History falsifies climate alarmist sea level claims

Seas have been rising and falling for thousands of years – without help from the EPA or IPCC

Guest essay by Robert W. Endlich

Sea levels are rising rapidly! Coastal communities are becoming more vulnerable to storms and storm surges! Small island nations are going to disappear beneath the waves!

Climate alarmists have been making these claims for years, trying to tie them to events like “Superstorm” Sandy, which was below Category 1 hurricane strength when it struck New York City in October 2012, and Typhoon Haiyan, which plowed into the low-lying central Philippines in November 2013.

For alarmists, it does not seem to matter that the strength and frequency of tropical storms have been decreasing in recent years, while the rate of sea level rise has fallen to about seven inches per century. Nor does it seem to matter that the lost lives and property have little to do with the storms’ sheer power. Their destructive impact was caused by their hitting heavily populated areas, where governments had not adequately informed citizens of the size and ferocity of imminent storm surges, too few people had evacuated – and people, buildings and emergency equipment were insufficiently prepared to withstand the furious storm onslaughts.

The alarmist cries are not meant to be honest or factual. They are intended to generate hysterical headlines, public anxiety about climate change, and demands for changes in energy policies and use.  

China is rapidly becoming one of the richest nations on Earth. It is by far the largest single emitter of carbon dioxide, which alarmists claim is causing “unprecedented” storms and sea level rise. And yet at the recent UN-sponsored climate talks in Warsaw, China led a walkout of 132 Third World countries that claim First World nations owe them hundreds of billions of dollars in “reparations” for “losses and damages” allegedly resulting from CO2 emissions.

The Obama Administration brought (perhaps “bought” is more apt) them back to the negotiating table, by promising as-yet-unspecified US taxpayer money for those supposed losses. Details for this unprecedented giveaway will be hammered out at the 2015 UN-sponsored climate confab in Paris, safely after the 2014 US mid-term elections. Meanwhile, a little history will be instructive.

In 2008, presidential candidate Barack Obama proclaimed, “This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow.” He was actually right. Sea level rise has slowed, but not because of CO2 emissions, which are still increasing. Mother Nature cannot be bought.

Sea level changes over relatively recent geologic and human history demonstrate that alarmist claims do not withstand scrutiny. Sea levels rose significantly after the last ice age, fell during the Little Ice Age, and have been rising again since the LIA ended around 1850. In fact, Roman Empire and Medieval port cities are now miles from the Mediterranean, because sea levels actually fell during the Little Ice Age.

During the deepest part of the last ice age, known as the Wisconsin, sea levels were about 400 feet lower than at present. As Earth emerged from the Wisconsin some 18,000 years ago and the massive ice sheets started to melt, sea levels began rising. Rapid sea level rise during the “meltwater pulse phase,” about 15,000 years ago, was roughly five meters (16 feet) per century – but then slowed significantly since the Holocene Climate Optimum, about 8,000 years ago.

File:Post-Glacial Sea Level.png

Those rising oceans created new ports for Greek and Roman naval and trade vessels. But today many of those structures and ruins are inland, out in the open, making them popular tourist destinations. How did that happen? The Little Ice Age once again turned substantial ocean water into ice, lowering sea levels, and leaving former ports stranded. Not enough ice has melted since 1850 to make them harbors again.

The ancient city of Ephesus was an important port city and commercial hub from the Bronze Age to the Minoan Warm period, and continuing through the Roman Empire. An historic map shows its location right on the sea. But today, in modern-day Turkey, Ephesus is 5 km from the Mediterranean. Some historians erroneously claim “river silting” caused the change, but the real “culprit” was sea level change.

Ruins of the old Roman port Ostia Antica, are extremely well preserved – with intact frescoes, maps and plans. Maps from the time show the port located at the mouth of the Tiber River, where it emptied into the Tyrrhenian Sea. The Battle of Ostia in 849, depicted in a painting attributed to Raphael, shows sea level high enough for warships to assemble at the mouth of the Tiber. However, today this modern-day tourist destination is two miles up-river from the mouth of the Tiber. Sea level was significantly higher in the Roman Warm Period than today.

An important turning point in British history occurred in 1066, when William the Conqueror defeated King Harold II at the Battle of Hastings. Less well-known is that, when William landed, he occupied an old Roman fort now known as Pevensey Castle, which at the time was located on a small island in a harbor on England’s south coast. A draw bridge connected it to the mainland. Pevensey is infamous because unfortunate prisoners were thrown into this “Sea Gate,” so that their bodies would be washed away by the tide. Pevensey Castle is now a mile from the coast – further proof of a much higher sea level fewer than 1000 years ago.

Before modern Italy, the region was dominated by the famous City States of the Mediterranean, among which is Pisa, with its picturesque Cathedral Square and famous Leaning Tower. Located near the mouth of the Arno River, Pisa was a powerful city, because maritime trade brought goods from sailing ships right into the port. Its reign ended after 1300 AD, the onset of the Little Ice Age, when sea levels fell and ships could no longer sail to her port. Once again, some say “river silting” was the cause.

However, Pisa is now seven miles from the Tyrrhenian Sea, with large meanders upstream from Pisa and little meandering downstream. When a river is “at grade,” the downstream gradient is as low as possible, as with the meandering Mississippi River and delta in Louisiana. Rivers with a strong downstream gradient flow to the sea in a direct route, with few meanders, as with the Rio Grande in New Mexico.

The facts of history are clear. Sea level was 400 feet lower at the end of the Wisconsin Ice Age, 18,000 years ago. Sea levels rose rapidly until 8,000 years ago. As recently as 1066, when the Normans conquered England, sea levels were quite a bit higher than today.

During the Little Ice Age, 1300 to 1850 – when temperatures were the coldest during any time in the past 10,000 years – snow and ice accumulated in Greenland, Antarctica, Europe and glaciers worldwide. As a consequence, sea levels fell so much that important Roman Era and Medieval port cities (like Ephesus, Ostia Antica and Pisa) were left miles from the Mediterranean.

Since the Little Ice Age ended about 160 years ago, tide gages show that sea level has risen at a steady rate – with no correlation to the rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels.

Sea level is a dynamic property in our planet’s climate cycles, which are closely linked to changes in solar energy output and other natural factors. It is unlikely to change in response to tax policies that make energy more expensive and economies less robust – no matter what politicians in Washington, Brussels or the United Nations might say.

Much to their chagrin, Mother Nature doesn’t listen to them. She has a mind of her own.

____________

Robert W. Endlich served as a weather officer in the US Air Force for 21 years and a US Army meteorologist for 17 years. He was elected to Chi Epsilon Pi, the national Meteorology Honor Society, while a basic meteorology student at Texas A&M University. He has degrees in geology and meteorology from Rutgers University and the Pennsylvania State University, respectively, and has studied and visited the ancient sites of Rome, Ostia Antica and Pisa.

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Don’t confuse us with facts!

Is there anything that the IPCC supporters have’t lied about?

Jimmy Haigh.

There’s a whole branch of modern geology called Sequence Stratigraphy which is basically mapping units of rock worldwide based on sea level changes (of up to around +/- 300m or so) throughout geological time.

Steve Keohane

Archeological digs in the southern US show the shoreline of the Gulf of Mexico some 50 miles inland of the present shoreline, as the ocean was 2 meters deeper some 4000 years ago. Piles of shells at indigenous people’s shoreline camp sites are undeniable.

Keith Willshaw

Interesting article to which I have one minor caveat.
The case of Pevensey Castle is a little more complex than just declining sea levels. The entire South East coast of England was radically changed by the Great Storm of Feb 1287. This was no mere blow like so called Superstorm Sandy but a mass killer. Some ancient towns like Old Winchelsea were wiped off the map, The spot where it used to stand is now over a mile offshore.
In other cases such as Pevensey and New Romney great banks of gravel were dropped leaving them a mile away from the new sea front. The River Rother changed course and now emerges over 15 miles from its old outlet. Worse was to come in December 1287 when another huge storm roared down the North Sea , breaking the dikes in Holland and killing more than 50,000 people.
The inhabitants of Pevensey (and New Romney) saw the disaster as an opportunity and filled in any breaches in the new gravel banks thereby reclaimimg the land for agriculture. To this day much of the land between New Romney is below sea level and protected by dykes and has warning sirens that are sounded if the sea wall is breached.
Keith

Robert, good essay. Agree with your admonition of alarmism and ignoring of facts, but query whether the human contribution to warming will accelerate sea level rise. If one agrees that warming is caused, in part, from GHGs, and unless some natural force, e.g., solar activity, offsets the warming, then it would be logical for sea levels to rise more rapidly (in geologic terms) than without the contribution from AGW.

Warren

I don’t understand why this article should carry any scientific weight whatsoever. It’s argument is that “sea levels have been rising and falling throughout history, so the proposition that mans activities is warming the planet and causing sea level rise is ridiculous”. Same goes for the oft seen argument that “earths temperature has risen and fallen throughout history, so AGW is false, QED.” I hope none of the forums readers buy this ‘argument’ that the existence of natural patterns means there cannot be an increment caused by man.

LucVC

Bruges on the other side of the Channel comes to my mind. Now wikipedia has it as “Starting around 1500, the Zwin channel, which had given the city its prosperity, also started silting.” I never understood how it could ever have been a sea port so deep into land. What changed that after hundreds of years this silting started?

Patrick

I have said it before and I will say it again, go to ANY sea port along the south coast of the UK, Portsmouth, Gosport, Exeter and Plymouth etc…and you will see NO significant sea level rise at all, let alone from the 1850’s (Given we know land levels have risen since the last iceage)!

Bruce Cobb

B. Fewell says:
December 2, 2013 at 4:48 am
Robert, good essay. Agree with your admonition of alarmism and ignoring of facts, but query whether the human contribution to warming will accelerate sea level rise. If one agrees that warming is caused, in part, from GHGs, and unless some natural force, e.g., solar activity, offsets the warming, then it would be logical for sea levels to rise more rapidly (in geologic terms) than without the contribution from AGW.
There is no evidence that SLR is accelerating, nor can any AGW contribution be discerned, so there is simply no logic or science to your “query”. It is based on fear, and nothing more.

CodeTech

Warren:
Could also be a decrement. Why would you assume that anything “caused by man” must, by definition, be of negative consequence???

Old'un

What ever happened to Tuvalu?
2001 – The Guardian: FAREWELL TUVALU
Ah yes, (Dec. 2013):
Welcome to Timeless Tuvalu! 
One of the smallest and most remote nations in the world, this unspoiled corner of the Pacific offers a peaceful, and non-commercialized environment that is ideal for rest and relaxation.The spectacular marine environment consisting of a vast expanse of ocean interspersed with atolls, magnificent lagoons, coral reefs and small islands all provide a unique South Seas ambiance.
In Tuvalu you will discover a distinctive Polynesian culture of atoll island people who vigorously maintain their unique social organization, art, crafts, architecture, music, dance and legends.

Old'un
negrum

Warren says:
December 2, 2013 at 5:09 am
” I don’t understand why this article should carry any scientific weight whatsoever. It’s argument is that “sea levels have been rising and falling throughout history, so the proposition that mans activities is warming the planet and causing sea level rise is ridiculous”. Same goes for the oft seen argument that “earths temperature has risen and fallen throughout history, so AGW is false, QED.” I hope none of the forums readers buy this ‘argument’ that the existence of natural patterns means there cannot be an increment caused by man. ”
The article, as far as I can see, does not claim that ” there cannot be an increment caused by man.” It points out that the case for the ” increment caused by man ” leading to a significant sea level rise, has not been adequately made.
Before so much is spent on solving an undemonstrated problem, there are other very well demonstrated problems which impact daily lives, such as energy shortages, which seem to be in much more need of funding.

Going forward, global cooling, more ice, less sea water, sea levels fall. What will the elite Washington D.C. types do with their live on yahts tied up down at the basin where the money changes hand aboard ship where no prying eyes would see, seems they would have to move the sin farther out to sea.

Teddi

@ Warren:
It’s great to see natural patterns and variations receiving due considerations. I mean – you wouldn’t want to base a theory and whole movement on a small ~10 yr trend line – would you ?

Frank K.

CodeTech says:
December 2, 2013 at 5:44 am
Warren:
Could also be a decrement. Why would you assume that anything “caused by man” must, by definition, be of negative consequence???

What I find fascinating is that folks like Warren actually believe that global actions that “mankind” can take (like reducing our quality of life in the name of climate science) can have a measurable impact on global sea level. There is NO proof of this whatsoever…yet they try to impose their ways upon us all.

David Ball

Warren, what is important is that warmists prove that “this time it’s different”. So far, nada.
Another point is that you are leaving out crucial arguments in your presentation of skeptics views. One of the main points being that Co2 has been far higher, yet no “runaway” GHE.
Very handsome strawman, though.

tty

Several errors here. “Wisconsin” as a name for the last Ice Age is only valid in North America, it has other names in other places. And Wisconsin is a name for the whole 100 000 year cycle not just the “deepest part”. That is normally known as the Last Glacial Maximum, LGM for short.
Also using sites around the Mediterranean as examples to show sea-level change is very risky. It is more often land-level change. Most of the Mediterranean Basin is tectonically active, and it is just as easy to find sites that “prove” that the sea level was lower during the Roman Period, Cumae near Neapel for example, or Serapis where there are marine mollusks on the temple pillars several meters above sea-level, showing that the relative sealevel has gone up and down since the roman period.
That said there is no doubt that the sealevel was slightly higher during the climatic optimum, particularly in the Pacific Basin.

Samuel C Cogar

Jimmy Haigh. says:
December 2, 2013 at 4:26 am
There’s a whole branch of modern geology called Sequence Stratigraphy which is basically mapping units of rock worldwide based on sea level changes (of up to around +/- 300m or so) throughout geological time.
—————–
Many people have a problem imagining what the “coast line” looked like when sea levels were +/- 300m lower than what they currently are.
Now most everyone pretty much knows what New York Harbor, Long Island and the Hudson River outflow into the ocean currently looks like.
But during past Glacial Maximums it all looked much different with the Hudson River outflow into the ocean being quite a few miles past the current Continental Shelf where over thousands of years the forces exerted by the outflow of its waters eroded the Hudson Canyon.
So, take a look-see at the following two (2) graphics to see what the New York/New Jersey coastline looked like some 23,000+ years ago when it was located at the “east end” or lower right end of the Hudson Canyon as pictured on the graphics.
Hudson Canyon
http://www.nefsc.noaa.gov/press_release/2010/SciSpot/SS1003/HudCanFinderMap.jpg
http://content.answers.com/main/content/img/McGrawHill/Encyclopedia/images/CE159100FG0010.gif

jaffa68

@ Frank K – “yet they try to impose their ways upon us all”
No, not their ways, they don’t think the rules they seek to impose apply to them, otherwise wouldn’t Climate Conferences be online – thus elimiating the need for thousands of Scietivists and Eco-terrorists to fly to some (often exotic) location.

Joe Bastardi

Whooooop! Better than Manziel to Evans!

higley7

We need to be careful not to mix up ice ages and glaciations. We are in the second major ice age, about 2.5 million years into a 12 million year period. During this ice age we have glacial and interglacial periods. The last 12 million year ice age was 450 million years ago.

Jimbo

Warren says:
December 2, 2013 at 5:09 am
I hope none of the forums readers buy this ‘argument’ that the existence of natural patterns means there cannot be an increment caused by man.

I vaguely recall that the IPCC says that post 1950 is when MAN began to have a stronger / discernible effect on the climate / global warming. Global sea level has been rising since 1850. The onus is on you to show man’s responsibility. There is no solid evidence of acceleration in the rate of sea level rise, despite claims to the contrary. I will post something after this on groundwater abstraction. Think it all over again. Sea level rise is a difficult one to say the least.

Paper March 25, 2011
Climate related sea-level variations over the past two millennia
All records from the Atlantic coast of North America, Gulf of Mexico, and New Zealand (23) show stable or falling sea level between AD 1400 and 1900 at the time of the Little Ice Age. A record from Connecticut (6) developed using salt-marsh plant macrofossils showed stable sea level between AD 1300 and 1800 (Fig. 3). The record from Maine (24) is inconclusive due to large uncertainties. In the Mediterranean Sea, archaeological evidence from Roman fish ponds in Italy located sea level 2000 y ago (50 BC to AD 100) at 0.13 m below present (25). In Israel, archaeological evidence compiled from coastal wells showed falling or stable sea level between AD 100 and 900 (26), including sea level above present from AD 300 to 700. There is some evidence for a 1 m sea-level oscillation at AD 1000. In the Cook Islands (far-field region), reconstructions from coral microatolls proposed falling sea level over the last 2000 y, including two low stands in the last 400 y separated by a high stand at AD 1750 indicating sea-leveloscilla-tions of up to 0.6 m (27),
http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2011/06/13/1015619108.full.pdf
—————————-
American Meteorological Society – Volume 26, Issue 13 (July 2013)
Abstract
Twentieth-Century Global-Mean Sea Level Rise: Is the Whole Greater than the Sum of the Parts?
………..The reconstructions account for the observation that the rate of GMSLR was not much larger during the last 50 years than during the twentieth century as a whole, despite the increasing anthropogenic forcing. Semiempirical methods for projecting GMSLR depend on the existence of a relationship between global climate change and the rate of GMSLR, but the implication of the authors’ closure of the budget is that such a relationship is weak or absent during the twentieth century.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00319.1
——————————-
Abstract 2011
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.
http://www.jcronline.org/doi/abs/10.2112/JCOASTRES-D-10-00157.1

Francois

The whole piece is not very scientific : feet, miles (statute or nautical?), why not degrees F, fluid ounces (or not fluid?), pounds, grains, stones, and the like? Are we still in the eighteenth century?

Jimbo

Warren, you are partly correct because man is partly responsible.
Groundwater abstraction is about “one fourth of the current rate of sea level rise of 3.3 mm per year.”
Here is the paper’s abstract
WUWT – 3 July 2013
New study using GRACE data shows global sea levels rising less than 7 inches per century
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/07/03/new-study-using-grace-data-shows-global-sea-levels-rising-less-than-7-inches-per-century/
It’s really nothing to be alarmed about.

Henry Clark

As Holgate 2007 observed:
The rate of sea level change was found to be larger in the early part of last century (2.03 ± 0.35 mm/yr 1904–1953), in comparison with the latter part (1.45 ± 0.34 mm/yr 1954–2003).
On the decadal rates of sea level change during the twentieth century
S. J. Holgate
Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 34
That major deceleration in sea level rise was while the second half of the 20th century had much acceleration in human CO2 emissions (several times more CO2 emitted than over the first half of the century). And that is since sea level rise rate variation has nil to do with human CO2 emissions but rather matches the cause illustrated in http://img176.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=81829_expanded_overview_122_424lo.jpg
A copy of Holgate 2007 is online at http://www.joelschwartz.com/pdfs/Holgate.pdf

TomG(ologist)

Robert:
Thanks from another Rutgers Geology alum.

JA

HELP!! I HAVE A QUESTION !!!
Water is incompressible ( constant volume) and all the major oceans and seas are connected. So how is it possible that different shoreline / port locations around the world can experience totally different changes in sea level as, say , the glaciers melt?
Wouldn’t the rise in sea level due to melting glaciers register the same everywhere?
If you look at the graph in the article, you will see that Meltwater Phase 1A did not affect at all Australia, Senegal, Malacca Straits, etc. I realize these regions are near or far south of the equator ( i.e., Australia) , but a rise in sea level should manifest itself equally.
So, where am I going wrong? What am I missing?
Any response will be appreciated !!!

Doug Danhoff

In debating the existence of man caused warming, many seem to forget that CO2’s contribution to warming is for all intents and purposes is finished. Being a logarithmic function, well more than 90% of its effect is already present. Far more important are landscape changes such as deforestation and development. See Jim Steele’s book, “landscapes and Cycles” for a very good presentation of the problems man has actually caused, and focus on those things we can affect.

Roy Jones

To pick up on the comment about sea level relative to the land in southern England in 1066: yesterday there was an interesting Time Team programme on the UK’s Channel 4 looking for the site of the Battle of Hastings. To help identify the exact location they studied the topography and superimposed the 1066 sea level. This indicated the route William would have to have taken from Hastings because he was moving up a peninsular, with sea marsh on both sides. Today these sea marshes are farmland and Williams route is a ridge line.
Keith Willshaw at 4.44 refers to the Great Storm of 1287. This brought down part of the cliff at Hastings and with it part of the castle.

Doug Proctor

When you are faced with a situation that the invested explain away fact by fact with reasons – but the reasons change for each different fact – an experienced man or woman suspects that there is a common reason with small variations on that reason. I’ve been to Abu Dhabi and seen the wave-clipped paleo-sand dunes 1 – 2 m above the current sea level and several kilometers from the Gulf. The wide sabkha northwest of Abu Dhabi city is only 3000 or so years old; the sea used to come in much further, but has retreated and left behind a gypsum-anhydrite-sand shelf. Here the argument is chemical: the beach advanced as brines cemented sand grains together. Perhaps not.
The problem for Northern Hemisphere geologists and geographers in determining what caused the relative rive of the seas is that we know glacio-eustatic rises of land has complicated the picture. The shores of Hudson Bay and the Mackenzie Delta/Arctic Ocean interface have large, periodic rises as shown by stranded beaches far inland. So it is easy to explain sea level falls by the land rising, instead. And where are the alarmists located? The NH, of course.
Studies of mid-latitude and Southern Hemispheric, non-glaciated areas provide a clearer view of sea level changes. But – like the dendrochronology studies of Mann – they are not as prevalent or dominant in the literature that counts.
Back in the late 1700s, the French philosopher Montaigne despaired at how we valued learnedness – the knowledge of facts – over wisdom – the appropriate use of facts. The changes in sea-level due to melting glacial ice is a fact; the explanation of all drops in sea level as anything but changes in the amount of sequestered glacial ice is an example of fact not entering into the realms of wisdom.

The issue of harbors “silting” up is easy to determine objectively. It makes one wonder why such claims are made when the evidence is clearly against them.

Steve Keohane

Jimbo says: December 2, 2013 at 7:02 am
Thanks for the groundwater extraction paper. I did back-of-the-envelope estimates, using UN figures for water volume taken, and got 2.2mm/year. Glad to see someone is actually looking at this contribution to the seas. With all this concern about things melting and going into the oceans, where do these concerned citizens think the water came from?

2v88

How is perceived sea level rise due to tectonic movement and volcanism accounted for ? I am specifically thinking about the Mediterranean where the African Eurasian and Arabian plates interact?
Wikipedia quotes “African Plate’s speed is estimated at around 2.15 cm” presumably crashing into the Eurasian plate?
Sorry if this is a silly question . It just seems these plates moves more that what the water ebbs and flows

Arno Arrak

Interesting. I was unaware of the sea level drop that accompanied the Little Ice Age. The present sea level rise must then be associated with coming out of the Little Ice Age, From available observations this rate of rise has stabilized at 2.46 mm per year as Chao , Yu and Li reported in Science of April 11th 2008. Theirs is a sea level rise that is corrected for water held in storage by all dams built since 1900. This corrected rise has been linear for the last 80 years. Anything that has been linear that long is not about to change anytime soon. Extrapolating this gives us 24.6 cm as the expected sea level rise for a century. That is just under ten inches, compared to various other estimates in feet or meters that are coming out from global warming enthusiasts.

Tim Clark

Thank God someone with a degree from PSU has some sense.

agfosterjr

EB: “In Roman times it was situated on the northern slopes of the hills Coressus and Pion and south of the Cayster (Küçükmenderes) River, the silt from which has since formed a fertile plain but has caused the coastline to move ever farther west. The Temple of Artemis, or Diana, to which Ephesus owed much of its fame and which seems to mark the site of the classical Greek city, was probably on the seaboard when it was founded (about 600 BC), one mile east by northeast of Pion (modern Panayir Da). In Roman times a sea channel was maintained with difficulty to a harbour well west of Pion. By late Byzantine times this channel had become useless, and the coast by the mid-20th century was three miles farther west.”
Endlich: “The ancient city of Ephesus was an important port city and commercial hub from the Bronze Age to the Minoan Warm period, and continuing through the Roman Empire. An historic map shows its location right on the sea. But today, in modern-day Turkey, Ephesus is 5 km from the Mediterranean. Some historians erroneously claim “river silting” caused the change, but the real “culprit” was sea level change.”
Up or down, we might ask. Of course the science behind the map is the same science which produced the paragraph from EB–deltas rise with sea level, and Endlich doesn’t have a clue. –AGF

The most recent glaciation started declining approximately 18 thousand years ago. At that time there were less than a *MILLION* Homo Sapiens *ON THE ENTIRE PLANET* and CO2 levels were significantly lower than they are today. Ice sheets a couple of kilometres thick covered places like Chicago and Toronto. The annual volume of ice-melt greatly exceeded current annual melt amounts, because there was so much more to melt.
Since so much ice-melt, and therefore sea-level-rise, occured under low-CO2 and low-human-population conditions, I am skeptical of claims that current sea-level rise is human-induced. The null-hypothesis works for the past 18,000 years or so. Why do the laws of physics change in the last 50 years?

John Endicott

JA says:
December 2, 2013 at 7:27 am
HELP!! I HAVE A QUESTION !!!
Water is incompressible ( constant volume) and all the major oceans and seas are connected. So how is it possible that different shoreline / port locations around the world can experience totally different changes in sea level as, say , the glaciers melt?
====================
The world is a complex place with many factors, as such the land itself if not static. In addition to sealevel rise from melting glaciers you have land areas the sink and land areas that rise. One port location can have a gentle slope to the sea whereas another can have a sharp drop off. etc. As such, it should be no surpirse that no two areas see the exact same change.

Louis Hooffstetter

Warren says:
” I hope none of the forums readers buy this ‘argument’ that the existence of natural patterns means there cannot be an increment caused by man.”
None of us do. But as science minded individuals we follow Occam’s razor which paraphrased says that given two explanations for something, the simplest explanation is usually correct. Or to quote Sir Isaac Newton: “We are to admit no more causes of natural things than such as are both true and sufficient to explain their appearances.”
So the real question is “Why would you believe that that easily explainable natural patterns that have occurred for billions of years must now be caused by man?”
Just show us the human attribution and we’ll all believe it.

CaligulaJones

Isn’t the accepted location of ancient Troy another instance of a higher sea level 3000 years ago?
Mind you, we can only infer relative sea level from Ephesus and Troy. Western Turkey and Aegean Sea is a N-S rifting zone creating a “piano-key” type of basin-and-range tectonic environment. some blocks are moving up and some are moving down. We would need to see what the current vertical movement of the land blocks is over the past few decades of precision measurement.
However the conclusion that silting up river deltas is the sole reason that the sea has retreated from ancient port cities needs to be challenged.

Louis Hooffstetter

A prayer for Warren and the warmists:
“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and wisdom to know the difference.”

Chip Javert

@ JA says:
December 2, 2013 at 7:27 am
HELP!! I HAVE A QUESTION !!!
Water is incompressible ( constant volume)…
===============================================
Water being incompressible (essentially true) does not necessarily mean a given mass of water has constant volume. Water above about 4 degrees will expand when heated. Your home’s water heater has been engineered to safely accommodate this physical property.

CaligulaJones,
That’s an excellent pic of isostatic rebound! Thanx for posting.

@JA Dec. 2, 7:27 am
HELP!! I HAVE A QUESTION !!!. … So how is it possible that different shoreline / port locations around the world can experience totally different changes in sea level as, say , the glaciers melt?
See a comment from May 28, 2012, “Is Sea Level Rise Accelerating” where I posted some key bits from the FAQ page of
Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level
http://www.psmsl.org/train_and_info/faqs/

[1]…These currents lead to differences between the MSS and the geoid of 1-2 m, [1000 – 2000 mm] even after averaging out time dependent motions such as tides. The differences in the MSS generated by the currents means that the Atlantic is 1m lower on the north side of the Gulf Stream than further south.
[3]Sea level is about 20 cm higher on the Pacific side [of the Panama Canal] than the Atlantic due to the water being less dense on the Pacific side, on average, and due to the prevailing weather and ocean conditions. Such sea level differences are common across many short sections of land dividing ocean basins.

Chip Javert

@ Warren says:
December 2, 2013 at 5:09 am
I don’t understand why this article should carry any scientific weight whatsoever. It’s argument is that “sea levels have been rising and falling throughout history, so the proposition that mans activities is warming the planet and causing sea level rise is ridiculous”.
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1. Contrary to your allegation, the article does not claim to be a scientific study.
2. Contrary to your allegation, the article does not claim “sea levels have been rising and falling throughout history, so the proposition that mans activities is warming the planet and causing sea level rise is ridiculous”.
3. Take a deep breath and rest easy; none of the regular (ie non-troll) WUWT readers deny earth has warmed a little less than 1 degree centigrade or the seas have risen about 10 inches since 1850 (as earth recovers from the little ice age).
Neither do WUWT regulars accept undocumented and unproven warmist claims of CAGW and 20-feet/century sea rise by 2100. Warmist do indeed have 70+ lovely models proclaiming these phenomena to be true, and they consider the science to be “settled”. However, warmists have not (or cannot) explain the “settled” climate physics they claim to model, and they have not (or cannot) explain the material failures of their models to track actual global temperatures and sea rises.
Hopefully you have learned a little something about WUWT readers. Either that, or the Christmas turkey arrived early this year.

Chip Javert

@ Francois says:
December 2, 2013 at 7:01 am
The whole piece is not very scientific : feet, miles (statute or nautical?), why not degrees F, fluid ounces (or not fluid?), pounds, grains, stones, and the like? Are we still in the eighteenth century?
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Good grief! I can explain it to you, but I can’t understand it for you:
Ignoring that the article is not pretending to be a scientific study, the easy answer is regular WUWT readers are generally “multi-lingual” when it comes to units of measure. A fair conclusion to draw would be that they might be scientifically educated.
Given your self-admitted difficulty comprehending the article’s simple English prose, am I safe assuming you won’t soon be challenging any of the readers with some enlightening PDEs?

drbob

Re. Tuvalu, here’s a reference I came across online in 2010 …
The coastal geological events in Tuvalu islands do not accord with the features resulted from sea level rise but do accord with the features resulted from coastal erosion, particularly from human-induced erosion. The land loss in Tuvalu is mainly caused by inappropriate human activities including coastal engineering and aggregate mining, and partly caused by cyclones. Moreover, all recent measurements (satellite altimetry, thermosteric sea level data and tide observations) so far have not been able to verify any sea level rise around Tuvalu islands.
(from ‘Causes of land loss in Tuvalu, a small island nation in the Pacific’, Chunting Xue, ca. 2010)