Latest NOAA mean sea level trend data through 2013 confirms lack of sea level rise acceleration

UN IPCC AR5 WGI claims of increasing rates of sea level rise from 1971 to 2010 are unsupported

Guest essay by Larry Hamlin

NOAA has released new and updated mean sea level trend data for it’s Global Network Stations tide gauge locations which are inclusive of measurement data through 2013 (1),(2).

The data include long time period duration (in excess of 30 years) tide gauge station records covering the Hawaiian Islands, Alaska and the Pacific, Gulf Coast and Atlantic coastline regions of the U.S. as well as many other global wide coastal locations. This latest NOAA data shows unchanging linear trends in the rate of sea level rise worldwide with many of these records including 100 year and longer measurement duration periods.

The UN IPCC AR5 WG1 report claims that:

“It is very likely that the mean rate of global averaged sea level rise was 1.7 [1.5 to 1.9] mm yr–1 between 1901 and 2010, 2.0 [1.7 to 2.3] mm yr–1 between 1971 and 2010, and 3.2 [2.8 to 3.6] mm yr–1 between 1993 and 2010. Tide-gauge and satellite altimeter data are consistent regarding the higher rate of the latter period. It is likely that similarly high rates occurred between 1920 and 1950.” (3)

As discussed in detail below the latest mean sea level rise trend data from NOAA simply does not support IPCC assertions that mean sea level rise trends are increasing since 1971. The IPCC report describes the fact that individual location tide gauge measurement values can vary significantly from global average values (4) generally because of the consequences of location specific topography and geology related impacts.

But what the UN IPCC AR5 WG1 report completely fails to address is the fact that the long duration period NOAA mean sea level trend data behavior represent constant and unchanging linear records over time which present major challenges to IPCC claims of increasing sea level rise rates since 1971. The NOAA data is simply unsupportive of IPCC claims of increasing rates of sea level rise in recent decades.

Furthermore the unchanging and constant linear NOAA mean sea level trend records from worldwide tide gauge station data versus the UN claims of increasing rates of sea level rise based on satellite sea level data suggests the latter outcome is driven by anomalous analytical artifacts associated with the measurement and measurement analysis methodology not reflective of real world outcomes.

Since Obama and his “science?” advisers have decided to assert man made CO2 emissions driven sea level rise climate fear claims in speeches (5),(6) involving New York (Hurricane Sandy increased flooding impacts), Virginia and Florida (both with regard to increased high tide flooding impacts) it seems appropriate to examine in more detail the latest NOAA updated mean sea level trend data addressing the various coastline regions of the United States.

Starting with the Hawaiian Islands, the birthplace of Obama, we see below the primary long duration NOAA tide gauge station records at Honolulu and Hilo showing completely unchanging linear rates of sea level rise measuring between 6 to 13 inches per century (7). These NOAA records are presented in map location format and individually for ease of review. NOAA records show no increasing sea level rise acceleration in the Hawaiian Islands refuting claims that man made CO2 emissions are increasing rates of sea level rise here or in fact anyplace else on the globe.

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Moving next to Alaska the primary long term NOAA tide gauge locations are shown for Adak Island, Seward, Sitka and Ketchikan (8). All of these records reflect constant linear decreasing rates of sea level rise driven by tectonic uplift forces which dominate this region (9). The tide gauge records of Adak and Seward show large step change impacts caused by the major earthquakes of 1958 (magnitude 7.3) and 1964 (magnitude 9.2) respectively at these locations. Man made CO2 emissions have no bearing on sea level rise impacts in Alaska.

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The Pacific, Gulf Coast and Atlantic regions of the continental U.S. are shown next with primary long duration period NOAA tide gauge data reflecting unchanging linear rates of sea level rise varying between 3 to 12 inches per century (10) at these locations. Two outliers exist in this data at Astoria, Oregon and Galveston Pier 21, Texas. Astoria is experiencing constant linear declining rates of sea level rise driven by tectonic uplift forces (11) and Galveston is experiencing constant linear rates of sea level rise of about 25 inches per century driven by regional land subsidence due to long term oil and gas extraction (11).

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There is simply nothing in these NOAA long duration mean sea level trend data records that supports claims that man made CO2 emissions are accelerating sea level rise at U.S. locations. Without belaboring the point the same holds true for locations worldwide as demonstrated by the latest NOAA global wide mean sea level trend data.

Obama made alarmist and absurd remarks at a recent address (6) claiming that man made CO2 emissions were contributing to sea level increases at Norfolk, Virginia and Miami, Florida such that high tides at these cities were causing increased flooding.

Shown below is the NOAA primary tide gauge data for Florida (12) for Pensacola, Key West, Miami and Mayport. The Miami sea level trend data terminates in about 1983 but the 50 year record up to that time is an unchanging linear record with a rate of increase of about 9 inches per century. The NOAA long period duration mean sea level trend records for the other Florida locations show similar rates of unchanging linear increasing sea level trends as Miami. There is simply nothing in the NOAA mean sea level trend data that supports Obama’s ridiculous remarks about Miami’s man made CO2 emissions caused increased flooding.

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Obama’s equally ridiculous and absurd remarks about man made CO2 emissions caused increased flooding at high tide in Norfolk, Virginia were well addressed at WUWT (13). Shown below are the NOAA mean sea level trend data for Sewells Point and Portsmouth, Virginia which are both located very near Norfolk (14). Both records are unchanging linear trends with the Portsmouth 50 year long record terminating in about 1988. This region is significantly impacted by subsidence which contributes about 60% of the 17 inch per century linear rate of sea level rise at Sewells Point. NOAA data does not support claims that man made CO2 emissions are causing increased flooding at high tide in Norfolk, Virginia.

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Obama has also made alarmist remarks alleging that man made CO2 emissions increased sea level rise resulted in greater flooding impacts during Hurricane Sandy in New York City (5). Shown below are NOAA long period duration mean sea level trend records for Kings Point and The Battery, New York and Atlantic City, New Jersey (15). The NOAA data shows clearly that sea level rise trends at these locations are linear and unchanging with the New York locations having rates of sea level increase of about 11 inches per century. The higher rate of sea level rise at Atlantic City location versus New York is the result of land subsidence (16). NOAA data shows that man made CO2 emissions have not caused increases in sea level rise that made Hurricane Sandy’s flooding worse.

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Climate alarmists including Obama and his “science?” advisors are deliberately misleading, some might say lying, to the American people trying to push high cost, bureaucratic and completely ineffectual mandates for CO2 reductions here that won’t do anything to impact global climate or reduce the ever increasing global rise in utilizing economically advantageous coal fuel energy.

(1) http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/sltrends.html

(2) http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/sltrends_global.shtml

(3) UN IPCC AR5 WG1 SPM report, Section B.4 Sea Level, pg.11

(4) UN IPCC AR5 WG1, Chapter 13, FAQ 13.1, pg. 1149

(5) http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/02/12/remarks-president-state-union-address

(6) http://www.ocregister.com/articles/applause-618293-going-climate.html

(7) Hawaii: Honolulu,

http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/sltrends_station.shtml?stnid=1612340

Hilo, http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/sltrends_station.shtml?stnid=1617760

(8) Alaska: Adak,

http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/sltrends_station.shtml?stnid=9461380

Seward, http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/sltrends_station.shtml?stnid=9455090

Sitka,

http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/sltrends_station.shtml?stnid=9451600

Ketchikan,

http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/sltrends_station.shtml?stnid=9450460

(9) http://gji.oxfordjournals.org/content/158/3/1118.full

(10) Continental U.S.

Seattle, Washington:

http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/sltrends_station.shtml?stnid=9447130

Astoria, Oregon:

http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/sltrends_station.shtml?stnid=9439040

San Francisco, California:

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

Los Angeles, California:

http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/sltrends_station.shtml?stnid=9410660

San Diego, California:

http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/sltrends_station.shtml?stnid=9410170

Galveston Pier 21, Texas:

http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/sltrends_station.shtml?stnid=8771450

Pensacola, Florida:

http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/sltrends_station.shtml?stnid=8729840

Key West, Florida:

http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/sltrends_station.shtml?stnid=8724580

Charleston, South Carolina:

http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/sltrends_station.shtml?stnid=8665530

Washington DC:

http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/sltrends_station.shtml?stnid=8594900

The Battery, New York:

http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/sltrends_station.shtml?stnid=8518750

Portland, Maine:

http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/sltrends_station.shtml?stnid=8418150

(11)

http://books.google.com/books?id=NsqQrlAbHv0C&pg=PA22&lpg=PA22&dq=juneau,+al

(12) Florida:

Pensacola,

http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/sltrends_station.shtml?stnid=8729840

Key West,

http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/sltrends_station.shtml?stnid=8724580

Miami,

http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/sltrends_station.shtml?stnid=8723170

Mayport,

http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/sltrends_station.shtml?stnid=8720218

(13)

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/06/01/making-sense-of-senseless-sea-level-scares-in-norfolk-virginia-60-of-the-rise-is-from-subsidence/

(14) Virginia,

Sewells point,

http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/sltrends_station.shtml?stnid=8638610

Portsmouth,

http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/sltrends_station.shtml?stnid=8638660

(15) New York:

Kings Point,

http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/sltrends_station.shtml?stnid=8516945

The Battery,

http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/sltrends_station.shtml?stnid=8518750

Atlantic City, New Jersey:

http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/sltrends_station.shtml?stnid=8534720

(16) http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF02574663

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68 thoughts on “Latest NOAA mean sea level trend data through 2013 confirms lack of sea level rise acceleration

  1. Thank you for this very interesting analysis.
    A question which needs answering is can you support the land rises and falls by measured data. In the UK the ordnance survey periodically updates maps and from memory these go back to the late 1800′s and the survey levels are related to sea level at Newlyn in Cornwall. Does the same process occur in the US and elsewhere which would prove your assertion regarding ground levels.
    Sorry if this is also covered in the data you have obtained and I hope it is not a stupid question.
    Regards

  2. How many so called scholars never learnt or at least not learnt to understand Archimedes principle

    Ice on land melting = land which been under the ice/glaciar starts rising up In other word no rising in sealevels
    Ice in water melting doesn’t make waterlevels rising up nor in your drinks or in Sea…..

  3. Good article but the graphs too small and fuzzy. Also fitting a linear trend is not very informative about the presence or absence of a small acceleration.

    Either fit a quadratic and look at the sign and magnitude of the quadratic coeff or plot second diff ( rate of change or rate of change ) and compare to the zero line.

    If fitting, obviously don’t fit across breaks and level shifts.

  4. NASA’s climate web site has a nice dishonest trick to deal with how tide gauge data falsifies claims of a surge in sea level. They just *delete* recent tide gauge data, shown in this infographic that includes the latest world average of tide gauges from the standard Church & White update of 2011:

    The IPCC is simply lying when they use the systematic mismatch between tide gauges (relative to land) and satellite altimeter data (absolute value) to imply in mealy mouthed fashion a jump in sea level rate of rise. That’s fraud and that is corruption and that is criminal and moral evil.

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

    “After a recent review of the primary bench mark history at Seldovia,(9455500), small adjustments were made to older mean sea level values. A new relative sea level trend of -10.47 mm/yr has been calculated for 1964-2013. The previous trend from uncorrected data for 1964-2006 was -9.45 mm/yr. ”

    OK, good to see that’s been “corrected” to add an extra 1mm/y sea rise.

  6. There is the continuous rise of the mid Atlantic ridge, there is a formation of a micro-continent in the Arctic, there are ongoing continental plates subductions and uplifts around the Pacific. It is likely that all these affect sea level measurements at the coastal tidal stations at a far greater extent than any input from glaciers melt or possible thermal expansion due to a fraction of a degree rise in the SST. However, a conclusive proof for one or the other (I assume) may not be possible with the data currently available.

  7. Jevrejeva’s recent paper was discussed at length here, it claimed “acceleration” in the abstract but careful reading reveals that she found NO acceleration since 1900 and the only change in rate of rise was very punctual around 1850-1870.

  8. Jones wrote: “Is the rise hiding in the deep ocean?”

    Of course, that must be the explanation! The oceans are so deep, they can easily hide a few feet of man-made sea level rise. But then, very, very suddenly, it will all come to the surface, and some other disaster, say ocean acidification, will take over the hiding place in the deep blue sea.

    Because of the constantly changing ocean currents, an equally constant stream of man-made climate disasters will be sink far below the surface and be regurgitated at the appropiate time.

  9. I’m not a mathematician or a scientist but I have learned to question everything. And if it confirms a bias, question it twice. I realise a lot of work has gone into the article but for me It raises some questions. Apologies if I am missing the point here I am happy to be corrected.

    The straight trend line is not at all useful and in some ways obfuscates the claim of an increasing trend. Overlaying a straight line is not a refutation and it is entirely possible to produce a straight line even if there is an increasing rate. Overlaying the straight line leads observers to see a straight line. Is there another smoothing method that gives something more meaningful for rate of change?

    More useful would be to compare the observed rate to 1901-2010, 1971-2010, 1993-2010 and 1920-1950 for this range of locations. Then it is possible to do a direct comparison with AR5 and say the numbers it presents were wrong…or not. Perhaps even do decadal trends of they do not support an increasing rate it should be possible to show that the ranges were chosen to give the desired results. I suspect that ‘global’ sea level rise is yet another mathematical chimera and you can get any answer you want if you just combine the locations in different ways. Saying x locations support the AR5 report on a direct comparison and y locations do not is clear and is how sceptics are slowly winning the propaganda war.

    If we are saying the data do not support the numbers given in AR5 on a direct comparison then there is a challenge. If the minority, however small map to the numbers in AR5, then there is cherry picking. If they do match there is no challenge and the report reflects the numbers.

    How politicians dress up the numbers is an entirely different matter but should not be conflated with the numbers presented

  10. Jones wrote: “Is the rise hiding in the deep ocean?”

    Well that is exactly what they are saying with GAIA [sic] adjustments.

    What C.U. Bolder group present as “sea level” is not the level of the sea ! It is some phantom sea level mysteriously floating ever higher above the ocean waves.

    The ocean basins are allegedly getting deeper ( pure speculation rather than observation ) making sea level rise “appear” less than it really is.

    So instead of presenting the true (wet) mean sea level they prefer to present a fictional, adjusted value they are misleadingly calling “mean sea level”.

  11. Clovis: “The straight trend line is not at all useful and in some ways obfuscates the claim of an increasing trend. ”

    The linear trend is NOAA. As far as I can tell from their site they do not make the actual data available. They probably think they need to “protect” the data from those who are “not qualified”. ( As well as from those who are but may not do the ‘right’ things with it. ).

  12. IPCC AR5
    Figure 13.6
    According to satellite telemetry GMSL between 2005 and 2012.5 increased about 20 mm. That’s about 0.75 of an inch. At that rate the sea level will increase another 8.25 inches by 2100. That won’t be a problem for anybody not dumb enough to currently live or build 4 inches above GMSL. Might need your high water pants.

  13. Ole Humlum’s site, climate4you.com provides a global average sea level chart from the University of Colorado at Boulder. It shows the global average sea level rise since 1993. There is no increasing trend apparent in this chart. Within the past year or two, there has been no rise at all.

  14. Thank you, Larry Hamlin for this timely and interesting post. I enjoyed it.

    I do have a problem with the subject matter however. Perhaps you can help me out with my conceptual difficulty.

    I studied science a long time ago, back when correct observations ruled science. Messing around with the data to help out your hypothesis was seen as a crime against humanity as well as science. At the time we were also taught that often your observations and measurements were relative to your own frame of reference. This leads to my conceptual difficulty with “sea level rise” measurements.

    How can we tell if the land is sinking, or the sea is rising, or both at the same time at any given point on earth? What is the objective point of reference? We have a record amount of sea ice and yet the sea level is said to be rising. That could be true, but could it not also be true that the sea level is falling?

    Thanks to anyone would can help me out here.

  15. The GMSL data from 1901 that the IPCC SPM (reference (3) above) refers appear in Table 3.1, page 291, Chapter 3 of the AR5 report: ‘Observations: Ocean’; available from here: http://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar5/wg1/ This is a screen print of the relevant GMSL data: http://tinypic.com/view.php?pic=aky1r6&s=8#.U8ZXQbGTKM0

    The tide gauge reconstruction is credited to Church and White (2011), available in ‘open access’ here: http://download.springer.com/static/pdf/628/art%253A10.1007%252Fs10712-011-9119-1.pdf?auth66=1405680367_adc08bf841b4ea54e748dc676b9bf945&ext=.pdf They used PMSL data which they make available on their website here: http://www.cmar.csiro.au/sealevel/sl_data_cmar.html

    Anyone, including the author of the above article, is therefore free to interrogate Church & White (2011), their methods and their treatment of the data then submit a peer reviewed comment to the publishing journal or publish a rebuttal to the paper, should any discrepancy be found. As far as I know, no one has so far done this.

  16. Thanks for the clarification Greg. My bad for assuming the graphs had been created from the data.
    I perhaps should have spent a little more time following links instead of jumping in with both feet.

    Re pmsl.org PMSL

  17. I’m curious whether “long term oil and gas extraction” fully explains the subsidence in Galveston. After the 1900 hurricane, a new seawall was built and the entire city raised by varying amounts up to 16 feet (5 meters). A description of the work (from here ):

    Lifting an Entire City

    Raising the grade of the city was more complicated.

    The work began in December 1903 and was done in quarter-mile-square sections, each about 16 city blocks in size. Each section in turn was enclosed in a dike.

    In addition to structures, utility lines within the dike – sewers, water and gas lines, streetcar tracks, fire hydrants and telephone and telegraph poles – had to be lifted. Fences, sidewalks and outbuildings also had to be repositioned.

    Some frame structures had been built on stilts because of the city’s periodic flooding. Many of them sat high enough to accommodate the increased height in ground level. All buildings that weren’t already on stilts – about 2,000 buildings – were raised with jacks. Even the 3,000-ton St. Patrick’s Church was lifted five feet with 700 jackscrews.

    Sand for the fill was dredged out of an area between the jetties at the entrance to Galveston harbor, which had the benefit of deepening the approach to the harbor.

    To transport the fill to the areas being raised, the contractor built a canal 20 feet deep, 200 feet wide and two-and-a-half miles long through the residential district. About 350 houses had to be temporarily relocated so that the canal could be dug.

    A slurry of water and fill sand, dug out of the harbor channel by dredges, was sailed down the canal to discharge stations, from which the mixture was pumped into the area to the desired level. The water then drained away, leaving the sand behind. New foundations were constructed for the buildings on top of the fill, and the structures were fastened to their new bases.

    While the work was being done, people walked about on catwalks as high as eight to ten feet in the air.

    The area immediately behind the seawall was raised just over 16.5 feet, giving the seawall a solid support. The grade decreased one foot for every 1,500 feet west to Galveston Bay, so that the city’s streets drained into the bay. A side benefit of the grade raising was that the city’s sewer system, which had never worked right, finally had enough slope to enable it to operate properly.

    When the job was finished in 1910, 500 city blocks had been raised from a few inches to more than 16 feet by the use of 16.3 million cubic yards of sand.

    The fill material used was sand dug out of the harbor channel; lots of opportunity for subsidence there.

    Note also that all the work was completed in 7 years. Today it would take that long just to get an Environmental Impact Statement acceptable to the EPA.

  18. DHR says:
    July 16, 2014 at 3:44 am

    “Ole Humlum’s site, climate4you.com provides a global average sea level chart from the University of Colorado at Boulder. It shows the global average sea level rise since 1993. There is no increasing trend apparent in this chart. Within the past year or two, there has been no rise at all.”
    __________________________

    The data used for Ole Humlum’s chart retains the seasonal signal, which means it’s skewed by seasonal influences. Seasonal and other variations should be subtracted to obtain an accurate estimation of the global mean sea level rate.

    The latest CU update shows mean sea levels with the seasonal signals removed. They reached their highest point on the CU record in March 2014: http://sealevel.colorado.edu/ Another update is due shortly.

  19. Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7 says: July 16, 2014 at 4:48 am:

    I would make one mod to your comment.
    Most all the subsidence in the Galveston area is due to water wells not oil extraction.

  20. Greg Goodman says:
    July 16, 2014 at 2:40 am

    Jones wrote: “Is the rise hiding in the deep ocean?”

    Well that is exactly what they are saying with GAIA [sic] adjustments.

    What C.U. Bolder group present as “sea level” is not the level of the sea ! It is some phantom sea level mysteriously floating ever higher above the ocean waves.

    The ocean basins are allegedly getting deeper ( pure speculation rather than observation ) making sea level rise “appear” less than it really is.

    So instead of presenting the true (wet) mean sea level they prefer to present a fictional, adjusted value they are misleadingly calling “mean sea level”.

    CU claims that the two other non-US sea level monitoring institutions have adopted this phantom sea level. I’ve been dubious about this and–whenever this topic has come up here–have repeatedly urged some knowledgeable WUWTer to check out whether this is really true. It seems unlikely to me. If CU isn’t telling the truth it ought to be exposed. If it is, then the focus of our complaint should shift. (This is about the fourth time I’ve made this plea.)

  21. DHR said at 3:44 am

    The latest CU update shows mean sea levels with the seasonal signals removed. They reached their highest point on the CU record in March 2014: http://sealevel.colorado.edu/

    Not so, if you download their data

    http://sealevel.colorado.edu/files/2014_rel4/sl_ns_global.txt

    and apply some modest Excel skills [Text to columns & the slope function] you will find that a comparison of the first ten and a half years of data with the second ten and a half [1992.9595 to 2003.5744 and 2003.6015 to 2014.1893] tells you that the rate of sea level rise has slowed from 3.6 mm/yr to 2.9 mm/yr.

    Really it was 3.6 mm/yr in 2004? I thought DHR said the highest point was March 2014? Who remembers that the rate was 3.6 mm/yr ten years ago? Nobody, because it wasn’t. If you check the old charts retained by the Internet Archives WayBack Machine

    https://archive.org/web/

    by putting in CU’s URL you can go back to 2004 release #1 and the rate was 2.8 not 3.6 mm/yr.

    What that means is the historical data has been rewritten.

  22. The UN IPCC AR5 WG1 report claims that:

    “It is very likely that the mean rate of global averaged sea level rise was 1.7 [1.5 to 1.9] mm yr–1 between 1901 and 2010, 2.0 [1.7 to 2.3] mm yr–1 between 1971 and 2010, and 3.2 [2.8 to 3.6] mm yr–1 between 1993 and 2010. Tide-gauge and satellite altimeter data are consistent regarding the higher rate of the latter period. It is likely that similarly high rates occurred between 1920 and 1950.” (3)
    ////////////////////////////

    What does this mean? One has to read it carefully to see what the IPCC are saying.

    It seems to me that when the IPCC says “…It is likely that similarly high rates occurred between 1920 and 1950.” this means the “…3.2 [2.8 to 3.6] mm yr–1 between 1993 and 2010.” rate of increase as seen these past 17 years.

    If so, today’s rate of increase are not unprecedented. Further since mammade CO2 emissions were not pivotal at any rate not between 1920 to 1940, the IPCC are suggesting (although not explicitly) that the rate of increase seen these past 17 years is no more than the rate of increase seen during periods of natural variability last seen in the 1920s onwards.

    How do we not know that the same processes of natural variability that were operative in the 1920s, are not operative today, and are not the sole (or prime) reason for the rate of increase that we are presently measuring?

  23. If Larry Hamlin really believes what he posted in his essay, then he needs to challenge the peer reviewed papers that the IPCC relied on when gathering their data. However, he’s not a scientist himself and has a habit of cherry picking data that he thinks prove his.point. He doesn’t always understand the papers he quotes from though and so his essays, while looking sound and authoritative to the average person, don’t hold up to scientific review.

    However, if he thinks he’s actually discovered how the scientists have misread their data, then he needs to find a scientist who agrees with him (though there aren’t yet any who have published anything in a peer reviewed journal) and get them to publish a paper.

    Larry Hamlin is the retired Southern California Edison (an electric utilities company) vice president of power production, former state energy construction czar under Gov. Gray Davis.

    REPLY: and who are you? An activist? – Anthony

  24. Groundwater extraction must be a major contributor to sea level rise, the following article states it at 25%, but it could well be more than that. The groundwater also gets less replenishment because of more tarmac, reservoirs, drainage, etc.

    “Today, people are drawing so much water from below that they are adding enough of it to the oceans (mainly by evaporation, then precipitation) to account for about 25 percent of the annual sea level rise across the planet, the researchers find.”

    Link: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100923142503.htm

  25. The thing is, we are trying to nail down global sea level change to the tenth of a millimetre (+/-0.1 mm/year), one-13th of the width of a dime.

    Then we are trying to nail down the numbers from year to year or in five year periods to see if it is changing over time (mainly if it is stable or accelerating).

    To achieve that level of accuracy, one needs to use up to 400 tide gauges distributed around the world and/or 200 tide gauges that are co-located with GPS stations operating for at least 3 three years to pull out the local uplift/subsidence factors.

    The data exists to carry out this work but it is in extremely unfriendly databases (at PMSL, Sonel etc.) If someone could just put the data into a real database, all of us could crunch the numbers and answer the question. A question that should have been answered 15 years ago but still has not be answered to this day in a satisfactory manner.

  26. Climate alarmists including Obama and his “science?” advisors are deliberately misleading, some might say lying…

    True that, but we still shouldn’t call it a conspiracy or a fraud or a hoax.

    I guess, even though they are lying, we shouldn’t be truthful.

    /confused

  27. Bill Illis says:
    July 16, 2014 at 6:20 am
    If someone could just put the data into a real database, all of us could crunch the numbers and answer the question. A question that should have been answered 15 years ago but still has not be answered to this day in a satisfactory manner.
    ==============================================
    Good point, but I don’t think sea level rise acceleration will fit the narrative very well, so there is probably little grant money available for a study like that.
    The real measurement is sea level rise as compared to land, and is anyone anywhere ever going to have to move from it? I have been visiting the exact same spot on the Oregon coast for 52 years and there has never been one spec of mitigation due to sea level rise. How someone could say that is going to change a lot by 2100 is beyond me.

  28. Reblogged this on Daily Browse and commented:
    Two outliers exist in this data at Astoria, Oregon and Galveston Pier 21, Texas. Astoria is experiencing constant linear declining rates of sea level rise driven by tectonic uplift forces (11) and Galveston is experiencing constant linear rates of sea level rise of about 25 inches per century driven by regional land subsidence due to long term oil and gas extraction (11).

  29. Steve Case:

    Re my comment “The latest CU update shows mean sea levels with the seasonal signals removed. They reached their highest point on the CU record in March 2014″

    You replied: “… the historical data has been rewritten.”
    _________________________________

    Since I was referring explicitly to the highest point in the mean sea level data issued by CU, I’m afraid it’s my comment that has been re-written; not history.

    From your link [ http://sealevel.colorado.edu/files/2014_rel4/sl_ns_global.txt ], the final figure on the latest CU update, which corresponds to the period ended March 10th 2014, is 67.650 mm.

    This is indeed the highest sea level reached in the CU seasonally adjusted GMSL data.

  30. I have read that 85% of lava is released underwater. What, if any, effect does this have on sea level?

  31. As Mr. Hamlin points out — “sea level” is made up of both the water rising (higher surface altitude when compared to the center of the earth) and land subsidence (land surface losing altitude — getting closer to the center of the earth).

    Thus, those really interested in REAL sea level rise or fall need to refer to NOAA at their National Geodetic Survey CORS project, which uses long-term continuous GPS readings. Here’s the link http://www.ngs.noaa.gov/CORS_Map/ . Richard Snay kindly directed me to this page ftp://cors.ngs.noaa.gov/cors/coord/coord_08/nad83_2011_geo.comp.txt for the latest computed results which include vertical movement for a selection of CORS sites.

    With that, and NOAA’s tide gauge data and/or satellite derived sea level data, one can tell what is really happening.

    The latest subsidence numbers for the Battery, NYC come from this paper Using global positioning system-derived crustal velocities to estimate rates of absolute sea level change from North American tide gauge records by Richard Snay et al. who calculate a long-term geological rate of 2.2 mm/yr. [Note carefully -- the 2.2 mm/yr is the SUBSIDENCE rate -- the land sinking] By the way, Richard Snay was very responsive to my email requests for data and pointers to sources of information – which was welcome as the CORS website was a bit confusing for those not initiated to its complexities.

    This issue for the Battery, NYC was covered pretty thoroughly in one of my previous posts.

  32. You have to realize that NOAA uses a “Fudge Factor” in their computations to make the Whitehouse happy. I once told a person who claims the sea levels are rising about 20 feet/century, Why is so difficult for you to believe the land is settling or sinking like in New Orleans, certain parts of Houston and etc.?

  33. genielorene says:
    July 16, 2014 at 6:03 am
    /////////////////////

    I did not find anything particularly contentious in the data set out in this post by Larry Hamlin.

    Even if examples are cherry picked, a sound theory should always be able to offer an explanation consistent with the theory.

    Professor Nils-Axel Morner, (Stockholm University) has been saying something similar for ages. There are numerous points of observational data, that conflict with the IPCC position on sea level rise.

  34. And after all that is said, Relative Sea Level can be a real problem — as it is in Portsmouth/Norfolk, VA. If the difference between the altitude of your seaside front yard and the average high tide is negative (high tide is higher than your front yard) then you have a problem.

    This happens in many localities, and will happen in more as the sea continues its inexorable rise — even at the miniscule rate of 2 or 3 mm/yr. Note that 3 mm is 0.118 inches — just over a tenth of an inch. (and that’s the claimed accelerated rate).

    All sea level problems are LOCAL. Simplistically, no one cares if the sea rises six feet in an area with no land nearby…that’s just like large waves out at sea. The only place sea level matters is where the sea touches the land. You can take my word for it — I have spent the last ten years living on my sailboat, my bunk 24 inches above sea level — that 24 inches being all that really matters — one time the difference was reduced to 18 inches — and I knew we were were in trouble.

    But when the change is witnessed only from the shore, it always appears that the sea is rising. But, like on my boat, often the land (boat) is actually sinking, as is Norfolk/Portsmouth, VA and the Battery in NYC. Of course, both are happening, but they are sinking much faster than the sea is rising. [Actually, the whole of the Northeast US shoreline, from the Mass./Maine border south to North Carolina is sinking...at a nice clip too.]

    As a note, sea level is the new surface temperature….the new scary club to beat the public with to make them believe in CAGW … now that the surface temperature has quit cooperating.

  35. DavidR says:
    July 16, 2014 at 8:25 am

    “Since I was referring explicitly to the highest point in the mean sea level data issued by CU, I’m afraid it’s my comment that has been re-written; not history.

    From your link [ http://sealevel.colorado.edu/files/2014_rel4/sl_ns_global.txt ], the final figure on the latest CU update, which corresponds to the period ended March 10th 2014, is 67.650 mm.

    This is indeed the highest sea level reached in the CU seasonally adjusted GMSL data.”

    So what? I just got here and haven’t had a chance to do more than a quick scan of the post and comments but I don’t recall anyone suggesting that GMSL has been doing anything but going up for quite some time now. Why on Earth would you think that it is notable that the latest version might be the highest?

  36. Website www,johnenglander.net offers global temperature. CO2 and sea level plots for the last 200,000 years which seem at least plausible. Unsurprisingly sea level lags temperature by a hysterisis allowance. Banning anthropogenic temperature effects we could expect rate of sea level rise to be slowing now, prior to reversing in some tens of millennia. So we can hardly expect sea level behaviour to change until we can see some significant anthropogenic temperature rise – at present awaiting the end of “the hiatus”.

  37. Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7 says:
    July 16, 2014 at 4:48 am
    I’m curious whether “long term oil and gas extraction” fully explains the subsidence in Galveston.
    **********
    Don’t believe it does. Oil and gas extraction are much deeper than groundwater extraction )which is normally given as a reason for subsidence in this area). And in Galveston’s case, being a barrier island means it is constantly eroding and ‘sluffing’ off into the gulf waters. Blaming it on oil and gas extraction is missing the elephant in the room: it is a barrier island with all the issues that entails. Barrier islands sink, wash away and are constantly being reshaped with or without ‘oil and gas extraction’ 10,000 ft below.

  38. Oh I would not worry , for the last 8000 years we have had landrise with 0.2 inches a year or more, in another 1000 years, the Gulf of Bothnia ( northern part of the Baltic ) will become a lake.

  39. We knew that the sea level rise has not changed for over 100 years, despite the nonsense from the IPCC.
    Tide gauge data suggest the rate has been constant ( ~ 1.7 mm/year) but it is not clear that it is possible to measure this change with any accuracy.
    Since the oceans have not warmed to any measurable extent since 1955 (official figure; a change of 0.08 deg C !! since 1955) the sea level change cannot be significant.
    Does this stop the learned societies from alarming the population? Noooh!

  40. I would be far more inclined to trust Nils-Axel Morner’s views. Among other things, he was taken to task by the alarmist community for an obviously tilted graph of sea level “change.” However, what he actually was illustrating was that with the “adjustments” removed from tide gauge data, the graph would like more like the tilted version. The tilt was deliberate humour. He says adjustments to the tide gauges data are to bring them into agreement with satellite data. That I believe is a familiar process in other climate science regimes. If true that is easily as disturbing as other debatable adjustments to climate data. Also, he emphasizes the importance of local effects, which are not “adjusted out” if they are consistent with some theorist’s expectations:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/07/31/the-marshall-islands-and-their-sea-level-changes/

    Skeptical Science naturally doesn’t like his ideas, but presents an embarrassingly data free critique that effectively argues that other folks don’t like the way he excludes them from being “experts” on sea level change and so his views should not be considered.

  41. “Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7 says:
    July 16, 2014 at 4:48 am
    I’m curious whether “long term oil and gas extraction” fully explains the subsidence in Galveston. After the 1900 hurricane, a new seawall was built and the entire city raised by varying amounts up to 16 feet (5 meters). A description of the work (from here ):

    Lifting an Entire City
    , , ,
    The fill material used was sand dug out of the harbor channel; lots of opportunity for subsidence there.

    Note also that all the work was completed in 7 years. Today it would take that long just to get an Environmental Impact Statement acceptable to the EPA.”

    __________________________________________________

    They would never get an EIS acceptable to the EPA today, because the current goal is to take control of as much land for the government as possible.

  42. Ok, this seems all good, EXCEPT in one sense. You see I’m looking at this from the perspective of a good link to use in an argument that includes the point that the rate of (minimal) sea level rise hasn’t increased. Now we need something that is simple and easy to follow, and basically concise. I start scrolling and skimming this article, and I just see a profusion of graphs and whatnot, and I’m having trouble quickly getting to the heart of the argument. Maybe it’s just me.

    Anyway, if anybody knows of a great link(s) to use to effectively support the point that the rate of sea rises hasn’t changed, let me know. Thanks!

  43. “genielorene says: July 16, 2014 at 6:03 am
    If Larry Hamlin really believes what he posted in his essay, then he needs to challenge the peer reviewed papers that the IPCC relied on when gathering their data…”

    Why? All of the peer review falsehoods have completely trashed the concept of ‘peer review’ providing any research benefit. Instead it documents very well how gatekeepers and fraudulent researchers use the journal review bureaucracy to advance personal beliefs not open science.

    “…However, he’s not a scientist himself and has a habit of cherry picking data that he thinks prove his.point. He doesn’t always understand the papers he quotes from though and so his essays, while looking sound and authoritative to the average person, don’t hold up to scientific review…”

    By my count, that paragraph contains three potentially libelous claims plus two more career insults that impugn his reputation.
    It is very telling that you state the claims baldly without a single shred of proof.

    “…However, if he thinks he’s actually discovered how the scientists have misread their data, then he needs to find a scientist who agrees with him (though there aren’t yet any who have published anything in a peer reviewed journal) and get them to publish a paper…”

    Now you’re throwing out some rather direct statements of gate keeping along with more career impugning insults. Simply stated, more slime from the slimy bottom dwellers.

  44. 3 mm/yr or one foot sea rise in 100 years. No worries. Go to Atlanta. It’s 1,000 feet above sea level. The average elevation of all the continents is 2,750 feet above sea level. Plenty of places to go even if you melt all the ice in Antarctica.

  45. Dave Wendt says Re my comment: “[The latest datum point] is indeed the highest sea level reached in the CU seasonally adjusted GMSL data.”

    “So what? I just got here and haven’t had a chance to do more than a quick scan of the post and comments but I don’t recall anyone suggesting that GMSL has been doing anything but going up for quite some time now. Why on Earth would you think that it is notable that the latest version might be the highest?”
    ______________________________

    Since you only just got here you probably missed the context of the post, which you can review above. In summary, my initial response was to DHR, who referred to Ole Humlum’s climate4you.com global average sea level chart, which based on CU data. DHR stated that he couldn’t see a trend in the data: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/07/16/latest-noaa-mean-sea-level-trend-data-through-2013-confirms-lack-of-sea-level-rise-acceleration-2/#comment-1687033

    I pointed out that, for reasons that are not immediately apparent, Ole Humlum has decided to make his chart using CU data with the seasonal signal retained. This despite the explicit statement on the CU site that seasonal and other variations should be subtracted to allow estimation of the global mean sea level rate (see yellow note at top of chart): http://sealevel.colorado.edu/

    When you compare the data with the seasonal signal removed, you see that the latest period of measurement is the warmest on the CU GMSL record. This is the data that produces the CU stated trend of +3.2 (+/- 0.4) mm/yr. As you can see from the links on the left of the CU page, this is completely consistent with the GMSL altimeter data produced by the four other independent producers, including NOAA.

    Hope this clarifies.

  46. Hamlin missed some important things. There has been no sea level rise at Galveston pier 21 for the past sixteen years. The subsidence is under control. There has been no SL rise on the Gulf coast for sixteen years or longer, except at Grande Isle, La, where subsidence is rapid. There has likewise been no SL rise for 15-20 years at the west coast, with the one exception that he identifed. Likewise, no SL rise on the Atlantic coast as far north as the Chesapeake Bay gauges, which record subsidence in that region.

  47. genielorene said-
    “However, if he thinks he’s actually discovered how the scientists have misread their data, then he needs to find a scientist who agrees with him (though there aren’t yet any who have published anything in a peer reviewed journal) and get them to publish a paper.”

    Here is a link to a list of at least THIRTY peer review journal papers establishing the lack of sea level rise acceleration/increase. (It took me less than 30 seconds to find one)

    http://sealevel.info/papers.html

    Sorry, but I’m going to have to cross you off my list of credible people.

  48. “There is simply nothing in these NOAA long duration mean sea level trend data records that supports claims that man made CO2 emissions are accelerating sea level rise at U.S. locations.”

    The statement reads true, even when reference to CO2 is omitted:
    —–
    There is simply nothing in these NOAA long duration mean sea level trend data records that supports claims that sea level rise is accelerating at U.S. locations.
    —-
    It’s just not happening..

  49. Mary Brown:

    The trends in the data you link to cover the entire period of measurement per measuring station. The average start year is 1936. Therefore these do not tell us anything about acceleration (or otherwise) post 1971.

  50. This is the most ridiculous controversy when the answer is so simple!

    Earth is an 8,000 mile globe with a surface area of 210 million square miles. 71% of it is covered by water with an average depth of 16,000 feet or 3.03 miles and includes 451 million cubic miles of sea water. Every foot of depth is equal to 28,000 cubic miles of seawater.

    Ice in Arctic ocean floats and is accounted for like ice cubes in a water glass. Melting Arctic ice makes no difference in the sea level. According to The Journal of Geophysical Research, JGR, all the glaciers and Antarctica have 41,000 cubic miles of ice which melt to 36,900 cubic miles of water. This would increase the water level on Earth 1.32 feet, 16 inches per JGR, not the 260 feet claimed by the USGS bureau.

    The published JGR analysis is never reported in mainstream media. The people who want to scare you say the seas would rise 260 ft. They want new taxes, your money and more power by scaring you. It is just that simple.

    For science and political matters explained to you in language you can understand come to The Two Minute Conservative, free, via Google or at adrianvance.blogspot.com and when you speak they will listen.

  51. It may be the case that surface stations (tide gauges) potentially influenced by numerous local physical, instrumental, and quality-control factors are more accurate than satellites in measuring sea level trends. However, when it comes to measuring global temperature trends, we skeptics typically regard satellites as more accurate than surface stations.

    That this apparent inconsistency is NOT EVEN DISCUSSED raises the suspicion that some are being selective with evidence — that they might sing a different tune, disputing the accuracy of satellites, if UAH and RSS showed more warming than GISS and HAD CRUT.

    Why do satellites rock at measuring global temperature trends but suck at measuring global sea level trends? Presumably there are good physical explanations for so concluding. Maybe I just haven’t read widely enough, but so far I’ve not seen anyone even acknowledge the incongruity in the skeptic assessment of satellite data.

    • Good point, Marlo.

      The skeptics favorite temp is UAH but I prefer the WoodForTrees Index. It’s an average of the 4 big temp measurements. More robust.

      I would be interested to hear some discussion on…

      … types and size of errors of satellite vs land based temp and tide.

      Sea level, in general, strikes me as very hard to measure signal from noise. We are talking units of mm per century which seems crazy when you watch waves crash in.

  52. Marlo Lewis says:

    “That this apparent inconsistency is NOT EVEN DISCUSSED raises the suspicion that some are being selective with evidence — that they might sing a different tune, disputing the accuracy of satellites, if UAH and RSS showed more warming than GISS and HAD CRUT. ”
    ____________________________________

    As it happens, UAH does show more warming than HadCRUT4 over practically any time period you look at. For instance, 1998 is commonly quoted start date. Since 1998 the rate of warming in UAH is +0.05C/dec vrs +0.04C/dec in HadCRUT4. Whereas RSS shows cooling since 1998 at a rate of -0.05C/dec.

    The divergence between the surface data sets since 1998 is between +0.04 and +0.07C/decade. The two major global temperature sets with the greatest divergence since 1998 are therefore UAH (+0.05) and RSS (-0.05); the two satellite producers. So it’s hard to see why people adjudge satellite temperature data to be ‘more accurate than surface stations’.

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