Sea level rate of rise shown to be partially a product of adjustments

People send me stuff. Here we have another case of value added adjustments that increase the slope, much like temperature.

This email forwarded from Steve Case reads as follows:

The University of Colorado’s Sea Level Research Group just published the 2013 Release #1 of their Global Mean Sea Level Time Series.

sl_ns_global[1]

I discovered that these periodic releases are on the net all the  way back to 2011 Release #1. So I downloaded all nine of them.

2012 release #1 has 628 entries up to January of 2011 so I had Excel’s slope function calculate  the rate of sea level rise for that time series of 628 entries across all nine releases.

What I found is that the rate of sea level rise has been bumped up twice since then, once in 2011 and the the latest in the current release.  Here’s a link to a graph  to illustrate the point:

2vmenpv[1]

http://oi45.tinypic.com/2vmenpv.jpg

Coupled with the GIA increase of 0.3 mm/yr that was made prior to these nine releases the rate of sea level rise has been bumped up 0.43 mm/yr in the last few years.

This sort of thing has been going on more or less regularly and it seems to go only one. way.

Here are the links to the data:

http://sealevel.colorado.edu/files/2011_rel1/sl_ns_global.txt

http://sealevel.colorado.edu/files/2011_rel2/sl_ns_global.txt

http://sealevel.colorado.edu/files/2011_rel3/sl_ns_global.txt

http://sealevel.colorado.edu/files/2011_rel4/sl_ns_global.txt

http://sealevel.colorado.edu/files/2012_rel1/sl_ns_global.txt

http://sealevel.colorado.edu/files/2012_rel2/sl_ns_global.txt

http://sealevel.colorado.edu/files/2012_rel3/sl_ns_global.txt

http://sealevel.colorado.edu/files/2012_rel4/sl_ns_global.txt

http://sealevel.colorado.edu/files/2013_rel1/sl_ns_global.txt

Advertisements

  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of

Reblogged this on Climate Ponderings.

Typical. Trying to engineer an acceleration to fit the models.
The isostatic adjustment was introduced last year as far as I remember?
(Adjusting for the sinking of the sea floor).

matt

So they need to fudge sea level data too eh?

Ronald

Why be surprised?
If there is no global warming you make it.
Is there no extreme ice melt you make it.
Is there no sea level rise you make it.
If glaciers wont meld you make them meld even if you have tho use a blowtorch.
Why is this a suprice? We all know AGW or CAGW is FRAUD the only thing to figure out is how far when they and when someone comes out and say stop this is to far.
All I now is that in normal science they already where out of job and possibly in to prison now.

jon

Well earlier this was the facts?
http://www.john-daly.com/ges/images/niv_moy.gif
http://www.john-daly.com/ges/msl-rept.htm
“As Fig.20 shows, the current sea level rate of rise after cycle 276 is +0.9 mm/yr, half the rate claimed for the last 100 years, and less than one fifth the rate claimed for the 21st century”
But later:
http://www.john-daly.com/altimetry/t-p.gif
http://www.john-daly.com/altimetry/topex.htm
+2.2 mm/yr
I think it was about this time I read that UNEP wanted Oceanography implemented in the UN like WMO? (sic)
And now its up at :
3.2mm/yr?
Great!

John Peter

Reminds me of interview with Nils Axel Morner back in 2007. Not much has changed since then. It would be interesting if the author had inserted tide gauge measurements over the same period.
http://www.climatechangefacts.info/ClimateChangeDocuments/NilsAxelMornerinterview.pdf
“Now, back to satellite altimetry, which shows the water, not
just the coasts, but in the whole of the ocean. And you measure
it by satellite. From 1992 to 2002, [the graph of the sea level]
was a straight line, variability along a straight line, but absolutely
no trend whatsoever. We could see those spikes: a very rapid
rise, but then in half a year, they fall back again. But absolutely
no trend, and to have a sea-level rise, you need a trend.
Then, in 2003, the same data set, which in their [IPCC’s]
publications, in their website, was a straight line—suddenly it
changed, and showed a very strong line of uplift, 2.3 mm per
year, the same as from the tide gauge. And that didn’t look so
nice. It looked as though they had recorded something; but
they hadn’t recorded anything. It was the original one which
they had suddenly twisted up, because they entered a “correction
factor,” which they took from the tide gauge. So it was
not a measured thing, but a figure introduced from outside. I
accused them of this at the Academy of Sciences in Moscow—
I said you have introduced factors from outside; it’s not
a measurement. It looks like it is measured from the satellite,
but you don’t say what really happened. And they answered,
that we had to do it, because otherwise we would not have gotten
any trend!” So we have the adjustments to sea levels and the surface temperature records and I wonder what else. What about ocean heat content?

Coupled with the late 2011 ARGO adjustments and the bad splice with XBT data in 2003, the indications are the measurements (which for satellite altimetry have an error of at least +/- 75mm) are being calibrated to radiative greenhouse theory, not anything real on Earth’s surface.

Peter

However, i’m sure they reference their data against known surface heights (large salt pans) then use this to correct satellite drift (the adjustment). They must give a reason / data for their correction.
Of all the adjustments in climate, height must be the least murky / easily verified or explained, surely.

Robertv

Dr. Nils-Axel Mörner
http://youtu.be/8EMoU8OOsBs

Pethefin

I wouldn’t call these value added adjustments since that presupposes agreement on the value of the end-product, rather this is yet another example of values-based-adjustments in accordance with the post-modern-science-activism

Byron

(Sigh) Why am I not surprised ? As with most things CAGW related the only acceleration seems to be in the size of adjustments

The story of satellite sea level adjustments is even older. The values before 2011 can be assessed via WayBackMachine.
I made an analysis of the results of the adjustments of the ESA and Colorado Sea Level data over the years a couple of month ago (Google translation).
Conclusion, Even though the sea level rise rate has decreased over the years, the rate of sea level rise was kept more ore less constant at above 3 mm/year by applying various “adjustments”. This year it seems, the data is being made fit for the next IPCC assessment report…

Dodgy Geezer

…and has anyone asked the University of Colorado for an explanation…?

batheswithwhales

Can anyone come up with ONE instance EVER, where adjustments have resulted in less warming, less sea level rise, etc?
If not, this tells a pretty clear story. It is totally unreasonable that all adjustments, year after year in multiple datasets and in multiple scientific disciplines should all contribute in the same direction – towards “confirming” a dramatic global warming.

Toby

So excluding GIA, there has been a change of 5% in the rate. The claim is that is fraudulent … surely that is hardly worth the trouble? How so we know that it is not due to a monthly re-calculation?

Lawrie Ayres

Climate scientists, advocates and politicians following the AGW line have been shown to exagerate, fudge data and tell lies. They have shown themselves as untrustworthy so I always get suspicious when they make apparently outlandish predictions. These are supposedly educated and intelligent ( sometimes mutually exclusive I realise) people who by now should know they are wrong, wrong wrong. However whilst continuing the false PR some are acting in a way which is at odds with their public utterances. E.g Al Gore is sure sea will rise by up to six metres but buys a waterfront property in SF; Tim Flannery predicts an eight story sea rise but buys a property on the Hawkesbury river just above high tide and accessible only by boat. Tim also sprouts the urgent need for geothermal and has shares in a company that just happened to receive $90 million in Government grants. Unfortunately for Tim the share price has all but hit zero so he doubles his efforts to promote the evils of CO2. Local government has tried to move people from areas seven metres above current sea level stating that sea level rise will inundate these properties. Some people, believing the lies, sell at reduced prices to escape the coming catastrophe and I wonder who buys; folk like Flannery and Gore??
When someone who should know better keeps a discredited scam going and starst profiting from others who believe them I start to wonder. After all our own government is doing just that with the Carbon tax.

DirkH

Looks like scientific institutions have entirely fallen prey to activist rent-seekers.

How does one go about measuring sea level to a tenth of a millimeter?

Don K

That’s interesting. Despite the fact that Topex/Poseidon sea level measurement technology appears to be superior to ERS and tidal gauges, I have come to mistrust the numbers coming out of CU. This doesn’t help.
Tangentially, does anyone know why they seem to be applying a Glacial Isostatic Adjustment (GIA) to satellite measurements? GIA is necessary and appropriate although not necessarily adequate for tidal gauge measurements where it (partially) corrects for tidal gauges being (slowly) moving platforms. Satellites are moving platforms also, but the satellite motion has already been corrected during orbit determination, and should not, I should think, need additional correction.
Anyway, I no longer trust these guys. I think that they are likely practicing advocacy disguised as science. For a description of how of science is properly done, see Richard Feynman’s quite remarkable “Cargo Cult Science” speech http://www.lhup.edu/~DSIMANEK/cargocul.htm

Bjarne Bisballe

Dutch scientist found that the moon has some influence on the measured sea level based on cyclic variations of the orbit of the moon. Paper here:
http://www.citg.tudelft.nl/fileadmin/Faculteit/CiTG/Over_de_faculteit/Afdelingen/Afdeling_Waterbouwkunde/sectie_waterbouwkunde/people/personal/gelder/publications/papers/doc/JCOASTRES-D-11-00169.pdf
The moon pulls the ocean water from the southern to the northern hemisphere in cycles of 18.6 years. The oceans then get more or less the form of pear with the stalk heading north and south alternately. That should have an influence on the sea level of at least at few millimetres and that effect should not be forgotten when you monitor sea levels. You have to monitor for whole cycles of 18.6 years to get correct data. For the time being, the stalk points south.
Besides that effect, the mentioned moon cyclus should, according to this paper:
http://ansatte.hials.no/hy/climate/theClimateArticle.pdf
also have a more general influence on the climate in the northern Atlantic region.

jim2

I’ve tried to find the sea level rise on their site that have no adjustments – just the sea level that comes out of the calculations for the “raw” sea level. It seems so dishonest not to post that chart so we can see better the effects of the “adjustments.”

John

Would someone please write a book on solely the adjustments you could call it “The adjustment burro”
Dare I say the only real hockey stick.

MieScatter

osopolitico, sea level is typical measured with a laser altimeter. An example is on the Jason satellite, and the handbook is here:
ftp://podaac.jpl.nasa.gov/allData/ostm/preview/L2/GPS-OGDR/docs/userhandbook.pdf
The error budget shows that an individual measurement expects an uncertainty of the order of cm to ~11 cm.
If I’ve got it right, then that is one measurement. But your uncertainty in measuring an average value gets smaller as you take more measurements. It crosses the equator ~25 times per day. I can’t find the sampling frequency, but the resolution is ~4 km. 12.5 full orbits in a day at ~4 km resolution is up to 10,000 measurements per day (assuming all ocean). Let’s say 6,000 to represent unfrozen ocean. The average cycle length at which they report a value is just under 10 days, so about 60,000 measurements per value.
The error in the AVERAGE value if an individual measurement has a 10 cm error and you have 60,000 independent measurements would be (in metres) 0.1 / SQRT(60000) = 0.0004 m or 0.4 mm.
Given that the error is of the order of tenths of a millimetre then standard scientific practice is to report the value to tenths of a mm. As it’s an average of many values then it is also common to extend the number of significant figures to which you report a value beyond this as well.
These are just back of the envelope calculations, you can read the altimeter papers if you want, but they illustrate that there’s no reason to suspect fraud in the precision they report.

Evan Jones

If they do it NOAA-homogenization style, they’ll be measuring the naturally uplifting areas and the naturally subsiding areas and then adjusting the former data to match the latter . . .

Planck

Continental drift has been around for quite some time, causes most sea floor to move, often at millimetres, sometimes centimetres per year. Most of this movement is horizontal but some is vertical. Clearly, the shapes of sea basins are changing continuously.
Surely this movement leads to sea level changes. (Example; try gently squeezing an open plastic water bottle and observe the water level change)
Can anyone tell me just what allowance has been made for these changing shapes? Am I missing something here?

Kasuha

Come on. If this analysis shows something, then perhaps that sea level rise is accelerating, right?
Or maybe it would be good to take a little better look at the data and figure out what actually happened with them first.

Reblogged this on acckkii.

Planck

I agree with Jim2.
Can anybody plot the I corrected/unadjusted data to compare?

James Bull

At this rate the earth should be significantly bigger than it was a few years ago!
As everything is rising sea land ocean floor.
James Bull

knr

Adjustments on their own are not a problem , its the need for justification, the retaining of old data and the tracking of changes that are the problem , especially in the highly politicised ‘climate science’ where often there poor of not seen at all .
But has it the old saying goes , when ‘mistakes ‘ always favour one side its unlikely there ‘mistakes ‘ in the first place .

Dave

GIA? How realistic are the models? They assume values for the viscosity of the mantle. Whereas his must be infinitely variable in time and space, not least because of the variability in its water content.

Ian W

MieScatter says:
January 25, 2013 at 3:26 am
osopolitico, sea level is typical measured with a laser altimeter. An example is on the Jason satellite, and the handbook is here:
ftp://podaac.jpl.nasa.gov/allData/ostm/preview/L2/GPS-OGDR/docs/userhandbook.pdf
The error budget shows that an individual measurement expects an uncertainty of the order of cm to ~11 cm.
If I’ve got it right, then that is one measurement. But your uncertainty in measuring an average value gets smaller as you take more measurements.

This claim is only true if the errors are random. If there is any systemic error – a very likely possibility with only one Jason Satellite – then it doesn’t matter how many measures you make the systemic error will still be present. So let us say that there is a slow millimeter a year drift in the satellite measure – that drift will appear as a sea level drift regardless of the number of times you use the laser altimeter.
As long as that drift is in the ‘sea level rise’ direction, confirmation bias will ensure that it is not corrected.

Elizabeth

I would just love someone here to check HOW NH ice extent has been adjusted over the past 30 years. Just look at those pretty sections they call Arctic Basin , Sea of Laptev sea etc.. ALL these section borders are likely to be moved around to suit the AGW agenda. I actually am convinced that most of the Arctic ice data has simply been made up to suit the data (except the 2007 and 2012 melts (which occur anyway from time to time)
http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/
You see SH ice (Antarctica) doesn’t really change (actually going up slightly) because it does not have any boundary and CANNOT be fiddled with. Please check someone maybe Tisdale and co?

NikFromNYC

In real science, adjustments are meant to arrive at the true value of something like temperature or sea level, but it is not an “adjustment” to redefine sea level as a virtual entity that does not exist on our real planet. Adjusting for sea floor settling or for retained water in artificial reservoirs on land disallows honest use of the term “sea level” to describe the result. Yet the term is still used to label charts for policy makers.
-=NikFromNYC=-, Ph.D. in carbon chemistry (Columbia U.)

jaymam

I detest global averages. I’d rather see a global map:
http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2011/06/21/record-sea-level-rise-rates/
from which we can see that most of the world has almost no rise, some areas fall, and there’s one bit in the Pacific that allegedly rises a lot and bumps up the global average.
I reckon someone has adjusted the satellite readings in the Pacific where the islands are known to be sinking.

Steve Case

Thanks for posting my epistle (-:
Actually there’s more. The internet wayback machine
http://archive.org/web/web.php
Has some old pages for Colorado University’s Sea Level Research Group and the oldest is from 2004
http://web.archive.org/web/20040215105250/http://sealevel.colorado.edu/
The chart on that page shows 2.8 mm/yr. If you go to the oldest time series in the links Anthony posted above
http://sealevel.colorado.edu/files/2011_rel1/sl_ns_global.txt
and down load it to Excel and then run the slope you will find that rate of sea level rise 1992 – 2004 is 3.5 mm/yr. Well that includes the 0.3 mm/yr of GIA so it’s really 3.2 mm/yr or 0.4 mm/yr more than originally published. So if you add it all up, 0.4 mm/yr since 2004 plus 0.13 since 2011 and the GIA 0.3 adjustment it comes to over 0.8 mm/yr. So I regard the current 3.2 mm/yr as really less than 2.5 mm/yr which is closer to what the tide gauges tell us.

“The science is settled.”
This means that all outcomes of any and all empirical measurements or models made by “The Team” for “The Cause” WILL show CAGW.
Adjustments are necessary when reality defies their “science”.
If the truth comes out, they’re sunk.

Gail Combs

MieScatter says:
January 25, 2013 at 3:26 am
osopolitico, sea level is typical measured with a laser altimeter. An example is on the Jason satellite, and the handbook is here:
ftp://podaac.jpl.nasa.gov/allData/ostm/preview/L2/GPS-OGDR/docs/userhandbook.pdf
The error budget shows that an individual measurement expects an uncertainty of the order of cm to ~11 cm.
If I’ve got it right, then that is one measurement. But your uncertainty in measuring an average value gets smaller as you take more measurements. It crosses the equator ~25 times per day. I can’t find the sampling frequency, but the resolution is ~4 km. 12.5 full orbits in a day at ~4 km resolution is up to 10,000 measurements per day (assuming all ocean). Let’s say 6,000 to represent unfrozen ocean. The average cycle length at which they report a value is just under 10 days, so about 60,000 measurements per value….
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
But are you (and they) applying the statistics correctly? Are you measuring the same widget 60,000 or are you measuring 60,000 different widgets from different cavities from different molding machines in different factories owned by different corporations?
Bob Tissdale mentions, depending on the strength of the trade winds, one side of the Pacific ocean can be as much as three feet (~ 1 meter) higher than the other side. And then there are the tides. In the Bay of Fundy the difference in water level between high tide and low tide can be as much as 48 feet (14 meters). Then there are waves. In the early 1990s, Ruggiero said, a fairly typical winter might have an offshore wave maximum of a little more than 25 feet.
I really do not think that the sea level rise on a moving body of water can be measured to the degree of accuracy you calculated. The tide waves and wind are all going to introduce error that must be included along with the accuracy of the instrumentation.

John Peter

MieScatter writes January 25, 2013 at 3:26 am
“The error in the AVERAGE value if an individual measurement has a 10 cm error and you have 60,000 independent measurements would be (in metres) 0.1 / SQRT(60000) = 0.0004 m or 0.4 mm.
Given that the error is of the order of tenths of a millimetre then standard scientific practice is to report the value to tenths of a mm. As it’s an average of many values then it is also common to extend the number of significant figures to which you report a value beyond this as well.
These are just back of the envelope calculations, you can read the altimeter papers if you want, but they illustrate that there’s no reason to suspect fraud in the precision they report.”
So where is the calculation to show that the 10cm error is scattered 50/50 across the 6000 measurements to guarantee an error band of 0.4mm?

Another 0.1 mm/year increase in sea level rise!
At this rate UC will be underwater very soon. Is it no underwater now?
They better throw all the bad statistics overboard before their credibility sinks to the very bottom.
Thanks, Steve, Anthony. I have updated the graph in my pages.

JCrew

A commentor the other day stated WUWT is an opinion blog. For some it has degraded into opinons. And corrupt acts in their work.

Don K says:
January 25, 2013 at 2:53 am

Tangentially, does anyone know why they seem to be applying a Glacial Isostatic Adjustment (GIA) to satellite measurements? GIA is necessary and appropriate although not necessarily adequate for tidal gauge measurements where it (partially) corrects for tidal gauges being (slowly) moving platforms. Satellites are moving platforms also, but the satellite motion has already been corrected during orbit determination, and should not, I should think, need additional correction.

The first WUWT readers read about is was in http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/05/05/new-sea-level-page-from-university-of-colorado-now-up/ where they (rather unhelpfully) reported:

One important change in these releases is that we are now adding a correction of 0.3 mm/year due to Glacial Isostatic Adjustment (GIA), so you may notice that the rate of sea level rise is now 0.3 mm/year higher than earlier releases. This is a correction to account for the fact that the global ocean basins are getting slightly larger over time as mantle material moves from under the oceans into previously glaciated regions on land. Simply subtract 0.3 mm/year if you prefer to not include the GIA correction.

I thought I added to that post a gripe that sea level (a dimension of length) now includes an adjustment that is volume (length cubed).

AntonyIndia

I’ll see your surface temperature adjustments and raise you global mean sea level rise adjustments. Straight faces all around!

David L. Hagen

VALIDATION: Sea level budget closure
NOAA’s reports it can now close the sea level budget against data.
It evaluates sea level rise at 1.1 +/- 0.8 mm/year for 2005-2012.
The Budget of Recent Global Sea Level Rise 2005–2012
http://ibis.grdl.noaa.gov/SAT/SeaLevelRise/documents/NOAA_NESDIS_Sea_Level_Rise_Budget_Report_2012.pdf
“We apply a model [Paulson et al., 2007] that effectively increases the trend in observed SLmass by 0.9 mm/a. The ice history (ICE-5G) used to produce the GIA model has an estimated uncertainty of roughly 20%. . . .
In this analysis, the global sea level rise budget for 2005–2012 is closed when the Paulson GIA
correction is applied (Table 1). The sum of steric sea level rise and the ocean mass component
has a trend of 1.1 ± 0.8 mm/a over the period when the Paulson GIA mass correction is applied,
well overlapping total sea level rise observed by Jason-1 and Jason-2 (1.3 ± 0.9 mm/a) within a
95% confidence interval.” . . .

Contrast Univ. Colorado’s sea level rate of 3.2 +/- 0.4 mm/yr
http://sealevel.colorado.edu/content/2013rel1-global-mean-sea-level-time-series-seasonal-signals-removed
U Colorado’s sea level rise rate is only 246% of the NOAA value.
If NOAA’s sea level model rise fits “total sea level rise observed by Jason-1 and Jason-2 (1.3 +/- mm/a) within a 95% confidence interval”, how well does the U. Colorado’s sea level rise rate fit?
Any suggestions as to how to reconcile these differences? (Or is /a only a third of /y – semantics!)
So what’s a factor of 3 between friends?
Isn’t it all in a good cause?!
Or is it only engineers that seek to land in the Sea of Tranquility?
The uncertainty in these other sea level projections might result in ending up on Mars or Venus!

Richard LH

“The error in the AVERAGE value if an individual measurement has a 10 cm error and you have 60,000 independent measurements would be (in metres) 0.1 / SQRT(60000) = 0.0004 m or 0.4 mm.”
Only really true if the target is stationary and smooth. If there is short vertical motions over time or surface roughness at the sample spacing then there will still be errors in the measurment.
They may well be distributed in a manner different to a normal distribution, so then it is likely that the errors will never truely sum to 0 or even give the precision mentioned.

Gary Pearse

Anthony, I think it would be good to display on the same chart the tide gauge and satellite data. Watch for a change in strategy soon. Like the temperature data, satellites are constraining the amount of adjustment that can be done on satellite era data so the next step will be to lower the historical data to keep the sea rising rate, or even its acceleration.

AFPhy6

Thank you for posting this. I was at the Colorado web site just yesterday looking at this graph, and considered exactly this question. I had not time to search for historical information, but it was at the top of my mind to try doing that, Thanks for doing it and posting it, and saving me a lot of time!

Gary Pearse

Looking at the new data added to the old, it is suspiciously in 3 equal jumps with little squiggles on each peak. It doesn’t look like the pattern observable on the rest of the graph.

Dave

This to me seems like it could be a new variation of “Mike’s Nature trick”.

KR

The 2011 correction has been rehashed before – it is discussed at http://sealevel.colorado.edu/content/addressing-questions-regarding-recent-gia-correction, and was due to an updated measure of glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA). The 2013 adjustment is likely due to (as stated on their home page) “Switched to Jason-2 GDR-D release for all Jason-2 cycles. Updated through cycle 160”.
Better measurements, better sea level rise estimates. If anyone disagrees, show why the science behind the measurements is incorrect, rather than implying or directly accusing folks of fraud.

REPLY:
Mr. Ryan. The only person who used the word fraud was you. That’s the second time this week where a warmist uses the word where the article did did. Projection perhaps? – Anthony