National Geographic rising sea level prophecy – cause for concern or absurd fairytale?

Guest essay by Prof. Don J. Easterbrook

The September issue of National Geographic shows sea level midway up the Statue of Liberty, 214 feet above present sea level (Fig. 1) and contains dire images of impending catastrophic sea level rise. Anthony’s excellent responses (http://wattsupwiththat.com/?s=national+geographic) and

(http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/11/28/freaking-out-about-nyc-sea-level-rise-is-easy-to-do-when-you-dont-pay-attention-to-history/) have demonstrated the utter absurdity of the National Geographic portrayal.

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Figure 1. Cover of October issue of National Geographic.

As Anthony points out, at the rate of sea level rise shown by tide gauge records since 1856 at The Battery 1.7 miles away, for sea level to reach that high up the Statue of Liberty would take 23,538 years!

But what about the other assertions in the National Geographic article, such as (1) many graphic images of [what] the future holds, (2) smaller, but still unreasonable sea level rise, (3) doomed cities (Miami and London gone), (4) flooded coastal areas (most of southern Florida submerged), (5) more frequent storm surge disasters due to sea level rise, and (6) various other catastrophic scenarios? Are any these cause for concern or are they also just unfounded, fear-mongering scenarios aimed at getting attention? Let’s look at some the contentions in the National Geographic scenarios.

1. “By releasing carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases into the atmosphere, we have warmed the Earth by more than a full degree Fahrenheit over the past century and raised sea level by about eight inches. Even if we stopped burning all fossil fuels tomorrow, the existing greenhouse gases would continue to warm the Earth for centuries. We have irreversibly committed future generations to a hotter world and rising seas.”

2. “…the big concern for the future is the giant ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica.” “If the Thwaites Glacier breaks free from its rocky berth, that would liberate enough ice to raise sea level by three meters—nearly ten feet.”

3. “by the time we get to the end of the 21st century, we could see sea-level rise of as much as six feet globally instead of two to three feet. Last year an expert panel convened by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration adopted 6.6 feet (two meters) as its highest of four scenarios for 2100. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recommends that planners consider a high scenario of five feet.” “we’re already locked in to at least several feet of sea-level rise, and perhaps several dozens of feet”

4. “Inexorably rising oceans will gradually inundate low-lying areas” “By the next century, if not sooner, large numbers of people will have to abandon coastal areas in Florida and other parts of the world.” “With seas four feet higher than they are today—a distinct possibility by 2100—about two-thirds of southeastern Florida is inundated. The Florida Keys have almost vanished. Miami is an island.”

5. “A profoundly altered planet is what our fossil-fuel-driven civilization is creating, a planet where Sandy-scale flooding will become more common and more destructive for the world’s coastal cities.” “…higher seas will extend the ruinous reach of storm surges. The threat will never go away; it will only worsen. By the end of the century a hundred-year storm surge like Sandy’s might occur every decade or less.”

6. “…carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will reach around a thousand parts per million by the end of the century,” “According to the U.S. Geological Survey, sea level on an iceless Earth would be as much as 216 feet higher than it is today. It might take thousands of years and more than a thousand parts per million to create such a world—but if we burn all the fossil fuels, we will get there.”

7. “by 2070, 150 million people in the world’s large port cities will be at risk from coastal flooding, along with $35 trillion worth of property.”

These 7 statements are not as obviously ridiculous as the depiction of a 216 foot sea level rise at the Statue of Liberty, but all carry ominous consequences if true. Are any of these contentions realistic? Let’s consider real-time scientific data for each of them.

1. Has carbon dioxide warmed the Earth by more 1º F over the past century?

Carbon dioxide is a trace gas that makes up only 0.039% of the atmosphere, accounts for only 3.6% of the greenhouse effect, and has increased by only 0.009% since 1950. By itself, it is incapable of warming the climate by more than a fraction of a degree. With no physical evidence that CO2 causes significant atmospheric warming, the IPCC rely solely on computer models, but because the effect of CO2 is so small, they introduce an increase in water vapor (which is responsible for 95% of greenhouse warming), claiming that as CO2 goes up so does water vapor. For models to be valid, a real-world atmospheric water vapor must go up, but just the opposite is true—water vapor has gone down since 1947 (Fig. 2). Thus, climate models have been an utter failure (Fig. 3)

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Figure 2. Declining atmospheric water Figure 3. Failure of climate models to match reality. vapor since 1947. Dark line is average temperature predictions of 44 models; red and blue lines are actual temperatures.

The National Geographic claims that CO2 has caused 1º F of warming this century. But CO2 didn’t begin to rise sharply until after 1945 so cannot have been a factor before then. Temperature data shows that 0.7° C of warming occurred from 1900 to 1945, before CO2 could have been the cause and while CO2 emissions soared from 1945 to 1977, global temperatures declined (just the opposite of what should have occurred if CO2 causes warming), and only 0.5°C warming from 1978 to present coincided with rising CO2 (and that is very likely coincidental).

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Figure. 4. Temperature changes during the past century.

Much additional data showing the CO2 is of little significance in global warming is summarized in the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change 2013 report “Climate Change Reconsidered II: Physical Science.” This 1200 page report convincingly and systematically challenges IPCC claims that carbon dioxide is causing “dangerous” global warming and that IPCC computer models can be relied on for future climate forecasts.

Conclusions: National Geographic’s statement that CO2 caused 1º F of global warming this century is contrary to scientific evidence and is thus false.

2. “…the big concern for the future is the giant ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica.” “If the Thwaites Glacier breaks free from its rocky berth, that would liberate enough ice to raise sea level by three meters—nearly ten feet.”

That this is not going to happen is shown by (1) there is no evidence that this has ever happened in the past and several factors insure that it won’t happen any time soon, (2) Antarctic glaciers are frozen to their base and move by internal flowage of ice, not by basal sliding, (3) these ice sheets lie in basins, and (4) the Greenland ice sheet is behaving just as it has in the geologic past and there is nothing unusual happening to it now.

Conclusion: The likelihood of ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctic sliding into the sea is essentially zero.

3. “by the time we get to the end of the 21st century, we could see sea-level rise of as much as six feet globally instead of two to three feet. Last year an expert panel convened by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) adopted 6.6 feet (two meters) as its highest of four scenarios for 2100. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recommends that planners consider a high scenario of five feet.” “we’re already locked in to at least several feet of sea-level rise, and perhaps several dozens of feet.”

How realistic are these predictions of sea level rise of six feet to several dozens of feet? To answer that, all we have to do is look at the sea level rise for the past century and compare it with the National Geographic projection. Sea level has risen 7 inches in the past century at a relatively constant rate of 1.7 mm/yr from 1900 to 2000 (Fig. 5) and has actually shown signs of decline in the past few years (Fig. 6).

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Figure 5. Sea level rise of 1.7 mm/yr from 1900 to 2000. Figure 6. Sea level rise since 1993.

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Figure 7. Sea level rise over the past century (lower left), sea level rise projected at this rate (black line, lower part of graph), and IPCC predicted sea level rise (red).

The difference between the sea level rise projected from actual rise over the past century and the catastrophic scenario of the National Geographic is 15 times the rate of sea level rise over the past century! Two questions immediately arise: (1) what is going to cause such accelerated sea level rise and (2) where is all the water going to come from? The accelerated rise is based on postulated accelerated warming but there has been no warming in the past 15 years (in fact, the climate has cooled during that time (Figure 8). So no climatic warming means no accelerated sea level rise as postulated by the National Geographic .

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Figure 8. Cooling of -0.23°C per century over the past decade. (modified from Monckton, 2013)

In order to get the accelerated sea level rise postulated by National Geographic, much of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets would have to melt. However the Antarctic ice cap is growing, not melting, and the Greenland ice cap was about the same size as at present during the Holocene Climatic Optimum. Morner (2011) has pointed out that, even during warming 20 times more intense than recent warming, melting of the massive Pleistocene ice sheets that covered vast areas resulted in sea level rise no greater than one meter per century. Thus, now that these great ice sheets are gone, there is no source of water for sea level rise even approaching one meter, so any prediction of sea level greater than that cannot be considered credible. The National Geographic scenario of the rate of sea level rise of six feet would require a rate of sea level rise of 20 mm/yr. in contrast to the rate of 1.7 mm over the past century.

Conclusion: These data demonstrate that the scenario painted by the National Geographic of very large rise of sea level by 2100 is contrary to all physical scientific data and therefore its credibility must be totally rejected.

4. “Inexorably rising oceans will gradually inundate low-lying areas” “By the next century, if not sooner, large numbers of people will have to abandon coastal areas in Florida and other parts of the world.” “With seas four feet higher than they are today—a distinct possibility by 2100—about two-thirds of southeastern Florida is inundated. The Florida Keys have almost vanished. Miami is an island.”

How credible is submergence of two thirds of Florida by 2100, leaving Miami as an island? Figure 9 shows that sea level rose 7 inches at a constant rate (2.24 mm/yr) during the past century at Key West (which is representative of southern Florida sea level rise). Projection of that rate to 2100 (Fig. 9) would result in a sea level rise of 6 inches by then. Contrast this with the National Geographic projected sea level rise of 21 mm/yr. What could possibly cause such a huge, sudden change in the rate of sea level rise? The answer is that it is not even close to being credible because (1) with no global warming in the past 17 years there is no reason for such a change, (2) there is no source of water–the East Antarctica ice sheet is not melting and Greenland has been warmer for thousands of years in the past without melting its ice sheet, (3) Antarctic sea ice is increasing, setting records, and (4) even during the rapid, intense melting of huge ice sheet at the end of the last Ice Age, sea level didn’t rise this fast. Continuation of sea level at the constant rate of the past century would result only in a sea level rise of about 3-4 inches per generation.

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Figure 9. Sea level rise at Key West, Florida from tidal gauge records (Blue curve); sea level rise projected to 2100 at the rate over the past century; sea level rise postulated by National Geographic (red line).

Conclusion: The National Geographic projection that two thirds of Florida will be submerge by 2100 is contrary to data and lacks any possible mechanism to increase sea levels more than a few inches. The National Geographic scenario is therefore totally without any credibility.

5. Are the National Geographic statements “…higher seas will extend the ruinous reach of storm surges.” and “By the end of the century a hundred-year storm surge like Sandy’s might occur every decade or less.” credible?

There is no scientific evidence that storm frequency or intensity has increased over the past century. Figure 10 shows no increase in hurricane power dissipation index since 1900 and the US has experienced the longest period with no hurricanes making landfall (the Sandy storm was not strong enough to be considered a hurricane).

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Figure 10. Hurricane index for the US since 1900.

Conclusion: The National Geographic conclusion that higher sea levels higher seas will extend the ruinous reach of storm surges” is not credible because (1) sea level rise is too small to significantly affect storm surges, and (2) the hurricane strength index is now lower than it was earlier in the century.

6. “by 2070, 150 million people in the world’s large port cities will be at risk from coastal flooding, along with $35 trillion worth of property.”

As shown in the data presented above, none of the National Geographic sea level projections are even remotely believable and sea level projections based on tide gauge records for the past century indicate that sea level will most likely rise 4-6 inches by 2070.

Conclusion: The National Geographic contention that 150 million people and $35 trillion worth of property is nothing more than a fairytale, totally contrary to data that indicates that sea level will rise only a few inches by 2070.

7. “…carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will reach around a thousand parts per million by the end of the century,” “According to the U.S. Geological Survey, sea level on an iceless Earth would be as much as 216 feet higher than it is today. It might take thousands of years and more than a thousand parts per million to create such a world—but if we burn all the fossil fuels, we will get there.”

The National Geographic issue contains many elaborately constructed images under the header of “If all the ice melted,” depicting submergence of extensive coastal areas all over the world and contending that “if we burn all the fossil fuels, we will get there.” What’s wrong with this? For openers, it would require melting of the entire Antarctic ice sheet, the Greenland ice sheet, and all of the world’s ice caps and alpine glaciers. Is this possible? Considering the data presented above, it is, of course ridiculous with no trace of credibility. In addition, the Antarctic ice sheet has not melted in 15 million years, including during many interglacial periods when global temperatures were significantly higher than at present for thousands of years.

Summary of conclusions: From the evidence presented above, the obvious conclusion is that the National Geographic article is an absurd fairytale, completely unsupported by any real scientific data and directly contrary to a mountain of contrary evidence.

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63 thoughts on “National Geographic rising sea level prophecy – cause for concern or absurd fairytale?

  1. CACA in general is an absurd fairytale, completely unsupported by any real scientific data and directly opposed to a mountain of contrary evidence. Thanks!

  2. “Carbon dioxide is a trace gas that makes up only 0.039% of the atmosphere, accounts for only 3.6% of the greenhouse effect, and has increased by only 0.009% since 1950. By itself, it is incapable of warming the climate by more than a fraction of a degree. With no physical evidence that CO2 causes significant atmospheric warming, the IPCC rely solely on computer models, but because the effect of CO2 is so small, they introduce an increase in water vapor (which is responsible for 95% of greenhouse warming), claiming that as CO2 goes up so does water vapor.”

    Does anyone have a journal paper that calculates the direct effect of CO2 increases on temperature, without the feedbacks. I’m assuming one starts with the Beer-Lambert equation and uses HITRAN data. I’ve seen theoretical discussions at the starts of paper (usually, oddly, with the Steffan Boltzman eqn), but I’ve not seen the results of the calculations when disregarding feedbacks. The paper always skips this number, giving instead a result that is a conflation of direct effects and feedbacks–presumably based on empirical data (measurements and proxies) and assumptions that natural variability can’t explain the observed increase in temperature (which, of course, has been highly “adjusted” and “homogenized”). In short, I’ve never seen a very thorough discussion or calculation, just theoretical talk and a jump to conclusion.

  3. That National Geographic article prompted quite the response, including a letter from me as I had a similar reaction to its absurdities. One page in the issue you forgot to touch upon though was the Editor’s Note, Sea Change, by Chris Johns. As I pointed out in my letter, he made this statement:

    Because there are no computer models or scientists to tell us with certainty how fast and how much the seas will rise, it is a challenge to illustrate this story and telegraph the problem’s urgency. You could say it requires a leap of faith in imagination that is grounded in fact. 

    I offered a translation in my letter and post, as well as an alternative image of Liberty come the year 25.5k in another post. As I state in my letter, I know that it is just an editorial page with a statement by a photojournalist, but regurgitating unscientific phrases such as “ever more destructive storms” and a “leap of faith in imagination” as Mr. Johns also does is an insult to their readership, myself included. I just received my newest issue yesterday, the 125th anniversary collector’s issue. Haven’t had a chance to check it out yet but I’m sure there will be a few AGW references included to raise the blood pressure. They have a bit of a habit doing so. Cheers!

  4. Climate fundamentalists are always cavalier with the facts – why?

    Because facts do not produce grants or sell magazines, but scary unfounded fiction does.

  5. Those guys are surely paid by Big Insurance, fear being the lifeblood of that industry. Even a large scale waterfront real estate speculation may be lurking in the background, “$35 trillion worth of property”, as they say it, is a somewhat appetizing prize.

  6. “Carbon dioxide … accounts for only 3.6% of the greenhouse effect …”

    I can use that, does anyone have a reference, please?

  7. I find it impossible not to picture groups of limousine liberals sitting at the dinner table while reciting this NatGeo piffle to each other with calls to action, while wallowing in their own self righteousness.

  8. In the UK there used to be a joke newspaper, ironically sold in seaside resorts like Blackpool and Cleethorpes, called Billy’s Weekly Liar. It looks like the National Geographic has taken over the vacant spot

  9. The September issue of National Geographic shows sea level midway up the Statue of Liberty, 214 feet above present sea level … and contains dire images of impending catastrophic sea level rise.
    —————————————
    “In the United States of America, unfortunately we still live in a bubble of unreality. And the Category 5 denial is an enormous obstacle to any discussion of solutions. Nobody is interested in solutions if they don’t think there’s a problem. Given that starting point, I believe it is appropriate to have an over-representation of factual presentations on how dangerous [global warming] is, as a predicate for opening up the audience to listen to what the solutions are, and how hopeful it is that we are going to solve this crisis.”
    – algore

  10. Could we get some better quality figures? In particular I’d like to take a closer look at figure 2, but at the current resolution I can only make out squiggly blue lines that trend downwards.

  11. But entirely consistent with this push. http://environment.nationalgeographic.com/environment/global-warming/gw-impacts-interactive/

    A big part of what I call the real Common Core, the actual implementation and curricula materials, is all about Climate Change because it allows whatever knowledge is provided to be grounded in emotion that will then hopefully prompt the need to take action. Old-fashioned chemistry and physics were intellectual and not necessarily bound to real world and they did not compel certain behavior (beyond nervousness over tests).

    National Geographic is deeply involved in creating visually compelling curricula that will push the idea of reimagining a different future because the current modelling looks disastrous. It need not be true goes the motto if it creates the desired perceptions that compel the desired future behaviors.

  12. Since 1950 CO2 levels have increased 23%, from 0.030% to 0.039% of the atmosphere.

    CO2 did NOT increase by 0.009%. The words “Increased by xx%” have a precise mathematical meaning which should be respected.

  13. I wonder if any of the IPCC models can retrocast the Mid-Holocene Highstand (~3,000 to 7,000 YBP) when sea level was roughly 2 meters higher than it currently is, despite a supposedly benign 280 ppmv CO2.

    If you scale the Jevrejeva sea level plot since 1750 to the same scale as the Mid-Holocene Highstand, all of the sea level rise since 1750 pretty well vanishes in a puff of geologic context.

  14. The South Florida alarm is bogus even if Rahmstorff’s four feet ( off by at least a fact of two since he used published day but forgot to used the errata corrected version) were true. The mean elevation above MHT ( not MSL if one seeks dry land) is 1.8 meters in both Miami Dade and Broward counties. Flood zone maps (storm surge insurance yes or no?) are available on line for both. There would be some shoreline problems, and some where housing is built on artificial fill. (Las Olas Isles used to be a mangrove swamp.) Nowhere else. The 20-30 cm that might happen by 2100 is already taken into account almost everywhere. Maybe have to install some more back flow check valves on the drainage systems in the most low lying areas.
    National Geographic should have checked out the geography.

  15. Well, even with a magnifying glass I could not read figure 2- Declining atmospheric water.

    The amount of water in the atmosphere is important in considering a homogenized ( U.S.) temperature record. I have listen to several speakers acknowledge that the 1930’s daily high temps were higher than current temps, but that current daily low temps are higher due to a higher moisture content.
    Anyone—where may I get reasonably long term US and world atmospheric moisture records?

    Cynical Scientist—I caught that also, I would expect that was just a mistake

  16. First of all, thanks for the article. Here are some things I have been wondering as an amateur scientist.
    Figure 4 shows the hadcrut temperature data. First, isn’t the hadcrut data just the north american ground based weather station data? I don’t understand how this is a proxy for global temperature. Second, Hasn’t Anthony Watt’s paper demonstrated that hadcrut is seriously flawed? Why do I keep seeing that temperature set in articles written by skeptics, when the real temperature would show that the temperatures at the end of this century were lower than in the 1940’s?

  17. Maybe what National Geographic really meant to illustrate was the Statue of Liberty drowning in a sea of bureaucracy and regulations.

  18. We need to make the NG cover the “poster child” for the dying CAGW hoax.

    Years from now folks will say “They actually believed that….”

  19. They see and read the same science we all do. It is their interpretation that is fantasy. It is a failing of print media to try anything to sell hard copy. The days of creating sales with images of naked South Pacific islanders are over.

  20. 1. “By releasing carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases into the atmosphere, we have warmed the Earth by more than a full degree Fahrenheit over the past century and raised sea level by about eight inches. Even if we stopped burning all fossil fuels tomorrow, the existing greenhouse gases would continue to warm the Earth for centuries. We have irreversibly committed future generations to a hotter world and rising seas.”

    This is simple BS. The thermal equilibration time for the oceans is about 25 years. You would get about the last rate of temperature increase extended for about another 25 years. If CO2 were the cause of the increased temperature, then it might take centuries for it to be absorbed and initial conditions regained. But solar effects can be changed much more rapidly.

  21. I just received my newest issue yesterday, the 125th anniversary collector’s issue. Haven’t had a chance to check it out yet but I’m sure there will be a few AGW references included to raise the blood pressure. They have a bit of a habit doing so. Cheers! 

    I reviewed the issue and of course was not disappointed. There is the full article about glaciers titled “Meltdown” with the scientifically-barren subhead “Glaciers are supposed to advance or retreat at a glacial pace. Now they’re disappearing before our eyes.” Here are the lead sentences:

    We know the climate is changing, but wrapping our minds around that fact can be difficult. The Extreme Ice Survey [everything's "extreme" nowadays it seems] makes the changes tangible: Through nearly a million time-lapse photographs, we now have indisputable, gut-wrenching proof that ancient glaciers are disappearing…Someone must bear witness to these monumental changes. We can’t ever stop. People need to see that climate change is real. 

    The author goes on to anthropomorphize glaciers, breathlessly explaining how they are “wild beasts” that “breathe” and “ruled” and “struggle to adapt.” He then throws out this gem:

    If we weren’t changing it [the climate] now ourselves, if nature were still in control, we’d be due for another ice ace in a millennium or two. Conversely, if we burn all the coal, oil, and gas underground, we’ll melt every last speck of ice on Earth. 

    Reality check sir. Nature is in control. There is also an article titled “Building the Ark” where the author leads with this:

    Half of all the species on Earth could be headed irreversibly toward extinction by 2100. Not if I can help it. 

    Wow. Apparently he’s channeling Scott Mandia’s super powers. Willis noted in his “Where Are The Corpses?” post about extinctions over the last five centuries that past extinction figures were greatly exaggerated. It is likely a pretty safe bet that alarmist projections of future mass extinctions are likewise greatly exaggerated.

    Finally, the last example from this issue speaks more to National Geographic’s “lies of omission” regarding biofuels. On page 62 there is a photo spread of a decimated forest in Sarawak, Borneo from 2008. The caption reads:

    A bird’s-eye view offers indisputable evidence of environmental destruction, as roads and terraced fields erase biodiversity in favor of just one species: the oil palm tree. The profitability of palm oil has sent the crop sprawling across an area the size of Switzerland.

    Notice something missing there? No mention whatsoever of what is driving the land grab and palm oil’s increasing profit margin:

    The report exposes the illegal activities of the Malaysian showcase company IOI Group and shows that the increasing demand in Europe for palm oil in food and biofuels is leading to deforestation, breaches of environmental law and land conflicts in Asia…”Illegal deforestation, land-grabbing and the breach of environmental laws are the reality behind Europe’s palm oil use. Europe’s biofuel target and palm-oil obsession are driving this destruction, and companies like the IOI Group, that promote themselves as green and responsible, are putting profit before both people and the planet, sacrificing forests for Europe’s food and fuel.”

    Whether it’s palm oil, proposed enormous solar array moonscapes, or failed wind power, the ends always justify the means with the warmists. To a real environmentalist such as myself, it is an abomination.

  22. Tom J says:
    September 25, 2013 at 2:14 pm
    Maybe what National Geographic really meant to illustrate was the Statue of Liberty drowning in a sea of bureaucracy and regulations.

    As I noted in my letter to National Geographic that I referenced in a previous comment, the only true threat to Liberty is immediate and comes in the form of the relentless surge offered by overzealous propagandists who enthrone the political dictates of activist post-modern pseudoscience to implement an open agenda that aims to control and punish humanity.

  23. Coastlines have always been in flux. They are always changing. Of course, the story in question is completely absurd and will not happen as the author fantasizes, but some change will occur. Adapting to it will not be that difficult.

    Considering that the planet is always changing and that almost all of the species that ever lived on Earth are now extinct, a modern environmentalist would have to view the natural history of the planet as a continuous stream of cataclysmic disasters. Good thing they weren’t around in the beginning. The Earth would still be a lifeless ball, falling around the sun.

  24. Notional Goofygraphic has become an unread periodical providing company for unopened books atop the coffee table. I gave up reading it decades ago.

  25. Yes, until the next orogeny in that part of the world, the passive margin of the US East Coast will be literally sloughing off into the Atlantic and land will be disappearing. This is not only due to erosion it is also due to tectonic subsidence.

  26. Just a funny aside. In the “Next” section near the beginning of the current issue is a one-page article titled “Naked Truth” where it is revealed that “539 photos showing bare-breasted women have appeared in National Geographic magazine sine 1896.” The accompanying graph shows all of the instances that they have published such photos over the last 125 years. They highlight September 1912 as the record with 20 photos. Out of natural curiosity I searched for the issue on eBay and found a copy featuring the “Head-Hunters of Northern Luzon.” When I first saw the auction it had about 5 hours to go and had a single bid at $9.45. It is currently (ends in about 2.5 hours) at $19.00 with 6 bids. I wonder how National Geographic’s revelation will affect the price of that issue going forward…and I wonder who was tasked with searching through over 1,000 magazines page-by-page looking for naked women. Yech!

  27. National Geographic is going the way of the NY times… bird cage cover… and they wonder why readership is dying. We are not dumb and we can see the truth even if they push the lie full steam ahead.

    Desperation From the CAGW gloom and doomers is no longer news… And we know it!

  28. So how many btus will it take to melt all the ice to get Lady Liberty wet? Now where will that come from? And how long will that take?

  29. When I was a kid my folks always got a Christmas present of a National Geographic subscription each year. I really enjoyed them, especially the maps, some of which I still have. Now I see the NG in a waiting room and seldom bother to thumb through one.

  30. The Count says:
    September 25, 2013 at 5:42 pm

    The Eemian Interglacial, the one preceding the last glacial, which preceded the Holocene, our current interglacial, was much warmer (hippos in England, raised beaches in Alaska, Scandinavia an island) than the present one & lasted thousands of years longer. Even so, only a fraction more of the Greenland Ice Sheet melted than now, & Antarctica hardly noticed.

    So the answer to your question, is a lot of BTUs.

  31. Don, we need to show these people Pete Vail’s sea level curve (from the 70s) and then defy ANYBODY to point to it to show us the elevation which SHOULD be msl.

    After a lifetime, I have canceled my NG subscription this past year. Glad I did not help fund such blatant politicking.

  32. Figure 5. Sea level rise of 1.7 mm/yr from 1900 to 2000. Figure 6. Sea level rise since 1993.

    Figure 7. Sea level rise over the past century (lower left), sea level rise projected at this rate (black line, lower part of graph), and IPCC predicted sea level rise (red).

    “Figure 9. Sea level rise at Key West, Florida [...]“

    While on the whole a good article, all four of those sea level graphs are in the misleading form favored by activists, which unfortunately others continue to copy without plotting the derivative as well. In contrast, for example, see 1/4th of the way down in the following for two plots where both are from the same paper but highlight what happens if more clearly viewing the details of the rate of change rather than just cumulative rise:

    Figure. 4. Temperature changes during the past century.

    While showing a temperature record published by activists like HADCRUT3 (by CRU of Climategate) is okay in itself, of note is that such is adjusted data, a relatively better choice than HADCRUT4 probably but still adjusted (fudged) by the source. Viewers should keep in mind that original thermometer readings corresponded still more to a double-peak like appearance to 20th century temperature, as fitting an old 1976 National Geographic plot and other illustrations in the prior link.

    Of course, I quite agree with Professor Easterbrook in his intended point.

  33. If you are worried about sea level increase, just watch your local sea level gauges and the nearest GPS receiver stations.

    I imagine you will find no reason to leave your beach-front property. And you might gain some appreciation for how ridiculous this science has become, making up data and making up scare stories in order to perpetuate itself.

    Some day soon, there has to be a reckoning for these people. The people who have caused us to waste trillions of dollars just to perpetuate their cushy climate scientist, environmental advocacy and scare journalism jobs.

  34. When graphs are clicked on, the version presented is as minuscule and unreadable as the ones within the post. Could the enlarged versions please be made from the original graph rather than the thumbnail.

    thanks

  35. Has anyone got info on NatGeo’s circulation and financial position?

    Like Popular Science, I suspect that they have jumped the shark. Especially, as someone upthread astutely noted, that pictures of boobs are now freely available everywhere.

  36. These people are simply idiots!

    They have seemingly convinced themselves of sea-level rise as a fungible occurrence completely disconnected from well-known planetary geography, ignoring hard fought facts that accumulated from thousands of years of effort.

    They act as if there is no such thing as axial tilt …

    … or Arctic and Antarctic Circles …

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/31/Arctic_circle.svg

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/3e/Antarctic_circle.svg

    They act as if 99% of Antarctica and most of Greenland does NOT lie in a frigid zone …

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/95/World_map_frigid.svg

    And that seasons are merely optional instead of ironclad …

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

    They quite literally have perverted the concept of geography which is both sad and ironic considering the name of their crappy little magazine.

  37. Cynical Scientst says:
    September 25, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    Since 1950 CO2 levels have increased 23%, from 0.030% to 0.039% of the atmosphere.

    CO2 did NOT increase by 0.009%. The words “Increased by xx%” have a precise mathematical meaning which should be respected.

    And Scientist has a precise English spelling which should be respected.

  38. Just looking at the NatGeo cover again.
    “HOW THEY ARE CHANGING OUR COASTLINES”

    I wonder who THEY are.

    Sounds like a conspiracy :)

  39. How many people have been idiotic enough to reallocate because of the fear of Climate Change and rising Oceans.How many property developers made a killing off them.

    Gene Hackman in Superman ,Lex Luther to General Zod in the Oval Office.”your greatness i have this affinity for Beach Front Property”.

    The proprietor of Rollin Stone is worth 500 million and has his own private jet.So what is the financial profile of National Geographic private jets ,condos with heated swimming pools etc etc.

  40. Sorry i am on a roll.

    National Geographic has a Satellite channel in the UK .Some of their shows are made by Wag TV WagTV is owned by Martin Durkin who famously made The Great Global Warming Swindle documentary.

  41. NG has sponsored movies purportedly showing a peregrine falcon stooping at around 200mph. Their editors usually include no scientists of any stripe–they are very easily duped. And they have little acquaintance with their long and excellent history of science, including archeology. Much archeological work is done in ‘tels,’ which is Hebrew and Arabic for ‘hill’ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tell). But in archeological terms a tel is the accidental result of human occupation over millennia, caused by the accumulation of building debris, garbage, and blown in dust.

    Accidental at least when speaking of dry zones, since tels that appear in flood plains are often suspected of being intentionally built to escape floods. This explanation might apply to small mounds but the bigger the hill, the more time and labor is involved, and the immediate return for the investment is low. Moreover it is usually evident from the archeological content of the mound that accumulation was gradual: nobody goes about intentionally constructing hills out of pottery sherds.

    It takes about 3000 years to make a tel 100 feet high, 3 years per inch, without even trying. In other words primitive accidental landfill exceeds historic SLR by about 3 times. And now we are asked to believe that with modern consumption and garbage production we will not be able to accidentally keep pace with current or future rates of SLR, let alone with the added benefit of modern industry. The English language has no adjectives to describe the utterly mindless foolishness of these world class holes crying doom over a few mm/year of steady rise, so far unaffected by CO2. Let them build arks. –AGF

  42. Unfortunately the alarmists have something like the opposite of the Midas touch: all gold they touch turns to lead.
    NG used to be a good paper, however the more drivel it puts in its pages, the more unfounded alarmism, the more it turns into lead.
    I used to be a consequent reader for several decades, still have the old numbers kept somewhere, could not throw them away, but not any more.
    The alarmists use it, turn it to lead and then go away…

  43. I’m reading the latest in the “Science of Discworld” book series. Terry Pratchett was doing quite well in it, until he started going on about deniers of human caused global warming. Would be nice to see someone ask him his specific reasons for believing in AGW – then systematically demolishing those reasons with facts.

    Much of the content of those books is spent beating up on religion and about how as more facts are discovered they change the prevailing views on things – then he flips a 180 and goes off about global warming – in defiance of all the contrary data.

  44. By the way, the proper name for the ‘journalism’ that National Geographic obsessively pushes now is “climate porn”.

  45. the cover is sensacionalistic indeed but maybe they did it to shock and make people think about the issue….

  46. The name “Grant Whores” always comes back to mind and reminds me of how dishonest the scientific community is when it comes to money in their pockets, truly shameful!

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