Despite popular opinion and calls to action, the Maldives are not being overrun by sea level rise

http://www.maldivestourism.net/wp-content/uploads/2008/04/baros-maldives.jpg

When somebody mentions “Maldives”, the image above of a tropical paradise often springs to mind. Andy Revkin wrote a story recently about the Maldives  on his NYT Dot Earth blog that provoked quite an email exchange that I was privy to today. Here are some highlights. First the article:

Maldives Seeks Carbon Neutrality by 2020

By Andrew C. Revkin March 16, 2009, 8:39 am

No spot in the Maldives is more than six feet above sea level. (Click here for a narrated slide show describing this reporter’s first visit to the Maldives, in 1980.)

The Maldives, a strand of coral atolls south of India, is just about the most tenuous country on Earth. No patch of land in the island chain, where the population has risen from 200,000 to 400,000 in the last 25 years, is more than six feet or so above sea level. Even modest projections for a rise in sea level from global warming would increase flooding from storm surges. A higher rise could render hundreds of islands uninhabitable.

That’s why the country has paid particularly close attention, since the early days of discussion of the issue, to scientists who warn of a growing human influence on climate and sea levels. On Sunday, the new president of the island nation, Mohamed Nasheed, prodded the world to get serious about cutting emissions of heat-trapping greenhouse gases by pledging, in a short piece in England’s Observer newspaper, to make the Maldives the first carbon-neutral country within a decade:

Many politicians’ response to the looming catastrophe, however, beggars belief. Playing a reckless game of chicken with Mother Nature, they prefer to deny, squabble and procrastinate rather than heed the words of those who know best…. Spearheaded by a switch from oil to 100% renewable energy production within a decade, the Maldives will no longer be a net contributor to greenhouse gas emissions.

The announcement was made in the Maldives, but synchronized with the London premiere of ” The Age of Stupid,” a new film on global warming and oil that is a mix of documentary, dramatization and animation. (I haven’t seen it yet, but the description reminds me of the work of Randy Olson, particularly his mock documentary ” Sizzle.”) Officials in the Maldives made the decision after soliciting a report on how to cut fossil fuel use and otherwise trim the country’s climate footprint from Chris Goodall and Mark Lynas, British environmentalists and authors of books on energy and climate.

The proposal recommended a mix of wind turbines, rooftop photovoltaic panels and a backup power plant that burns coconut husks (coconut is a substantial export), among other steps. The estimated cost: about $1.1 billion over 10 years. But the new energy options could pay off in the long run by greatly reducing the country’s reliance on imported oil, the report concluded.

The early concern about global warming by officials in the Maldives was visible as far back as 1988, as shown in this vignette from my first (and long out of print) book on climate, “Global Warming: Understanding the Forecast”:

Perhaps the most straightforward projections of what a greenhouse future will bring in coming decades are those related to rising seas. A foot-and-a-half rise doesn’t sound like much – unless you live in a place that just barely pokes above the ocean. I learned this when I went to Toronto in 1988 to report on the First International Conference on the Changing Atmosphere. Most of the discussions centered on devising strategies to curb emissions of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases from automobiles, power plants, and the burning of tropical forests. Among those in attendance was Hussein Manikfan, who holds the title Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Permanent Representative to the United Nations from the republic of Maldives.

At first it seemed odd to find a representative from the Maldives at the meeting. The country, a sprinkling of 1,190 coral islets in the Indian Ocean southwest of Sri Lanka, has no tropical forests, hardly any automobiles, and little industry beyond the canning of bonito. I spoke for a while with Manikfan. Why was he in Toronto? “To find out how much longer my country will exist,” was his simple reply.

Manikfan is worried because few of the islands have any point that is more than six feet above sea level. Even now, many of the atolls are awash during strong storms. The fear is that Manikfan’s nation – with a tradition of independence dating back thousands of years and its own language and alphabet – might have to be abandoned altogether, as if it were a slowly sinking ship.


Now for the geographically challenged, the map:

maldives_map1

Dr. Don Easterbrook responded today to Andy Revkin with this email, cc:d to me

Andy,

I just read your article on sea level alarm in the Maldives. You may not be aware of a study there by Nils-Axel Morner, a Swedish sea level expert (former president of the INQUA Commission of Sea Level Changes and Coastal Evolution). Attached is photographic evidence by Morner that sea level in the Maldives is not rising relative to the coasts but has indeed fallen! Global sea level has been rising at a rate of about a foot per century but the Maldives are either rising or subject to a local sea level anomaly related to ocean currents and evaporation rates. Thus, the ‘poster child’ of Gore’s sea level alarm is invalid.

Don

The photographs he attached are interesting to say the least, click for larger images:

maldives

maldives2

maldives3

And soon others were jumping in. Tom Harris quoted a study from Nils-Axel Mörner and provided a plot from Nils-Axel Mörner’s study of sea level using C14 isotope dating.

Harris wrote:

While Andrew does not personally say that sea level rise will swamp the Maldives soon, he implies he agrees with the scenario by including nothing at all to counter the validity of the Maldivian announcement.  I suggest Andrew read about Morner’s work and get an expansion of the below misleading piece published right away. You can download (for the next 7 days) one of Dr. Morner’s most recent papers on the topic at http://tinyurl.com/dhz6gk .  Note the below graph from that report, especially.

maldives_c14_slplot1

Note also the Feb 2009 report of the SWEDISH SOUTH ASIAN STUDIES NETWORK at Lund U (a large, respected and very old school in Sweden) at http://www.sasnet.lu.se/maldives09.html, in which they conclude, “In June 2004, Prof. Mörner published his research results in an article titled ”The Maldives Project: a future free from sea-level flooding” in the Contemporary South Asia magazine. However, the Maldivian government did not react positively to these findings since they went against the official policy, even though the facts presented seem to be beyond dispute and are confirmed in private by individual Maldivian researchers.”  I have submitted a letter to the editor to the NYT on this and I’ll let people know if it is published.

Andy Revkin responded with:

Has anyone on this list assessed this Indian Ocean / Pacific sea level study — http://bit.ly/IndianOceanSeaLevel — which seems to challenge Morner’s analysis?

To which Nils-Axel Mörner replied:

The paper by Church et al. represent desk-work at the computers. Tide gauges have to be treated with care. There are pitfalls both with
respect to stability (compaction, etc) and cyclic patterns (disqualifying regressionline approaches).
Our Mildives story is based on multiple criteria: off-shore, on-shore, lagoonal, back-shore, swamp environment.
Ditailed morphology (in different environmental settings) is combined with stratigraphy and biological index + numerous C14-dates.
Also, our team of researchers is very strong.
Later Dr. Vincent Gray weighed in:
Have you heard of the Australian study on 12 Pacific islands, some of them mentioned by Church? They used much more reliable equipment than the others. They claimed an upward trend but this was done by the dishonest use of a linear regression which made use of the temporary depression on all the records caused by the 1988 hurricane. If you look at the actual records in their report (attached) and ignore this temporary event you will find that there was no change for the last sixteen years. The website of the Australian Bureau of meteorology has individual and summarizing reports on this project at
Finally Don Easterbrook comes full circle:
The Geology speaks for itself!

As Morner points out, Church,, White, and Hunter applied a number of regional ‘corrections’ to the basic tide gauge record and calculated averages of a large region to arrive at their conclusion that sea level was rising in the Maldives. This is akin to putting one foot in a bed of hot coals and the other in a bucket of ice, averaging the temperature, and concluding that you should be quite comfortable!  Putting aside the arguments around tide gauge levels, the geologic evidence appears to be indisputable and indicates conclusively that the sea levels at the sites shown in Morners paper cannot be submerging.  You’re a smart guy–look at the geologic evidence in the two attached photos and judge for yourself.
Figure 1 shows a post-1970 wave-cut notch eroded into the pre-1970 shore platform.  You cannot do that with a submerging coastline.  (The platform should be under water if the island is submerging, not being eroded at a lower level).  This is a classic example of an emergent shoreline, the kind you can see in any geologic textbook.
Figure 2 shows the present high tide line, the 1970 shoreline, and a pre-1970 shoreline.  If the island has been submerging since 1970, as contended by Church,, White, and Hunter, the present high tide line should be above the 1970 shoreline, not below it!
Any regional analysis of average sea level changes cannot trump the geologic evidence at the two sites shown.  The geologic evidence is site specific, just like each foot in the coals and ice bucket. The average is meaningless.

So it boils down to this: Who would you rather believe? People doing studies on-site and gathering photographic evidence that shows clear geologic actions of lowered sea levels on the islands, or somebody sitting in an office analyzing and doing regressions on tide gauge data when they’ve never even done and checking on the quality control of the gauges themselves? Here’s one from Tasmania from this CSIRO report:

tasmania_tide_gauge

The tide gauge and GPS installation at Burnie (NW Tasmania). The tide gauge has been running since 1992 and has been used for absolute calibration studies on the TOPEX/Poseidon and Jason-1 satellite altimeters

I’m sure that old algae covered dock is stable enough to use for “calibration”. Surely no possibility of shifting, or sinking there.

Here’s a somewhat better tide gauge placement of a gauge in the Adriatic sea.

Picture of Tide Gauge

The description reads:

The tide gauge Luka Koper is located in northern part of Adriatic in Koper bay at the industrial pier grounded to the bottom with piles.

Here’s one in Alaska:

Historic tidal gauge near Anchorage, indicating the extreme tidal range possible along fiords in Southeast and South-central Alaska. (NOAA/NOS Tides and Currents)

Here’s another, at Cape Ferguson in Australia, from BOM:

http://www.bom.gov.au/inside/eiab/reports/ar03-04/New_Developments_2003-04/images/New_Developments_4.jpg

A tide gauge at Cape Ferguson, near Townsville - part of the national baseline tide gauge network (see inset map).

IMHO The idea that a dock (or piling)  is a long term stable measurement platform is simply ludicrous. Piles sink, structures decay, boats whack them, pounding wave action loosens their grip. One feature missing from all these old style tide gauges is any way to reference the long term level of the gauge itself. In the era of GPS we can start doing this, but in the years past, how much is from simple sinking of the pilings over time? When you are looking for millimeters per year, such things become significant.

Gee, and I thought weather station measurement issues were bad. Scientists really do need to get out more. Perhaps the next IPCC conference can be in the Maldives instead of Bali. I volunteer to run beach tours to show water level notches. – Anthony

Advertisements

  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
hotrod

It is astonishing that an apparently well done, on site study is totally ignored in the media, and in the general AGW community as if it did not exist. Were it not for the internet and the video it would be unknown outside a very small community.
I find it particularly disturbing that the “marker tree” was apparently intentionally knocked down to cover up the conflict between theory and reality.
I suppose that sort of dishonest “science” has been going on as long as humans have been around. (eg. piltdown man)
Larry

EricH

Thank you for yet more photograpic evidence. This, together with the photograph from “The Isle of The Dead” in Tasmania, blogged inside the last few days, is great for showing to any friends or family that believe in AGW.

John F. Hultquist

Three comments, if you please:
1.: “rather than heed the words of those who know best”
Is he referring to (a) Mohamed Nasheed, (b) Andrew Revkin, (c) Al Gore,
(d) some other great scientist?
2.: There is also a series of great video with Nils-Axel Mörner and others
http://www.globalwarminghoax.com/e107_plugins/content/content.php?content.30
3.: If the Maldives are doomed why spend $1.1 billion on the place. Abandon the islands. Move to higher ground. Ans.: They won’t get many $$ if they ask for any other reason. And they know better than anyone they are not sinking! What a load!

tallbloke

I suggest Andrew read about Morner’s work and get an expansion of the below misleading piece published right away.
Shome mishtake here surely? :o)
There’s a good interview with Morner here:
http://www.mitosyfraudes.org/Calen7/MornerEng.html
“This tree, which I showed in the documentary, is interesting. This is a prison island, and when peo-ple left the island, from the ’50s, it was a marker for them, when they saw this tree alone out there, they said, “Ah, freedom!” They were allowed back. And there have been writings and talks about this. I knew that this tree was in that terrible position already in the 1950s. So the slightest rise, and it would have been gone. I used it in my writings and for television. You know what happened? There came an Australian sea-level team, which was for the IPCC and against me. Then the stu-dents pulled down the tree by hand! They destroyed the evidence. What kind of people are those? And we came to launch this film, “Doomsday Called Off,” right after, and the tree was still green. And I heard from the locals that they had seen the people who had pulled it down. So I put it up again, by hand, and made my TV program. I haven’t told anybody else, but this was the story.”

Richard111

From this link http://www.net-comber.com/worldarea.html
I took the figure for total sea area of 139,434,000 square miles.
Using simple arithmetic aided by my on board calculator
I estimate that at least 1047.3 cubic miles of land supported
ice must melt each year until 2100 to give a 1 meter level rise
of all the worlds oceans. This figure does not include spillover
onto low ground less than 1 meter above present sea level.
Therefore a realistic figure of 1050 cubic miles of ice for the
next 91 years might, just might, raise sea levels by 1 meter.
I am unable to find any information about current melt rates
that come anywhere near that figure.

Mark N

Thanks! It’s very sad to see and read about the dishonesty of scientists.
REPLY: I don’t know that “dishonesty” is the correct word, I often see indifference and/or incompetence that builds up their own confirmation bias. – Anthony

The globe part of the map is seriously geographically challenged. In small letters It places the “Republic of Maldives” south west of India (correct), but then there is a big label “Maldives” placing it just off the coast of Sumatra ?!? This should be fixed.

Perry Debell

So now we wait for Andy Revkin to respond with hard evidence to support his view and contradict the evidence from Nils-Axel Mörner, Dr. Vincent Gray and Don Easterbrook. How long do we wait? That’s the question? Do I hold my breath?
Oh, in case Andy Revkin does not accept that the Maldives could be rising, the Swedes do accept the evidence that the land can bounce. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3721/is_199905/ai_n8844371

Richard111

Work it out. It is quite straight forward. You will need to melt
at least 1050 cubic miles (4378.5 cubic kilometers) of ice each
year for the next 91 years to raise global sea levels by 1 meter.
No indication that current melts even approach that figure.

Richard111

Ooops… apologies. I thought spam filter had eaten my post.

Slowjoe

Do we know the name of the scientific/environmental vandals who destroyed the tree?
I personally believe that these names should go down in infamy.

hotrod (23:02:03) wrote: “It is astonishing that an apparently well done, on site study is totally ignored in the media, and in the general AGW community as if it did not exist. Were it not for the internet and the video it would be unknown outside a very small community.”
A two-edged sword, hotrod. “Were it not for the internet and the video” those who prosper from AGW alarmism may never have got the oxygen necessary to have even got their balloon off the ground…

John F. Hultquist

And what’s with the map? The rectangle and dot seem to point to the islands west of Sumatra. The line above the map says: Now for the geographically challenged, the map:
It should say, “A map by someone geographically challenged.”
However, the correct area is shown SW of India.
REPLY: The map is from the USGS, but the pointer somehow got put in wrong, I’ve put in a corrected map in it’s place. Thanks for the note. – Anthony

Neil Jones

The best way the Maldives could reduce their contribution to increased CO2 in the atmosphere would be to close all the tourist resorts on their islands.
All those tourists flying in must be contributing far more CO2 to the problem than the locals are. That’s assuming CO2 is the problem.

Mac

Will Revkin retract and correct his story due to inaccuracies as he asked George Will to do, or will he ignore the science?

Roger Knights

Revkin has got a tiger by the tail.

Aron

Some months ago the BBC ran an article about parts of Venice which were sinking under water. The article was accompanied by photos of three Italian men playing cards in a room with the water coming up to their waistlines.
You guessed it. It was blamed on climate change, not the soft clay that Venice was built on.

Aron

There is of course a video of Morner talking about this that should have been included with the article.

Jim in VT

“Now for the geographically challenged, the map: ”
Uh, the added label for the Maldives is pretty clearly pointing to the NW corner of Sumatra. That’s a hell of a long ways from its intended target.

deadwood

I first heard of Morner’s work several years ago and would be surprised if Revkin was not aware of it.
He gets a lot of readers, most of whom do not appear to be skeptics. I hope this gets a few to think twice about the propaganda that is sold as science and about the motivations of politicians such as those in the Maldives.

tallbloke

As you were Anthony, the quote from Harris is out of context from the Revkin article quote. Still makes it look like the ‘below misleading piece’ refers to Morners linked work though.
Slowjoe (23:44:10) :
Do we know the name of the scientific/environmental vandals who destroyed the tree?

A job for an investigative journalist I guess. It shouldn’t be impossible to find out which Australian environmental research groups went on a field trip to the Maldives that year. Probably more than one though, it’s a nice place for a jolly.

J.Hansford

Being an Australian, I’m none too happy with those Aussie climate fascists pulling down mangroves…
In Australia the Greenies have changed laws so as to prosecute people for damaging mangroves….. Yet here are these so called climate scientists from Australia knocking mangroves down because it happens to show an “inconvenient Truth” for them.

Brian Johnson

Aron…..
“You guessed it. It was blamed on climate change, not the soft clay that Venice was built on.”
Not to mention the industrial complexes in nearby Marghera/Mestre pumping out millions of gallons of fresh water from under Venice for many years.
Now bizarrely, the lagoon is at its lowest level for at least a decade and emergency boats/Ambulances/fire engines etc have to take special deeper canal routes to avoid being grounded.

Steve Schapel

My 8 year old daughter brought a book home from school this week, about Tuvalu going under. Do you suppose the same applies there, i.e. reality does not match the story?

janama

I suppose it was inevitable that a story on the Maldives would follow the sea level question of undersea volcanoes.
The point is basically that AGW is a fraud, Sea level rise (apart from the standard 1mm/year rise since who knows when) is a fraud and the next story will be on Tuvalu.

Rikard Gothäll

Hi!
I am a long time follower of your blog. I am also a scientist active in a field neighboring that of prof Mörner. (Rock Mechanics).
Unfortunately Prof Mörner is not a scientist whos work should be taken seriously. He has been criticized publicly for having taught courses in Dowsing at the university. His work is constantly monitored by a local organization of sceptics. He has an absolute lack of scientific method and anything he is associated with is immediately tainted.
Those that speak or read swedish fill find this collection of articles interesting:
http://www.vof.se/search.php?f=1&l=1&n=1&m=1&a=1&query=m%F6rner
Even James Randi has taken notice of him apparently.

Rikard Gothäll

A link for those who want to know more about Mörners side activities:
http://scienceblogs.com/aardvarchaeology/2008/03/lind_morner_still_mucking_arou.php

JamesG

There was an alarmist climate change documentary on French TV a short while back, focused on the Maldives. However they had a really difficult time finding anyone there that was actually worried about sea-level rise: Some even said it was just a government scam to get international aid. The narrator then made a mocking comment about the people hating the government so much they disbelieve everything the government tells them. The oddest bit was when the TV crew went out on a boat with a guy who said he was visiting an island that had just appeared. It seems new islands appear all the time. This fact didn’t stop the commentator making an apocalyptic end message though – while the guy was walking across this new island.

Chris Schoneveld

On September 12, 2008, the International Herald Tribune published my letter to the editor:
“A self-inflicted problem
In “Climate change: With millions under threat, inaction is unethical” (Views, Sept. 10) the president of the Maldives, Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, contends that the Maldives are threatened by climate change, yet he fails to acknowledge that coral islands have survived during a rise in sea levels of 120 meters since the last ice age.
Under natural conditions, coral is perfectly able to grow upwards, keeping pace with any relative rise in sea levels.
If someone has to be blamed for the eventual demise of any of the Pacific or Indian Ocean coral islands, it is the inhabitants themselves. They are the ones who are destroying the natural coral habitat by creating roads and buildings, allowing bad fishing practices and many forms of pollution. With dead coral, these islands have no natural mechanism to keep them above water. The inconvenient truth is that these islands are not sustainable under permanent human inhabitation.”

Jerry

As a sea surveyor I have seen all sorts of tide gauges and have some idea of how they’re established. Essentially, a tide gauge is linked to the stable local land levelling datum which In turn was established by long-term tidal observations from the stable sea level (!). This doesn’t matter for the average tide gauge which is there to allow mariners to navigate safely, but it does mean there are very few gauges anywhere in the world that are much use for long-term high-precision sea level studies.
Additionally, while it is well known that parts of Sweden, for instance, have risen some eight metres (25 feet) in the last 18,000 years due to isostatic rebound from the melting of a couple of miles of ice, there seems little realisation that the resulting 120m rise in sea levels has placed an additional 120 tons of water on every square metre of ocean bed, pulling down the adjacent coastlines on which the tide gauges sit and on whose assumed levels they are based. Truly, measuring air temperatures accurately is chicken feed compared to studying historical sea levels to accuracies better than an inch or so.

King of Cool

The Maldives Tree
Anthony, I have a completely open mind on sea level rises or falls in the Maldives or in the rest of the world. I know your web is completely transparent and open to all input. I recall reading this some time ago from a Maldives local and it grabbed my attention as to its authenticity and I believe all your readers should be aware of it. It is item 26 from Shaig in the following URL:
http://www.warwickhughes.com/blog/?p=118

Norm in the Hawkesbury

http://www.themaldives.com/map/maldives-map.asp
The Maldive Islands or the Pearls of the Indian Ocean, as it is popularly known, are situated in the South West of Sri Lanka, on the equator. The numerous coral reef islands, 1,190 in total , form an archipelago of 26 major atolls ( groups of neighbouring coral islands). The country stretches 820 km north to south and 120 km east to west. The climate is generally warm and humid. Sun shines all year through with average temperature around 29 – 32 degrees Celsius.
Emmmm, exactly which of these atolls/corral islands are actually supposed to be sinking? Survey cite needed.
Apparently the capital, Male`, was untouched by the 2004 tsunami due to it being defended by a sea wall. I wonder when it was built?

Trevor

I recall an episode of Gilligan’s Island where the Professor was concerned about their island sinking because a marker pole he had in the lagoon was getting covered by more water. They all went into a panic about the island sinking. The end result was however, that Gilligan was putting the marker pole into deeper and deeper water as it held the crab pots. So all it was, was the marker moving and not the water rising.
Maybe the AGW alarmists are getting their science from Gilligan’s Island? Brings a smile to my face equating the “Professor” with Hanson.

DJ

>The point is basically that AGW is a fraud, Sea level rise (apart from the standard 1mm/year rise since who knows when) is a fraud and the next story will be on Tuvalu.
The trend is 3.2mm/year. That’s a fact in observational data collected by satellite data and matched by tidal gauges.

DJ

Here what was previously written by a local from the Maldive’s in response to the nonsense about the lone tree. ~snip~
>Reading the thread after 6 months, I still feel compelled to comment on this now infamous tree.
I’m a Maldivian and I consider myself a student of climate science. I have great respect for Prof Morner, but I will have to question his ’scientific methods’ especially those used in the ‘Maldives Sea Level Project’.
On the issue of the tree, Morner has provided false facts to the world. The island the tree is located is called Viligilli and is next (immediately west) to the Nation’s Capital Male’ (see on googleearth). The tree was located on the southeast corner of the island along part of a stable rocky oceanward coastline. The island WAS (not ‘is’ as stated by Morner) a prison island until 1973. There are no records that prisoners cried out “Ah, freedom!” when they saw the one tree. However, some did refer to an entire bulge on the southeast corner of the island, which is the only such area on an otherwise a smooth coastline. The tree is called ironwood (Pemphis acidula). It’s known for its resilience against salt and is usually the dominant species in very high wave energy and salt spray zones. Having traveled to over 600 islands in Maldives I have witnessed a number of such one ‘tree’s’. The tree in question simply has withstood erosion in the last 10 or so years while weaker trees around it fell. Aerial photographs of 1968/1969, 1998 and 2004 shows that the area is relatively stable with occasional erosion. There have been a number of trees in this specific area of the island like the one in question which have remain separated from the island. It is part of the erosion process. The tree most likely was there 50 years ago but it certainly was not alone as it is now. It is these kinds of adhoc observation based conclusions rather than rigorous assessments which make me question the findings of Morner.
On the question of naughty Australian Scientists and schoolies, I think this just an emotional view of Morner. This island has now become an inhabited island and one of the most frequently visited ‘picnic islands’ for Male’ residents. There are enough naughty boys to cut down such a tree for any reason. It is absurd to blame responsible scientists in the field, without a shred of decent evidence, even due to uncontrolled emotions.

JimB

“Mac (00:00:43) :
Will Revkin retract and correct his story due to inaccuracies as he asked George Will to do, or will he ignore the science?”
It seems to me that we need to find and post ways to increase and maintain the pressure on him to do exactly that. This could be a major point, and there are still press outlets and reporters that love a good fight, where someone, doesn’t matter who, is going to suffer an embarassment.
If Revkin were forced by empirical data to concede…that would be huge, and could well be a bell that can’t be unrung.
JimB

Tha main problem Venice (la Serenissima) has had to cope with was sediments carried by rivers. So, many centuries ago, they decided to divert most of the rivers going directly to the lagoon with Km an Km of channels taking river waters outside the lagoon. Then in the XX century, extraction of sand and stones from the river beds, massive water and natural gas pumping out, put all the coastal plain of the Northern Adriatic under pressure.
In the last dececades all that activities were put under strict controll and land is now sinking at a more natural pace.
Back to the Maldives, I wish to remind you that the Maldives survived during the fast rising sea level of the early Olocene, when water level rose by centimetres per year and not by millimetres like today. They are made of living matter!

Allan M R MacRae

hotrod (23:02:03) :
“I suppose that sort of dishonest “science” has been going on as long as humans have been around. (eg. piltdown man)”
Spelling correction:
“Piltdown Mann”

For those interested, I did a post on Global Sea Levels and Sea Levels for the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans back in December.
http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2008/12/sea-level-data-global-and-indian.html
Here are few updates and some additional graphs of Sea Level data from the University of Colorado.
The Global sea level rise has flattened considerably since mid-2005:
http://s5.tinypic.com/24wqyvs.jpg
The Indian Ocean sea level continues to rise:
http://s5.tinypic.com/2njlgzc.jpg
The Maldives sea level was relatively flat until 2006:
http://s5.tinypic.com/15h0pxg.jpg
But here’s a curiosity. If you enter the Maldives coordinates (3N, 73E), the smoothed curve is very similar to the Maldives data, with the exception of the peak after the 1997/98 El Nino.
http://s5.tinypic.com/259zx9t.jpg
And here’s the Indonesian Throughflow sea level, which should be representative of the Pacific Warm Pool.
http://s5.tinypic.com/28jfwvd.jpg

Michael Spencer

This site is troubling, to say the least. I’ve been drinking the Al Gore Kool-Aid ever since it hit the grocery store shelves. Mighty tasty!
Then, along comes this crazy dude with all his charts and photos ‘n stuff.
What’s a liberal to do?
Keep reading, I suppose, but thanks a lot for adding just a little more confusion to an already confusing world…

King of Cool
Fair comment but people should also look at comment 28.
Warwick Hughes posts here so perhaps he can tell us if he received the photos he requested or any other information either way.
TonyB

King of Cool 1 41 27
I have done some more research on the comment you posted re Morner and the rebuttal of Morners data in the link 26 you provided from someone called Shaig.
The name Shaig might be a common one, but I suspect this relates to the blogger to whom you linked. His comment that “I consider myself a student of climate science’ is somewhat down playing his activities.
Here is his phd profile linking to his papers.
http://www.jcu.edu.au/ees/staff/postgrad/JCUDEV_014807.html
This is a background paper he prepared for the Maldives Govt on sea levels
http://74.125.77.132/search?q=cache:YBYq6duKCfsJ:www.maldivespartnershipforum.gov.mv/2008/3-Environment%2520FINAL.pdf+shaig+maldives&cd=2&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=uk
This is the full report for the Maldives Govt called ‘ National adaptation program of action’ in which he is cited as an author.
http://env.rol.net.mv/docs/Reports/National%20Adaptation%20Programme%20of%20Action%20-%20Maldives/NAPA_Maldives_optimised.pdf
He is hardly the disinterested partner that his post suggests. What his motives are I do not know, but I repeat that it would be instructive to see if Warwich Hughes received any further information from someone who appears to have his own reasons for saying the things he does.
Tonyb

Paulus

A bit of background info about the Maldive from someone who knows them personally – I’ve been visiting them regularly since 1999.
The Maldives is a strictly Islamic country. If you’re a tourist (or anybody else, for that matter), you’re not allowed to bring in any alcohol at all – including duty-free purchases. Furthermore, it is forbidden to bring in Bibles or any other Christian artefacts or images, of whatever sort.
As Norm has pointed out, there are over 1,000 islands – but only about 80 are designated as “tourist” islands. These islands have a somewhat curious status, with alcohol being freely (and legally) available.
The Maldives are a favourite, up-market destination for honeymooners, attracted (like the rest of us) by their great beauty – small, isolated, Robinson Crusoe islands with their palm trees and their powder-white coral sands, set in deep blue lagoons. They really are idyllic, with their emphasis on “no news, no shoes”.
Not much to do, mind you, except to go snorkelling or diving during the day, to watch the myriad of exotic fish swimming in the coral reefs. Goodness knows what the honeymooners find to do 🙂
The coral reefs were devastated by El Nino in 1998. But since then they’ve been making a slow but sure recovery – every time I visit there is noticeably more and more colour to be seen underwater. But still large areas of the reefs where the predominant colour is grey. The islands are all very low lying – none of them being much more than 1 meter (that’s about 3 foot for the metrically-challenged) above sea level. I appreciate this is hardly a very scientific observation, but personally I have seen no signs whatsoever of the sea-level rising in all of the 10 years I’ve been visiting. They certainly don’t give me the impression they’re about to be overwhelmed by the sea any time soon.

Paul C

Richard 111
“You will need to melt at least 1050 cubic miles (4378.5 cubic kilometers) of ice each year for the next 91 years to raise global sea levels by 1 meter.”
The sea level rise predicted by the alarmists combines land ice melt with the thermal expansion of water. I don’t know how they calculate this, but as it appears that the deep ocean water maintains a constant temperature, and only the near surface waters would be subject to thermal expansion, they probably greatly over-estimate this factor.

Okay, this guy is worried about sea-level rise where ther reverse is taking place? Hey, if the Maldives eliminate their need for oil, great–but how much heavy industry could there be in a place that’s 6 feet above water? My only bitch here is that the author procededs from the false premise that man-made CO2 is going to melt the ice caps and kill us all.
Earth is not Venus–look at a map.

Bruce Cobb

Steve Schapel (00:44:37) :
My 8 year old daughter brought a book home from school this week, about Tuvalu going under. Do you suppose the same applies there, i.e. reality does not match the story?
Indeed, Dr Vincent Gray wrote a paper on this in ’06 called SNOW JOB ON TUVALU.
It appears a tide gauge showed a miniscule increase in sea level from ’77 to ’95 of about 1.26mm, then a drop of 3mm from ’95 to ’99. After that, “Greenpeace employed Dr John Hunter. a climatologist of the University of Tasmania, who obligingly “adjusted” the Tuvalu readings upwards to comply with changes in ENSO and those found for the island of Hawaii and, miraculously, he found a sea level rise of “around” 1.2 mm a year which, also miraculously, agrees with the IPCC global figure.”
That is AGW “science” for you. If they don’t like the data, they simply “adjust” them until they conform to Warmist ideology, which then gets trumpeted worldwide as “Climate Catastrophe”.

Aron

He (Morner) has been criticized publicly for having taught courses in Dowsing at the university.
You know, I really take issue when someone’s work is discredited because of their beliefs or lifestyle.
If you have a problem with dowsing or someone’s religion then criticise that directly instead using that to discredit their thorough work in another subject. Dowsing is one thing, sea levels are another. I would not discredit someone’s work on climatology or meteorology just because they believed in creationism (Roy Spencer). It’s two different things. You can be 100% right about one thing while being wrong about another.

Bill Illis

The Jason-1 satellite measurements show that the Indian Ocean is the only ocean basin with any appreciable sea level rise since Jason’s operations began.
The North Atlantic and the Mediterrian are falling and the North Pacific, South Pacific and the South Atlantic are basically flat.
The Indian Ocean seems to get loaded up by El Ninos and is now also falling after a few years of mostly La Nina conditions.
http://www.aviso.oceanobs.com/en/news/ocean-indicators/mean-sea-level/altimetry-data-and-images/index.html

jae

Wow. Rarely have I seen a claim this clearly refuted. Bet you won’t see anything on CNN, though. Wonder if Revkin will have the decency to print a “correction.”

Jeff L

Once again, integration of geology & climate science is key to getting the answer right. How many examples of that have we seen!
The interplay between thermal subsidence / uplift & reef building is certainly key to understanding the problem.
For more on the geology:
http://books.google.com/books?id=NDtCISiFS8IC&pg=PA327&lpg=PA327&dq=maldives+tectonics&source=bl&ots=peK_VtwtSa&sig=66Sfsx_AxQ7kAouxVckiXqeG6hU&hl=en&ei=BZfDSe-YEpKmsAPQzJDtBg&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=2&ct=result