Overpeck says 3 feet, real world sea level data says no way

From high and dry  University of Arizona, home of the world famous parking lot USHCN weather station, we have word via Eurekalert that a simulation says it will be bad as “sea levels are expected to rise by up to three feet by the end of this century”.

They say we can now ignore thermal expansion of seawater due to rising temperatures because it “contributed only slightly to rising sea levels”. It may be too late already, gosh. At the present 3 mm per year rate measured by satellite, and with 89.5 years left, that works out to 89.5yrs x 3.1mm/yr = 277.5 mm which works out to 0.91 feet or 10.9 inches. UofA, and especially Jonathan Overpeck are going to have to kick it into high gear if they are going to make three feet by 2100.

Rising oceans — too late to turn the tide?

Melting ice sheets contributed much more to rising sea levels than thermal expansion of warming ocean waters during the Last Interglacial Period, a UA-led team of researchers has found.

Simulation of Rising Sea Levels

If sea levels rose to where they were during the Last Interglacial Period, large parts of the Gulf of Mexico would be under water (red areas), including half of Florida and several Caribbean islands. Credit: Jeremy Weiss, Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona

Thermal expansion of seawater contributed only slightly to rising sea levels compared to melting ice sheets during the Last Interglacial Period, a University of Arizona-led team of researchers has found.

The study combined paleoclimate records with computer simulations of atmosphere-ocean interactions and the team’s co-authored paper is accepted for publication in Geophysical Research Letters.

As the world’s climate becomes warmer due to increased greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, sea levels are expected to rise by up to three feet by the end of this century.

But the question remains: How much of that will be due to ice sheets melting as opposed to the oceans’ 332 million cubic miles of water increasing in volume as they warm up?

For the study, UA team members analyzed paleoceanic records of global distribution of sea surface temperatures of the warmest 5,000-year period during the Last Interglacial, a warm period that lasted from 130,000 to 120,000 years ago.

The researchers then compared the data to results of computer-based climate models simulating ocean temperatures during a 200-year snapshot as if taken 125,000 years ago and calculating the contributions from thermal expansion of sea water.

The team found that thermal expansion could have contributed no more than 40 centimeters – less than 1.5 feet – to the rising sea levels during that time, which exceeded today’s level up to eight meters or 26 feet.

At the same time, the paleoclimate data revealed average ocean temperatures that were only about 0.7 degrees Celsius, or 1.3 degrees Fahrenheit, above those of today.

“This means that even small amounts of warming may have committed us to more ice sheet melting than we previously thought. The temperature during that time of high sea levels wasn’t that much warmer than it is today,” said Nicholas McKay, a doctoral student at the UA’s department of geosciences and the paper’s lead author.

McKay pointed out that even if ocean levels rose to similar heights as during the Last Interglacial, they would do so at a rate of up to three feet per century.

“Even though the oceans are absorbing a good deal of the total global warming, the atmosphere is warming faster than the oceans,” McKay added. “Moreover, ocean warming is lagging behind the warming of the atmosphere. The melting of large polar ice sheets lags even farther behind.”

“As a result, even if we stopped greenhouse gas emissions right now, the Earth would keep warming, the oceans would keep warming, the ice sheets would keep shrinking, and sea levels would keep rising for a long time,” he explained.

They are absorbing most of that heat, but they lag behind. Especially the large ice sheets are not in equilibrium with global climate,” McKay added. “

Jonathan Overpeck, co-director of the UA’s Institute of the Environment and a professor with joint appointments in the department of geosciences and atmospheric sciences, said: “This study marks the strongest case yet made that humans – by warming the atmosphere and oceans – are pushing the Earth’s climate toward the threshold where we will likely be committed to four to six or even more meters of sea level rise in coming centuries.”

Overpeck, who is McKay’s doctoral advisor and a co-author of the study, added: “Unless we dramatically curb global warming, we are in for centuries of sea level rise at a rate of up to three feet per century, with the bulk of the water coming from the melting of the great polar ice sheets – both the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets.”

According to the authors, the new results imply that 4.1 to 5.8 meters, or 13.5 to 19 feet, of sea level rise during the Last Interglacial period was derived from the Antarctic Ice Sheet, “reemphasizing the concern that both the Antarctic and Greenland Ice Sheets may be more sensitive to warming temperatures than widely thought.”

“The central question we asked was, ‘What are the warmest 5,000 years we can find for all these records, and what was the corresponding sea level rise during that time?'” McKay said.

Evidence for elevated sea levels is scattered all around the globe, he added. On Barbados and the Bahamas, for example, notches cut by waves into the rock six or more meters above the present shoreline have been dated to being 125,000 years old.

“Based on previous studies, we know that the sea level during the Last Interglacial was up to 8.5 meters higher than today,” McKay explained.

“We already knew that the vast majority came from the melting of the large ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica, but how much could the expansion of seawater have added to that?”

Given that sea surface temperatures were about 0.7 degrees warmer than today, the team calculated that even if the warmer temperatures reached all the way down to 2,000 meters depth – more than 6,500 feet, which is highly unlikely – expansion would have accounted for no more than 40 centimeters, less than a foot and a half.

“That means almost all of the substantial sea level rise in the Last Interglacial must have come from the large ice sheets, with only a small contribution from melted mountain glaciers and small ice caps,” McKay said.

According to co-author Bette Otto-Bliesner, senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colo., getting the same estimate of the role ocean expansion played on sea level rise increases confidence in the data and the climate models.

“The models allow us to attribute changes we observe in the paleoclimate record to the physical mechanisms that caused those changes,” Otto-Bliesner said. “This helps tremendously in being able to distinguish mere correlations from cause-and-effect relationships.”

The authors cautioned that past evidence is not a prediction of the future, mostly because global temperatures during the Last Interglacial were driven by changes in the Earth’s orbit around the sun. However, current global warming is driven by increasing greenhouse gas concentrations.

The seasonal differences between the northern and the southern hemispheres were more pronounced during the Last Interglacial than they will be in the future.

“We expect something quite different for the future because we’re not changing things seasonally, we’re warming the globe in all seasons,” McKay said.

“The question is, when we think about warming on a global scale and contemplate letting the climate system change to a new warmer state, what would we expect for the ice sheets and sea levels based on the paleoclimate record? The Last Interglacial is the most recent time when sea levels were much higher and it’s a time for which we have lots of data,” McKay added.

“The message is that the last time glaciers and ice sheets melted, sea levels rose by more than eight meters. Much of the world’s population lives relatively close to sea level. This is going to have huge impacts, especially on poor countries,” he added.

“If you live a meter above sea level, it’s irrelevant what causes the rise. Whether sea levels are rising for natural reasons or for anthropogenic reasons, you’re still going to be under water sooner or later.”

###

Reference:

McKay, N., J. T. Overpeck, and B. Otto-Bliesner (2011). The role of ocean thermal expansion in Last Interglacial sea level rise. Geophys. Res. Lett., doi:10.1029/2011GL048280, in press. A version of the accepted paper is available online at the Geophysical Research Letters site: http://www.agu.org/journals/gl/papersinpress.shtml

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

Update: Leif Svalgaard has the full paper here. Thanks Leif.

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109 Responses to Overpeck says 3 feet, real world sea level data says no way

  1. John M says:

    Maybe he’s counting on one hell of a glacial isostatic adjustment.

  2. Roy Weiler says:

    We might as well just give up now. The tipping points have been reached, our only hope is adaptation!!

    /sarc

  3. Bill Illis says:

    Corrections to the article above (obviously written by scientists who don’t care about facts), last interglacial +2.25C higher in global temperature versus today – sea level about 4-5 metres higher than today – CO2 about 100 ppm lower than today.

  4. John F. Hultquist says:

    Peyote! Maybe?

  5. ssquared8484 says:

    I wonder if I could show this to someone living on a ocean front lot anywhere and convince them to sell me their estate for 10 cents on the dollar?

  6. ssquared8484 says:

    What was I thinking?

    With this disaster confronting us, it’s 2 cents on the dollar!

  7. terrybixler says:

    Is this guy a sitcom writer or a scifi wannabe. The script was made into a movie already. Of course he will be dead and gone by the time his prediction is yet another AGW failure. Ask big Al about Mann’s hockey stick. Funny how the solar minimum kind of puts these creeps to shame.

  8. Theo Goodwin says:

    As the Warmista have been given more and more rope, it has become clear that their obsession with Gaia Models has become an excuse not to do actual research that could lead to the formulation of actual physical hypotheses. It is as if “permanent graduate student syndrome” has fallen over the whole lot of Warmista. They are now just entertaining one another.

  9. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    Up to three feet by 2100? That’s it? That’s minor league prognostication, amateur hour stuff. Let’s see how the Big-Time Professional Climate Scientists™ do it!

    From Spiegel Online, said article discussed here on WUWT recently:

    NASA climate researcher James Hansen, for example, warns in a paper published this month that sea levels could rise by five meters in the next 90 years — nine times higher than the maximum cited in the last IPCC report. He insists that he has found indications that sea levels in the future could rise by as much as five centimeters per year.

    Five Meters by 2100, not some wimpy “three feet.” Now THAT is how you get people motivated! THAT is how you do CLIMATE SCIENCE™!

  10. Ursus Augustus says:

    Thankyou Professor Overpeck and student McKay for warning us just how bad it might get. On the other hand, isn’t it a relief that those ancient humans didn’t completely destroy the planet with the discovery of fire. We have a second chance! BAN FIRE. FIRE POLLUTION WILL DESTROY THE PLANET! . FIRE IS THE ROOT OF ALL EVIL. BAN HEAT! HEAT TAX NOW!!!

  11. Latitude says:

    warmest 5,000-year period during the Last Interglacial, a warm period that lasted from 130,000 to 120,000 years ago.
    On Barbados and the Bahamas, for example, notches cut by waves into the rock six or more meters above the present shoreline have been dated to being 125,000 years old.
    “Based on previous studies, we know that the sea level during the Last Interglacial was up to 8.5 meters higher than today,” McKay explained.
    ======================================================================
    “As a result, even if we stopped greenhouse gas emissions right now, the Earth would keep warming, the oceans would keep warming, the ice sheets would keep shrinking, and sea levels
    would keep rising for a long time,” he explained.
    ======================================================================
    The authors cautioned that past evidence is not a prediction of the future, mostly because global temperatures during the Last Interglacial were driven by changes in the Earth’s orbit around the
    sun. However, current global warming is driven by increasing greenhouse gas concentrations.
    ======================================================================

    This has to be one of the funniest papers I’ve even seen………………………..
    and they are not the slightest bit embarrassed to put their names to it

  12. Michael D Smith says:

    The Last Interglacial is the most recent time when sea levels were much higher and it’s a time for which we have lots of data

    Did they take the sea level data in cubits back then? The oldest sea level measurements are MUCH older than I thought. I wonder what the worldwide sea level measurement standards were back then, and whether they freely shared their data when publishing. I haven’t seen a peer reviewed journal older than 72,000 years, so this is indeed quite intriguing…

  13. Martin Clauss says:

    As an Arizona State U. graduate, we think of that ‘other university in Tuscon’ as inferior ( . .uh, just good-natured rivalry, please don’t infer any ad-hom attacks . . ).

    Though reports like this make it VERY EASY to tease them. They claim both the atmosphere and oceans are warming, but over the last several years, NEITHER are happening. Sea level rise has taken a hiatus the past year or so, and there is nothing to show it will increase at any ‘alarming’ rate. And if the sun continues along the recent path or solar cycles, continued warming is unlikely, at least for a few decades (based on the articles I read).

    Then the final statement (“If you live a meter above sea level, it’s irrelevant what causes the rise. Whether sea levels are rising for natural reasons or for anthropogenic reasons, you’re still going to be under water sooner or later ”) is even more absurd. How ever long it might take IF seal levels rise by a meter, people will obviously adapt and move away.

    . . . amazing how ‘alarmist’ they continue to be . . .

  14. “ssquared8484 says: I wonder if I could show this to someone living on a ocean front lot anywhere and convince them to sell me their estate for 10 cents on the dollar?”

    Why not ask the Goracle and find out? ;-p

  15. Rick Bradford says:

    Three feet? Five meters? Wimps.

    > Andrew Bolt [Australian radio presenter]: Dean of science…suggesting rising seas this next century of up to 100 metres, or Al Gore six metres. When I see things like that I know these are false. You mentioned the IPCC report; that suggests, at worst on best scenarios, 59 centimetres.

    > Robyn Williams: Well, whether you take the surge or whether you take the actual average rise are different things.

    > Andrew Bolt: I ask you, Robyn, 100 metres in the next century…do you really think that?

    > Robyn Williams: It is possible, yes.

  16. J. Felton says:

    I have my own simulation on my home computer. It’s called ” Flight Simulator 2010.” I can beat the final level.

    Doesnt mean I can tell pilots how to fly.

  17. Mike McMillan says:

    I figure I’ve got 2700 years before I need to build a dock in the front yard. As to Dr Hansen’s 5 meter rise, NASA needs to quit wasting their drug testing on pilots and concentrate on where it’s really needed.

  18. DesertYote says:

    “We already knew that the vast majority came from the melting of the large ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica, but how much could the expansion of seawater have added to that?”
    ###

    I guess the melting of the holarctic ice sheet covering half of North America and Eurasia had nothing to do with it.

  19. Dave N says:

    So:

    Sea-levels could rise 3 feet, or several metres, or 100 metres, or pick a number in between.
    Temperatures could rise anywhere from around 2 degrees to around 6 degrees.
    We could have lots of snow, or it could become a thing of the past.
    There could be more intense storms, or just more of them.
    There could be more floods or more droughts.

    These are examples from their “settled science”. The only thing that is settled is their extreme inability for rational thought.

  20. DesertYote says:

    I would like to ask a simple CO2 related question. This has been bothering for some time.

    It seem that the forcing due to CO2 would be logarithmic to the concentrations of all greenhouse gases combined, not just CO2 alone. I other words given an atmosphere A, with x ppm CO2 and y ppm H2O and atmosphere B, with x ppm CO2 and 2y ppm H2O. Increasing the CO2 concentration in both would result in the change of forcing in A being greater then the change in forcing in B.

    Does this make sence?

  21. Tom in Florida says:

    To me the question that should be asked is:
    If “normal” sea levels during an interglacial are higher than now, what’s keeping them so low?

  22. Theo Goodwin says:

    Latitude says:
    July 18, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    Indicting them with their own words! How could you? They are just children after all, Hansen’s children.

  23. Duster says:

    Sea levels have been higher than present during the early Holocene and possibly the mid-Holocene. Numerous studies have documented this globally.

    Holocene highstand, Thailand, higher than present:

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0743954792900143

    Pacific islands experienced high stands of 1.6 to 2.6 meters above present levels:

    http://www.jstor.org/pss/4299192

    Tropical highstands are suggested to be typically ca. 3 m. above present, with subsequent declines linked to glacial isostatic adjustments which increased basin volumes as GIA proceeded:

    http://champs.cecs.ucf.edu/Library/Journal_Articles/pdfs/On%20the%20origin%20of%20late%20Helocene%20sea-level%20highstands%20within%20equatorial%20ocean%20basins.pdf

  24. Theo Goodwin says:

    Dave N says:
    July 18, 2011 at 7:16 pm
    “So: Sea-levels could rise 3 feet, or several metres, or 100 metres, or pick a number in between.
    Temperatures could rise anywhere from around 2 degrees to around 6 degrees.
    We could have lots of snow, or it could become a thing of the past.
    There could be more intense storms, or just more of them.
    There could be more floods or more droughts.”

    The Old Testament does a better job of prediction. Warmista do not understand the concept of scientific prediction.

  25. Bernie says:

    I also find the conclusions of the paper too tenuous, but I would prefer that someone actually reads the paper and presents a detailed critique.

  26. RobJM says:

    So the current interglacial peaked 2 deg C warmer than today.
    The previous interglacial peaked 2 deg C warmer than the current interglacial
    But according to climate scientist 2+2=0.5
    Of course at the current rate greenland will take 5000 years to melt and as everyone knows the antarctic has been cooling recently, so I guess its up to the computer modellers to come up with an imaginary ice sheet to flood us all!

  27. Barry Elledge says:

    This paper indicates the last previous interglacial lasted 10,000 years. The current interglacial (i.e., the holocene) is already about 12,000 years old, or even older if you think the end of the last glaciation should be marked prior to the Younger-Dryas cold interval. The 19 preceding glaciation events each lasted about 100,00 years in length, 10-15,000 years of which comprise the warm interglacial period. As I interpolate these facts, I necessarily conclude that we are close to the end of the current warm period. Whether the glaciers resume their equatorial advance in 1 year or 3,000 I cannot know, but I am pretty certain that atmospheric CO2 is not going to delay the inevitable by very long, since it never did so in the previous glaciations.

    The holocene warm maximum occurred about 8,000 years ago; since then, the long term trend has been to cooler temperatures, with the recently concluded (on geological time scales) Little Ice Age marking the coldest interval since the end of the last glaciation. If we pick the “warmest 5.000 years ” of this interglacial, the period would run from about 9,000 to 4,000 years before present. Unless the warming effects of rising CO2 hit the upper end of the warmist projections, the earth isn’t going to get as warm as it was 8,000 years ago.

    So do any readers have a better estimate for how long the holocene is likely to last? In the race between melting Antarctic ice/rising seas and the next ice age, which is likely to come in first?

  28. P.F. says:

    And, of course, here in California, Jerry Brown and his Brown Shirts insist that the rise will be 55 inches in the next 89 years and they are forcing communities to devise climate action plans designed to mitigate a sea level rise of that magnitude.

  29. BenFranklin says:

    Sea Level Rising Tax! Coming soon as a withholding to your next pay check….

    I think the 3 feet’ers and the 5 meter rise scientists should have to square off and settle this…

  30. nc says:

    Professor Overpeck and student McKay, you guys have to get out more and let the ocean tickle your toes. I have been doing that now and again off the exact same rock for about 55 years.

    I wonder if they are aware of this blog? On that theme I wonder if Gore, Susuki, Hansen and others of the same ilk ever drop by and add to the count. Would be interesting to get a debate going, oh silly me there is no debate.

  31. Frank says:

    If this report gets any media traction, ocean front property prices should tank. I think 4000 square feet in Key Largo for $50k would be a good deal.

  32. bushbunny says:

    It’s snowing in New England, Australia, thought I would let you know. Look last glacial period, the sea levels around some continents was as much as 150 metres lower than today. No body lived near the oceans or seas to fish, the Mediterranean was a swamp and lakes, the big melt was gradual, and took thousands of years. I bet you these people who insist on sea levels rising don’t take into consideration that during king tides they come into land more than they do normally. I have a letter from the BOM, forwarded to me by a MP, that the sea levels in Australia
    (where exactly it never mention) would rise 177mm by 2050. Yes 6.83 inches. Whose panicking
    eh? They are all lying. Corrupting the data to suit their hypothesis. Al Gore bought a house or houses in the areas he predicted they would be swamped. Not very good at predicting the slump
    in house prices is he, if his lie were to be believed.

  33. rbateman says:

    Warm the atmosphere AND the oceans?
    We don’t have enough fossil fuels to warm the oceans, let alone the atmosphere. We have just enough to warm the inside of most houses during Winter and keep everything else going. That’s why there are all these programs to insulate and be more efficient with the fuels used. When the climate turned cold in the Little Ice Age, the forests were stripped of fuel.
    Honestly, the ramblings these Warmists come up with is proof that they don’t even know thier own history.

  34. kbray in california says:

    The Green Governments could bulldoze all the snow and ice into a big pile on North Greenland and on the South Pole.
    That might slow the ice from melting, if it really is melting…
    We sure don’t want to inconvenience all the poor people in the world who don’t own much to begin with.
    It’s really tough on them to move their tent/shack and bedroll a few more feet higher up the beach.
    Didn’t Italy deal with a similar water encroachment issue by building canals?
    Humans seem to have knack at adapting to changing situations. Deal with it, live with it.

  35. DCC says:

    “The team found that thermal expansion could have contributed no more than 40 centimeters – less than 1.5 feet – to the rising sea levels during that time, which exceeded today’s level up to eight meters or 26 feet.”

    What kind of English is that? Intentionally abstruse?

    And did he do no research on the possibility that the Bahamas have risen or fallen in that time? It is not a given that the Bahamas are at precisely the same geodetic level today as they were 125,000 years ago.

    This paper gives rise to a new phrase: “publish and perish.”

  36. Mike Jonas says:

    The average depth of the ocean is a bit less than 4,000m.
    The expansion coefficient of seawater is probably rather less than 2/10**4 K-1.
    The global temperature in the last ice age was around 9 deg C below today’s, but say 10.
    So the thermal expansion of the ocean since the last ice age has delivered something like (4000 * (2/10**4) * 10) = 8m of sea-level rise.
    The sea level has risen about 120m since the last ice age.
    Thermal expansion has therefore accounted for about (8/120) = 7% of the sea level rise since the last ice age.

    Now – what was the point of the paper, again?

    [but please do check my arithmetic]

  37. noaaprogrammer says:

    Did their models take into acount the affect on the sea level of the landmass rebounding of Greenland and Antartica as they shed their ice sheets?

  38. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    Direct link to paper: pdf

    My, Geophysical Research Letters has some interesting things “in press.” For example (bold added):

    Kay, J., M. Holland, and A. Jahn (2011),
    Inter-annual to multi-decadal Arctic sea ice extent trends in a warming world,
    Geophys. Res. Lett., doi:10.1029/2011GL048008, in press.
    [PDF] (accepted 8 July 2011)

    Simolo, C., M. Brunetti, M. Maugeri, and T. Nanni (2011),
    Evolution of extreme temperatures in a warming climate,
    Geophys. Res. Lett., doi:10.1029/2011GL048437, in press.
    [PDF] (accepted 4 July 2011)

    I hear an echo.

    Kug, J.-S., and Y.-G. Ham (2011),
    Are there two types of La Nina?,
    Geophys. Res. Lett., doi:10.1029/2011GL048237, in press.
    [PDF] (accepted 6 July 2011)

    Lim, Y.-K., and S. D. Schubert (2011),
    The impact of ENSO and the Arctic Oscillation on winter temperature extremes in the southeast United States,
    Geophys. Res. Lett., doi:10.1029/2011GL048283, in press.
    [PDF] (accepted 6 July 2011)

    Kim, W., S.-W. Yeh, J.-H. Kim, J.-S. Kug, and M. Kwon (2011),
    The unique 2009-2010 El Niño event: A fast phase transition of warm pool El Niño to La Niña,
    Geophys. Res. Lett., doi:10.1029/2011GL048521, in press.
    [PDF] (accepted 5 July 2011)

    Paging Bob Tisdale… He should really like the first one. After all Climate Scientists™ discovered the new and different type of El Nino, the El Nino Modoki. Why not have two types of La Nina as well?

    Fu, Q., S. Manabe, and C. Johanson (2011),
    On the warming in the tropical upper troposphere: Models versus observations,
    Geophys. Res. Lett., doi:10.1029/2011GL048101, in press.
    [PDF] (accepted 24 June 2011)

    Those (C)AGW-predicting global climate models said there’d be tropical mid-tropospheric hot spots, which we haven’t found. Maybe they were just off a little, and if we look a bit higher…

    O’ishi, R., and A. Abe-Ouchi (2011),
    Polar amplification in the mid-Holocene derived from dynamical vegetation change with a GCM,
    Geophys. Res. Lett., doi:10.1029/2011GL048001, in press.
    [PDF] (accepted 8 June 2011)

    …say what?

    Now THIS looks like the most devious one of the lot. This will require a very thorough examination and dissection.

    Maue, R. N. (2011),
    Recent historically low global tropical cyclone activity,
    Geophys. Res. Lett., doi:10.1029/2011GL047711, in press.
    [PDF] (accepted 7 June 2011)

    This is clearly deserving of an entire WUWT post to discuss it. At least one.

  39. davidmhoffer says:

    I was reading that the west coast of north america is overdue for an earth quake. I think this explains it.

    As the oceans warm, water expands, putting increased pressure on the coastline and keeping it pinned to the rest of the continent. If the warming slows down, who knows what could happen?

  40. Jim Cole says:

    It really galls me to see these mindless “simulations” of drowned coastlines “If sea levels rose to where they were during the Last Interglacial Period”. Cripes, USGS has done the same stupid visualizations

    First, any idiot with a set of contour maps could do the same exercise around the kitchen table, but that doesn’t mean it has any predictive value.

    Second, what legitimate reason is there to compare today to the last Interglacial 120,000 yrs ago?

    Third, the obvious (but unstated) implication of these “simulations” is that the world has been much warmer in the past and sea levels have been much higher – all without any documented elevated CO2. Hmmmmm, howzat Dr. Hansen? Mr. Gore? Kevin? Gavin? Anybody?

    When the person in the mirror starts to look like an idiot, the reflection is probably true.

  41. Can’t help wondering when someone will demand a ban on ‘carbonated’ drinks, such as soda water, all forms of fizzy drinks – and beer. But let’s not forget champagne and its lookalikes – they all release vast quantities of CO2 …

    OK, I’ll go an be sarcastic somewhere else. The words that grabbed me here were the usual “… by UP TO …” which somehow always get lost in any reporting in the media. Frankly, I don’t think these guys should be awarded the doctorate they are purportedly working for. Not with this study as a report anyway.

  42. Eric Anderson says:

    “The message is that the last time glaciers and ice sheets melted, sea levels rose by more than eight meters. Much of the world’s population lives relatively close to sea level. This is going to have huge impacts, especially on poor countries,” he added.

    “If you live a meter above sea level, it’s irrelevant what causes the rise. Whether sea levels are rising for natural reasons or for anthropogenic reasons, you’re still going to be under water sooner or later.”

    Am I missing something, or are they using a scare tactic by pointing to an eight meter rise “the last time glaciers and ice sheets melted” and putting out simulation pictures of the last interglacial? No, of course they don’t say that the changes over the next 100 years aren’t nearly that scary, but the scary stories and pictures sure do help get folks charged up emotionally.

    Finally, let’s say that things do rise by a meter. How many people actually live a meter above sea level. I know, I know, I’ve seen the estimates: 100M, 146M, etc. Where are these folks. I live relatively close to the coast, have seen numerous beaches all up and down the pacific, have seen thousands of structure, and offhand I’d have a hard time finding a single home that is within 1 meter of sealevel. 10 meters? Yeah. 5 meters? Probably a few. 1 meter? You’d have to be crazy to live near the coast and only one meter above sea level. Forget global warming and sea level rise — a decent storm would wipe you out.

    Anyway, I just don’t buy the estimates of all the poor folks who will be wiped out due to a 1 meter rise in sea level — as if that is even realistic over the next 100 years anyway.

  43. I don’t think property prices will tank, people will just get higher stilts for their house. lol. I’m glad to see some REAL data the changes we are told that are so drastic. I could imagine Gore having a heart attack while reading some of these blogs. Keep up the great work!

  44. Dave says:

    I have not yet read the paper, but one thing seems strange: the authors seem to have ignored the effects of long term secular upift of the `last interglacial` shoreline, to say nothing about the huge variability of a visco-elastic earth after the previous glaciation about 160 thousand years ago. There is much debate about this and estimates of the MIS 5e (5.5) sea-level range from 0 m up to 10 m above present. It is time to get real and acknowledge there is huge uncertainty – isn`t that what science is about?

  45. Richard111 says:

    “Even though the oceans are absorbing a good deal of the total global warming, the atmosphere is warming faster than the oceans,”
    What is it with these people? Is it because they KNOW they will get mass coverage by the media with no questions asked? Or is it because they KNOW they will get lots of money from their illiterate governments? What does that tell you about the world we live in today?
    When you consider the first 2.6 metres of the oceans equalls the total mass of the atmosphere above, of course the atmosphere warms faster than the oceans. The top of the atmosphere is exposed to the deepest known cold of the universe. The bottom of the atmosphere is kept warm by the oceans. That is why we are alive and reading and publishing totally stupid statements.

  46. Richard111 says:

    Blast! that should have been thermal mass.

  47. “This study marks the strongest case yet made that humans – by warming the atmosphere and oceans – are pushing the Earth’s climate toward the threshold where we will likely be committed to four to six or even more meters of sea level rise in coming centuries.”

    Dr Overpeck, this is a totally irresponsible statement. Raising an alarm based on completely unsupported conjecture. If this is the strongest case yet, you’re going to need a good lawyer to “prove” it. Because no scientist can sit here and read your statement and “prove” it. Hell, we can’t even DISprove it, because it has no clear assertion of fact. Pick a number and show the science community how you attempted to test the hypothesis. The bug-eyed writer of this press relaese should also be warned: try a little critical thought!

    I am dismayed, as an earth scientist, that this passes as science. What’s more, that it passed peer review.

  48. AndiC says:

    Evidence for elevated sea levels is scattered all around the globe, he added. On Barbados and the Bahamas, for example, notches cut by waves into the rock six or more meters above the present shoreline have been dated to being 125,000 years old.

    I was always under the impression that sea level measurements such as these were “local”, and of course relative to land movements.

    Screams of Venice been inundated by rising sea-levels actually turn out to be Venice sinking due to (a) Venusians drawing fossil water from below the city, and (b) a general sinking of the whole basin

    So, does this paper actually check to see if these “notches cut by waves” are in to rocks elevated by such things as isostaticand/or techtonic activity?

    Just a thought before any credance can be given their selection of proxies.

  49. Eyal Porat says:

    I keep wandering, do they ignore the obvious on purpose or they just have a “blind spot” on this:
    According to the elaborate study they presented, in their own words “the new results imply that 4.1 to 5.8 meters, or 13.5 to 19 feet, of sea level rise during the Last Interglacial period was derived from the Antarctic Ice Sheet”. So, the sea was MUCH higher than today. The temps were MUCH higher than today’s.
    How on earth do they miss the obvious that these things happen WITHOUT human intervention?
    According to their own words, “Based on previous studies, we know that the sea level during the Last Interglacial was up to 8.5 meters higher than today,”.
    Then why the hell are we supposed to infer that this time is different? It did happen! It was warmer and the sea WAS higher!
    Gosh, I cannot believe I have to spell it out for them.
    We are on the verge of a new Ice Age, according to your studies. This is what should bother you, not the warming.

  50. Brian H says:

    rbateman says:
    July 18, 2011 at 9:21 pm

    Warm the atmosphere AND the oceans?
    We don’t have enough fossil fuels to warm the oceans, let alone the atmosphere.

    I think you got that expression bass ackwards. The atmosphere is much lighter and easier to warm than the oceans.
    __________

    davidmhoffer says:
    July 18, 2011 at 10:31 pm

    I was reading that the west coast of north america is overdue for an earth quake. I think this explains it.

    As the oceans warm, water expands, putting increased pressure on the coastline and keeping it pinned to the rest of the continent. If the warming slows down, who knows what could happen?

    Expanded water is lighter, less dense, and the total weight doesn’t change. The distribution of weight moves slightly inland when it expands. If you think that explains anything, good luck working out how!

  51. Brian H says:

    Mike Bromley of Canuckistan says:
    July 18, 2011 at 11:51 pm


    I am dismayed, as an earth scientist, that this passes as science. What’s more, that it passed peer review.

    Well, climate scientists give each other airs. Do earth scientists throw dirt at their critics?
    ;)

  52. Dr Slop says:

    I was going to point out that Overpeck’s opinion has to be taken at a discount because he has a financial interest in hype, via climateappraisal.com to which he is/was a consultant. In going back to check facts, it turns out Climate Appraisal’s web presence is currently dead, and its absence from Google’s cache suggests it may have been that way for some time. The main thing available currently is an advertorial on wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_Appraisal). It would be interesting news if the outfit had ceased to function.

  53. Maxbert says:

    The new U of Arizona postdoc anthem:
    We’re going on the grant hunt,
    The global-warming grant hunt.
    We’re going on the grant hunt,
    And bag some major bucks!

  54. Kelvin Vaughan says:

    8.0 metres in 5000 years. That’s 1.6mm a year. Hmm to an idiot like me that would suggest that the ice age ice melts at this rate without AGW.

  55. 1DandyTroll says:

    Well good golly and aren’t we the lucky sods today that we “narrowly” missed that 200 year window of that 5000 year window of that “Last Interglacial” window of 120 000 to 130 000 years ago, otherwise we might have had a future rise of three feet, but we might have felt a tad bit relieved with the thinning ice and the renewed flow of fresh water.

  56. Kelvin Vaughan says:

    Eric Anderson says:
    July 18, 2011 at 10:55 pm

    How many people actually live a meter above sea level. I know, I know, I’ve seen the estimates: 100M, 146M, etc. Where are these folks

    I live about 1m above sea level but much of the Fens where I live are lower than sea level and are kept dry by pumping stations. Then there is Holland. etc etc.

    But notice a lot of these people actually live below sea level.

  57. Alan the Brit says:

    “As a result, even if we stopped greenhouse gas emissions right now, the Earth would keep warming, the oceans would keep warming, the ice sheets would keep shrinking, and sea levels would keep rising for a long time,” he explained.

    They really ought to check the safety catch on that AGW gun of theirs & get a bullet proof cap to the bottom of the holster, that way they won’t quite so easily shoot themselves in the foot! So what’s the point of worrying?

    I seem to recall reading a paper stating that the ice sheet in both Greenland & Antarctica was in a hollow,due to the weight of the ice build up over thousands & millions of years,& that if is all melted,all that would happen would be the creation of inland seas on both land masses! Is this correct? Not that I’m bothered.

  58. Alan the Brit says:

    Forgot the obvious, the clue was in the sub-title,”Simulation”. Pocket OED 1925, Simulate, simulant, simulacrum:- Feign, pretend to have or feel (oh no it’s back to feelings again), wear the guise of, act the part, counterfeit, having the appearance of, shadowy likeness or mere pretence of, unreal thing.

  59. Steve C says:

    J. Felton says (July 18, 2011 at 7:02 pm)
    “I have my own simulation on my home computer. …”

    Me too! Mine’s called the “Microsoft Pinball Arcade” and does a pretty good job of simulating a range of Gottlieb tables from the 1930s to the 1990s. On the 1960s table, though, in moments of high excitement, I’ve noticed that the simulated ball sometimes passes clean through the simulated flipper.

    From this I conclude that
    EITHER (a) it is possible for a simulation to be slightly less than perfect;
    OR (b) In the 1960s, Gottlieb had developed a way of implementing quantum effects on the scale of an inch diameter bearing ball.

    I wonder which it could be …

  60. Don K says:

    One problem with paleo sea levels is that the ground won’t stand still. Yes, there are a few marine features some number of meters above current sea level in North America. But those in New England, Ontario, and Quebec appear to be due to glacial isostacy. And everything on the West Coast is moving up, down, and/or sideways. Can’t really trust those areas to stand still for 100,000 years

    That leaves the Gulf Coast, and Eastern Seaboard North to perhaps Delaware Bay. New Jersey was presumably pulled down some by the weight of the glaciers to the North that extended as far South as Staten Island. So, are there wave benches and fossil deposits from the last interglacial all along the coastal plain from Galveston to Cape May?

    No, there do not seem to be. Some, of course might have been removed or covered by recent erosion/sedimentation, and some of the coastline is consists of recent sediments that are consolidated and sinking. But a lot of the coastline is Cretaceous through Pliocene “bedrock” that probably isn’t going to compress much more. If sea levels were generally significantly higher in the last interglacial than today, a lot of evidence should have survived. Way more than has survived I think.

  61. Chris Edwards says:

    The script below the map gives the game away, because there were no SUVs in the last interglacial pereod and they are trying to scare the public with this sea level rise! this is schoolyrd game level scamming!

  62. AdderW says:

    Just for the math of it, how much is the theoretical maximum sea level rise if all ice on earth would melt? and combining that with the maximum sea water expansion ?

  63. jefferyp2100Nuke says:

    The authors cautioned that past evidence is not a prediction of the future, mostly because global temperatures during the Last Interglacial were driven by changes in the Earth’s orbit around the sun. However, current global warming is driven by increasing greenhouse gas concentrations.

    Why does it matter if the cause of past warming is different from the present warming? Are there studies that show different causes have different effects on the thermal expansion of the oceans?

    And please, don’t say the current warming is ‘unprecedented.’

  64. FerdinandAkin says:

    Another case of getting the right answer for the wrong reasons:
    As a result, even if we stopped greenhouse gas emissions right now, the Earth would keep warming

    The reason is that ‘greenhouse gasses’ do not contribute in any significant way to global warming. The Earth will warm, the Earth will cool and CO2 is an order of magnitude smaller than a contributing factor.

  65. Nigel Harris says:

    AdderW – if all the world’s ice melted, sea level would be about 80 meters (260 feet) above where it is now. Almost all of that comes from the Antarctic, with about 6.5m from Greenland and 0.5m from other glaciers.

  66. DonS says:

    The caption to the picture: “If sea levels rose to where they were during the Last Interglacial Period, large parts of the Gulf of Mexico would be under water (red areas), including half of Florida and several Caribbean islands. Credit: Jeremy Weiss, Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona”. My 9th grade English teacher would not approve of the first sentence at all, nor would my geography teacher.

  67. Bill Illis says:

    Well, I’m sure McKay and Overpeck can explain the recent sea level changes as well then.

    For example, the latest number says the sea level has fallen by 6.9 mms in the last year (late Feb, 2011 data) and it is clearly decelerating.

    -6.9 mms is a big number.

    I guess they would have to conclude that glacier mass balance increased in the past year (since thermostatic change is so small – water vapour in the atmosphere increased but only about 1.0 mm worth).

    Change in sea level – year over year – since 1994 from the satellites including all the adjustments they like to make.

  68. Ryan says:

    “Just for the math of it, how much is the theoretical maximum sea level rise if all ice on earth would melt?”

    Who cares? It would need to be about 50Celsius hotter than it is now to melt ALL the ice and if that happened sea level would be the least of our worries.

  69. Latitude says:

    These guys are idiots……..

    “Evidence for elevated sea levels is scattered all around the globe, he added. On Barbados and the Bahamas, for example, notches cut by waves into the rock six or more meters above the present shoreline have been dated to being 125,000 years old.”
    ======================================================================

    Earthquakes and rising land; two tectonic processes in phase with
    equinoctial precession (and ice ages).

    For proof, look at Barbados, the easternmost island in the Lesser
    Antilles in the Caribbean. Barbados is terraced. From the air, the
    terraces look like a huge flight of stairs.

    Two theories exist as to what formed the terraces. Each theory
    begins with the same premise, that the island periodically rose from
    the sea during a major earthquake. Each time it rose, the first theory
    goes, one reef died and a new one grew at a lower point on the island.
    The second theory holds that each terrace was carved from a single
    large fossil reef. Each time the island rose, wave action sculpted a
    new terrace.

    In 1965, Professor Robley K. Matthews of Brown University had the
    terraces dated. The lowest one dated at 82,000 years old, the second
    one dated at 103,000, and the top one dated at 122,000. The steps
    had been sculpted in sync with precession of the equinoxes. (Broecker
    et al., 1968)
    ===============================================================
    Barbados is one of the most famous of the tectonically rising sites…………………

  70. Pamela Gray says:

    By now that student has his Ph.D. This means that doctoral students heading for a career in a climate related field no longer are required to step away from the computer and do field grunt work. Or actually pour a chemical from a flask into a test tube. All they have to do is hit “enter” and abracadabra, they are awarded a Doctorate. And their work will be the basis for increased energy regulations and taxes on you and me.

  71. hum says:

    They measure the ocean temperature 120,000 years ago to .7C warmer than today? I don’t think anyone today can accurately measure the average ocean temp with all the currents thermoclines etc. Just go diving 1 time and you will usually swim through several different temp profiles. For them to state accuracy to tenths of a degree is unbelievable to say the least. And since we did not have direct measurement 120,000 years ago I find it very hard to believe that proxies could give you tenth of a degree accuracy.

  72. Jim Sorenson says:

    I’ve always believed in synchronicity and that whichever creator you might happen to believe in has a very well refined and playful sense of humor. I was reading the comments on this thread and was about half way down at Duster’s concerning Holocene highstands when my doorbell rings and the dog goes crazy. We probably get about one door-to-door visitor a month here – Girl Scouts selling cookies. A very neatly dressed pretty young girl slips a flyer through the screen door (dog is not too keen on her), thanks me and leaves. The feature text is as follows:

    Violence, immorality, and global warming, along with oil spills and other environmental disasters—all these problems have led concerned people to ask,
    WILL HUMANS RUIN THIS EARTH? YOU ARE WARMLY INVITED TO COME AND LISTEN TO THE ANSWER

    And, I’m warmly invited yet. Too rich. Apart from the whimsical aspects of the experience, I’m struck with the thought that the ecos, greens and grantistas are not the only pro AGW groups to have a dog in this fight. I’ve scanned the flyer and put it on my Picasa web album as follows:

    https://picasaweb.google.com/kjsorenson/WillHumansRuinThisEarth?authuser=0&feat=directlink

  73. Kelvin Vaughan says:

    Don’t tell anyone but the satellite orbit is declining by 300 mm/year!

  74. TomRude says:

    Roy Weiler says:
    July 18, 2011 at 5:44 pm
    We might as well just give up now. The tipping points have been reached, our only hope is adaptation!!

    /sarc

    And adaptation requires huge amount of taxes…

  75. SteveSadlov says:

    AGW fanatics love to couch their deep ecological game plan as a “moral imperative.”

    So be it. Here is a moral imperative to contemplate. Let us consider, for a moment, the possibility that we are on the cusp of a Little Ice Age or even, are nearing the end of the interglacial. Oh, the humanity. Is it not a moral imperative to at least model this as a what if? Does it not behoove all jurisdictions to develop contingency plans to cover this “alternate future?”

    At present, the relative effort going toward modeling cold futures must be a single digit percentage of efforts going toward modeling warm futures. That is a moral outrage. This is especially true when one honestly faces the likely consequences of cold futures.

  76. Theo Goodwin says:

    Jim Sorenson says:
    July 19, 2011 at 8:03 am

    I received one of these. It is from the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Bizarre. They have a long history of adamantly opposing world government. My guess is that they hired a marketing person to broaden their appeal.

  77. Wil says:

    Anthony,
    Just check this out – The BBC – Climate change sceptics should get less BBC coverage and be challenged ‘more vigorously’, says report on science output

    Broadcasters to give less airtime to critics of majority view

    By Daily Mail Reporter

    Last updated at 12:44 PM on 19th July 2011

    Apparently the BBC says the science is settled and used a far left wing zealot under a so called independent review of BBC coverage of science authored by Steve Jones, a professor of genetics at University College London. He’s a well known left wing anti conservative who has spent most of the last 40 years studying snails actually making a decision on AGW for the BBC on their AGW coverage. One BBC executive, who has seen the report, told the Telegraph: ‘It is about recognising when the debate has moved on beyond whether a theory is true or not, and on to what we do about it.’

    Senior executives at the corporation say climate change is considered a special case because of the weight of political argument it causes.

    But they acknowledge that the majority view supports the idea of man-made global warming.

    Anthony this is really crazy by the BBC.

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2016299/Climate-change-sceptics-BBC-coverage-challenged-vigorously-corporation-body-rule.html#ixzz1SZHFkWLg

  78. Owen says:

    On sea level rise: Most of the calculations I have seen assume a uniform temperature change and temperature for the entire water column. Most seem to forget that water expansion/contraction with temperature is not linear. As water cools it contracts until about 4 degrees centigrade then it begins to expand. Not only that but it is not necessarily linear in its temperature response (ever wonder why water isn’t used in thermometers?). The change in temperature with depth has been pretty well documented with most of the water at depth being uniformly of the less than 4 degrees centigrade variety. The majority of water temperature change occurs in the first ~700 meters with most of that in the first 100m. Very little mixing occurs below that (neglecting the overturning circulations). If one really wanted to predict the effect of heating the surface temperature by some amount, one would have to model the diffusion of that temperature through the depths and then integrate the density changes over the variable functions of temperature and depth. It would not be a pretty calculation. A good first order approximation would probably be to assume the change only occurred in the first one hundred meters equally and calculate the expansion of that mass. That would probably give a number that correlates to 90-95% of the actual rise (not sure which would be larger though).

  79. Eric Anderson says:

    Kelvin Vaughan: “I live about 1m above sea level but much of the Fens where I live are lower than sea level and are kept dry by pumping stations. Then there is Holland. etc etc. But notice a lot of these people actually live below sea level.”

    Fair point. I did think about The Netherlands and similar places, as well as those below sea level who are kept dry by levees and pumps, and probably should have mentioned that in my comment. No question there would be some impact, but I am highly skeptical of the huge estimates of people who would be negatively impacted by a 1 meter rise. Also, these “studies” which simply look at contour elevations and don’t take into account things like levees, pumps, etc., are interesting as an initial due diligence exercise to find out how many people live in areas that could potentially be impacted, but don’t do much practical good in looking at specific areas to see whether people will actually be negatively impacted in practice. If I live right next to the shore but at 10M, then a 1M rise probably won’t mean much to me; if I live at or below sea level, but have good levees in place that could handle a 1M rise, then I also probably won’t be negatively impacted much.

  80. tonyb says:

    I wrote an article on this very subject of sea levels

    http://judithcurry.com/2011/07/12/historic-variations-in-sea-levels-part-1-from-the-holocene-to-romans/

    The long versiion is available through a link early in the summary carried above. Sea levels are currently well below where they were in Roman times.

    tonyb

  81. tty says:

    It’s typical that they use sea-level estimates for the last interglacial from Barbados, which is known to be very tectonically unstable (it is basically a piece of ocean bottom that has temporarily been pushed up above sea level) and the Bahamas which are known to be isostatically affected by the Laurentide icecap.
    Measurements from the highly stable West Australian and Gawler cratons indicate sea-levels 2-3 meters above the present during the last interglacial.

    And as for the SST being only 0.7 degrees warmer than at present and being familiar with literature on the subject, it is obvious to me that some real vigorous “adjusting” must have been applied. As a matter of fact it would not be easy to find any major area where the warming wasn’t more than that

  82. KnR says:

    Kelvin Vaughan , the Fens as you know it are creations of man pumping the water out of the area ,indeed some of the same Dutch engineers that helped drain the low laying land of Holland worked on the Fens to make them look like they do . If it was to flood that would actual be a return to their natural state .

  83. tty says:

    Owen says

    “Most seem to forget that water expansion/contraction with temperature is not linear. As water cools it contracts until about 4 degrees centigrade then it begins to expand.”

    That is fresh water. Salt water does expand in a nearly linear manner.

  84. Marc77 says:

    Is it possible that ice thickness in Greenland and Antarctica gets thicker and thicker with each glacial cycle. So sea level gets lower and lower at the same temperature with each new inter-glacial.

  85. Tom t says:

    They are right, sea level will rise by up to 3ft. The key is that “up to”. It is like stores when they say “save up to 90%”, when in fact you will be luck to find anything even 20% off.

  86. Surfer says:

    That a total sea-level rise is impossible – see http://www.sciencemag.org/content/321/5894/1340.abstract

  87. Latitude says:

    tty says:
    July 19, 2011 at 9:52 am

    It’s typical that they use sea-level estimates for the last interglacial from Barbados, which is known to be very tectonically unstable
    ===================================================
    tty, they are flat out lying………..
    Why did they do all the way out there to measure sea level rise?
    Because they knew that Barbados is rising…..

    It would be impossible for them to have studied sea level rise in Barbados without knowing about the Barbados Ridge………….

    They had to have known…..so the only other choice is that they are flat out lying……………

  88. Kelvin Vaughan says:

    Wil says:
    July 19, 2011 at 9:11 am

    Anthony,
    Just check this out – The BBC – Climate change sceptics should get less BBC coverage and be challenged ‘more vigorously’, says report on science output

    Broadcasters to give less airtime to critics of majority view

    The BBC are funded by the UK Government. The UK government are raking in stealth taxes from global warming and their business associates are making money out of it as well.

  89. timetochooseagain says:

    The problem with this study is that rather than looking at times when it was warmer and checking the sea levels, they looked at times when sea levels were higher and checked the temperatures. If they had done it the other way around they would have found that not all warming results in similar sea level rises. For some five thousand years in the early to mid-Holocene, (about 8000 to 3000 years ago) the Eurasia Arctic Ocean Coastline July temperatures were two to seven degrees warmer than now, and Greenland did not slide into the ocean, despite that it must also have been warmer than the present by quite a lot for thousands of years. Contrary to statements in the article, also, that we are “warming all seasons” (the implication being that previous changes were not uniform throughout the year, but these are) current warming is concentrated primarily in the coldest months and days of the year, summer warming is much weaker. (interestingly, in the last about forty years, January temperatures warmed a lot in the US, more so than any other month, which warmed relatively little, including the other winter months. January is generally the coldest month in the US. I know other places around the world have more winter than summer warming, but I don’t know if the are concentrated primarily in one month or all winter months) As such comparing the global mean sea surface temperature difference and relating it to sea level can be misleading, as we are not seeing the strong summer warming that would melt large amounts of ice (small amounts are a different story ;) ) But even when warming of summer months occurs this does NOT imply by necessity higher sea levels.

    MacDonald, G.M., et al., 2000. Holocene treeline history and climate change across northern Eurasia. Quaternary Research, 53, 302-311.

  90. gator69 says:

    “Melting ice sheets contributed much more to rising sea levels than thermal expansion of warming ocean waters during the Last Interglacial Period, a UA-led team of researchers has found.”

    Odd how no one is interested in what causes interglacials.

  91. Jack Green says:

    Forgive me if this has been posted somewhere else but NASA’s research into Ceres and Vesta have shown that earths orbit changes are because of these two bodies and could explain Climate changes in the past.

    http://hotair.com/archives/2011/07/18/video-nasa-dawn-reaches-vesta/

  92. phlogiston says:

    The time to study interglacial-related sea level rise is at the beginning of an interglacial, not at the end of one as we are now.

    It might be an idea to start studying the reverse process – rather more relevant to our future.

  93. Brian Hall says:

    gator;
    Or, more to the point, what sustains interglacials. And what tends to terminate them. I betcha CO2 doesn’t appear on either list.

  94. CodeTech says:

    More about the terraces on Barbados:

    http://esp.cr.usgs.gov/info/eolian/Muhs2001QRBarbados.pdf

    This is actually a pretty cool document. Note at the beginning, the authors clearly state:

    Soils on uplifted Quaternary reef terraces of Barbados, 125,000
    to 700,000 yr old

    Uplifted.

  95. Dave Wendt says:

    As I recall when the data were showing rising OHC, the “consensus” position was that steric changes from ocean warming were the main driver of SLR with mass increases from melting ice sheets a minority contributer. It is amazingly fortuitous that, just as data suggesting runaway ocean warming are becoming much harder to come by, they should discover that really the situation is exactly the reverse. No, really.

  96. Garbage in… Garbage out…
    Satellite altimetry GMSL is garbage. The models that are used…. Garbage.
    The trending down of GMSL by use of Jason-2 does favor a deceleration of rising sea levels,
    but I don’t support it.
    There are possibly over 50 papers written on the prediction of rising sea levels but rarely use the same method, nor do they resemble each other.
    Currently, there are only 2 published papers on historical and predictive GMSL, and they both use different modeling methods. They somewhat arrive to the same conclusion, yet fall short of empirical evidence available.
    The models used in the 2 papers mentioned, both use Co2 as function of rise.
    I assume this paper does as well.
    This paper chooses to not use glacial melt and/or GIA as a predictor. I agree.
    I would like it if the University of Colorado at Boulder would do the same.
    But the end result of all these models is the same.
    Garbage.
    Trends are exaggerated garbage.
    Satellite altimetry is faux global garbage.
    The data provided comes with a use-at-your-own-risk-no-guarantee clause from the provider.
    Just plain and simple garbage..
    The only purpose of this paper and the other papers like it, is to convey, that while none of these
    institutions can agree with each other on modelling or predictions practices, they will all agree that Co2 is a function of that rise.
    G.A.R.B.A.G.E..
    Globally Assumed Research By Alarmists Gone Ecocentric
    Good Day !

  97. Tucker says:

    Finally, let’s say that things do rise by a meter. How many people actually live a meter above sea level. I know, I know, I’ve seen the estimates: 100M, 146M, etc. Where are these folks. I live relatively close to the coast, have seen numerous beaches all up and down the pacific, have seen thousands of structure, and offhand I’d have a hard time finding a single home that is within 1 meter of sealevel. 10 meters? Yeah. 5 meters? Probably a few. 1 meter? You’d have to be crazy to live near the coast and only one meter above sea level. Forget global warming and sea level rise — a decent storm would wipe you out.

    ********************************************

    While I agree with your main point, I must add that you underestimate the amount living below five meters. I live on Hilton Head Island at 14.12 feet elevation. I was told by the insurance company that I could not get flood insurance below 14 feet, so was saved by some few millimeters. So, me and many others are below five meters and barely insurable, as I am not alone where I live at that elevation.

  98. Bernie McCune says:

    Dr. Overpeck has been invited to New Mexico by some of our neighbors in Santa Fe to help us solve our problems with global warming. There is at least a small group of us in Las Cruces who really do not really appreciate that help.

    http://www.nmenv.state.nm.us/Oots/documents/PR-Overpeck-9-28-10.pdf

    Bernie

  99. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    From Tucker on July 19, 2011 at 2:42 pm:

    (…) I live on Hilton Head Island at 14.12 feet elevation. I was told by the insurance company that I could not get flood insurance below 14 feet, so was saved by some few millimeters. (…)

    Offhand I’ve never heard of National Flood Insurance being denied. After light searching, I can’t find anything on the official US government site that indicates it’s not available to you. From the relevant official Hilton Head Island government site all I can find is a “Flood Elevation Certificate” may be required for new construction or with qualifying renovations and additions. If yours is an existing house without such changes, I can’t see what the problem would be.

    You can input your address at the local site (“Flood Zone Search” page) and get rate info. It also has a map of the different rate zones.

    Or are you referring to flooding insurance, as found with regular homeowners-type insurance?

  100. Tucker says:

    Kadaka,

    I misspoke. You are correct. Below 14 feet, you fall into another category, which I was told was not pleasant. However, the point I was attempting to make is that many live below five meters elevation near the coast. I am certainly not an AGW hugger, but facts are facts, as you so eloquently pointed out in my post earlier.

  101. Bill Illis says:

    Another issue is that if you look at the world’s sea level gauges, you can only get about 2.0 mm/year of sea level rise or less. The satellite measurements are “adjusted and calibrated to select tide gauges”.

    Only a small minority of the gauges are over 3.0 mms/year – even the infamous Charleston North Carolina is essentially flat since 1990 despite the sinking coastline of about 1.0 mm/year (from glacial isostatic rebound).

    http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/sltrends.html

  102. Billy Liar says:

    Jack Green says:
    July 19, 2011 at 11:43 am

    NASA’s research into Ceres and Vesta have shown that earths orbit changes are because of these two bodies and could explain Climate changes in the past.

    http://hotair.com/archives/2011/07/18/video-nasa-dawn-reaches-vesta/

    From your link:

    … The new calculations show that Ceres and Vesta gravitationally interact with themselves and with the other planets of the solar system. Because of these interactions, they are continuously pulled or pushed slightly out of their initial orbit. The calculations show that, over time, these effects do not average out. Consequently, their orbits are chaotic, meaning that we cannot predict their positions over long periods.

    Hot Air indeed! I don’t believe NASA would write such simplistic nonsense.

    The ephemerides constructed for the Dawn project used the measured masses of 24 asteroids and modeled the masses of 276 others as well as the highly accurate known masses of Pluto, the 8 planets, the moon and the Sun. In other words, NASA modelled the interactions of 311 solar system objects to do the navigation for Dawn.

    They know exactly what the interactions are between Ceres, Vesta and 309 other solar system objects. By now, of course, that will have an improved measurement of Vesta’s mass and probably some idea of its non-spherical gravitational field.

  103. E.M.Smith says:

    Looks to me like we lose New Orleans and Miami / Palm Beach…. as those are largely democratic areas, the presidential election ought to tilt Republican, so “What’s the problem?” :-)

    Really, though: 3 feet? Someone is smoking something…

  104. Bill,

    Thank you for your comments as always.

    One peccadillo, however: Its Charleston, SOUTH Carolina. ;-) Not “North.” Us native Carolinians are quick to clarify the difference.

    The real sinking, however, from glacio-isostatic adjustment (and other factors such as stting on the edge of a 35-million-year-old impact crater) is occurring in the more heavily populated coastal region 400 miles to the north, around Virginia and Maryland.

    And there may be more than sinking going on here. It may just be a gradual redistribution of the water masses in the means and over time across the globe, as Morner writes about.

    And there may be a factor related to changes in speed and positioning of the Gulf Stream current in the means, and over time, too.

    Not to mention we live here on soft squishy coastal plain sediments and also at the end of some pretty powerful rivers.

    The James River which courses just a few miles to my north, scours out one of the largest “natural” harbors in the world, with a consistently deep channel never in need of dredging, one mile across and 50 to 70 feet deep.

    And so, 10 miles to the east of this harbor, when the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel tide gauge registers over 6 mm in annual rise, such readings are to be taken with a grain of salt…and alot of grains of sand and sediment.

    But the CBBT reading is not alone. If you point and click Ocean City, MD, its 5.48 mm per year.

    http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/sltrends.html

    My own area which has 1.7 million people, 4.44 mm/year.

    Many things are at play here. And certainly cause for concern those populated areas who are under the gun.

    However…what is the emergency?

    Natural Sea Level Variability.

    As climate varies…in that nebulous range that so many, many informed specialists on here indicate, so does the ocean, and so does the ocean’s “level”.

    So what is the emergency? There is none.

    Except that we risk extinction if we continue to be muddled by groupthink and hysteria and all sorts of CAGW nonsense.

    Hey Overpeck**!

    Nothing to worry about. Move on.

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  105. Alan the Brit says:

    Kevin Vaughan:-)

    FYI The BBC is funded by a combination of huge taxpayer grantsdoled out by the Guvment,laregly these days todo the Guvment’s bidding, & a Pole-tax known as the BBC Licence Fee levied upon each & every household, unless one is an Old Aged Pensioner over the age of about 85when it becomes free of charge.

    Tom t says:
    July 19, 2011 at 10:09 am
    They are right, sea level will rise by up to 3ft. The key is that “up to”. It is like stores when they say “save up to 90%”, when in fact you will be luck to find anything even 20% off.

    You’ve nailed that sucker well & truly.The UK Guvment back in 2003-4 wanted to introduce a new drink-driving limit down from 80mg/100ml of alcohol:breath, to 50mg/100ml. This was an EU directive as part of the big Guvment Euro-super state, the PDREU. Of course Big Guvment knew the British people would never tolerate this, not because they believe in drink-driving, but because it would have been seen quite rightly as yet another podgy EU finger interference in British life. So what did Big Guvment do? They commissioned a recently elevated Peer of the Realmto undertake a study fr loads of dosh of course,that concluded after a suitable period,that “up to 160 lives per year could be saved”. Somebody was quick to point out that the term “up to” had to include the figure “0” to make sense!

  106. Jimash says:

    “The authors cautioned that past evidence is not a prediction of the future, mostly because global temperatures during the Last Interglacial were driven by changes in the Earth’s orbit around the sun. However, current global warming is driven by increasing greenhouse gas concentrations.”

    Is this not a HUGE assumption ?

  107. pk says:

    and another example of the bunch making the noise having never lived near the ocean.

    ITS ABOUT THIS THING CALLED TIDES!!!!
    they come, they go, we get a 1M rise in sealevel at the local beach then wait about 12 hours and it will be down about the same.

    then there is the fall extreme high tide. its usually about twice the normal high tide.

    but WAIT we also have the spring Extreme High tide. thats about 300% of the normal high tide.
    the reason that i don’t quote figures is that the amount differs according to the geographic location of where you look.

    people that live/work in areas affected by tides normally view the alarmists that claim a couple of feet of rise in sealevel is comming as another excercise by idiots because they see more activity in a year than these nitwits predict in a century.

    ARRRRRRRRRRGH.
    C

  108. Hangtown Bob says:

    “If sea levels rose to where they were during the Last Interglacial Period, large parts of the Gulf of Mexico would be under water.”

    I hate to break it to him, but 100% of the Gulf is “underwater”, always has been and always will be.

    He should have said “large parts of the land bordering the Gulf”. Imprecise writing implies imprecise thinking.

  109. “The study combined paleoclimate records with computer simulations”

    So there you have it in a nutshell, this study is based on the two things that they can’t seem to get right. Paleo and computer models.
    Next patient please!

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