Bombshell conclusion – new peer reviewed analysis: "worldwide-temperature increase has not produced acceleration of global sea level over the past 100 years"

The paper is currently in press at the Journal of Coastal Research and is provided with open access to the full publication. The results are stunning for their contradiction to AGW theories which suggest global warming would accelerate sea level rise during the last century.

“Our first analysis determined the acceleration, a2, for each of the 57 records with results tabulated in Table 1 and shown in Figure 4. There is almost a balance with 30 gauge records showing deceleration and 27 showing acceleration, clustering around 0.0 mm/y2.”

The near balance of accelerations and decelerations is mirrored in worldwidegauge records as shown in Miller and Douglas (2006)


Sea-Level Acceleration Based on U.S. Tide Gauges and Extensions of Previous Global-Gauge Analyses

J. R. Houston and R. G. Dean Director Emeritus, Engineer Research and Development Center, Corps of Engineers, 3909 Halls Ferry Road, Vicksburg, MS 39180, U.S.A.

Professor Emeritus, Department of Civil and Coastal Civil Engineering, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, U.S.A.

Without sea-level acceleration, the 20th-century sea-level trend of 1.7 mm/y would produce a rise of only approximately 0.15 m from 2010 to 2100; therefore, sea-level acceleration is a critical component of projected sea-level rise. To determine this acceleration, we analyze monthly-averaged records for 57 U.S. tide gauges in the Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level (PSMSL) data base that have lengths of 60–156 years. Least-squares quadratic analysis of each of the 57 records are performed to quantify accelerations, and 25 gauge records having data spanning from 1930 to 2010 are analyzed. In both cases we obtain small average sea-level decelerations. To compare these results with worldwide data, we extend the analysis of Douglas (1992) by an additional 25 years and analyze revised data of Church and White (2006) from 1930 to 2007 and also obtain small sea-level decelerations similar to those we obtain from U.S. gauge records.

Received: October 5, 2010; Accepted: November 26, 2010; Published Online: February 23, 2011

Sea-Level Acceleration Based on U.S. Tide Gauges and Extensions of Previous Global-Gauge Analyses, J. R. Houston and R. G. Dean

Discussion: (excerpt)

We analyzed the complete records of 57 U.S. tide gauges that had average record lengths of 82 years and records from1930 to 2010 for 25 gauges, and we obtained small decelerations of 20.0014 and20.0123 mm/y2, respectively. We obtained similar decelerations using worldwide-gauge records in the original data set of Church andWhite (2006) and a 2009 revision (for the periods of 1930–2001 and 1930–2007) and by extending Douglas’s (1992) analyses of worldwide gauges by 25 years.

The extension of the Douglas (1992) data from 1905 to 1985 for 25 years to 2010 included the period from 1993 to 2010 when satellite altimeters recorded a sea-level trend greater than that of the 20th century, yet the addition of the 25 years resulted in a slightly greater deceleration.


Our analyses do not indicate acceleration in sea level in U.S. tide gauge records during the 20th century. Instead, for each time period we consider, the records show small decelerations that are consistent with a number of earlier studies of worldwide-gauge records. The decelerations that we obtain are opposite in sign and one to two orders of magnitude less than the +0.07 to +0.28 mm/y2 accelerations that are required to reach sea levels predicted for 2100 by Vermeer and Rahmsdorf (2009), Jevrejeva, Moore, and Grinsted (2010), and Grinsted, Moore, and Jevrejeva (2010). Bindoff et al. (2007) note an increase in worldwide temperature from 1906 to 2005 of 0.74uC.

It is essential that investigations continue to address why this worldwide-temperature increase has not produced acceleration of global sea level over the past 100 years, and indeed why global sea level has possibly decelerated for at least the last 80 years.

Full paper available online here

WUWT download (faster) here: jcoastres-d-10-00157.1

h/t to John Droz and to Dr. Willem de Lange


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View from the Solent

“It is essential that investigations continue…”
Send more money.

stephen richards

It is essential that investigations continue to address why this worldwide-temperature increase has not produced acceleration of global sea level over the past 100 years, and indeed why global sea level has possibly decelerated for at least the last 80 years.
Absolutely, because it might indicate that the temperature record is ‘inaccurate’ due to UHI effect, data adjustment, incorrectly read temperature or a flaw in the analysis, in this paper.

Keith Battye

The truth will out, often from unexpected sources.


Even the IPCC kind of agrees.

“There was a rapid rise [in sea levels] between 15,000 and 6,000 years ago at an average rate of 10 mm/yr. No significant acceleration in the rate of sea level rise during the 20th century has been detected.”

The recent rate of sea level rise is faltering. ;O)
Even methane rise seems to be flattening.

This kind of research makes Rajendra Pachauri look like an even bigger fool.
I wonder if there is anything known as accountability in this business? IPCC sounds to me like a person who cried wolf too many times. Its credibility is totally shot. Why would sea levels rise alarmingly (as people have been claiming) if they have DECELERATED even as CO2 has increased?
I don’t have the time to research all these issues, but the questions being raised are just too many and these highly paid bureaucrats and “scientists” need to be held to account. Their screaming over the rooftops is costing the world an arm and a leg.

There’s a Journal of Coastal Research?
April 1 isn’t far away. Be careful!


They call us deniers but the reality is slowly dawning on them. Why do you think they ditched “Global Warming” and replaced it with “Climate Change.” Here are some frank admissions.
See the dates and add possible UHI effect and manipulations:

Dr. Phil Jones email – July, 2005
“The scientific community would come down on me in no uncertain terms if I said the world had cooled from 1998. OK it has but it is only 7 years of data and it isn’t statistically significant.”

Dr. Phil Jones interview – February, 2010
Roger Harrabin – “Do you agree that from 1995 to the present there has been no statistically-significant global warming”
Phil Jones – “Yes, but only just.”

This is a slow motion trainwreck in the making. Judith Curry got out in time.

The photograph of the mean sea level in 1841 confirms this “bombshell”conclusion.
From the late John L. Daly’s website: “Still waiting for the Greenhouse”.

Tom Harley

…and the latest sea level story from Australia, BOM offices to drown?…
Sea level rise in Broome? BoM’s feet stay dry so far | Digging in the Clay
“This link is to photos taken of this week’s apogee king tides in the area around the airport and shopping centre, showing the BOM new office building and radar tower just above the high tide of 10.6m. They are not obviously worried about sea levels rising,…

Now hang on. Weren’t we told that wind shear was a better thermometer than a thermometer? Surely that goes for tide gauges too?

On the subject of sea level, the University of Colorado sea level people have not updated the data on their site. The last data point is 2010.7415 which is in July last year, over seven months ago. Perhaps the data since then is inconvenient, or perhaps the Colorado people have just lost interest. Could someone else please get the Jason data and make it publicly available.

Alexander K

The conclusions from these researchers would indicate that the world’s temperature has not shown statistically-significant warming for the period the sudy encompasses.
Perhaps taking the temps of aircon plants and jet exhausts has skewed the global record. 🙂

Tom Harley
Bill Jamison

Cool, it’s NOT worse than we thought!

Can someone define acceleration and deceleration for me?
I assume acceleration to be an increase in the rate of RISE and deceleration a lowering in the rate of RISE.
Both indicate a continuing RISE but the above research shows a diminishing rate. Am I correct in my understanding, please?


“It is essential that investigations continue to address why this worldwide-temperature increase has not produced acceleration of global sea level over the past 100 years, and indeed why global sea level has possibly decelerated for at least the last 80 years.”

Investigate the temperature adjusters, UHI and AGW theory’s predictive skill.
The ice is melting at an unprecedented rate! /sarc

Andy Jones

Well I say, this is rather embarrassing what?
I say it’s just weather……


I tend to try to read key studies but as a layman their strengths and weaknesses are not always as obvious to me. Will you comment more in depth on this study later ?

Patrick Davis

Having lived in the Portsmouth, Havant, Hayling Island and Emsworth areas in southern UK for almost 1/3rd of the timeframe documented, albeit a bit earlier, this analysis, pretty much, confirms my observations. There is nothing to worry about from sea level rise. Subsidence, on the other hand, due to natural and/or man-made influences, may be an issue in certain areas.

John Marshall

Good paper and downloaded and printed. Thanks Anthony.
These scientists will get no more money because their research throws the proverbial spanner into the AGW works.


A great paper by Engineers who know what they are doing. Unlike some of the pseudo-climate scientists they discuss outliers and errors.
It is another falsification of the models.

The pattern of accel/decel has been obvious from a single glance at the graphs for a long time. Still, it’s good to see a journal accepting it for publication…. means the reviewers are finally allowing a few scraps of actual truth into the journals.


Re: marchesarosa
Yes you are correct. Sea levels today are doing the same thing they have being doing for the last 20,000+ years and that is rising. The rate of rise is not increasing and this paper indicates (but not conclusively) that it might actually be decreasing.


This goes to show the value of an honest broker who is a scientist. I shudder to think of the time when the satellite record may pass to the charge of dishonest persons such as those that have ruined the credibility of climate science.

Adam Gallon

marchesarosa says:
March 28, 2011 at 3:43 am
Can someone define acceleration and deceleration for me?
Yes, as you’ve assumed. Sea level continues to rise, but at a lesser rate.
As the Colorado data shows
A lesser rate of rise seen from about 2006 onwards.
If Greenland’s icecap and that of the Antarctic are melting at ever increasing rates, then one would expect to see sea level rate of rise increasing.



IPCC Third Assessment Report (2001)
“There is no evidence for any acceleration of sea level rise in data from the 20th century data alone…..Mediterranean records show decelerations, and even decreases in sea level in the latter part of the 20th century…”

“Decadal Rates of Sea Level Change During the Twentieth Century”
The following figure shows cumulative sea level change over the last 100 years. The report states: “The mean rate for the twentieth century calculated in this way is 1.67±0.04 mm/yr. The first half of the century (1904-1953) had a slightly higher rate (1.91±0.14 mm/yr) in comparison with the second half of the century (1.42±0.14 mm/yr 1954-2003).”

The IPCC admits that it has “no evidence for any acceleration of sea level rise” yet I bet they found evidence pointing the other way. It’s simply is not going to plan. AGW made projections and some of the evidence seems to be pointing the other way.
Temperature rise over the last decade has also stalled.


Small correction:
In my last comment the last paragraph is not from the IPCC but from Simon Holgate, Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory, Liverpool. The first paragraph is from the IPCC.

Don K

Why is this a surprise? Anyone who has ever looked at this chart knows that sea level change has been nearly constant for over a century and if there was any acceleration at all, it was slight and took place in the 1920s.
It is this, along with the failure of tropical cyclone activity to increase as predicted and the fact that ice core temperature/CO2 data doesn’t support a high sensitivity of temperature to CO2 concentration that cause me to believe that the climate models simply can not be correct. That seems too many negatives for what is, after all, just a theory, to overcome.


It looks like a good study. However concerns of future sea level rise aren’t based on the current rate or acceleration but the possible melting of glaciers in Greenland and Antarctica. There is little doubt major melting on these glaciers would rise sea levels.
The acceleration estimates depend on the time window used. See:
And which tide gauges are used.

Allegedly due to the recent 9.0 Japan Quake much of the coast affected not just moved up to 8ft – 12ft sideways towards the USA but also subsided up to 1 to 2 meters downwards which helped to defeat some of their tsunami sea walls in some locations and enabled the tsunami to encroach further inland than otherwise would have been expected.
Information alleged in the new documentary “Japan’s Tsunami, How It Happened 2011” ( Definitely worth watching. Excellent first ever close up live footage of earthquake cracks forming and ground moving back and forth due to liquefaction of the ground with liquid emerging from the cracks.
So Japan or parts of it sinking is a sea level issue that will have to be properly adjusted for and well documented with new 3d survey data, not to mention new GPS location data. It will be interesting to see a 3d deformation map of the entire region as a result of the earthquake and the tsunami (which may have also scraped soil or deposited new surface material in various places complicating these computations).

“Documentary exploring the scientific factors behind the magnitude 9 earthquake and the resultant tsunami that struck Japan on March 11. Professor of geological sciences Roger Bilham views the effects of the devastation from the air, and journalist Callum Macrae travels to the north of the country, where survivors in the fishing villages Sendai and Ofunato are struggling to cope in the aftermath
On Friday 11 March 2011, an earthquake measuring 9.0 on the Richter scale triggered a tsunami that devastated parts of coastal Japan.
Japan’s Tsunami: How It Happened investigates the science behind the earthquake and tsunami. The programme follows Professor of Geological Sciences Roger Bilham – who arrived in Japan days after the earthquake struck – as he sets off to view the devastation from the air.
The earthquake moved Japan 12 feet closer to the USA. The earth was knocked off its axis and the rate of the earth’s rotation was changed. This was one of the biggest earthquakes ever measured; the ground along the east side of Japan dropped by almost 10 feet, making the tsunami catastrophic.
The documentary also follows renowned journalist Callum Macrae as he travels to the north, where the towns of Sendai and Ofunato used to be bustling fishing villages. Here he views the destruction first hand and meets the locals struggling to cope in the aftermath.
Japan lies on the Pacific Ring of Fire where the Pacific Ocean plates meet the land. The ocean floor dives beneath the volcanic chain of islands that make up Japan. And when the tension builds up between the two plates the energy is released as a massive earthquake.
The programme provides the science and analysis to explain why this happened where it did, and why it was so devastating, hearing from the scientists at the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre in Hawaii who tracked the deadly wave as it raced across the pacific, and scientists at the Tsunami research facility in Oregon who study the dynamics of earthquake-generated Tsunamis.
As Japan is lives with the consequences of this terrible force of nature, the film reveals how it has changed the country forever.”


Since tax dollars are highly involved here the US Senate should investigate but it will take better people in the senate to have a real investigation.


Mike Borgelt says:
March 28, 2011 at 3:22 am
There’s a Journal of Coastal Research?
April 1 isn’t far away. Be careful!

I searched for the “Journal of Coastal Research” at Google and got 173,000 results. has it listed here.
The University of Ulster has referenced it here.
A US government agency has it listed here.
The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution has referenced it here.
The journal’s articles are peer-reviewed and encompasses all subjects relevant to natural and engineered environments. Its archive prior to 2004 are available at JSTOR. JSTOR has been going strong sice 1993.
It is not April Fools day yet my friend. This journal seems Kosher.

Latimer Alder

My understanding is the same as yours.
Sealevels have been rising for hundreds of years without anyobody really noticing. It is such a slow effect that periodic renewal of sea defences has been sufficient to render it a nuisance rather than a catastrophe.
AGW catastrophists require the rate of rise to increase (accelerate), because otherwise there will be a collective vast shrug…if we could happly handle the current rate of rise in say 1750, why shoudl we not be able to in 2050 – with all the advances in enegineering and technology since then.
So the fact that the rate of rise is not increasing, but decreasing, is yet another blow to the catatstrophist case. If sealevel rise is not something to metaphorically wet one’s knickers about, there isn’t much else left to scare people with.


Does anybody know how much continental drift / expansion of our globes diameted impact the sea level?

Ben M

It’s great that a study has come out to confirm this.
But it’ll be fairly easy for the warmists to argue that it doesn’t disprove anything. Afterall, the most catastrophic predictions are not so much about gradual sea level rises, but about step changes to sea level rises. For example, the Greenland icesheet melting into the ocean; or the WAIS melting. Those events would produce a step change.
All this study does is show that those events haven’t happened yet. Therefore sea level continues to rise at a fairly un-alarming rate.
I’m not sure it’s a bombshell either way.

Jason F

Dont worry a new result properly hemogonised and adjusted to show what’s really going on will be a long in a moment, the IPCC and team thank you for your patience /sarc


See this graph showing post glacial sea level rise decelerating then flattening.

Steve from Rockwood

That would be +0.00 mm/y2 and definitely not -0.00 mm/y2.
Do I need a /sarc here?


What will the Fiddlestick Team over at Unreal Climate make of it?
Either “We know this already and it doesn’t change anything.”
Or ” It is much worse than we thought not only are the seas turning acid but they are also evaporating away and we can’t account for where all the heat has gone”


Oh dear! Another bombshell!
Dr David Evans

“I am a scientist who was on the carbon gravy train, understands the evidence, was once an alarmist, but am now a skeptic. Watching this issue unfold has been amusing but, lately, worrying. This issue is tearing society apart, making fools and liars out of our politicians.
The whole idea that carbon dioxide is the main cause of the recent global warming is based on a guess that was proved false by empirical evidence during the 1990s.”
Dr David Evans consulted full-time for the Australian Greenhouse Office (now the Department of Climate Change) from 1999 to 2005, and part-time 2008 to 2010, modeling Australia’s carbon in plants, debris, mulch, soils, and forestry and agricultural products.

I have said before that AGW is the biggest scientific financial SCAM ever perpetrated on the human race.

Professor Bob Ryan

Now I cannot remember where I read this but the gist of the argument is as follows: the deceleration in the rise below that anticipated by the modelers is because we have built large numbers of damns, reservoirs and other devices for storing large quantities of water thus masking the true effect. When we stop building damns, reservoirs and other devices those of us without buoyancy aids had better watch out!
REPLY: Yes water retention was mentioned, saying it have about 0.54 mm/yr negative effect IIRC. See the link to the full paper – Anthony

Professor Bob Ryan

Ps: I may have offended any pedants out there. The correct spelling is dam.

pwl says:
March 28, 2011 at 4:33 am

Allegedly due to the recent 9.0 Japan Quake much of the coast affected not just moved up to 8ft – 12ft sideways towards the USA

I find that report hilarious. 8 to 12 feet toward the USA? How about how far away from Australia? Or Timbuktu?
There is a perfectly acceptable and usable metric that works wherever you happen to be, and it is in common usage: North, South, East and West!

Re the last pot, the report is not hilarious, my apologies. The fact that The reporters believe everything has to ‘relate’ to the USA is, however. Sounds a bit like my mother.

Luther Wu

As usual, there will be no mention of this study anywhere in the MSM.
Nothing to see here, move along.

Luther Wu

Mike says:
March 28, 2011 at 4:31 am
It looks like a good study. However concerns of future sea level rise aren’t based on the current rate or acceleration but the possible melting of glaciers in Greenland and Antarctica. There is little doubt major melting on these glaciers would rise sea levels.
The acceleration estimates depend on the time window used. See:
And which tide gauges are used.
That’s true, Mike. What you might remember is that 200 yrs ago we were just coming out of the ‘Little Ice Age”, as is clearly shown on the graph you presented.
Never mind that most of the propagandists have tried to make the LIA disappear in their data manipulations elsewhere…


Danish meteorological institute has measured the water level since 1890
and have measured only small fluctuations…
Text from their page:
DMI’s calculation of the mean sea level around Denmark during the past 115 years.
It appears from the data series, that the mean water level fluctuates up and down over 115 annual average, and that we are currently in a highwatermode, where the mean sea level for 2004 is 5.6 cm. above the 115 year average.
Average water level was nearly 8 cm. above the 115 annual average in 1989, 1983 and 1967 – while it was 8 cm below in 1996 and 1941.
No measurements since 2004 on their site – click on link to view the form.


For those looking for updated sea level data Aviso has a file here


It is a sad reflection on modern science, but I guess the political landscape is changing and so a scientist wishing to make his/her name now counters the orthodoxy.


Can we accurately determine a worldwide trend in sea level changes from gauges in one country?
It isn’t just that one country doesn’t necessarily determine what is happening worldwide, but also that countries can have different rates of either rise or decline of coastlines. Louisiana has lost large amounts of coastline because the Mississippi no longer replenishes much of it with new silt, for example (because the river has been channelized by levees and now spills its silt only in the delta, rather than overflowing its banks as in the past).
A gauge on the Louisiana coast, 100 to 200 miles west of the Mississippi delta, would show sea level rise of around 5 feet in less than 100 years.
Contrast that with Bangladesh, where the huge rivers there continue to deposit so much silt from the Himilayas that the land mass in the delta is actually growing. A gauge there would say that sea levels are shrinking (relative to land elevation).
Some parts of Scandanavia are still rising, rebounding from the weight of ice on them 15,000 years ago.
Therefore, wouldn’t the best way to look at sea level trends be the U Colo sea level compilation from satellites? This methodology looks at actual world wide sea levels in absolute terms, rather than in comparison to various shorelines which may be rising or sinking for various reasons.