sea level rise. Dr Mörner discusses trends in the 20th century (1.1 mm/yr), Pacific Islands such as Tuvalu, and below I have excerpted his discussion of satellite data ‘corrections’.

    It looks like it is measured from the satellite, but you don’t say what really happened. And they answered, that we had to do it, because otherwise we would not have gotten any trend!

    Does anyone have corroborating reports about this from the non-Mörner side? I’ve been keeping my eyes open for that since hearing it last May from Mörner. It certainly deserves more exposure.

    Where’s John Daly when I need him?

  68. mjk says:
    January 8, 2011 at 4:17 am

    Absolutely spot on Willis. It is clear from the satellite measurements (when viewed upside down) that sea levels are in decline. I wish my share portfolio graph showed such a lack of acceleration. I would be rich!!! Must be a slow news day at WUWT to publish this analysis. Sea levels are headed in one direction: UP.

    MJK

    MJK, you seem to be confusing “going up”, which the sea levels are certainly doing, with “accelerating”, which they are not doing.

    Acceleration means an increase in the speed or rate at which something is occurring.

    w.

  69. Church and White (2006) report an acceleration of SLR since 1870. This is a revision since 2001, when the TAR stated that measurements have detected no significant acceleration in the recent rate of sea level rise.

    Here are a few points about Church and White (2006)
    1. They unwisely fit the sea level rise of the previous century to a quadratic.
    2. But they got the fit parameters wrong.
    3. They updated their data in 2009 in a way that (amazingly) lowers any calculated acceleration.

  70. onion says:
    January 8, 2011 at 5:01 am

    what’s more funny, that this article is missing the slower sea level rise before 1992, or that some readers won’t even accept the article because they refuse to accept sea level satellite data.

    My analysis is “missing” the slower sea level rise before 1992???

    It’s also missing the change in sea level during the last interglacial … but then it wasn’t about either of those subjects, was it?

    It was about changes in the satellite sea level record and what they show. If you want to comment on the difference between the satellite records and the tide gauge records, fine. But don’t bust me just because my analysis doesn’t discuss what you think it should. You want it that way? Write your own analysis.

  71. onion says:
    January 8, 2011 at 5:10 am

    I guess people might want to check the SkepticalScience article that the article quotes but does not link to:

    I guess they might, but it will be a cold day in the place of eternal perdition before I send any traffic his way … I figured if they wanted to get there, even the slowest of the readers could figure out how to get there.

    And hey, you proved me right!

    w.

  72. David says:
    January 8, 2011 at 5:32 am

    Willis, the Universty of Colorado graph you show does not look as flat as the Universitry of Colorado graph shown on the ENSO section of WUWT. Maybe my eyes are off , but if not WUWT?

    Haven’t a clue which graph that is, but if you go to the U Colorado site, their jpg of the data gives the same trend (3.0 ±0.4 mm/yr) as my graph shows.

    w.

  73. Stacey says:
    January 8, 2011 at 6:21 am

    My question is how, where and when do they measure the sea level.

    The above graph as a range of +- 20mm I would have thought that the surfaces of the oceans are constantly changing.

    Am I missing something?

    And a good question it is. The data I used above is from the satellite sea level record. They measure the height of the ocean by radar from the satellites all over the planet and average it. That’s why it doesn’t change much over time, because it is a global average.

  74. “hotrod ( Larry L ) says:
    January 8, 2011 at 3:54 am

    The gentle rising curve in the chart immediately suggests to me a segment of a sine wave plot just beginning to nose over toward its peak, with a period of perhaps 120 -150 years.”

    When I read this, I checked page 21 of http://sciencespeak.com/MissingSignature.pdf
    This graph seems to imply global temperatures follow a 60 year long sine wave. The graph in this sea level article just has the results from 1993 to 2011, however the slope is decreasing in both of these graphs for the period in question. Perhaps there will also be a 60 year cycle to sea level changes?

  75. James Sexton says:
    January 8, 2011 at 8:25 am
    “Beautiful! hahahahahhaahhhahaha Thanks onion! Once again, the alarmist community is touting a graph that splices two distinct data sets into one graph.”

    Try looking at it more closely, they are not spliced they are overlaid

    “Onion, send John my thanks. At least he has an inset and a paragraph about it. Onion, those are apples and oranges. They don’t belong together.”

    Apples and Oranges? Nope. Sea Level and Sea Level. If I measure my height one year with a tape measure and then measure it next year with a ruler I do believe it is acceptable to plot both points on the same graph.

    “More, that very subtle (almost imperceptible) arc on the graph is probably indicative of the graphing technique employed.”

    I can clearly see the rate of sea level rise is faster in the last few decades than it was in the earlier few decades. Ie accelerating.

    • Onion aka Khufy aka Bob aka Cthulu aka …

      I’m wondering why you keep changing your handle around. Having an identity crisis?

  76. Willis Eschenbach says:
    January 8, 2011 at 11:21 am

    onion: “I guess people might want to check the SkepticalScience article that the article quotes but does not link to:”

    I guess they might, but it will be a cold day in the place of eternal perdition before I send any traffic his way ”

    I guess not but another reason might be because the acceleration talked about at SkepticalScience is clearly on the multi-decadal scale (see the graph in the link) whereas you tried to pin their quote as talking about acceleration within the last 15 years of satellite record.

  77. Grey Lensman says:
    January 8, 2011 at 10:14 am

    Tonyb

    Simply, the sea is gravitationally flat. Add one inch in one place results in a one inch rise everywhere. Slight variations due to wind, land shape and pressure of course. …

    Grey Lensman of SF fame, you really should get out more. The ocean is in giant basins in which it “sloshes” back and forth, driven by wind, barometric pressure, currents, and tides.

    These cycles are often long-term (years). At any instant, there often exists a foot or more of difference in height between various parts of the ocean. The idea that it is “gravitationally flat” simply has not stood up to the test of modern satellite measurement.

    w.

  78. Willis Eschenbach says:
    January 8, 2011 at 11:21 am

    onion says:
    January 8, 2011 at 5:10 am

    I guess people might want to check the SkepticalScience article that the article quotes but does not link to:

    I guess they might, but it will be a cold day in the place of eternal perdition before I send any traffic his way …
    ======================================================

    lol, Oops. Sry Willis, I just couldn’t help it. He put the tidal gauge stuff with the sat. data on a graph. He omitted key information. He made silly assertions with no documentation to back it up. He ignored information on a graph that he posted. In other words, it was typical alarmist drivel that I felt compelled to point out.

  79. The ocean surface is also not “flat” (i.e. with a surface equidistant from the centre of earth’s mass) because of local variation in the Earth’s gravitational field at the surface, as any geophysicist will tell you – the ocean surface “height” varies by several centimetres as a result of the Earth’s gravitational field variation over its surface. As Willis points out also, there is ocean height variation generated by wind and and tides, with the latter resulting from the gravitational field variation at the earth’s surface caused principally by the moon’s orbit of Earth.

  80. Willis Eschenbach says:
    Stacey says:
    January 8, 2011 at 6:21 am

    My question is how, where and when do they measure the sea level.

    The above graph as a range of +- 20mm I would have thought that the surfaces of the oceans are constantly changing.

    Am I missing something?

    And a good question it is. The data I used above is from the satellite sea level record. They measure the height of the ocean by radar from the satellites all over the planet and average it. That’s why it doesn’t change much over time, because it is a global average.

    Don’t they use a sinking station in hong kong as a reference? Can anyone clarify this, that could mean that sea-level rise is overestimated?

  81. latitude says:
    January 8, 2011 at 7:20 am

    mjk says:
    January 8, 2011 at 4:17 am
    Sea levels are headed in one direction: UP.
    ================================================
    and there’s not one thing we can do about it…..
    ….does that make you wet your pants

    Hopefully not adding to the sea level, too!

    Enjoying reading as folks peel the layers off the “onion” here.

    It might be interesting to note that the main reason we are even talking about this slow minor sea level change is because Warmists are blaming it on man – even though it started long before man did anything that the Warmists claim is causing whatever they are alarmed over. I have also noted that one of the main things that Warmists become alarmed over is when one applies logic to “un-fooled around with” data.

  82. Can someone explain to me how this could be measured? we know some about plate movements, so what is the solid base from which we measure from? use a sattelite or tape measure you need a base, and I do not see how an object maybe in a geostationary orbit with all the gravitational pulls fro all the planets and star can get to .5mm?? a change of magnetism from the suns fluxes affect the diameter of the earth how? how about Constantinople sinking, the Egyptian city off the Israel coast, not to mention the river bed off the Fal estuary in Cornwall at 32 m deep. that I have seen for myself so the sea has risen. Recovered land after some time sinks as it dries out, I assume that would be sand and soil not bedrock, so after large fast sea level rises the earths crust must adjust, in what way? There are so many unknowns, and I am not a qualified scientist, that I doubt an educated guess could be made let alone a scientific prediction, the only equation that a sane man can glean from this is:-
    predict sea level rise = more grant money.

  83. JohnWho says:
    January 8, 2011 at 12:26 pm
    Well said Dr. Who. Why do people stop asking ” what caused this” as soon as they come to gullible warming? Are other causes possible? Will they fund me if I discover a different cause? Bingo.

  84. Could you please post the entire chart, from 1850 so we may see is there is acceleration. The last 18 years shows about 2″ (50mm) rise, or slightly less than 3mm a year. What was the increase from 1850 to 1980? If it was less than 3mm a year then the rise is accelerating, if more then we are decelerating. Please post the big picture. Thanks.

  85. The theory of gradual rising sea level may not consider earth’s dimensional and shape changes. Over eons of time the earth has shrunk. If that were occurring today the sea level would rise. Recently, several scientists had reported that the earth shrunk 5 mm is the last five years.

    http://www.abc.net.au/science/news/stories/2007/1971663.htm

    If the earth’s diameter decreased 5 mm could that explain a rise in sea level? The satellite or tide buoys would measure the depth changes of the water surfaces. However, a shrinking crust would cause the water level to increase. Has the data been corrected for earth shrinkage?

  86. M Monce says:
    January 8, 2011 at 8:29 am
    I took some measurements off the above graph on the blue line. Transferred the data into excel, and got a poly fit. To make the arithmetic a bit easier, I called 1993, year 1, etc. The result is the sea level anomaly as a function of time (years)…..”

    Thank you MMonce. Now you’re a person who understands acceleration! I was going to differentiate that curve as well ( I like to use a program called Origin) but you saved me the effort!

  87. JohnWho says:
    January 8, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    Not peeled the layers off an onion since biology science classes! And if I remember correctly (it was 35yrs ago!), the skin/layers are basically a the same cell replicated many times – hmm, seems familiar….
    But anyway – you know what they say about onion – best served finely chopped and with a hint of garlic!

  88. >>Ric
    >>Exactly where are these undercuts? Do you have photos? I assume
    >>that’s a geologically active area, but I suspect the activity is mostly
    >>strike-slip faulting (sideways) instead of thrust faulting (with a vertical
    >>component). I hope I have that right.

    The islands of Kos, Rhodos and at Antalya. The latter is best.

    The location is not that geologically active (apart from earthquakes). The main faults around there are actually dip-slip faults out in the Med around Crete. The rocks at Antalya are sandy limestone that looks like old coral to me. These cliffs must be pretty stable, otherwise the large calcite curtains could not have formed upon them. They are fairly tough formations.

    I tried to find out if land levels are supposed to be rising or falling in the region, but was unable to find any data. But there are no raised or submerged undercuts (snorkel diving to 7m or so), to indicate any land movement.

    The rocks at Rhodes are alternate limestone/mudstone in distinct layers, which again are fairly tough. Again there are no raised or submerged undercuts that I could see.

    .

  89. Onion – thanks for your link to that website – have to say I didn’t spend long there but the first graph seemed to stop at 2005, so your point is?

  90. Sam Hall says above:
    “Chance for somebody with money to pick the property up cheap and hold it until the truth is out. A greenie would never do that, would they?”

    Too late mate, Combet as the new Mnisister for CC is already on to the lurk.

    He recently bought a sea front ppty in Newcastle NSW..right on the water

    Obviously he doesnt believe all the crap being poured into his ears by his Department and Shonkademia …which on its own is a small relief

  91. Cook uses the alarmists’ hoary trick of conflating GW, AGW and by inference CAGW (there’s little need to do anything about AGW unless it’s C), presumably to frighten the kiddies (nice work for an evangelical Christian).

    As already noted, the sea level has risen in concert with the emergence from the LIA.
    Whatever influence human fossil fuel use has on the global mean temperature and therefore sea level, it was insignificant prior to 1945.

    It looks like a decelerating trend to me.

  92. Willis Eschenbach says:
    January 8, 2011 at 11:42 am

    Grey Lensman says:
    January 8, 2011 at 10:14 am

    Tonyb

    Simply, the sea is gravitationally flat. Add one inch in one place results in a one inch rise everywhere. Slight variations due to wind, land shape and pressure of course. …

    Grey Lensman of SF fame, you really should get out more. The ocean is in giant basins in which it “sloshes” back and forth, driven by wind, barometric pressure, currents, and tides.

    Nil Morner also describes salinity differences as affecting the sea level, that’s one of the things Argo measures.

    Sea level anomaly is not an easy measurement, and that’s the main reason we argue about it.

  93. Ralph says:
    January 8, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    >>Ric
    >>Exactly where are these undercuts? Do you have photos? I assume
    >>that’s a geologically active area, but I suspect the activity is mostly
    >>strike-slip faulting (sideways) instead of thrust faulting (with a vertical
    >>component). I hope I have that right.

    > The islands of Kos, Rhodos and at Antalya. The latter is best.

    Thanks. A brief search for photos yielded http://www.pictureninja.com/pages/turkey/image-antalya-coastline.htm which seems to show an impressive undercut in the cliff in the middle of the photo. (Note light reflecting off water beyond the shaded undercut area.)

  94. Am I correct in my understanding that gravitational variations can affect sea level as well? If this is the case, and the variation is relatively rapid, how would a satellite compensate quickly enough and stay accurate? What point do they calibrate from? Is the calibration point stable or changing? So many questions, …….

  95. Most heartening it is to see comments by Ágúst Bjarnason (6:50 am), Stacey (8:17 am) and Ric Werme (11:07 am) referring to the esteemed and intrepid John Daly.

    Just wondering if Daly would have taken up the observation by hotrod ( Larry L ) at 3:54 am: ” The gentle rising curve in the chart immediately suggests to me a segment of a sine wave plot just beginning to nose over toward its peak, with a period of perhaps 120 -150 years.”

    In 1888, Government meteorologist, Commander Shortt, estimated that mean sea level (MSL) was 34 cm above the famous benchmark in Tasmania. In 2000, mean was 31.5 cm higher, a rise of 2.5 cm.

    http://www.john-daly.com/deadisle/index.htm

    Assume a trough in 1888 and extrapolate from Figure 1 a peak at, say, 2018. That gives a period of 260 years. Alternatively, a period of 87 years would place troughs at 1888 and 1975 and peaks at 1931 and 2018.

    Either way, in fond memory of John Daly, I’ll go with hotrod’s general analysis and happily put money on MSL peaking before 2020!

  96. Ouch. Correction, quick!

    “In 1888, Government meteorologist, Commander Shortt, estimated that mean sea level (MSL) was 34 cm below the famous benchmark in Tasmania. In 2000, mean was 31.5 cm lower, a rise in MSL of 2.5 cm.”

  97. Willis scoffs
    ———–
    The usual font of misinformation
    ———–

    so Willis reckons his satellite is right and wikipedia’s satellite data is wrong. How is this possible?

    So is the underlying data different or is it just appearance brought on by fitting with a curve instead if a line?

    I would make a wild guess and suggest that preferring one relationship (linear) over another (polynomial) without having any idea what the underlying relationship is very very dubious if there happens to be a lot of random variation present.

    Especially dubious when the human judgement system tend to make up order in the presence of chaos. E.g. Random star patterns become animal outlines.

  98. Willis Eschenbach says (January 8, 2011 at 11:21 am): “I figured if they wanted to get there, even the slowest of the readers could figure out how to get there.

    And hey, you proved me right!”

    Ouch!

    Looks like “onion” got a rise out of Willis! :-)

  99. @Dave in Delaware
    January 8, 2011 at 4:47 am

    Thanks for posting the link to the Dr. Nils-Axel Mörner interview – a worthwhile read. Here it is again in case anyone missed it:

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

    Just so I have this straight, did the IPCC really ‘adjust’ the satellite data presented in their sea level graphs with information from an unreliable tide gauge in Hong Kong? Just when I think nothing else can surprise me.. Anyone have a link to the IPCC graph? I’d really like to see how it was labelled and what claims were made for the source of the data, just to believe it.

  100. @Lazy Teenager:

    “So is the underlying data different or is it just appearance brought on by fitting with a curve instead if a line?

    I would make a wild guess and suggest that preferring one relationship (linear) over another (polynomial) without having any idea what the underlying relationship is very very dubious if there happens to be a lot of random variation present.

    Especially dubious when the human judgement system tend to make up order in the presence of chaos. E.g. Random star patterns become animal outlines.”

    Wow, sounds like you’re becoming a skeptic ;)

  101. hotrod ( Larry L ) says:
    January 8, 2011 at 3:54 am
    I agree with you about the sine wave but my analysis of the data shows three statistically significant waves, an annual, 6 year, and 33.5 year. A plot of this best fit suggests sea level peaked out in November and will be declining(with annual and 6 year fluctuations of + and – 4.6 and 1.9 respectively). It suggests a minimum of around -19mm will be reached in March of 2025. The R square for the regression is .92 and the standard error of the estimate is plus or minus 4.5. Of course, this all falls apart if the data are biased or badly calculated.

  102. This is perhaps a little off topic, but I believe that it fits in here (and incidentally fits in everywhere else too, so here goes).

    I have finally cracked the core of the AGW arguement.
    (mis)QUOTE
    If STUFF happens, then AGW is to blame.
    UNQUOTE

    That’s all folks.
    (What more proof did you want?)

  103. Willis said

    Quote

    Grey Lensman of SF fame, you really should get out more. The ocean is in giant basins in which it “sloshes” back and forth, driven by wind, barometric pressure, currents, and tides.

    Unquote

    Sorry Willis, thats just what I said. A foot??????????? These are known local effects and have determined values. If you push the sea up into the Bay of Bengal, It rises say one foot. So it you add an inch in the South Atlantic, The foot in The Bay of Bengal will be raised an inch as well.

    I do Get Out, I am A master mariner as well as other things. Spent my life on the Sea And Nearly got killed by a giant wave that did not exist according to the scientists.

  104. DWH said this and got it wrong

    Quote

    the ocean surface “height” varies by several centimetres as a result of the Earth’s gravitational field variation

    Unquote

    Its several hundred metres, a low point being the Maldives which is about 140 metres below the “level’ datum. Papua being a high point.

    Large ocean currents are also another major factor.

    In my personal experience on the frontline, Sea level has been one of my own cornerstones of knowing manmade global warming is complete and utter rubbish.

    My style might be simple………….

    Nils work in this field is simply the best, the very best and he is Awesome

    The suggestion promoted by watermelons that “climate Change” is something new and caused by man is a crime against humanity and an insult to sentient humans around the world.

  105. Sorry Willis I forgot to add.

    The posts, work and thoughts of Willis are awesome as well, classic thin[king] outside the box, call a spade a spade and nail the point. Well done

  106. Grey Lensman says:
    January 8, 2011 at 10:14 am

    Tonyb

    Simply, the sea is gravitationally flat. Add one inch in one place results in a one inch rise everywhere. Slight variations due to wind, land shape and pressure of course.

    Thus in truth a single well sited tide gauge subject to neither uplift or sinking is all you really need.

    In that sense, its not really rocket science but the devil is in the details.

    #################
    please tell me you have nothing to do with building rockets or planes.

  107. Here in Portland a professor at Reed College Dr Arthur Glasfeld who contributed to the IPCC 2009 report with Dr Fry has appologized today (below) in letters to the editor of the Oregonian, the local Portland newspaper, for over estimating the amount of sea level rise caused by the melting of Greenlands glaciers. http://blog.oregonlive.com/myoregon/2011/01/letters_costco_in_portland_gov_1.html “I apologize for the errors, which are mine alone, and for any confusion they may have caused.” ARTHUR GLASFELD Reed College, Southeast Portland

  108. Steve, why would I be interested in ancient Chinese technology (rockets and gunpowder) or Andean/Vedic technology (planes) So antiquated, effective but antiquated, there are much better ways to do it.

  109. Nils-Axel Mörner says that there was a 1mm/year rise in global mean sea level in the first third of the 20th century. Then, it fell a bit. Now, it is (his words)…essentially stable.

    Here is a quote from his paper dated 2003 in Elsevier entitled:

    “Estimating Future Sea Level Changes From Past Records”

    Abstract:

    “In the last 5000 years, global mean sea level has been dominated by the redistribution of water masses over the globe. In the last 300 years, sea level has been oscillation close to the present with peak rates in the period 1890–1930. Between 1930 and 1950, sea fell. The late 20th century lack any sign of acceleration. Satellite altimetry indicates virtually no changes in the last decade. Therefore, observationally based predictions of future sea level in the year 2100 will give a value of + 10F10 cm (or +5F15 cm), by this discarding model outputs by IPCC as well as global loading models. This implies that there is no fear of any massive future flooding as claimed in most global warming scenarios.”

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

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  110. And with over 270 peer-reviewed papers under his belt, the retired Nils-Axel Mörner (still working on research though) is just about the premier planetary authority on the complicated physics of “sea level.”

    He also has this fascination with the earth’s rate of rotation changes as how they might affect climate.

    Suggest downloading his research or if you can’t find the latest one that explores changes in earth’s rotation reflecting changes in the solar wind, email me at sharkhearted@gmail.com and I will forward.

    Here’s the abstract:

    The past Solar Minima were linked to a general speeding up of the Earth’s rate of rotation. This affected the surface currents and southward penetration of Arctic water in the North Atlantic causing “Little Ice Ages” over northwestern Europe. At around 2040–2050 we will be in a new major Solar Minimum. It is to be expected that we will then have a new “Little Ice Age” over the Arctic and NW Europe. The mechanism proposed for the linkage of Solar activity with Earth’s rotation is the interaction of Solar Wind with the Earth’s magnetosphere; the decrease in Solar Wind at sunspot minima weakens the interaction with the magnetosphere that allows the Earth to speed up, and the increase in Solar Wind at sunspot maxima strengthens the interaction with the magnetosphere that slows down the spinning of the Earth.
    © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.”

  111. LightRain says:
    January 8, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    Could you please post the entire chart, from 1850 so we may see is there is acceleration. The last 18 years shows about 2″ (50mm) rise, or slightly less than 3mm a year. What was the increase from 1850 to 1980? If it was less than 3mm a year then the rise is accelerating, if more then we are decelerating. Please post the big picture. Thanks.

    Sure thing. There’s a graph from Jevrejeva here.

    w.

  112. onion says:
    January 8, 2011 at 11:32 am

    Apples and Oranges? Nope. Sea Level and Sea Level. If I measure my height one year with a tape measure and then measure it next year with a ruler I do believe it is acceptable to plot both points on the same graph.
    ========================================================

    Nope, try again sparky. Tape measures and rulers use the same form of measurements. The same cannot be said for sat. data and tidal gauges, of course, you could actually look at the graph you’ve referenced and see that they don’t match. More, you show me were this is acceptable in any HS algebra class and I’ll re-evaluate my position. You can clearly see acceleration? lol, good for you. Even with the spliced graph, I had to magnify my screen and use reference points. Weird how you ignored the other graph that clearly shows deceleration. Not that either are correct. If I were to splice graphs together in the manner I choose, I could show what ever I desired, too. Thanks for playing. Accurate to 1mm! Its a good thing that water holds still for those measurements.

  113. LazyTeenager says:
    January 8, 2011 at 5:32 pm

    Willis scoffs
    ———–

    The usual font of misinformation

    ———–

    so Willis reckons his satellite is right and wikipedia’s satellite data is wrong. How is this possible?

    “My satellite”? Didn’t know I had one.

    I know I didn’t say Wikipedia’s satellite data is wrong, because I didn’t even know they had satellite data. Where is it accessible?

    LT, I figure from your username that you’re a lazy teenager, but you really should spend some time honing your reading skills. Then you can work on your discussion skills. Next time you think something I said is wrong, QUOTE IT!!!!

    Then we can be sure we are discussing something real, rather than (as in this case) merely your misunderstanding about what I wrote. I said nothing about Wikipedia’s satellite data.

    w.

  114. Grey Lensman says:
    January 8, 2011 at 7:03 pm

    Willis said

    Quote

    Grey Lensman of SF fame, you really should get out more. The ocean is in giant basins in which it “sloshes” back and forth, driven by wind, barometric pressure, currents, and tides.

    Unquote

    Sorry Willis, thats just what I said. A foot??????????? These are known local effects and have determined values. If you push the sea up into the Bay of Bengal, It rises say one foot. So it you add an inch in the South Atlantic, The foot in The Bay of Bengal will be raised an inch as well.

    I do Get Out, I am A master mariner as well as other things. Spent my life on the Sea And Nearly got killed by a giant wave that did not exist according to the scientists.

    No, that’s not what you said at all. You said:

    Simply, the sea is gravitationally flat. Add one inch in one place results in a one inch rise everywhere.

    And that is simply not true. My apologies for saying you don’t get out enough, obviously you do … but have you looked at the Topex data? I’m not talking about the Bay of Bengal. I’m talking mid-ocean, it goes up and down too.

    Right now, for example, the ocean is about half a foot low in the mid-Pacific, and half a foot high near Japan. This is absolutely not “gravitationally flat”.

    Nor are these short term swings. For example, since 1993 the sea level has risen on average about half a foot (150 mm) in the Western Pacific equatorial area. But during the same time it has dropped by 75 mm off the tip of South Africa.

    When some parts of the ocean rise 15 cm in 15 years, and other parts of the ocean drop 7.5 cm., I think we can say that the ocean is not “gravitationally flat”, at least as I understand the term …

    Congratulations on being a master mariner, by the way. And after years, I see that scientists have finally admitted what you and I and everyone who has spent years at sea knows … rogue waves do exist, duh.

    Stay safe on the ocean,

    w.

  115. Willis!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Pulling the watermelon trick!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Please quote me in full.

    Quote
    Simply, the sea is gravitationally flat. Add one inch in one place results in a one inch rise everywhere. Slight variations due to wind, land shape and pressure of course.

    Unquote

    Notice the last sentence, brief, understated but acknowledging the brilliant work of Nils.

    I also forgot sea bed changes effect sea level as well, and they can be quite dramatic

  116. Storm surges and swells, seen a guy swept off the deck in a flat calm sea.

    You talk of six inches variation, in global terms, in climate terms, thats nothing. But what you see, folks living on or by the Sea, see is “nothing”. Look at the references (well sort of) that I gave above.

    Consider the context, Hansen predicting New York under water in 20 years.

    As an aside, Seems that I saved a lot of lives in the Tsunami. I was on the beach the previous October and thought “what would happen if a tsunami occurred here”. So I told my friend the beach Master and what to look for. Well when the water went out and the bay emptied, he walked out, then remembered what I told him and started running for his life and warning his friends and those on the beach. He ended up on the roof of the Hotel and immediately started to rescue people. Out of 50 friends on the beach that day, we only lost dear “bob Marley’

    Now thats a true old sea dog tale for you, no references, no peer review but every word true. And over 12 years the waterline has not moved. (andaman sea)

  117. AusieDan says:
    January 8, 2011 at 4:06 am

    “The Australian government have warned local councils to get ready for much faster ocean rising in the future… provided maps of threatened towns, villages and cities.

    That puts many property owners in great difficulty as there are no buyers for property said to be threatened by rising sea levels. Many people will have lost all their assets and be destitute if this nonesence is allowed to continue.”

    —————–

    Just hope that they do not need to sell. On the other hand this could create an incredible buying opportunity for oceanfront property, temporarily. When no sign of the Great Flood appears things will rebound no matter what the Ministry of Truth says.

    So now that the Chicago Carbon Exchange went bust, I wonder if that gang will be moving into real estate development?

  118. Gray Lensman, there’s a couple of videos of interest, here and here. They both show how the surface of the sea is not flat.

    There’s one curious thing in those sea level videos that I’ve been intending to write about, but like they say, “So many drummers … so little time”.

    Here’s the oddity. Before each El Nino, there is a wave of high water, about a foot high, a small lump of water that runs all the way across the Pacific near the Equator. It starts in the Western Pacific and rolls clear across to South America. It takes about six weeks to make the trip, which means that it is moving at about 8 mph (15 km/hr).

    After this wave, there is a second wave, larger and higher, moving in the same direction. Sometimes this wave doesn’t make it all the way across the Pacific, it gets broken up and dies out in mid-Pacific. But when it does make it, as soon as it hits South America the El Niño starts …

    Has anyone noted this? What is it? Can we use it to predict an El Niño?

    w.

  119. Grey Lensman says:
    January 8, 2011 at 11:11 pm

    Willis!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Pulling the watermelon trick!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Please quote me in full.

    Quote

    Simply, the sea is gravitationally flat. Add one inch in one place results in a one inch rise everywhere. Slight variations due to wind, land shape and pressure of course.

    Unquote

    Notice the last sentence, brief, understated but acknowledging the brilliant work of Nils.

    I also forgot sea bed changes effect sea level as well, and they can be quite dramatic

    Your full quote does not change the meaning. You’re talking about random short-term variations caused by wind and land shape. I’m talking about 15-year sea-level trends going in different directions, not different amplitudes but one rising and one falling, over 15 years. See my post immediately above this, about waves of water that precede the El Niño and run all the way across the Pacific. That’s neither from “wind, land shape [nor] pressure”.

    So adding the rest of your quote would have made no difference … which is why I didn’t include it. Sorry for the omission, but I don’t see the difference.

    w.

  120. It sounds to me like those small variations are caused by variations in the current. A lot of them are truly massive, carry a vast amount of water and energy. Sort of like a gigantic bow wave. But they superimpose on the “level”.

    Again scale and perception.

  121. If people thought obtaining a global average temperature was difficult, it has nothing on trying to measure sea levels to within x millimetres PER FRIGGING YEAR.

    Here is how seriously I consider this subject.

    I discounted all the multi-million dollar satellite data, I discounted the thousands of hours of scientific work on the subject and went out to the beach and measured my own sea level. I stuck a 50cent wooden ruler into the water and guess what? Sea level went up, then it went down, then it went up again remarkably in sync with the waves.

    Sea level accuracy to within x millimetres. Huh! I fart in your general direction.

  122. > Ric
    > Thanks. A brief search for photos yielded
    > http://www.pictureninja.com/pages/turkey/image-antalya-coastline.htm
    > which seems to show an impressive undercut in the cliff.

    Yes, that’s the one.

    But if that cliff has been there in that condition for 600 years, and the sea level is exactly on the undercut, then sea levels have not changed in 600 years. Remember there are no tides in the Med to confuse the issue.

    Some might try to argue that the land is rising at exactly the same rate as the sea, but I think that is stretching the bounds of possibility.

    .

  123. Baa Humbug scoffs
    ————
    Sea level accuracy to within x millimetres. Huh! I fart in your general direction
    ————
    No doubt that’s only one of the reasons your arguments stink.

    It’s really simple Baa. Even a noisy/ periodic signal like wave action has an average value. And each and every square cm of water has a pretty good idea that it would like to get there and it would if not stirred up by a bit of wind.

  124. AussieDan sympathises
    ————
    That puts many property owners in great difficulty as there are no buyers for property said to be threatened by rising sea levels. Many people will have lost all their assets and be destitute if this nonesence is allowed to continue.”
    ————
    Sorry don’t see it. If you bought beach front you are probably pretty well off. So no sob story there.

    They still have the property and it’s only of no value if the sea level actually rises significantly in the time scale of their residence. Since you claim that it will not why panic.

    Most people will take the time scale and actual height above sea level into account if they intend to buy this property so there will be some devalue but not much.

    Storm surges could be a problem. But they should have factored that in when they bought the property. So it’s their own fault.

  125. Ralph claims
    ———-

    And these undercuts are precisely at sea level. There was a glass sea a couple of months ago, and the sea was sitting just on the lower platform of the undercut. Within 5cm.
    ———-
    This is not making much sense to me. If the undercuts are caused by erosion then if the sea level rises the undercut will rise to. If the sea level falls a gap wil be produced between the current sea level and the undercut representing the previous maximum sea level. Am I missing something here.

  126. Gray Lensman informs
    ———-
    In the bay of Naples, far above the sea sits a large Roman villa. In the cliff face under the villa sits a sea cave containing a fish farm designed to hold and breed lampreys. A Roman delicacy. These need the circulation of fresh sea water and indeed function today, at sea level as designed and operated by the Romans. There has only been one modification to the set up, they no longer feed recalcitrant slaves to the lampreys.
    ———–
    If memory serves there are both sunken and elevated Roman and Greek ports at various places around the Mediterranean. This suggests that on the millennium time scale the coast has moved quite a bit. I would not count on one instance as being representative.

  127. Willis gets defensive
    ————-

    I know I didn’t say Wikipedia’s satellite data is wrong, because I didn’t even know they had satellite data. Where is it accessible?
    ————
    Willis your article is about sea level trends.
    The Wikipedia article you reference is about sea level trends.
    You show a graph of satellite data.
    The wikipedia article you reference also shows a graph of satellite data.

    I was alluding to the possibility that you preferred one lot of satellite data over another because it provided a more comforting story.

    Now you claim that you are unaware some portion of the contents of the Wikipedia article. That does not make much sense to me.

  128. Lazy

    A fish farm in a cave at sea level is not a port.

    It is a just small example that sea level is not the disaster we are informed.

    Ports move in or out for various reason, sea level being a minor one. Alexandria and Port Royal being just two examples of ports that fell into the sea. A port at Manaus in Brazil fell spectacularly into the river, again nothing to do with sea level

  129. Grey Lensman says:
    January 8, 2011 at 11:11 pm

    Willis!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Please quote me in full.

    Quote
    Simply, the sea is gravitationally flat. Add one inch in one place results in a one inch rise everywhere. Slight variations due to wind, land shape and pressure of course.

    Unquote

    The subject of the post is changes in mean sea level over the years, i.e. a few centimeters per decade. When you said “slight variations” I read that as “less than the subject at hand” when it’s clear the changes are much greater than a few cm.

    While a variation in mean sea level in the middle of the Pacific of a few meters would have a slight effect on vessels at sea (but play havoc on islands), that’s not the subject.

    > I also forgot sea bed changes effect sea level as well, and they can be quite dramatic

    … affect …. Pet peeve.

  130. LazyTeenager says:
    January 9, 2011 at 3:31 am

    Ralph claims
    ———-

    And these undercuts are precisely at sea level. There was a glass sea a couple of months ago, and the sea was sitting just on the lower platform of the undercut. Within 5cm.
    ———-
    This is not making much sense to me. If the undercuts are caused by erosion then if the sea level rises the undercut will rise to [too]. If the sea level falls a gap wil [will] be produced between the current sea level and the undercut representing the previous maximum sea level. Am I missing something here.[?]

    Yes, your reading comprehension skills.

    First, note “the sea was sitting just on the lower platform of the undercut.” Erosion needs wave action, and that means on shore (on cliff!) wind driven waves. The erosion zone would from trough to wave top plus splash effects around the back wall. If the sea level rises, that lower platform will be under water.

    Second, Ralph also posted:

    I tried to find out if land levels are supposed to be rising or falling in the region, but was unable to find any data. But there are no raised or submerged undercuts (snorkel diving to 7m or so), to indicate any land movement.

    In shorter sentences:

    There are no exposed undercuts out of reach of current wave action.

    Spot checks show no submerged undercuts out of reach of current wave action.

  131. >>Lazy teenage
    >>This is not making much sense to me. If the undercuts are caused by
    >>erosion then if the sea level rises the undercut will rise to. If the sea level
    >>falls a gap wil be produced between the current sea level and the undercut
    >>representing the previous maximum sea level. Am I missing something here.

    Missing quite a lot, I would say.

    If the sea level rose, then another undercut would be formed above the previous one, which is not the case, for there are no sunken undercuts that I could see. Or, the sea level would rise well above the ‘platform’ of the older cut and make the undercut much deeper, which again is not the case. The sea level lies exactly on the level of the platform of the undercut, to within a few cm.

    If the sea level fell, then a dry undercut would be left above the present undercut, which is not the case. Or, the undercut would be widened into a much deeper undercut, which again is not the case.

    Thus the sea and land have been in this same position for some considerable time. All one needs to do, to see how long the sea levels have been stable, is estimate the length of time the cliffs have existed in this form. My estimate is 500 years.

    .

  132. Willis Eschenbach says:
    January 8, 2011 at 11:23 am

    David says:
    January 8, 2011 at 5:32 am

    Willis, the Universty of Colorado graph you show does not look as flat as the Universitry of Colorado graph shown on the ENSO section of WUWT. Maybe my eyes are off , but if not WUWT?

    Haven’t a clue which graph that is, but if you go to the U Colorado site, their jpg of the data gives the same trend (3.0 ±0.4 mm/yr) as my graph shows.

    Willis I appreciate your response to the comments but you can easily go to the ENSO page on this site and scroll down to the Colorado graph. I am talking about the period from sometime in 2005 / 2006 to current. Visually the rise looks flatter on the WUWT version. http://sealevel.colorado.edu/

  133. I looked up the Wikipedia article on sea level. The graph is very hard to analyze, but seems to be the usual stuff, just at lower resolution and not as current. An up-to-date presentation of the same data is shown on the NASA site http://climate.nasa.gov/keyIndicators/ in easier to read form.

    Willis is not picking “his” satellite data. It’s pretty much everybody’s data online. NASA gets its data from Aviso’s site. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of dispute as to what the standard data for the last 18 years is.

    A reasonably skeptical person might note that the rate of rise changes from one reasonably straight line to another at a sharper angle at exactly the moment that the method of measurement changes. But it no longer matters. 18 years is long enough to analyze on its own. Over 18 years, sea level generally continues to rise but the rate at which it rises shows no acceleration. Possibly the reverse, but certainly no acceleration.

    Lightrain has a problem with the definition of acceleration. As a meaningful physical property, it’s instantaneous. The instantaneous rate of change of the rate of change. You can no more say that sea level rise is accelerating now because it was slower on average during some earlier period, than that it is now decelerating because it was rising faster at the start of the present interglacial.

    Bottom line is that since the start of reliable satellite data, the observed increase in sea level has followed something very close to a straight line and if anything is starting to flatten. It’s very difficult to get alarmed at a steady inch per decade and that’s all the data supports.

  134. More panic-mongering over sea levels in an article in the Guardian this evening (Sunday), under the heading ” Glacier shrinkage will hit European Alps hardest, study claims”.
    Apparently melting glaciers and ice caps will contribute sea level increases of 8.7 -16.1 cm by 2100: and that’s not counting Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets.
    If you can’t reach the politicos by any other means, threaten their winter skiing!

  135. LazyTeenager says:
    January 9, 2011 at 4:05 am

    Willis gets defensive
    ————-

    I know I didn’t say Wikipedia’s satellite data is wrong, because I didn’t even know they had satellite data. Where is it accessible?

    ————
    Willis your article is about sea level trends.
    The Wikipedia article you reference is about sea level trends.
    You show a graph of satellite data.
    The wikipedia article you reference also shows a graph of satellite data.

    I was alluding to the possibility that you preferred one lot of satellite data over another because it provided a more comforting story.

    Now you claim that you are unaware some portion of the contents of the Wikipedia article. That does not make much sense to me.

    I “prefer one lot of satellite data over another”? As far as I know, there’s only one satellite up there taking sea level measurements, and it only provides one datastream. If you don’t like the University of Colorado numbers, which ones would you prefer I use?

    I’m not clear about your point. If you think my data is wrong, talk to the University of Colorado folks, where (as I clearly indicated) I obtained the data. If you think my analysis of the data is wrong, you’ll have to say exactly where and why.

    Finally, you are trying to attack my numbers by impugning my motives, which is a most unpleasant technique. You are not claiming, but “alluding to the possibility” that I picked one dataset merely because it was “more comfortable”. That’s a non-starter of an argument. Doesn’t matter if I did what I did because I woke up with a hangover. All that matters is whether the numbers and the logic and the math are correct, my state of mind is not an issue. You lose points around here by trying that kind of stuff.

    w.

    PS – In regards to not using the Wikipedia graph, I make it a practice to obtain the data and create my own graphs. I would strongly recommend that you or anyone interested do the same. I cannot tell you how many times I have found errors or, on the other side of the coin, previously unknown relationships by going and looking at the data myself. This is particularly true of information coming from Wikipedia, where William Connoley has been distorting facts for a decade or so …

  136. David says:
    January 9, 2011 at 9:45 am


    Willis I appreciate your response to the comments but you can easily go to the ENSO page on this site and scroll down to the Colorado graph. I am talking about the period from sometime in 2005 / 2006 to current. Visually the rise looks flatter on the WUWT version. http://sealevel.colorado.edu/

    I suspect the difference is that they have used the data without the inverse barometer correction, and I have used their data with the inverse barometer correction applied. As you may know, the sea level rises when the barometer drops, so they provide both datasets. I prefer the one with the IB correction, as the more variables I can remove from the data the better.

    w.

  137. Willis,

    A couple three weeks back there was a report done on modelling accuracy and sea level rise. Basically, it had to do with the problem with using one number for the whole globe, since the level varies by region. Hmm cant recall were I read it

  138. A new assessment of the error budget of global mean sea level rate estimated by satellite altimetry over 1993–2008

    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.

  139. I do not see why any barometric adjustment is desirable if using satellite data as all pressure will do is move the water around, if the data is extensive enough it will equal out, if the data is not comprehensive then it is valueless. As for local observations they need to find out of the land is rising or sinking and barometric and wind action. How does the fantasy predictions of the IPCC compare to the scientific analysis of half of a volcanic island falling in to the ocean? that would solve the problem of beach front property values!

  140. Willis

    Forgive me but you are a bugger, you kept me up all night thinking about your paired transient waves. I have some ideas. Do they know the source area?

    Secondly I repeat the sea surface is gravitationally flat subject to local effects of a transient or long term transient nature. The global average gravity controlled sea level will only rise if

    1. The volume of water rises
    2. Sediments added to the water volume
    3. Sea floor changes in shape.

    This it matters not if it is current, geostrophic or el nino or wind driven, the Sea has a level. Thus if you find a point that is not rising or sinking or subject to transient effects, you have a valid sea level meter. Simply because a one inch rise there will add to all the other effects in force in other places.

    To me this seems logical but If I can be directed to where there is a real flaw in this, I will learn

  141. Grey lensman look at point 3 , that alone invalidates all your debate, also the sealevel is fluid (??) and there can be major upsets due to gravitational pull, some places have over 20 foot tides so how would holland fare withe a temporary extra yard or 3 of sea level, a bit like neworleans I would think? so you have some real terminal flaws in your thinking!

  142. Chris

    No it does not, the sub surface changes can increase or decrease the surface level constrained by gravity. all the other effects are external and overlay the basic datum level, the gravitational level.

    Yes they vary, yes they are complex to measure but if you locate a true datum point, irrespective if it is surface or subsurface influences you have a “mark”

    Sorry rushed but so much to do

  143. With all the talk about sea level rise, why are the abandoned WWII facilities on remote Pacific islands still above water?

    Surely the gravitational leveling of the oceans applies to the land as well, with a resultant change to the volume of the ocean basins over time. Because rock is heavier than water, on average the land will sink, and the ocean basins will rise, giving the appearance of rising sea levels as a natural consequence of gravity and the relatively thin crust of the earth.

    Add to this continental drift, mid ocean spreading, there is no way to conclude the ocean basins are static. The talk of measuring sea level rise at 3 mm per year sounds fishy to me.

  144. Chris, Understand the point that you are making, but I thing there are large areas that are at the datum point, the surface disturbances are localised and directional.

    Willis

    I think i met something similar to your two waves in the Arabian sea.

    I have two thoughts

    1. coincidence

    2. A sort of whiplash effect but what causes the end of the current to be “whipped” i dont know. To understand that, think of yanking a water hose, thought experiment

  145. Grey Lensman says:
    January 9, 2011 at 7:28 pm (Edit)

    Willis

    Forgive me but you are a bugger, you kept me up all night thinking about your paired transient waves. I have some ideas. Do they know the source area?

    It appears to be an “non-linear Kelvin wave” bouncing off the coast of South America and returning as a “Rossby soliton wave”. Always something to learn. I find this:

    The rossby soliton: a robust non-linear structure in the equatorial ocean

    T.R.F. Feitsmaa and H.A. Dijkstraa
    a Institute for Marine and Atmospheric research Utrecht (IMAU), Utrecht University, Princetonplein 5, 3584 CC Utrecht, The Netherlands

    Available online 20 June 2007.
    Abstract
    A non-linear reduced gravity model of the equatorial Pacific ocean is used to study the characteristics of one special solution: the first baroclinic Rossby soliton. We have found it to travel westward and lose 25% of its energy in the reflection at the west coast. It returns as a non-linear Kelvin wave which steepens as it travels eastward. Reflection of this structure at the east coast generates a new Rossby soliton. Again about 25% of the energy is lost. Interaction of the non-linear Kelvin wave with a Rossby soliton leaves both structures unchanged. Finally, a temporal westerly wind patch in the centre of the basin generates a same kind of non-linear Kelvin wave, which returns after reflection as a Rossby soliton.

    I also find:

    Elsevier Oceanography Series
    Volume 36, 1983, Pages 353-368
    Hydrodynamics of The Equatorial Ocean, Proceedings of The 14th International Liege Colloquium on Ocean Hydrodynamics
    doi:10.1016/S0422-9894(08)70643-3 | How to Cite or Link Using DOI
    Copyright © 1983 Published by Elsevier B.V. Cited By in Scopus (5)
    Permissions & Reprints

    On the Generation of Rossby Solitons During EL Nino

    John C. Kindlea
    aEnvironmental Simulation Branch (Code 322), Naval Ocean Research and Development Activity, NSTL Station, MS 39529 USA

    Available online 5 May 2008.
    The excitation of equatorial Rossby solitons during El Nino is studied numerically using a one-layer reduced-gravity formulation. The model basin – an idealization of the tropical Pacific – extends 15,000 km zonally and 3,000 km meridionally. Forcing is applied as a patch of zonal wind stress representing the relaxation of the equatorial easterlies preceding El Nino.

    It is shown that a relaxation of the equatorial winds generates internal Rossby solitons subsequent to the reflection of an equatorial Kelvin wave front from the eastern boundary. The meridional structure of the soliton is that of a first latitudinal mode Rossby wave. The simple El Nino simulations result in the excitation of two or three solitons separated by approximately 3,000 km. The results of this study suggest that internal Rossby solitons are most likely to be observed in the central and western Pacific during a major El Nino year.

  146. As Walter Munk pointed out nearly a decade ago, sea level rise interpretation is somewhat constrained by lenth of day and polar wander observations–a 1cm rise should lead to about a 1ms increase in lod. But the more sea level rise is reportedly accelerating, the faster the earth is spinning, and this long term effect cannot be explained by atmospheric coupling. Core/mantle coupling speculation is based on previous patterns that seem to be falling apart lately. The simplest (hence, most scientific) explanation is that ice is accumulating in Antarctica, and that sea level rise due to thermal expansion or melting–or anything else for that matter–is illusory, the result of imprecise measurement complicated by rebound, etc.

    Rebound in fact leads to decreased lod, but only wins when its effect surpasses that of polar melting combined with tidal deceleration, which had not typically been the case until the Little Ice Age. At present, rebound combined with Antarctic snow is overpowering both tidal deceleration and any possible sea level rise. Which of course points to a highly exagerrated AGW threat. –AGF

  147. Serious edit: 1cm corresponds to a .1ms lod increase:

    As Walter Munk pointed out nearly a decade ago, sea level rise interpretation is somewhat constrained by lenth of day and polar wander observations–a 1cm rise should lead to about a .1ms increase in lod. But the more sea level rise is reportedly accelerating, the faster the earth is spinning, and this long term effect cannot be explained by atmospheric coupling. Core/mantle coupling speculation is based on previous patterns that seem to be falling apart lately. The simplest (hence, most scientific) explanation is that ice is accumulating in Antarctica, and that sea level rise due to thermal expansion or melting–or anything else for that matter–is illusory, the result of imprecise measurement complicated by rebound, etc.

    Rebound in fact leads to decreased lod, but only wins when its effect surpasses that of polar melting combined with tidal deceleration, which had not typically been the case until the Little Ice Age. At present, rebound combined with Antarctic snow is overpowering both tidal deceleration and any possible sea level rise. Which of course points to a highly exagerrated AGW threat. –AGF

  148. And I misspelled “exaggerate” –would appreciate reading as follows (since I cannot edit):

    As Walter Munk pointed out nearly a decade ago, sea level rise interpretation is somewhat constrained by lenth of day and polar wander observations–a 1cm rise should lead to about a .1ms increase in lod. But the more sea level rise is reportedly accelerating, the faster the earth is spinning, and this long term effect cannot be explained by atmospheric coupling. Core/mantle coupling speculation is based on previous patterns that seem to be falling apart lately. The simplest (hence, most scientific) explanation is that ice is accumulating in Antarctica, and that sea level rise due to thermal expansion or melting–or anything else for that matter–is illusory, the result of imprecise measurement complicated by rebound, etc.

    Rebound in fact leads to decreased lod, but only wins when its effect surpasses that of polar melting combined with tidal deceleration, which had not typically been the case until the Little Ice Age. At present, rebound combined with Antarctic snow is overpowering both tidal deceleration and any possible sea level rise. Which of course points to a highly exaggerated AGW threat. –AGF

  149. Thank you Willis

    I am excited by the use of the concept of solitions but that does not produce an answer. The relaxation of winds implies a reduction in energy whereas soliton generation implies an increase of energy.

    So we are left with what causes the soliton overlay and where does it exactly occur. That is it must have a point of origin or focus.

  150. Grey, one area of LOD variation involves the “inverse barometer” analysis of sea level as it responds to air pressure variation, and such analysis has led to determinations of the variable angular momentum of the earth’s atmosphere. This atmospheric coupling has explained a majority of the non-tidal short term variation in LOD.

  151. A,G, Thanks, seems I am getting further down a rabbit hole. As Antarctica is a very arid desert, increase in snow seems to be well, not right.

    Increase in LOD, with no real rise in sea level???????????? dare I mention “expanding Earth”

    That would address some questions with perhaps the periodic soliton waves being generated by irregular expansion. An expansion phase triggering the soliton pulse.

    My apologies for thinking right outside the box but I hate loose ends

  152. Grey, Willis, correct me if I’m wrong, but I thinks these soliton waves are generated by tides, or are a type of tide. On average of course, it snows as much in Antarctica as it melts, and desert though it be, it still snows considerably in some parts. And does it snow more than it melts at present? LOD behavior suggests that it does, as the earth keeps speeding up in recent years in spite of supposed GW. See Munk at

    http://www.pnas.org/content/99/10/6550.full

    And keep in mind that we have had only 2 leap seconds in the last decade, following a period of annual and even semi-annual leap seconds. See IERS for details: one example at

    http://hpiers.obspm.fr/eop-pc/index.php?index=realtime&lang=en

    I would suggest for starters, inputting LOD at 5000 days, deleting tidal effects.
    –AGF

  153. Grey, Willis, aren’t these waves of tidal origin? Generally speaking the earth slows down, especially when coming out of ice ages, till rebound overcomes melting. But lately the earth has been speeding up in the face of supposed ice cap melting (see Munk at

    http://www.pnas.org/content/99/10/6550.full )

    And since he wrote that a decade ago, we have only had two leap seconds as the globe settles around a rotation rate typical of the late 19th century. As for Bangladesh, parts of the delta are still growing at the same time ground subsidence has been exacerbated by the drilling of millions of tube wells. –AGF

  154. A G Foster says:
    January 15, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    Grey, Willis, aren’t these waves of tidal origin?

    Good question, and I’d say no. The explanation given in the citations seems reasonable. You have wind that sets the entire surface of the tropical Pacific into motion. Then, you get a relaxation of the winds in the central region.

    I’d think the moving water behind it could pile up on the stopped water in the middle and create a soliton. It’s reminiscent of the way that the soliton was discovered, when a boat being towed by horses along a canal was suddenly stopped.

    w.

  155. The leap seconds was an internet myth, I fully explained this elsewhere. It was greatly misunderstood by many including learned doctors. It was simply a mechanism to realign calenders. No real leap seconds.

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