Sea level may drop in 2010

Guest post by John Kehr

Based on the most current data it appears that 2010 is going to show the largest drop in global sea level ever recorded in the modern era.  Since many followers of global warming believe that the rate of sea level rise is increasing, a significant drop in the global sea level highlights serious flaws in the IPCC projections.  The oceans are truly the best indicator of climate.  The oceans drive the world’s weather patterns.  A drop in the ocean levels in a year that is being cited as proof that the global warming has arrived shows that there is still much to learned.  If the ocean levels dropped in 2010, then there is something very wrong with the IPCC projections.

The best source of sea level data is The University of Colorado.  Only government bureaucracy could put the sea level data in one of the places farthest from the ocean, but that is where it is.  I use both data sets that includes the seasonal signal.  So with and without the inverted barometer applied.  This is the source of the data that is used to show that the oceans are rising.  Of course the rate of rise is greatly exaggerated and if the rate from 1993-2010 is used there will be a 1m rise in the year 2361.

Of course the rate is not constant.  The rate of rise over the past 5 years has been half the overall rate.  At the rate of the past 5 years it will be the year 2774 before the oceans rise a single meter.  Of course a decrease in the rate is technically an negative acceleration in the rate of rise, so technically the rate of rise is accelerating, but in a negative direction.  That statement is misleading though as most people consider acceleration to be a positive effect.

The Inconvenient SkeptcSea Level Change

Even more interesting is the fact that from 1992-2005 there was an increase each year.  2006 was the first year to show a drop in the global sea level.  2010 will be the 2nd year to show a decrease in sea level.  That is correct, 2 of the past 5 years are going to show a decrease in sea level.  2010 could likely show a significant drop global sea level.  By significant I mean it is possible that it will likely drop between 2-3 mm from 2009.  Since the data has not been updated since August it is difficult to guess more precisely, but the data ends at the time of year that the seasonal drop begins to show up.  If the drop does show up as expected it is possible that 2010 will show the largest drop in sea level ever recorded.

The Inconvenient Skeptic2010 could show a significant drop in sea level from 2009.

Of course what will happen won’t be known until the data for the past 5 months is made available.  I have been patiently waiting for the data to be updated for several months now, but I got tired of waiting and decided to put the information I have out there.

One fact is certain.  A drop in sea level for 2 of the past 5 years is a strong indicator that a changing sea level is not a great concern.  In order for the IPCC prediction to be correct of a 1m increase in sea level by 2100, the rate must be almost 11 mm/yr every year for the next 89 years.  Since the rate is dropping, it makes the prediction increasingly unlikely.  Not even once in the past 20 years has that rate ever been achieved.  The average rate of 2.7 mm/yr is only 25% of the rate needed for the IPCC prediction to be correct.

This is yet another serious blow the accuracy of the official IPCC predictions for the coming century.  The fact that CO2 levels have been higher in the last 5 years that have the lowest rate of rise than the years with lower CO2 levels is a strong indicator that the claims of CO2 are grossly exaggerated.

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John Kehr runs the website The Inconvenient Skeptic – I recommend a visit. – Anthony

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Magnus

“shows that there is still much to learned”
It should read “still much to BE learned”, no?

This is just another sign of global warming: the oceans are boiling and intensified evaporation has caused temporary stop in sea level rise, which is actually not stop because 30-year trend is still steepest evah and the sea level rise is still churning in the background, and it will come back with tremendous force, haunting us in a year 3000, no kidding I read all that stuff somewhere.

Keith Battye

I think the “deniers” have been siphoning up sea water and hiding it behind a paywall. We are a scurrilous lot indeed.

John Peter

“Since the data has not been updated since August it is difficult to guess more precisely, but the data ends at the time of year that the seasonal drop begins to show up. ”
Perhaps they are reluctant to release the information to December 2010 because there is a further drop and that would spoil the fun for NASA/GISS trumpeting the warmest year on record. Can’t have the pals spoiling the fun with real information.

thingadonta

The sea level rise is dropping because the sun’s output is dropping.
Sun=major influence on climate. Will the IPCC get around to suggesting positive feedback from solar output, the way it does with greenhouse gases?
The truth will out in the end.

Spen

If the drop in 2010 SL is confirmed, then the explanations will be interesting. We are told that 2010 was the second warmest year ever and the last decade was the warmest ever. I thought that meant that the sea would expand, causing a rise in sea level. And what happened to all the melt water from the ice fields?
Maybe we will be told that not only does global warming cause extremely cold weather but it can also cause the sea levels to fall. Maybe the plug hole at the bottom of the ocean has sprung a leak.

JohnH

Funny how the record temp data is precast before the end of the year and then available days after the end of the year, but sea level data showing sea levels descreasing is 5 months late and counting.

Nice article.
As I never cease to keep reminding people, the IPCC Chapter 5 on sea levels is riddled with problems from start to finish one of which is the lack of historic context. Sea levels have been rising and falling around a central point for the last 2000 years.
There is no evidence to show it was higher today than in the 18th century from which it declined then rose.
Similarly we know levels to have been higher than today in the Roman Optimum and MWP.
tonyb

Randall Harris

Nice post! Has there been any discovery or speculation as to why there is a cyclical variation in the seal level during the course of the year? Seems to be a little strange unless it could be that more water is downunder and so it rises during the warm periods south of the equator but not as much rise during the summer north of the equator. Anyway it is an interesting variation during the year.

The next update will probably only be in February, as shown by the updates in the last years: http://sealevel.colorado.edu/release_notes.php
Ecotretas

Patrick Davis

I simply do not believe a satelite can measure sea levels with levels of accuracy in milimeters, yes, they are good, but not THAT good IMO. What I do know, from real life, ground based obsevations in coastal places like Portsmouth, Gosport, Emsworth and Exeter in the UK, sea leave rises have not been significant in several hundreds of years.

John Marshall

According to the Argo date set ocean surface temperatures are falling. It follows that there will be a thermal shrinking of this water thus lowering sea levels.

Robinson

This is yet another serious blow the accuracy of the official IPCC predictions for the coming century

Does anyone honestly think it’ll make the slightest difference? Someone will come up with an explanation entirely consistent with AGW!

If was bold enough to bet “real money” on climate predictions, I’d bet that the average rate of sea level rise over the next 20 years will be less than 1mm/yr.
Nice post, John.

yeah strange there are lots of things to learn from nature indeed !

C Porter

The apologists will say that the reason sea levels are not rising and may even reduce is because all the excess water from glacier melt and thermal expansion is now sitting in Wivenhoe Dam in Queensland, Australia.
Three cheers to Anna Bligh, the State Premier for her forward planning.

Alexander K

Excellent post, which clearly tells me it will be safe to go to the beach for a holiday for while yet!

cedarhill

Yes, but, it’s what the media decides to repeat that is important. Today, everything is “reported” it’s about what is repeated – the “legs” that pundits talk about with news stories. Today’s climate repeating by media is still mostly all what the warmist want it to be with very minor exceptions. There’s simply too much “invested” by the usual cast in the media. The delay is deciding if the numbers need to be fudged or how best to present them. The announcement will be typical to what we’re used to seeing. This is not a story like Piltdown Man – this is literally a gold mine for politicians, various agenda driven groups and business that reap huge profits from the Greenie econ myth. Which brings me to the myth of the GE 12 squiggly year light bulb that I just replaced after less that a year – seems it burned out. I’m checking now to see if I can send it to my congressman asking for a tax break but I still have a few hundred regs to read about sending hazardous materials through the mails, much less to anyone in DC.

Latimer Alder

Now you have revealed you hand, can we not be certain that the data, when eventually released, will have been ‘adjusted’ sufficiently far to prove that we are all gong to be drownded three weeks ago last Tuesday as the models tell us?
This is Climatology after all.

Neville

John how long before these results are known and what is the latest measurement as shown by satellite? For example do satellite measurements show similar results?

amicus curiae

Buzzed it and will truly enjoy watching how the agwbelievers will manage to twist dropping to rising, like cold is the new warm!
umm will Tuvalu and other islands need to return funds, or just stop hitting other nations for guilt trips over their supposed sinking?
hell of long list of things that haven’t/aren’t happening isn’t there?
oceans cooling, less cyclones, extimct animals found alive, arctic still rather icy, antarctica doing just fine, siberias methane being covered again with snow and ice.
Josh may have to take a saw to his AGW table:-) another legs just got very wobbly!

Geoff Sherrington

That excess water is stored somewhere and it’s a travesty that we can’t account for it.

I’ve calculated the rate of rise since 2003, and made it available here.
Please notice that it has been going down (be careful: the rate is going down; not sea-level) almost continuously since the beginning of 2006, only interrupted in the fall2009-spring2010, probably due to “El Nino”.
Ecotretas

I think the MSM will try to hide the decline!

BillD

The linear regression shown at the beginning of this post is rather clear. There is a strong up trend, but with too much short term variability to give any meaning to one year’s data. Seems reasonable that variability will continue but that the long term trend will also continue.

DaveF

Randall Harris 2:35am:
“….why there is a cyclical variation in the seal level during the course of the year?”
It’s because in the breeding season there are lots of baby seals, so the seal level goes up, then the polar bears come along and eat them and the seal level goes down again. Happens every year. 🙂

Robert of Ottawa

Cedar hill, those squiggly lightbulbs diminish in output over time. I also replaced mine after one year, and stocked up on incandescence before they become illegal (seriously)
Expect to hear the word LAG when questioned by the media. The storyline will be “their is a lag between ocean response and temperature increase”
In reality, one can say there is a lag between fact and fiction.

Predicador

Geoff Sherrington says:
January 17, 2011 at 3:27 am
That excess water is stored somewhere and it’s a travesty that we can’t account for it.

Some of that water is stored in the form of white soot in my backyard. Obviously there is more of it than there was last year.

LazyTeenager

This article is trying to produce a very definite conclusion from the visual inspection of a small short term change at the end of a slow long term trend. That can’t be done.
It shows a lack of skill plus an excess of hope.
It looks to me like a repeat of the Steve Goddard Incident where a tiny blip on the arctic ice curve became, in some people’s fevered imagination, an approaching ice age. We all know how embarassing that turned out to be.

LazyTeenager

Tonyb says
———-
There is no evidence to show it was higher today than in the 18th century from which it declined then rose.
Similarly we know levels to have been higher than today in the Roman Optimum and MWP.
———-
This looks like a self contradiction. Seems to be expressed badly.

LazyTeenager

Patrick Davis says
——–
I simply do not believe a satelite can measure sea levels with levels of accuracy in milimeters, yes, they are good, but not THAT good IMO.
——–
They can measure the distance to the moon using the Apollo retro reflecting array with an accuracy of 1 foot.
An individual with a hand held gadget can measure their own position to an accuracy of about 30 feet.
Many other astonishing examples are available. Just because it is outside your personal experience does not mean it’s impossible.

Edim

SL is the most important issue, because the decline can not be as easily hidden as “global average temperature”!
It will bring the AGW down!
SL dropping -> Check -> a lot to explain by warmists
SL and CO2-concentration dropping -> Checkmate -> game over

LazyTeenager

John Marshall says
——–
According to the Argo date set ocean surface temperatures are falling. It follows that there will be a thermal shrinking of this water thus lowering sea levels.
——–
I may follow that up, but does this relate to the change over from ship temperatures to more and more Argo bouys being deployed? Apparently the ship temps are slightly warm due to the sampling process. This in turn gave a spurious cooling trend.

Mike McMillan

I’d say all the missing water is in Rio and Brisbane.
The overall rise rate was 3.2 a few years ago, now it’s 3.1, and I’m betting 3.0. Nice to see it turn.

“Only government bureaucracy could put the sea level data in one of the places farthest from the ocean”
And award the space shuttle booster rockets contract to a manufacturer located in a land locked state causing the booster to be designed for train transportation instead of barge (hense the need for sections and O rings), causing the first space shuttle disaster.

Yes, but it’s a rotten drop.

Stephen Wilde

The quiet sun has resulted in more meridional/equatorward jets with more clouds overall and a higher global albedo.
That is most likely due to a shift in the balance of chemical reactions inviolving ozone in the upper atmosphere which changes the vertical temperature profile of the atmosphere and redistributes the pressure patterns at the surface.
That results in less solar energy into the oceans and over time a decline in both ocean heat content and sea leels.
The first consequence is and has been a tendency to skew the balance of ENSO towards more powerful and longer La Nina events as compared to El Nino events.

lenbilen

So Obama was right. In his campaign speech Jun 2 2008 in all humility he ended with:
The journey will be difficult. The road will be long. I face this challenge with profound humility, and knowledge of my own limitations. But I also face it with limitless faith in the capacity of the American people. Because if we are willing to work for it, and fight for it, and believe in it, then I am absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; !!!->this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal;<–!!! this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on earth. This was the moment—this was the time—when we came together to remake this great nation so that it may always reflect our very best selves and our highest ideals. Thank you, God bless you, and may God bless the United States of America.

Stacey

“Of course a decrease in the rate is technically an negative acceleration in the rate of rise, so technically the rate of rise is accelerating, but in a negative direction.”
It is all due to global warming the sea is evaporating?

Jimbo

“The fact that CO2 levels have been higher in the last 5 years that have the lowest rate of rise than the years with lower CO2 levels is a strong indicator that the claims of CO2 are grossly exaggerated.”

All this in the “hottest decade on the record” in one of the “hottest years on the record”. ;O)
If sea level rise doesn’t accelerate fast the IPCC will have some serious explaining to do. They have painted themselves in a corner.

Jimbo

I would not be in the least bit surprised is someone writes a paper to show how global warming can disrupt the climate causing sea level to fall.

Latimer Alder

@Lazy Teenager

This article is trying to produce a very definite conclusion from the visual inspection of a small short term change at the end of a slow long term trend. That can’t be done.

Would you lieke to draw our attention to the specific ‘very definite conclusion’ that you assert cannot be done.
I didn’t see one, so find it difficult to understand your point.

MikeEE

LazyTeenager
It is what it is, and we can all see that. How is your nonsensical dismissal supposed to change that?
MikeEE

David

I do wish you guys would stop confusing a good yarn with facts…

John Stover

Patrick Davis, your question about accuracy of satellite altimetry is a good one. I have some experience in that area and can confirm it is very good since the process is very simple mathematics. You send out a radar pulse and with a very accurate clock you can time the return to yield the distance travelled round trip. Voila.
Of course there are some fiddly bits since the satellite and the earth are both moving and you have to have good data on the ephemeris of the spacecraft but those problems are well solved. Years ago we reported we had enough accuracy to be able to detect shallow whales by their wake perturbing the surface. We could determine wave height within 5-8 mm in those days. Turned out that submarines are both bigger and faster than whales and have a really nifty three-dimensional wake. Needless to say, after that discovery much more money became available to improve the entire system. I have no idea what the detection level accuracy is these days but you can be sure it is significantly better than it was in 1998.

Jimbo says:
“I would not be in the least bit surprised is someone writes a paper to show how global warming can disrupt the climate causing sea level to fall.”
It’s only a matter of time.

Steve Keohane

LazyTeenager says: January 17, 2011 at 4:00 am
Tonyb says
———-
There is no evidence to show it was higher today than in the 18th century from which it declined then rose.
Similarly we know levels to have been higher than today in the Roman Optimum and MWP.
———-
This looks like a self contradiction. Seems to be expressed badly.

Simply the historical truth, stop using your navel as a source.

Sal Minella

I’m just amazed that the global sea level can be measured accurately enough that a tenth of an inch difference from year-to-year can be detected.

Joel Shore

thingadonta:

Sun=major influence on climate. Will the IPCC get around to suggesting positive feedback from solar output, the way it does with greenhouse gases?

Your question shows that you are unfortunately badly misinformed and believe things that are absolutely not true. The positive feedbacks in the climate models apply to all forcings, including solar forcing. The only ones who I know of who are proposing that some mechanisms get selectively amplified are those who are arguing that this somehow happens for solar forcing.

Patrick Davis says:
January 17, 2011 at 2:53 am
I simply do not believe a satelite can measure sea levels with levels of accuracy in milimeters, yes, they are good, but not THAT good IMO.
I was thinking the same thing. And Lazyteenager, a foot is hardly comparable to a millimeter. We’re just supposed to take their word for it that the satellites are accurate despite observations on the ground (at places like decades-old docks, sea walls etc.) showing that sea level has not risen much/at all?