Why Seas Are Rising Ahead of Predictions?

GSA Annual Meeting Presentation: Could Estimates of the Rate of Future Sea-Level Rise Be Too Low?

Boulder, Colorado, USA – Sea levels are rising faster than expected from global warming, and University of Colorado geologist Bill Hay has a good idea why. The last official IPCC report in 2007 projected a global sea level rise between 0.2 and 0.5 meters by the year 2100. But current sea-level rise measurements meet or exceed the high end of that range and suggest a rise of one meter or more by the end of the century.

“What’s missing from the models used to forecast sea-level rise are critical feedbacks that speed everything up,” says Hay. He will be presenting some of these feedbacks in a talk on Sunday, 4 Nov., at the meeting of The Geological Society of America in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA.

One of those feedbacks involves Arctic sea ice, another the Greenland ice cap, and another soil moisture and groundwater mining.

“There is an Arctic sea ice connection,” says Hay, despite the fact that melting sea ice — which is already in the ocean — does not itself raise sea level. Instead, it plays a role in the overall warming of the Arctic, which leads to ice losses in nearby Greenland and northern Canada. When sea ice melts, Hay explains, there is an oceanographic effect of releasing more fresh water from the Arctic, which is then replaced by inflows of brinier, warmer water from the south.

“So it’s a big heat pump that brings heat to the Arctic,” says Hay. “That’s not in any of the models.” That warmer water pushes the Arctic toward more ice-free waters, which absorb sunlight rather than reflect it back into space like sea ice does. The more open water there is, the more heat is trapped in the Arctic waters, and the warmer things can get.

Then there are those gigantic stores of ice in Greenland and Antarctica. During the last interglacial period, sea level rose 10 meters due to the melting of all that ice — without any help from humans. New data suggests that the sea-level rise in the oceans took place over a few centuries, according to Hay.

“You can lose most of the Greenland ice cap in a few hundred years, not thousands, just under natural conditions,” says Hay. “There’s no telling how fast it can go with this spike of carbon dioxide we are adding to the atmosphere.”

This possibility was brought home this last summer as Greenland underwent a stunning, record-setting melt. The ice streams, lubricated by water at their base, are speeding up.

Hay notes, “Ten years ago we didn’t know much about water under the Antarctic ice cap.” But it is there, and it allows the ice to move — in some places even uphill due to the weight of the ice above it.

“It’s being squeezed like toothpaste out of a tube,” explains Hay. The one thing that’s holding all that ice back from emptying into the sea is the grounded ice shelves acting like plugs on bottles at the ends of the coastal glaciers. “Nobody has any idea how fast that ice will flow into the oceans once the ice shelves are gone.”

Another missing feedback is the groundwater being mined all over the world to mitigate droughts. That water is ultimately added to the oceans (a recent visualization of this effect in the U.S. was posted by NASA’s Earth Observatory: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=79228).

All of these are positive feedbacks speeding up the changes in climate and sea-level rise.

“You would expect negative feedbacks to creep in at some point,” says Hay. “But in climate change, every feedback seems to go positive.” The reason is that Earth’s climate seems to have certain stable states. Between those states things are unstable and can change quickly. “Under human prodding, the system wants to go into a new climate state.”

WHAT: Could Estimates of the Rate of Future Sea-Level Rise Be Too Low?
WHEN: Sunday, 4-November, 9:15–9:30 a.m.
WHERE: Charlotte Convention Center, Room 219AB
ABSTRACT: https://gsa.confex.com/gsa/2012AM/finalprogram/abstract_209198.htm

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

Dr. Hay may find this upcoming NASA JPL project problematic with his claims:

Finally: JPL intends to get a GRASP on accurate sea level and ice measurements

162 thoughts on “Why Seas Are Rising Ahead of Predictions?

  1. America’s foremost experts on sea level, at least perceived as such, would need to drive a day and a half without stopping to see the ocean. Just sayin’.

  2. The more open water there is, the more heat is trapped in the Arctic waters

    omg – what can one say? This is beyond stupid.

  3. “You can lose most of the Greenland ice cap in a few hundred years, not thousands, just under natural conditions,” says Hay. “There’s no telling how fast it can go with this spike of carbon dioxide we are adding to the atmosphere.”

    Great line from a ‘climate scientist’! So much for the models.

  4. Where in the hell did they get that as an actual rate. As others mentioned, the measured rate is less than a third of a meter. They must be taking a ridiculously short time span to fudge a rate of a meter by the end of the century.

  5. Check that, I read the abstract and he’s talking about all the effects he thinks are going to affect the rate such as the Antarctic is going to melt.

  6. “You would expect negative feedbacks to creep in at some point,” says Hay. “But in climate change, every feedback seems to go positive.” The reason is that Earth’s climate seems to have certain stable states. Between those states things are unstable and can change quickly. “Under human prodding, the system wants to go into a new climate state.”

    What a load of horse manure! He needs to take a basic electronics course and see what an electronic circuit does with even a small amount of positive feedback.

    HINT – it instantly latches to the high output state and stays here as long as there is an input!

    What he describes is physically impossible and if he had a clue about feed back in circuits he would know it! If what he said was true than temperatures would never have dropped following the big melt at the start of the current interglacial.

    The error is obvious, they are not aware of negative feed backs because they are so wedded to the theory of positive feedbacks that they are not even looking for them. Since they are not aware of them and have such a poor understanding of feedback in systems the don’t understand that they MUST find the negative feedbacks that have kept the climate more or less the same for about 10,000 years. Their own data show global temperatures are range bound within a relatively narrow range. The only way that can happen is that some negative feed back is overwhelming all positive feed backs as the system approaches the upper limit of the range.

    None so blind as those who will not see.

    Larry

  7. Boulder, Colorado, USA – Sea levels are rising faster than expected from global warming, and University of Colorado geologist Bill Hay has a good idea why. The last official IPCC report in 2007 projected a global sea level rise between 0.2 and 0.5 meters by the year 2100. But current sea-level rise measurements meet or exceed the high end of that range and suggest a rise of one meter or more by the end of the century.

    How do they get away with this nonsense? 0.5 metres by the year 2100 is 5 millimetres per year. I have never seen an actual global measurement based estimate of the sea level rise, either satellite or tide gauge, that is anywhere near 5 mm per year. Right now, the tide gauges say maybe 2 mm per year, and the satellites say maybe 3 mm per year. Nobody “exceed[s] the high end” of 5 mm per year.

    w.

  8. I have lived worked and played on or near the ocean all my life (61 years) and any sea level rise is so small it has no relevance just like half a degree of agwnonsense.cheers

  9. Wouldn’t headlines such as these be problematic for Obama, who said last time that upon his election the seas would start to recede?

  10. Unproven wild-ass theory alert!!!:

    “Instead, it plays a role in the overall warming of the Arctic, which leads to ice losses in nearby Greenland and northern Canada. When sea ice melts, Hay explains, there is an oceanographic effect of releasing more fresh water from the Arctic, which is then replaced by inflows of brinier, warmer water from the south.”

  11. There are so many factual errors in this piece, I find it hard to believe anyone s taking it seriously…

  12. “But in climate change, every feedback seems to go positive.”

    Possibly the dumbest thing I’ve heard all year. Positive feedbacks of any duration are almost impossible in nature, they are always resource limited and always end up being overtaken by negative feedbacks after the initial runaway condition initiates. Anyone have an example where this is not the case?

    Is there really anyone who believes such a statement could be remotely possible, even for an instant? Baffling.

  13. Isn’t sea level rise being corrected downwards, similarly ice cap melting and that is why they are sending up a new satellite “GRASP” or something like it to correct the over estimates? You know professors, you got to love em, but in my experience they are laregly isolated from reality and generally out of date as one would be, teaching from their old notes and working on lifelong pet projects. I don’t want to offend. I owe a great deal to my professors but when I went out into the practical world where you had to turn a profit, I found I had to become a student again, learning the stuff in a 20 year gap or so in my knowledge. This is okay. But only if they don’t start activist rants, say, against the steam engine, long after it has already been replaced. Naturally having an activist bent, they do this a lot. They certainly don’t waste time reading sceptical stuff and they miss a lot. Trust me Dr Hay, you have come to the subject 20 years too late.

  14. I am surprised to see this post here. It is worth noting that the models tend to be conservative, so it is not that surprising that sea level is rising faster than predicted. I think that maybe the level of complexity is beyond modelling, so while the models will get the broad brush stuff right, the fine detail will not be predicted until after it happens.

  15. And this is the first time something did not meet your expectations? Try questioning your faith (often called models) before you make a fool of yourself and any one else who uses the title scientist.

  16. Here’s America’s longest tide gauge record (San Francisco):

    http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/sltrends_station.shtml?stnid=9414290

    The linear trend shown on that graph is 2.01 mm/year, but that’s calculated from data through 2006. There’s been no sea-level rise at all at San Francisco over the last 30 years, so the calculated long-term average rate of sea-level rise keeps decreasing. It’s now down to 1.92 mm/year:

    http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/sltrends_update.shtml?stnid=9414290

    But even if sea-level rise resumes at its old rate at San Francisco (which I do expect, BTW), 1.92 mm/year will add up to just 6.7 inches (0.17 meters) by 2100.

    Not so scary, eh?

    There’s an even better tide gauge record of sea-level in Germany; here’s the graph:

    http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/sltrends_global_station.shtml?stnid=120-022

    There does appear to have been some acceleration in rate of sea-level rise there… circa 1860. There’s been none since then.

    Average over the last 160 years: 1.4 mm/year, which adds up to 4.6 inches (1.2 meters) by 2100.

    When I saw that this GSA conclave will be meeting here in NC this weekend, I considered dropping in. But they want $315 for a one-day admission, so I’ll pass. Is anyone else planning to go?

    Dave Burton
    webmaster, http://www.sealevel.info/

  17. I wonder if in the year 2095 when there has been maybe a quarter of a meter of sea level rise he will be claiming that the next 750mm is there trapped in the system and it will spring up at any time…Of course I would be very impressed, since he would be about 140 years old at the time ;) (and I’d be pushing the neighborhood myself which would likewise impress me) I am more concerned we are going to have a downturn in temperature and sea level will fall significantly. Of course it isn’t the sea level part that concerns me, it’s those confounded glaciers burying mountain villages that are the worry.

    Did they recently legalize recreational pharmaceuticals in Colorado? I’d hate to accuse the good doctor of something illegal.

  18. Oh Dear.

    Many years ago I as a new member of the AGU I attended the Spring Convention in [at that time] Baltimore Maryland, and a few others from then I might add. At this particular convention in 1990 I was impressed by the range of presentations given; even if the presentation was utterly and unfortunately beyond doubt … nonsense. I … at that time considered this testimony to the AGU for allowing all views … however utterly wrong, nonsense, and embarrassing. Unfortunately the presenter had not yet come to that simple conclusion based on facts, for reasons that I cannot fathom yet to this day.

    Twenty years hence.

    Seems that the ‘utterly and embarrassingly nonsense’ is the sense and the ‘science de jour’ of the AGU nowadays. What a ROYAL embarrassment! With the fallout from Gellick and ‘the Anthropocene Mann’ and many new ones on the event horizon, I truly wonder why … I … am a paying member to such a Circus Of The Absurd as the AGU has become and its now payed Executive Committee … cannot fathom … irregardless of their … presumed … superior parentage!

    How unfortunate, for the … superiors … of the … AGU.

  19. Perhaps a graph showing the currently measured sea level vs. this 5mm per year nonsense would help clarify things

  20. How much sea level rise is due to soil washed into the oceans from rivers (e.g., the Mississippi, Nile, Congo, Amazon, etc) and to erosion of coasts by waves? How much of the dust that is blown out of deserts ends up in the oceans?

  21. I just tested this – I poured ice water into boiling water and it quit boiling. It refused to boil again until I re-applied the heat. The big takeaway for me was adding ice water to warmer water does not warm the water, it cools it. I’m going to need some grant money to get this into a proper format for submission to Nature.

  22. For those of you who are wondering where Hay got his figures: he made them up. This is no joke. Hay is a notorious fabricator and has grafted his practices onto the U of Colo. It will take his students years to unlearn what they are taught there and many never will.

  23. “You would expect negative feedbacks to creep in at some point,” says Hay. “But in climate change, every feedback seems to go positive.”

    ::facepalm:: Yeah. Right. Obviously he drank the Klimate Kool-Aid.

  24. John Brookes says:
    November 1, 2012 at 7:41 pm
    “…so while the models will get the broad brush stuff right…”
    John, please detail which ‘broad brush stuff’ the models have ever got right – in terms of predictions of the future rather than the past.

    Here are some clues as to why I ask:
    “Profound” climate variability engine found – leakage around the Cape of Good Hope “could mean that current IPCC model predictions for the next century are wrong” http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/04/27/climate-variability-leakage-around-the-cape-of-good-hope/
    North American snow models miss the mark – observed trend opposite of the predictions http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/02/19/north-america-snow-models-miss-the-mark/
    Climate Models Fail at Antarctic Warming Predictions http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/05/07/climate-models-fail-at-antarctic-warming-predictions/
    Climate Models shown to be inaccurate less than 30 years out http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/09/18/climate-models-shown-to-be-inaccurate-less-than-30-years-out/

  25. “Boy, they are sure amping up the alarm since Frankenstorm.”

    Seems all steams recently from a lot of the bull – – – – from Bronco Brama.

    (h/t for the perfect coined name from a cute little four year old girl, in complete tears, who is really, really fed up with all of the politics)
    I have to say, me too. Just 5 to go.

    5mm per year every year… dream on.

  26. “What’s missing from the models used to forecast sea-level rise are critical feedbacks that speed everything up,” says Hay.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    The models are wrong? Isn’t there a standard of conduct already established regarding publication of such assertions? I believe the standard requires that whoever allowed Hay to speak must now resign and apologise to Trenberth.

  27. Do we model with any confidence “Cloud formation”

    ENSO

    Any atmospheric oscillation

    Any interactive ocean current

    Any sea ice level and their impact on precipitation

    Albedo and black carbon

    And on and on and on………..

    In a cumulative manner?

    My point is?

  28. I still await an explanation for the two strong thermal pulses right at the end-Eemian:

    Boettger, et al (Quaternary International 207 [2009] 137–144) abstract it:

    “In terrestrial records from Central and Eastern Europe the end of the Last Interglacial seems to be characterized by evident climatic and environmental instabilities recorded by geochemical and vegetation indicators. The transition (MIS 5e/5d) from the Last Interglacial (Eemian, Mikulino) to the Early Last Glacial (Early Weichselian, Early Valdai) is marked by at least two warming events as observed in geochemical data on the lake sediment profiles of Central (Gro¨bern, Neumark–Nord, Klinge) and of Eastern Europe (Ples). Results of palynological studies of all these sequences indicate simultaneously a strong increase of environmental oscillations during the very end of the Last Interglacial and the beginning of the Last Glaciation. This paper discusses possible correlations of these events between regions in Central and Eastern Europe. The pronounced climate and environment instability during the interglacial/glacial transition could be consistent with the assumption that it is about a natural phenomenon, characteristic for transitional stages. Taking into consideration that currently observed ‘‘human-induced’’ global warming coincides with the natural trend to cooling, the study of such transitional stages is important for understanding the underlying processes of the climate changes.”

    Hearty and Neumann (Quaternary Science Reviews 20 [2001] 1881–1895) abstracting their work in the Bahamas state:

    “The geology of the Last Interglaciation (sensu stricto, marine isotope substage MIS 5e) in the Bahamas records the nature of sea level and climate change. After a period of quasi-stability for most of the interglaciation, during which reefs grew to +2.5 m, sea level rose rapidly at the end of the period, incising notches in older limestone. After brief stillstands at +6 and perhaps +8.5 m, sea level fell with apparent speed to the MIS 5d lowstand and much cooler climatic conditions. It was during this regression from the MIS 5e highstand that the North Atlantic suffered an oceanographic ‘‘reorganization’’ about 11873 ka ago. During this same interval, massive dune-building greatly enlarged the Bahama Islands. Giant waves reshaped exposed lowlands into chevron-shaped beach ridges, ran up on older coastal ridges, and also broke off and threw megaboulders onto and over 20 m-high cliffs. The oolitic rocks recording these features yield concordant whole-rock amino acid ratios across the archipelago. Whether or not the Last Interglaciation serves as an appropriate analog for our ‘‘greenhouse’’ world, it nonetheless reveals the intricate details of climatic transitions between warm interglaciations and near glacial conditions.”

    It is all detailed here http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/03/16/the-end-holocene-or-how-to-make-out-like-a-madoff-climate-change-insurer/

    Scared? You’ve got to be kidding me. I’ll take your AR4 worst case scenario of 0.59M and raise you the low-end of sea level excursion and raise you +6M, perhaps +8.5M! Keep in mind I have a +21.3M pile of interglacial chips sitting in front of me at MIS-11. The Gorical has only bet 20 feet, the low-end of MIS-5e anthropogenically ascertained end extreme interglacial noise http://www.uow.edu.au/business/content/groups/public/@web/@sci/@eesc/documents/doc/uow045009.pdf

    See Figure 2, Chart K to value your MIS-5e +42M bluff. This is Climate Poker afterall, isn’t it? OK,I’ll see your Gored +6M (+20Feet), and raise you 42 – 6=36M.

    Just For Good Measure

    And call…………

  29. No. The seas are receding because of Global Cooling.

    The only way Hurricane Sandy was Human Induced Climate Change, was by the Geo Engineering operations being done by humans working for the US Government.

    The Climate Changers and Progressers can go pound Sandy, We have Global Cooling now due to the extended Solar Minimum.

    NASA June 2012 Solar Cycle 24 Prediction

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/06/08/nasa-june-2012-solar-cycle-24-prediction/

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/08/13/when-will-it-start-cooling/

  30. sunshinehours1 says:
    November 1, 2012 at 6:00 pm
    1 meter = 1000mm = 10mm a year

    It is 1000/88years which is 11.4mm per year. Even further away. Soon the whole premise will be tossed out the window.

    Essentially all ice sheets would have to loose some 3800 cubic kilometers of ice per year to ge to the 1 meter in a century. Not going to happen. Even if some of it is caused by an warming and expanding ocean.

  31. That warmer water pushes the Arctic toward more ice-free waters, which absorb sunlight rather than reflect it back into space like sea ice does. The more open water there is, the more heat is trapped in the Arctic waters, and the warmer things can get.

    Whenever I’ve sat on a beach when the sun is low in the sky, there seems to be a great deal of reflection even when the water is not smooth. I seem to recall reading somewhere that the albedo under these conditions is not much different to old snow or sea ice.

  32. During the last interglacial period, sea level rose 10 meters due to the melting of all that ice“.

    10m! Wow! Let’s see what the IPCC report says about this interglacial period. ….. aha! Here it is in FAQ 5.1 …..
    Global sea level rose by about 120 m during the several millennia that followed the end of the last ice age (approximately 21,000 years ago).

    That last interglacial was stunningly weak. Or maybe this guy is clueless.

  33. michaelwiseguy says:
    November 1, 2012 at 9:25 pm

    We had a hurricane storm surge making land fall, enhanced by a full moon at high tide at the same time of occurrence. It’s really that simple folks.

    “After brief stillstands at +6 and perhaps +8.5 m, sea level fell with apparent speed to the MIS 5d lowstand and much cooler climatic conditions. It was during this regression from the MIS 5e highstand that the North Atlantic suffered an oceanographic ‘‘reorganization’’ about 11873 ka ago. During this same interval, massive dune-building greatly enlarged the Bahama Islands. Giant waves reshaped exposed lowlands into chevron-shaped beach ridges, ran up on older coastal ridges, and also broke off and threw megaboulders onto and over 20 m-high cliffs.”

    Now that is just downright scary~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  34. This is the third class intellect that unilaterally tried to ‘decide’ nobody but ‘certain citizens’ “HAD a PLACE in the DIALOG” about what happens to our money.
    And our world as the libtard moon-barking-mad non-intelligencia tried to rewrite LITERALLY
    the l.a.w.s. of physics

    to get control over taxing the air
    you
    breathe.

  35. Brinier water from the south wouldn’t replace fresh surface water; it would sink, leaving the lighter water on the surface.

    Epic fail in their logic.

  36. To talk of many things:
    Of shoes—and ships—and sealing-wax—
    Of cabbages— and kings—
    And why the sea is boiling hot
    And whether pigs have wings.

  37. “So it’s a big heat pump that brings heat to the Arctic,” says Hay. “That’s not in any of the models.” That warmer water pushes the Arctic toward more ice-free waters, which absorb sunlight rather than reflect it back into space like sea ice does. The more open water there is, the more heat is trapped in the Arctic waters, and the warmer things can get.”

    But it’s been pointed out here that this model is wrong. Ice-free water in the high Arctic is about as reflective as ice, because of the low angle of incidence, and it is not an insulator like ice, so it emits heat on balance, rather than absorbing it.

  38. November 1, 2012 at 7:41 pm | John Brookes says:
    —————————————————————
    John, you’re a much nicer bloke when you don’t talk through the back of your head.
    Real measurements are 2 – 3mm per year in some locations and zero in others … the models are just wild guesses with loaded logarithms. We already know that all of the feedbacks are not positive so there goes Hay’s theory in a puff of smoke!

  39. Stephen Rasey says:
    November 1, 2012 at 8:50 pm
    “Ok, a tide gage history from San Francisco is good, (thx Dave Burton).

    Given the news, however this 150 year record from The Battery, New York City, (at 11 inches per century) seems more to the point.
    ~~~~~

    Just on general earth science principles, especially isostacy,

    http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/296537/isostasy

    and density,

    http://www.cmacn.org/energy/basics/mat_density.htm

    . . . there can be made a case for the sinking of the entire “greater New York” region, thus bringing about the 0.91 feet in 150 years indicated.
    Compare these:

    Of course, I actually don’t know but for $1.673 M a proposal can be submitted forthwith. Where should I send it?

  40. Birdieshooter says:
    November 1, 2012 at 6:06 pm

    So can someone reconcile this forecast with the NOAA global mean sea level trend of 2.8mm per year in this link?
    …http://ibis.grdl.noaa.gov/SAT/SeaLevelRise/LSA_SLR_timeseries_global.php

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

    Short answer: No

    Longer answer: This is climate science. Everyone gets to have their own numbers. Some other numbers:

    1.0mm/yr +-1.5 Morner based on changes in Earth rotation rate
    1.1 +-.4 AR4 Thermal Expansion +Ice Melt 42 years (1961-2003)
    1.9mm/yr Most usual value for Tidal Gauge Data (every estimate is different)
    2.0 +-1.9 ERS1 Satellite
    2.8 +-.6 AR4 Thermal Expansion +Ice Melt 11 years (1993-2003)
    2.9-3.4 +.4/-.6 Topex/Poseidon Satellites

    In general, sea level rise numbers are characterized by fairly small numbers, comparatively large uncertainties, difficulties with somewhat hazy (at the mm scale) reference frames and the problem that sea level rise apparently is not the same everywhere with differences taking many years to resolve themselves

    If I HAD to pick a number for current sea level rise, I’d go with ERS1 — 2.0 mm/yr — despite the broad error limits. I am coming to have serious doubts about the objectivity of the folks at CU. I think that they are intentionally or unintentionally fudging their numbers high, quoting absurdly low error estimates, and in general not entirely credible.

    I do agree with Hays the the results of future ground water pumping have probably been underestimated

  41. For the current sea level rise and prediction for the year 2100 see the bottom of this page:

    http://www.climate4you.com/SeaTemperatures.htm#Global%20sea%20level

    “Estimated average global sea level change until year 2100, according to sea level change values provided by the Colorado Center for Astrodynamics Research at University of Colorado at Boulder ….. … Last diagram update: 18 September 2012, with a prognosis (red graph) of about 17 cm average global sea level rise until 2100.”

  42. Roger Knights says:
    November 1, 2012 at 10:10 pm

    But it’s been pointed out here that this model is wrong. Ice-free water in the high Arctic is about as reflective as ice, because of the low angle of incidence, and it is not an insulator like ice, so it emits heat on balance, rather than absorbing it.
    ================
    I think that is correct. Water reflectance looks to be high below an incidence angle of about 45 degrees. The incidence angle in the polar zones is, I think, always below 45 degrees except close to the Arctic/Antarctic circles for a short period around their respective Summer Solstices.

  43. William McClenney says:
    November 1, 2012 at 9:45 pm
    michaelwiseguy says:
    November 1, 2012 at 9:25 pm

    “After brief stillstands at +6 and perhaps +8.5 m, sea level fell with apparent speed to the MIS 5d lowstand and much cooler climatic conditions. It was during this regression from the MIS 5e highstand that the North Atlantic suffered an oceanographic ‘‘reorganization’’ about 11873 ka ago. During this same interval, massive dune-building greatly enlarged the Bahama Islands. Giant waves reshaped exposed lowlands into chevron-shaped beach ridges, ran up on older coastal ridges, and also broke off and threw megaboulders onto and over 20 m-high cliffs.”

    WOW! That really does sound scientific, but it probably adds to the equation.

  44. Mike Jonas says:
    November 1, 2012 at 9:44 pm

    “During the last interglacial period, sea level rose 10 meters due to the melting of all that ice“.

    10m! Wow! Let’s see what the IPCC report says about this interglacial period.
    ================
    I think Hays means the Eemian – 125000 years ago Mike. The Eemian was apparently warmer and wetter than today. It’s not clear why. His number for Eemian sea level rise seems high. 5 meters would be closer to most estimates. See Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eemian for an overview.

  45. John Brookes says:
    November 1, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    “… will not be predicted until after it happens.”

    You’ve got to love “climate science”…

  46. “””””…..Don K says:

    November 1, 2012 at 10:51 pm

    Roger Knights says:
    November 1, 2012 at 10:10 pm

    But it’s been pointed out here that this model is wrong. Ice-free water in the high Arctic is about as reflective as ice, because of the low angle of incidence, and it is not an insulator like ice, so it emits heat on balance, rather than absorbing it.
    ================
    I think that is correct. Water reflectance looks to be high below an incidence angle of about 45 degrees. The incidence angle in the polar zones is, I think, always below 45 degrees except close to the Arctic/Antarctic circles for a short period around their respective Summer Solstices…….”””””

    Well for starters, “Incidence angles” in Optics, are always measured from the local normal to the surface, not from the tangent to the surface. So Arctic sea incidence angles are always greater than 45 degrees; not less.

    Also surface reflectance is almost constant from normal incidence up to the Brewster Angle (arctan (N/1) ) where N is the refractive index of the water (1.333). For water, B is about 53 degrees, so reflectance is less than 3$ up to that angle. Normal reflectance is ((N-1)/(N+1))^2 which is 0.02 (2%).
    At the Brewster angle the reflectance of the polarisation with the electric vector in the plane of incidence, goes to zero, while the other component, polarised normal to the plane of incidence roughly doubles. The total reflectance is almost the same at the Brewster angle. For greater incidence angles both polarisation reflection coefficients climb rapidly to one.

    But so what, at such oblique angles, the solar radiation passes through a greatly increased air mass, which reduces the higher energy shorter wavelength photons; and then the incidence area increases as 1/cos(incidence angle), so the surface irradiance is very low.

    Yes when you consider wave action the surface can tip towards the incoming beam direction, but then on the other side of the wave, the incidence angle is increased, so moderate wave action doesn’t affect reflected energy much.

    Arctic sea contribution to earth albedo is greatly overestimated.. snowy surfaces have substatial optical trapping by TIR, and melted surfaces have low reflectance just like water.

  47. From the “water mining” link – “The maps above combine data from the twin satellites of the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) with other satellite and ground-based measurements to model the relative amount of water stored near the surface and underground as of September 17, 2012. The top map shows moisture content in the top 2 centimeters (0.8 inches) of surface soil; the middle map depicts moisture in the “root zone,” or the top meter (39 inches) of soil; and the third map shows groundwater in aquifers.”

    GRACE seems to be aging well. (-:

  48. otsar says:
    November 1, 2012 at 6:24 pm

    Correction:
    grasping at straws?
    ————————————————————————
    Nay, it’s gasping at thaws – except that there ain’t no thawing going on up there…

    Sorry for me playing with words, I just couldn’t resist.

  49. For those tired of climate alarmism, how about magnetic field reversal alarmism:
    “While the effects are hard to predict, the consequences may be enormous. The loss of the magnetic field on Mars billions of years ago put paid to life on the planet if there ever was any, scientists say.”

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/03/science-earth-magneticfield-idUSL6E8K7JJG20121003

    This writer (whose name doesn’t deserve mention) tries really hard to link a magnetic field reversal to an apocalyptic end of life on Earth.

    Of course, these field reversals have happened thousands of times during the lifetime of the Earth, and during the lifetime of life on Earth. Life is doing pretty good, don’t you think?

  50. “You can lose most of the Greenland ice cap in a few hundred years, not thousands, just under natural conditions,” says Hay. “There’s no telling how fast it can go with this spike of carbon dioxide we are adding to the atmosphere.”

    I’m surely mistaken but a vaguely recollect that most of the Greenland ice cap survived the very warm Eemian which lasted around 15,000 years.

  51. Don K – Sea levels in the Eeemian rose to something like 5-10m above today’s level“. The total rise in the Eemian from the previous glacial was comparable to the current rise (120m).

    Hay appears to be referring to the total rise, not the relationship to today:-
    Then there are those gigantic stores of ice in Greenland and Antarctica. During the last interglacial period, sea level rose 10 meters due to the melting of all that ice — without any help from humans. New data suggests that the sea-level rise in the oceans took place over a few centuries, according to Hay.
    “You can lose most of the Greenland ice cap in a few hundred years, not thousands, just under natural conditions,” says Hay. “There’s no telling how fast it can go with this spike of carbon dioxide we are adding to the atmosphere.”
    “.

  52. Heh. When I started to read this article and I got to the bit about current sea-level rise exceeding the “high end” of 2 to 5 mm per year, I thought to myself, “What the hell is Anthony talking about? Even NOAA only says 2.8 mm per year.” Then there were all the usual suspects making an appearance: fresh water melt, open sea positive feedbacks, ground water mining. I kept thinking, “Is Anthony pulling some weird April Fool’s thing in November? Has someone hacked Watts Up With That? Did aliens replace our host with a bizarro version?”

    Then I got to the end. Ah … Anthony didn’t write it. I don’t know about the rest of you, but in my browser that was totally non-obvious. (And then I noticed: Cool! It’s actually in Charlotte, where I live. I wonder if I can sneak in…)

  53. “Stephen Rasey says:
    November 1, 2012 at 8:50 pm
    Ok, a tide gage history from San Francisco is good, (thx Dave Burton).

    Given the news, however this 150 year record from The Battery, New York City, (at 11 inches per century) seems more to the point.”

    Almost the whole East Coast of the US is sinking. It is in fact a classic example of a “ria” coast where the river mouths are at the end of long inlets that are really drowned river valleys (e. g. Chesapeake bay) and where sediment from the rivers form barrier islands off-shore. On stable coastlines rivers build deltas out into the sea instead.
    Given this it is actually rather odd that it took almost 200 years to beat the 1821 high-water mark in New Yoork.

  54. A brief summary of the more obvious howlers:

    “During the last interglacial period, sea level rose 10 meters due to the melting of all that ice”

    Very exaggerated. 5 meters is a more reasonable figure. The best data from the most stable coastline available (the Gawler craton in South Australia) actually suggests 2-3 meters.

    “New data suggests that the sea-level rise in the oceans took place over a few centuries, according to Hay.”

    It most certainly did not. The chronology of the last interglacial is well established, and the melting of the icecaps took on the order of 10,000 years. It was however faster than during the present interglacial since there was no Younger Dryas interruption of the melting.

    “Ten years ago we didn’t know much about water under the Antarctic ice cap.”

    A direct lie. It has been long-known that the Antarctic ice-cap is partly cold- and partly warm-based.

    “The one thing that’s holding all that ice back from emptying into the sea is the grounded ice shelves acting like plugs on bottles at the ends of the coastal glaciers.”

    In that case it is rather odd that most antarctic glaciers don’t have any ice-shelves. Ice shelves only exist in the Ross Sea and Weddell Sea sectors, around parts of the Antarctic peninsula and in Prydz bay.
    And in any case ice-shelves are by definition not grounded. If they were they wouldn’t be shelves, since shelves are floating on ocean water. Also note that there are no ice shelves around Greenland, and hasn’t been in historical times.

    Finally I do agree that ground water depletion will add to sea-level.

  55. ” Sea levels are rising faster than expected from global warming, and University of Colorado geologist Bill Hay has a good idea why.”

    No Bill. Sea levels are not rising faster than expected , it is your highly error prone satellite altimetry that is rising faster than any physical record of water height or even exaggerated climate models.

    NOW, STOP LYING AND MISLEADING EVERYONE AND FIX YOUR CALCULATIONS.[It is appreciated that sometimes emphasis is required in a statement but many of your colleagues here find shouting quite offensive . . mod]

  56. All of these are positive feedbacks speeding up the changes in climate and sea-level rise.

    Groundwater isn’t a positive feedback.

    “You would expect negative feedbacks to creep in at some point,” says Hay. “But in climate change, every feedback seems to go positive.”

    I can think of several negative feedbacks.

    More open Arctic water = increased evaporation and snow on Greenland = increased elevation and decreased melt.

    Faster melt of older ‘dirty’ (less BC) ice = replacement with new cleaner ice = increased albedo cooling.

    And the example you give, there is an oceanographic effect of releasing more fresh water from the Arctic, which is then replaced by inflows of brinier, warmer water from the south. Anything that increases heat transport to the Arctic cools the climate

  57. >>
    NOW, STOP LYING AND MISLEADING EVERYONE AND FIX YOUR CALCULATIONS.[It is appreciated that sometimes emphasis is required in a statement but many of your colleagues here find shouting quite offensive . . mod]
    >>

    This level of stupidity goes beyond the pale. That is why I used capitals for emphasis. (Something I hardly ever do beyond one word, again where emphasis is needed). This is not “shouting”, it is emphasis.

    If you or anyone else reading this erroneously interpreted written words as being shouting that is really not my fault but just to be politically correct I will issue a politician’s apology:

    “If anyone was offended by my use of capital letter in writing that phrase, I offer my full apology for any offence that may have been caused. That was not my intention. My thoughts and prayers are with the friends and family of those concerned at this difficult time.”

  58. Reality check :
    Here is a plot from a recent Jevrejava paper drawn from tide gauge data. (red dots are mine)

    Sea level rise (as defined by the level of the sea !!) stopped accelerating around 1995 and , while still showing a positive rate of change it is decelerating.

    If satellite estimations of sea level are showing something different from the physical reality they need to be fixed. That does not involve redefining what “sea level” means nor adding more positive feedback to already broken climate models.

    These guys are not stupid, so this kind of public announcement can only be seen as yet more of the “in order to be effective we need to be deceitful” school of climate anti-science activism.

  59. ” One of those feedbacks involves Arctic sea ice, another the Greenland ice cap, and another soil moisture and groundwater mining.”

    The idea of such a positive feedback is simply not backed up by the data. Looking at the rate of change of Arctc sea ice shows the accelerating decline STOPPED in 2007.

    That is not at all compatible with the idea that the increased exposed area is causing any measurable positive feedback. This is yet another hypothesis without any physical evidence of it happening.

    That graph shows a strong correlation between AMO and rate of change ice extent. The fact that ice extent has stopped decreasing despite AMO being warmer is strong evidence of a NEGATIVE feedback, not a positive one.

  60. typo correction…

    daveburton wrote:
    > “… 4.6 inches (1.2 meters) by 2100.”

    of course that should be:

    > “… 4.6 inches (.12 meters) by 2100.”

  61. Ted Carmichael wrote on November 2, 2012 at 12:24 am:
    “(And then I noticed: Cool! It’s actually in Charlotte, where I live. I wonder if I can sneak in…)”

    I’m in Cary, less than 3 hours away. Unfortunately, unless you’re a student, list price for one-day admission is $315. But, Ted, please drop me an email. You can find my email address on my web site:

    http://www.sealevel.info

  62. “Whatever sea level rise has taken during the course of my own life would be unlikely to cause the demise of a single person. Dozens and dozens of tide gauges bear this out. Measuring at Midway Atoll in the Central Pacific, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration found that sea level rose .7 millimeters a year from 1947 to 2006. At this rate, in a hundred years, the oceans would rise a little less than three inches. Again, such modest, unthreatening rises have taken place dozens of times in the past, and will again.” — Don’t Sell Your Coat, yours truly

  63. “Lose most of the Greenland ice cap in a few hundred years”?????????? With boreal forests growing along the arctic coast between 130,000 and 125,000 years ago there was no loss of “most” of the Greenland ice cap. That was a 5000 year period with temp. 4 – 5 C up to 8 C warmer than present. If that was the case it would certainly make the present collecting of continuous ice cores problematic.Certainly the melting over a couple of centuries would produce massive layers of completely melted snow/ice that refroze as massive, `reset’ layers in the ice sheet. These would be very obvious in the present day cores.

  64. And they tell me over here Americans don’t do irony, sarcasm, & cruelty! You naughty people you ;-)!

    Deja vu. Now, let me see, UNIPCC AR4 Table SPM 1 (Revised & corrected), Rate of Sea-Level Rise, overall rate of sea level rise between 1961-1993, 1.8mm/yr ± 0.5mm/yr error bar. Rate of sea-level rise 1993-2003, 3.2mm/yr ± 0.7mm/yr error bar. Engineer’s hat on, 1.8mm + 0.5mm = 2.3mm/yr, 3.2mm – 0.7mm = 2.4mm/yr = same bloody number! Nils Axel Morner reckons average rate of sea-level rise over the last century has been 2.3mm/yr!!!! Then again, 1.8mm – 0.7mm = 1.1mm/yr, 3.2 + 0.7 = 3.9mm/yr, (1.1 + 3.9)/2 = 2.5mm/yr (I would never worry about 2/10ths of anything much)! Most peculiar & strange that these numbers all appear to be about the same, if I was a synical grumpy old man of dubious parentage I would have said somebody somewhere has been playing games with the numbers, but then that’s just me, isn’t it? Then of course there was UNIPCC AR4 initial publication in 2007, in which the original Table SPM 0, (as published) Rate of Sea-Level Rise, you know the one which, according to the UNIPCC WORLD’s LEADING EXPERTS ON CLIMATE CHANGE (their words not mine), 450 lead authors, 800 co-authors, 2,500 scientists, 140 Guvments around the world all reviewed it LINE BY LINE (their words not mine) couldn’t add up a simple column on figures nor get the frigging decimal points in the right place to start with, & they want us to spend trillions of Dollars we don’t have on something they can’t even get right first time with all that EXPERTISE on tap? No way José!!! Can anyone tell me how the latest tree-hugging Polar Bear cuddling Gaia worshipping jamboree fest is going, did they have enough Champagne, Caviar, Claret (let’s hope it was the ’87 cos the ’88 was ghastly!), & Chablis to go round in whatever 5-Star luxury resort they were forced by we taxpayers to inhabit, I would feel absolutely awful if those thousands of EXPERT SCIENTISTS & THOUSANDS of BUREAUCRATS had to huddle round a miserly camp fire with a tin of beans sharing a can of 7-Up! I expect if they did they would at least be able to reflect upon their humble circumstances & offer up a few prayers to whichever Myan Idol they saw fit in thanks for what they received! :-)

  65. The bathtub isn’t a fixed size.

    The tectonic plates are still moving. Together and apart. Mountains are rising.

    Harold Pierce Jr asks about sedimentation. The Amazon dumps 1,600,000,000,000 pounds of sediment onto the continental shelf every year.

    A tidal gauge at San Francisco. Hmmm . . . how stable is San Francisco ?!?!

    And, suppose the ocean has risen 3 feet by 2100. It’s the end of the world as we know it? Why should anyone care? If you are going to scare everyone, come up with something scary.

  66. You folks are just trying to confuse this issue with facts. Seems that these folks believe that the climate should be static. If the sea levels rise, I’m sure our descendents will be fully capable of adjusting.

  67. The use of GPS satellite systems and continuously operating reference stations (CORS) will ultimately tell the true story of sea level rise. However, this requires the CORS network to be expanded to include more coastal stations in other countries, and a commitment from NOAA to not “adjust” the data.

    http://www.ngs.noaa.gov/CORS/

  68. Well they learnt one thing , by 2100 given he will be long dead so there is no chance of people reminding him of his BS claims . Make your ‘predictions ‘ nice and far in the future and you can always claim its ‘going ‘ to happen and never have to worry about answering the question why it did not .

  69. tty says:
    November 2, 2012 at 12:34 am

    Almost the whole East Coast of the US is sinking. It is in fact a classic example of a “ria” coast where the river mouths are at the end of long inlets that are really drowned river valleys (e. g. Chesapeake bay) and where sediment from the rivers form barrier islands off-shore. On stable coastlines rivers build deltas out into the sea instead.
    Given this it is actually rather odd that it took almost 200 years to beat the 1821 high-water mark in New Yoork.

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

    That’s correct except that Manhattan happens to be the first major exception as you move North from Florida. NYC is built on quite old and quite uncompressable Ordovician schists capped with a variably thick layer of sediment and some fill along it’s river fronts in some places. You’d have to know the exact geology of the Battery (which I don’t) to know how much compressable dirt is under the tidal gauge at the Battery.

  70. They are going to fix the satellite records now because they have improved ocean mass (glacial melt) numbers and improved ocean heat steric rise numbers.

    Eric Leuliette (of NOAA) and Josh Willis (managing the ARGO program) are arguing the rise should be reduced to 1.6 mm/year.

    Basically, the previous models of glacial isostatic adjustment were not correct (shown by recent measurements using GPS of Antarctica and by redoing the assumptions used for GRACE) and the steric ocean heat rise was over-estimated (shown by the ARGO floats).

    The old models allowed the researchers to adjust the Raw satellite data to get the results the models said should be there or something close to 3.0 mm/year. But the old models were flawed and we are back to 1.6 mm/year, the same number as most of the 20th Century.

    http://ibis.grdl.noaa.gov/SAT/SeaLevelRise/documents/NOAA_NESDIS_Sea_Level_Rise_Budget_Report_2012.pdf

    http://www.tos.org/oceanography/archive/24-2_leuliette.pdf

  71. Louis Hooffstetter says:
    November 2, 2012 at 4:40 am

    The use of GPS satellite systems and continuously operating reference stations (CORS) will ultimately tell the true story of sea level rise.
    ===========================
    It’ll help quite a lot. Unfortunately, it won’t do anything about the secondary problem that all existing or proposed tidal gauges are on coast lines and thus are not optimally distributed to detect overall sea level changes. They simply can’t see any changes in large portions of the oceans. Ultimately, I expect that we will get genuinely high confidence measurements from satellites. But that’ll be a few decades I think.

  72. Gosh, it’s such fun trying to make a technical post in a 19-character wide, 4-line deep box!

    “The last official IPCC report in 2007 projected a global sea level rise between 0.2 and 0.5 meters by the year 2100.”

    That’s not true.

    AR4 WG1 Summary for Policymakers, Table SPM.3 shows projected sea-level rises of 0.18 – 0.59 metres to occur between 2090 and 2099 (relative to the 1980-1999 average sea level).

    falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus.

  73. Michael D Smith says:

    November 1, 2012 at 7:25 pm

    “But in climate change, every feedback seems to go positive.”

    Possibly the dumbest thing I’ve heard all year. Positive feedbacks of any duration are almost impossible in nature, they are always resource limited and always end up being overtaken by negative feedbacks after the initial runaway condition initiates. Anyone have an example where this is not the case?

    Is there really anyone who believes such a statement could be remotely possible, even for an instant? Baffling.

    You obviously shouldn’t have asked, because it makes perfectly good sense to people who know science.

    To start off with, climate change just means the climate has changed and doesn’t show the direction of that change. Here is an example of climate change based on a cooling climate when our planet is getting reduced solar irradiance during Milankovitch Cycles. The positive feedbacks are the same positive feedbacks for warming, it’s just the direction of the change is different.

    When the Earth cools, the albedo effect changes to reflect more sunlight, which makes the Earth cool faster. Snow accumulation eventually doesn’t even melt in summer, so glaciers are formed. The glaciers trap carbon beneath them, so the greenhouse gases, methane and CO2, are reduced from the atmosphere. The cooler climate reduces water vapor, so another important greenhouse gas is reduced. Reduced water vapor also reduces clouds which reflect sunlight. Fewer clouds means fewer chances of them returning heat to the surface of the Earth.

    Now, that’s just some of the main feedbacks involved, but it’s easy to imagine them all in reverse. They are mechanisms for positive feedback in climate change, whether it’s warming or cooling and they amplify the trend.

    There is an extra concern beyond the above ice age cycle example and it has to do with the carbon cycle. The ice age cycle started once our present world was designed by the connection of North and South America and our modern thermohaline circulation. Oceans are vast and can store tremendous amounts of heat. Sediment cores in the arctic show it was still sea ice covered during the Holocene Climatic Optimum. There is obvious evidence of changes in high latitude areas, like the treeline being further south. The return of permafrost would have had to sequester some carbon, but is all that methane being released only the product of recent sequestering or could prolonged warming release carbon that never had the chance to be released during the brief interglacials. There could be 25 ice age cycles worth of methane locked away in that permafrost. A large methane release in a short period of time could create a domino effect with warming releasing more methane.

    Similar problems can exist with methane hydrates in and near the ocean. That land area in the north has experienced most of it’s glacial rebound, so the permafrost could be trapping methane hydrates on land. An open ocean can release methane by erosion. The warming ocean or changes in currents can also release methane hydrates from the sea floor. There is evidence now of the Gulf Stream destabilizing methane hydrate and there has been evidence of methane hydrate outgasing from areas covered with sea ice. So far methane hasn’t been much of a problem, but there is the potential of it contributing more to global warming than CO2.

    The year 2100 is a long way off and there is the potential for the sea level to rise enough that cities like NYC and DC will have to be abandoned. The Earth does have the potential to create runaway warming and glacier melt. I don’t think it’s likely, but we haven’t tried warming the Earth near the end of it’s interglacial before. The fact is you can’t accurately estimate the time period of the climate change when positive feedbacks are involved.

  74. Gamecock says:
    November 2, 2012 at 4:21 am

    And, suppose the ocean has risen 3 feet by 2100. It’s the end of the world as we know it?
    =====================
    Not the end of the world, but a one meter/three foot rise would be getting into the pretty damn inconvenient range. There is a LOT of infrastructure built very close to sea level even in/near what we think of as inland areas like Albany, NY or Sacramento.

  75. daveburton [November 1, 2012 at 7:51 pm] says:

    Here’s America’s longest tide gauge record (San Francisco):

    http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/sltrends_station.shtml?stnid=9414290

    The linear trend shown on that graph is 2.01 mm/year, but that’s calculated from data through 2006. There’s been no sea-level rise at all at San Francisco over the last 30 years, so the calculated long-term average rate of sea-level rise keeps decreasing. It’s now down to 1.92 mm/year:

    http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/sltrends_update.shtml?stnid=9414290

    But even if sea-level rise resumes at its old rate at San Francisco (which I do expect, BTW), 1.92 mm/year will add up to just 6.7 inches (0.17 meters) by 2100.

    Not so scary, eh?

    There’s an even better tide gauge record of sea-level in Germany; here’s the graph:

    http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/sltrends_global_station.shtml?stnid=120-022

    There does appear to have been some acceleration in rate of sea-level rise there… circa 1860. There’s been none since then.

    Average over the last 160 years: 1.4 mm/year, which adds up to 4.6 inches (.12 meters) by 2100.

    Dave Burton, webmaster, http://www.sealevel.info/

    Great post Dave! Crystal clear clarity. You should do a guest post here like that one.

  76. Alan the Brit wrote on November 2, 2012 at 4:19 am:
    “UNIPCC AR4 Table SPM 1 (Revised & corrected), Rate of Sea-Level Rise, overall rate of sea level rise between 1961-1993, 1.8mm/yr ± 0.5mm/yr error bar. Rate of sea-level rise 1993-2003, 3.2mm/yr ± 0.7mm/yr error bar. Engineer’s hat on, 1.8mm + 0.5mm = 2.3mm/yr, 3.2mm – 0.7mm = 2.4mm/yr = same bloody number!”

    Moreover, that “1.8mm/yr” figure is from GIA-adjusted & averaged coastal tide-gauges, and that “3.2 mm/yr” figure is from averaged & adjusted mid-ocean satellite altimetry. They are different quantities, measured in different places, by different methods.

    Just about the only thing the two kinds of measurements have in common is that they’re both inflated by model-derived GIA adjustments. But even those are different: the satellite figures are inflated by 0.3 mm/year, and the coastal tide-gauge average is inflated by about twice that.

    Even if you trust* the satellite figures, if you measure sea-level rise in different places, you’ll generally get different numbers, so if you conflate measurements from two different locations you can easily create the illusion of either acceleration or deceleration. That’s what the IPCC did in AR4.

    Tide-gauge measurements, by themselves, show no acceleration (actually, a slight deceleration).
    Satellite measurements also show no acceleration (actually, deceleration).
    But by conflating the two, alarmists create the illusion of acceleration in rate of sea-level rise.

    * (I don’t trust the satellite figures. Here’s why. ENVISAT’s retroactive data “corrections” tripled the rate of sea-level rise that it had measured over the preceding decade; compare the before and after versions. Even if the correction was correct, it stands to reason that if it took a decade to discover an error that big, there’s a good chance that other major errors remain uncorrected.)

  77. Oops. Upon rereading, I think tty was talking about tectonic depression of NYC, not sediment compaction. The Hudson South of (roughly) Fort Edward is in fact a drowned river valley that continues off shore as the Hudson Canyon. Is NYC sinking? How the hell can one tell? It’s not like there is a stable reference nearby whose altitude is fixed or is changing in a known fashion. For what it’s worth, one GIA for NYC seems to have it sinking at, as I recall, about one inch per century, but I have no idea how GIAs in general are computed or if the numbers have any credibility. Dakar, Sengal (Latitude 14N) has a GIA for heaven’s sake. Exactly where were the glaciers that depressed the West African coast?

    I suppose one could measure the actual rate using GPS, but that’s not something one can currently do on a few Sunday afternoons with Inexpensive tools. Thanks to geometry, GPS’s are much better at horizontal measurements than vertical and getting sub mm accuracy is, I believe, non-trivial.

  78. “Dr. Hay may find this upcoming NASA JPL project problematic with his claims:”

    CAGW alarmists quite often find science and the facts to be problematic with their claims.

    Just an observation.

  79. ***
    “You can lose most of the Greenland ice cap in a few hundred years, not thousands, just under natural conditions,” says Hay. “There’s no telling how fast it can go with this spike of carbon dioxide we are adding to the atmosphere.”
    ***

    Yeah, right. Most geologists have common sense…

  80. “The last official IPCC report in 2007 projected a global sea level rise between 0.2 and 0.5 meters by the year 2100. But current sea-level rise measurements meet or exceed the high end of that range ”

    No they don’t. This is a barefaced lie.

  81. The TRF-error the new satellite mission is designed to minimize is 0.45mm/year, which almost an order of magnitude smaller than the sea-level signal. Doesn’t WUWT review what he posts?

    An unrelated issues is that much of the sea-level rise is happening at the open ocean where tide-gauges cannot be placed. I hope this clarifies things.

  82. It’s refreshing to read some honesty from the CAGW crowd………..They really don’t know.

    “So it’s a big heat pump that brings heat to the Arctic,” says Hay. “That’s not in any of the models.”
    and
    “There’s no telling how fast it can go with this spike of carbon dioxide we are adding to the atmosphere.”
    and
    “Nobody has any idea how fast that ice will flow into the oceans once the ice shelves are gone.”
    and
    “You would expect negative feedbacks to creep in at some point,” says Hay. “But in climate change, every feedback seems to go positive.”
    ———————————————-
    Finally they admit there is uncertainty and they really don’t know.
    “That’s not in any of the models”
    “There’s no telling”
    “Nobody has any idea”
    “every feedback seems to go positive”

    Was this guy quoting Briffa, Jones, Hansen or Mann?

    I wonder if the members of The Team approve of this message?
    cn

  83. This table is the average mm/year for all 193 Global sea level gauges over the record that exists.

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

    The average is only 0.80 mms/year. Sealeveldata.info shows the median average of more stations (239) at 1.28 mms/year. So the real sea level increase according to gauges is only around 1.0 mm/year.

    Peltier, this summer, recalculated the average land uplift using all world-wide GPS receivers which is estimated at 0.34 mms/year currently. So, one could get to 1.3 mms/year of “global warming-ized” sea level rise per year (including GIA) – actual 1.0 mm/year.

    http://www.psmsl.org/about_us/news/2012/peltier_update.php

  84. Gary Lance says:
    November 2, 2012 at 5:17 am
    The year 2100 is a long way off and there is the potential for the sea level to rise enough that cities like NYC and DC will have to be abandoned. The Earth does have the potential to create runaway warming and glacier melt. I don’t think it’s likely, but we haven’t tried warming the Earth near the end of it’s interglacial before. The fact is you can’t accurately estimate the time period of the climate change when positive feedbacks are involved.
    Your “potential” for runaway warming exists only in the minds of Warmists and in their precious C02-centric climate models. It is a myth. What you, and they fail to consider are negative feedbacks. And please, nobody is warming the Earth, so give that one a rest. Whatever warming effect man is having is negligible.

  85. Harold Ambler says:
    November 2, 2012 at 3:19 am
    “…at Midway Atoll in the Central Pacific, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration found that sea level rose .7 millimeters a year from 1947 to 2006. At this rate…”

    Harold, this is not a good place to measure sea level rise. Indeed, although mentioned in numerous posts (not in the CAGW posts), atolls are living beasts. We have here a coral island that grows to keep pace with sea level rise. This is an interesting record because it is recording, in part, the coral’s determination to keep up with sea level rise. Drilling in atolls (during studies for subsequent atom bomb testing) it was found that the reefal limestones went down a remarkable 120m or so and then into volcanic rock – really not so remarkable because, the coral grew from the 120m lower sea level of the last ice age to keep up with rising sea level of the Holocene. I think studies of “sea level rise” at atoll islands would be an excellent measure of the health of the coral.

  86. Don K says:

    “That’s correct except that Manhattan happens to be the first major exception as you move North from Florida. NYC is built on quite old and quite uncompressable Ordovician schists capped with a variably thick layer of sediment and some fill along it’s river fronts in some places. You’d have to know the exact geology of the Battery (which I don’t) to know how much compressable dirt is under the tidal gauge at the Battery.”

    That may be true, but completely irrelevant. We’re not talking about sediment compression here, it’s a matter of tectonic subsidence. The whole southeasten US is sinking and you only have to look at the morphology of the Hudson estuary and Long Island Sound to see that NY is no exception, though NY is rather close to the northern edge of the subsiding area. The coast north of Cape Cod shows little evidence of subsidence. What we are seeing is simply that the material displaced by the weight of the Laurentide ice is slowly flowing back to where it came from, and the “bulge” outside the ice is subsiding. Incidentally the “Zero-line” between rise and subsidence is actually slightly inside the maximum extent of the Ice, both in Europe and North America.

  87. daveburton says:
    November 1, 2012 at 7:51 pm

    and others point out that tidal guages around the US coastline show 2 – 3 mm/yr rise. Some Australian records last year showed the northern coast at 4.8 mm/yr. Which only shows that some places are sinking while others are rising; the global record is either 3.8 mm/yr by satellite with known errors or maybe 1.6 mm/yr with errors corrected. In a way, who cares? Because for sea-level to be up by 1.0m by century’s end means the AVERAGE sea-level rise must be > 10.0 mm/yr (start-point 2000). An AVERAGE 3 – 6X increase from recent historical rates however you measure it.

    Once again, the rise is still all in the models.

    Academic science should stay in the classroom. Once it enters the political and economic real world, its essential speculative nature becomes forgotten. All of this is not nonsense, but at the beginning of each discussion there should be a poster, left visible the entire time, of the assumptions on which the discussion is based.

    Right now in Alberta, Canada, there is an uproar that the oil sands development is going to drive the woodland carribou to extinction. The oil sands apparently covers about 150,000 sq km, though the current operations cover about 450 sq km. (Both of these numbers are probably exaggerated, by the way.) The assumption is that the 21 km square block will be expanded over the much of the 388 km sq block. The project would have to expand by 333X to cover the entire area, or even 83X to cover one-quarter of that area. Is that reasonable?

    In my example, the assumption is unfeasible. Regardless of the price of oil, the total area is not going to be developed because not all of the area is equally producible. The true danger to the caribou is probably posed by native hunters who either do not have a hunting season by virtue of their status, or choose to ignore it (as I experienced elsewhere in Alberta: poaching for profit is an endemic problem). But the story rides with those either unable to think critically or unwilling to do so if the result is a weakening of their arguments.

    The comparison I am making with sea-level rise studies and the threat to woodland carribou is that both attacks by the eco-green are based on unrealistic – or at least unrecognized and hence non-validated – assumptions. Sea-level measurements are certain in that they are measured, but uncertain in how the measurements relate to an increase in the mean height of the oceans due to increased seawater volume. The “threat” of one meter or more rise by 2100 lies in models of future melting of Greenland and Antarctica with the additon of other water sources. The measurements are based on assumptions of correctness (principally by satellite), the models, on future warming AND melting rates. These are the devils known as details.

    The non-technical warmist fails to understand or respect two aspects of scientific study. The first is that initial assumptions about the extension-ability of data from the small to the large are often critical but not critically considered. From the git-go, in other words, the results, whatever they are, are uncertain because the observations may be neither precise nor accurate. (In the liberal sciences of anthropology, Margaret Mead’s work on the Samoan culture turned out to be based on self-serving information given to her by her “subjects”, as a non-climatology example.) The second is that the projection of trends observed in the data rely on assumptions that are also critical but not critically considered. (The rising crime rate of the ’60s was supposed to turn the USA into an out-of-control society a la Robocop by 2000, but the effect of the demagraphic shift to an older population was assumed to be unimportant, which it was not.)

    The difference between knowledge and understanding is huge. The impact on bad decision-making is as profound for the expert as for the advised non-expert. The layman warmist considers it nitpicking to question assumptions, but in the case of CAGW it is not. Unfortunately it would appear that the conclusions have to be shown to fail before the premises are questioned.

  88. Geologist Bill Hay means AGW when he says, “global warming”, the climatologists political slight-of-hand. This he reveals when he summarizes another AGW tenet, “in climate change, every feedback seems to go positive”, the necessary but incorrect assumption to make GCMs predict a catastrophe.

    The most powerful feedback in Earth’s climate is cloud cover. It is the most powerful because it gates the Sun on and off. It is a rapid, positive feedback to solar variations, amplifying them by the burn-off effect. And it is a slow, negative feedback to global average surface temperature (GAST) by the Clausius-Clapeyron effect, mitigating warming from any cause, meaning dominantly the Sun.

    To the extent that Earth’s surface temperature can be modeled as warming (pick a time interval and it is or it isn’t), it is the release of thermal energy stored in the ocean (not Urban Heat Islands) over the last century, plus or minus a half century, and deposited there by the Sun. Global warming, whether positive or negative, is baked into the cake.

    And one can estimate GAST by tracking the concentration of atmospheric CO2. The big mystery of Earth’s climate is solved, and it isn’t AGW. Scientists can now get on with predicting solar radiation. Just in time for the election, eh?

  89. “What’s missing from the models used to forecast sea-level rise are critical feedbacks that speed everything up,” says Hay.

    “You would expect negative feedbacks to creep in at some point,” says Hay. “But in climate change, every feedback seems to go positive.” The reason is that Earth’s climate seems to have certain stable states. Between those states things are unstable and can change quickly. “Under human prodding, the system wants to go into a new climate state.”

    As others have commented, these are deeply ignorant remarks about the fictitious and longed-for positive feedbacks in climate. It is of course nonsense to talk of a dominant role of positive feedbacks in a climate system that has displayed stability over billions of years.

    Someone seems to have woken up to the idea of non-equilibrium dynamics and strange attractors, or “certain stable states” of climate. However Hay is unaware that if positive feedbacks become dominant in a nonlinear-nonequilibrium system then the result is monotonic oscillation, not unidirectional movement. But natural climate oscillation is something they are still desperately trying to ignore or deny.

    “Under human prodding, the system wants to go into a new climate state.” In the recent period there are two such states, glacial and interglacial. There is no evidence whatsoever for a third, higher climate attractor within the current global continental configuration. If one wishes to return to eocene warmth, then the Antarctic circumpolar current needs to be blocked and Antarctica needs to be joined to Africa or South America – or to migrate equatorwards. Also joining the Atlantic and Pacific might stir things up as well.

    “Make Hay while the sun shines” – pure evidence-free speculation fed to an unquestioning media eating out of the hands of these doom-mongers.

  90. Don K says:
    November 2, 2012 at 5:23 am

    Gamecock says:
    November 2, 2012 at 4:21 am

    And, suppose the ocean has risen 3 feet by 2100. It’s the end of the world as we know it?
    =====================
    Not the end of the world, but a one meter/three foot rise would be getting into the pretty damn inconvenient range. There is a LOT of infrastructure built very close to sea level even in/near what we think of as inland areas like Albany, NY or Sacramento.

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

    That’s some interesting geography, Don! I didn’t realize how low Albany and Sacramento are.

    But consider this. As low as the Hudson is at Albany, Green St. is at 22 feet elevation. Grand is at 54 feet. Safe for centuries. If Albany had to move 500 yards in 500 years it would be no BFD.

    Look at Las Vegas. The casinos, which are the most interesting part part of Vegas to me, have been migrating SSW to where Belagio, representing the newer part of the strip, is 1.5 miles from Stardust, the older part of the strip. In effect, Las Vegas has moved 1.5 miles in 50 years.

    People will adapt. The alleged rising over generations will be virtually unnoticed. No one in 2100 will care where sea level was in 2012, as we don’t care where it was in 1912.

  91. ““You would expect negative feedbacks to creep in at some point,” says Hay. “But in climate change, every feedback seems to go positive.” The reason is that Earth’s climate seems to have certain stable states. Between those states things are unstable and can change quickly. “Under human prodding, the system wants to go into a new climate state.””

    Would anyone care to ask Hay to justify this statement with reference to any facts?

  92. RE: Larry Ledwick (hotrod)

    Small point but latch up only achieved with gain and negative roll off changing feedback phase.

    With no gain O/P become 1/(1-b) b = feedback. If b>inf then unstable.

    But your general point is climate scientist understand F.A. about control system theory and as for starting with 2nd orger approximations in a non linear chaotic multivariate system, well the mind boggles. They ought to have a go with multivariate analysis and try and surmise why the earth has adapted for the few billion years of existance.

  93. I apologies in advance, but the map legend has 2 meters = 16.4 feet versus the actual 13.1 feet. A minor mistake, but it begs the question, to whether the entire paper was as poorly proofed for similar mathematical errors.

  94. Earlier in the week there was an interesting BBC programme on the Greenland glaciers and then the resultant icebergs .

    Whilst they talked about warm waters eating the underside of the bergs they made no comment about the astoundingly dirty glaciers (presumably soot from China) which must be absorbing considerable warmth from the sun. Just such a scenario of dirty glaciers (soot from US industry) and warm waters was described by the early scientific expeditions to the arctic by such as Scoresby in the 1820’s.

    Anyone got any specific knowledge on glacial soot and its proven effects?
    tonyb

  95. Bill Illis wrote on November 2, 2012 at 7:44 am:
    “This table is the average mm/year for all 193 Global sea level gauges over the record that exists.

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

    The average is only 0.80 mms/year.”

    Bill, that table used to include all 159 of the tide gauges for which NOAA had done trend analysis, but they’ve since separated the U.S. gauges from the other PSMSL gauges, and that table now only includes the non-U.S. PSMSL gauges. The two lists of gauges are here:

    http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/sltrends_global.shtml

    I’ve recombined the two tables, and calculated the averages and medians from the resulting 239-station list, on my web site: http://www.sealevel.info/

    The results for NOAA’s current list of 239 tide stations are similar to what you calculated:

    Average: 1.02 mm/yr
    Median: 1.28 mm/yr
    GIA-adjusted average: 1.68 mm/yr
    GIA-adjusted median: 1.48 mm/yr

    The results for their earlier list of 159 tide stations are similar:

    Average: 0.72 mm/yr
    Median: 1.15 mm/yr
    GIA-adjusted average: 1.51 mm/yr
    GIA-adjusted median: 1.40 mm/yr

    For that list of 159 tide stations, I also calculated…
    Geographically-weighted average: 1.13 mm/yr

  96. duLapel says:
    November 2, 2012 at 9:25 am

    I apologies in advance, but the map legend has 2 meters = 16.4 feet versus the actual 13.1 feet. A minor mistake, but it begs the question, to whether the entire paper was as poorly proofed for similar mathematical errors.

    The map legend actually says 4 metres = 16.4 feet. As you point out, that is incorrect … but then so was your claim that the legend has 2 metres = 16.4 feet.

    So, you’ve made the same amount of math errors they have. However, your point is well taken, and yours is a blog comment while theirs is supposed to be a scientific paper. The whole paper doesn’t strike me as being well thought out in any aspect.

    w.

  97. Gamecock — in most cases the problem with rising sea levels isn’t that people can’t adapt. It’s the cost of moving infrastructure. e.g. The RR tracks on the East side of the Hudson are built mostly on fill a few feet above Spring flood levels. Raise the estuary level and eventually they will have to raise a hundred or so miles of track to match. Likewise marinas, houses, sheds, etc. in 2011 when record Spring rains lifted Lake Champlain a foot above its previous record level, a rather impressive collection of problems resulted including water sloshing over a section of US2 connecting Grand Isle County to the rest of Vermont. A couple of places in the US — NOLA and Sacramento — are likely to have major levee problems. Likewise overseas. I’m not sure how much margin the Netherlands dikes have (They rebuilt a lot of stuff after the 1953 floods). Then there are those damn overpopulated low elevation coral islands. I expect the inhabitants lack the patience to wait for coral growth and storms to raise their islands to their previous extent.

  98. Gary Pearse said

    “I think studies of “sea level rise” at atoll islands would be an excellent measure of the health of the coral.”

    I volunteer to carry out an immediate in depth six month study of coral atolls in the warm Australian seas. It is pure coincidence that the Northern Hemisphere winter has just commenced and our soaring fuel bills means the central heating will have to be rationed.

    I am so selfless…

    tonyb

  99. daveburton says:
    November 2, 2012 at 5:48 am

    An interesting & valid point! I wasn’t aware that was how they managed to fiddlie the figures on that score, but it does not surprise me at all! Nils Axel Morner did say that there was no change in the average rate of sea-level rise of around 230mm/year, & that a change could only be made by playing around with the raw data until a change could be created! HAGWE :-)

  100. We geologists have largely stood above the fray with a very long view of the earth’s climate. Our taken-for-granted knowledge within the science was unknown to the astronomers, physicists and the like who started all the hysteria. Naturally, the newcomers noting a modest rise in the 100+ year old temperature records and assuming that the earth has had a fairly constant climate, they asked, “What could be the cause?”. Turning their telescopes on Venus, the culprit was clear to them – here is a planet with thick CO2 atmosphere that isn’t too far from being incandescent. The modern CAGW was born and the spokesmen for it were physicists and astronomers.

    One way to look at the trillion bucks spent on studies (by physicists and astronomers first and then by sociologists, psychologists, economists, biologists ….) and the construction and costs of (non)alternative energy is that this has been the cost of this group getting a reluctant education in a sphere of knowledge already acquired by geologists – a tradition that is older than the temperature records themselves. The inevitable inconvenient education brought to light earth history, the ice ages, the very warm periods, the dry periods, the wet periods, the Sahara’s green and the Amazon’s savanahs, the antarctic’s tropical home of dinosaurs, the drifting of continents, the rising and sinking of lands, mass extinctions, etc. etc. Closer to the present, came the unwanted knowledge of the more recent natural wide swings in climate, Younger Dryas, Holocene Optimum, RWP, Dark Ages cold period, MWP, LIA, etc. Research and self-fulfilling testing to get rid of these awkward facts that showed the present to be not special at all.

    Just when the projections of doom have, perforce, been moderating in the face of this expensive and reluctant education, along comes a johnny-come-lately GEOLOGIST. I don’t know this Dr. Hay but I would put him in the mid 30s to 40 age group who just woke up to the potential for research cash on the subject of CAGW.

  101. Ten years ago, the Alarmists warned that the Northern Hemisphere would soon be snow free.Seven years ago the Alarmists focused on tropical storms. When they failed to materialize it was the melting polar ice caps. When the north pole refused to go ice free, sea levels the Alarmists now focus on sea levels…. and on, and on it goes.

  102. Gary Pearse said

    “I think studies of “sea level rise” at atoll islands would be an excellent measure of the health of the coral.”

    There are quite a few atolls near the Marhsall Islands. From what I can tell, those atolls are still there.

  103. daveburton says:
    November 2, 2012 at 9:52 am

    http://www.sealevel.info/

    ————————
    Thanks Dave and great website. Some of us have been looking for this data (and especially the averages) for quite awhile now and short of downloading all the different gauges one at a time, it didn’t seem possible before. So, thanks again.

    Any chance the data can be consolidated/displayed over time – the acceleration question in the 1990s/2000s is still an open question.

    It seems that you have the data in order to put this myth to the test. Clearly the satellite data is going to be redone now but sea level acceleration is a “Huge” issue in the global warming debate.

  104. I don’t see hardly any science in this it is just made up assumptions that can’t be backed up by any observations. The AMO is part of the mechanism that brings heat to the Arctic circle and this comes from warmer water to the South where the sun heats it. The sun has very little effect in the Arctic circle above 75N. The difference between cooling and warming is about 200w/m2 therefore most of the Arctic circle only reaches above this value for a very short time during the year. Open water in the Arctic circle for majority of the time is a huge energy loss.

    1) The assumption that sea levels rising faster than the model predicted – wrong.
    2) The assumption about feedback – wrong, impossible with the water cycle.
    3) The assumption of the amount of sea level rise observations – wrong, show lower rises (even these have been exaggerated).

    “Then there are those gigantic stores of ice in Greenland and Antarctica. During the last interglacial period, sea level rose 10 meters due to the melting of all that ice — without any help from humans. New data suggests that the sea-level rise in the oceans took place over a few centuries, according to Hay.”

    It gets worse, no the ice cores did not all melt. How did an ice core from Antarctica dating back about 800,000 years occur? How did an ice core from Greenland going back over 400,000 years occur? Quite a bit of Greenland ice melted, but still can extract ice cores going back to the last few interglacial.

    “Hay notes, “Ten years ago we didn’t know much about water under the Antarctic ice cap.””

    10 years ago you knew even less about climate and this extract gives an assumption of errors that show a lot of research by you is still needed.

  105. I think I figured out how he fudged the number. I looked at the colorado data and, of course, got about 3mm per year. Taking from 2006 to the present you get about 2mm per year. BUT, if you take from 2011 to the present you can get about 9mm per year! That is probably how he got the 1 meter number. Just torture the data till it confesses.

  106. I have to confess I’m really puzzled by all the claims of massive and accelerating sea level rise. I’ve just come back from a holiday in Bude (Cornwall, SW England), where my mother’s parents used to live. I’ve been visiting this particular area regularly for nearly 5 decades – admittedly I don’t remember the first few years, but my father has photographic evidence.

    The beaches do change a little, the amount of sand varies (sometimes the rocks – very nice example of flysch sedimentation, incidentally – are more visible, sometimes almost buried), the river running down one of the beaches may be in fairly defined channels or spreading itself in a not quite monomolecular layer across virtually the whole beach, the stony area at the top of some of the beaches changes its extent, more bits of cliff occasionally fall off, and so on and so forth.

    But over the whole of the nearly 5 decades, I can’t say that there is any perceptible change in the sea level whatsoever. The tide seems to come in no further or higher than it used to according to the sea canal lock gates (installed 1835, refurbished in 2000) or the steps down to the sea pool (1930); the breakwater (1843) hasn’t needed to be built up further; the channel markers up to the harbour (contemporaneous with the breakwater) are still the same; the beach huts along the sea front are still there …. I could go on, but I’m just rambling now ;) The point I have is that I’m not denying that sea level is rising, I’m just saying that I don’t believe it can have been more than a few millimetres in 180 years around that bit of North Cornwall.

  107. During the last interglacial period, sea level rose 10 meters due to the melting of all that ice.
    ——————————————————–

    And if the polar sea floor is still rising, then surely it will be raising sea levels in areas that have no glacial-rebound – areas like Florida.

    .

  108. Don K, moving a road or such is trivial compared to building 4,000 wind turbines, or any of the other vast nonsense going on in the name of reducing global warming.

  109. Gunga Din says:
    November 2, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    It is just made up nonsense about the volume of ocean water and extremely biased. Why don’t they take into account the flowing lava and expanding basalt rock under the ocean with an expanding planet as the Earth cools? This leads to a gain in ocean rises that to correct would have to lower the sea levels. All this is irrelevant as it is what the actual rise is compared to the physical previous sea level, not an imaginary level.

  110. The Legacy Media once again portray a “model” (are alorithms with purposely built in errors even properly called models?) as a result. Scientific snake oil salemen need to be punished. Since they are now crossing the line and getting lawyahs involved, well heck, two can tango.

  111. Not even read the article, nor the comments but…
    Que? I live on the coast, I’ve seen no perceptible sea level rise!

    Rant over, now I’ll read it.

    DaveE.

  112. Gunga Din says:
    November 2, 2012 at 12:57 pm
    I don’t know if anyone has brought this up yet.

    http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2011/06/17/research-center-under-fire-for-adjusted-sea-level-data/

    I wish a WUWTer would get to the bottom of this question, which I pose toward the end of the material below, namely is the U. of Colo. GIA redefinition of sea level generally accepted by other labs studying the matter or not?
    ===================

    Monckton of Brenchley says:
    July 23, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    Fourthly, when it became apparent to the Colorado team that, as a result of the stasis in “global warming”, their post-1993 rate of sea level rise was about to fall below the psychological threshold of 3 mm/year (or 30 cm/century), it was decided to add a so-called “global isostatic adjustment” to the sea-level rise as a way of demonstrating that, were it not for “global warming”, the natural recovery of land altitudes by isostatic rebound following the melting of the great glaciers that once covered much of the northern hemisphere would show a fall in sea level.

    13 months ago there was a controversy about this readjustment. Here is a link to an article about it:

    http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2011/06/17/research-center-under-fire-for-adjusted-sea-level-data/

    A quote from the article said:

    “’We have to account for the fact that the ocean basins are actually getting slightly bigger… water volume is expanding,’ he [Steve Nerem, the director ] said, a phenomenon they call glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA).”

    To which I responded:

    Let’s say the ocean basins were shrinking. Would he have reduced the rate of sea level rise to compensate? To ask the question is to know the answer.

    A WUWT thread a month earlier, with some good comments, can be found here:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/05/05/new-sea-level-page-from-university-of-colorado-now-up/

    ————-

    One objection I have to this readjustment is that it unjustifiably and misleadingly redefined “sea level” for propagandistic purposes (as my jibe above implied). Here are the standard definitions of “sea level”:

    Mean sea level (MSL) is a measure of the average height of the ocean’s surface (such as the halfway point between the mean high tide and the mean low tide); used as a standard in reckoning land elevation.[1]

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

    Sea level, average height of the ocean” [NB, “height,” not “volume.”]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea_level_(disambiguation)

    (My dictionaries define sea level similarly.)
    From:

    Glacial isostatic adjustment [GIA] and sea-level change
    State of the art report – Technical Report TR-09-11
    Pippa Whitehouse, Durham University, April 2009

    http://www.skb.se/upload/publications/pdf/TR-09-11webb.pdf

    “1.2.1:
    “Relative sea-level is a height which is defined by the position of the interface between the ocean and the land (Figure 1-1). A rise in relative sea-level can occur due to an increase in the height of the ocean surface (for example, due to a change in the shape of the geoid, an increase in the volume of water in the oceans, or a decrease in the storage capacity of the oceans) and/or a drop in the height of the land (for example due to ice sheet loading, or tectonic activity).”
    ………………………….
    “4.9.4 Sea-level change
    GIA is a major contributor to sea-level change. The geometry of ice-loading and the timing and source of melting produce a unique pattern of sea-level change following perturbations to the geoid and solid surfaces.”

    The boldfaced portion above implies that the sea level changes as the ocean floors sink or rise. Steve Nerem’s interpretation is that the sea level should remain constant as the ocean floors sink or rise, by applying a correction factor to ensure that it does so on paper, regardless of what’s happening in the real world, and in defiance of what the conventions in his field prescribe.
    ===================

    A few months ago I visited the U. Colo. site. I read some of their material, which I’ve posted below. I was amazed at this sentence in their last paragraph. “this [GIA] correction is now scientifically well-understood and is applied to GMSL estimates by nearly all research groups around the world.” Is it really true, or are they being disingenuous? I.e., do the other research groups “apply” it, but not call the result “sea level”? (Or have they all recently acted in concert to support the warmist narrative?) This question deserves critical attention from WUWTers, and a thread devoted to the topic titled “On the Level?” First, here are some links:

    Home page:

    http://sealevel.colorado.edu/

    raw data (with GIA correction):

    http://sealevel.colorado.edu/files/2011_rel4/sl_ns_global.txt

    chart with GIA correction

    http://sealevel.colorado.edu/files/2011_rel4/sl_ns_global.eps

    Under “Similar plots” there is only a chart and data set for “Seasonal signals Retained.” There’s nothing showing one with GIA correction removed.
    Chart through July without GIA (from WUWT, not available from UC itself via home page)

    Addressing Questions Regarding the Recent GIA Correction
    Edited: 2011-07-18
    [Update, 2011/06/20: Media Matters has published a story on the attention our GIA correction has received.]

    Regarding the Fox News article by Maxim Lott (derived from previous blogs, e.g., Heartland Institute/Forbes) that questions our application of the glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA) correction to the altimeter-based global mean sea level (GMSL) time series and rate estimates, we would like to direct interest to our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page that discusses the GIA effect and also the differences between our global mean sea level estimates from altimetry and regional/local relative sea level measured by tide gauges. These FAQs were updated in May with content partially derived from the discussion with Mr. Maxim, but much of this important content unfortunately did not get published in the Fox News article or in recent blogs.

    We would also suggest consulting the other unaffiliated sea level research groups around the world that independently estimate global mean sea level from altimetry and also apply the scientifically well-understood GIA correction. Their current GMSL rate estimates are listed on the left sidebar of our site for reference. Note that our current rate estimate is actually the lowest of the groups, which does not support the claim that we “doctor the sea level data” to artificially support pro-climate change opinions. Instead, we strive to produce estimates of the global mean sea level time series and rate using the best available information to address the following questions:

    How is the volume of the ocean changing?
    How much of this is due to thermal expansion?
    How much of this is due to addition of water that was previously stored as ice on land?

    As the science of sea level change becomes better understood through peer-reviewed research, we include these advances in our global mean sea level estimates. This includes continuously improving some our applied altimetry corrections, such as better satellite orbits, ocean tides, and sea state bias models (all of which, along with the GIA correction, were updated and documented in our last 2011_1 release). For further study, we encourage interested parties to consult the references supplied in the FAQs and cataloged in our library and to also contact other research groups and scientists specifically studying global and regional sea level change.

    ————-

    What is glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA), and why do you correct for it?
    The correction for glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA) accounts for the fact that the ocean basins are getting slightly larger since the end of the last glacial cycle. GIA is not caused by current glacier melt, but by the rebound of the Earth from the several kilometer thick ice sheets that covered much of North America and Europe around 20,000 years ago. Mantle material is still moving from under the oceans into previously glaciated regions on land. The effect is that currently some land surfaces are rising and some ocean bottoms are falling relative to the center of the Earth (the center of the reference frame of the satellite altimeter). Averaged over the global ocean surface, the mean rate of sea level change due to GIA is independently estimated from models at -0.3 mm/yr (Peltier, 2001, 2002, 2009; Peltier & Luthcke, 2009). The magnitude of this correction is small (smaller than the ±0.4 mm/yr uncertainty of the estimated GMSL rate), but the GIA uncertainty is at least 50 percent. However, since the ocean basins are getting larger due to GIA, this will reduce by a very small amount the relative sea level rise that is seen along the coasts. To understand the relative sea level effects of global oceanic volume changes (as estimated by the GMSL) at a specific location, issues such as GIA, tectonic uplift, and self attraction and loading (SAL, e.g., Tamisiea et al., 2010), must also be considered. For more discussion on the GMSL and how it relates to tide gauges, see the GMSL and tide gauge FAQs.

    There are many different scientific questions that are being asked where GMSL measurements can contribute. We are focused on just a few of these:

    How is the volume of the ocean changing?
    How much of this is due to thermal expansion?
    How much of this is due to addition of water that was previously stored as ice on land?

    In order to answer these questions, we have to account for the fact that the ocean is actually getting bigger due to GIA at the same time as the water volume is expanding. This means that if we measure a change in GMSL of 3 mm/yr, the volume change is actually closer to 3.3 mm/yr because of GIA. Removing known components of sea level change, such as GIA or the solid earth and ocean tides, reveals the remaining signals contained in the altimetry measurement. These can include water volume changes, steric effects, and the interannual variability caused by events such as the ENSO. We apply a correction for GIA because we want our sea level time series to reflect purely oceanographic phenomena. In essence, we would like our GMSL time series to be a proxy for ocean water volume changes. This is what is needed for comparisons to global climate models, for example, and other oceanographic datasets.

    There are other science questions that researchers are investigating, such as the effect of ocean volume change on local sea level rates, but this is not the focus of our research. When studying local sea level rates, which is important for policy planning, one definitely needs to account for the fact that in areas where GIA is causing an uplift, this somewhat mitigates the ocean volume change. This is being taken into account in these investigations. Also note that GIA can cause subsidence far away from the source of the old ice sheet, and that there are even larger cases of uplift and subsidence unconnected to GIA that are 10-20 times larger. For example, large parts of New Orleans are subsiding more than 10 mm/year—three times the current rate of GMSL—and so they see a much higher rate of sea level rise that has nothing to do with climate change.

    Prior to release 2011_rel1, we did not account for GIA in estimates of the global mean sea level rate, but this correction is now scientifically well-understood and is applied to GMSL estimates by nearly all research groups around the world. Including the GIA correction has the effect of increasing previous estimates of the global mean sea level rate by 0.3 mm/yr.

    See also:
    Addressing Questions Regarding the Recent GIA Correction
    GIA FAQ Updated with Peltier Reference

  113. Gary Lance says “The year 2100 is a long way off and there is the potential for the sea level to rise enough that cities like NYC and DC will have to be abandoned. ”

    Gary, please look at an atlas with topography. Then maybe study the Fox Point storm barrier in Providence RI (cost $16M in the early 60’s). The worst case I can think of is some parts of northern NJ will have to be abandoned when NYC puts up a high storm barrier causing storm surges to be directed into unprotected parts of NJ. As for DC, your claim is pure piffle. The only reason the storm barrier isn’t done yet is pure incompetence and that is only needed for a small part of DC.

  114. Roger Knights says:
    November 2, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    ===============================================================
    All that stuff justifying GIA sea level adjustments sort of reminds me of comments I’ve seen on WUWT justifying Hansen’s failed predictions and Mann’s Hockey Stick.

  115. eric1skeptic says:

    November 2, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    Gary Lance says “The year 2100 is a long way off and there is the potential for the sea level to rise enough that cities like NYC and DC will have to be abandoned. ”

    Gary, please look at an atlas with topography. Then maybe study the Fox Point storm barrier in Providence RI (cost $16M in the early 60′s). The worst case I can think of is some parts of northern NJ will have to be abandoned when NYC puts up a high storm barrier causing storm surges to be directed into unprotected parts of NJ. As for DC, your claim is pure piffle. The only reason the storm barrier isn’t done yet is pure incompetence and that is only needed for a small part of DC.

    They’d have to build it out of Legos.

    I’d give it three years before it really starts dawn on people that Greenland isn’t going to be around like they thought it would and the IPCC forecasts on sea level rise are as bad as their arctic sea ice predictions.

  116. Gondo says:
    November 2, 2012 at 7:17 am
    “An unrelated issues is that much of the sea-level rise is happening at the open ocean where tide-gauges cannot be placed. I hope this clarifies things.”
    ————————————————————————–
    So, not much for us coastal-dwellers to worry about after all, then?

  117. Don K says:
    November 2, 2012 at 6:00 am
    “. . . non-trivial.”

    Given a bit of spare time, you might like to search using the terms ‘panga +cwu’ – one return is shown below but the main research is trying to understand the earthquakes generated by the Cascadia Subduction Zone.

    http://www.geodesy.cwu.edu/realtime/

    Also, see my somewhat jesting comment at 10:35 pm.

  118. Janets

    further to your holiday in Bude.

    I wrote this article last year

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

    Its worth looking at the ‘longer document’ referenced in the first few paragraphs. In this I look in great detail at St Michaels Mount, which for those who dont know the UK is on the opposite coast some 40 miles away. It is clear that the sea levels in Roman times were higher than today taking into account land changes

    tonyb

  119. Roger Knights says:
    November 2, 2012 at 3:06 pm
    …To which I responded:
    Let’s say the ocean basins were shrinking. Would he have reduced the rate of sea level rise to compensate? To ask the question is to know the answer. …

    Thanks for the post Roger. We have seen a continuous decrease of the sea level rise rate from 2007 on which continuously reduce the overall rate of the satellite era:
    3.5 mm/year, 3.3 mm/year, 3.2 mm/year, 3.1 mm/year
    Then instead of showing a decrease under 3.0 mm/year as it should have come, after a long break in the updates, the U of C came with the retroactively GIA adjustment to fit for the whole satellite era (a total adjustment of some 5 mm sea level rise) and raised back the rate to 3.2 mm/year.
    Now going back to the actual 3.1 mm/year (which is the 2.8 mm/year that we see at NOAA)

    http://ibis.grdl.noaa.gov/SAT/SeaLevelRise/LSA_SLR_timeseries_global.php

    this is still more then the tide gauges shows.
    Even the accepted about 16 cm of sea rise during the 20th century is concluded with some GIA adjustment and not on real measurements. So the accepted rise is not against the real shores but against some fictive computer generated shore .
    This begs the question to re-analyse all the adjustments and calibration that have been repeatedly done to the satellite data.
    The old models are flawed, as Bill Illis said above:
    Bill Illis says:
    November 2, 2012 at 5:09 am

    janets says:
    November 2, 2012 at 12:50 pm
    “…But over the whole of the nearly 5 decades, I can’t say that there is any perceptible change in the sea level whatsoever. The tide seems to come in no further or higher than it used to according to the sea canal lock gates (installed 1835, refurbished in 2000) or the steps down to the sea pool (1930); the breakwater (1843) hasn’t needed to be built up further;…”
    which is what the defunct John Daly also said referring the Island of Dead in Australia:

    http://www.john-daly.com/ges/msl-rept.htm

    the mark ” was put there in 1841 by the famous Antarctic explorer Captain Sir James Clark Ross and amateur meteorologist Thomas Lempriere to mark mean sea level.”

    Reading now the post of Bill Hay I get a better understanding of the attitude at the U of C. I fear it looks like some theorists far away from the sea working too much with models and too little with real data.
    His logic of the Arctic sea waters:
    That warmer water pushes the Arctic toward more ice-free waters, which absorb sunlight rather than reflect it back into space like sea ice does. The more open water there is, the more heat is trapped in the Arctic waters, and the warmer things can get.
    Make me question if he really did the calculation? The sentence as above cannot stand as is, what he misses is that clouds are the main albedo driver – 5 times more incoming solar energy reflected by clouds then what is reflected by the whole surface of the Earth, not the Arctic!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:Breakdown_of_the_incoming_solar_energy.svg&page=1

    that the albedo measurement tells a different story:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2007/10/17/earths-albedo-tells-a-interesting-story/

    and water reflectivity increases greatly with the angle:

    but the energy radiated to the sky does not decrease – therefore the Arctic ocean balance is negative at a certain angle of incidence for open waters and the result is ocean cooling in that case.

    Yes natural climate change can be tremendous, fast and huge, much more that we have seen in our short written history. Yes in the eemian the sea levels were higher, but it was not due to atlanter from Atlantis driving their SUVs, or the neanderthaler burning coal to warm their caves, it was natural. And now there are other urgencies that we should focus on, and not fighting an odourless colourless gas – that at today’s concentrations is increasing the photosynthesis process and the biosphere – based on incomplete analyses and unconfirmed models.

  120. They must have been holding this “study” for just the right time to spring it on the public in order to maximize effect on the political front.

  121. How is sea level rise separated from crustal motion in order to determine actual sea level rise vs land subsidence? Do all the tide gauges have a valid terrestrial reference point?

  122. Lars P. says:
    November 3, 2012 at 6:11 am
    Reading now the post of Bill Hay I get a better understanding of the attitude at the U of C. I fear it looks like some theorists far away from the sea working too much with models and too little with real data.
    ===================================================================
    That reminded me of this:

    Aristotle maintained that women have fewer teeth than men; although he was twice married, it never occurred to him to verify this statement by examining his wives’ mouths.
    Bertrand Russell, Impact of Science on Society (1952) ch. 1
    British author, mathematician, & philosopher (1872 – 1970)

  123. “Nobody has any idea how fast that ice will flow into the oceans once the ice shelves are gone.”

    And nobody will get any idea for a very long time, because the ice shelves will be here for at least a couple of thousands of years.

    But yeah, CO2GlobalWarmingClimateChange is gonna get you big time!!!!!!

    (And a nice one, omitting how much energy open water radiates compared to an sea ice cover.)

  124. Gunga Din says:
    November 3, 2012 at 9:05 am
    “That reminded me of this:

    Aristotle maintained that women have fewer teeth than men; although he was twice married, it never occurred to him to verify this statement by examining his wives’ mouths.
    Bertrand Russell, Impact of Science on Society (1952) ch. 1
    British author, mathematician, & philosopher (1872 – 1970)”

    How did Russell know that Aristotle’s wives didn’t have fewer teeth? How did Russell know that Aristotle never looked into his wives’ mouths to count their teeth? Maybe the wisdom teeth of his wives hadn’t come out? Russell is being disingenious to deceptive here, assuming he didn’t give more context.

  125. The buildup of cool water in the East equatorial Pacific as recorded by BOM:

    is such that another La Nina looks increasingly likely. Those arguing that the recent slowing of SLR is due to La Nina linked precipitation stored on land and “just wait for that water to come back” will have to wait a little longer. More “Waiting for el Ninot”.

  126. tonyb says:
    November 3, 2012 at 5:06 am

    Thanks Tony, that was fascinating. I’ve saved a pdf copy of the document so I can read through it a few times and understand it properly.

  127. Why is it that sea levels always are on the rise but never where you’re at by the sea shore at the moment?

Comments are closed.