Extreme cures for extreme sea level projections

Guest post by Cliff Ollier

The Australian (March 24) reports that Port Macquarie Hastings Council is recommending the enforcement of a “planned retreat” because of an alleged danger from sea level rise in the distant future. The controversy about moving people from near-shore sites raises two questions: is the alarming rise in sea level projected by CSIRO reliable, and is moving people the correct response?

The CSIRO projection is in fact extreme. Before explaining why, I should like to note that the world’s main source of alarmism is the IPCC. This is not really a scientific body, but one that adjusts data and subjects it to mathematical modelling before passing its ‘projections’ on to politicians. The IPCC is followed by the CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology, who further adjust data and produce more models with even more extreme scenarios.

In the Weekend Australian (7 November 2009), Bill Mitchell, Director of the National Tide Centre of the BoM, reported Australian average sea level rise of 1.7 mm/yr. This is a reasonable level accepted by most sea-level watchers outside IPCC and CSIRO. It gives a sea level rise of about 15 cm by 2100. Mr. Mitchell said the “upper end was 3 mm/yr” – a 27 cm rise by 2100.

At 8.30 am on 18 November 2009, ABC Radio National had a program on sea level changes. Alan Stokes, Director of the Sea Level Task Force, said: “The IPCC estimate of rise to 2100 was up to 80 cm.” No new data were provided to explain the leap. In fact, the worst estimate of IPCC in its last report was 59 cm.

Note that the IPCC estimates have been falling with each report. In the Second Assessment Report, the high-end projection of sea-level rise to 2100 was 92 cm, in the Third Assessment Report 88 cm, and in the Fourth Assessment Report 59 cm.

It is good for the reader to look at sea level measurements personally. You can see for yourself the sea level data for the United States and a few other countries at http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/sltrends.shtml. Most stations show a rise of sea level of about 2 mm per year, but note the considerable variation even within a single state, though these are no cause for alarm.

The CSIRO uses figures far in excess of even the IPCC, who until now were the greatest alarmists. In their 2012 report, State of the Climate, they say that since 1993 sea level has risen up to 10 mm per year in the north and west. That means that some place has had a 19 cm rise in sea level since 1993. Where is this place? Meanwhile, the European Envisat satellite shows that sea level has scarcely risen for the last eight years.

How do the CSIRO arrive at their figures? Not from any new data, but by modelling. Models depend on what is put into them. For example, a 2009 report by the CSIRO for the Victorian Government’s Future Coasts Program on The Effect of Climate Change on Extreme Sea Levels in Port Phillip Bay based its model on temperature projections to 2100 of up to 6.4 degrees. That is the most extreme, fuel-intensive, scenario of the IPCC and implies unbelievable CO2 concentration levels in 2100 of approximately 1550 parts per million. Usage of all known fossil fuel reserves would only achieve half of this. Continuation of the current rate of increase in CO2 concentration levels would result in only 550 ppm by 2100.

The result is a CSIRO prediction of sea level rise for Port Phillip Bay by 2100 of 82 cm and, with the help of the Bureau of Meteorology, a further increase to 98 cm attributable to the wind. That is well above even the highest level projected by the latest IPCC report.

This example is from Victoria, not New South Wales, but sea level must have roughly the same rises and falls all over the world. So the whole world should be alarmed, not just New South Wales. Indeed the IPCC and CSIRO try to alarm the world with stories of drowning of low islands, like Tuvalu. But detailed mapping has shown that Tuvalu, and many other coral islands, have actually grown over the past 20 years.

Holland is very low and is particularly vulnerable to any large rise of sea level. It is also a world leader in coastal science and engineering, and the Dutch are not alarmed. In the December 11, 2008, issue of NRC/Handelsblad (Rotterdam’s counterpart to the Australian), Wilco Hazeleger, a senior scientist in the global climate research group at the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute, wrote:

“In the past century the sea level has risen 20 cm. There is no evidence for accelerated sea-level rise. In my opinion there is no need for drastic measures. Fortunately, the rate of climate change is slow compared to the life-span of the defense structures along our coast. There is plenty of time for adaptation.”

This brings us to the second part of the debate. We should adapt to changes in the shoreline, like the Dutch. We should reject draconian rules to save folk from a remote and dubious peril. If Tim Flannery, Australia’s chief climate commissioner, is allowed to take his chance living on his Hawkesbury property near sea level, Port Macquarie’s retirees should be permitted to do so too. They should not be evicted to “save” them from a dire fate in a future they will never see.

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82 thoughts on “Extreme cures for extreme sea level projections

  1. I hereby volunteer to pay 1$ per km the entire Australian coastline, up to 100m inland and including the islands’.

    Whoever will want to use thereafter only needs to pay a modicum rent. starting at 100,000$ per acre per annum.

  2. CSIRO. once…was a trusted source for info.
    now?
    wouldnt trust them to tell me the time!
    cannot just blame it on them no longer being pure research, by going to public funding though thats always a bad idea, who pays the piper calls the tune/result.
    but seeing as the LIAR and the greenbrownshirt brigade also want a set outcome..
    seems the CSIRO is willing to LIE mislead and abuse the taxpayers who fund them for a pat on the head from those who hold their funding.
    as an Aussie I am disgusted with their agenda following.

  3. Looking at the NOAA link at a small place like the UK show sea level rising 0-3mm / year, but falling 0-3mm / year in other parts. Also Vancouver is the same.

    Surely that must mean, yes, sea level is rising, but other factors may be involved

  4. To paraphrase some irritating parts of a few North American sitcoms:

    “I am a bigger alarmist than you!”

    “N0, I am a bigger alarmist than you!”

    “Are not!”

    “Am too!”

    etc., etc…………………………

    The problem here lies in the publication of alarmist official documents, such as this official, very persuasive, ‘study’ by the New South Wales government:

    http://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=new%20south%20wales%20sea%20level%20historic%20data%20tables&source=web&cd=2&ved=0CDQQFjAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.environment.nsw.gov.au%2Fresources%2Fclimatechange%2F10171climateimpactprof.pdf&ei=CCx4T4j2JaGk0QWpxv27DQ&usg=AFQjCNEU4N5Um-qSQuuEGYO-kvbw_SRIqg&cad=rja

    Warning: Like most things in government it loads very slowly.

    For those with: i) a real understanding the science of climate change, ii) knowledge of the global climate situation over the past dozen years (a very inconvenient period for alarmist predictions, unless severely manipulated), and iii) having a healthy scepticism of climate models, especially those with pre-determined results (i.e. the majority), the above document document represents a classic case of the mountain of official BS sceptics have to face. Alarmist ‘science’ almost always starts with a dodgy/incorrect/untrue premise, from which a philosophy and/or climate models are developed – these are then peddled to the general public as hard facts.

    Maybe, Port Macquarie’s councillors are goofy/green, or maybe they are just not smart and/or knowledgable enough to realise when they are being peddled climate BS.

  5. Said above of the IPCC:
    “This is not really a scientific body, but one that adjusts data and subjects it to mathematical modelling before passing its ‘projections’ on to politicians. ”

    Does (or did) in fact the IPCC “adjust data” and subject it to mathematical modelling? I had understood that its function was collecting, collating, selecting, ignoring, reporting, and distorting these sorts of things already done by others.

  6. It baffles me how they get away with such absurdities – can nothing be done to bring them back to reality?

  7. Step 1– evict the retirees “in order to save them from the rising waters.”

    Step 2 — buy up all the “abandoned” beachfront property.

    Step 3 — put up resort hotels / condominiums on newly-purchased beachfront property.

    Step 4 — advertise discount rental fees for retirees….

  8. CSIRO now = bank concerns. Looks at their directors and follow the money. Carbon tax is goo banker business

  9. The Port Macquarie Hastings Council was sacked several years ago for spending a ridiculous amount of money on a fancy concert hall called the Glasshouse. It is very attractive but went way over budget and costs a motza to maintain. The then State government stepped in and sacked the council and appointed an administrator for a four year term to try and straighten out the books. So far he is doing a good job. When presented with the report calling for the retreat from the sea shore by 17 homeowners it gave him a choice of spending $10 million to buy the properties or about $3 million to build a revettment along the beach which would secure the beach, secure the road and secure the houses. The report, prepared by a greenish consultant, recommended buying the houses and letting the sea eventually take the beach and the road. I might add here that the beach is a beautiful spot for families, the road is a main conduit and the houses in question currently sit seven metres above mean sea level. The administrator has, very wisely, said that there is no immediate threat and he doesn’t want to force people to vacate their homes for an occurrence that may not happen for many decades if at all. He is going to approach the federal government, whose initial sea level rise report relied on the above quoted CSIRO modelling, for the money to build the sea wall revettment. Naturally no one around here has observed any noticeable rise in sea level in lifetimes spent on that very beach.

    Australia is in the grip of the great warming scare promoted most effusively by our once reputable but now thoroughly discredited CSIRO and a bunch of politicians desperate for the Green vote. Judging by the obliteration of the socialists in the Queensland election last weekend most people are aware the great carbon con is simply a money grabber. For those not aware the socialist ALP had 51 seats in an 89 seat parliament and now they have 6. The conservatives have 78. The carbon tax played a significant role in the slaughter and the new premier is slashing green schemes like there is no tomorrow. Very few are complaining.

  10. Even if one could believe such extreme model projections there is something absurd and insane about conducting such a “retreat” before the need is inescapable, I.e., why force people NOW to abandon perfectly habitable (and attractively located) dwellings in response to some still distant threat??

    The answer, of course, is that an extremist ideology requires all to conform NOW and cannot permit anyone to live as though that ideology might not be true….

  11. Empirical data can easily establish the actual rate of sea level rise. A network of continuously operating reference stations (CORS) that constantly determine their precise locations from GPS satellite signals can accurately detect motions of less than a mm per year:

    http://www.noaa.gov/features/earthobs_0508/cors.html

    Australia already has a CORS network:

    http://www.ga.gov.au/geodesy/slm/spslcmp/network.jsp

    It was installed for the specific purpose of monitoring sea level rise:

    http://www.ga.gov.au/geodesy/slm/spslcmp/

    NOAA and the BOM have this data. There’s no need to use models.

    Ask yourselves why the IPCC and liberal Australian government insist on using models rather than actual, measurable, and verifiable data.

  12. Maurizio Morabito (omnologos) says: April 1, 2012 at 3:08 am

    I hereby volunteer to pay 1$ per km the entire Australian coastline, up to 100m inland and including the islands’.
    Whoever will want to use thereafter only needs to pay a modicum rent. starting at 100,000$ per acre per annum.

    Read the Blue Mud Bay decision based on high and low water marks, should be a link to the actual court transcript in below,

    http://www.crikey.com.au/2008/08/01/understanding-the-blue-mud-bay-decision/

    \http://www.fishing.nt.gov.au/

  13. Well said Lawrie Ayers. Prof Cliff Ollier has been too kind in his article. He has not mentioned that the long term (over 60 yrs)sea level rise on the central coast of NSW (Port Kembla, Sydney and Newcastle which is just south of Port Macquarie) is less than 1mm/yr and that a recent article by P J Watson in the Journal of Coastal research (Mar 2011) shows clearly that the sea level rise for Sydney and Newcastle has been decelerating (ie getting less) since about 1965

  14. Bureaucrats the world over love to make rules that allow them to grab private property and later change the rules to give it back into private hands, making the rules for giving it back so opaque that funnily, their own relatives are the only ones who fill out the forms correctly.

  15. Who’s going to volunteer to be the first to go to Somalia….
    …and tell them they have to move

  16. This is off the 60+ Earth Hour for Viet Nam:

    “Climate change in Viet Nam
    Viet Nam is considered one of most affected country in the world because of the climate change, due to the long coastline and is oriented to the storm, cyclone, rainfall and frequent changes to. The phenomenon of climate change will affect some natural systems of Viet Nam, the economy as well as the entire population. Evidence of the phenomenon of climate change can be clearly seen in Viet Nam. The average temperature has risen 0.5 ° C and sea level rise 20 cm over 50 years ago. The negative climate phenomena such as rainfall, drought and floods occur with increasing intensity greater than in Viet Nam.”

    So what do you think of that? 200mm over the last 50 years and a .5 deg C temperature rise? I would like to see the peer reviewed papers on that one.

    Also: “Viet Nam plans 90 new coal-based power plants by 2025, investing US$83bn to add 106GW of coal-based capacity to the sector.”

    I do love coal.

  17. The CSIRO were the CSIR once. They were involved with The Bureau of Sugar Experiment Stations and were responsible for the introduction of the cane toad in Queensland in 1935. HOw did that work out? The CSIRO are a waste of my tax dollars.

  18. We read these items about Australia, and are astonished. BUT, the greens in the Democratically controlled EPA of the USA have just made it impossible [cost effective] to build new COAL fired power plants. Over 45% of the USA electrical energy comes from coal fired plants. China is building [and putting on line] one new coal plant/week.

    It is difficult to find the exact number of Chinese coal plants, but “China surpassed the U.S. in carbon emissions in 2007, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. China released 6.533 million tons of carbon dioxide in 2008, compared with 5.832 million for the U.S.”

    So, people in Australia can be astonished about the USA. Maybe we can import electricity from Australia?!?!

  19. I have photos of Vung Tau in Vietnam 50 years ago. In a moment of nostalgia I stood in the same spot last year (beside the Australian Army’s Badcoe, VC Club) and took some pictures. No change in what is supposed to be one of the most affected areas that has unnoticably incurred a supposed 20cm rise in sea level. Just another fabulous ‘once upon a time …’ climate story for the simple folk.

    Clive, next time you extensively quote a sizeable portion of your post word-for-word from Andrew Bolt please acknowledge the source

  20. Alistair Pope: Wow you have before and after photos from Viet Nam over a 50 year period? Fantastic stuff any way I can see them?

  21. The problem at Lake Cathie is not really a “sea level” problem.
    Bundella Ave and Illaroo Rd are adjacent to the lake, and the lake gets opened to the sea, usually after a good rain raises the level. The road level is around 7 metres above water level.
    This time, as has happened before, the drainage channel has been allowed to move south from it’s usual course, and undercut more of the embankment that has the residences and Illaroo Rd. on it.
    The lake and the road can be seen on Google Earth. If you age Google Earth back to 2005 you can see the remnant of the previous drainage channel.
    There still exists the government, the CSIRO as government advisors and the input from climate alarmists, who want to make this a climate change problem.
    The council administrator has made a statement that the council cannot afford to repair the undercutting or move the people out.

  22. The IPCC and all of those who support them are just wanting attention and are so full of it. Sea level has been rising at a linear rate of about 3mm per year, (not very much). Then they’ll claim that it’s because of melting ice, well one only has to look at current sea ice trends to see that global sea ice is ABOVE AVERAGE, and the Arctic is NEAR AVERAGE (currently about -.142 below).

  23. So…let me see if I have this right. City governments are thinking we should pull back from ocean front property. I have heard this admonition before. Can’t remember where exactly. But it was in a book I read many years ago, cover to cover. Said something about it not being a good idea to build on sand…or something like that.

    We…have…not…gotten…smarter.

  24. Using their logic….
    We can’t live where there are tornadoes, floods, ice and snow storms, hurricanes, earthquakes, fires, volcanoes, land slides, tsunamis, heat waves, pandemics, and the common cold……….

  25. Latitude says:
    April 1, 2012 at 8:38 am

    Using their logic….
    We can’t live where there are tornadoes, floods, ice and snow storms, hurricanes, earthquakes, fires, volcanoes, land slides, tsunamis, heat waves, pandemics, and the common cold……….
    ______________________________________
    That is correct. Our good and great saviors have picked out the correct spots for human habitation in the USA. Here is the Predicted MAP (green is the area people are allowed to build)

  26. From a Google image search, I found this line:
    “The CSIRO has named Port Macquarie as having Australia’s best climate.”
    That looks like a lead to follow.

  27. This is far more likely a political ploy to leave beach spaces open for the public. I suspect again the use of ‘climate science’ as a front for a political goal.

  28. every thing that these alarmists are doing is outlined in UN Agenda 21.. everything has an end goal purpose. Climate Alarmism is part of a much bigger control agenda..

  29. Now if we could get all the CAGW lemmings to run enmass into the sea…

    Problem solved.

  30. April 1st is a good day for me to recap an idea I have advocated for a long time to deal with the rise of the oceans.

    Skiing in Kansas.

    Dredge the Gulf of Mexico, and move the sediment to Kansas by rail. It has the same thing going for it that every other idea has — it may be expensive, insufficient, and thus doomed to fail in its objective, but every little bit helps.

  31. If Liberals are convinced that the sea levels are going to rise, it may be a good time for Republicans to propose ending all federal subsidies for coastal flooding insurance. After all, it’s a “wealth transfer to the rich.”

    Let’s see how the Democrats respond to THAT one.

  32. “Port Macquarie Hastings Council is recommending the enforcement of a “planned retreat” because of an alleged danger from sea level rise in the distant future.”

    If I were a Port Macquarie resident I would sue Hastings Council for the unwarranted infliction of mental trauma.
    I’d love to see their defence.

  33. Louis Hooffstetter says:
    April 1, 2012 at 5:27 am
    Empirical data can easily establish the actual rate of sea level rise. A network of continuously operating reference stations (CORS) that constantly determine their precise locations from GPS satellite signals can accurately detect motions of less than a mm per year:

    http://www.noaa.gov/features/earthobs_0508/cors.html

    ==============
    Excerpt from your link:
    “Knowing these changes enables scientists, engineers, land surveyors, and others to track subtle changes to the Earth’s surface — down to sub-centimeter levels.”

    As a land surveyor, I have heard of 2 centimeter accuracy (in Z), but not reliably.

  34. I agree with Don. They should take it higher. They should take it to court or to state level. The council is way out of line.

  35. Satellite observations from Envisat say that sea levels have dropped over the last several years. How does this square with predictions of rises in the future?

    This whole situation is a great example of how national budgets run a deficit. Funding these science fiction scenarios is a total waste of money. If these Chicken Little alarmists want to scream that the sky is falling, they may do so, as long as they are willing to do it on their own money. Taxpayers should not be stuck with paying for their fantasies.

  36. cementafriend says:
    April 1, 2012 at 5:53 am
    Well said Lawrie Ayers. Prof Cliff Ollier has been too kind in his article. He has not mentioned that the long term (over 60 yrs)sea level rise on the central coast of NSW (Port Kembla, Sydney and Newcastle which is just south of Port Macquarie) is less than 1mm/yr and that a recent article by P J Watson in the Journal of Coastal research (Mar 2011) shows clearly that the sea level rise for Sydney and Newcastle has been decelerating (ie getting less) since about 1965

    For those who may be interested here’s a link to the P J Watson paper

    http://www.jcronline.org/doi/full/10.2112/JCOASTRES-D-10-00141.1?prevSearch=%5BContrib%3A+P.+Watson%5D&searchHistoryKey=

  37. Ian Hoder says:

    April 1, 2012 at 11:04 am

    Is this an April Fool’s joke?
    Seriously, is it?

    Well it was written by Cliff O liar

  38. Anymoose says:
    April 1, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    Satellite observations from Envisat say that sea levels have dropped over the last several years. How does this square with predictions of rises in the future?
    =================================================
    They are fixing that as we speak…… the last update to the data was, 2012.029395 or about the 10th of January. In the mean time, they’re just adjusting our Jasons data in front of us.

  39. Alistair Pope says April 1, 2012 at 7:03 am: “I have photos of Vung Tau in Vietnam 50 years ago.”

    My parents-in-law have lived in the exact same spot on the Delta, in the exact same house, for just about 50 years. They are mere feet from one of the five major tributaries of the Mekong River, the Hậu Giang. My wife grew up there.

    There has been no change whatsoever in water levels during those 50 years.

    In any case the entirety of the Mekong Delta is a flood plain. It goes underwater often, and my wife has told me stories of sitting in a boat in the family living room while catching fish for dinner!

  40. What is suspicious about the CSIRO report is what is missing. A claim of 10mm/year or 19cm over the last 19 years would be evident in severe inundation. Where are the pictures to support the claim. That would have been very convincing. How convenient they are missing.

  41. Its all a simple mistake ,old mate the C.S.I.R.O. got its reports mixed up and submitted the one written last Holocene 100,000 plus years ago, when the sea levels were 20 meters or was it feet higher (sorry that bit was obscured by an old coffee stain) .

  42. “This example is from Victoria, not New South Wales, but sea level must have roughly the same rises and falls all over the world. ”

    Wrong.

  43. The BOM and CSIRO can frighten people with images of tsunamis surging up the Hastings River and tidal waves flooding the promenades of the Sydney Opera House for all their worth but it seems to be rebounding off deaf ears.

    In an AC Neilson Poll (conducted for a Labor orienated newspaper) released this morning 60% of pollsters still oppose the Government’s carbon tax as opposed to 36% who approve making the observation that the carbon tax will require the “sale of the century” to change voter’s views.

    http://www.smh.com.au/national/poll-shows-carbon-tax-needs-sale-of-the-century-to-change-voters-views-20120401-1w6le.html

    Meanwhile Greg Combet is over in Germany waving a piece of white paper saying “carbon tax in our time” in what must be the biggest piece of self delusional international diplomacy I have ever witnessed since Neville Chamberlain returned from the same country in 1938.

    Why in heavens name Combet is in Berlin negotiating some sort of agreement with the EU when Australia’s main trading partners are in SE Asia I have no idea. And his waffling justification on ABC radio with Fran Kelly this morning that Europe’s low carbon price is only transitory and will soon catch up Australia’s $23/tonne when credible observers say it could slump to $5 per tonne by 2020, shows why the ALP primary support in Australia is now only 27% compared to the Coalition’s 47%. I don’t know about a minivan, Labor’s numbers could be reduced to a VW Beetle if an election was held tomorrow.

    I have never seen a government in such total disarray knowing that they are stuck with a lemon and somehow they have got to make it taste sweet. But the most appalling part of this soap opera is that the electorate is powerless to do anything about it for 18 months whilst the rules of democracy are played out when in any commercial enterprise such a management would have been booted out of office long ago. If it wasn’t so tragic for our economy, it would be farcical.

  44. interesting that, while reading through this blog, the Federal Science Minister is lauding the CSIRO on ABC24.

    Apparently, the CSIRO are earning Australia large amounts of revenue so they are deemed to be ‘good for Australia’. No mention of their accuracy or advocacy of the Government meme.

  45. I think that the retirees in question (say retired at 65) should place a few dollars into a compounding interest account. It will help them towards a nice big house in the country when they are 153 years old in 2100 and the sea has engulfed their present properties. Has someone in the local council found the elixer of youth and this is why they are concerned for these old folk?

  46. Steven Mosher says:
    April 1, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    “This example is from Victoria, not New South Wales, but sea level must have roughly the same rises and falls all over the world. ”

    Wrong.

    You’ll have to defend this, Steven. Do you have some new theory that gravity isn’t pervasive and equivalent? Is it because you believe the oceans aren’t interconnected? Or is it because you think contintental and ocean basin isostacy or water replenishment acts faster than ocean current velocities, or that there’s a significant imbalance in evaporation?

    (Note the use of the word “roughly” in the original statement.)

    Please edify us.

  47. Here in Auckland our Council is playing the same silly games. The recently published Draft Auckland Plan projects a sea level rise of 800mm over the next 100 years but gives no source for the guesstimate.
    If it were to be 800mm, then parts of the waterfront road and Northern and North-Western motorways would be regularly flooded at high tide. If on the other hand it turns out to be only 236mm as per the current NOAA trend, then there is no problem at all. Scheduled resurfacing of the roads over the next 100 years will easily lift them by this amount.

  48. From the published sea levels report that can be viewed on Jonova’s site, the sea level at Newcastle harbour not far from Port Macquarie can be seen to be decelerating, ie. slowing up. It is now about 1mm. a year. The road in question is about 7 metres above the sea at high tide. It looks like in another 7000 years there could be a possible problem, maybe.
    Port Macquarie Hastings Council had a track record of mal-administration. The last State government stepped in and sacked the council for this and appointed an administrator for a four year term to try and straighten out the mess. So far he has done a good job. The report in question, was prepared by a ‘green’ consultant, and recommended buying the houses and abandoning the beach and road. The administrator has seen that there is no immediate threat and doesn’t want to force people from their homes. Confronted with likely compensation costs, everyone has slowed up and the stupidity of the idea is now becoming more clear.

  49. Alistair Pope says:
    April 1, 2012 at 7:03 am

    [snip]

    Clive, next time you extensively quote a sizeable portion of your post word-for-word from Andrew Bolt please acknowledge the source
    ——————————————————————-
    Alistair, I assume you mean “Cliff”, ie the author of this post. You owe him an apology. In fact, Andrew Bolt quoted extensively (with acknowledgements) from him, not the other way around:

    http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/the_alarmism_is_bad_the_compulsion_is_worse/

    The whole coastal habitation issue in New South Wales (and probably elsewhere) is complicated by the fact that parties on both sides equate normal erosion with climate change for their own ends. People who own property which is being eroded away by storms and normal ocean activity are trying to make other ratepayers either fund expensive coastal barrier infrastructure or buy out their prime properties on the grounds that it is due to ‘climate change’. Many of these property owners are very wealthy people and their properties are worth millions.

    OTOH, Green council members are trying to force people out of their homes and prevent further building because of spurious research like that of CSIRO.

    Either way, taxpayers are expected to foot the bill. All of them should be told to go to blazes, IMO. .

  50. u.k.(us) says
    As a land surveyor, I have heard of 2 centimeter accuracy (in Z), but not reliably.

    Yes, you are correct, but….there are two points to consider about GPS measurements: 1.You are correct that GPS measurements are least accurate in the vertical (Z) direction. This paper:

    http://www.ngs.noaa.gov/CORS/Articles/OPUSGPSSol.pdf

    shows that based on 4 hour observation sessions, GPS measurements are accurate to about 2 cm in the X (east) direction, to about 1 cm in the Y (north) direction, and to 3 to 4 cm in the Z (vertical) direction.

    2. The longer the observing session (the longer your station receives GPS satellite signals), the more accurately you can calculate your location. CORS stations receive GPS satellite signals constantly (24/7/365 for years). If I read the following articles correctly, Woppelmann et al. used long term CORS data (and other supplemental data) that allowed them to measure sea level rise at several locations in Europe with sub-millimeter accuracy:

    http://ff.org/centers/csspp/library/co2weekly/20070809/20070809_06.pdf

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2012/2011JC007469.shtml

    So I reiterate: With the advent of GPS technology and CORS networks, there is absolutely no need to use a model to determine actual sea level rise / fall. Wherever there is a CORS network, sea levels can be accurately measured empirically using reproducible methods and data.

    The only reason anyone would prefer a model output is because models can be easily manipulated to produce desired results.

  51. Steven Mosher says:

    “This example is from Victoria, not New South Wales, but sea level must have roughly the same rises and falls all over the world. ”

    Wrong.

    Moshpit is correct on this (although he missed an opportunity to educate). You would logically think that water seeks its own level, but it’s called ‘relative sea level’ for good reason. Coastlines are incredibly dynamic. Some are experiencing isostatic rebound (formerly glaciated coastlines) while deltaic coastlines are sinking at amazing rates (Louisana). Shores along plate boundaries can bounce up or down with earthquakes produced by tectonic activity (Japan, Alaska, etc). Prior to satellite technology, it was notoriously difficult to accurately determine real sea level rise / fall.

  52. RockyRoad says:
    April 1, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    “You’ll have to defend this, Steven. Do you have some new theory that gravity isn’t pervasive and equivalent?”

    Gravity is indeed pervasive over the planet, but it is far from equivalent. The strength of gravity varies across the Earth over a range of +/- 50-60 milliGals or 1/1000ths of the standard Gravity strength. The undulations of the Geoid, the equipotential surface of the oceans of the world with all variations except gravity removed, vary by approx. 200 METERS based on those differences, which means every milliGal is equivalent to almost 2 meters of sea surface height variation.

    The world’s ocean’s are not level, they never have been and never will be. Any variation or trend in GMSL will be reflected or correlated with the sea level at any particular piece of coast only as a matter of happy coincidence. Personally I find most of the data produced about GMSL to be statistical nonsense, although I admit to being almost quixotically alone in that assessment. If you are still convinced that the oceans are level I would recommend spending some time with this site

    http://bulletin.aviso.oceanobs.com/html/produits/aviso/welcome_uk.php3

    they have daily to weekly maps of Sea Level Anomalies, Absolute Dynamic Topography, Significant Wave Height, and Wind Speed going back up to a decade. They also have a dozen selectable sub-regions available which are quite informative. Pay particular attention to the max- min range data in the lower right corner and keep in mind that the anomalies are from the geoid which is varying itself as I mentioned above.

  53. Dave Wendt says:
    April 1, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    RockyRoad says:
    April 1, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    “You’ll have to defend this, Steven. Do you have some new theory that gravity isn’t pervasive and equivalent?”

    Gravity is indeed pervasive over the planet, but it is far from equivalent. The strength of gravity varies…
    [...]
    Pay particular attention to the max- min range data in the lower right corner and keep in mind that the anomalies are from the geoid which is varying itself as I mentioned above.

    Well, since I’m a geologist I’m well aware of all this, Dave, but thanks anyway. Besides, the whole earth is more inclined to be an oblate spheroid because of it’s roation (and hence “out of spherical”) than to slight vagaries in gravity.

    But I want Mosher’s response to my question.

  54. Louis Hooffstetter says:
    April 1, 2012 at 4:11 pm
    Steven Mosher says:

    “This example is from Victoria, not New South Wales, but sea level must have roughly the same rises and falls all over the world. ”

    Wrong.

    Moshpit is correct on this (although he missed an opportunity to educate). You would logically think that water seeks its own level, but it’s called ‘relative sea level’ for good reason. Coastlines are incredibly dynamic. Some are experiencing isostatic rebound (formerly glaciated coastlines) while deltaic coastlines are sinking at amazing rates (Louisana). Shores along plate boundaries can bounce up or down with earthquakes produced by tectonic activity (Japan, Alaska, etc). Prior to satellite technology, it was notoriously difficult to accurately determine real sea level rise / fall.

    So which is the static and which is the dynamic component: The land or the sea?

    To believe that the rate of isostatic rebound or sinking coastlines exceeds that of water’s rate of flow and finding a level is ludicrous. (I’ll admit the rate of movement due to seismic activity exceeds that of water flow, but that’s a very fleeting phenomena and doesn’t impact the overall scheme of things.)

    What should be realized here is that “sealevel” has a self-defining component in the term itself: “level”–when compared to the earth, it seeks a level orders of magnitude quicker than solid rock (or hasn’t anybody noticed how irregular the earth’s non-aquatic surface is compared to the aquatic surface?) I’ve never seen the term “earthlevel” applied anywhere, but I see “sealevel” everywhere.

  55. This has been an interesting, for me at least, thread because of it’s local focus. We in Australia are being subjected to many reports about the effects of global warming and climate change in recent months. Now it could be co-incidental with the July 1 start of the carbon tax that 60% and maybe many more don’t want. The drum bangers are all in the government employ or rely on it for sustainance viz a viz the CSIRO and Bom. The last thing these folk want is a repeat of the Queensland election for the gravy train will simply stop and they will be found without a shred of creditability and therefore no job. Be prepared for an influx of “climate Scientists” onto the labor market toward the end of 2013. Warning. They are all easily distracted by funding.

  56. This is not really a scientific body, but one that adjusts data and subjects it to mathematical modelling before passing its ‘projections’ on to politicians.
    ———-
    So Cliff goes for wrong early. The IPCC does no modelling whatsoever. It’s simply assembles what others have concluded. Computer modelling needs supercomputers and is an extremely expensive business well outside the IPCC budget capacity.

  57. –We should reject draconian rules to save folk from a remote and dubious peril.
    ——-
    Cliff gets confused. The Dutch already have draconian measures in place. It’s called dike building. The point of the rules in Australia is to avoid the need for draconian rules in future.

  58. If Tim Flannery, Australia’s chief climate commissioner, is allowed to take his chance living on his Hawkesbury property near sea level, Port Macquarie’s retirees should be permitted to do so too.
    ———
    Tim Flannery is not getting special treatment. It’s an established property. It is subject to the rules set by the local council just like everyone else.

    No one is getting evicted from their property either. That’s just an outright lie.

    They are being prevented from developing property near the shoreline. No doubt that hurts if you planned the property as an investment. No doubt it also hurts if you are a property developer.

    Next question. Is Cliff a property developer? If so is Cliff going to pay compensation if someone’s property is inundated?

  59. The CSIRO has prostituted its honourable record to Australian Government policy (my apologies to the decent men and women for the language)
    When I see the letters CSIRO, it no longer commands respect from me, I see it as an organisation with a vested interest that will mislead the Public to do the Government’s bidding.
    Anything they publish isn’t worth reading, they are censored statements. How sad.

  60. At the risk of being called a pedant (which I am) US posters should realise that in OZ a Liberal (big L) is a conservative. The other side (Labor) backed by the unions and supported by the Greens forms our carbon taxing government in Canberra i.e. the Federal Government. Cheers from at last Sunny Sydney but still very wet inland NSW.

  61. There is a letter in today’s Australian (April2) which makes a very powerful point, quoted verbatim:
    “ONE of the things not mentioned in Cliff Ollier’s article (“CSIRO’s alarmism more dangerous than CO2″, 29/3) was the nature of the CSIRO reports themselves.
    Although authoritatively promoting dire scenarios of exaggerated sea-level rise, each report contains exhaustive disclaimers indemnifying CSIRO against the consequences of any actions taken to ameliorate its predictions.
    Surely coastal dwellers should have some legal recourse for the economic and psychological damage they suffer from implementation of these reports if they are shown to be of dubious veracity.
    Art Raiche, Killara, NSW”.

  62. LazyTeenager says:
    April 1, 2012 at 11:20 pm

    If Tim Flannery, Australia’s chief climate commissioner, is allowed to take his chance living on his Hawkesbury property near sea level, Port Macquarie’s retirees should be permitted to do so too.
    ———
    Tim Flannery is not getting special treatment. It’s an established property. It is subject to the rules set by the local council just like everyone else.

    No one is getting evicted from their property either. That’s just an outright lie.

    They are being prevented from developing property near the shoreline. No doubt that hurts if you planned the property as an investment. No doubt it also hurts if you are a property developer.

    Next question. Is Cliff a property developer? If so is Cliff going to pay compensation if someone’s property is inundated?
    ——————————————————————————-
    Um, ever heard of ‘planned retreat’ policies, which have been adopted by many coastal councils? Here’s one from the loony Byron Bay Council fyi:

    http://www.byron.nsw.gov.au/files/…/Planned_Retreat_fact_sheet.pdf

    You will note that what it means is that no development consent whatsoever will be allowed for any property within 20m of the coast. That includes if your house burns down, or you want to renovate or extend. They are destroying people’s property values, and basically saying that you just have to live in your house till it falls down around you, because we won’t let you do structural renovations, add a garage, or anything else that requires council approval. That includes structural works you might want to do at your own expense on your own land to offset erosion.

    Oh, and Professor Cliff Ollier “is a geologist, geomorphologist, soil scientist, emeritus professor and honorary research fellow, at the School of Earth and Geographical Sciences University of Western Australia. He was formerly at Australian National University, University of New England, Australia, Canberra University, University of Papua New Guinea, and University of Melbourne.[1]

    Throughout his career he was a prolific author (as C.D Ollier), and he has contributed to reference works such as The Oxford Companion to the Earth.[2] (Wikipedia)

    So no, he’s not a property developer, but a distinguished academic who has made more of a contribution to learning than you could even dream of, let alone comprehend.

  63. Johanna,
    My apologies to Cliff. I did not check, but knew I had read the story on the Andrew Bolt blog.

    Jonathan,
    Not sure how to upload photos on this site, so if anyone wants the two shots send me your email address and I will forward them directly to you. I suggest checking Google Earth of Vung Tau Back Beach as there is a new 16-storey beachfront condo being built at ‘Vampire Pad’ (where casualties were received at the 1st Field Army Hospital). I would generously guess it is about 3m above highwater mark and about 50m back from the beach

  64. Alistair, if you keep on with this apologising for honest errors thing, you will never be admitted to the Team!

    Great that you have started a discussion about sea levels in Vietnam – since it is such a poster child for the alarmists. Maybe some of the vet’s sites would yield further info?

  65. “Truthiness: the quality of preferring concepts or facts one wishes to be true, rather than concepts or facts known to be true.” (HT to Steven Colbert)

    LazyTeenager says:

    1. The IPCC… simply assembles what others have concluded.

    The only thing the IPCC and the CSIRO assemble is “Truthiness”. They would like us to believe they evaluate good science and then base decisions on it. They don’t! They decide what social engineering objectives they want to accomplish and then arrange funding for studies that support them. That’s why they persist in using models and statistical smoke and mirrors rather than replicable, empirical data.

    2. The point of the rules in Australia is to avoid the need for draconian rules in future.
    The point of the rules is pointless. Once again, if their decisions were based on replicable, empirical data (which in this case conclusively demonstrates average sea level rise is ~1.6 to 1.8 mm/yr) there would be no need for these ‘draconian’ rules.

    3. No one is getting evicted from their property. They are being prevented from developing property near the shoreline.

    You are either grossly naïve, or intentionally trying to mislead. In 1988, South Carolina enacted a ‘Beachfront Management Act’ that was supposed to prevent further development of barrier islands, and provide a “planned retreat” from sea level rise. Sound familiar? It contained a clause that forced homeowners to remove sea walls constructed to protect their beachfront homes, allow the ocean to eat their property, and then pay to clean up the debris afterwards. They would then be left with a worthless lot that the state claimed ownership of. (In SC, all land located between mean high and mean low water is state property.) The SC Supreme Court ruled this was an unlawful, uncompensated taking of private property by the state; and so it is. Let’s hope courts in Australia rule the same way.

    Lazy Teenager, take your head out of the sand before the tide comes in.

  66. “We should adapt to changes in the shoreline, like the Dutch. We should reject draconian rules to save folk from a remote and dubious peril.”

    Even this is over the top. We shoukd adapt like the dutch IF in MAYBE three hundred years, a problem appears that is related to rising oceans, or sinking lands, the ladder being more likely.
    Just more scare tactics to a non-problem,

  67. Unfortunately the human race has an obsession with the sea .We look towards the coast and speculate and wonder . Not one person seems to be worried about the very real rise in the level of a major body of water in Australia that continues to rise. I for one am extremely worried for the safety of the residents who have built large communities , numbering in the tens of thousands . This rise in salt water level has threatened these communities .I propose a committee of scientific experts (drawn at random from the electrol role) and government subsidies (love them ) and rules(gotta love em) to prevent communities being inundated .If this level of water rise continues ,Australia itself will have to be abandoned ! Big claims but figures gathered over the last four years show if this body of water keeps growing we are in big trouble with, half of Queensland and South Australia being inundated .Using IPCC computer analysis I can prove if Lake Eyre keeps filling were all doomed I say .

  68. What puzzles me is that I worked for the RAN Hydrographer in the early nineties. He is responsible for all maritime charts around Australia. I was told as a fact that Australia did not have tidal datum within half a meter for the majority of the coast but now we are told we can measure sea levels within millilmetres. So how come?

  69. Johanna,
    Well, if the truth is to win the we must remove errors when found. Tried to post the photos here, but they won’t ‘paste’.

  70. Reblogged this on The GOLDEN RULE and commented:
    The truth seeps out about the AGW warmist exagerations and worse. Even though the CSIRO have been shown up as “agents” for the IPCC eta al, the Australian government still persist in using their data to support the government drive for the carbon tax.
    It is hard to believe that the government personnel can be so ignorant of the truth. It is easy to believe that they are in fact well aware, and that they are fully engaged with the UN attempts to control individual governments and countries. There are too many factors supporting the world government scheme, some of them openly admitted, for it to be anything other than a reality.

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