Why Seas Are Rising Ahead of Predictions?

GSA Annual Meeting Presentation: Could Estimates of the Rate of Future Sea-Level Rise Be Too Low?

Boulder, Colorado, USA – Sea levels are rising faster than expected from global warming, and University of Colorado geologist Bill Hay has a good idea why. The last official IPCC report in 2007 projected a global sea level rise between 0.2 and 0.5 meters by the year 2100. But current sea-level rise measurements meet or exceed the high end of that range and suggest a rise of one meter or more by the end of the century.

“What’s missing from the models used to forecast sea-level rise are critical feedbacks that speed everything up,” says Hay. He will be presenting some of these feedbacks in a talk on Sunday, 4 Nov., at the meeting of The Geological Society of America in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA.

One of those feedbacks involves Arctic sea ice, another the Greenland ice cap, and another soil moisture and groundwater mining.

“There is an Arctic sea ice connection,” says Hay, despite the fact that melting sea ice — which is already in the ocean — does not itself raise sea level. Instead, it plays a role in the overall warming of the Arctic, which leads to ice losses in nearby Greenland and northern Canada. When sea ice melts, Hay explains, there is an oceanographic effect of releasing more fresh water from the Arctic, which is then replaced by inflows of brinier, warmer water from the south.

“So it’s a big heat pump that brings heat to the Arctic,” says Hay. “That’s not in any of the models.” That warmer water pushes the Arctic toward more ice-free waters, which absorb sunlight rather than reflect it back into space like sea ice does. The more open water there is, the more heat is trapped in the Arctic waters, and the warmer things can get.

Then there are those gigantic stores of ice in Greenland and Antarctica. During the last interglacial period, sea level rose 10 meters due to the melting of all that ice — without any help from humans. New data suggests that the sea-level rise in the oceans took place over a few centuries, according to Hay.

“You can lose most of the Greenland ice cap in a few hundred years, not thousands, just under natural conditions,” says Hay. “There’s no telling how fast it can go with this spike of carbon dioxide we are adding to the atmosphere.”

This possibility was brought home this last summer as Greenland underwent a stunning, record-setting melt. The ice streams, lubricated by water at their base, are speeding up.

Hay notes, “Ten years ago we didn’t know much about water under the Antarctic ice cap.” But it is there, and it allows the ice to move — in some places even uphill due to the weight of the ice above it.

“It’s being squeezed like toothpaste out of a tube,” explains Hay. The one thing that’s holding all that ice back from emptying into the sea is the grounded ice shelves acting like plugs on bottles at the ends of the coastal glaciers. “Nobody has any idea how fast that ice will flow into the oceans once the ice shelves are gone.”

Another missing feedback is the groundwater being mined all over the world to mitigate droughts. That water is ultimately added to the oceans (a recent visualization of this effect in the U.S. was posted by NASA’s Earth Observatory: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=79228).

All of these are positive feedbacks speeding up the changes in climate and sea-level rise.

“You would expect negative feedbacks to creep in at some point,” says Hay. “But in climate change, every feedback seems to go positive.” The reason is that Earth’s climate seems to have certain stable states. Between those states things are unstable and can change quickly. “Under human prodding, the system wants to go into a new climate state.”

WHAT: Could Estimates of the Rate of Future Sea-Level Rise Be Too Low?

WHEN: Sunday, 4-November, 9:15–9:30 a.m.

WHERE: Charlotte Convention Center, Room 219AB

ABSTRACT: https://gsa.confex.com/gsa/2012AM/finalprogram/abstract_209198.htm

==============================================================

Dr. Hay may find this upcoming NASA JPL project problematic with his claims:

Finally: JPL intends to get a GRASP on accurate sea level and ice measurements

Advertisements

  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Harold Ambler

America’s foremost experts on sea level, at least perceived as such, would need to drive a day and a half without stopping to see the ocean. Just sayin’.

Mike Bromley the Canucklehead

Boy, they are sure amping up the alarm since Frankenstorm.

1 meter = 1000mm = 10mm a year
In 10 years satellite sea level is up 32mm = 3.2mm per year
Tide Gauge data shows a lower rise.
What a bunch of con artists.

Richdo

The more open water there is, the more heat is trapped in the Arctic waters
omg – what can one say? This is beyond stupid.

Birdieshooter

So can someone reconcile this forecast with the NOAA global mean sea level trend of 2.8mm per year in this link?
http://ibis.grdl.noaa.gov/SAT/SeaLevelRise/LSA_SLR_timeseries_global.php

Billy Liar

“You can lose most of the Greenland ice cap in a few hundred years, not thousands, just under natural conditions,” says Hay. “There’s no telling how fast it can go with this spike of carbon dioxide we are adding to the atmosphere.”
Great line from a ‘climate scientist’! So much for the models.

BarryW

Where in the hell did they get that as an actual rate. As others mentioned, the measured rate is less than a third of a meter. They must be taking a ridiculously short time span to fudge a rate of a meter by the end of the century.

otsar

Making Hay out of nothing?
Gasping at straws?

otsar

Correction:
grasping at straws?

BarryW

Check that, I read the abstract and he’s talking about all the effects he thinks are going to affect the rate such as the Antarctic is going to melt.

DesertYote

Not Dr Hay mouthing off again?

Larry Ledwick (hotrod)

“You would expect negative feedbacks to creep in at some point,” says Hay. “But in climate change, every feedback seems to go positive.” The reason is that Earth’s climate seems to have certain stable states. Between those states things are unstable and can change quickly. “Under human prodding, the system wants to go into a new climate state.”

What a load of horse manure! He needs to take a basic electronics course and see what an electronic circuit does with even a small amount of positive feedback.
HINT – it instantly latches to the high output state and stays here as long as there is an input!
What he describes is physically impossible and if he had a clue about feed back in circuits he would know it! If what he said was true than temperatures would never have dropped following the big melt at the start of the current interglacial.
The error is obvious, they are not aware of negative feed backs because they are so wedded to the theory of positive feedbacks that they are not even looking for them. Since they are not aware of them and have such a poor understanding of feedback in systems the don’t understand that they MUST find the negative feedbacks that have kept the climate more or less the same for about 10,000 years. Their own data show global temperatures are range bound within a relatively narrow range. The only way that can happen is that some negative feed back is overwhelming all positive feed backs as the system approaches the upper limit of the range.
None so blind as those who will not see.
Larry

Willis Eschenbach

Boulder, Colorado, USA – Sea levels are rising faster than expected from global warming, and University of Colorado geologist Bill Hay has a good idea why. The last official IPCC report in 2007 projected a global sea level rise between 0.2 and 0.5 meters by the year 2100. But current sea-level rise measurements meet or exceed the high end of that range and suggest a rise of one meter or more by the end of the century.

How do they get away with this nonsense? 0.5 metres by the year 2100 is 5 millimetres per year. I have never seen an actual global measurement based estimate of the sea level rise, either satellite or tide gauge, that is anywhere near 5 mm per year. Right now, the tide gauges say maybe 2 mm per year, and the satellites say maybe 3 mm per year. Nobody “exceed[s] the high end” of 5 mm per year.
w.

I have lived worked and played on or near the ocean all my life (61 years) and any sea level rise is so small it has no relevance just like half a degree of agwnonsense.cheers

gerrydorrian66

Wouldn’t headlines such as these be problematic for Obama, who said last time that upon his election the seas would start to recede?

MattN

Unproven wild-ass theory alert!!!:
“Instead, it plays a role in the overall warming of the Arctic, which leads to ice losses in nearby Greenland and northern Canada. When sea ice melts, Hay explains, there is an oceanographic effect of releasing more fresh water from the Arctic, which is then replaced by inflows of brinier, warmer water from the south.”

MattN

There are so many factual errors in this piece, I find it hard to believe anyone s taking it seriously…

Tim Walker

what are they smoking?

Michael D Smith

“But in climate change, every feedback seems to go positive.”
Possibly the dumbest thing I’ve heard all year. Positive feedbacks of any duration are almost impossible in nature, they are always resource limited and always end up being overtaken by negative feedbacks after the initial runaway condition initiates. Anyone have an example where this is not the case?
Is there really anyone who believes such a statement could be remotely possible, even for an instant? Baffling.

Gary Pearse

Isn’t sea level rise being corrected downwards, similarly ice cap melting and that is why they are sending up a new satellite “GRASP” or something like it to correct the over estimates? You know professors, you got to love em, but in my experience they are laregly isolated from reality and generally out of date as one would be, teaching from their old notes and working on lifelong pet projects. I don’t want to offend. I owe a great deal to my professors but when I went out into the practical world where you had to turn a profit, I found I had to become a student again, learning the stuff in a 20 year gap or so in my knowledge. This is okay. But only if they don’t start activist rants, say, against the steam engine, long after it has already been replaced. Naturally having an activist bent, they do this a lot. They certainly don’t waste time reading sceptical stuff and they miss a lot. Trust me Dr Hay, you have come to the subject 20 years too late.

I am surprised to see this post here. It is worth noting that the models tend to be conservative, so it is not that surprising that sea level is rising faster than predicted. I think that maybe the level of complexity is beyond modelling, so while the models will get the broad brush stuff right, the fine detail will not be predicted until after it happens.

And this is the first time something did not meet your expectations? Try questioning your faith (often called models) before you make a fool of yourself and any one else who uses the title scientist.

daveburton

Here’s America’s longest tide gauge record (San Francisco):
http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/sltrends_station.shtml?stnid=9414290
The linear trend shown on that graph is 2.01 mm/year, but that’s calculated from data through 2006. There’s been no sea-level rise at all at San Francisco over the last 30 years, so the calculated long-term average rate of sea-level rise keeps decreasing. It’s now down to 1.92 mm/year:
http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/sltrends_update.shtml?stnid=9414290
But even if sea-level rise resumes at its old rate at San Francisco (which I do expect, BTW), 1.92 mm/year will add up to just 6.7 inches (0.17 meters) by 2100.
Not so scary, eh?
There’s an even better tide gauge record of sea-level in Germany; here’s the graph:
http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/sltrends_global_station.shtml?stnid=120-022
There does appear to have been some acceleration in rate of sea-level rise there… circa 1860. There’s been none since then.
Average over the last 160 years: 1.4 mm/year, which adds up to 4.6 inches (1.2 meters) by 2100.
When I saw that this GSA conclave will be meeting here in NC this weekend, I considered dropping in. But they want $315 for a one-day admission, so I’ll pass. Is anyone else planning to go?
Dave Burton
webmaster, http://www.sealevel.info/

Owen in Ga

I wonder if in the year 2095 when there has been maybe a quarter of a meter of sea level rise he will be claiming that the next 750mm is there trapped in the system and it will spring up at any time…Of course I would be very impressed, since he would be about 140 years old at the time 😉 (and I’d be pushing the neighborhood myself which would likewise impress me) I am more concerned we are going to have a downturn in temperature and sea level will fall significantly. Of course it isn’t the sea level part that concerns me, it’s those confounded glaciers burying mountain villages that are the worry.
Did they recently legalize recreational pharmaceuticals in Colorado? I’d hate to accuse the good doctor of something illegal.

Michael D Smith

I guess he didn’t notice sea level rise was decelerating:
http://naturalclimate.wordpress.com/2012/01/30/sea-level-deconstruction/
Well, that should make all of those positive feedbacks so much easier to identify, you know, once we can walk across the Bering Strait again.

btw-u4got-a-tribute_2_KaiSar

Oh Dear.
Many years ago I as a new member of the AGU I attended the Spring Convention in [at that time] Baltimore Maryland, and a few others from then I might add. At this particular convention in 1990 I was impressed by the range of presentations given; even if the presentation was utterly and unfortunately beyond doubt … nonsense. I … at that time considered this testimony to the AGU for allowing all views … however utterly wrong, nonsense, and embarrassing. Unfortunately the presenter had not yet come to that simple conclusion based on facts, for reasons that I cannot fathom yet to this day.
Twenty years hence.
Seems that the ‘utterly and embarrassingly nonsense’ is the sense and the ‘science de jour’ of the AGU nowadays. What a ROYAL embarrassment! With the fallout from Gellick and ‘the Anthropocene Mann’ and many new ones on the event horizon, I truly wonder why … I … am a paying member to such a Circus Of The Absurd as the AGU has become and its now payed Executive Committee … cannot fathom … irregardless of their … presumed … superior parentage!
How unfortunate, for the … superiors … of the … AGU.

john pickens

Perhaps a graph showing the currently measured sea level vs. this 5mm per year nonsense would help clarify things

The NASA JPL project is funded by the Koch brothers for the express purpose of manufacturing doubt and confusing the public about Hay’s and others’ 99% consensus on catastrophic rising sea levels

D Böehm
Harold Pierce Jr

How much sea level rise is due to soil washed into the oceans from rivers (e.g., the Mississippi, Nile, Congo, Amazon, etc) and to erosion of coasts by waves? How much of the dust that is blown out of deserts ends up in the oceans?

dp

I just tested this – I poured ice water into boiling water and it quit boiling. It refused to boil again until I re-applied the heat. The big takeaway for me was adding ice water to warmer water does not warm the water, it cools it. I’m going to need some grant money to get this into a proper format for submission to Nature.

For those of you who are wondering where Hay got his figures: he made them up. This is no joke. Hay is a notorious fabricator and has grafted his practices onto the U of Colo. It will take his students years to unlearn what they are taught there and many never will.

Katherine

“You would expect negative feedbacks to creep in at some point,” says Hay. “But in climate change, every feedback seems to go positive.”
::facepalm:: Yeah. Right. Obviously he drank the Klimate Kool-Aid.

Ok, a tide gage history from San Francisco is good, (thx Dave Burton).
Given the news, however this 150 year record from The Battery, New York City, (at 11 inches per century) seems more to the point.

Mike Jowsey

John Brookes says:
November 1, 2012 at 7:41 pm
“…so while the models will get the broad brush stuff right…”
John, please detail which ‘broad brush stuff’ the models have ever got right – in terms of predictions of the future rather than the past.
Here are some clues as to why I ask:
“Profound” climate variability engine found – leakage around the Cape of Good Hope “could mean that current IPCC model predictions for the next century are wrong” http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/04/27/climate-variability-leakage-around-the-cape-of-good-hope/
North American snow models miss the mark – observed trend opposite of the predictions http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/02/19/north-america-snow-models-miss-the-mark/
Climate Models Fail at Antarctic Warming Predictions http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/05/07/climate-models-fail-at-antarctic-warming-predictions/
Climate Models shown to be inaccurate less than 30 years out http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/09/18/climate-models-shown-to-be-inaccurate-less-than-30-years-out/

wayne

“Boy, they are sure amping up the alarm since Frankenstorm.”
Seems all steams recently from a lot of the bull – – – – from Bronco Brama.
(h/t for the perfect coined name from a cute little four year old girl, in complete tears, who is really, really fed up with all of the politics)
I have to say, me too. Just 5 to go.
5mm per year every year… dream on.

davidmhoffer

“What’s missing from the models used to forecast sea-level rise are critical feedbacks that speed everything up,” says Hay.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
The models are wrong? Isn’t there a standard of conduct already established regarding publication of such assertions? I believe the standard requires that whoever allowed Hay to speak must now resign and apologise to Trenberth.

OssQss

Do we model with any confidence “Cloud formation”
ENSO
Any atmospheric oscillation
Any interactive ocean current
Any sea ice level and their impact on precipitation
Albedo and black carbon
And on and on and on………..
In a cumulative manner?
My point is?

William McClenney

I still await an explanation for the two strong thermal pulses right at the end-Eemian:
Boettger, et al (Quaternary International 207 [2009] 137–144) abstract it:
“In terrestrial records from Central and Eastern Europe the end of the Last Interglacial seems to be characterized by evident climatic and environmental instabilities recorded by geochemical and vegetation indicators. The transition (MIS 5e/5d) from the Last Interglacial (Eemian, Mikulino) to the Early Last Glacial (Early Weichselian, Early Valdai) is marked by at least two warming events as observed in geochemical data on the lake sediment profiles of Central (Gro¨bern, Neumark–Nord, Klinge) and of Eastern Europe (Ples). Results of palynological studies of all these sequences indicate simultaneously a strong increase of environmental oscillations during the very end of the Last Interglacial and the beginning of the Last Glaciation. This paper discusses possible correlations of these events between regions in Central and Eastern Europe. The pronounced climate and environment instability during the interglacial/glacial transition could be consistent with the assumption that it is about a natural phenomenon, characteristic for transitional stages. Taking into consideration that currently observed ‘‘human-induced’’ global warming coincides with the natural trend to cooling, the study of such transitional stages is important for understanding the underlying processes of the climate changes.”
Hearty and Neumann (Quaternary Science Reviews 20 [2001] 1881–1895) abstracting their work in the Bahamas state:
“The geology of the Last Interglaciation (sensu stricto, marine isotope substage MIS 5e) in the Bahamas records the nature of sea level and climate change. After a period of quasi-stability for most of the interglaciation, during which reefs grew to +2.5 m, sea level rose rapidly at the end of the period, incising notches in older limestone. After brief stillstands at +6 and perhaps +8.5 m, sea level fell with apparent speed to the MIS 5d lowstand and much cooler climatic conditions. It was during this regression from the MIS 5e highstand that the North Atlantic suffered an oceanographic ‘‘reorganization’’ about 11873 ka ago. During this same interval, massive dune-building greatly enlarged the Bahama Islands. Giant waves reshaped exposed lowlands into chevron-shaped beach ridges, ran up on older coastal ridges, and also broke off and threw megaboulders onto and over 20 m-high cliffs. The oolitic rocks recording these features yield concordant whole-rock amino acid ratios across the archipelago. Whether or not the Last Interglaciation serves as an appropriate analog for our ‘‘greenhouse’’ world, it nonetheless reveals the intricate details of climatic transitions between warm interglaciations and near glacial conditions.”
It is all detailed here http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/03/16/the-end-holocene-or-how-to-make-out-like-a-madoff-climate-change-insurer/
Scared? You’ve got to be kidding me. I’ll take your AR4 worst case scenario of 0.59M and raise you the low-end of sea level excursion and raise you +6M, perhaps +8.5M! Keep in mind I have a +21.3M pile of interglacial chips sitting in front of me at MIS-11. The Gorical has only bet 20 feet, the low-end of MIS-5e anthropogenically ascertained end extreme interglacial noise http://www.uow.edu.au/business/content/groups/public/@web/@sci/@eesc/documents/doc/uow045009.pdf
See Figure 2, Chart K to value your MIS-5e +42M bluff. This is Climate Poker afterall, isn’t it? OK,I’ll see your Gored +6M (+20Feet), and raise you 42 – 6=36M.
Just For Good Measure
And call…………

No. The seas are receding because of Global Cooling.
The only way Hurricane Sandy was Human Induced Climate Change, was by the Geo Engineering operations being done by humans working for the US Government.
The Climate Changers and Progressers can go pound Sandy, We have Global Cooling now due to the extended Solar Minimum.
NASA June 2012 Solar Cycle 24 Prediction
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/06/08/nasa-june-2012-solar-cycle-24-prediction/
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/08/13/when-will-it-start-cooling/

David.

sunshinehours1 says:
November 1, 2012 at 6:00 pm
1 meter = 1000mm = 10mm a year
It is 1000/88years which is 11.4mm per year. Even further away. Soon the whole premise will be tossed out the window.
Essentially all ice sheets would have to loose some 3800 cubic kilometers of ice per year to ge to the 1 meter in a century. Not going to happen. Even if some of it is caused by an warming and expanding ocean.

Manfred

Sounds like freak science and a perfect match for Rahmstorf.

Here’s that adorable little girl:

We had a hurricane storm surge making land fall, enhanced by a full moon at high tide at the same time of occurrence. It’s really that simple folks.

That warmer water pushes the Arctic toward more ice-free waters, which absorb sunlight rather than reflect it back into space like sea ice does. The more open water there is, the more heat is trapped in the Arctic waters, and the warmer things can get.

Whenever I’ve sat on a beach when the sun is low in the sky, there seems to be a great deal of reflection even when the water is not smooth. I seem to recall reading somewhere that the albedo under these conditions is not much different to old snow or sea ice.

During the last interglacial period, sea level rose 10 meters due to the melting of all that ice“.
10m! Wow! Let’s see what the IPCC report says about this interglacial period. ….. aha! Here it is in FAQ 5.1 …..
Global sea level rose by about 120 m during the several millennia that followed the end of the last ice age (approximately 21,000 years ago).
That last interglacial was stunningly weak. Or maybe this guy is clueless.

William McClenney

michaelwiseguy says:
November 1, 2012 at 9:25 pm
We had a hurricane storm surge making land fall, enhanced by a full moon at high tide at the same time of occurrence. It’s really that simple folks.
“After brief stillstands at +6 and perhaps +8.5 m, sea level fell with apparent speed to the MIS 5d lowstand and much cooler climatic conditions. It was during this regression from the MIS 5e highstand that the North Atlantic suffered an oceanographic ‘‘reorganization’’ about 11873 ka ago. During this same interval, massive dune-building greatly enlarged the Bahama Islands. Giant waves reshaped exposed lowlands into chevron-shaped beach ridges, ran up on older coastal ridges, and also broke off and threw megaboulders onto and over 20 m-high cliffs.”
Now that is just downright scary~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

What Did I Tell You!?

This is the third class intellect that unilaterally tried to ‘decide’ nobody but ‘certain citizens’ “HAD a PLACE in the DIALOG” about what happens to our money.
And our world as the libtard moon-barking-mad non-intelligencia tried to rewrite LITERALLY
the l.a.w.s. of physics
to get control over taxing the air
you
breathe.

RockyRoad

Brinier water from the south wouldn’t replace fresh surface water; it would sink, leaving the lighter water on the surface.
Epic fail in their logic.

Brian H

To talk of many things:
Of shoes—and ships—and sealing-wax—
Of cabbages— and kings—
And why the sea is boiling hot
And whether pigs have wings.