Dr. Trenberth Redux

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

A couple days ago, I was given a copy of a most interesting interchange from 2011 between Dr. Kevin Trenberth and a layman asking him a question. The sender of the question recently passed it on to me. I’ve redacted the email addresses and the name of the person asking the question, but otherwise it is totally unaltered.

From: “Kevin Trenberth” <trenbert@XXXXX.edu>

To: “Dr XXXX” <xxx@xxx.xxx>

Sent: January XX, 2011 X:XX PM

Subject: Re: warming

Dear Kevin,  

Thank you for your prompt reply. I’m 62 and now semi-retired. I’d like to  bring myself up to speed on global warming, which I read is one of the great catastrophes of our time. You describe rising sea levels as being the evidence for man caused global warming. It had been my understanding that sea levels have been rising steadily for thousands of years and now at a very slow rate. I know there’s been a huge increase in man’s CO2 in the heavy industrialisation since World War 2. How has this increase in man’s CO2 effected sea levels ? 

The rates have not been steady and picked up markedly in the mid 20th century and even more since 1990 or so. CO2 has been increasing since 1750 although mainly since 1850.

That was Dr. Trenberth’s entire reply to the question.

Now, I found this interchange quite amazing. Here’s somebody asking for information, and Dr. Trenberth’s response about sea levels is … well … almost fact free.

First, he says that “the rates have not been steady and picked up markedly in the mid 20th century” … there are a couple of well-cited analyses of this question. One is by Jevrejeva et al., and the other by Church and White. Here’s what Jevrejeva et al. said about the rate of change of the global sea level (gsl)

Jevrejeva_sea_levelFigure 1. Jevrejeva analysis of global sea level (“gsl”, upper panel), and rate of change of global sea level (“gsl rise, lower panel). Source

As you can see, the idea that the rate of sea level rise “picked up markedly in the mid 20th century” is totally contradicted by the Jevrejeva data.

How about Church and White (C/W)? Here’s their analysis of the situation:

church and white rates Figure 2. C/W analysis of rate of change of global sea level. Source 

Again there is little evidence that the rise “picked up markedly in the mid 20th century”. Instead, it continued to go up and down, even as far as zero.

How about the claim that in the 1990s there has been “even more” rise? Well, there’s nothing like that in the Jevrejeva data, but there is in the C/W data. I suspect that that’s what Trenberth is referring to. Why is there such a jump in the C/W analysis?

It’s because Church and White played fast and loose. They simply spliced the satellite-based sea level data onto the tidal stations data, ignoring the fact that the satellite rise is about 50% higher than the tidal station data.  So they just hoisted up the tidal data by that amount, so it would kinda sorta match to the satellite data … and then smoothed the splice with a centered filter. Bad scientists … no cookies.

So yeah, when you go past the splice the rate of rise SEEMS to go up from about 2 mm/yr to 3 mm/yr … which is what Trenberth has reported as fact. But it’s not a fact at all, it’s just a splice.

But wait, it gets worse. In fact, far from increasing as Trenberth claimed, the satellite-measured sea level rise has actually been decreasing, as shown by Cazenave et al. …

 cazenave ratesFigure 3. ORIGINAL CAPTION: GMSL [global mean sea level] rate over five-year-long moving windows. a, Temporal evolution of the GMSL rate computed over five-year-long moving windows shifted by one year (start date: 1994). Source (paywalled)

I discussed the Cazenave et al. results shown in Figure 3 in a post called Sea Water Level, Fresh Water Tilted. Now Dr. Cazenave’s study was published in 2014, so Trenberth wouldn’t have known of that in 2011. However, I noted the decrease in the satellite data back in 2010  here, so it’s been visible in the raw data for some time. Here’s my graphic from that post:


Figure 4. Variations in the sea level as measured by the TOPEX/JASON satellites.

Since he’s setting himself up to answer questions about sea level, Dr. Trenberth certainly should have known of the decrease.

Here’s my point in all of this. A variety of people, even good honest scientists like Dr. Judith Curry, have been publishing a host of posts and studies claiming that the problem with climate science has something to do with bad communication. Dozens of theories have been advanced to try to explain why Americans are totally unconvinced by climate scientists, why we consistently rank climate as the least of our problems. Why, they ask, are climate scientists unable to get their message across to the American public?

These theories are all about how scientists are not explaining things in the right way, or about how “deniers” have a different mental makeup than the faithful, or how there is a lack of clarity in what the scientists are saying, or how the framing of the message was incorrect … but in nearly every case, the issue is cast as being one of poor communications.

(Let me say in passing that given that the climate alarmists have had the full and enthusiastic backing for several decades of the mainstream media, and of the governments, and of the schools and universities, and of the leaders of various professional societies, and of the jet-setting Hollywood stars, and have been funded to the tune of millions and millions of dollars to try to get their message across, including $300 million from Al Gore, and $74 million from Tom Steyer, and have had lots of advice from expensive media and communications consultants … well, after three decades of that immense pressure, “poor communications” seems the least likely explanation for their failure. But I digress.)

However, this exchange puts the lie to all of that. There is no lack of clarity in Trenberth’s statement that

The rates have not been steady and picked up markedly in the mid 20th century and even more since 1990 or so. 

There’s no communication problem there, no murkiness, no poor framing. The problem is that Trenberth is spouting the same old alarmist nonsense about “accelerating sea level rise”, a claim that is demonstrably untrue. Sea level rise hasn’t accelerated. To the contrary, it has slowed down.

I don’t know why Trenberth made those crazy claims, whether he was honestly mistaken, or he knows but doesn’t care, or he actually doesn’t know what the sea level is doing, or he is just pushing an agenda. Be clear that I make no claims about his motives, his knowledge, or his mental state. I truly don’t know why he answered the way he did.

But what I do know is that after decades of being spoon-fed bovine waste products by climate scientists, who the whole while have been confidently assuring us that it’s ice cream … the American public has wised up.

It reminds me of the joke you’ve likely heard …

A kid says to his friend, “What’s that in your hand?”

His friend says “They’re smart pills! They make you smarter. You want one?”

“Sure”, says the kid, and he eats one and makes a terrible face. “These aren’t smart pills,” the kid says, “these are sheep droppings!”

“See?” his friend says. “You’re getting smarter already!”

So yes … thanks to repeated doses of Dr. Trenberth’s Smart Pills being prescribed by far too many climate scientists, the American people are getting smarter already.

My best to all,


De Costumbre: If you disagree with what someone says, please QUOTE THE EXACT WORDS THAT YOU DISAGREE WITH. That way we can all be clear about exactly what you think is incorrect.

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Wayne Delbeke
November 15, 2014 10:36 pm

Thank you.

Siberian Husky
November 15, 2014 10:47 pm

Dr. Trenberth is busy. He has a career. And a life. In fact it’s pretty impressive that he gave a few minutes of his time to this.
The highest rate of change in the Church and White graph is around 1990.
The second or maybe third highest point is around the mid-century.
Still sea levels continue to rise. Where’s all that global cooling you keep on telling us about?
Stop nit-picking and get a life.

Reply to  Siberian Husky
November 15, 2014 10:54 pm

Exactly where in the article does Willis Eschenbach predict global cooling? Or is in reference to some other claim he has made about the planet cooling? Or is this because you were unable to argue with anything written in the article, so you decided to make stuff up, and then refute what you’d made up, but attribute it dishonestly to the author?

Reply to  Siberian Husky
November 15, 2014 11:13 pm

Geez, Husky, when one is looking for long term trends, you don’t focus on the short term variations, you average them out. There are peaks and there are minima, but the overall trend is gradual and counter balanced by the satellite measurements.

Siberian Husky
Reply to  Sam Grove
November 16, 2014 12:37 am

So you’re saying that about a century of sea level rise is counterbalanced by some satellite measurements over about 15 years that show a decrease in the rate of that rise is that it?
The sea level has been rising constantly since about the mid 1920s. How’s that for a trend?

Reply to  Siberian Husky
November 16, 2014 5:06 am

Serial troll David Appell is worried about sea level rise. I answered him thus

There is also more to consider

[Portus] The ancient gateway to the Mediterranean was twice the size of the port of Southampton and supplied the centre of the Roman Empire with food, slaves, wild animals, luxury goods and building materials for hundreds of years. It is now two miles inland.

But let’s have an episode of mass hysteria as sea level never changed before in the pre carbon goldilocks era!
Professor T’s pronouncements have become more and more unhinged from reality (saying the hotspot was wherever there was a heatwave [Russia 2010] was a real doozie as the logic implies the hotspot was also over London waaay back in 1868). I hope in a way it is a mental condition (bias/denial/delusion etc) as deliberately making such statements as he does could only be percieved as mendacious, more behoving of a politician than a scientist. Sadly with the whole political maelstrom surrounding climate science, I’m inclined towards ill intent in the name of the ‘greater good’.

Reply to  Sam Grove
November 16, 2014 12:46 am

Siberian Husky, your grasp of statistics and logic is minimal.
It’s been rising since the maunder minimum and has been unaffected by CO2 rise as indicated by the data. Trend-berth has claimed otherwise, that it has increased in line with CO2 emissions. He’s lying.
Rising constantly since the 1920s is statistically insignificant has it has been rising constantly since 1850. If the rate of increase had risen since the 1920s then it would be.
Your logic is akin to the idiots yelling the hottest years on record are in the last 10 years. This is statistically insignificant and logically meaningless as of course, even during an 18 year pause, the hottest years are going to be at the end of an upward trend no matter if it contradicts the alarmist models and does not correlate with rapidly rising CO2.

Reply to  Sam Grove
November 16, 2014 1:10 am

Siberian Husky, sea levels have been rising for thousands of years, ever since the last glacial maximum—way before any anthropogenic contributions to CO₂ began to accumulate.

Reply to  Sam Grove
November 16, 2014 1:37 am

Siberian Husky I used to live in the UK. I lived all over the south of England, Portsmouth, Gosport I have also been to Exeter and Plymouth. Why is this significant when talking about sea level rise? Because these are all several hundred year old sea ports that show no significant sea level rise.

sleepingbear dunes
Reply to  Sam Grove
November 16, 2014 4:08 am

Husky, you are conflating rise with acceleration in the rate of rise. They are not the same. Yes sea levels are rising. No, there is no acceleration in the rate of rise, at least the latest CU data has kept it at 3.2 mm/yr for the last 20 years. The IPCC has acknowledged that the current rate is similar to that of the 1930s.

Reply to  Sam Grove
November 16, 2014 6:13 am

Trenberth said it had not been rising at a constant rate. Make up your mind. The scientific answer, if he had been thinking of the C&W paper would be to say that over the long term it had been constant but with better measurements recently we could see if oscillating over the short term and that some satellite measurements showed small increases but there was not enough data to know if this was real.

Reply to  Sam Grove
November 16, 2014 11:45 am

And I might add that we are in an interglacial period, during which temperatures continue to rise…until they don’t, and then you are in another ice age. Same as with sea levels. During the Ice Age sea levels were …what, 300 feet lower than today? Some people think history began on the day they were born.

Crispin in Waterloo
Reply to  Sam Grove
November 17, 2014 12:29 am

Some people think climate history began when they started to pay attention.
Trenberth, while I admire your esprit-de-Team it seems Facts are playing for the other side.

brandon c
Reply to  Siberian Husky
November 15, 2014 11:20 pm

So even after he pointed out exactly why the 1990 uptick was an artifact of improper statistics, huskey loving points it out as proof. Totally missing the point and proving exactly why people are trusting alarmists less and less.

Reply to  Siberian Husky
November 16, 2014 12:32 am

Is he too busy to gain a semblance of logic, scientific knowledge or honesty?
I find myself busy occasionally but never has it led to me being a lying scumbag that dismisses everything that is valid in my career.
Let me break it down so that someone of even your mental capacity can understand.
Now read it…slooowly…
Trenberth says “The rates have not been steady and picked up markedly in the mid 20th century and even more since 1990 or so.”
The data shows that it hasn’t. Also the Rate of change is practically identical to 1960s.
Also I see YOU’RE

Siberian Husky
Reply to  sabretruthtiger
November 16, 2014 12:41 am

A kindly old man takes 5 minutes out his extremely busy day to write a quick innocent response to some member of the public whose emailed him and now it’s climate gate all over again.
If he’d written a two page in depth response you’d be all over it probably saying what a waste of tax payers money or some other libertarian drivel.
You lot are always asking why scientists don’t engage with the public more. Here’s your answer.
Sea levels have been rising constantly since the mid 1920s, sometimes slowly, sometimes fast. But Im sure it’s just natural variation or some liberal conspiracy.

Reply to  sabretruthtiger
November 16, 2014 12:47 am

…nitpicking, by choosing the statistically reprehensible data splicing to claim a rise and ignoring the other sound, unfiddled data that shows no increase.
Your argument is invalid.

Reply to  sabretruthtiger
November 16, 2014 11:18 am

Sea levels have been rising constantly since the last Ice Age, sometimes slowly, sometimes fast.

Reply to  sabretruthtiger
November 16, 2014 2:07 pm

“Libertarian drivel” . this from a Lefty stooge. Siberian Commie
Leftists always suffer. They suffer for everyone else. Then they scheme to end the suffering, they know what’s best.
Trenberth is a notorious alarmist not a “kindly, old, busy scientist “.
You’re his apologist? Has he retained you?
You fear the rising seas. I don’t
Mind your own business all you Progressive do-gooders,

Reply to  Siberian Husky
November 16, 2014 12:48 am

Siberian Chihuahua,
no one doubts that Trenberth is busy, has a (high profile) career, has a life etc. It’s up to him whether or not he answers such a query, but answer he did. As Willis shows, the answer is bizarre, and your bizarre comments (global cooling??) make no improvement upon Trenberth’s words.

Siberian Husky
Reply to  Skiphil
November 16, 2014 2:22 am

…and I bet after this little debarckle loads of climate scientists will banging down your door to engage with you

Reply to  Skiphil
November 16, 2014 8:13 am

…and I bet after this little debarckle loads of climate scientists will banging down your door to engage with you
Not if they aren’t willing to tell the truth, like Trenberth. He made a statement and was called out on it, why do you have a problem with that?

Reply to  Skiphil
November 16, 2014 11:27 am

Exactly. What does being busy have to do with making an inaccurate (and probably disingenuous) response?

Reply to  Skiphil
November 16, 2014 2:05 pm

russian lapdog whimpers about a poor old man. So touching & loyal….

Klaas de Waal
Reply to  Siberian Husky
November 16, 2014 1:35 am

Dear mr or mrs Husky,
I am a little offended by your closing sentence.
It seems to me that, if I disagree with the good dr., my facts can only be wrong and my opinion is unimportant.
Is that how you are going to convince me of your cause? Good luck with that.
Also, if I agree that there hasn’t been any cooling over the past 18 years, can you agree there hasn’t been any warming either.

Siberian Husky
Reply to  Klaas de Waal
November 16, 2014 2:24 am

My point is that Willis should be making comments about serious peer reviewed research not throw away two liners in a random email.
This community is always complaining that the scientists don’t engage with them enough / don’t take them seriously.
Posts like this are not going to help.

Reply to  Klaas de Waal
November 16, 2014 3:07 am

So engaging by lying is good enough?
Sometimes you Kool Aid drinkers are just too funny.

Reply to  Klaas de Waal
November 16, 2014 8:40 am

Hello World,
please take note of the Siberian Husky who shows that it bothers him not a whit that Trenberth should author falsehoods about sea level rise, poor, misunderstood, hardworking, abused but nonetheless noble fellow that he is, that Trenberth.

Reply to  Klaas de Waal
November 16, 2014 11:48 am

Husky, you seem to have entirely missed the point of Willis’s post. AGWers everywhere are lamenting that they have failed to move the political needle because of problems with scientific communication.
But if the scientists in question lie to the public, they harm the AGW cause. How is that so hard to understand?

Reply to  Klaas de Waal
November 16, 2014 4:12 pm

“Siberian Husky November 16, 2014 at 2:24 am
My point is that Willis should be making comments about serious peer reviewed research not throw away two liners in a random email.
This community is always complaining that the scientists don’t engage with them enough / don’t take them seriously.
Posts like this are not going to help.”

Your point? You have reason to critique someone who took their time to decipher a not kind man’s erroneous reply to an honest questioner?
Definitely a true watermelon action; sham green outside and all socialist inside with the self administered power to condemn people’s actions you don’t personally like.
This community gives a good fair shake to any post and yes, like many people we seek to correct errors or understand our own errors.
The alarmists like Trenberth go to great lengths to avoid actually discussing science with anyone who questions or disagrees with them. To understand this fear, and yes it is fear of having to answer tough questions, even you can read Trenberth’s rather dismissive and definitely erroneous reply to a basic question.
Dismissive fabrications used to reply to simple questions discourage people because they realize they were not taken seriously.
One thing is obvious, posts like this are not helping you as you seem to be seeking confrontation, obfuscation and interruption or disruption of threads.

Reply to  Klaas de Waal
November 17, 2014 1:15 am

“This community is always complaining that the scientists don’t engage with them enough / don’t take them seriously”.
Well actually YOUR scientists don’t. They demean and insult. They hide their data and collude to make sure like minded crusading souls do the same. They equate genuine scepticism with holocaust denial and all manner of antisocial behaviour. I could go on and on…
I assume you have a face and a palm.

Reply to  Klaas de Waal
November 17, 2014 12:34 pm

SBH, telling someone else what they “should” be doing is a load of “smart pills.” If you cannot comprehend written material well enough to abstract the writer’s intended meaning, you might possibly consider not embarrassing yourself. Trenberth could have just as easily said that he was not really that knowledgeable about sea level changes and suggested someone else to ask about the topic. Willis was far from as rough on Trenberth’s opinion as he could have been. Sea level data has undergone “adjustments” that make the alterations to temperature data look tame. In Trenberth’s “favor” I think he simply repeated the opinion of “experts” he trusts rather than his response being “agenda driven.” What his response reveals is that he has a biased pool of trusted experts.

Otter (ClimateOtter on Twitter)
Reply to  Siberian Husky
November 16, 2014 1:37 am

Say petey! You never did answer that question about where you spent your last four vacations.

Gareth Phillips
Reply to  Siberian Husky
November 16, 2014 1:38 am

Well said Siberian Husky, the fact that Dr.Trenberth took time out to respond personally is laudable and should be appreciated, I also agree with your view of the charts showing the increase.

Just Steve
Reply to  Gareth Phillips
November 16, 2014 3:10 am

Oh, wow. The good Dr. decided to come down from on high to engage one of the little folk…..what a humanitarian!
Meanwhile, every day a whole cadre of accomplished scientists and experts come to this forum and share their expertise in answering questions from those of us you probably consider the hoi polloi. And not in the written equivalent of 15 second soundbites….see Dr. Brown from Duke, a man I’m sure is one heck of a lot busier than Trenberth ever thought of being.

Keith Willshaw
Reply to  Gareth Phillips
November 16, 2014 3:14 am

Then perhaps you can explain the sharp decrease in the 1950’s and 1970’s, a time when CO2 levels were rising rapidly.

lawrence Cornell
Reply to  Gareth Phillips
November 16, 2014 3:25 am

…and this is where the clues of CAGW being a religion have their seed. It has been shown, in fact PROVEN, once in the post and twice now in the thread that the shown rate in increase in the chart(s) was manufactured by the author through trickery.
Yet Gareth Phillips still CHOOSES to BELIEVE.

Reply to  Gareth Phillips
November 16, 2014 4:26 pm

Thank the lord! The big climastrologist took time out his day to answer some poor soul!
Be appreciative! Drop down and kiss the erroneous answer! Thank the man for his obtuse and incorrect answer! Be very appreciative!
Do tell. What is this; the Alarmist’s view of how the high and mighty should occasionally grant some words to the poor slobs out there working for a living?
Nothing like the humility of the alarmists…

Reply to  Siberian Husky
November 16, 2014 3:05 am

Siberian Husky; Still sea levels continue to rise.
Where is this continuing sea level rise?
I am 52 years old (53 next month). I have lived in the one location my entire life……..on the East coast of Australia. Approx 0.5km to the east, is a bloody big body of water called the Tasman Sea. Approx. 0.5km to the west, is what is regarded as the largest coastal lake in Australia, Lake Macquarie. This lake has a direct entrance (channel) to the Tasman Sea…….and do you know what……for the life of me I can’t see ANY sea or lake levels rising, except for tidal variations.
You know what’s worse Siberian Husky? My father is 89 years old and was BORN in this same location.
Guess what?…….You wouldn’t believe me if I told you, as your science is settled and the ‘experts’ are telling you sea levels continue to rise. I only have one word to say;

Siberian Husky
Reply to  BruceC
November 16, 2014 3:18 am

“Bruce” (lol) Maybe you should have that conversation with the folks who look after the Thames barrier or maybe the citizens of Kirabati who’ve seen half their country disappear?
The graphs Willis presented show the sea level rise quite clearly. I doubt that you will have noticed a rise of 15cm over the past century.
As an aside, I saw your head of state make the opening speech at the G20 yesterday and spent most of his time moaning about domestic issues in what was probably the most embarrassing, cringe-worthy opening address I’ve ever seen. Is he really the best your country can elect?

Reply to  BruceC
November 16, 2014 3:53 am

Husky, the operational policy of the Barrier is to close at exceptionally low tides in order to hold water in and maintain a relatively constant water level along the tidal portion of the river. This was a policy change close to the turn of the century and is part 1 of the reason why the barrier closes more often.
Part 2 is that the city of London, which the barrier was built to protect, is sinking at about 30 cm a century on average, and in fact that gradual subsidence is the reason the barrier was built in the first place. It was already expected to have to close more often as time went by. Using its normal operation as “proof” of climate change is disingenuous at best.

Reply to  BruceC
November 16, 2014 5:24 am

There has NOT been ANY sea level rise at Kiribati since the National Tidal Centre started recording it in 1992:
In fact, there has been SFA SLR at Kiribati since 1983:
As an aside, what do you find wrong with my first REAL name? (“Bruce” (lol)). Is your first name Siberian? LMAO!

Siberian Husky
Reply to  BruceC
November 16, 2014 5:54 am

Archonix- what utter rubbish

Siberian Husky
Reply to  BruceC
November 16, 2014 6:01 am

You’re Australian- and you’re called Bruce. It wasn’t meant to be an insult. Search youtube for monty python sometime…
Look at the y axis on the graphs you’ve posted. A rise of 10cm is huge. It’s not SFA.
best wishes.

Reply to  BruceC
November 16, 2014 6:15 am

So, Siberian Husky, I don’t doubt the basic information that you pointed to regarding the Thames Barrier, but Wikipedia is not only NOT a defendable source in general, but did you not notice that there isn’t a SINGLE reference to any of the claims of rising water levels, nor in the entire section on geography of the Thames Barrier? Did you also miss this bold statement at the beginning of that section?
This section does not cite any references or sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (January 2013)
Quite right. I challenge it. Now, you made the claim – prove it.

Reply to  BruceC
November 16, 2014 6:28 am

Siberian Husky,
The Thames Barrier is needed for sure. Southern England is sinking due to post glacial rebound up in the north of the UK.

Reply to  BruceC
November 16, 2014 6:54 am

10cm is nothing but a flesh wound. It could be worse, you’re experts talk in metres…..scary! The combined two graphs above shows SLR at Kiribati = ZERO from ~1986. That’s 30 years of accelerated, continuing, catastrophic……….nothing! Just like the accelerated, continuing, catastrophic nothing at my location for the past, at least, 89 years.
Oh, almost forgot. I voted for my Head of State, and just like him, climate change is cr@p.
Even better wishes.
P.S. Don’t need to youtube Monty Python……have most of their DVD’s here at home.
“icky, icky, icky, icky, kapang, zoop, boing pin”

Reply to  BruceC
November 16, 2014 7:20 am

Siberian Huskey, it seems to me that the Wikipedia link contradicts your position. Read the FUTURE section.
It was designed for “long-term changes in sea and land levels as understood at that time (c. 1970). Despite global warming and a consequently greater *predicted* rate of sea level rise, recent analysis extended the working life of the barrier until around 2060–2070.”
Note: *Predicted*, not *realized*.
“The Environment Agency responded that it does not plan to replace the Thames Barrier before 2070, as the barrier was designed with an allowance for sea level rise of 8 mm per year until 2030, which has not been realised in the intervening years.”
“The Thames Barrier is around halfway through its designed lifespan. It was completed in 1982 and was designed to protect London from flooding until 2030 and beyond. … The Environment Agency are examining the Thames Barrier for its potential design life under climate change, with early indications being that subject to appropriate modification, the Thames Barrier will be capable of providing continued protection to London against rising sea levels until at least 2070.”

Reply to  BruceC
November 16, 2014 8:16 am

Siberian Husky please read the following on Kiribati. It is illuminating and should give you a broader perspective. There are a number of reasons why these islands can become inundated by sea water and it’s not just sea level rise by itself. Think over extraction of water from the lens, gravel extraction, sand mining, over fishing of beaked fish etc.

The graph reveals that there, in fact, is no ongoing sea level rise that threatens the habitation of the islands. This is the hard observational fact, which we should all face before starting to talk about future flooding and the need for evacuation.

Reply to  BruceC
November 16, 2014 8:20 am

Siberian Husky,
You do realise that most coral island atolls can and do rise with sea level rise and fall with sea level falls? It’s when humans begin sand mining, and the like that the natural process is interfered with causing sea water to inundate some low lying areas.

Arthur P. Webba et. al.
The dynamic response of reef islands to sea-level rise: Evidence from multi-decadal analysis of island change in the Central Pacific
Low-lying atoll islands are widely perceived to erode in response to measured and future sea-level rise. Using historical aerial photography and satellite images this study presents the first quantitative analysis of physical changes in 27 atoll islands in the central Pacific over a 19 to 61 yr period. This period of analysis corresponds with instrumental records that show a rate of sea-level rise of 2.0 mm yr- 1 in the Pacific. Results show that 86% of islands remained stable (43%) or increased in area (43%) over the timeframe of analysis……..
Abstract – 10 FEB 2014
Evidence for coral island formation during rising sea level in the central Pacific Ocean

Jai Mitchell
Reply to  BruceC
November 16, 2014 11:13 am

Kiribati: life on a tiny island threatened by the rising sea – in pictures
Image description
A man wearing a red shirt stands in a tidal pool next to some old broken brickwork on the shores of Kirabati
Image caption
In the mid-1990s, Toani Benson would buy petrol from a shop where he stands. Today, the shop is a a submerged ruin. The centre of Tebunginako village, on Abaiang Island, is now underwater at high tide.

Reply to  BruceC
November 16, 2014 1:32 pm

jai mitchelol,
Now that Siberian Husky has been thoroughly refuted, it’s your turn in the barrel.
You asked for it; you got it.

Reply to  BruceC
November 16, 2014 1:59 pm

Jai Mitchell, for the sake of argument I (temporarily) will accept all you wrote; now how much was the petrol station worth? Is it one offshore wind turbine or two?
It’s less than that.
Even taking your assertion at face value – the proposed green policies are wasteful.

Reply to  BruceC
November 16, 2014 8:12 pm

I may not be the most sophisticated chap on the planet, but at least I’ve got the common sense not to be taken in by an un-proven theory that CO2 causes global warming and/or climate change (or whatever they’re calling it this week).

Reply to  BruceC
November 17, 2014 12:41 pm

SBH, may be you ought to look into the effects of eustatic and isostatic effects on sea and land levels following the last ice age and consider not doing things as bone headed as comparing the sinking Thames estuary with the tectonically stable southern coast of Australia. Just for grins you could also look up “Holocene sea level high stands” and read some of the evidence that the sea level is currently between one and two meters lower than it was between 8,000 and 7,000 years ago during the Early Holocene.

Reply to  Siberian Husky
November 16, 2014 3:34 am

Here are some abstracts. I hope Trenberth has seen these. Next I will post some graphs.

Abstract – 23 February 2011
Sea-level acceleration based on US tide gauges and extensions of previous global-gauge analyses
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.
Abstract – July 2013
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.
American Meteorological Society – Volume 26, Issue 13
Abstract – January 2014
Global sea level trend during 1993–2012
GMSL started decelerated rising since 2004 with rising rate 1.8 ± 0.9 mm/yr in 2012.
Deceleration is due to slowdown of ocean thermal expansion during last decade.
• Recent ENSO events introduce large uncertainty of long-term trend estimation.]
… It is found that the GMSL rises with the rate of 3.2 ± 0.4 mm/yr during 1993–2003 and started decelerating since 2004 to a rate of 1.8 ± 0.9 mm/yr in 2012. This deceleration is mainly due to the slowdown of ocean thermal expansion in the Pacific during the last decade, as a part of the Pacific decadal-scale variability, while the land-ice melting is accelerating the rise of the global ocean mass-equivalent sea level….

Reply to  Jimbo
November 16, 2014 3:35 am
Reply to  Jimbo
November 16, 2014 3:42 am

Here are another 2 papers out this year showing sea level rise DECELERATION.

23 March 2014
New paper finds global sea level rise has decelerated 31% since 2002 along with the ‘pause’ of global warming
7 October 2014
New paper shows global sea level rise has greatly decelerated since ~2002, opposite of predictions

Maybe sea level rise is accelerating at a decelerating rate. 🙂

Reply to  Jimbo
November 16, 2014 6:19 am

jimbo, the rate of change of acceleration is generally called “jerk”, though the term isn’t usually applied in this case. Sadly, however, I’d have to disagree with you since I’ve seen plenty of jerks surrounding the issue of sea level rise and it’s mostly the ones making claims of jerk in sea level rise…

Reply to  Jimbo
November 16, 2014 6:20 am

Jimbo, What is the difference between panel a. and b. for the rd and blue bar graphs? They have identical labels but the blue bars are shorter on the right. Which paper is it from?

Reply to  Jimbo
November 16, 2014 1:49 pm

Excellent excellent.
So basically in summary:
(1) There’s been about a 10cm sea level rise in Kirabati since the early 1980s. That would translate to an ocean rise of a foot or so a century which would be seriously concerning. Good thing that there are some other factors that might partially explain that rise or we’d all be screwed.
(2) the post about the London barrier to hold water in at low tides was utter nonsense and the barrier has had to close because of flooding many more times since it was originally openned
(3) sea levels have been rising since early last century and continue to do so entirely consistent with AGW
(4) most readers on this post don’t understand that complex systems don’t necessarily mean a 1:1 relationship between various elements of that system
(5) Bruce is probably not the most sophisticated chap on the planet

Robert B
Reply to  Jimbo
November 16, 2014 4:07 pm

From Siberian Husky (who thinks the screen name Bruce is funnny?)
“10cm sea level rise in Kirabati since the early 1980s” and “the post about the London barrier to hold water in at low tides was utter nonsense and the barrier has had to close because of flooding many more times since it was originally openned”.
Seriously, they close the weirs when the surge is predicted to be 4.87m but these predictions have an uncertainty much greater than 0.1m. They were closed half the time due to alluvial flooding downstream and 5 times as often in the past 5 years due to that. They were closed 25% less often for storm surges in the last 10 years than the 10 years previous.
No surge, including the 2007 and 2013 predictions, have come close to the surge of 1953.
That they are more cautious (as well as London is sinking so they were prepared to do it more often) does not justify a comment that the sea level rise is accelerating. A bit like the warmest years on record does not prove that the world is has been warming for the past decade, that the mean water level in the estuary is still high doesn’t mean that sea-level rise is accelerating.

Reply to  Siberian Husky
November 16, 2014 3:58 am

Siberian Husky, see my comments dowstream. They address your arguments.

Reply to  Jimbo
November 16, 2014 6:36 am

The graphs are from this paper. Here is the note they attach but it cuts off after the word “five…”. There is a paywall. I’m still waiting for my oil check.

“a, GMSL trends computed over two time spans (January 1994–December 2002 and January 2003–December 2011) using satellite altimetry data from five processing groups (see Methods for data sources). The mean GMSL trend (average of the five…”

Reply to  Siberian Husky
November 16, 2014 4:04 am

Siberian Husky
According to Wikipedia the world’s oceans have risen and average of 6mm per year for the past 20,000 years.
So what part of today’s 2-3mm per year is unusual?

Alberta Slim
Reply to  Siberian Husky
November 16, 2014 4:46 am

With global warming, the Siberian Husky may become extinct. ;^D

Reply to  Siberian Husky
November 16, 2014 5:09 am

Maybe if Dr.Trenberth and yourself gave ‘a few minutes’ to watching this short video about measuring ‘Global Sea Level’ you would become aware of how complex the process is.
For Scientists to say they can measure ‘Global Sea Level’ to the Millimetre is a joke,at the end of the video it states they can only measure to the nearest Metre.
Watch it here.

Reply to  D.I.
November 16, 2014 7:56 am

Ah, yes, but then they’ll reply that they are only measuring the “anomaly” in a number that they cannot compute to within meters and indeed, have to work like the devil himself to extract at all.
As far as that goes, the anomaly is all that really matters. Because the ocean is essentially isostatic in the overall field, and because warm water floats on top of cold water, the ocean expands and GSL rises where it locally warms without rising elsewhere (and falls where it cools ditto!). The only global sea level that matters is the one on the coasts of the continents, and the variations in mean sea level there are determined almost entirely by variations in local mean temperature plus whatever small contribution is made by global melting land ice.
It is the latter that matters, if anything matters at all. Thermal expansion of the ocean is unlikely to accelerate or make any sort of large contribution to SLR rates simply because the ocean is Really, Really, Big. As Trenberth himself has pointed out, it can eat all of the “missing heat”, buffer naively projected global warming, and alter its own mean temperature by a tiny fraction of a degree, and all of that before breakfast. If the Antarctic or Greenland ice packs melted, OTOH, the ocean might really start to rise. That’s why they are so careful to suggest that some fraction of SLR is due to melting ice pack and that this is what might be accelerating.
The problem with this is that it is so very difficult to measure or attribute. GRACE has given them a tool to at least play with, possibly providing them with the means to measure changes in total land mass on the nearly infinitesimal scale necessary to observe the disappearance of land ice. However, we have almost no baseline, there are large error bars, snow falls and accumulates in one place as ice disappears in another in Antarctica, and then there is the extreme difficulty in attributing any observed change, where the heat that melts ice can easily be geothermal (on a continental scale, there can easily be geothermal hotspots along plate boundaries) and have nothing to do with “global warming”. For example consider this:
This is the distribution of Antarctic volcanoes, active and extinct. The all lie long the continuation of the South American plate boundary into the continent, and represent a magma flow that thrust up the major mountain ridge of Antarctica. They fairly clearly indicate where the region is tectonically active. It is highly probable that the entire ground surface of this entire region is on average receiving additional heat from a flow of magma under a thinner than usual crust. Basically all of this additional heat would be transformed into latent heat as it melts the surface ice at the points of contact, as the ice layer above is effectively an insulator kilometers thick.
What is the distribution of observed warming and ice melt in Antarctica?
So called western Antarctica is tectonically active, we know that. It is also the only part of Antarctica that is substantially warming or where substantial land ice melt is occurring. There are many possible causes of that warming — it has also been attributed to warming seawater and ocean currents delivering heat to the large glacial bays, to alterations of atmospheric circulation, and to direct GHG warming (which is, of course, largely absent in the latter case from the rest of the continent.
The problem is that it is very difficult to resolve the different possible causes, and they might not even be “distinct”! If the continent is being tectonically warmed at a changing rate (something we haven’t got the faintest chance of observing given the baseline of our observations and their resolution) it could be melting ice, which is altering ocean salinity, which is altering ocean circulation patterns, which is warming the bays, which is additionally melting ice, which could even feed back further by altering atmospheric circulation patterns. Even though we have good reason to think that Antarctica is losing land ice (on the whole — it is gaining land ice in some parts while losing it in others) and even though some of that land ice loss may be connectable to global atmospheric or oceanic warming, we do not have enough information to attribute the causes to specific fractions of what is probably not a separable process. It is, however, quite “odd” that if this is truly a global warming process its effect is so highly localized on the specific fraction of the Antarctic continent that is tectonically active. One last figure:
Note that heat flows up to a half a watt per square meter persist on the western coast of Antarctica, although this particular projection is a terrible one for seeing the continent fairly represented. Similar levels are present in Iceland, where they routinely use geothermal energy as an actual energy source. Also of moderate interest is the rather enormous area of the sea floor with this unusually high heat flux at the two conjunctions of three plates to the west of South America on the Pacific floor, in pretty much exactly the place that El Nino happens.
I should emphasize that a half-watt per square meter is enormous, when delivered all 3.15x10^7 seconds of the year over an area of a trillion square meters at the bottom of the oceanic water column — it is very likely the dominant source of oceanic heating in the stratified lowest layer over these tectonic zones by far, given the fact that water is a poor conductor of heat and readily stratifies, and the fault that runs down the pacific in this figure has an area of several trillion square meters being differentially heated at this rate right next to much cooler zones. In particular, it is more than enough to create large scale convective rolls that carry bottom water from cold bottom to warm bottom as it warms what would otherwise be the densest seawater on the ocean floor, rolls that chaotically tumble and twist as they are carried laterally by large scale currents and coriolis forces. They may not be the source of El Nino heat, but they could easily be the heat source of the large scale ocean dynamics that emerge as El Nino at the surface when they interact chaotically with atmospheric and solar absorption patterns that reinforce or weaken them.
The point being that once again, the Earth-Ocean system is a highly complex one. Increased CO_2 almost certainly warms the earth, and is almost certainly responsible for a substantial fraction of the post 1850 warming observed. It is very difficult indeed, however, to attribute precisely what fraction, nor is it possible to assert any sort of high probability prediction for future climate in the Earth’s chaotic climate system. What one can say with some certainty is that there is little evidence for substantial positive feedback on top of the carbon dioxide linked warming, and moderate evidence that natural climate variation is likely to be responsible for a substantial fraction of the warming observed in (say) the mid-1980s and early 1990s.

Reply to  D.I.
November 16, 2014 12:22 pm

Outstanding does not do justice to your incredible comments. As always I learn more about the climate in one of your posts than almost anywhere else. I have wondered if it was at least possible that geothermal activity in the West Antarctic could account for the loss of glacial mass. At least I know it is a possibility. I dont remember seeing any reference to this in the IPCC. The other area you covered about the hydro thermal vents in the sea floor has also intrigued me but I had no way of knowing if the magnitude was such that it could impact the OHC.
It is nice to know this is an area that needs further investigation and should be added to the ever increasing list of things we need more knowledge about. Thanks for a great post.

george e. smith
Reply to  D.I.
November 16, 2014 12:51 pm

So Robert,
Don’t you have anything better to do, than jot a few notes to an inquisitive inquirer. Surely you have some exam papers to mark, or some students paying for your time !
Anyway, I always like pictures of Antarctica, sans sea ice. They make it clear that much of the Antarctic peninsula is NOT in The Antarctic, but sticks up in that area where the sun never does not rise, and where the South Atlantic and South Pacific oceans slosh back and forth twice a day, lifting the edges of floating ice sheets, which eventually will crack them.
Well I should read what it is that you are saying !

george e. smith
Reply to  D.I.
November 16, 2014 12:53 pm

PS I think we should make the year exactly pi times 10^7 seconds.

Reply to  D.I.
November 16, 2014 1:12 pm

PS I think we should make the year exactly pi times 10^7 seconds.

Finally, a rational idea on this website.

Ernest Bush
Reply to  D.I.
November 16, 2014 8:22 pm

It’s the old problem that the supposed rise or fall of sea level to so few millimeters is inside the noise bands of the measuring instruments, especially satellite instruments. It is right up there with calculating temperatures to hundredths of a degree when it is doubtful the instrumentation is accurate to a tenth of a degree. Things only get worse when you start calculating averages from local data. Did the sea rise or the land sink. I’ve seen supposed experts try to use old and new pictures to illustrate sea level rise. The only problem is if you ask if they were taken with the moon in exactly the same place you often get a blank look.
If the figures I read were accurate, the Aleutian land bridge was 200 feet above sea level when the ancestors of American Indians walked across it. The fact that in centuries to come sea level rise could cause problems with coastal cities is meaningless. It will be so gradual that people will have decades to centuries to get out of harms way. Currently, there isn’t enough land ice to raise sea level another 200 feet. This presumes that the global temperature will begin to rise once again in the next few decades, anyway. Anybody who attempts to push their warming or cooling view on the rest of us at this time is using pure speculation. There are simply too many variable that we don’t currently understand.

george e. smith
Reply to  D.I.
November 17, 2014 2:22 pm

November 16, 2014 at 1:12 pm

PS I think we should make the year exactly pi times 10^7 seconds.
Finally, a rational idea on this website……””””
So how come you’re so damn smart ?
Took me a bit of cogitating to catch on.
I often have periods of irrational thinking; so there !!

Catherine Ronconi
Reply to  D.I.
November 17, 2014 5:44 pm

November 16, 2014 at 7:56 am
There is also movement up or down in response to a mile of ice having been lifted off the land over the past 20,000 years or so, ie what used to be called rebound. Perhaps this up or downlift is negligible, as imperceptible on the scale of centuries, but I do note many places around the world where in historic times its evidence is obvious.
The fact that ancient and medieval cities and structures that once were on the coast but now are inland is usually attributed to “silt”, when in fact, while that may have affected some ports, the main culprit is presently lower sea level, at least locally, than in the Medieval and Roman Warm Periods.
As just one example, I recently visited Harlech Castle, Wales, famed in song and story. It owed its fame to having been supplied by sea during its medieval sieges, but now the ocean is quite distant. This is all the more remarkable, since southern Britain is moving down as the north of the island rebounds from being freed of ice.
The beloved song was written about the siege during the Wars of the Roses, not that of Prince Hal, later Henry V of Shakespearean Band of Brothers renown, against Welsh rebel Owen Glendower.
Two of the planet’s great choral peoples:

New English lyrics for “Men of Harlech” were written for the movie. It’s sung in Welsh in John Ford’s “How Green Was My Valley”.

Reply to  D.I.
November 18, 2014 6:55 am

It rather looks as if the west Antarctic coast is being shaved by Occam’s razor.

Chuck L
Reply to  Siberian Husky
November 16, 2014 5:54 am

So do the rest of us. Trenbarth and others’ often exaggerated claims of catastrophic climate change, half-truths, and untruths are used by EPA and other government agencies to push rules and regulations that not only negatively affect the American People’s careers and lives, but keep citizens in poor countries in abject poverty and rob them of the opportunities to better their lots.

Reply to  Siberian Husky
November 16, 2014 7:24 am

Yes his life is busy… trying to convince the world they must reduce their level of life to draconian measures to fix a non problem. Enough to keep most people busy.

Reply to  Siberian Husky
November 16, 2014 7:44 am

As you brought up Monty Python, it seems to me they had problems with the weather in 1975:

Pamela Gray
Reply to  Siberian Husky
November 16, 2014 7:56 am

Good heavens. This is a science blog. You use “maybe” and “around the” phrasing to refute a well-referenced post. If you come to play, wear your big boy pants.

Pamela Gray
Reply to  Pamela Gray
November 16, 2014 7:58 am

Meant to be under Husky’s original comment. I hate nesting.

Reply to  Pamela Gray
November 16, 2014 8:11 am

I know what you mean but it seems to me that Siberian Husky deserves more consideration.
He is playing on the away turf. It isn’t easy, especially when he is still learning how the game is played here.
And his alternative view to the majority here has helped bring out all sorts of useful comments – Jimbo’s references and graphs, for example.
Let’s be nice to anyone who breaks an echo chamber.

Reply to  Siberian Husky
November 16, 2014 8:34 am

Jumbo, Otter,
Every time you ask that question Peter takes a hike, as I’m sure you noticed.

Wayne Delbeke
Reply to  Siberian Husky
November 16, 2014 9:22 am

Put it in perspective Siberian Husky. In 100 years you will be dead and sea level will have risen 200 to 300 mm. Does 8 inches to 12 inches bother you. Put it this way. I used to work on the Pacific coast of Canada and built projects on and next to the ocean. The daily tides varied up to 4.9 metres (16 feet). We used a minimum of 1 metre freeboard above the highest recorded tide for parking lots and dykes plus some other considerations. Now that was 40 years ago and I don’t believe any of those projects will be in danger in another 100 years. And who knows what direction sea level will be going at that point. So stop nit picking and get a life.

Reply to  Siberian Husky
November 16, 2014 9:43 am

On another thread about warm being better than cold I asked Peter where he had been on his last 4 vacations. He failed to answer the last time I looked. My point is that behind almost every concerned Warmist is a hypocrite. Go to a hot country after arguing with us about hot or cold being better OR FLY!

Reply to  Siberian Husky
November 16, 2014 10:04 am

I see what you are meaning but it still seems to be playing the man not the ball.
Honing the arguments about SLR requires a foil.
Driving him off because of personal details doesn’t help the debate.
As I am often in the minority here as a left-winger I have sympathy for people under the mass-attack. Don’t agree with Peter on much but I respect his willingness to engage.

Reply to  Siberian Husky
November 16, 2014 12:29 pm

Lighten up. Peter provides a lot of fun. He tucks his tail and runs whenever someone says “vacation”. It’s amusing, so be amused.

Reply to  Siberian Husky
November 16, 2014 12:33 pm

mpainter, it’s all fun and games until someone goes crazy and emigrates to the Islamic State.
OK, I may lack a sense of humour on this thrad but I do know how it feels to be in the minority here. It isn’t fun.
And bothering with personal stuff when you’re only here for the substance of the debate?
Why would he?

Reply to  Siberian Husky
November 16, 2014 1:08 pm

tut tut
Let others have their fun. Your angst does not play well here.
Do not be a party pooper, nor a wet blanket, nor a sermonizer, nor a skunk at the picnic, please. Do not condemn others for their fun and games lest you be seen as one of those.

Reply to  Siberian Husky
November 16, 2014 5:31 pm

SB-” Still sea levels continue to rise. Stop nit-picking and get a life.” Sorry to nit-pick, but you’re only half-way there. You’d have a point if they never rose in the past, but they did, so you don’t. Now you have to prove that the sea level rise is due to humans production of additional CO2, which you haven’t. Good luck.

Reply to  Siberian Husky
November 16, 2014 5:51 pm

So, let me get this straight. Your argument, in response to the above, is that “Dr. Trenberth is busy” and you want Willis Eschenbach to “stop nit-picking and get a life”?
Wow. First let me say that you must not have read very much of Mr. Eschenbach’s essaying or you would not think yourself such an authority on how another man should live his life. Even with my infrequent visitation to this site I’m pretty confident in saying that there are probably very few people who have used their lives in more varied and interestingly, knowledge-productive pursuits that Mr. Eschenbach. Whatever he writes about has the distinctive quality of the voyager who knows how to appreciate whatever he finds, coupled with a fierce dedication to at least strive after honesty.
As for Dr. Trenberth being a busy man, I am certain that whenever he gets an email such as the one sent to him here, he becomes *a lot more* busy than he was before getting it, so busy in fact that in his reply he cannot bring himself to tell the truth about the data. This strikes me as scientific malfeasance of a rather high order.

Reply to  Siberian Husky
November 16, 2014 7:18 pm

Man I love these threads. You can just hear the cognitive dissonance ringing as the WUWT community gets schooled and the crazies come out of the woodwork.

lawrence Cornell
Reply to  Siberian_Husky
November 16, 2014 8:26 pm

I think you may be projecting, perhaps a little alarm clock for your med schedule would be helpful…

Ernest Bush
Reply to  Siberian_Husky
November 16, 2014 8:29 pm

You will not impress anybody here with your knowledge of psychology by dropping idiot phrases like “cognitive dissonance”.
The very idea that the WUWT community got schooled by the likes of you is sadly laughable.

Reply to  Siberian_Husky
November 17, 2014 1:33 am

“Crazies??’. ‘Cognitive dissonance’??. Grow up. This isn’t tiddlywinks. You and yours brought this apparent emergency to the table. Defend it’s veracity rationally without personal insults or sod off.

A. Scott
Reply to  Siberian_Husky
November 17, 2014 2:03 am

Ahh, the term “cognitive dissonance” and a claim that he is “schooling” us despite the fact he has not presented a shred of evidence to support his claims …. tells us pretty much who and what we are dealing with.
The laughable result of a Lewney Tunes response ….
Support your claims and positions or kindly stop wasting our time.
Lets look at some REAL measured tidal gauge data – the Battery park tidal gauge – which has been in continuous operation since the 1800’s. It is also located in New York, a favorite of the climate cabal t use with their scare mongering images.
Lets see what the actual measured data – the facts – say:
NOAA’s historical page:
“The mean sea level trend is 2.83 millimeters/year with a 95% confidence
interval of +/- 0.09 mm/yr based on monthly mean sea level data from
1856 to 2013 which is equivalent to a change of 0.93 feet in 100 years.”
NO sign whatsoever of acceleration – just a steady rise … of a whopping .93 feet, just 11.16 inches over the last 100 years … or 9.4 inches over the last 85 years.
Yet despite a NOAA 95% confidence level of an average increase of just 2.83mm annually over the last 100 years, and NO sign of ANY acceleration … the climate cabal would like us to believe we will see 1 to 3 METERS … 3 to 9 FEET … of sea level increase over the next 85 years … by 2100
Where is the data to support your claims Husky?

Chuck L
Reply to  Siberian_Husky
November 17, 2014 5:43 am

Right, you are Wile E Coyote, Genius, because you use scientific language like “cognitive dissonance” while presenting no facts nor data to support your claims. You should take your act to echo chambers SkSci, Desmog, or Real Climate where you can chortle and snark with like-minded alarmists.

Reply to  Siberian Husky
November 17, 2014 5:05 am

What is impressive is that you support Trenberth who was caught being blatantly deceiving.
Stop trolling and basking in your perceived glory of ignorance and dishonesty.

Doubting Rich
Reply to  Siberian Husky
November 17, 2014 8:40 am

Did you actually read the article? It does address precisely that point, so I would assume not.

jolly farmer
November 15, 2014 10:52 pm

My dog doesn’t eat sheep droppings, but he loves rabbit droppings.
I don’t think he thinks they make him smarter. He just likes the taste.

Mike McMillan
Reply to  jolly farmer
November 16, 2014 2:18 am

Thank you for sharing.

Reply to  Mike McMillan
November 16, 2014 2:29 am

What’s not to like? I enjoyed the laugh.

Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy
November 15, 2014 11:21 pm

As per IPCC the global warming started in 1950/51. If we look at Figures 1 & 2 of Jevrejeva and Church & White, they show that there is no trend in rate of global sea level change but there is a cyclic pattern. After 2000 this cyclic pattern show a dip. Continuation of this dip beyond 2000 is seen from satellite data given in Figure 3. As far as the data prior to 1950, there is a need to explain why such steep change??? Is it a data problem???
Dr.S. Jeevananda Reddy

Reply to  Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy
November 17, 2014 12:51 pm

This pretty much what Nils-Axel Morner said. He also pointed out that tide gauge data was being “adjusted” to match satellite data, leading to his notorious “sideways” presentation of a graph of the “adjusted” data to show what the tidal gauge data looked like without adjustment.

November 15, 2014 11:39 pm

There is of course a communication problem. It’s difficult to make a point when the evidence doesn’t support it.

Reply to  Gilbert
November 16, 2014 2:50 am

Well said, Gilbert!

November 15, 2014 11:47 pm

Reblogged this on pdx transport.
Trenberth redux.

Christopher Hanley
November 16, 2014 12:26 am

“The rates have not been steady and picked up markedly in the mid 20th century and even more since 1990 or so. CO2 has been increasing since 1750 although mainly since 1850 …”.
The writer was clearly referring to human CO2 emissions from fossil fuel burning which was relatively insignificant before WW2 — Trenberth simply ignores that important point.

Reply to  Christopher Hanley
November 17, 2014 5:06 am

“Trenberth simply ignores that important point.”
Yes, exactly I call that being decpetive and dishonest.

Martin A
November 16, 2014 12:34 am

“I’d like to bring myself up to speed on global warming, which I read is one of the great catastrophes of our time.”
That was exactly my position some years ago. I assumed it was all firmly established physical science with no room for doubt.
Very slowly it dawned on me – this is just a theory! (or a hypothesis, as stickler for the correct use of words would say). The key thing for me was the apparent impossibility of finding even one popular article that explained in it comprehensively in a way that anybody with a knowledge of physical science could make sense. No shortage of “carbon dioxide traps heat” style baloney which, for me, made it more and more apparent that something that was very far from a certainty was being dressed up and presented as such.
Then Climategate burst on us. I spent days, fascinated, reading through the emails (including Trenberth’s).
I still feel annoyed with myself that it took so long for the penny to drop and to realize that I (like everybody else) had been taken for a ride by Mann, Jones, Trenberth, and all the others.

Reply to  Martin A
November 16, 2014 4:07 am

What Martin A has just pointed out is very important. I was a Warmist too but became angrily sceptical before Climategate. I too felt these people had mislead me on the seriousness of the ‘problem’ and exaggerated as they pleased. “children won’t know what snow is” (Viner) – “not later than 2015 there won’t be any ice in the Arctic in the summer” (P. Wadhams) etc. Most objective members of the public who go study both sides of the ‘debate’ usually see the light. There are those who don’t bother but see cold and snow in England and wonder about the warmer winters they were promised. Only to find out that the climate scientists actually meant colder and warmer winters. This makes them sceptical I’m afraid.

Reply to  Jimbo
November 16, 2014 5:14 am

What I find interesting is that you find very few engineers or applied scientists, folks who work with and in the practical, applied side of the physical sciences, who stick with the Warmist cause after even scratching the surface of the charade. Only in the government and “education” sectors do the ranks of the Climateers contain engineering types… ’cause their paychecks depend on believing, and they have to work in government jobs as that level of scientific ignorance or malpractice would get you fired in the private sector.
Truth is the enemy of the CAGW meme.

Reply to  Jimbo
November 16, 2014 8:49 am

nielszoo: Not exactly on topic but your comment reminded me of NASA’s report on actual vs. modeled performance of the Space Shuttle during its first orbital flight. The differences were many and not insignificant. A major one can be found on Page 5 here: http://www.nasa.gov/centers/dryden/pdf/88290main_H-1894.pdf

Wayne Delbeke
Reply to  Jimbo
November 16, 2014 10:29 am

I must be a outlier. I had trouble with CAGW from the beginning. Even though I am not from Missouri, I wanted to be shown. I was interested in sciences from biology to microbiology to physics and chemistry from about grade 6 (1950’s) when I also became intrigued by the voyages of the Vikings and claims they sailed to Greenland and possibly Newfoundland; and later I became intriqued that genetics might suggest multiple origins of humans in North America, possibly from Pacific Islanders crossing the Pacific. I took sciences in high school and graduated from the first Class at the University of British Columbia that provided a Civil Engineering Degree in the “Water and Pollution” specialty. We studied weather and water as pollution vectors; and geologic history, water resources, and a broad spectrum of other subjects too long to list including “Philosophy of Science” resulting a fairly broad based view of the world with a technical but practical bent.
When I first heard of “Global Warming” I said to myself: “So what. It’s happened before.” and told my kids not to sweat it even though their left wing teachers were already preaching alarmism to them. My training told me there was nothing to worry about. The change is slow, we can manage it. Then it became Alarmism with Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth”; a useful tool for scaring the uniformed. That too went against all my training, experience and reading but when your children have been bent by teachers shoving the idea that industrialization has destroyed their world, it is an uphill battle. But after several years, I think I am one for two in convincing them that AGW is not an issue. And the grandchildren are not concerned at all as they are too busy with hockey, dance, homework, and weekends in the wilderness or on the ocean to be concerned about something that may happen 100 years from now. They are environmentally aware. I have taken them into the wilderness to teach them survival skills. They recycle, they are concerned about overfishing and pollution. But I don’t think they worry about “global warming”. The are concerned with the realities of everyday life. The biggest lesson they have learned in life is to THINK; ask questions and never stop asking “WHY” even though that can drive you crazy. But asking “Why” still serves me well; and when they ask me “Why”, it often gives me pause. WHY indeed?
I accept the world warms and cools, and I believe humans will eventually figure out the mechanisms if mankind survives long enough. “In year 2525, if man is still alive…” (Eager and Evans) But I am an eternal optimist.
“It’ll be alright in the end, and it it’s not alright, it’s not the end.”

Reply to  Jimbo
November 16, 2014 6:00 pm

Count me in this camp too. During my 30s I assumed by political/cultural affiliation that warming was real and it was caused by C02. I first learned this as a possibility in College in 1981, although it was only presented then, reasonably enough, as a theory. By 1995 I was sure we were in trouble. And it was very warm then, compared to now, or so it seems to me, in the places I’ve lived over that time. But at a certain point I decided to look more closely at the climate theory and modelling and I became aware of how hollow much of the alleged “science” is, since the entire discipline of climate science appears to be strongly influenced by what Wikipedia calls “Noble Cause Corruption.” That pretty much explains to the evidence, at least to me.
My pursuit of this inquiry has caused conflict among my friends, some of whom feel that I am betraying my environmentalist roots. On the contrary, to me the credible science is that we could, if we decided we wanted to, stop worrying about mitigation of that as a serious threat. There are plenty of other, realer issues that we face as a planet.

Reply to  Jimbo
November 17, 2014 1:13 pm

I am embarrassed to say that no one mislead me except myself. Despite what I knew about the field side of historical geology, I quite lazily considered the lab properties of CO2 to be reasonable support for AGW. It took a question by my son about why water went cloudy when heated (hot water essentially forces dissolved gases out) to trigger a cross-eyed revery that culminated in a re-examination of the Vostok Ice Core data. Once you start to critically examine the AGW hypothesis, it falls apart like wet paper. In fact, it becomes quite difficult to accept the completeness of current ideas about how the climate operates, or that “climate” can be rationally discussed in time scales of less than a century minimum. I’ve no use for politics or politicians of any stripe so I’ve never had any use for the left-versus-right element in the AGW debate.

Reply to  Martin A
November 16, 2014 7:33 am

It’s not even a hypothesis. It’s conjecture that’s been found useful by some people and morphed into propaganda. If it were a hypothesis, it would have been rejected long ago.

Michael Wassil
Reply to  Martin A
November 16, 2014 2:59 pm

The CAWG crowd lost me when they tried to disappear the MWP and LIA (ie the original 1998/9 Mann hokey schtick). I know too much history to get fooled by that malarkey. Since my background is geology, their claims of ‘unprecedented’ temperatures and atmospheric CO2 concentrations during the late 20th century only further confirmed the malarkey. Every first year geology student spends at least one lecture period on the chart of the Geologic Time Scale showing temperatures and CO2 over geologic time. The only nearly ‘unprecedented’ thing about the Holocene are the low temps and CO2! The Climategate emails sealed the indictment for me. I find it a relief that this scam is finally running on empty and is going down, down…

November 16, 2014 12:35 am

Willis, from the Jevrejeva et al paper it says:
“global sea level trend estimate of 2.4 ± 1.0 mm/yr for the period from 1993 to 2000”
The latest sea level trend estimate is 3.2 ± 0.4 mm/yr for the period from 1993 to 2014.
That would make your claim that sea level rise hasn’t accelerated, it has slowed down, as being not correct.
Your thoughts?

Reply to  Martin
November 16, 2014 12:47 am

Don’t forget that the U of Colo. has put its thumb on the scale by high-handedly redefining sea level as oceanic volume.

Reply to  rogerknights
November 16, 2014 1:17 am

And by fabricating an expansion of volume by a fabricated subsidence.

Reply to  rogerknights
November 16, 2014 3:38 am

Thing is Willis uses the the U of Colo data in this post to help make his point.
So if as you claim, with zero evidence, that the the U of Colo has put its thumb on the scale then Willis must not use the U of Colo data hey!

Reply to  rogerknights
November 16, 2014 9:31 am

“So if as you claim, with zero evidence, that the the U of Colo has put its thumb on the scale . . . .”

Addressing Questions Regarding the Recent GIA Correction
Edited: 2011-07-18
[Update, 2011/06/20: Media Matters has published a story on the attention our GIA correction has received.]
What is glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA), and why do you correct for it?
The correction for glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA) accounts for the fact that the ocean basins are getting slightly larger since the end of the last glacial cycle. GIA is not caused by current glacier melt, but by the rebound of the Earth from the several kilometer thick ice sheets that covered much of North America and Europe around 20,000 years ago. Mantle material is still moving from under the oceans into previously glaciated regions on land. The effect is that currently some land surfaces are rising and some ocean bottoms are falling relative to the center of the Earth (the center of the reference frame of the satellite altimeter). Averaged over the global ocean surface, the mean rate of sea level change due to GIA is independently estimated from models at -0.3 mm/yr (Peltier, 2001, 2002, 2009; Peltier & Luthcke, 2009). The magnitude of this correction is small (smaller than the ±0.4 mm/yr uncertainty of the estimated GMSL rate), but the GIA uncertainty is at least 50 percent.


Monckton of Brenchley says:
July 23, 2012 at 4:49 pm
Fourthly, when it became apparent to the Colorado team that, as a result of the stasis in “global warming”, their post-1993 rate of sea level rise was about to fall below the psychological threshold of 3 mm/year (or 30 cm/century), it was decided to add a so-called “global isostatic adjustment” to the sea-level rise as a way of demonstrating that, were it not for “global warming”, the natural recovery of land altitudes by isostatic rebound following the melting of the great glaciers that once covered much of the northern hemisphere would show a fall in sea level.

13 months ago there was a controversy about this readjustment. Here is a link to an article about it:
A quote from the article said:

“’We have to account for the fact that the ocean basins are actually getting slightly bigger… water volume is expanding,’ he [Steve Nerem, the director] said, a phenomenon they call glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA).”

To which I responded:

Let’s say the ocean basins were shrinking. Would he have reduced the rate of sea level rise to compensate? To ask the question is to know the answer.


Steve Case says:
July 3, 2013 at 7:23 am
If you got to the Internet Archive’s WayBack Machine:
and plug in the URL for Colorado Universty’s Sea Level Research Group
You will find records that go back to 2004
The earliest functional “mean sea level time series” link is from
March 27th of that year, and if you follow that link through to “Inverted Barometer Applied” and “Seasonal Signals Removed” and click on text
you will find the data as it existed for 1992.928 thru 2003.842 It’s then rather simple to download the series into Excel and find the slope. It comes out to be 2.6 mm/yr
If you then go to Colorado University’s Sea Level Research Unit today and dowload the “Raw data (ASCII)”
You will find that the same series for 1992.96 through 2003.846 comes out to be 3.5 mm/yr
Somehow over the last ten years the data has been changed. What had been 2.6 mm/yr in 2003 is now 3.5 mm/yr. An increase of 0.9 mm/yr.
If you ask Colorado University about these changes they say:

“The sea level time series release from 2004 is over eight years old, and in that time many parts of the TOPEX and Jason-1 processing have been updated to reflect instrument and ancillary data improvements. Without recreating each processing change over the last eight years, We cannot point to any specific update that is the main cause of the differences between the 2004 and the current release. But a partial list of the more influential updates include:
– updated orbits
– updated radiometer corrections
– updated tide models
– updated sea state bias models
– updated dynamic atmosphere
“A review of the release notes shows how we continually apply what the altimeter science community considers to be the most up-to-date set of processing parameters.”

Without further comment the above stands as its own testimony.

Reply to  rogerknights
November 16, 2014 11:28 am

“Let’s say the ocean basins were shrinking. Would he have reduced the rate of sea level rise to compensate? To ask the question is to know the answer.”
The best part of this dodge is that AGW enthusiasts will promptly take that measure and use it to claim “sea levels are rising and will threaten coastal areas” even though the basin increase obviously mitigates that threat.
The whole debate is so much like a game of three card monte now. Watch that red card!

Reply to  Martin
November 16, 2014 1:06 am

1.4-3.4 is not necessarily lower than 2.8-3.6.
It’s a big leap of faith to start making policy on numbers that could be an increase of 2.2 mm/yr or a decrease of 0.6 mm/yr. Hardly a strong argument to hang your whole career on. Really, is that the best they’ve got?
And the discussion about splicing datasets does raise questions about the integrity of all the data.
False in one thing cannot be assumed to be true in all else.

Reply to  MCourtney
November 16, 2014 6:30 am

Exactly. They are the same within error. The scary predictions that (if they came true) we should worry about are if it goes up to 10 mm/yr. 10 mm/yr is 1 cm/yr, so 100 cm/century. Since 25.4 cm is ten inches, 100 cm would be about 40 inches or 3.3 feet by 2115, if it started rising by 10 mm/yr today and stayed that way for 100 years. 3.3 mm/year is 1/3 of that or about a foot by 2115 which is only a few inches more than if it stayed at 2.4 mm/yr. Essentially, these are all alarmist nonsense, until we see a real increase in sea level for a sustained period (say 20 years) that is over 4 mm/yr. Or that increases to 4 mm/yr then to 6 mm/yr. Until then, it is nonsense. Even 3 feet in a century is not catastrophic if it is steady and we know it is coming.

Reply to  MCourtney
November 16, 2014 11:46 am

Thing is that the U of Colo calibrates it’s measurements against a network of tide gauges.
“Since 1993, measurements from the TOPEX and Jason series of satellite radar altimeters have allowed estimates of global mean sea level. These measurements are continuously calibrated against a network of tide gauges.”
So, the tide gauges are also corrupted data? Where does it end? Willis cannot use any data from any science institution to make his claims cos it’s all bogus!

Reply to  MCourtney
November 16, 2014 12:06 pm

Martin, you need to reread the splicing data account in the article.
The measurements are not being questioned. I discussed the errors that they quoted and did not question those bounds either.
But splicing different forms of data and then smoothing the join?
That’s false.

Reply to  MCourtney
November 16, 2014 3:17 pm

Yes the fabrication goes to the tidal gauges. The U of Colorado calibrates against tide gauges in subsiding locales. Willis Eschenbach has been suckered, and not for the first time.

Reply to  MCourtney
November 16, 2014 4:44 pm

Suckered is the word and your memory does not serve you too well, does it?
My memory serves me very well indeed and I recall the discussion the two of us had on a past thread some months ago on sea and sea level gauges. The particular thread you can go find yourself if you wish. I will spare you the discomfort of citing your most egregious error in that exchange.
Willis, you insulted me in that thread and you insult me here. I advise to
1. Be more critical of data sets, especially those concerning sea level rise,
2. Mend your manners.

Reply to  Martin
November 16, 2014 1:47 am

Go read the article again. You missed the story about the splice and the shenanigans.

Reply to  Martin
November 16, 2014 2:02 am

The straightness of the UColorado trend is remarkable — frankly it looks too perfect even they removed seasonal frequencies. If we believe those results, there is just very minimal nonseasonal natural variation. This is possible, but then again Trenberth’s “picked up in 1990’s” contradicts with the presented linear progress.
BTW. Sea level is of no interest at seas. It is only interesting at coasts, which may exhibit larger or smaller average rise than midseas. On the other hand, pumping ground water may sink the ground level like in Jakarta. This is as bad and in Jakarta’s case, much worse than tiny sea level rise.

Mike McMillan
Reply to  Martin
November 16, 2014 2:31 am

I began following CU’s sea level page early in this millennium, when they had the rate at 3.2 mm/yr, with your choice of seasonal adjustment on/off, barometer adjustment on/off, sort of like Coke’s caffeine and sugar choices. After a few years it drifted down to 3.1, then further down to 2.9. Not long after that the web site went offline.
When it returned, the rate was back to 3.2 mm/yr with baro included, no choice. The strange GIA that enabled the higher rate was mentioned in the text on their first page, but has since migrated back to the FAQ’s.

Richard M
Reply to  Martin
November 16, 2014 3:31 am

I don’t think so.
Jevrejeva et al. (2014)
“the new reconstruction suggests a linear trend of 1.9 ± 0.3 mm/yr [7.5 inches per century] during the 20th century” and “1.8 ± 0.5 mm/yr [7 inches per century] for the period 1970-2008.”

Steve Case
Reply to  Martin
November 16, 2014 4:21 am

Martin November 16, 2014 at 12:35 am wrote:
Willis, from the Jevrejeva et al paper it says:
“global sea level trend estimate of 2.4 ± 1.0 mm/yr for the period from 1993 to 2000″
The latest sea level trend estimate is 3.2 ± 0.4 mm/yr for the period from 1993 to 2014.
That would make your claim that sea level rise hasn’t accelerated, it has slowed down, as being not correct.
Your thoughts?

Well it’s true, the Jevrejeva paper:
Nonlinear trends and multiyear cycles in sea level records
Our global sea level trend estimate of 2.4 ± 1.0 mm/yr for the period from 1993 to 2000 is comparable with the 2.6 ± 0.7 mm/yr
sea level rise calculated from TOPEX/Poseidon altimeter measurements.

And it’s also true that CU’s Sea Level Research Group tells us 3.2 ± 0.4 mm/yr for the period from 1993 to 2014.
What doesn’t add up is what the today’s data from CU’s Research Group says about the rate from 1993 to 2000 because now it says the rate back then was 3.1 mm/yr. If you comb through their data you will find that by the end of 2005 that data yields rates as high as 3.6 mm/yr. A bit more than it is today. But wait, was it really 3.6 mm/yr back then? Here’s their 2005 Release 5 graphic
It was only 2.9 mm/yr by the end of the 2005, but now the data says it was 3.6 mm/yr back then. Anyone with some curiosity and modest Excel skills can verify what I’ve said.
To put it in words that everyone can understand, Colorado University has re-written the historical data.

November 16, 2014 12:39 am

Thanks Willis.
It confirms my suspects. Figures from fixed stations have a hard time follow the satellites.

November 16, 2014 12:55 am

It is pretty sad that all this nonsense to do with climate change, global warming, sea level rise, blah blah blah, is political propaganda, and the science is actually irrelevant.
To the supporters of the IPCC mantra, it is all about propaganda and not science. To them, the science was settled back in 2007, with the IPCC’s 4th Assessment Report… the gold standard in climate science… the settled science… incontrovertible… based on 100% peer reviewed literature. Yeah.. what a lie that was. The latest 5th Assessment Report is irrelevant as the synthesis report does not even accurately reflect the detailed report. And besides, what use is it when the science was settled in 2007!!!!!
Peter Sullivan wrote all about it last year in his book:
The problem now for climate realists (a.k.a. climate sceptics) is the task to combat the high profile support for the IPCC mantra by people like Obama at Australia’s G20 meeting. No point going on about the science and data. The eco-bullies like Obama simply ignore it. The science has become irrelevant. The campaign must be about a public dismantling of the political propaganda by the political-environmental elite … exposing their lies.

Stephen Richards
Reply to  Mervyn
November 16, 2014 1:20 am

Only the public can do that and I hold no hope that they have the capacity so to do.

JJM Gommers
November 16, 2014 1:11 am

Willis, a simple question, the rise is slowing but how to combine that with the claim that the heat is in the ocean at the same time?

Reply to  JJM Gommers
November 16, 2014 2:07 am

Well, the simple answer is “propaganda.” “Pro” as in “for” and “pagan” as in the “hicks from hicksville,” the people (us) who are treated like mushrooms. It’s just an ad hoc story with lots of loose ends that won’t match up like all the rest of the ad hoc reasons given for every prediction that hasn’t come to pass yet. Only thrown into the fray to get us to keep busy amongst ourselves. Better course of action would be to ask an alarmist and make them explain.

Reply to  Rienk
November 16, 2014 12:54 pm

Don’t forget the “Duh” part…

Craig Little
November 16, 2014 1:39 am

My 12 year-old son asked me today if I believe the world is warming. I told him I didn’t think so and that I’m quite angry at climate scientists who have tried to fiddle with data records to make it seem that global warming is a reality. I also briefly told him about the leaked emails between high profile promoters of global warming that showed what they were up to. His response,”When people find out those scientists weren’t telling the truth, they won’t just stop believing climate scientists. They won’t believe any scientist.” Feeling pretty disgusted at the way a once-noble and respected profession has been dragged through the mud by those pushing their own agenda.

Reply to  Craig Little
November 16, 2014 6:43 am

Out of the mouths of babes — !

William Astley
November 16, 2014 2:00 am

The problem is not a failure to communicate by the warmest scientists, the problem is the data and science does not support their agenda.

After some prolonged deliberation, I have decided to withdraw from participating in the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). I am withdrawing because I have come to view the part of the IPCC to which my expertise is relevant as having become politicized. In addition, when I have raised my concerns to the IPCC leadership, their response was simply to dismiss my concerns….
…..Shortly after Dr. Trenberth requested that I draft the Atlantic hurricane section for the AR4’s Observations chapter, Dr. Trenberth participated in a press conference organized by scientists at Harvard on the topic “Experts to warn global warming likely to continue spurring more outbreaks of intense hurricane activity” along with other media interviews on the topic. The result of this media interaction was widespread coverage that directly connected the very busy 2004 Atlantic hurricane season as being caused by anthropogenic greenhouse gas warming occurring today. Listening to and
reading transcripts of this press conference and media interviews, it is apparent that Dr. Trenberth was being accurately quoted and summarized in such statements and was not being misrepresented in the media. These media sessions have potential to result in a widespread perception that global warming has made recent hurricane activity much more severe.
Moreover, the evidence is quite strong and supported by the most recent credible studies that any impact in the future from global warming upon hurricane will likely be quite small. The latest results from the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (Knutson and Tuleya, Journal of
Climate, 2004) suggest that by around 2080, hurricanes may have winds and rainfall about 5% more intense than today. It has been proposed that even this tiny change may be an exaggeration as to what may happen by the end of the 21st Century (Michaels, Knappenberger, and Landsea, Journal of Climate, 2005, submitted).


Its been almost nine years since the last major hurricane struck the US Mainland. That’s 3,230 days. ….
Dr. Roger Pielke, Jr. is a professor of Environmental Studies at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He writes: “Since 1900 US hurricane seasons have seen more than 20% less landfalls and are more than 20% less intense.”
… And the strength of storms has declined as well….
NOAA uses the Accumulated Cyclone Energy Index (ACE). It’s based on summing up the wind velocities of each tropical system every 6 hours. As Research Atmospheric Scientist, Dr. Ryan Maue states: “Since 2006, Northern Hemisphere and global tropical cyclone ACE has decreased dramatically to the lowest levels since the late 1970s.” See below.

November 16, 2014 2:12 am

‘Dozens of theories have been advanced to try to explain why Americans are totally unconvinced by climate scientists, why we consistently rank climate as the least of our problems.’
Here’s one theory which *isn’t* about a failure to communicate: the reason for widespread climate change inaction and skepticism, so called ‘denial’, is an ‘innate’ skepticism possessed by humans and known to psychologists. It is triggered by narrative features of the concept being sold, and hence the trigger requires no domain knowledge at all. Narratives that are too coherent, too certain, too forceful, too emotive and too arrogant, will cause the public to suspect deep down (subconsciously in most cases), that the subject being pushed at them is deeply flawed. This is the case for the CAGW narrative. The ‘innate skepticism’ is most likely a long-evolved defensive reaction to narrative takeovers, which afflict us very regularly indeed. In NON climate domains, Lewandowsky calls this characteristic a ‘stable personality trait’, a ‘key to accuracy’, which lessens the chance of folks being manipulated by misinformation. Yet within the climate domain, his own wordlviews cannot admit to this effect explaining widespreqad skepticism; he um… denies his own papers that describe this effect. So to lessen internal cognitive dissonance he has to (attempt to) place (the main) skeptics beyond the pale – way outside the bounds of ‘normal’ skepticism if you will. One of several flaws in this approach is that one can’t similarily place the bulk of the unconvinced public ‘beyond the pale’. See the recently posted Psychology of Climate Psychologiaztion parts 1, 2, 3 here at WUWT. Part 1 below (long!):

Reply to  andywest2012
November 16, 2014 4:23 am


Steve Keohane
Reply to  andywest2012
November 16, 2014 8:30 am


November 16, 2014 2:18 am

There’s no communication problem there, no murkiness, no poor framing. The problem is that Trenberth is spouting the same old alarmist nonsense about “accelerating sea level rise”, a claim that is demonstrably untrue. Sea level rise hasn’t accelerated. To the contrary, it has slowed down.
But what I do know is that after decades of being spoon-fed bovine waste products by climate scientists, who the whole while have been confidently assuring us that it’s ice cream … the American public has wised up.

No sh*t, Sherlock. This is the truth.

November 16, 2014 2:37 am

Excellent overview of the data Willis.
Apparently sea level is not rising as Trenberth thinks it should. Perhaps the sensor network is inadequate. It’s another travesty.

So they just hoisted up the tidal data by that amount, so it would kinda sorta match to the satellite data … and then smoothed the splice with a centered filter. Bad scientists … no cookies.

I’ve always been suspicious fo Chrch and White because they have such an alarmist position and clearly lack scientific objectivity. However, I was unaware they were doing this sort bullshit.
This is almost a perfect copy of “Mike’s Nature trick”. In fact it’s worse, it’s Phil Jones WMO version where you blend two totally different data sources, use a filter blur the discontinutiy and display it with the same line thus hiding the fact that two different things are being presented.
This is scientific fraawd. Nothing less.

Reply to  Greg
November 16, 2014 6:42 am

The other graph where they clearly show the error bars and the error bars are different for older data and for data from different sources is the way I do it in my own research. Splicing data from different sources with different error bars and then not showing the error bars and only mentioning it in the figure caption in an oblique way and making people hunt for it in the methods is not good scientific practice.

Dunham Cobb
November 16, 2014 2:54 am

I am sure this has already been noted above, but I am struck that the same “stupid voters” that bought into the Affordable Care Act (which one assumes is more the progressive extreme of my party since not so many conservatives democrats approved it) are the ones buying into CAGW? In each case it requires the need to blindly accept on faith what those in “authority” are dictating. To dear Al Gore: if the world has a FEVER, then pragmatism has already KICKED THE BUCKET. Goodness!

Reply to  Dunham Cobb
November 16, 2014 5:25 am

You got that all wrong.
Obama and Gruber lied about the ACA so the politicians could have what they thought was a plausible story to tell.
(Although that didn’t go well in the mid term elections)
The American people have never voted to give politicians control of CO2.
Not a single treaty has been brought to the US Senate floor for advise and consent.
Even surveys (not national votes) show the people don’t buy the CO2 control knob nonsense.
The politicians promote whatever they think will get them reelected.
The politicians voted for the ACA using Obama’s and Gruber’s lies about the ACA and rejected the unsubstantiated CO2 control knob hypothesis knowing their reelections were at stake.
Reelection choices, only.
Not fact nor science.

November 16, 2014 2:58 am

Can I have some more smart pills?

Just Steve
November 16, 2014 3:01 am

Remember….”failure to communicate” in Progressivespeak simply means us rubes won’t bow down and accept whatever pile of excrement they’re shoving down our throats as gospel, to never be questioned. See Gruber, Johnathan

Reply to  Just Steve
November 16, 2014 7:44 am

Or see Cool Hand Luke:

November 16, 2014 3:29 am

Excellent post, Willis.
This next Congress should be interesting as both houses now have the power of oversight. Perhaps we shall see a few “Lois Lerner” types from the EPA put under oath to reveal their analysis of climate science, collusion with Sierra Club, et.al. As a precurser, watch for high level EPA staff to announce retirement soon.

Reply to  Oatley
November 16, 2014 4:22 am

Let’s get the former head of the EPA’s climate negotiations and CO2 regulation in from prison to chit chat under oath for the American people.

Reply to  hunter
November 16, 2014 5:30 am

Oh yeah, Johnny Beale.
I thought he went into “witness protection”?
The EPA had to create a deep cover for his secret service work.

November 16, 2014 3:44 am

To the Siberian Husky;
First of all you should change your moniker from Siberian Husky, to just Mongrel Mutt. I love huskies, they are very intelligent, extremely noble and loyal, and above all they love people. Everything you aren’t. I know who and what you are Mongrel Mutt, what a pathetic attempt this is on your part.
It is utterly astounding how you AGW Medieval Thinkers, are so determined to take modern science and broad facts and data and twist, turn, masticate and boil them into your witches brews and spells to get what you warmers all want; money.
That is what global warming is all about, its pure and simply fraud. Now I appreciate how Eschenbach tries to keep a promper perspective and use prim language to position his case against Trenberth, but sincerely and respectively, Eschenbach and others here at WUWT, enough of polite inanities, lets call a spade a spade.
I have a pretty good idea who the Mongrel Mutt is, and believe me ladies and gentlemen, if I am right, I would lay you odds of a 100:1 that you all WOULD NOT be taking this so calmly.
Trenberth, and his loyal Mutt, are all part of the same echelon that all have one thing in mind, to protect their beloved false science and their jobs. These people are fighting for their livelihoods, they do not give a damn about their ordinary layman or laypeople, they are only interested fleecing the public so they can have the nice pay checks and of course and a nice big church where they can play the high priest game.
I have said this before and I will say this again. THIS IS NOT THE 19TH CENTURY. We are now in the 21st century and its time that academia and society in general learned to live to 21st century standards. Having been in academia myself, I know full well how it all works and know, like many of you here, where all the “bodies” are burried. Tenure was once a principle to protect, not those who spoke openly and feared of reprisals, but to protect THE TRUTH OF SCIENCE AND PRINCIPLES OF SOCIETY, to come out and be heard. That is now being poisoned by fraudsters like Trenberth and his loyal Mutt, to use what once were honorable positions and shields of light, to now protecting lies, cheaters, fraudsters and that tools of the black arts.
We have the Internet now, no longer do we need to protect positions and people from competition. No longer should we politicise our academic institutions. Yes AGW is an evil. But its not the only evil. Climate studies is sick, but so is Economics, Physics, Law, Paleontology, Anthropology, Archeology and nearly all the departments of study at universities. Except perhaps for Mathematics and Engineering, where the former, new constructs are tested with logic, and the later, things would just fail and people could die, these subjects soforth advance with good pace (yes I know, the mathematicians can be snobbishly contemptuous, and engineers are forever eruditely myopic; disclosure, that’s a physicist’s perspective – yeah I know, arrogant and condesceding).
I know this is a science blog, but for the love of the Almight, can’t you guys understand what is really at play here! AGW and the multitude of other things that are going on in the world, in our universities, our socities, and our governments, are all part of the same and one problem…. LYING. Our governments lie about other countries and societies and so we find ourselves forever at war, economists lie about their theories for economic management and that’s because ecomomies are always failing, or physicists lie about things like the Standard Model so as to protect billion dollar play toys, our archeologist lie about Man’s evolution, Biology lies about evolution, our religions lie about our faiths…. and on and on and on it goes. The world runs on lies.
Trenberth is a liar. He knows what he is doing… he is protecting his pay check, without AGW, he has nothing. Mongrel Mutt, is his lap dog.
Enough of this stupid madness…. the facts are there, AGW is false. We all know that, this is not about AGW, Green Energy, or spelling flowers and planting trees. Its about personal gain….and that is called fraud.

lawrence Cornell
Reply to  Dorian
November 16, 2014 5:04 am

+ ~ Needed to be said. Needs to be said over and over. The time for “nice” is well past.

Alberta Slim
Reply to  Dorian
November 16, 2014 5:42 am

Right on Dorian. Excellent summary.

D Johnson
Reply to  Dorian
November 16, 2014 6:13 am

You go too far by lumping much of science (e.g., the Standard Model, Evolution) with what is today called Climate Science. But perhaps that confirms that accepting bad Client Science tends to discredit ALL science.

Wayne Delbeke
Reply to  Dorian
November 16, 2014 10:47 am

As an engineer, I reckon I agree with you but here is something Y’all might enjoy:

Reply to  Wayne Delbeke
November 16, 2014 10:56 am

Thanks, I did enjoy it.

Reply to  Dorian
November 16, 2014 11:54 am

AGW is not false. Even the host of this site says AGW is real, and that C02 is a greenhouse gas that causes warming. Monkton says so to, and Willis as well. The facts are that humans are changing the climate,

Reply to  Martin
November 16, 2014 12:10 pm

AGW is not false.
Newsworthy AGW that can be distinguished from natural variation? Well, prove that.
Or don’t. But if you don’t then don’t use AGW in policy making – except as a potential risk like ‘invasion of the flying saucers’.

Reply to  Martin
November 16, 2014 5:58 pm

Why yes, out of the hundreds of variables, we need not bother. Co2 is the giant control knob of the climate. Got it.

Reply to  Dorian
November 16, 2014 2:57 pm

Dorian, I agree, the time for pampering trolls such as mongrel, graceless, and others is long past. Just verbally punch them in their sneering faces.
Yeah, the Grubergate stuff has got me mad ’cause it’s the exact same methods as the warmies & their useful idiots have been and continue using. How else do you respond to contempt other than with contempt? And whether or not there is AGW is irrelevant.

November 16, 2014 3:47 am

Again there is little evidence that the rise “picked up markedly in the mid 20th century”. Instead, it continued to go up and down, even as far as zero.

We should look at from 1950 and compare to before 1950 too since the IPCC says we began to markedly affect our climate after 1950[s], AR5 is littered with this date.

David L.
November 16, 2014 3:48 am

These Climate Cultists remind me of old fashioned fortune tellers peering into the crystal ball, reading cards, or reading tea leaves. These guys make up intentionally murky prophesies so they are “right” no matter what happens. But why? For the same reasons fortune tellers exist: it’s how they make their living. That is easy to understand. But what isn’t easy to understand is why the gullible masses lap it up? Is it for the same fundamental reasons people visit fortune tellers?

November 16, 2014 3:54 am

I don’t know why Trenberth made those crazy claims, whether he was honestly mistaken, or he knows but doesn’t care, or he actually doesn’t know what the sea level is doing, or he is just pushing an agenda.

If Trenberth didn’t know then what about members of the public! The man is an IPCC author for crying out loud.
I keep hearing from blog commenters that sea level is rising. I tell them I know, it’s been rising for thousands of years. Some tell me it’s accelerating, I show them a few papers and graphs that says this just isn’t so.

Bill Illis
November 16, 2014 3:57 am

There should not even be a question about sea level rise. We should all know exactly what it is and we should all know exactly what is was in 2001 and 2012 and 1900.
There have been 500 tide gauges operating around the world for at least 100 years and dozens more going back to 1800. They are all supposed to be managed in one big database at PMSL.
In the last 10 years, more than 100 GPS stations have been co-located with these gauges providing local subsidence/uplift rates. Since 1993, at least 6 satellites have been put in orbit to measure it.
We have put at least $400 million of society’s resources into this over time and 100s of people are working on this as a profession.
Why is there not a simple to use public database that everyone can use that tells us definitely what happened in 1955. Nope. Not even close to being available.
This is what this science is about. It is not about data and providing data and proving a point.
It is only about continually repeating the gospel of global warming as Trenberth did in this email.
Where is the frackin’ climate data we all need. It’s not there. We have to use back door methods just to get raw data for everything.
The only explanation is that they want to keep people in the dark about the facts.

Reply to  Bill Illis
November 16, 2014 4:20 am

Bill Illis, Great point. The people declaring a crisis seem to be the people keeping the data in the dark, if not actually editing it.

Reply to  hunter
November 16, 2014 5:39 am

Phil Jones said he’d rather destroy the data than give it up.
People just might find out he’s been lying with the data.

Billy Liar
Reply to  Bill Illis
November 16, 2014 10:49 am

PMSL was basically sidelined by the IPCC because their data wasn’t scary enough. The IPCC chose satellites because they gave a higher rate and are, coincidentally, more easily subject to ‘adjustments’.

Reply to  Billy Liar
November 17, 2014 6:32 am

This is a bit of a nitpick, but it’s PSMSL: http://www.psmsl.org/
Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level (PSMSL)

Billy Liar
Reply to  Billy Liar
November 17, 2014 8:59 am

Whoops – in my defense I just copied Bill Illis. 🙁
Another nitpick is that PSMSL measures sea level at the coast. Satellites measure sea level over the whole ocean area and NOT at the coast. These are definitely not the same thing yet the disingenuous IPCC continues to splice the two series together rather than showing them separately.

Reply to  Bill Illis
November 16, 2014 11:57 am

The sea level data is there. Willis even links to the data in this post!

Billy Liar
Reply to  Martin
November 16, 2014 2:23 pm

I didn’t say tide gauge data had disappeared. I pointed out that the IPCC ignores it to a large extent preferring the more malleable satellite data.

Reply to  Bill Illis
November 18, 2014 2:03 am

“Like”, as my elderly parents type in Facebook comments when they like something! 😉

November 16, 2014 4:01 am

One of the main problems of climate science is that it is a case of pick you research paper.
Whenever someone finds something wrong or doubtful with The Cause, an army of foot soldiers swings into gear to put out a paper which says all is A-OK.
I’m sure there is a paper out there which says seal level rise is accelerating, another decelerating, and another that it’s pretty constant. And you can always quote a greenpeace press release if you get really desperate, like the IPCC.
Trenberth’s travesty is that he is a victim of this ‘pick your paper’ nonsense.

Reply to  thingadonta
November 16, 2014 4:21 am

But we need to see the recent papers showing acceleration. I have shown a few showing the opposite.

Reply to  thingadonta
November 17, 2014 5:36 am

It is pick you paper based on pick you data.
I still feel the data is suspect; just because we collect data, it does not mean we are collecting it well. Surveys that more accurately reflect election results collect data better than those that fail at predicting election results.
Right now we have a lot of different kinds of data, some of it good, some bad, some in-between. All of it is massaged, spliced and cherry picked depending on the report. Then there is the approach to the data, different methodologies can interperet the data differently with different results and still be valid. In the end what we end up with is navel gazing on climate data. Which is fine, that is also part of the scientific process but not something anyone (politician or scientist) should be making great pronouncements, with great certainty, on global catastrophe.

lawrence Cornell
November 16, 2014 4:18 am

“Trenberth’s travesty is that he is a victim of this ‘pick your paper’ nonsense.”
Trenberth is not a victim, he is a perpetrator of a crime against humanity.
If you think that the perpetrator is the victim you must be an American journalist or a left wing loony. (or in America today, a TYPICAL leftist.)

Reply to  lawrence Cornell
November 16, 2014 5:41 am

The term is progressive.
They exist on both sides of the isle.

lawrence Cornell
Reply to  mikerestin
November 16, 2014 6:07 am

No. Progressive and leftist are different names for the same basic ideology changed over time. (At least in the U.S.) They are only found on the Democrat side.
You are trying to equivocate this also with Republicans somehow. No Republicans I know of can be described as either leftist or progressive (as it is used in the U.S. politically).
In fact, now that I have reviewed your post and my reply I’m wondering where you get such silly ideas, or are you just being contrary or diversionary ?
For full disclosure, I am a Democrat, so none of that “you guys” BS please.

Reply to  mikerestin
November 16, 2014 6:47 am

Big government, big spenders exist on both sides of aisle. Most “progressives” are from one party. But, you are right, I guess, if one thinks about Romney-care and GW Bush passing the Medicare Prescription benefit thingy. Both parties behave the same once they get in office with just a few areas where they differ. Try getting a military base closed in a democratic district or cutting weapons funding from their district.

November 16, 2014 4:18 am

The ability of the climate obsessed to set aside critical thinking in favor of believing in a climate crisis is impressive. That ability is only matched by the arrogance of climate crisis promoters in offering misleading information to the public.

November 16, 2014 4:21 am

The trend in sea-level rise since mid-20th century appears to be flat, at best. So, if true, then Trenberth screwed up, at best.
However, it’s hard for me to see how the large majority of climatologists are anything but good, honest scientists. Even if activists and opportunists in government and media were to selectively promote the minority work of the activists and frauds in science, that, to me, would be an example of where good scientists are failing to communicate.
So, other than the angry digression, good post.

Bruce Cobb
November 16, 2014 4:45 am

Clearly, Trenberth lied. Either that or he is an incompetent fool, and I doubt that. It’s not difficult to make out why climate “scientists” like Trenberth lie. They do it because it is in their own best interest to. They are part of an industry based on the Big Lie, that our CO2 is harming the Earth, and that we are headed for some sort of climate catastrophe unless we stop using fossil fuels. Their entire careers are based on this lie.
Additionally, using a claimed marked increase in the rate of SLR as “evidence” that we are warming is logically flawed. Clearly, the warming, if there would show in the thermometers first. And there lies the rub. They can’t show it, because it has gone AWOL for the last 18 years. So, the way Trenberth and his ilk try to get around this inconvenient truth is to say, oh, but the warming has just gone deep into the oceans (where we can’t see it), and the “sudden” increase in SLR, melting icecaps, etc. are “proof” of that. But Trenberth himself must know that this is just another lie. It is simply a last-gasp effort to save their pseudo-scientific cargo cult climate industry.

David L.
Reply to  Bruce Cobb
November 16, 2014 5:17 am

Don’t discount Trenberth being an incompetent fool. I received a PhD and I’ve worked my entire 35 year career with and for PhDs in both academia and industry. And let me tell you, incompetent fools occupy all levels of position and title.
Couple ignorance with a fanatical desire to protect one’s paycheck and you have real trouble.

Reply to  David L.
November 16, 2014 6:49 am

Yep. Being a good political operative (in any area) and dressing nice or being nice looking or (for a man) tall, all allow people to advance when they are not all that bright. Actually, being willing to cut corners in your research and ignore contradictory evidence and tell a good story helps you be able to publish a lot.

Reply to  Bruce Cobb
November 16, 2014 5:52 am

“They are part of an industry based on the Big Lie, that our CO2 is harming the Earth, and that we are headed for some sort of climate catastrophe unless we stop using fossil fuels.”
Just the US and now Australia, but not China until 2030 (if they want to).
Either it’s important or it’s not.
Politicians and NGOs act like CO2 reduction is not important, so we Americans just agree with Al Gore and the rest and treat CO2 like it’s not important.

richard verney
Reply to  Bruce Cobb
November 16, 2014 6:10 am

And Antarctic ice is at a record high. The only scrap of observational data that they can cling to, is the decline in Arctic ice. But should this begin to recover over the next 5 or so years, what then?

Reply to  richard verney
November 16, 2014 6:50 am

That has already started. Question is, will it continue.

Jerry Henson
November 16, 2014 5:07 am

The reason AGW is no longer selling to the low information voter is that after Algore removed the previously accepted graph of northern hemisphere temperature, which included the LIA and the Meideval Warm, and inserted the hockey stick, the AGW industry panicked.
They started equating weather to climate. The Weather Channel. and the rest of the popular press started citing any hurricane, heat wave, tornado, etc, to climate change.
This worked right up until it didn’t.
Yesterday morning’s temperature at my thermometer in the south of the US was 28 degrees F,much lower than normal, hence, no global warming.
Pal review and climate Gruber) gate has made the serious readers skeptical of the AGW industry.

November 16, 2014 5:08 am

Funny isnt it how ‘skeptics should be locked up’ is seen as reasonable debate by some and now because someone disagrees with his rather ill advised post on the issue Siberian Husky thinks that ‘This community is always complaining that the scientists don’t engage with them enough’ / don’t take them seriously.’ and then goes on to say ‘loads of climate scientists will banging down your door to engage with you’. Really and you wonder why noone wants to engage with you!!! Really……Really! Theres your answer mate – when the faith is criticised the response gets nasty.
Trenbreths reply to the request may have taken up his time but the point is – why then be so dismissive and economical with the truth. There is an assumption by the CAGW believers that any questioning is aggressive and devious in intent and is not to be considered as relevant. They are convincing noone outside their own peer group and therefore argument is pointless as skepticism is seen as criminal.
The problem they have is they convinced a lot of people in the 90s (myself included) that there was something going seriously wrong with the climate. Unfortunately since the millennium there has been no warming trend to back it up when the predicted trend was truly frightening. Until there is som considerably more convincing decadal trends in their alarmist direction they are convincing fewer and fewer people that this is the thing they should be most concerned about. Lack of resources, overpopulation, contamination and pollution – those are far more pressing and the emphasis is on ever more expensive ‘proofs’ of Global warning!!!
IT MAKES ME SO ANGRY!!!!!!!…… rant over

Reply to  mwh
November 16, 2014 5:57 am

Global warming worse that the crazy Muslims…What???

lawrence Cornell
Reply to  mikerestin
November 16, 2014 10:33 am

Are you quoting someone here ? What is the point of :
[“Global warming worse that the crazy Muslims…What???”]
Do you have a concern or a question ?, a point ?, seizure ? Does it mean something ? Misplaced tweet ?

November 16, 2014 5:14 am

Trenberth sounds like a politician who will not concede the ideology that CO2 is the cause of all our problems.

November 16, 2014 5:35 am

Husky man. The problem is that Willis probably posts far too serious work for you to understand.Most of his posts are data based on peer reviewed articles as far as I can gather….

November 16, 2014 6:12 am

[Willis paraphrasing Curry]

… the problem with climate science has something to do with bad communication. … Why, they ask, are climate scientists unable to get their message across to the American public?

Actually, I believe that the IPCC climate science elves (Trenberth being a Chief Elf) have done an excellent job in communicating their CAGW Hypothesis to the world.
Excellent because they have succeeded in convincing a lot of folks that CAGW is real, without having any compelling proof of the CAGW Hypothesis, that modern ‘climate disasters’ can be explained as “Climate Change” (formerly known as “Global Warming”), in turn caused by man-made CO2.
Their ‘proofs’ are always buried in the noise of “climate variability” and hand-waving. Trenberth knows this because he is considered one of the world’s best experts on “climate variability”:

Kevin Edward Trenberth (born November 8, 1944) is part of the Climate Analysis Section at the USA National Center for Atmospheric Research. He was a lead author of the 2001 and 2007 IPCC Scientific Assessment of Climate Change (see IPCC Fourth Assessment Report) and serves on the Scientific Steering Group for the Climate Variability and Predictability (CLIVAR) program. In addition, he serves on the Joint Scientific Committee of the World Climate Research Programme, and has made significant contributions to research into El Niño-Southern Oscillation.

There is a well-known saying that “If you believe that elves make the rain, every time it rains you will see proof of elves.”
So Trenberth and his fellow climate elves have been teaching us for decades (again, without compelling proof) that manmade CO2 causes catastrophes. The effect of this teaching has been that all climate disasters now automatically seem like “proof” of CAGW, for those who never question what the elves say. So when weather events are labeled “extreme” the reporters don’t have to say “due to man-made CO2”. That response is induced ‘automagically’ in our skulls, thanks to the communication skills of the climate elves.
That is why I believe that Trenberth et al. have been “communicating” (propagandizing) very well. So please don’t try to pass it off as bumbling or misspeaking (Curry’s ‘bad communication). It’s very intentional.
To put the actual rise of sea levels in the perspective of history, take a look at mean sea levels since the last Ice Age. When the glaciers melted the seas rose relatively quickly 400 feet or so, then the rising slowed down, but still rising very slowly to this day.
You can clearly see that the rising is not completely uniform, depends on location, and of course is also subject to random (and maybe some biased) errors of observation and natural variance.
In modern times the trend seems to have increased during the past century, perhaps to some new ‘modern’ aegus, but clearly not locked to global warming (which has paused for the past decade or so)
So that’s MSL for us skeptics. All scientists must be skeptical everything, including our own cherished theories.

Reply to  Johanus
November 16, 2014 8:12 am

Look at the scales of the two curves you present. They are 2-3 orders of magnitude different on the vertical, and the entire time stretch in the latter isn’t the width of a single pixel in the former. The former represents averages over time intervals at least a century or two long, and is reconstructed from data taken at specific geographic sites (as indicated) and cannot account for many, many phenomena (like post-glacial uplift or subsidence) that the latter now tries to account for.
The two simply cannot be compared, in other words. The recent SLR isn’t large enough to register on the former curve as the width of a pixel up and over, indistinguishable from a straight line.

Reply to  rgbatduke
November 16, 2014 8:33 am

Yes, I agree that the entirety of SLR metrics (and data noise) cannot be adequately measured and interpreted in one scale.
That’s exactly why I “zoomed in”, with decreasing scale, to show what alarms the climate elves on the small scale, compared to a the largest scale, where the ‘alarming’ trend seems to be flat.
So, having said that, the climate trolls will now scream “Skeptics don’t believe the oceans are rising!”. Mark my words.

Reply to  rgbatduke
November 16, 2014 11:52 am

A) Your error bars in the early part are wide enough that the difference in slope of the earlier part with the latter part is not conclusive.
B) Even if you could attribute the rise to rising temperatures, how do you attribute it to CO2? It’s all cum hoc, ergo propter hoc.

Reply to  rgbatduke
November 16, 2014 3:18 pm

The trend for the last 8 thousand years seems to be constant. Eyeballing the slope, looks like 1/2 mm per year:
So I would use that slope as a lower bound on the modern trend estimate.
I agree, there is a some uncertainty on the recent measurements, but likely indicate a higher recent trend. Maybe 1mm or so per year. Still not as alarming as the climate change elves would like, though.

Reply to  Johanus
November 16, 2014 12:00 pm

From your second graph, it sure looks like SLR is accelerating to me. Apparently many people on this blog don’t understand the difference between climate variability and climate change — climate change is the long-term (multiple decades) trend that underlies interannual and interdecadal climate variability. Sea levels aggregate these changes over periods of 20-40 years. It doesn’t suffice to just say “sea levels have been rising for thousands of years.” Explain why the rate of rise has increased since the mid-1800s, when humans started affecting the climate.

Reply to  Barry
November 16, 2014 12:14 pm

Please clarify which graph you think shows accelerating sea level rise?
I can see linear graphs that show rising sea levels but where is the one with increasing gradient?
And if you can calculate the gradients, old and new with error bars, then you would be able to prove it.
But I’ll take an eyeball if you can find a rising slope.

lawrence Cornell
Reply to  Barry
November 16, 2014 1:32 pm

… and please Barry, pick a date. The IPCC want me to believe that humans have been “affecting the climate” since 1950, now you want to tell me that their statement is actually conservative by 100 years and that we humans , in fact, been “affecting the climate” with our “carbon pollution” since the mid 1800’s ?
…and you want to be taken seriously ?
How about this : (using your “logic”) I posit to you that humans, in fact accelerated us out of the last ice age by burning all those wood fires as our population exploded. The rate of SLR during that period certainly correlates with this hypothesis according to your last desperate sentence. Does it not ? And makes it just as likely using your, “Explain why the rate of rise has increased since the mid-1800s, when humans started affecting the climate.”, type [illogical] conclusion. ie. PPPFFFFFFFTTT, as an appropriate logical substitute.

Alan McIntire
November 16, 2014 6:19 am

“Now, I found this interchange quite amazing. Here’s somebody asking for information, and Dr. Trenberth’s response about sea levels is … well … almost fact free.”
That reminded me of a Richard Feynman quote. David L. Goodstein, a fellow Cal Tech faculty member, included it in the book, “Feynman’s Lost Lecture: The Motion of Planets Around the Sun”,. In the introduction, Goodstein tells the story:
,’Fenman was a truly great teacher. He prided himself on being able to devise ways to explain even the most profound ideas to beginning students. Once, I said to him, “Dick, explain to me, so that I can understand it, why spin one-half particles obey Fermi-Dirac statistics.” Sizing up his audience perfectly, Feynman said, “I’ll prepare a freshman lecture on it.” But he came back a few days later to say, “I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t reduce it to the freshman level. That means we don’t really understand it.” ‘
So, using the “Feynman Rule”, Trenberth really doesn’t understand why factual sea level rise hasn’t matched CAGW sea level l rise

sleepingbear dunes
Reply to  Alan McIntire
November 16, 2014 6:27 am

The thing I like the most about your fine story is that a great thinker admitted he couldn’t do something. He showed some humility which I have observed exists in great scientists. Thanks for sharing. Each time I read something about Feynman, it restores my faith in science.

Oliver James
November 16, 2014 6:43 am

Mr Husky’s link, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thames_Barrier , is well worth reading, it confounds his position completely. BruceC has already evinced bemusement at, “Bruce”(lol), It is indicative of Mr Husky’s Hysterical frame of mind,
To be dismissive of anecdotal evidence, similar to Patrick I have lived in Portsmouth UK for the past 51 years, a port that has been in existence at least since the 4th century AD, and despite isostatic depression continuing from the end of the last glacial maximum, has shown minimal sea level rise, He uses anecdotal evidence from Kirabati, a pacific atoll that is far more greatly affected by: tectonic movement; erosion; and mantle Hotspots.
I will not give a lesson in volcanology explaining pacific island creation and subsequent atoll formation, “Google it”, any 10 year old can grasp the concepts.
The adage “Ignorance is bliss” appears to have been fully embraced by Mr Husky, I would add that stupidity is a by-product of willful ignorance, and ” a little knowledge is a dangerous thing” to have been fully proven by his comments.
The above could be levelled at the majority of the AGW scaremongers.

Oliver James
Reply to  Oliver James
November 16, 2014 7:07 am

I apologise to any readers of my comment that although it may be grammatically correct, it is somewhat aphoristic.

James Strom
November 16, 2014 6:51 am

Thanks to Willis and some of the commenters for very useful graphics.
The question about publicizing Trenberth’s private email is a serious one, but a related question I have is whether his email differs much from his writings and public statements. I’m not enough of a Trenberth aficionado to know.
In any case Trenberth gives a concise general description of sea level over a century and a half, and Willis has produced leading academic studies whose results are in conflict with Trenberth’s statement. There is no way to get around that.

Reply to  James Strom
November 16, 2014 7:13 am

If you write me a letter, is the letter mine or yours?
I say, if you write me and explicitly ask me not to publish it, I will respect that, but in the absence of any such request, it is my call to make.

Reply to  James Strom
November 16, 2014 7:47 am

The satellites are 120 miles or so above the sea. There are these things called “waves.” The satellites do not produce valid data. They actually tried to calibrate the satellites by using tide gauges. TOPEX, GRACE, baloney…

richard verney
Reply to  Michael Moon
November 16, 2014 10:12 am

AND one year never has the same wave pattern, nor swell pattern, as the next.
Storms always fiffer in location and in time in relation to the atmosp[heric bulge.
There is plate tectonic movements, and sometimes undersea earthquakes can cause significant displacement of the sea bed, and even move land masses. See the Wikipedia article on the 11th March 2011 Japanes Earthquake/Tsunami http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2011_T%C5%8Dhoku_earthquake_and_tsunami
“The earthquake moved Honshu (the main island of Japan) 2.4 m (8 ft) east and shifted the Earth on its axis by estimates of between 10 cm (4 in) and 25 cm (10 in),
The margin of error of a satellite measurement to a fixed point on land, is greater than the claimed sea level rise.” ….
“Portions of northeastern Japan shifted by as much as 2.4 m (7.9 ft) closer to North America,[19][20] making some sections of Japan’s landmass wider than before…”…
.”On 6 April the Japanese coast guard said that the quake shifted the seabed near the epicenter 24 meters (79 ft) and elevated the seabed off the coast of Miyagi prefecture by 3 meters.[68] A report by the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, published in Science on 2 December 2011, concluded that the seabed in the area between the epicenter and the Japan Trench moved 50 meters east-southeast and rose about 7 meters as a result of the quake. The report also stated that the quake had caused several major landslides on the seabed in the affected area.”….
“The tsunami broke icebergs off the Sulzberger Ice Shelf in Antarctica, 13,000 kilometres (8,100 mi) away. The main iceberg measured 9.5 by 6.5 kilometres (5.9 mi × 4.0 mi) (approximately the area of Manhattan Island) and about 80 metres (260 ft) thick. A total of 125 square kilometres (48 sq mi; 31,000 acres) of ice broke away”
And of the Boxing Day 2004 Indonesian Earthquake/Tsunami, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2004_Indian_Ocean_earthquake_and_tsunami
“The megathrust earthquake was unusually large in geographical and geological extent. An estimated 1,600 kilometres (1,000 mi) of fault surface slipped (or ruptured) about 15 metres (50 ft) along the subduction zone where the Indian Plate slides (or subducts) under the overriding Burma Plate. The slip did not happen instantaneously but took place in two phases over a period of several minutes”:
I have seen some fantastic undersea photographs of ridges which have risen or fallen of these events. There are vertical cliff walls rising 50 or more feet high extending for hundreds and hundreds (possibly up to a thousand) miles.
How is all this land displacement calculated in the official assessment of sea level rises? I accept that the above are extreme examples, but each year such activity is going on but on a smaller scale. When one is talking of millimetre rises. all of this becomes important.
As usual, the scientists are not honest/accurate with the margin of error in their data sets.
The claim that we can measure sea level rises to the claimed accuracy is fancifull to say the least.

November 16, 2014 7:08 am

Thermalization of the energy in absorbed photons is not accounted for in the Kiel & Trenberth charts. The physics of thermalization is part of the explaination of why CO2 change has no significant effect on climate.

November 16, 2014 7:54 am

Right. This discussion is not honorable. Trenberth is no devil but an honorable person.

Otter (ClimateOtter on Twitter)
Reply to  climatologist/meteorologist
November 16, 2014 8:12 am

I agree with you that your discussion with Socrates is not honorable.

Area Man
November 16, 2014 8:00 am

Willis, I’d be careful stating as fact that this was in fact a verbatim response from Trenberth. Are you basing that completely on your assessment of the trustworthiness of your source? If so I’d characterize it as a claimed or reported response from him.
Just sayin.

Gunga Din
November 16, 2014 8:22 am

Obviously Trenberth must see the finger-nail-width rise in sea levels as proof of CAGW. He just thought it would come from the the Mann-Made Heat making the Arctic ice free by now. But now he knows it is proof that the “missing heat” is hiding in the oceans. As water heats, it expands. As the oceans expand, the sea level rises, hence proof of Mann-Made-Something-Or-Other!
(Now where’d I put that sarc tag….)

Steve Oregon
November 16, 2014 8:27 am

Siberian Husky,
Your mendacious attempt to represent Trenberth’s deceitful retort as a gracious gift of his time is petulant.
You have no idea what Trenberth committed to the reply or what his attitude was.
Just as you have no idea how historic sea level rise is inconsistent with AGW or how nothing about sea level validates anything about AGW.
Your behavior is what AGW is limited to and it ain’t science.

November 16, 2014 8:27 am

Are you sure, Willis that you understand what “rate of change” means? As long as it is positive the SL doesn’t decrease.

Reply to  climatologist/meteorologist
November 16, 2014 8:35 am

In fact, far from increasing as Trenberth claimed, the satellite-measured sea level rise has actually been decreasing, as shown by Cazenave et al. …

Measurements and a reference.
Can you expand on your challenge to Willis? He does request precise quotes when people question what he says.
It’ll save time if you can clarify your question.

Mark Bofill
Reply to  climatologist/meteorologist
November 16, 2014 8:41 am

Good lord. Are you sure you want to play dumb word games? I assure you, Willis correctly referred to the rate of change in sea level rise. The rate of change in a rate of change, not just rate of change of sea level.
For example, his text under figure 1:

As you can see, the idea that the rate of sea level rise “picked up markedly in the mid 20th century” is totally contradicted by the Jevrejeva data.(emphasis added)

You must not read WUWT regularly. Just about ever time Willis posts some genius gives this game a try and gets stomped. It gets old, really.

November 16, 2014 8:30 am

Not very self aware are you Mr. Sniper. The point of the post if you had read it, was to offer an explanation as to why the public is not buying into CAGW as expected. Hint – it’s because they lie and exaggerate, and people don’t like being lied to

Ernest Bush
Reply to  Greg
November 16, 2014 8:35 pm


Mark Bofill
November 16, 2014 8:36 am

A point that seems to be being ignored; Sure, our best guess is that CO2 probably increased some between 1750 and 1850. Maybe 11, 12 ppm over those hundred years? That’s not noise, but as far as climate effects it might as well be, obviously.

November 16, 2014 9:04 am

Good post Willis. Your point that it not a communications problem, it is a false message problem, is well taken. Essay Pseudo Precision in Blowing Smoke tackles sea level rise. Even the Caveneze paper is junk science, bad statistics supposedly indicating something physically impossible, additional rainfall retention in the AmZon and Congo basins. The fact is that the annual instrument drift spec of Jason 2 is plus minus 1mm. As RgB points out about, it all within the error bars

November 16, 2014 9:22 am

We have to understand Trenberth is not actually talking about the oceans that exist in reality. He is talking about the ocean and sea level that exist on his computer programmed planet earth. On his model planet earth by 2014 there is no pause, oceans have rose to flood coastal cities, and there is no longer any ice at the North Pole. And all the polar bears are dead.

November 16, 2014 9:23 am

Why stop in 2010? The last available sea level data from satellite show no slowdown.
See: http://sealevel.colorado.edu/
The rate is still 3.2 mm/year as it has been in all the satellite record from 1992.
Church and White 2011 reports 2.8 +/- 0.8 mm/year from gauges and 3.2 mm/year from satellite.

Reply to  Jan Kjetil Andersen
November 16, 2014 9:29 am

Why stop at Church and White 2011?

Abstract – January 2014
Global sea level trend during 1993–2012
GMSL started decelerated rising since 2004 with rising rate 1.8 ± 0.9 mm/yr in 2012.
Deceleration is due to slowdown of ocean thermal expansion during last decade.
• Recent ENSO events introduce large uncertainty of long-term trend estimation.]
… It is found that the GMSL rises with the rate of 3.2 ± 0.4 mm/yr during 1993–2003 and started decelerating since 2004 to a rate of 1.8 ± 0.9 mm/yr in 2012. This deceleration is mainly due to the slowdown of ocean thermal expansion in the Pacific during the last decade, as a part of the Pacific decadal-scale variability, while the land-ice melting is accelerating the rise of the global ocean mass-equivalent sea level….

Reply to  Jimbo
November 16, 2014 12:24 pm

Thank you Jimbo
I did not stop at Church and White 2011. The first link show data up to July 2014. One can see a dip in 2012, but that has been catched up later. Your paywalled link seems to stop in 2012 and has therefore not taken in account the catching up after 2012.
I mentioned Church and White because they have an overlapping time series based on gauges and their measured rate is whidthin the error level of the satellite data.

Reply to  Jimbo
November 16, 2014 2:58 pm

Jan Kjetil Andersen,
The Univ of Colorado says they constantly revise their estimates as new data, corrections and models arrive. We will have to wait and see over the next few years. 3 or 4 years is noisy and prone to adjustments. See above. Does it not surprise you there has been NO acceleration in the rate of sea level rise after
– the hottest decade on the record
– glaciers melting left right and centre
– missing heat, thermal expansion and so on…….?

Since 1993, measurements from the TOPEX and Jason series of satellite radar altimeters have allowed estimates of global mean sea level. These measurements are continuously calibrated against a network of tide gauges. When seasonal and other variations are subtracted, they allow estimation of the global mean sea level rate. As new data, models and corrections become available, we continuously revise these estimates (about every two months) to improve their quality.

Reply to  Jimbo
November 16, 2014 3:13 pm

I found this at the Univ. of Colorado which further complicates things. Sea level rise is a complicated beast to pin down. I prefer longer time spans to show clearer signals. The media likes headlines so this to and fro will not end between sceptics and warmists.

Abstract – 09/2012
Is there a 60-year oscillation in global mean sea level?
We examine long tide gauge records in every ocean basin to examine whether a quasi 60-year oscillation observed in global mean sea level (GMSL) reconstructions reflects a true global oscillation, or an artifact associated with a small number of gauges. We find that there is a significant oscillation with a period around 60-years in the majority of the tide gauges examined during the 20th Century, and that it appears in every ocean basin. Averaging of tide gauges over regions shows that the phase and amplitude of the fluctuations are similar in the North Atlantic, western North Pacific, and Indian Oceans, while the signal is shifted by 10 years in the western South Pacific. The only sampled region with no apparent 60-year fluctuation is the Central/Eastern North Pacific. The phase of the 60-year oscillation found in the tide gauge records is such that sea level in the North Atlantic, western North Pacific, Indian Ocean, and western South Pacific has been increasing since 1985-1990. Although the tide gauge data are still too limited, both in time and space, to determine conclusively that there is a 60-year oscillation in GMSL, the possibility should be considered when attempting to interpret the acceleration in the rate of global and regional mean sea level rise.

David L. Hagen
November 16, 2014 9:45 am

From Cazenave et al 2014, The Supplementary info is available at:
The rate of sea-level rise DOI: 10.1038/NCLIMATE2159
PS Per your searching for solar cycle impacts, the raw rate of change of sea level data might show it. cf with a 2.75 year lag per David RB Stockwell.

David L. Hagen
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
November 16, 2014 1:57 pm

Thanks – passed it on.

Rud Istvan
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
November 16, 2014 5:33 pm

W. There are much larger logical problems with Cazenave’s paper’s physical interpretation. See essay Pseudo Precision in Blowing Smoke. Any feedback gratefully acknowledged in advance.

Ulric Lyons
November 16, 2014 9:46 am

“As you can see, the idea that the rate of sea level rise “picked up markedly in the mid 20th century” is totally contradicted by the Jevrejeva data.”
Looking carefully at fig 1, I would say it picked up from the 1930’s, probably the warm AMO mode. Fig 2 shows the rate of rise generally higher from the 1930’s, but then it gives up a couple times when the AMO is in its cold cold mode from ~1965, except around the sunspot cycle maxima.

November 16, 2014 9:52 am

Sea level rise is a big deal. Not nit-picking. As RG Brown has pointed out here previously, absence of a recent acceleration of sea level rise is the single observation with most potential to falsify AGW. No surprise then that they send in an attack dog.