NOAA to release sea level report in time for AGU bookies to place bets

From NOAA Headquarters,  laughable claims gift wrapped for the fall AGU conference.

They claim 8 inches to 6.6 feet (o.2 to 2 meters) over the next century….such wide variance doesn’t inspire much confidence, even though they claim “high confidence” in that spread. That’s a lot like saying that you have “high confidence that the winner of the latest NBA basketball game will score between 20 and 200 points”. I don’t think the bookies would be impressed with the skill. – Anthony

Experts available to discuss new paper detailing global sea level rise scenario

On December 6, NOAA will release a technical report that estimates global mean sea level rise over the next century based on a comprehensive synthesis of existing scientific literature. The report finds that there is very high confidence (greater than 90% chance) that global mean sea level will rise at least 8 inches (0.2 meters) and no more than 6.6 feet (2 meters) by 2100, depending upon uncertainties associated with ice sheet loss and ocean warming.

The actual amount of sea level change at any one region and location greatly varies in response to regional and local vertical land movement and ocean dynamics. The ranges of global mean sea level rise estimates detailed in this study will help decision makers prepare for and respond to a wide range of future sea level rise and coastal inundation.

Higher mean sea levels increase the frequency, magnitude, and duration of flooding associated with a given storm. Flooding has disproportionately high impacts in most coastal regions, particularly in flat, low-lying areas. In the U.S., over eight million people live in areas at risk to coastal flooding, and many of the nation’s assets related to military readiness, energy, commerce, and ecosystems are already located at or near the ocean.

The report provides a synthesis of the scientific literature on global sea level rise, and presents a set of four global mean scenarios to describe future conditions for the purpose of assessing potential vulnerabilities and impacts.It was authored by a panel of scientists from multiple federal agencies and academic institutions, and will be used to support the National Climate Assessment – a U.S. interagency report produced once every four years to summarize the science and impacts of climate change on the United States.

###

WHAT: Availability of scientists to discuss the findings of global sea level rise paper

WHO: Adam Parris, report lead author, NOAA; Virginia Burkett, Ph.D., report co-author, U.S. Geological Survey; and Radley Horton, Ph.D., report co-author, Columbia University and NASA

CONTACT: Brady Phillips, NOAA Office of Communications and External Affairs, 202-407-1298 or brady.phillips@noaa.gov

The technical report will be available online on Dec. 6 at http://www.cpo.noaa.gov/reports/sealevel

NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth’s environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Join us on Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels.

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88 Responses to NOAA to release sea level report in time for AGU bookies to place bets

  1. Martin says:

    “I predict a riot”

  2. danj says:

    Seriously?

  3. I predict anything from a calm discussion to a nuclear war. That way I can always claim I was right.

  4. geran says:

    Uh, if I drop an apple (remember Newton?) from a measured height, I can calculate the exact time it will take to hit the floor. With only a tape measure and a stop watch, I can get repeatable, exact results. That’s because the science is SOLID.

    Trying to predict sea levels a century out, with such a huge array of factors?

    Riiiiiiiiiiiiight….

    Just one more reason why the science of Earth’s climate is NOT settled.

  5. Steven Mosher says:

    the uncertainty is what it is. Of course its wide since our knowledge is limited.
    knowing that it could be as high as 6 feet would you plan to build valuable assets at a location that is one foot above sea level?
    not if u had other choices. even the most uncertain knowledge can in practice be useful.
    usefullness is the key. not the width of the estimate.

  6. Tom Harley says:

    Broome in Western Australia’s main shopping precinct IS one foot above sea level, and has been there for nearly a 100 years. New buildings are there for all to sea, along with the old.

  7. Tony says:

    Estimation of sea level rise ranges by a factor of 10 …. seriously, is this science?

  8. Jeef says:

    Asimov, in his Foundation books, wrote about a useless historian who did no research except looking at other peoples’ research.

    Do we see the same here? Science imitating art?

  9. leftinbrooklyn says:

    Steven Mosher says:
    December 5, 2012 at 5:10 pm…

    Then, having said that, you must add that sea level could drop also. Which makes it what it is.
    Un-useful.

  10. Tom Harley says:

    These photos show Broome at the highest tide for this year, about 10cm lower than last year’s, pictured on Verity Jones’ Diggingintheclay blog http://pindanpost.com/2012/04/10/biggest-broome-tides-for-2012/

  11. theduke says:

    “They claim 8 inches to 6.6 feet (o.2 to 2 meters) over the next century….such wide variance doesn’t inspire much confidence, even though they claim “high confidence” in that spread.”

    This prediction is, of course, based on what we know– which is next to nothing, given the complexity of earth systems.

  12. Tom Harley says:

    It really amazes me that media can print so much rubbish provided by News Agencies such as AAP without fact checking. Yesterday, some reports of seas rising in Western Australia 3 times faster than the rest of the world appeared in ‘The West Australian’ newspaper without any checks. Have a look here where I have noted the real data says the opposite, they mostly are recently declining: http://pindanpost.com/2012/12/05/west-australian-sea-level-bs-fact-checking-the-gloom-and-doom-with-data/

  13. Michael P says:

    I’m surprised that they are only 90% confident in a rise between 8 inches and 78 inches. I am 99% confident it will be within that range.

    With a statement of between 8 and 78 inches of sea level rise most people think that it will most likely be somewhere in the middle, like 3.5 feet. I think it will be much closer to the lower end. I would like to see their probability distribution of sea level rise. This is nearly useless information that gives no way to assess risk.

  14. Bill Illis says:

    That is what the range is.

    If one uses the historic Tide Gauge measurement trends, you only get 8 inchs, (noting that the land is, on average, still recovering from the glacial load from the ice ages and is rising by 0.3 mms/year to 0.4 mms/year so the low range of sea level is only 6 inches rise compared to the actual Land levels).

    Or if one uses the adjusted satellite measurements (including 0.3 mms/year of ocean deepening per year which should be removed in this case since one is concerned about the sea level versus the Land where we actually live) and if one assumes significantly accelerated loss of glacial ice on Greenland and Antarctica. I imagine one could get to 2.0 metres of sea level rise with these assumptions. Of course, this also means it would only be a few centuries of melt at this rate before Greenland is completely gone and Antarctica has harbours but the forecast doesn’t continue out for 500 years for example so that we would see that in the assumptions.

  15. Robbo says:

    I can predict with very high confidence that the Guardian/BBC/CNN/MSM will report this as a catastrophic rise “up to 2 m”.

  16. MattS says:

    @Conrad Goehausen,

    No, no, no. You have it all wrong. You predict “nuclear war” and if you get calm discussion you claim your original prediction was correct but it was avoided because we bought your “unicorn gas tm”

  17. If this gets into AR5, it would be what that German bigshot was referring to a month or two ago when he said that that it would scare the pants off everyone.

  18. john robert louis carmichael says:

    [snip . . please don't shout and off topic too . .mod]

  19. SteveB says:

    The estimates provided by the NOAA are for information purposes only, and may not apply to reality. The NOAA provides no warranty about the estimates or accuracy therein. The estimates are subjective. Keep this in mind when reviewing this BS.

    Neither the author nor the NOAA shall be liable for any loss of profit or any other commercial damages resulting from use of this BS. All links are for information purposes only and are not warranted for content, accuracy, or any other implied or explicit purpose.

  20. D Böehm says:

    In the past 120 years the mean sea level [MSL] has risen only about 2.5 cm:

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

    2.5 cm is about one inch, so I think NOAA’s guesstimate [AKA: their WAG] of an 8 inch — 6.6 foot MSL rise by the end of this century is probably way on the high side. Based on the British MSL mark cut into rock, I would bet that MSL will not even rise eight inches over the next 88 years.

  21. ecoGuy says:

    Lovely, they know the base facts don’t support their claims, and its getting less and less so over time. Hence they have to keep releasing statements with less and less factual content to avoid people latching onto what is really happening with the environment. Trouble is fact free statements do not carry much weight and get ignored easily.

    Keep pressing them to make more and more ridiculous claims, they will happily do so as they cannot keep quiet. They are destroying their own credibility with the public one press release at a time.

    Stick to your guns, at this rate it will completely unravel within a year.

  22. jones says:

    With the subject very much in mind I do find these interesting…

    http://www.midnightsciencejournal.com/2011/09/27/underwater-study-off-the-coast-of-australia/

    http://www.ancient-wisdom.co.uk/underwater.htm

    http://www.unesco.org/new/en/culture/themes/underwater-cultural-heritage/the-underwater-heritage/underwater-ruins/

    There are many many more….I have no idea whether these historical facts in any way clarify the current debate though………..I doubt it will civilize it in any event!

    ‘Ah, but that was then’……..I can hear it now….

  23. The warmists have doubled down in the face of the increasing dubiousness of their case. Vainglorious.

    Watch the ENSO-meter.

    One cosmic custard pie coming up.

  24. u.k.(us) says:

    Settled science, except for the settling ?
    If things are settling, apparently at rates unknown, just where have we been measuring sea level ?
    Or are we back to the warming that will melt ice, and expand the ocean.
    Throw out the tide gauges/ satellite data to continue the meme ?
    This isn’t science, don’t know what it is.

  25. alexwade says:

    I predict that in any sports game, the team that scores the most points is likely going to win. I predict that in a NASCAR race, the driver that makes a right turn is going to lose the race. I predict that if take a shower I will get wet. And I predict that the sea level will rise anywhere from -100 feet to 100 feet in the next 1000 years.

  26. TimTheToolMan says:

    Its easy to get caught up in the hype and completely misunderstand the time scales wrt human lifetimes Mosher. Are floods today worse because of the last 100 years sea level rise? Of course not. People are flooded because they inhabit flood prone areas, not because a place “became” a flood prone area while they were rocking on their rocking chair on the porch.

    Would you build another Venice? Of course not but that has nothing to do with any possible sea level rise.

  27. AndyG55 says:

    Given this prediction, one would feel safe suggesting a drop in sea level is well on the cards !!

  28. I don’t get it. Those 8 million people have lived in that risk since the place was settled by Europeans. So big deal as Harry Truman said “if you can stand the heart, get out of the kitchen”. Another way of thinking about it is most the ±17 million citizens of the Netherlands live below sea level are they obsessing? This nothing but more foolish hype. Like most the celebrity BS that goes around amounting to zero.

  29. This would be funny if it were not so sad.
    Modeling the distant future based on very poor present knowledge produces future monstrosities.

  30. Mervyn says:

    Every time I hear these sorts of predictions I use my common sense and ask myself, “Have the IPCC’s ominous model based scenarios/predictions been on track to date?” Answer: No!

    So why would I believe that any scientist or group of scientists would be able to determine future sea level rises? Only idiots would fall for this rubbish!

  31. RobW says:

    I defy anyone to get any science paper accepted (outside climate science ) with a ten fold range in outcome at the 90 percentile confidence. Just try I dare you. The damage to real science continues.

  32. mbw says:

    Suppose I told you that a wire had between 200 and 20,000 volts. Would you touch it?

  33. Dr Burns says:

    They could have said between a rise of 2.9 m and a fall of 0.7m (99.9% conf) … still doesn’t cover Mr Gore though.

  34. Gail Combs says:

    My prediction is it will drop by the end of the century.

    ….The ice melted back partially, and there followed a long ‘middling’ phase in which the climate oscillated between warmer and colder conditions, often in sudden jumps. During some parts of this phase, conditions in the tropics may have been moister than they are at present, and at other times they were drier….

    For the time period between 115,000 and 14,000 years ago, 24 of these short lived warm events have so far been recognized from the Greenland ice core data (where they are called ‘Dansgaard-Oeschger events’), although many lesser warming events also occurred (Dansgaard et al. 1993). From the speed of the climate changes recorded in the Greenland ice cap (Dansgaard et al. 1989), and by observation of the speed of change in sedimentation conditions on land, it is widely believed that the complete ‘jump’ in climate occurred over only a few decades. The interstadials lasted for varying spans of time, usually a few centuries to about 2,000 years, before an equally rapid cooling returned conditions to their previous state. Recent study of high-resolution deep sea cores (Bond et al. 1997) suggests that for at least the last 30,000 years, interstadials tended to occur at the warmer points of a background north Atlantic (and global?) temperature cycle which had a periodicity of around 1500 years.

    A quick background to the last ice age

    So the ice core and deep sea core data show sudden jumps in temperature. The Greenland Ice coregraph shows peaks not plateaus for the warming spikes.

    Everyone looks at the amount of ice in the Arctic. No one bothers to look at the real indicator the length of the melt season or the increase in fall snow cover in the northern hemisphere or the August 06, 2012, Endless Winter for Alaska’s Mountains This Year

    …Department of Agriculture Snow Survey Supervisor Rick McClure. He said that it’s unusual to see snow still remaining in some of the mountains that surround Anchorage….May, June and July have all seen colder monthly averages, with July making the cut as the seventh-coldest July in history….. Adding the record-shattering snowfall into the mix, it’s possible the melt of last year’s snow could overlap with new snow falls that can occur as early as September.

    Add in a quiet sun and the oceans going to the cooling mode I do not think sea level rise is in the cards.

    NH solar energy overlay of the Greenland and Antarctic Ice core temperatures: http://theinconvenientskeptic.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/LI-Holocene.png
    The paleo solar insolation is plotted from here

  35. Gail Combs says:

    Forgot The paleo solar insolation data: ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/paleo/insolation/orbit91

  36. Manfred says:

    Steven Mosher says:
    December 5, 2012 at 5:10 pm
    the uncertainty is what it is.
    ———————————–
    The uncertainty at the upper end can be improved significantly by removing Rahmstorf’s papers from the ensemble.

  37. P. Solar says:

    Steven Mosher says:
    >>
    the uncertainty is what it is. Of course its wide since our knowledge is limited.
    knowing that it could be as high as 6 feet would you plan to build valuable assets at a location that is one foot above sea level?
    not if u had other choices. even the most uncertain knowledge can in practice be useful.
    usefullness is the key. not the width of the estimate.
    >>

    Usefulness is indeed one way to assess such an estimation.

    Now 20cm will require very little action whereas 2m will require significant action and infrastructure changes in a large part of the inhabited world. So on a practical scale that makes it USELESS.

    However, such an estimate will be echoed by MSM as “New study form NOAA confirms sea levels will rise _by_as_much_as_ 2 metres by the end of the century, ratcheting up the pressure on delegates in Doha to commit to urgent measures to limit CO2 emissions.”

    So in terms of ending democracy and national sovereignty and destroying our economy it is USEFUL.

    Whether it is useful or not, just depends on what your objectives are.

  38. Curt says:

    NOAA (quietly) issued a report this summer that concluded the average sea level rise during the satellite era (the last 20 years) was 1.3mm/year. If this rate were maintained for until 2100, there would be 115mm (4.5 inches) of further rise. But now another NOAA group concludes that the chance of the average rate for the rest of the century being less than twice the recent rate is less than 5%!

  39. P. Solar says:

    Gail Combes: says “Everyone looks at the amount of ice in the Arctic. No one bothers to look at the real indicator the length of the melt season” http://i45.tinypic.com/27yr1wy.png

    Glad you thought the graph was useful. Just to be clear, that graph was itself derived from Arctic sea ice extent data. The key point is that it used ALL the data (to filter out the “weather” variations) not just one day per year as is currently the fashion for alarmists.

  40. Don K says:

    Hey, look. They’re being honest. They don’t have much idea what will happen with sea level because they don’t have much idea what will happen with climate in general. If sea level follows 20th century trends, it will rise maybe 8 to 12 inches. If the polar areas warm dramatically (why would they do that if they didn’t in the last century?) then it will rise more. I personally think that six feet is a preposterous number and way outside the 90% range. But if I were planning an infrastructure project with a hundred year lifetime and the cost of planning for a six foot rise weren’t too high, I’d probably plan to handle it. On the other hand, being conservative, I’d also allow for the possibility that sea levels might drop a foot or two. It’s not like there’s enough science in today’s “climate science” to do much actual engineering. In the absence of reliable data and useful models, you make guesses.

  41. Don K says:

    TimTheToolMan says:
    December 5, 2012 at 6:34 pm
    Would you build another Venice? Of course not but that has nothing to do with any possible sea level rise.
    ====================
    If you did build another Venice, you would possibly refrain from pumping huge amounts of ground water out from under it. BTW, something similar happened in the early 20th century with Terminal Island in Los Angeles-Long Beach harbor. They pumped a lot of oil out from under it and it promptly sank resulting in the need for good sized infrastructure protecting berms along the shipping channels that encircle it.

  42. P. Solar says:

    An that’s their 90% confidence level. That still leaves a comfortable 10% for it to be substantially less than 20 cm without them being technically “wrong”.

    I suppose if they were to go for the usual 95% confidence level they would have had to say “between 1cm and 10m”.

    That would be even more “useful” ™ since MSM could say NOAA predicted sea level will rise _by_as_much_as_ ten metres . OMG !!!!

    Another way to present the same information about their state of knowledge is to say they are 90% certain that they can’t tell us whether sea levels will be problem or not.

    I look forward to future studies explaining all the other things they don’t know anything about.

  43. Espen says:

    Since when did 90% become “very high confidence”? And for such a wide interval! I guess the problem is that if they were to give a 99.5% interval, they would have to include quite a drop in sea level at the lower end…

  44. wayne says:

    Comprehensive synthesis, comprehensive synthesis. What a strange way to describe their process. Comprehensive is that everything is going to be used in the synthesis but if any of the parts of the comprehensive parts is already the truth they would just use that part, no need to synthesize. So by deduction, none of the parts are the truth so NOAA is to synthesize the truth from all of these non-truths. Ok, I think I’m getting it now. Kinda like Merlin who was also very good at this sort of synthesis, like changing pieces of lead to gold (or all of the subjects thought he could). ☺

  45. John says:

    If you are going to make an issue about the range of the projections then it would seem sensible for you to have included the part of the report where they explain the reason for the range.

    The lowest sea level change scenario (8 inch rise) is based on historic rates of observed sea level change. This scenario should be considered where there is a high tolerance for risk (e.g. projects with a short lifespan or flexibility to adapt within the near-term)
    The intermediate-low scenario (1.6 feet) is based on projected ocean warming
    The intermediate-high scenario (3.9 feet) is based on projected ocean warming and recent ice sheet loss
    The highest sea level change scenario (6.6 foot rise) reflects ocean warming and the maximum plausible contribution of ice sheet loss and glacial melting. This highest scenario should be considered in situations where there is little tolerance for risk.

  46. viffer says:

    So a mass equivalent to a new 2m column of water across the oceans leaves land areas (less ongoing thermal expansion). Wouldn’t the land tend to go boingggg upwards as the load comes off and wouldn’t ocean floors feel the urge to lower? (Pardon my geological street-speak, innit).

    Where is the nett new energy coming from to change the state of that amount of ice just as the sun is throttling back? Silly me. It’s from that big CO2 skyborne back-radiation battery, which has never been detected, measured, nor proven to produce sufficient secondary warming to sustain any IPCC temperature scenario.

    You couldn’t make it up. No, wait …

  47. Lots of armchair “climate scientists” on this site lol

    [Reply: So? Lots of PhD's, too. — mod.]

  48. Edim says:

    Such a big range (0.2 to 2.0 meters) and they will still miss it. My prediction is -1.0 to 0.0 meters.

  49. The report finds that there is very high confidence (greater than 90% chance) that global mean sea level will rise at least 8 inches (0.2 meters)

    95% probability (of not occurring by chance) is the normal scientific minimum criteria for a significant (non chance) result. So this says to a scientist that the evidence is insufficient to say sea levels will rise by 8 inches.

    90% sounds like a high number to a non-scientist, but to a scientist 90% confidence is a laughably low number.

  50. TC says:

    Edim says:
    December 6, 2012 at 12:20 am
    Such a big range (0.2 to 2.0 meters) and they will still miss it. My prediction is -1.0 to 0.0 meters.
    **************************************************************************************************************
    Ah, but their confidence level is 90% – what’s yours ;-)

  51. TheBigYinJames says:

    It’s an improvement. 8 inches to 6 feet is at least an estimate with error bounds, and should show to anyone with a brain that it’s a pretty poor estimate. A couple of years ago this would have been reported as the average value between the two of 3.5 feet (with some mumblings about ‘with some errors’) The MSM would have ran with FOUR FEET SEA RISE!

  52. vukcevic says:

    NOAA would do well to dig into their own files:
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/NoaaD.htm

  53. Manfred says:

    John says:
    December 5, 2012 at 11:20 pm
    ——————-

    It would seem sensible to note that climate models do now fail almost everywhere.

    http://landshape.org/enm/q-where-do-climate-model-fail-a-almost-everywhere/

  54. I’d say their range of 1:10 is useless as a guide for policymakers. In any case, what is the use to US policymakers of global predictions?

    Spartan Daily, the college newspaper of San Jose State University, has a report on a talk given by Larry Breaker, adjunct professor of physical oceanography at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories to students there which I picked up and posted on yesterday:

    New studies show regional sea levels are dropping on the West Coast even though global sea level rise is accelerating.
    “Regional sea level rise is not uniform around the world,” said Larry Breaker, adjunct professor of physical oceanography at a talk at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories last week. “Although sea level is rising in some areas, in other areas it’s falling.”
    http://spartandaily.com/92299/west-coast-sea-level-dropping

    How refreshing to see a scientist telling it like it is. He has an impressive CV.
    http://physoce.mlml.calstate.edu/people/breaker

  55. Alan the Brit says:

    Ok, here’s my tuppence worth, yet again! UNIPCC AR4 2007, Table SPM 1(0), you know, the one where 450 lead authors, 800 con-authors, 2,500 scientists, & 140 Guvments around the world couldn’t add up a column of figures nor get the decimal ploint in the right place? Rate of Sea-Level Rise, 1.8mm/yr +- 0.5mm/yr 1961-1993, 3.1mm/yr +- 0.7mm/yr 1993-2003! (wonder why they stopped at ’03 instead of continuing up to end of ’06?). Nils Axel Morner has said repeatedly that global average sea-level rise for the last 80 years is 2.3mm/yr! 1.8 + 0.5 = 2.3mm/yr, 3.1 – 0.7 = 2.4mm/yr. The same damned figure,clearly somebody has been tampering with the data, again!!!!! Nullius novus sub sollis, anybody?

  56. Streetcred says:

    December 5, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Steven Mosher says:

    the uncertainty is what it is. Of course its wide since our knowledge is limited.
    knowing that it could be as high as 6 feet would you plan to build valuable assets at a location that is one foot above sea level?
    not if u had other choices. even the most uncertain knowledge can in practice be useful.
    usefullness is the key. not the width of the estimate.
    ——————————

    There was a time when you actually did make sense … what happened ? Too little oxygen ?

    ” … our knowledge is limited … ” Any conclusion as a consequence is useless, so any prediction that the sea level will rise of 6′ in the next century must be treated as the garbage that it is. I develop real estate … developments that I put up 20 years ago are already being pulled down as demographics change … we don’t develop for 100 years hence, not even 40 years … That’s the old paradigm ! So when it comes to real estate development take your own advice and leave that judgement to the experts which doesn’t include trumped up “climate scientists.”

  57. In other words they have total confidence that sea level rise will carry on the same as the last 100 years!

  58. Geoff says:

    This new report is not so interesting (nothing new) but there are interesting things going on in sea level studies. See the new paper (in press) at Journal of Climate at http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00319.1 . The authors are most of the top scientists in sea level (so including John Church and Jonathan Gregory who were lead coordinating authors for the 2001 TAR, but excluding Rahmsdorf).

    Abstract –

    Confidence in projections of global-mean sea-level rise (GMSLR) depends on an ability to account for GMSLR during the 20th century. There are contributions from ocean thermal expansion, mass loss from glaciers and ice sheets, groundwater extraction and reservoir impoundment. We have made progress towards solving the “enigma” of 20th-century GMSLR—that is, the observed GMSLR has been found to exceed the sum of estimated contributions, especially for the earlier decades. We propose that: thermal expansion simulated by climate models may previously have been underestimated owing to their not including volcanic forcing in their control state; the rate of glacier mass loss was larger than previously estimated, and was not smaller in the first than in the second half of the century; the Greenland ice-sheet could have made a positive contribution throughout the century; groundwater depletion and reservoir impoundment, which are of opposite sign, may have been approximately equal in magnitude. We show that it is possible to reconstruct the timeseries of GMSLR from the quantified contributions, apart from a constant residual term which is small enough to be explained as a long-term contribution from the Antarctic ice-sheet. The reconstructions account for the approximate constancy of the rate of GMSLR during the 20th century, which shows small or no acceleration, despite the increasing anthropogenic forcing. Semi-empirical methods for projecting GMSLR depend on the existence of a relationship between global climate change and the rate of GMSLR, but the implication of our closure of the budget is that such a relationship is weak or absent during the 20th century.

  59. Geoff says:

    So from the abstract – ” the rate of glacier mass loss was larger than previously estimated, and was not smaller in the first than in the second half of the century”. So the “reconstructions account for the approximate constancy of the rate of GMSLR during the 20th century, which shows small or no acceleration, despite the increasing anthropogenic forcing”.

    No acceleration in sea level rise in the 20th century. Perhaps the low end of the new NOAA estimate for sea level 2100 will be about right (200 mm, 8 inches, same as the 20th century which mankind seems to have survived).

  60. beesaman says:

    Well I’m certain that they are useless at doing the job they are paid to do!
    Just not fit for purpose and they should as a result be defunded…

  61. jim2 says:

    Has anyone considered the poor coral when the sea level drops from the cold? Sad, really.

  62. Bill Illis says:

    I think it is time to end the modeling for now. We already have enough disaster simulations to go by for now. Yes, if global warming plays out the way they think/assume/model it will, there will be significant impacts.

    But we don’t need a whole ‘nother set of predictions made for 3.0C per doubling and 2.0 metres of sea level rise. We have heard that 1,000 times already.

    The skeptics say the climate is not responding to date according to the predictions (compared to the early predictions at least). They are far off already.

    The science needs to step-back at this point and really test/measure out the assumptions. We need to put highly sensitive radiation satellites and ground measurement devices into the field to see if CO2 is really operating the way the theory expects (at the quantum level where CO2’s GHG radiation effects actually operate at).

    The modelling is a waste of time. We heard it the first time. We heard it the first 1,000 times. Now we need to know if the models are real.

  63. Mike says:

    Interesting. A lot of poor scientific understanding here. Firstly, let me just clear up one important misconception: a large error range is completely natural when attempting to model and predict the impact of a thermal forcing of unprecedented size and rapidity upon a geophysical system of such complexity as the entire earth. Scientific organisations such as the NOAA do their best – perhaps anyone criticising their results should put their money where their mouth is and try and do a better job modelling the global climate system. As it is I think we should all be grateful that so many talented, dedicated people are working so hard to give us the best possible information on likely impacts of our greenhouse emissions. The quality of the scientific research and knowledge they have produced has both tremendously enhanced our understanding of the planet we inhabit and is our best tool in avoiding the worst impacts of global warming.

    Which, by the way, sorry to disappoint you guys, is really really 100% a real thing. It’s just silly to run around in 2012 trying to pretend otherwise.

  64. Richard LH says:

    For any sensible projection there should always be a distribution as well as a range. A range of 0.2m to 2.0m with a median of 0.4m is very different to the same range with a median of 1.1m. Even one with only 90% confidence!

  65. Steve Keohane says:

    Robert Bertino says:December 6, 2012 at 12:05 am
    Lots of armchair “climate scientists” on this site lol

    A lot of people here are researchers and engineers. Some have been looking at climate since the recent hysteria began, some have been interested in it for fifty or more years.
    You think science is a joke? or just climate science?

  66. Bill says:

    Mosher and Bill Ilis are right. The uncertainties are what they are. The error bars are likely based on the uncertainty of the projections that come out of the models for various CO2 and feedback assumptions. And those uncertainties on the projections are based on the uncertainties on the inputs and models. It’s common however to not account for every single error or possible error so the real error bars can often be higher. Giving the error of a fit but not doing an uncertainty analysis, for example.

    I like to see that they are actually giving the entire range with the errors. It allows people to see how little we really know. The problem will be when someone takes the average value from the projections which may be 0.5 meter or 1 meter and then says that they are 90% certain of this single number.

    Paul Homewood, they are not saying they are 90% certain it will be the same, they are saying that the PROJECTIONS from their models show 90% certainty that sea level change will be the same or higher than the past century, possibly much higher.

    Also Mosher is correct that this has some minor utitilty in that it may scare people from building as close to the sea and there aren’t too many downsides to this as long as (in the US) the costs of flooding is borne by the taxpayer.

  67. beng says:

    All the money poured and continuing to pour into “climate studies”, and that’s all the better estimate they can offer? Simply pathetic. Might as well burn the money in a furnance — we’d get at least some value from that.

  68. Coach Springer says:

    In other words, “We don’t know, but it could continue apace while there’s been more speculation about rise than fall in what we’re reading.” A non-random sample of non-empirical tea leaves taken from predictions rather than from predictors because the predictors are not understood and are scientifically demonstrably inadequate.

  69. MarkW says:

    There’s almost no chance that an NBA championship team will only score 20 points. While the oceans rising only 9 inches in the next century is a very real possibility.

  70. Just an engineer says:

    mbw says:
    December 5, 2012 at 8:45 pm
    Suppose I told you that a wire had between 200 and 20,000 volts. Would you touch it?
    ————————————–

    Given the fact I can see the wire is 1 foot long, laying on the table and plainly not connected to any thing capable of providing that voltage, of course.

    You really should take reality into account before making silly statements!

  71. Peter Miller says:

    A recent comprehensive study published a few days ago, which was much touted by the BBC, stated that melting ice from both the Arctic and Antarctica currently accounts for 0.5mms per year of ocean level rises.

    http://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=bbc%20greenland%20ice%20antarctica&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&sqi=2&ved=0CDMQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.bbc.co.uk%2Fnewsround%2F20552103&ei=8abAUKXCDIXntQbo3oAg&usg=AFQjCNGfSsq-QctnpkOzQLBlC0L9mV45eQ

    If we assume a catastrophe and treble the 0.5mm/year figure, it gives us 150mm per century, or 15cms, 0.15 metres, or 6 inches. Anyhow, it is less than the minimum figure quoted in this article.

    There is supposedly an increase of around 3.2mms/year in ocean levels per year. So whatever causes (isostatic rebound, shifting continental plates etc) the supposed balance of 2.7mms has nothing to do with ‘global warming.’

    So NOAA’s figures are just another instance of alarmist nonsense.

  72. David Shaw says:

    I have very high confidence (almost 100%) that the sea level change will be between +/- 100 metres.

  73. RACookPE1978 says:

    Just an engineer says:
    December 6, 2012 at 6:02 am

    mbw says:
    December 5, 2012 at 8:45 pm
    Suppose I told you that a wire had between 200 and 20,000 volts. Would you touch it?
    ————————————–

    Given the fact I can see the wire is 1 foot long, laying on the table and plainly not connected to any thing capable of providing that voltage, of course.

    ——————————————

    Well, I can kill you (or melt steel and burn the flesh off of your hands) at 20-odd volts DC with enough current …. or can touch a capacitor carrying many thousand volts harmlessly and quickly if I myself are not grounded. I can walk across am exposed, uninsulated, cross-country high-tension cable carrying hundreds of thousands of volts – if I prepare properly.

    Don’t ask about voltages in wires unless you (and I) have a calibrated and tested multi-meter, a signed lock-out tagout, a valid work permit and a current job order, have completed a safety briefing, contacted the control room and switchyard operators, are wearing the proper personal protective gear and flash shielding, have wrapped and covered exposed surfaces on all of the tools and equipment, and have a current drawing and wiring schematic.

    But, you see, a climate “scientist” relies on authority. And the sign says “High Voltage.” And the switch is shut, so the wire must be energized with “something” because the sign says “High Voltage” …. No “climate scientist” knows enough to predict the weather in a week. Much less one hundred years. And every climate “scientist” you apparently respect has been wrong about predicting the past 12, 15, 17 years (take your pick) .. but believes that unique failure qualifies him to predict the next 100, 200, 1000 years accurately.

    But the “High Voltage” sign you trust so absolutely as “authority” is too foolish, too fixed in its dogmatic theism of “authority” and “I am an expert” and “The government experts wrote the sign” to notice that the generator isn’t running.

    MBW: The morale of your “lesson” is: Don’t argue with an engineer with a irrelevant analogy. Unlike “climate scientists” our output must work, and must work in the real world.

  74. atheok says:

    “Steven Mosher says:
    December 5, 2012 at 5:10 pm
    the uncertainty is what it is. Of course its wide since our knowledge is limited.
    knowing that it could be as high as 6 feet would you plan to build valuable assets at a location that is one foot above sea level?
    not if u had other choices. even the most uncertain knowledge can in practice be useful.
    usefullness is the key. not the width of the estimate.”

    Seriously? Other than this scenario prediction sounds extraordinarily similar o other predictions made about sea level change… Like Hansen in 1981 where he predicted a 5 meter rise in sea level and disastrous flooding. http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/docs/1981/1981_Hansen_etal.pdf

    Surely after all this time, Hansen and NOAA must have built new facilities far from the projected shorelines? Or at least have plans to? Odd isn’t it that when one is convinced of impending coastal disaster and their office is near the coast, you’d naturally think that moving their place of work would be a priority. I couldn’t find any mention of planned or ongoing facility changes in the NOAA budget nor GISS budget. Given that actions speak louder than words, can you direct us to where facility changes are planned/prepared because of coastal flood expectations?

    Mitigation based on sea level site observations seems to be the best approach here. Telling scary sounding flood and disaster predictions that have not changed much over three decades is absurd. How many times can NOAA cry ‘wolf’ before even the CAGW religious faithful fail to care? Turning a deaf ear already are the honest scientists; as in those who expect full data/model/code release, result verification and validation and research where observations trump models, guesses and assumptions. Frightening flood disasters are flood disasters whether the prediction is dependent on a proven wrong 1981 5 meter prediction or on a yet to be proven 2 meter prediction. Assumed scale changes from scientists who are unable to accept reality, correct their methods and models; yet repeatedly use maybe/possible/likely/90% evasive CYA statements does not make their alarms reliable nor useful.

    I do hope their feed the absurd alarmist troughs go empty soon. I’ve already written my Senators and Congressman about where $Billions can be cut without hurting innocent citizens. Throw in a few cuts from other alarmist non-scientific agency cuts and we’re almost there…

  75. David in Michigan says:

    I have a scientific background but am not a scientist. When I read 8″ to no more than 6.5 ft, with a probability of 90%, I think of it as follows: The minimum in the range has a very high probability. As one moves up the range, the probability declines. The take away is, 1) the sea will rise over the next 100 years. 2) At the end of 100 years the sea will be at least 8 inches higher. 3) At the end of 100 years, the sea may be higher than 8″. If I lived near the ocean, I would find this useful information.

  76. Theo Goodwin says:

    Steven Mosher says:
    December 5, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    This is a parody, right?

  77. Skeptik says:

    Wait for the next big announcement,
    The Great Barrier Reef may or may not be dead by Christmas.

  78. Manfred says:

    John says:
    December 5, 2012 at 11:20 pm
    The lowest sea level change scenario (8 inch rise) is based on historic rates of observed sea level change…
    The intermediate-low scenario (1.6 feet) is based on projected ocean warming
    The intermediate-high scenario (3.9 feet) is based on projected ocean warming and recent ice sheet loss
    The highest sea level change scenario (6.6 foot rise) reflects ocean warming and the maximum plausible contribution of ice sheet loss and glacial melting…
    —————————————————————————–

    The reader would most likely be directed to the intermediate-high scenario, because including projected future warming and most recent ice sheet loss data appears to be a good idea.

    However, the issue is not about uncertainty, but about bias and about missing and misleading information.

    1. Climate models do now fail almost everywhere.and projected temperatures have been too high almost everywhere.
    http://landshape.org/enm/q-where-do-climate-model-fail-a-almost-everywhere/

    2. Recent ice sheet loss is mostly if not all natural and cyclical. Using short term data while excluding the last cyclical temperature highs in the 1930s, 1940s is misleading:

    Berkely Earth shows Greenland temperature just rising a little bit above 1940s temperatures, and BE does not even correct for UHI.
    http://berkeleyearth.lbl.gov/regions/greenland

    Greenland ice sheet melt from Chylek 2007 as reported by Akasofu: “present changes of the Greenland ice sheet are smaller than changes observed during the 1920–1940
    http://www.appinsys.com/globalwarming/RS_Greenland_files/image016.jpg

    3. Solar activity is not included, despite Bond and Bond (2001) showing Greenland ice melt and solar activity with spectacular correlation about the best correlation of any variables in climate science:
    http://kaltesonne.de/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/bond-et-al-2001.gif

  79. Streetcred says:

    December 6, 2012 at 5:27 am | Bill says:
    “Also Mosher is correct that this has some minor utitilty [sic] in that it may scare people from building as close to the sea … ”
    —————————

    Rubbish, so long as there is a block next to the water there will be somebody there to develop it … Location, Location, Location ! Remember that !! Commercial, Retail, Industrial, Residential … it is all the same.

    Answer me why the greatest proponents of CAGW have residences on water ? … why, even our Australian climate clown Tim Flannery (FlimFlammery) recently purchased a home at the waters edge after flapping his gums wildly about sea-level rises.

  80. MattS says:

    @Skeptik,

    The Great Barrier Reef shal hence forth be known as Schrodinger’s Reef.

  81. Billy Liar says:

    What was NOAA’s prediction in 1900 regarding the Catastrophic Horse Poo Accumulation problem in NYC for the 21st century?

  82. Streetcred says:

    December 6, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Manfred says:
    ____________________________________

    New science upsets calculations on sea level rise, climate change: Ice sheet melt massively overestimated, satellites show.
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/11/28/sea_levels_new_science_climate_change/

  83. Doug Proctor says:

    When the experts give such a range, but fail to say “All things considered, THIS is my best estimate,” one wonders what he has paid for.

    If we allow experts to change their minds with new data (which they do, anyway), then we should be able to get a direct answer. We are looking for information sufficient to make plans on, not FYI discussions. But since the science is “settled” and the outcome “certain”, I guess they can’t do that. Politically, that is.

  84. Fred 2 says:

    “….That’s a lot like saying that you have “high confidence that the winner of the latest NBA basketball game will score between 20 and 200 points…..”

    No, it’s a lot like saying that you have “high confidence that the winner of the NBA championship 100 years from now will score between 20 and 200 points.” When you are in the prediction racket you never, ever, allow yourself to be found out.

  85. NoAstronomer says:

    I wish my CIO would let me get away with predictions like that:

    “Yeah boss that new piece of software will be ready sometime between 6 months and 5 years from ago. You’re welcome.”

    Mike.

  86. Che Cazzo Stai Dicendo? says:

    “I don’t think the bookies would be impressed with the skill. – Anthony”

    They would, however, happily take those bets, after a quick odds adjustment (bookies know real-world math). And don’t forget the vig (in this case, all the tax money funding these mutual masturbation offences against science).

  87. Brian H says:

    Hah. Confident the sea level will increase rather than decrease!? But only to one sigma. Hedge your bets, ladies and gentlebongs.

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