An answer to the question about why UC’s sea level data has not been updated since mid 2010

Readers may recall my story from April 6th where I asked:

What’s delaying UC sea level data from being updated?

https://i0.wp.com/sealevel.colorado.edu/current/sl_noib_global.jpg

As you can see in the graph above, the data has not been updated since mid 2010. I wrote then:

I sent a query from their web page asking why, and hope to hear back soon.

Actually I sent two email queries, one from the web page form, and one to this scientist, listed on the UC sealevel contact page

Dr. R. Steven Nerem
nerem@colorado.edu
phone: 303.492.6721
fax: 303.492.2825

Over a week passed, hearing nothing. I decided to make a phone call today to Dr. Nerem. Here is what I learned.

First, I give the man points for answering his own phone, a true rarity these days in our voicemailed world.

I explained who I was, why I was calling, and that I had sent emails that had gone unanswered, and asked for an update.

His response was:

“We are updating our web page to a new design, and that is the reason for the delay.”

I replied with: “OK I understand, but the SL data hasn’t been updated since mid 2010, and people are asking questions about it.”

“Well we only update a couple times per year anyway. Sea level changes pretty slowly you know.”

I said: “Yes, but in looking at your previous release schedules, you would have been due for an update in February 2011, and that hasn’t happened. ”

To which he replied:

“This new website design won’t work with our current format, so if you can just be patient and wait a couple of weeks we’ll have it online.”

I thanked him for his time and ended the call.

So there you have it, the reason for a lack of update? Form before function.

Somehow, I don’t think anybody gives rat’s ass about how “prettied up” the web presentation of sea level data is. Just show us the data. I’ll take a table, CSV file, hell even a fax.

So in  “couple of weeks” we’ll see if the wait for the new prettier web page was worth it. Somehow, I think it is going to end up looking a lot like this one with more web bling than substance:

http://www.climate.gov/

Which ironically, has an even longer delayed update of sea level data:

I shall revisit this story in two weeks time, or upon a web page update of http://sealevel.colorado.edu/ whichever comes first.

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114 thoughts on “An answer to the question about why UC’s sea level data has not been updated since mid 2010

  1. Well, you know the numerous problems they’ve all had with communicating the severity of the “crisis” we face. They’ve obviously felt the need to invest some of their publicly provided funding into hiring some expensive consultants to improve the delivery of their message, probably Steven King or Clive Barker.

  2. Perhaps I have become too cynical, or too educated, but I’m guessing that if it shows what the gang want it to show it would have been released already. At least they didn’t do a ‘hottest year’ type announcement in advance… perhaps it is more difficult to ‘adjust’ this data.

    Some good news. Saw a photo of Manhattan on the news today and they have somehow managed to hold back the rising floodwaters. Don’t we owe them our eternal gratitude for that?

  3. Suggest saving a copy of the data at the current website, lest it happen to change when moving to the new site.

  4. Anthony;
    Whatever they decide the presentation will be, I still think that it would be a good idea to have a blink-comparison between the existing graph and the new graph so that any adjustments of the past recorded historical data are obvious.
    Did they not put (and take down) up a couple of ‘new’ graphs the day you first mentioned this? It did not look like a formatting issue with those graphs, just that all of the data seemed to have been altered.
    It looked like they were fitting the data to the pre-determined trend line rather then finding the trend line/curves in the data.

    We shall wait and see, if they can ‘improve their communication’ of the data with their new web site layout.

    Any lack of alarm on the part of the viewer/reader/listener is, as we all know, just the result of poor communication on the part of the climate scientists.

  5. Who would have thought that falling sea levels….
    ….would have messed up their website

    It’s worse than we thought……………………..

  6. Two updates per year. That gives them 6 months to update a “web page”, clearly going to be a fantastic update. Do they need some assistance? I know a few HTML tags.

  7. “Somehow, I don’t think anybody gives rats ass about how “prettied up” the web presentation of sea level data is. Just show us the data. I’ll take a table, CSV file, hell even a fax.”

    You forgot to tell him the absolutely urgent reason why you need this data

  8. I’m betting that the re-designed website will use a more “complimentary” aspect ratio, so that the Y-axis appears more vertically enhanced to offset the slowed rate of sea level rise.

    Because it’s worse than they thought.

  9. “This new website design won’t work with our current format …”
    I do smell something. Changing the data format for another Website appearance, sounds pretty strange. We’ll see.

  10. Sounds like they want a break between the old presentation, which was showing no increase in average level since about 2006, and now!! Wonder what “trick” they are going to use??

  11. Small point: University of Colorado is referred to as “CU” so it’s not confused with the University of California ( which is called “UC”)

  12. Agree that putting style before content is a mistake – many websites make this mistake. I was disappointed by the recent makeover of the Australian Antarctic Division pages – the new live temperature graph for Dome A – http://www.antarctica.gov.au/dome-a – is far less detailed and useful than the previous, which showed the temperatures at various sub-surface levels. They have kept the graph the same for the historic data (2006-present) but they seem to have lost about 6 weeks worth of data in the change over – http://www.antarctica.gov.au/science/ice-ocean-atmosphere-and-climate/glaciology-research/antarctic-weather/dome-a-details

  13. Wait a minute, you mean if sea level suddenly started rising by 2 feet a year, we wouldn’t know because of a website revamp??

    /not worried

  14. Real reason (speculative): his graduate student was studying for his/her comps, teaching labs, grading papers, etc. and just couldn’t get to the update.

  15. Andrew30 says:
    April 15, 2011 at 1:36 pm
    they “put (and take down) up a couple of ‘new’ graphs”

    Spot on Andrew, we saw a chart that stated “removing seasonal variations” which looked different to this one.
    This graph above has a trend which looks like a sinusoidal chart close to levelling, ready to go down, the new one will look like a hockey stick pointing to the stars.

    Lars the prophet has spoken. I wish I would not be one.

  16. They should get Muller on the job.
    He could tell us the results, take the credit, and wave his arms around a bit
    without even seeing the results

    /sarc

  17. ew-3 says:
    April 15, 2011 at 1:35 pm

    Suggest saving a copy of the data at the current website, lest it happen to change when moving to the new site.

    I already have data changes from one release to another with the present website. Probably good reasons for the changes but I haven’t got there yet. To be fair I have not put too much work into finding out why.

  18. This is a non-story. If the web-site was devoted to tornado early warning or tsunamis I would be more sympathetic. But sea-level data? I can hardly wait for the new web-site Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  19. Thank you for raising this subject.

    Colorado used to published what is roughly 10 day data every 10 days. Year and more ago they ceased update for increasingly protracted periods, data months late (think it got to 6 months). They also started software version churning, with gross errors in version after version. (nothing whatsoever to do with web associated software)
    It may well be they had problems yet this strikes me as odd.

    During the above Jason 2 was brought into service, when things became terrible.

    That is what they have done.

    Another part of this story: quite some time ago I found the dataset is predictive and that says there a shape to the sea level data. This was then found to fit with the older Geosat data and does not disagree with Church & White.

    Geosat is ignored ‘because it cannot be right’ sea level is not falling.

    For whatever it is worth where I am not entirely happy with it http://www.gpsl.net/climate/data/sealevel-jason-geosat.png

    In the longer term, no idea.

    Now go figure.
    There should be no surprise in sea level doing something like that because it fits with other data which I assume is known to plenty. I still don’t understand enough to say much, all ongoing.

  20. “Well we only update a couple times per year anyway. Sea level changes pretty slowly you know.”

    Tell that to all the stupid politicians in Norway, making urgent disaster plans for rising sea-levels.

  21. I agree with Jaypan. Presentation *should* have very little to do with data format. Sounds fishy. And like Anthony says, just have a button with a link to downloadable file that gets updates twice a year. It can’t get much simpler.

  22. It’s too bad that these “climate scientists” have lost the trust that people had in them. Don’t get me wrong, these people have worked hard to destroy that trust and they deserve not even a shred of trust or respect as a group. So, the automatic reaction you see here is understandable: that their motives are nefarious.

    But there is a possibility that one may be honorable. Or have all the honorable ones become outcasts because they are “deniers”?

    I guess that this is a rhetorical question:
    “Is it possible for an honorable researcher/scientist to be a part of the so called main stream climate science, or would an honorable person stand up against the dishonesty and thus be cast out?”

    Regards,

    Steamboat Jack (Jon Jewett’s evil twin)

  23. Great self indicting blog on cults over at the HuffPo. She gives top ten signs you might be part of a cult…
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jayanti-tamm/the-c-word_2_b_848340.html

    Is it a Cult? The Top Ten Signs the ‘Group’ You’ve Joined is Not what It Seems

    1.The leader and group are always correct and anything the leader does can be justified.

    2.Questions, suggestions, or critical inquiry are forbidden.

    3.Members incessantly scramble with cramped schedules and activities full of largely meaningless work based on the leader’s agenda

    4.Followers are meant to believe that they are never good enough.

    5.Required dependency upon the leader and group for even the most basic problem-solving.

    6.Reporting on members for disobedient actions or thoughts is mandated and rewarded.

    7.Monetary, sexual, or servile labor is expected to gain promotion.

    8.The ‘outside’ world — often including family and friends — is presented as rife with impending catastrophe, evil, and temptations.

    9.Recruitment of new members is designed to be purposefully upbeat and vague about the actual operations of the leader and group.

    10.Former members are shunned and perceived as hostile.

  24. kuhnkat says: April 15, 2011 at 1:53 pm
    “Sounds like they want a break between the old presentation, which was showing no increase in average level since about 2006, and now!! Wonder what “trick” they are going to use??”

    I’m guessing we will get a set of graphs, each with no overlap (gaps allowed), each for a period starting with a lower value and ending with a higher value, each the visual same size, each with a different scale for x and y adjusted to present the straight line increase, each on a different page, each combined with mouse over images of the disasters that occured during the time frame. All not ‘linkable’ by WUWT.

  25. Oh, also.

    Some one had better check with the next set of insturments that get installed in the global weather data collection aray. Very possible a built in over error is being wired in as we are all consumed with the current published lies.

    Build the incline.

  26. To give them the benefit of the doubt, I am inclined to blame the reason for the upgrade project in the first place. In other words, I’m guessing their new web site is being created with development tools that are a significant departure from what their developers had been using. They probably were “forced” to upgrade because their previous tools were not the latest-and-greatest, or they were looking down the barrel of an end-of-support deadline. But I’m guessing the new tools don’t let them work as they did previously. There seems to be a considerable amount of this sort of problem lately! IIRC, there was a news story about how the upgrade in the software that feeds stock price data to the NYSE caused there to be inaccuracies in the price data. That’s gotta hurt! Also, the department I work for is in the final throes of an upgrade that was forced upon us. We did not expect this upgrade to our mission-critical software to be major ordeal – but it has been. The conversion of the data from the old system to the new system had to be done at least 3 times because they did not get it right. Our web-based payment system was down for almost a month, which meant our customers could not do business with us in the normal fashion. There are still lots of things wrong that we had been in the process of fixing with an import utility – but when the software company discovered we were making use of it, they took our access to the tool away. Grrrr!

  27. Dear Anthony,

    The CSV files? You mean just the data please? Without all the new formating?

    How dare you even ask. What are you, a taxpayer or something?

    Now the process is set back another year, because they know you know. I can only imagine the consternation and panic that pervades the numerous CU faculty lounges today. Careers in Academia may will be impacted. Spin, spin, spin is the goal.

    The CSV files! Thanks for the chuckle.

  28. If the update of the webpage will allow users to enter ranges of coordinates, such as 0-70N, 80W-0 for the North Atlantic, instead of picking a single spot, it will be a welcome improvement and well worth the wait.

  29. Just a fue questions.
    How far can sea level rise?
    what is the highest possible level?

    If global sea level is rising according to all this charted data, how long before the rise is physically observable in the real world so it can be verified?

  30. Bob Tisdale says:
    April 15, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    If the update of the webpage will allow users to enter ranges of coordinates, such as 0-70N, 80W-0 for the North Atlantic, instead of picking a single spot, it will be a welcome improvement and well worth the wait.

    Bob, being somebody who is just starting on the sea level “learning curve”, could you please explain why is this so important to you.

    TIA

  31. Anthony, I myself had just decided to revisit sea level trends, only to find you doing the same.

    Fascinating.

    In the Journal of Coastal Research, Houston and Dean had this article published just over a week ago:
    Sea-Level Acceleration Based on U.S. Tide Gauges and
    Extensions of Previous Global-Gauge Analyses

    “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.”

    And in their conclusion, this was said:

    “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.”

    I found this article while writing my own article on the subject of sea level predictions.

    Maybe this new analyses has something to do with UC dropping the ball on updating their website. Or not.

    It will be interesting what UC does provide, once they get their website up and running.

  32. Gary suggested:

    “Real reason (speculative): his graduate student was studying for his/her comps, teaching labs, grading papers, etc. and just couldn’t get to the update.”

    How about his grad student (perhaps called Harry) has left and he hasn’t a clue how to add new values?

  33. Hmmm the global tropo temp records (UAH) quit just when temps were in free-fall last Dec and now when sealevel began to level off, this data quits. We’re still getting snow storms across Canada when we’re supposed to be raking our lawns and lookiing for crocuses to pop up. I suggest whatever they come up with WUWT should continue updating the familiar graph.

    I hate what this dang science has done to my trusting nature.

  34. kwik says:
    April 15, 2011 at 2:30 pm
    ““Well we only update a couple times per year anyway. Sea level changes pretty slowly you know.”

    Tell that to all the stupid politicians in Norway, making urgent disaster plans for rising sea-levels.”

    You should stop importing Dutch politicians. ;-)

  35. A few months ago one of your readers put up a great comment to the effect of “They can’t even get an accurate measurement of Mt. Everest, and it’s NOT EVEN MOVING!” (aside from tectonic lift, of course).

    Seems to me that like the notion of an accurate global temperature the notion of average global sea level is really an artificial construct (given the chaotically dynamic nature of the ocean). Better to use total physical volume of seawater. Of course, you’d need a perfectly accurate mapping of the sea floor, paired with a synchronized ‘snapshot’ via satellite of surface elevation for some billions or trillions of points on the ocean surface. Oh, and then some 9.0 ocean floor quake would come along and screw it all up for you.

    Never mind. Let me know when the water is so high that I should TAKE A STEP OR TWO BACKWARD (the uber-high tech way to deal with it…duh.)

    Happy Tax Day. Go have Sierra Nevada Pale Ale (props to Chico, Anthony) and celebrate how well government is spending your money and your grandchildren’s money. Grrrrr.

  36. Bull shit. The excuse is bullshit.

    If I had the money I’d make Thomas Freidman join me in a trip to Tuvalu and make him show me where the sea level is rising……

    The warmists are lying.

  37. Good point about saving the old graph. I’ve seen graphs change with Arctic ice data, so I’ve made a point of saving these every couple of months, and have questioned any adjustments. I agree about the web site update – it probably achieves nothing in it’s main purpose – to communicate data. This is not a valid excuse for a delay. I suspect mischief afoot and evil in the air.

  38. Anthony (if I may call you by your first name),

    It would correctly be a, “rat’s ass” rather than a “rats ass.” As my father always said, “Illegitimi non carborundum.” Keep up the fight; we may win or we may lose but at least we didn’t give up.

    Reply: The rat is now singular. ~dbs]

  39. Seems that quite a number of data sources are having problems getting the data out in a timely manner and so many adjustments to data sets seem to be required. “Trust but verify.” How do you do that?

  40. Well it’s a good thing that UC isn’t responsible for putting out the Tsunami Sea Level Rise data.

    Remember the chap who showed up at the observatory one evening, and asked the fellow in charge, if he could have a look at the moon through one of their smaller telescopes.
    “Well I’m sorry;” was the reply, “But the moon hasn’t risen yet !”

    “Well that’s why I came up here” said the chap, “after it has risen, I can see it without a telescope.”

    So maybe after the sea level has risen; we can see it without the crummy tardy UC data.

  41. Craig from Belvidere

    If I can remember my Buddy Hackett, I believe the expression is “illigitimo obeseri non-carborundum” which means “Don’t let the fat bastards grind you down”!

    Also – Be careful of data shifts and scale changes from stitched together data. They will try and find some way to spin a decline into more proof of AGW – The fat bastards!

  42. Craig from Belvidere.

    If we’re going down that picky punctuation road I may as well point out that
    your phrase, “It would correctly be”‘ is a split infinitive; stylistically not good English.
    Maybe you are of the Star Trek generation…’To BOLDLY go” etc.
    But… don’t let this bastard grind you down!

  43. If I were totally paranoid and cynical, I mean really neurotically suspicious, I would think that the government is waiting for the budget, rife with warm-earther goodies, would get through Congress. If I were such a non-trusting soul, I would think that this delay is orchestrated to temporarily pass over the bad news that, since the oceans have cooled, the oceans have contracted and sea level has fallen. Sort of like the inverse of an October surprise, that after the election, it just disappears.

    Not that I am such a cynical person—I’m not at all!

  44. Green Sand says: “Bob, being somebody who is just starting on the sea level ‘learning curve’, could you please explain why is this so important to you.”

    I wrote a reply earlier, but when I hit send I got an error message (on my end I beieve), so I don’t think it got stuck in the spam filter. That’s the explanation in case the other one pops up.

    To answer your question, it would allow independent researchers without data processing capabilities to investigate sea level data on regional and basin-wide bases.

    Example, here’s a post that illustrates the effects of ENSO on sea level I wrote a couple of years ago:
    http://bobtisdale.wordpress.com/2009/08/29/enso-is-a-major-component-of-sea-level-rise/
    And the follow-up post:
    http://bobtisdale.wordpress.com/2009/09/12/supplement-to-enso-is-a-major-component-of-sea-level-rise/

    Note that the data ends in 2004. That’s the last year for that dataset through the KNMI Climate Explorer, which I use as a source of data for most of my posts (except the monthly SST updates). Link to KNMI Climate Explorer:
    http://climexp.knmi.nl/selectfield_obs.cgi?someone@somewhere

  45. “If the update of the webpage will allow users to enter ranges of coordinates, such as 0-70N, 80W-0 for the North Atlantic, instead of picking a single spot, it will be a welcome improvement and well worth the wait.” – Bob Tisdale wisely wrote.

    As long as I can set the scale to be what I want, say something that people can relate to, a yard or a meter. That’ll put their graph in perspective.

    Oh, it would also be good to be able to plot average, maximum, and minimum wave heights as well.

    How detailed is the data? Is it just a summary of global averages or does it have the full (whatever that means) raw data or is the data mannipulated and if so how is it mannipulated? What other processing “tricks” have been used to massage the data with statistics? How much and which of the data is pure data fabrication filling in missing data or just smeared over vast areas where they don’t have sensors? What factors are taken into account? Land subsidence? Earthquakes? Gravity anomalies? Magnetic shift anomalies? Current changes? Land use changes? Continental drift? Other factors? ERRORS in readings by humans? by machines? Data entry errors? What is the error range and will it be shown clearly labeled on all graphs shown to the public (including on the web site) so that there is no misrepresentation by the scientists bias? Is it the best data set possible? (Pun intended, sorry couldn’t resist). What is wrong about their analysis methods (what are their analysis methods)? What is right about them, if anything? (Assume the worst is the normal stance in science).

  46. APACHEWHOKNOWS says:
    April 15, 2011 at 2:48 pm
    While we all wait some one fetch me a set of left handed vice-grip plyers.

    I think Ned Flanders sale’s those mabye he can help them lol ;>)

  47. I have personally spoken to the people at U.Colorado myself, and the true story is that they have acutally hired some new staff to prepare the data for publication.

    James Hansen has been hired to adjust the data to correct for anomalies due to changes in measuring equipment – and Michael Mann has been hired to write the new graphing algorithm using his highly respected Hockesque Algorithm.

    They are sure eveyrone will be pleased with the results.

  48. Sea level changes pretty slowly you know.

    LOL. Well that’s worth a coffee mug right there. Where’s Josh? ;)

  49. Maintaining data requires effort. Effort will naturally stop if the data turns out not to be directly useful to enhancing the career of the person doing the maintaining. It now seems that sea level isn’t rising catastrophically and in fact may be doing the opposite. This data isn’t therefore useful and may in fact be embarrassing. Being responsible for bringing attention to this data will not enhance and may even damage a scientific career. I am not surprised that the maintenance of this data has gone on the back burner.

    Sea level data is falling into the area of neglect where all positive outcomes of climate change are consigned. For example the greening of the globe as measured by satellite is actually one of the very few outcomes of climate change that pass the test of statistical significance. The world really IS greener … especially in places like the Sahara … at greater than the three sigma level of significance. And food production is significantly up too as a result. The fertilizer effect of CO_2 is the obvious explanation. But reporting on or studying this isn’t useful in enhancing a scientific career so it is pretty much ignored while money is poured into studying things like the plight of the polar bear.

    You might think that food production is of greater interest that polar bears, but you’d be wrong because polar bears tell the right story while the result in the case of food production is inconvenient and thus not deserving of attention. And when it becomes clear down the track that the polar bears are really not in trouble, study of polar bears will also cease and interest will switch to something else.

    The most pernicious effect of political correctness in science doesn’t involve the falsification or manipulation of data. I maintain that this is rare. The most serious issue is this kind of selective focus of interest which ensures that only data which support the story of impending catastrophe receive any attention. Observations which might say the opposite are subject to a kind of willful blindness and lack of interest, and are ignored into oblivion. Scientists have observed that noticing embarrassing data is not a career enhancing move.

  50. Dang I wonder how they can be so accurate on the sea level. When I lived in Fla. I once took my yard stick to the beach and waded out a little way and put the stick in the water vertically with one end in contact with the ocean floor and the other in the air. The durn water wouldn’t stay still long enough to get a reading that had any meaning at all. (this is sarc) I just wonder how they get such mm readings any way. Just average what ever happens that day or month or year or decade or century? This is all bunk anyway. These folks are looking for funding and it just may be a dry year for them judging by the current congress. (about time)

    Bill Derryberry

  51. “new website/not compatible”?Huh?

    I dont think so, do you? It reeks of desperation, these people are frightened and very uncomfortable, it is my guess that they have data they wish they hadn’t, they are in possession of evidence and its like a hot potato, its also my guess they have been trying increasingly desperate measures to ‘adjust’ the data and ‘add value'(tm).

    Maybe the fish have been drinking too much water due to global warming and thats why sea levels are falling so the team are just working out an algorerythm(tm) with which they will prove sea levels are in fact rising(sarc off).

    Translation:

    “We are updating our web page to a new design, and that is the reason for the delay.”

    The data we hold is so dangerous to the CAGW orthodoxy that we cannot release it until we have had the opportunity to attempt an adjustment.

    “Well we only update a couple times per year anyway. Sea level changes pretty slowly you know.”

    Oh dear, caught out and not knowing what to say, he lets the cat out of the bag in an unconscious slip. He has effectively and unconsciously let slip the latest agreed excuse just as anyone with something to hide invariably does, ask any professional interrogator and they will confirm this.

    All quite sad really isnt it? They have evidence they really wish they hadn’t got, they have data that they really really do not want and they dont quite know or haven’t quite agreed what to do with it, they sound like they have been trying to hold onto to the data in the vain hope that a little more data would enable them to present a more acceptable end product?

  52. The main problem with the current graph and it’s sensitive scale is that it emphasises the reduction in the rate of increase over the past 5-10 years. This apparant slow down in sea level rise is not helping the AGW cause.

    I would put money on the new graph being set up to “hide the decline”

  53. Latitude says:
    April 15, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    Who would have thought that falling sea levels….
    ….would have messed up their website

    It’s worse than we thought……………………..
    Or they cleverly put all their data storage in the Kingdom of Tonga? Aren’t those islands supposed to be under water by now? (snide comment from my sister, actually)

  54. “Which ironically, has an even longer delayed update of sea level data”

    How is it ironic that a website with more bling than substance has older data?

  55. Hmmm. Sea levels not rising as expected? It must be a “travesty” that they aren’t cooperating with the desired narrative. This delay in the publication of our data (we taxpayers funded it) makes me think that the latest data must be decidedly un-alarming, which is happy news. If the good Dr. Narem is indeed a good, he’ll publish the data asap with no bodging, enhancement or obfuscation. Any such attempts would only end up being loudly exposed, attracting even more attention to the real data. With the increased attention this delay has already brought it would be prudent to change nothing about the how the data is processed or presented for this release.

  56. If the sea level continues its flattening, I wonder when the average trend will shift from “3.1” to “3.0” mm/yr – which would obviously be a bad advertising for models predicting an acceleration ….

  57. “Dang I wonder how they can be so accurate on the sea level.” Bill in Vigo

    That’s a reasonable thing to wonder about. Measuring sea level with a tidal gauge turns out to be be fiendishly difficult. You need to allow for wind direction, local water temperature and a lot of other stuff. Not to mention the fact that you have to know whether the tidal gauge itself is rising or sinking and how fast. None the less, “they” have been measuring sea level rise for 130 years (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Recent_Sea_Level_Rise.png). And, for a wonder, the measurements are quite similar to those observed directly from satellites for the last 20 years.

    It’s fairly obvious that the data is fairly noisy and that sea level is rising at a very modest rate — roughly a foot a century. It seems likely that rate has not been constant since Roman times. If it were, every ancient seaport would be under 6 meters of water. It’s also obvious that sea level rise is NOT tracking to atmospheric CO2.

    It should be, but probably is not, obvious, that short term numbers such as those from the University of Colorado are almost certainly not meaningful on their own. At least not for predicting future sea levels. That’s because of poorly understood short term (random?) variations (“noise”). The values need to be averaged with many years worth of similar data before any meaningful pattern in long term rise could possibly emerge. If the next value makes a significant difference in the results, that would probably indicate bad data or faulty analysis, not some sort of suddenly revealed truth about sea level.

  58. “This new website design won’t work with our current format, so if you can just be patient and wait a couple of weeks we’ll have it online.”

    Anyway, what kind of eerie website design they are planning which would not work with a simple text file format like this!?

  59. kwik says:
    April 15, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    Tell that to all the stupid politicians in Norway, making urgent disaster plans for rising sea-levels.

    … who apparently also are unaware of the mountains of this country.

  60. Bob Tisdale says:
    April 15, 2011 at 6:34 pm

    Green Sand says: “Bob, being somebody who is just starting on the sea level ‘learning curve’, could you please explain why is this so important to you.”

    Bob, many thanks for the reply, will read and digest.

    Regards

  61. I live at a confluence of climate change indicators. The ocean to my west, the worlds second largest tidal lake to my north east and the river that flows from it to my east, and sometimes to it when the tide comes in. And a Glacier whose northwest side I can see from many vantage points near my home. I have lived here for almost 45 years, and I can not detect visually any sign of the many climate change indicators that are supposedly to exist. From sea level rise to disappearing glaciers and increasing drought.
    Funny that the glacier chosen as poster boy for global warming locally is Coquitlam glacier well hidden in the water shed inaccessible to the general public, when we have a perfectly good glacier to reference that every one can see in plain view, Mount Baker in Washington State.
    Just the other day a nearby city, Vancouver, celebrating its 125th birthday this year had a high for the day that was a record cold for this time of year. No other day in its history had a high that was colder on that day despite records going back all those decades. And last summer, when records where being broken around south western B.C. , Vancouver, one of the oldest cities, didn’t break its record. The other cities just where not around during the hotter periods in the past.

  62. Today big in the MSM in Holland . Antarctic ice melt will make sealevels rise with 120 cms and Arctic ice melt with only 40 cms . Of course this announced as official scientific research , whilst from my pint of view these are innocuous students playing with models , from which they do not have any understanding of the parameters-setting and showing a total neglect for circulation-patterns within the atmosphere .
    Anyway this resembles sophisticated betting , where contrary to a normal pokergame all the odds are against mankind and serving only a new class of so-called climate con-scious high priests . What a waste of talent , time and money .

  63. You guys are so caught up in this need to believe in a conspiracy, aren’t you? Everyone that doesn’t believe what you do is crooked right?

    Everyone needs a club and a tribe I suppose – so much better if part of the creed is that you know better than everyone else.

    Are you a bit concerned that you are being deprived of your opportunity to use the La Nina Cherry Pick?

  64. As Im sure most of you know, Rattus Norwegicus was blamed on spreading the blck plague back then.

    Now it seems Rattus Norwegicus is at it again spreading the plague….the AGW plague.

    Plague, AGW….diseases….damned rats!

  65. Gary says:
    April 15, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    Real reason (speculative): his graduate student was studying for his/her comps, teaching labs, grading papers, etc. and just couldn’t get to the update.
    endquote

    Ad to that the possibility that the grad assistant cannot explain it in English.

  66. I meant to write “black plague”, not “blck plague”.

    Rattus Norwegicus also reminds me of The Stranglers.

  67. The data release is months late but I bet Dr. Nerem was never late getting to the airport for an all expenses paid vacation to some exotic location international climate change meeting.

  68. “As you can see in the graph above, the data has not been updated since mid 2010.”

    Check out the following to see how much more than normal snow is on the ground in the northern hemisphere compared to other years: http://icecap.us/images/uploads/nhtime-4month.jpg
    So with that being the case, how could the oceans possibly be higher than last summer? Are there other compensating factors that can make up for this?

  69. The U of Colorado webpage…
    http://sealevel.colorado.edu/results.php
    contains links to the data in the form of text files as well as images of plots of the data. These files are easy to get to and easy to use.

    It will not be good if the new site does not have the text files, or if access to this data is made difficult in some manner.

  70. “Well we only update a couple times per year anyway. Sea level changes pretty slowly you know.”
    =====================================================
    Yet it’s moving fast enough for global panic !!!!!!!!

  71. tommoriarty says:
    April 16, 2011 at 8:05 am

    The data at the link has NOT been updated, and stops at 2010.75.
    The excuse of webpage update is not valid.
    I would be more inclined to believe that they are a victim of budget cuts, as the data source appears to be shut down.

  72. “The sea level changes very slowly, you know.” Indeed. Would he want ot be quotes on this?

  73. They’re probably wondering why we’re making all this fuss, and inventing all these alternative explanations, when we’ve already noticed (twice) that basically the same data is updated and available elsewhere.

    Obviously, it would be nice if every climate site on the internet was kept right up to date, but why does it matter, when we already have the data?

    Rather than bootlessly speculating about whether they are trying to ‘hide the decline’, wouldn’t it be more interesting and effective to put up a plot of the decline they are actually ‘hiding’? Just curious.

  74. Well I can predict from my interesting results that the sea level has remeained unchanged (for the past 35 years) as the average temperatures have not changed over the past 35 years.
    So far I personally checked weather stations in 4 places from 1975-2010/11:
    Pretoria (South Africa), Marion Island (in the southern Indian ocean) , La Paz (Bolivia) and Brisbane (Australia).
    All 4 places show that mean temparature has remained unchanged, maxima rising and minima going down when I deliberately chose places and times where I expected more CO2 and warming. As far as the decline in minima is concerned, the results are:..
    Pretoria -0.04
    Marion Island -0.03
    La Paz -0.04
    Brisbane -0.06

    in degrees C / annum

    The average (so far) is -0.04.
    I must assume that this average figure of mine is a reasonable estimator of the global average.

    It proves that the theory of warming due to an increase in carbon dioxide or GHG’s is invalid. (because then you would expect minima to rise at least as fast as the means and the maxima).

    http://www.letterdash.com/HenryP/more-carbon-dioxide-is-ok-ok

  75. Its gone down, there just hiding it. Unfortunately we are going to see a lot more of this from these sites, that is, withholding data that does not fit the AGW scam.

  76. A most serious situation for Global Trade if sea levels drop precipitously.
    All those ports would need dredging, and in a hurry.
    The major canals would likewise be imperiled, putting the big Super Cargo ships on the shelf.
    Got drydock?

  77. Maybe they are employing David Copperfield to try and make a few small pacific atolls disappear.

  78. Somehow, I don’t think anybody gives rat’s ass about how “prettied up” the web presentation of sea level data is. Just show us the data. I’ll take a table, CSV file, hell even a fax.

    What’s a fax?

  79. I noticed over at Cryosphere Today that they update sea ice averaging information with in a peculiar pattern — with a few exceptions, when the ice (say in the south) makes an upturn they’ll track it for a while then the updates stop until it has turned down again. So rarely does one visit the site and see that it is “currently” on the increase.

    More tellingly, they published a time series of average ice cover for each of the four seasons, with one point per year. This stopped in 2007 for Autumn, Spring and Annual time series, but continued til 2008 for Summer and Winter.

    I’m conjecturing that this results from the extreme low in 2007/2008, after which there was an upturn. Also, the transition seasons tend not to tell “the narrative” particularly well, which may be why they st0pped. You can’t just go on continuing the series for other seasons when two of them are stopped; so all have to be stopped. I don’t think the narrative would tell very well if a couple of seasons show a decline while a couple show an increase.

    At one point I emailed the administrator as to why the Southern data was relegated to the bottom of the page, and he quite frankly replied that the design of the page was based upon the assumption that its primary user base was people concerned about climate change. I don’t presume this means that he did not think Southern data is relevant to climate change, only that it is not regarded as “useful” for advocacy. I feel this is quite revealing.

  80. Somehow, I don’t think anybody gives rat’s ass about how “prettied up” the web presentation of sea level data is. Just show us the data. I’ll take a table, CSV file, hell even a fax.

    What’s a fax?

    I dunno, but let’s not let fax get in the way of a good story.

    :-)

  81. sunsettommy says:
    April 16, 2011 at 2:14 pm
    I fail to see how it would take over 6 months to change a website design.

    You’ve never had to do it then, I would guess. Planning, designing, writing, testing. It’s a long-winded and tedious process.

    The sea-level update was only due in February, so is not six months late in any event.

    Better to wait and see, rather than make wild guesses and half-cocked assumptions.

  82. “Better to wait and see, rather than make wild guesses and half-cocked assumptions.”

    … or just get the up-to-date data from the other site. :-)

    Of course, it only takes seconds to change a web-site design, because you continue to operate the old site in parallel while you’re writing the new one. And the only way it takes six months to write is if the writing is very part time, or you have to go through the extended bureaucracy of marketing and publicity committees some places throw up in an attempt to make sure they don’t lose reputation by publishing anything amateurish or wrong. Ironic.

    No, it’s obviously an excuse, but I think it’s far more likely to be hiding the low level of resources and low priority they devote to it than any sort of ‘hide the decline’ shenanigans. The sceptics have already got the data, we already know about and can see the decline, (and know that it’s unimportant – sea level rise is noisy and often pauses for a while), so what would be the point in trying to hide it?

    No, somebody forgot to update it, or has been busy with other things, or the person who originally did it has left and nobody else was interested. Nobody is funding it and it’s not anybody’s job. It’s not important, anyway, it’s just some web-site filler for the kiddies to put in school projects. Something like that.

  83. I call BS. Updating to a new design A) doesn’t take that long and B) is essentially irrelevant in this fied. The only thing they have, which could take a while, is the interactive wizard. Everything else is links, texts and images. Yes, I call BS.

  84. I’ll bet they’re getting shaken down by climate scare apparatchiks in DC telling them to either stop releasing raw scientific data that doesn’t support our hoax agenda or risk losing some grant money.

  85. Thanks for keeping up the pressure Anthony. I quite like that graph and what it represents and am very curious to see what the most recent data looks like.

  86. “… and am very curious to see what the most recent data looks like.”

    So why not go and look at it?

  87. The other reason things have gone quiet maybe an unprecedented swing in the Jason 2 calibration curve.
    http://sealevel.colorado.edu/calibration.php

    I don’t know if they have published any findings on why it jumped by 10 mm at the end of 2009 but if it has skipped again maybe they are frantically trying to tidy things up before publishing data.

  88. Nullius in Verba:

    “… and am very curious to see what the most recent data looks like.”

    So why not go and look at it?

    Excellent suggestion. I did exactly that.

    First, I went to the Aviso web site and found the place where one can generate sea level graphs. I generated the “Reference” version (“Reference” products are computed with the T/P-Jason-1-Jason-2 serie for the time series and with merged datasets for the maps) with the options: inverted barometer, seasonal removed and without isostatic adjustment. I got a graph with some points and a line drawn through it (which I have also saved at this location.

    Below the graph, it said

    Quick-look of selected data. Click on “download the image”
    to retrieve the image in high resolution
    or on “download the data” to get the data.

    Since it appeared that the “data” was rather sparse and since I enjoy playing with numbers, I chose to download the data. I assume that you didn’t try this, because to my surprise, I got the message:

    550 /pub/oceano/AVISO/indicators/msl/MSL_Serie_MERGED_Global_IB_RWT_GIA_Adjust.txt: No such file or directory

    Must be a glitch, I thought! After a period of time with the same type of message appearing EVERY time that I tried to download data for a variety of variables, I got the idea that perhaps (as you suggested in an earlier comment) “somebody forgot to update it, or has been busy with other things, or the person who originally did it has left and nobody else was interested” at Aviso as well. must be a lot of that going around in the climate science community, right? ;)

    Anyway, not to be defeated so easily, I managed to actually locate some updated results (into January 2011) at NOAA in NetCDF format. I drew what was purportedly the same graph from that data and got something that was quite different.

    Let me explain it to you. What you saw in the graph at Aviso was “smoothed results from the data”, not the actual data itself. Furthermore, despite the fact that they obviously shared their data in the past (because they put links into their page for that purpose), they were not doing so for the past 24 hours that I have been accessing their site – maybe they sent it all out to be “cleaned”.

    I have other graphs, but I will just show one more using all of the satellites. This one used real data, not the processed results chosen by Aviso and not even shared by them.

    Nullius in Verba seems to be appropriate an appropriate description of your credibility: “don’t believe anything he says” … ;)

  89. RomanM,

    Thank you! Just the sort of comment I was after!

    As you say, all of these series are processed in various ways – including, I’m sure, the UC data that this post is about. That’s why when I first raised it I noted that it would take an expert to say exactly what it was and what it meant.

    You’ll also note that I suggested the Jason-1 plot rather than the merged product, as it looks closer to what we have in the UC graph. (I haven’t checked.)

    Actually, I had already attempted to download the data and come across the error – they appear to have messed up their files. However, you can see from the Jason-1 and Jason-2 graphs well enough what the subsequent data does. It seemed that with everyone moaning about not knowing what was being hidden, the graph was sufficient to answer the question.

    I am not clear on one point, though. Where you say “What you saw in the graph at Aviso”, which graph at Aviso are you talking about? The one I looked at and recommended? Or the one you plotted and saved?

    “Nullius in Verba seems to be appropriate an appropriate description of your credibility”

    Credibility about what? What is that all about?

    I do, of course, include myself when it comes to my name, and claim no ‘credibility’ about anything. But I got the impression you thought I meant something specific…?

    REPLY: This thread has been turned into a full post, see the main page of WUWT – Anthony

  90. Nullius in Verba:

    I may have misinterpreted your attitude when reading your comments. If so, I apologize for making the put-down comment.

    I found the continuous repetition of the “why don’t you go look at the data” line a bit irritating (when I thought that you should probably be looking at it yourself if you were serious). Also, I understood your statement “It’s not important, anyway, it’s just some web-site filler for the kiddies to put in school projects. Something like that.” as a snide inference on the scientific character of the denizens of this blog.

    Again, if I misread you, I’m sorry.

  91. Thanks. And that’s OK.

    I admit I was getting vaguely irritated by the way everyone carried on as if no data was available long after I’d put the link up. I wouldn’t have minded if someone had said “that’s not the right data”, or “but we still want to see UC fix their graph”, but it was as if the post was invisible or something. Perhaps I was over-sensitive.

    The comment about web-site filler for the kiddies was not meant as any sort of slight against the people here. But it is how I suspect some of these organisations see the data on their public web-sites. From their point of view, professionals will have privileged access direct from the source, academic-to-academic, so they can know exactly what’s been done to the data. They’re not likely to extract it from public-outreach web-sites or glossy brochures. (I certainly wouldn’t.) And since they don’t see it as anything very important, their data quality standards, metadata, and update frequency suffer as a result.

    Scientific members of the public without those academic contacts don’t have the option, and have to use what’s available publicly. That the climate scientists are so neglectful of these resources is a criticism of them and a serious problem for the public examination of and confidence in the science, but unlike in Climategate, I don’t see evidence here that it is a deliberate attempt to mislead.

    If I was going to try to do real science with this, I wouldn’t want any web-generated graphs of data, I’d expect to see far larger amounts of raw data, details of how it was put together, precise details of all the corrections applied, assumptions made, etc. Sea level being so difficult to measure – it has to be heavily processed and is therefore potentially subject to major misinterpretation. We know what happened when we started digging into the paleoproxy graphs – well, I suspect there’s just as much going on behind these charts. But I would no more attempt that sort of thing with the original UC graph/data than with these.

    Thanks again for responding.

  92. It appears self evident the delay is because they are waiting until the data trends up before publishing. It would be a HUGE embarassment for a number of TOP climate scientists if sea levels were to show any sort of a downward trend. It would also mean a huge drop in their funding and cast LARGE DOUBTS over AGW. So, they will not publish while the trend is downwards. Instead the will redesign their web-site to HIDE THE DECLINE. Just another AGW fraud with scientists willingly participating. Nothing new to see. Move along.

  93. After two decades of questionable obfuscation and presentation (or lack thereof) of negative data I am not willing to give climate scientists the benefit of the doubt or a pass on this delay of updates on what it made available for general public download.

    I agree with previous sentiment that ALL raw data be made available along with whatever massaged data is released (and with all data manipulation fully explained and backed by code).

    Anything less than full transparency is just more propaganda.

  94. “this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal” – Barack Obama June 2008, St. Paul, Minn. You gotta admit he called it.

  95. Nice effort to get a straight answer. However when he stated that Sea level rises are very slow there was a perfect opening to at least put my fears aside and maybe others by stating that with all the alarms and bells and wistles going off in the warmist camp, some of us expected to be wading in salt water in our costal properties by now.

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