Claim: 20-foot sea-level rise in our future (except nature isn't cooperating so far)

From the University of Florida and the “road to paris, we have to get it done this time department” comes this claim. You gotta love the “out of equilibrium” part, where nature isn’t conforming to their expectations. The cartoon like graphic seems to be designed for grade school consumption, and seems to be equally out of equilibrium with observations so far.

Peak global mean temperature, atmospheric CO2, maximum global mean sea level (GMSL), and source(s) of meltwater. Light blue shading indicates uncertainty of GMSL maximum. Red pie charts over Greenland and Antarctica denote fraction (not location) of ice retreat.

Evidence from past suggests climate trends could yield 20-foot sea-level rise

When past temperatures were similar to or slightly higher than the present global average, sea levels rose at least 20 feet, suggesting a similar outcome could be in store if current climate trends continue.

Findings published in the journal Science showed that the seas rose in response to melting ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica, said lead author Andrea Dutton, a University of Florida geochemist.

“This evidence leads us to conclude that the polar ice sheets are out of equilibrium with the present climate,” she said.

Dutton and an international team of scientists assessed evidence of higher sea levels during several periods to understand how polar ice sheets respond to warming. Combining computer models and observations from the geologic record, they found that during past periods with average temperatures 1 to 3 °C (1.8 to 5.4 °F) warmer than preindustrial levels, sea level peaked at least 20 feet higher than today.

“As the planet warms, the poles warm even faster, raising important questions about how ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica will respond,” she said. “While this amount of sea-level rise will not happen overnight, it is sobering to realize how sensitive the polar ice sheets are to temperatures that we are on path to reach within decades.”

The researchers concluded that sea levels rose 20 to 30 feet higher than present about 125,000 years ago, when global average temperature was 1 °C higher than preindustrial levels (similar to today’s average). Sea level peaked somewhere between 20 and 40 feet above present during an earlier warm period about 400,000 years ago, when global average temperatures are less certain, but estimated to be about 1 to 2 °C warmer than the preindustrial average.

During those times, atmospheric carbon dioxide levels peaked around 280 parts per million, but today’s levels are around 400 ppm and rising. The team of researchers looked at the last time period when carbon dioxide was this high – about 3 million years ago – but couldn’t get a confident estimate on sea-level rise, in part due to land motion that has distorted the position of past shorelines.

The researchers also sought to understand how quickly sea level rose and which ice sheets may be most susceptible. They acknowledged that the rate of sea-level rise associated with polar ice sheet retreat is not well known, and that this is an important target for future research. Developing a better sense of which ice sheet sectors were most susceptible in the past, as well as how quickly this process occurs, could inform how policymakers plan for and mitigate sea-level change.


From the AAAS website:

Sea-level rise due to polar ice-sheet mass loss during past warm periods

A. Dutton1,*,A. E. Carlson2, A. J. Long3, G. A. Milne4, P. U. Clark2, R. DeConto5, B. P. Horton6,7, S. Rahmstorf8, M. E. Raymo9


Although thermal expansion of seawater and melting of mountain glaciers have dominated global mean sea level (GMSL) rise over the last century, mass loss from the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets is expected to exceed other contributions to GMSL rise under future warming. To better constrain polar ice-sheet response to warmer temperatures, we draw on evidence from interglacial periods in the geologic record that experienced warmer polar temperatures and higher GMSLs than present. Coastal records of sea level from these previous warm periods demonstrate geographic variability because of the influence of several geophysical processes that operate across a range of magnitudes and time scales. Inferring GMSL and ice-volume changes from these reconstructions is nontrivial and generally requires the use of geophysical models.


Interdisciplinary studies of geologic archives have ushered in a new era of deciphering magnitudes, rates, and sources of sea-level rise. Advances in our understanding of polar ice-sheet response to warmer climates have been made through an increase in the number and geographic distribution of sea-level reconstructions, better ice-sheet constraints, and the recognition that several geophysical processes cause spatially complex patterns in sea level. In particular, accounting for glacial isostatic processes helps to decipher spatial variability in coastal sea-level records and has reconciled a number of site-specific sea-level reconstructions for warm periods that have occurred within the past several hundred thousand years. This enables us to infer that during recent interglacial periods, small increases in global mean temperature and just a few degrees of polar warming relative to the preindustrial period resulted in ≥6 m of GMSL rise. Mantle-driven dynamic topography introduces large uncertainties on longer time scales, affecting reconstructions for time periods such as the Pliocene (~3 million years ago), when atmospheric CO2 was ~400 parts per million (ppm), similar to that of the present. Both modeling and field evidence suggest that polar ice sheets were smaller during this time period, but because dynamic topography can cause tens of meters of vertical displacement at Earth’s surface on million-year time scales and uncertainty in model predictions of this signal are large, it is currently not possible to make a precise estimate of peak GMSL during the Pliocene.


Our present climate is warming to a level associated with significant polar ice-sheet loss in the past, but a number of challenges remain to further constrain ice-sheet sensitivity to climate change using paleo–sea level records. Improving our understanding of rates of GMSL rise due to polar ice-mass loss is perhaps the most societally relevant information the paleorecord can provide, yet robust estimates of rates of GMSL rise associated with polar ice-sheet retreat and/or collapse remain a weakness in existing sea-level reconstructions. Improving existing magnitudes, rates, and sources of GMSL rise will require a better (global) distribution of sea-level reconstructions with high temporal resolution and precise elevations and should include sites close to present and former ice sheets. Translating such sea-level data into a robust GMSL signal demands integration with geophysical models, which in turn can be tested through improved spatial and temporal sampling of coastal records.

Further development is needed to refine estimates of past sea level from geochemical proxies. In particular, paired oxygen isotope and Mg/Ca data are currently unable to provide confident, quantitative estimates of peak sea level during these past warm periods. In some GMSL reconstructions, polar ice-sheet retreat is inferred from the total GMSL budget, but identifying the specific ice-sheet sources is currently hindered by limited field evidence at high latitudes. Given the paucity of such data, emerging geochemical and geophysical techniques show promise for identifying the sectors of the ice sheets that were most vulnerable to collapse in the past and perhaps will be again in the future.

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July 9, 2015 2:12 pm

There is plenty of evidence a!round the UK that sea levels were higher in the MWP, a fact confirmed by H Lamb
(Where incidentally the land is sinking)

Reply to  Paul Homewood
July 9, 2015 2:38 pm

the UK land mass is tilting, Scotland is bouncing upward, while SE is sinking; most likely post-glacial rebound. All those SNP MPs will go back north when Houses of Parliament sink into the rising Thames.

Reply to  vukcevic
July 9, 2015 3:48 pm

People say that but the shoreline tells a different story. Many towns in the SE which were coastal ports 1,000 years ago are now miles inland.

Reply to  vukcevic
July 9, 2015 11:07 pm

High JohnB
and yet England was connected to continent by Doggerland. Isostatic rebound is not a linear affair, land crust goes up, overshoots, re-balances by going down, and up again, a bit like a weight suspended on a spring. Oscillations of various lengths, from ~ 40 to 60 years to centuries and millennia ((as found at the epicentre -Hudson Bay, R.W. Fairbridge ) are found. I suspect that the N. Atlantic quasi-periodic oscillations are directly linked to the isostatic rebound stretching from the North Canada to Scandinavia.

Reply to  Paul Homewood
July 9, 2015 4:44 pm

4-6000 years ago the oceans were a couple of meters deeper, the Gulf of Mexico shore was some 50 miles inland of today’s shoreline. The descending oceans as the Holocene cools could also explain JohnB’s query at 3:48 pm.

Reply to  skeohane
July 9, 2015 10:12 pm


July 9, 2015 2:14 pm

Only ICPP AR5’s RCP 8.5 W/m^2 predicts multi-meter sea level rise – by the year 2500!!

Reply to  Nicholas Schroeder
July 9, 2015 4:07 pm

By re-publishing this rubbish, we are feeding their trolls.

Louis Hunt
Reply to  Nicholas Schroeder
July 9, 2015 10:41 pm

Is “ICPP” the name of the latest racy romantic novel written by the IPCC’s former head, Pachauri?

Reply to  Louis Hunt
July 10, 2015 5:32 am

That or the latest must-have toilet training book for toddlers.

Ivor Ward
July 9, 2015 2:18 pm

I’d better wear my lifejacket to bed tonight then.

The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley
Reply to  Ivor Ward
July 9, 2015 2:34 pm

I would. You never know, it might turn her on.

Reply to  Ivor Ward
July 9, 2015 5:43 pm

This sounds like Chaucer’s “The Miller’s Tale”. Going to sleep in a lifeboat didn’t work out well for the miller.

Just an engineer
Reply to  Ivor Ward
July 10, 2015 6:20 am

“Mae West”?

July 9, 2015 2:30 pm

“Further development is needed to refine estimates of …..” etc – It’s worse than we thought they’re running out of grant money!!

Mark from the Midwest
July 9, 2015 2:30 pm

I seem to observe the use of verbal hedges in this paper a little more frequently than one might normally find in association with the term “reasonable estimate.”

July 9, 2015 2:32 pm

Sea level where I used to live in Southampton was rising by a foot per century or so – the title of the land we owned included part of the riverbed. 20ft is not a big deal – if it takes 20 centuries to rise.

July 9, 2015 2:36 pm

Al Gore already has an exclusive license to run the Central Park (New York City) gondola concession, when Manhattan is underwater, and executives can only get to work in gondolas, like in Venice.
The poor folks will have to take rowboats and canoes to work.
The 400+ feet rise of sea level since the peak of the last ice age was caused entirely by coal-burning power plants and gasoline-burning SUVs spewing “carbon pollution” on those glaciers (Al Gore told me warming is ONLY caused by CO2. He also blamed the fact that the Arctic ice was not completely melted in 2014, as he had predicted ion 2007, was due to a “risky scheme” implemented by the Chinese in 2007 to spew soot into the air and block the sunlight, and they had been instigated by George W. Bush, who wanted to humiliate Gore a second time after stealing the election from him in 2000).
If you don’t believe me, you can look this up on the internet like I did.

Reply to  Richard Greene
July 9, 2015 4:07 pm


Reply to  Richard Greene
July 9, 2015 5:54 pm

And we can verify every word as completely accurate . Google.

Just an engineer
Reply to  Richard Greene
July 10, 2015 6:21 am

Good place to set up “Water bike” rental stands?

Mike Smith
July 9, 2015 2:37 pm

Our children won’t know what dry land is.

RobbertBobbert GDQ
Reply to  Mike Smith
July 9, 2015 6:52 pm

Hey Mike,
This is so serious that we need to do something really important like make a documentary about it.
Maybe we could get Kevin Costner to host it and to add some real drama we could get him to find a fast rising ocean and host from a boat as the waters rise in front of our eyes,
And Dennis Hopper and Jeanne Tripplehorn could co host and we gotta give the Doco a really good and scary name like ‘WaterWorld THE DELUGE AND THE DOOM’
And on the boat named Naomi Oreskes Kevin will have a computer and he will show by a comuter model irrefutable and rock solid evidence that all the puppies and ktities will die gruesome and horrible daths and we will then pan to a faster rising ocean littered with millions of their lifeless bodies but even worse the destroyed remains of all those beautiful and earth saving ocean based windmills.
Our three hero hosts will then do another computer model and it will provide, like all Klimate Studies, irrefutable and rock solid evidence that the Fossil fFel Industry, The Koch Boys and Cruella De Ville have joined their Evil Forces to further their evil upon the innocent and fragile WORLD.
Keep an eye out for a Crowd funded source I will soon set up to fund this crucial world saving and absolutely truthful documentary based on the best ever computer models.
Naturally if you decide NOT TO FUND this galaxy saving Doco i shall ,after winning Oscars and Cannes and Nobels and raking in squillions and becoming a good buddy of lennie and george and Michael Moore, I shall make another doco and I will call it… ‘ Dear Children of the World. Mike Smith and ALL WUWT bloggers hate the World and wanna see all The Puppies and Kitties Cark it in Horrible and Gruesome ways’

Mumbles McGuirck
Reply to  RobbertBobbert GDQ
July 10, 2015 6:49 am

Sorry, but you’re gonna have to CGI Dennis Hopper. And don’t forget allowing enuf time for Costner to regrow his gills.

Reply to  RobbertBobbert GDQ
July 10, 2015 7:35 am

Fast rising oceans? Don’t we usually call those tides?

Just an engineer
Reply to  Mike Smith
July 10, 2015 6:23 am

Due to “Climate Activisim” our great-grandchildren won’t know what science is.

July 9, 2015 2:44 pm

Looks like they are taking the long view. They cite two previous interglacials at 125,000 and 400,000 years ago. Then they look back 3 million years, which is 1 million years before the start of the current ice age. The climate back then was a whole different thing. Then they lament the difficulty of generating GMSL trends over the long term due to “dynamic topography”, read as “Continental Drift”.
It looks like what they are really after is a better sea level record going back to a point where continental drift makes things too hard to manage. All in all, it is probably worth a try.

Kristian Fredriksson
July 9, 2015 2:46 pm

According to the Vostock ice core measurements it was 4 C higher temperature 125 000 years ago than now. Not 0 C as this paper suggests.

Reply to  Kristian Fredriksson
July 9, 2015 6:57 pm

Correct, but we should not let data confuse us.

Reply to  JimS
July 10, 2015 4:51 am

Data doesn’t confuse us… it confused them !!

David A
Reply to  Kristian Fredriksson
July 10, 2015 10:19 pm

“According to the Vostock ice core measurements it was 4 C higher temperature 125 000 years ago than now. Not 0 C as this paper suggests”
Yet CO2 was the same as now, therefore the ice core is wrong, and the IPCC computer model (“Combining computer models and observations from the geologic record”) tells us what the real T was 125000 years ago.
When observations conflict with computer models of CO2, then the CO2 model wins, just because CO2 always dominates.

Mike Nelson
July 9, 2015 2:47 pm

What we know for a fact is that sea level is not static. And, over the last 12,000 years (since the last glaciation when global sea levels were 120 meters lower than today) the have risen an AVERAGE of 1 meter per century or so, and life survived and indeed thrived. So we should get used to the idea that sea level can change pretty dramatically over relatively short time frames.
WRT CO2 concentrations, global temps, and sea level I still question the cause/effect premise that CO2 is the driver. It seems far more plausible to me that temp is the driver (triggered by MANY factors of which CO2 is just a fraction I suspect), and that as the temp goes up some ice melts (duh), but more central to the CO2 debate so does some permafrost (which is a high carbon sink) and warming oceans outgas some of the CO2 in solution and collectively these drive up atmospheric concentrations to recorded levels. The oceans are BIG and the delta CO2 not so much in the grand scheme of things.
MHO anyway.

Reply to  Mike Nelson
July 9, 2015 10:21 pm

Fastest rate of change seems to be meltwater pulse 1A, during which seas rose 20 meters in a thousand years. This is six feet per hundred years. But it was caused by the (geologically speaking) most rapid phase of continental glacier disintegration.
At current trends, Greenland is not melting, it is growing…as is Antarctic ice. So fro whence will come this rapid rise in the seas?
Anyway, if it really started happening, this would be very easy to engineer a solution. Nuke plants at the Antarctic coast running pumps to the interior, where the temp is double digits below zero C even in summer.

Gary Hladik
July 9, 2015 2:50 pm

Yesss! Beachfront property at last!

Reply to  Gary Hladik
July 9, 2015 3:29 pm

Wait till you see what the property taxes are going to be on your beachfront — then we will see if you celebrate. 🙂

D.J. Hawkins
Reply to  markstoval
July 9, 2015 4:18 pm

Dude, don’t be such a buzzkill!

Gentle Tramp
July 9, 2015 2:52 pm

Quote: “The researchers concluded that sea levels rose 20 to 30 feet higher than present about 125,000 years ago, when global average temperature was 1 °C higher than preindustrial levels (similar to today’s average).”
Apart from the fact that the Eemian interglacial was very likely even some degrees warmer than today’s climate (and not only “similar to today’s average”), it’s truly hilarious to see how unapologetic they overlook their most beloved “Elephant in the room”: How on Earth could the Eemian interglacial be so warm with only 280 ppm CO2 in the atmosphere? If this trace gas is really the most powerful climate-driver as the warmists constantly preach ???

Reply to  Gentle Tramp
July 9, 2015 10:22 pm


Reply to  Gentle Tramp
July 10, 2015 4:33 am

ah beat me to it, yes co2 was sooo low but the seas were so high. hmm?

July 9, 2015 3:01 pm

I live near O’Hare airport, which NOAA lists as being 666 feet above sea level.
Why would I care if someone needed to spin the jacks twice a year, to lift their house the current (estimated) amount of millimeters needed to avoid inundation due to the rising sea levels ?

WI resident.
Reply to  u.k.(us)
July 9, 2015 4:36 pm

I live near O’Hare airport,
You’re right. You’ve got lots more to worry about.

Bubba Cow
Reply to  u.k.(us)
July 9, 2015 7:11 pm

NOAA is adjusting that 666 — maybe 555

M Courtney
July 9, 2015 3:04 pm

According to IPPCC AR5 (the mainstream science) the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is expected to collapse sometime between 600 to over a 1000 years In the future.
If you go with the mainstream alarmists you don’t need to worry about sea level rise in this half of the millennium. It’s like ignoring the Black Death happening around you to focus on the Great War in your prophecies.
And that’s assuming the guesswork is right.

Jeff L
July 9, 2015 3:04 pm

This is a somewhat interesting line of thought as a geologist. It prompted me to do a quick overlay of the Cenozoic temperature record from Hansen et al (2008) ; see link: ) with the Cenozoic sea level curve of Haq et al (1987) see link ;
There is a reasonable correlation, especially in the longer wavelengths but there is also substantial deviations, such as the Eocene thermal maximum which saw no response in sea level change (maybe all the ice was already gone ?) but also during late Eocene & Antarctic glaciation (jnc in sea level with drop in temps), late Miocene & Pliocene (major sea level changes with out major temp changes) and pretty much during all of Pliocene & Quaternary , the correlation seems to weak on the shorter transitions between glacial periods. This may be a function of scale of these plots though.
If someone has time, it would be really interesting to see zoom in on just the Quaternary & Pliocene temp & sea level curves & what the correlation looks like + what lag their may or may be in the system (sounds like a job for Willis :)) … and what that implies for current equilibrium or lack there of.
My general conclusion from this is there is a lot more going on with sea level than just ice melting, which as a geologist I already knew, but this exercise just confirmed it.

Don K
Reply to  Jeff L
July 9, 2015 6:45 pm

Jeff L

My general conclusion from this is there is a lot more going on with sea level than just ice melting, which as a geologist I already knew, but this exercise just confirmed it.

Radical as it may sound, I’d recommend reading the IPCC assessment reports, which address that very question. Caveat: I’ve only looked at the first three and only at the sea level chapter, not at the executive summary which I’ve been told is a political rather than scientific document. Anyway what I’ve read seems entirely reasonable. Let me take a shot at reproducing Table 11.10 from the third report.
I’ll blockquote it in the forlorn home that will discourage the internet from trashing it too badly:

Minimum Central value Maximum
(mm/yr) (mm/yr) (mm/yr)
Thermal expansion 0.3 0.5 0.7
Glaciers and ice caps 0.2 0.3 0.4
Greenland – 20th century effects 0.0 0.05 0.1
Antarctica – 20th century effects – 0.2 – 0.1 0.0
Ice sheets – adjustment since LGM 0.0 0.25 0.5
Permafrost 0.00 0.025 0.05
Sediment deposition 0.00 0.025 0.05
Terrestrial storage (not directly from climate change) – 1.1 – 0.35 0.4
Total – 0.8 0.7 2.2
Estimated from observations 1.0 1.5 2.0

I would say, overall that the ipcc tar authors agree with you — primary cause of current sea level rise is probably thermal expansion, not ice melt

Reply to  Don K
July 9, 2015 10:25 pm

How about Aral Sea being drained, and aquifers the world over being drawn down?

Don K
Reply to  Don K
July 10, 2015 1:05 am

Menicholas July 9, 2015 at 10:25 pm

How about Aral Sea being drained, and aquifers the world over being drawn down?

The IPCC reports mention both aquifer pumping and reservoir storage affects on sea level. I assume they are lumped under *Terrestrial Storage* in the IPCC tar

Chris Hanley
July 9, 2015 3:05 pm

“… researchers concluded that sea levels rose 20 to 30 feet higher than present about 125,000 years ago, when global average temperature was 1 °C higher than preindustrial levels (similar to today’s average) …”.
“… we can already tell that Eemian climate was significantly warmer than the climate of the current Holocene interglacial – probably about 5°C warmer. As ice from the Eemian period (albeit disturbed) has been found at all drill sites, we also know that the Greenland ice sheet did not melt away entirely during the warmth of the Eemian. Close analysis of δ18O values in the Eemian ice does indeed suggest that the Eemian Greenland ice sheet was not dramatically smaller than today …”:

July 9, 2015 3:10 pm

Where are the construction plans for Noah’s Ark when you need them?

John F. Hultquist
Reply to  CD153
July 9, 2015 4:38 pm

Genesis 6:14-17 New International Version (NIV)
14 So make yourself an ark of cypress[a] wood; make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out. 15 This is how you are to build it: The ark is to be three hundred cubits long, fifty cubits wide . . .
I have a hammer.

Reply to  CD153
July 9, 2015 7:00 pm

The plans for the ark were simple – when you need more wood, just gopher more.

Reply to  JimS
July 10, 2015 1:18 pm

when you need more wood, just gopher more.
Groan…! I hope you don’t do those ark puns in pairs.

Reply to  CD153
July 10, 2015 4:55 am

Mate, down here, Sydney Harbour is rising at a break-neck 0.65mm per year.
Even with my gammy knee, I think I can out-pace that.
Lets see.. allow another 40 years, x 0.65mm = 2.6cm.
Yep, think I can mange it !

Richard of NZ
Reply to  AndyG55
July 10, 2015 3:49 pm

Strewth mate, not even the ferries at Circular Quay would notice that increase in sea level. As for the Circular Quay underground railway station, I feel that would be safe for many millennia.

July 9, 2015 3:21 pm

Our present climate is warming to a level associated with significant polar ice-sheet loss in the past, but a number of challenges remain to further constrain ice-sheet sensitivity to climate change using paleo–sea level records.

This is just gibberish. Will they present the records to the ice sheets and command them to “not be so sensitive”? Besides every alarmist already knows it’s never been this warm “globally” yet!

Reply to  Dawtgtomis
July 9, 2015 4:30 pm

Ha! Just when I think they can’t come forth with anymore horse pucky on this day, we get this! Our tax dollars being used to do a bang up job of Gubement work.

July 9, 2015 3:33 pm

“Evidence from past suggests climate trends could yield 20-foot sea-level rise”
Similar evidence from the past, every bit as reliable, suggests that Unicorns will grow to be twice as large as today and that leprechauns will also double in size.

Reply to  markstoval
July 10, 2015 9:00 am

Besides, they may mate like polar bear and grizzly, creating leprechaunicorns, and disappear themselves. Horrible.

July 9, 2015 3:49 pm

They just showed there’s no correlation between CO2 levels and temperature……

Reply to  Latitude
July 9, 2015 4:17 pm

“They just showed there’s no correlation between CO2 levels and temperature……”
…as anybody with half a brain can see by looking at any time period longer than, say, 25 years or so…

July 9, 2015 4:27 pm

Hmmm, just “Water is wet” science.
Anybody who has looked at sea levels knows that what they say is quite true, sea levels were also higher a few thousand years ago too during the optimum.
There is no doubt that sea levels are higher during warmer times, the only real question is “How fast will they rise?” 50 years and we have a problem, 1,000 years and don’t worry, predictions that far out will be wrong anyway.

July 9, 2015 4:31 pm

Sorry, but the next 100 years will see a 20 cm rise like the last 100 years and the 100 years before that. Check back with me in a hundred years – oh wait…well maybe you could listen to Nobel Prize Winning Physicist Dr. Ivar Giaever on the subject: –
“For the last hundred years, the ocean has risen 20 cm — but for the previous hundred years the ocean also has risen 20 cm and for the last 300 years, the ocean has also risen 20 cm per 100 years. So there is no unusual rise in sea level….”
You’ve got your centimeters mixed up with your feet – oh just a minor mistake…

July 9, 2015 4:39 pm

Well of course. When reality and the model differ, it’s always reality that’s wrong. It couldn’t be the model.

July 9, 2015 5:12 pm

I have a question. Has the number of orchestrated, lying studies before Paris spiked this year, or has this been building over years?

Reply to  Mark
July 9, 2015 5:24 pm

Kinda a loaded question, almost like asking “Have you stopped beating your wife?”
No ?

Reply to  u.k.(us)
July 9, 2015 5:37 pm


Reply to  u.k.(us)
July 9, 2015 5:54 pm

I like that answer, short and sweet.
Probably what I deserved.

Reply to  u.k.(us)
July 10, 2015 4:58 am

““Have you stopped beating your wife?””
Hey, I can’t help it if she can’t play Scrabble !

July 9, 2015 5:28 pm

How does this qualify as science? They looked at past history and saw when co2 levels were higher and note that sea levels were higher? Isn’t that something I could do on Google with a search in 1 minute? This is good enough to get in the prestigious science mag? I think the standards for science publication have dropped so low it’s ridiculous. An article was recently published on that showed biology students were as likely as non-biology majors in choosing false biology statements. The biology students had more reasons why the false statement was true!!
The article points out as I’ve seen that many students of science cannot distinguish what is known and what they think is true. The fact has been shown throughout history that what seems logical and conforms to internally generated common sense doesn’t mean it is factual. This is a crucial skill for a scientist. It is sorely lacking from practically every climate science article I read. There are exceptions but so much is just worthless. Are our science institutions turning into stupid farms?
Certain areas of seem ripe with hopeless poverty of understanding what science really is. Nutrition, biology, environmentalism, climate. In these areas the merest association implies causality. Leveraging unproven assumptions to deduce further unproven conclusions. Science being turned into a popularity contest. It sounds like the Middle Ages returning.

Reply to  logiclogiclogic
July 10, 2015 5:34 am

“There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such trifling investment of facts.”
Mark Twain

Just an engineer
Reply to  mikerestin
July 10, 2015 7:31 am

So, where are the facts?

Richard of NZ
Reply to  mikerestin
July 10, 2015 3:56 pm

Reply to
Just an engineer
July 10, 2015 at 7:31 am
So, where are the facts?
CO2 is a gas
Climate changes
The poles are colder than the tropics
Ice melts
Water freezes
How many relevant facts do you want? I’m certain I could find some more.

Reply to  mikerestin
July 11, 2015 5:23 am

Especially if the data is outrageously so cherry picked.

James Schrumpf
July 9, 2015 5:33 pm

Anyone familiar with the geologic record knows that the granularity is about. 10K years at the best, so it’s hard to take claims about. 2 degree increases and a 20 ft sea level rise within this century very seriously.

Don K
Reply to  James Schrumpf
July 10, 2015 1:40 am

Anyone familiar with the geologic record knows that the granularity is about. 10K years at the best

Perhaps a bit oversimplified. Temporal resolution depends on what you are looking at. For ice cores, tree rings and varved clays it can be one year. For really old stuff it can be millions of years. But in general your point is correct. With rare exceptions paleo data on most everything is pretty awful.

July 9, 2015 6:22 pm

Al Gore: 20 ft, 20 centimeters, at this point, what difference does it make?
Al Gore: Look, I have a minimal carbon footprint. My jet travel uses Xena gas (the female version is more powerful than the male xenon version).
Leonardo DiCaprio: Those press stories about me staying in Brazil for the 2014 World Cup aboard a mega motor yacht were false. The alleged photos were photoshop frauds. I actually sailed from Malibu to Brazil, in a 90-foot 19th-century frigate, burning no fuel whatsoever.
Naome Oreskes: I didn’t lie in my Facebook posts I wasn’t lying about skiing in Utah. But,from San Diego, I bummed rides on hang gliders launching from Torrey Pines. In Boston, I x-country skied up to Cansda, and caught dogsled rides to the rockies, then x-country skied down to Deer Valley. I don’t use fossil fuel. It is evil.
Christiana Figueres: Fossil fuel burning must be shut down. I windsurf across the Atlantic and and Pacific.
Barry O: You think AF1 is burning fossil fuel? Think again. DARPA has given me technology that flies me, and my family on solar winds. The White House? We use no heating or A/C. My carbon footprint is smaller than Al Gore’s.
Upcoming Paris COP21 attendees: Some of us are swimming across the Atlantic, Med and Pacific. Others are using sailboards. We learned a lesson from John Kerry, a master windsurfer who sailboarded from D. C. to Geneva to convince the Iranians to not develop nukes. But nobody is flying on a fossil-fuel/ CO2-spewing jet. And we are not riding in cars–especially limos–to the convention from our tent city. We are all riding bikes.
97% of climate scientists who constituted John Cook’s papers-review who were contacted subsequently stated, in response to his personal inquiry: i used to fly indiscriminately, but I never fly anywhere, anymore. I don’t drive a fossil-fuel-burning car. I only walk, bike and drive a solar-cell-covered car. That’s how much I believe that anthropogenic global warming will destroy the world. ( I just don’t get it why Cook didn’t publish this poll. He has the data.)
These and other anti-fossil-fuel voices all have decided not to burn fossil fuels to travel, or heat or cool their abodes. This is a FACT. The Science is In, the Debate is Over.

Gary Pearse
July 9, 2015 6:55 pm

There’s time for another hundred or so alarming papers before the Paris do. Remember Cook sorted through 12,000 peer reviewed climate papers published in one decade for his study!!! This is 5.5 papers per work day!! Amazing output in a science in which no one knows much for sure. How many papers on general relativity and quantum mechanics were written in any decade you would like to choose? Where are all these 2-300,000 climate scientists going to find work when the market closes. With only one simple equation that no one is permitted to change or replace, what in the dickens can you say in 12,000 papers. That is a bigger mystery to me than the details of climate.

Reply to  Gary Pearse
July 10, 2015 7:03 am

“What the “other” orientation was I can’t recall.”. Transgender?

Richard of NZ
Reply to  Gary Pearse
July 10, 2015 4:01 pm

Re Dickens
They were the best of times, they were the worst of times.
It is far far better thing I do than I have ever done.
I think Paris (the city not the man) comes in there somewhere.

Jack Permian
July 9, 2015 8:18 pm

The sea level about 40-60k years ago was about 100 metres lower than today – how does that information squeeze in between the blue bars of the graph in the summary above? What was the CO2 level then?

July 9, 2015 9:06 pm

A number of commenters noticed the level from 25,000 yrs ago was missing. Here’s the revised version.comment image

July 9, 2015 10:11 pm

“to temperatures that we are on path to reach within decades”
The current trend will take us, within decades, exactly nowhere different than where we are now. Temperature-wise, that is.
As for sea level, even during the fastest pulse of the Holocene ice melting, sea levels rose about 2 meters per hundred years.
If we somehow matched the rate of rise of meltwater pulse 1A, it would take three hundred years for seas to rise twenty feet.
But getting back to this “path” we are on, how is it that people can write articles that seem to assume that the CGMs are somehow reality, but the actual temperature trends are not?

Louis Hunt
July 9, 2015 10:50 pm

How did this paper get past peer review? Every good warmist knows that the temperatures of today are unprecedented. So how could they possibly show us what sea levels were when temperatures were as warm or warmer than today? /sarc

Reply to  Louis Hunt
July 11, 2015 5:25 am

Easy. It`s Science and the editor is…..?

July 10, 2015 1:42 am

Could not be bothered to read that verbiage to the end.
On a more serious note I remember being told by an old teacher (R.I.P.) that our moon moves away from us by about 1.5 inches per year.
That means she has departed by 9.125 feet since I was born.
Now given the lunar effect on tides/sea levels, to whome should I apply to for a space at the Global Warming grant trough to carry out a “pier” reviewed study into the consequences of same.
No doubt there is at least one gifted commentator among Anthony’s Army on here who can give me guidance.

Reply to  waterside4
July 10, 2015 10:13 am

waterside4 July 10, 2015 at 1:42 am

…to whome whom should I apply to for a space at the Global Warming grant trough to carry out a “pier” reviewed study into the consequences of same.

May I please be the first pier reviewer? I just bought a nice mid-weight rig (9′ medium action paired with a Garcia Ambassadeur 5000 Special Edition. Holds a ton of 20# test and casts a mile) and I’m willing to personally go to all the piers where you collected data and conduct a thorough pier review. Of course you’ll have to throw in a little request for funds in that grant to cover my portion of the research expenses; travel, food, lodging, and bait.
Thanks in advance.

Reply to  H.R.
July 10, 2015 12:38 pm

“Of course you’ll have to throw in a little request for funds in that grant to cover my portion of the research expenses; travel, food, lodging, beer and bait.”

July 10, 2015 2:07 am

It is interesting to note those little maps in the figures. It seems that they count on about 1/3 of the Greenland Ice-Sheet melting in the Eemian. That is equivalent to about 2 meters sea-level rise. And even that is stretching things. Every deep ice-drilling project on the Greenland ice-cap, including Dye 3 in the south, has found Eemian ice, so the ice cap obviously didn’t shrink drastically. Even the small isolated Renland Icecap on the East Coast has Eemian ice in it.
A complete collapse of the West Antarctic icesheet (WAIS) would only add about 3 meters more to sea-level. This is a much smaller figure than those usually bandied about (like 7 meters), but since most of the WAIS is below sea-level much of the meltwater is “used up” filling out the new ocean, particularly since sea-water is about 10% denser than glacier ice. Also much of the WAIS is on land, or is otherwise dynamically unable to collapse. And indeed ice older than the Eemian is known to be present in highland areas in West Antarctica.
Even factoring in thermosteric expansion 6 meters sea-level rise in the Eemian is barely feasible, and indeed a simple world-wide averaging of Eemian sea-level markers gives something like 4-5 meters. However all estimates based on preserved Eemian sea level markers will be biased upwards, since coastlines below present sea level are very difficult to find, and evidence for coast-lines close to present sea-level have usually been removed or overprinted by Holocene seas.
Incidentally world-wide Eemian seal levels vary from 990 meters above present sea-level (New Zealand) to 360 meter below (Northern Italy).
Personally I put most trust in evidence from Southern Australia (Gawler Craton) which is tectonically very stable and has a unique horizontal Eemian coastline stretching for 500 km. No such large area has ever been known to have moved as a rigid block anywhere in the World, so it has probably not moved vertically since the Eemian. The Eemian sea-level there was about 2 meters higher than at present.
However it is meaningless to put a single figure to “sea level rise” in the Eemian. The geoid has changed. The Ice-age before the Eemian was very different from the last, The ice-sheets were much larger for one thing, and there was no “Younger Dryas” pause in deglaciation, so isostasy was very different, with effects up to several thousand kilometers from former ice-sheets. The remaining ice-sheets were different with consequently differing self-gravity effects. The coasts have either sunk or risen tectonically practically everywhere. Weather patterns (average winds, barometric pressure and ocean currents) were different in a warmer, wetter world with significantly different geography. This means that if we could reconstruct “true” Eemian sea-levels exactly (which we can’t, and never will, short of a time machine) they would still differ by several meters in different parts of the World

Reply to  tty
July 11, 2015 5:27 am

South Australia data shows stage 11 sea level is about 0! This is based on geological evidence, of which the writers seem to know very little.

July 10, 2015 6:02 am

last time i checked, Greenland was roughly 7 times smaller than Antarctica, and had at least 10 times less ice. Why they are represented at same size, you can imagine.
And even the warmistas’ colonized wikipedia states that “during the last interglacial period, 130,000–116,000 years ago, when local temperatures were on average 5 °C (9 °F) higher than now, the glaciers on Greenland did not completely melt away.[66]”
I wonder how half as much is a rise in T is supposed to accomplish more a melting …

Bill Illis
July 10, 2015 6:28 am

The Pliocene sea level estimate is strictly a cherry-pick.
Between 3.25 Mya and 2.7 Mya (when the ice ages started), sea level was as high as 20 metres above today as a low as -50 metres below today, the average was -12 metres below today’s sea level.
Furthermore, the CO2 levels are a cherry-pick. Between 3.25 Mya and 2.7 Mya, CO2 was as low as 208 ppm and as high as 452 ppm, the average was 317 ppm.

July 10, 2015 8:02 am

The root of their problem is their adherence to the enviro-religious belief in a “pre-industrial equilibrium” of climate. The climate always changing so any one point in time is just an isolated sample of the state of a complex system. It says nothing about other samples in and of itself. Only a true understanding of the whole system could help but we all know that is neither available today nor desired by the CAGW crowd. A real climate scientist would have to admit that ther is no such thing as equilibrium.

July 10, 2015 8:27 am

So my layman’s take-away from this article: it was warmer in the past (before fossil fuel use), there was as much or more CO2 in the atmosphere as there is now, and those two situations did not necessarily occur at the same time. Oh, and ice melted and we don’t know why.
Did I get this right?

July 10, 2015 8:46 am

cartoon like graphic seems , easy on the eye for those that suffer eye strain when they have to think about what they are seeing.

July 10, 2015 9:21 am

The quality of the science appears inversely proportional to the number of co-authors.

Reply to  jmichna
July 11, 2015 5:28 am

Spot on. All are warmists anyway.

Ken L in Kelowna
July 10, 2015 9:29 am

I totally have the easiest, low cost solution for rising sea levels. Death Valley in eastern California is as much as 282 feet below sea level and has an area of about 3,000 square miles. All that is required is a suitable sized pipeline from the nearby Pacific ocean, running over the mountains and terminating so it drains into the deepest point in Death Valley. Once a pumping system is put in place and the sea water begins to flow downhill, gravity will take over and a constant flow of water will be established, lowerin he ocean level slowly, and gradually filling the Death Valley basin. The new inland lake would be non-tidal, so the salt would settle out, providing a potential huge fresh water supply for California, and the cooler lake surface would have an effect on the regional temperature, reversing global warming. For the first time, humans could test the effect by adjusting and regulating the flow into the new lake, increasing its size to cool things, decreasing it if things get too cool. Once the lake reaches an adequate volume, fresh water could be pumped into the California aquifer, possibly via the Colorado river, to support irrigation and consumer needs for millenia.

Reply to  Ken L in Kelowna
July 10, 2015 2:53 pm

A quick back of the envelope calculation with the following assumptions: average depth of 140 feet, 3000 square miles would yeild roughly 79.5 cubic miles of water capacity. One could further assume that some amount would soak into the ground (and into the aquifer) thus allowing extra/future means of reducing GMSL. I don’t have the figures at hand but that still probably won’t have much impact on sea level. Maybe someone can run the numbers if they have the info needed.

Steve Reddish
Reply to  Ken L in Kelowna
July 10, 2015 3:32 pm

Ken L, SHHHHH, not so loud! If California politicians get wind of this idea they will push for a federal tax to support subsidies to their friends to construct the pipeline. Then, when they discover syphoning can only be done over a hump of about 3 meters, there will be a tax to build wind mills and solar arrays (also via subsidies to their friends) to power pumps to move the sea water. Then, when they discover “green” power is too unreliable, there will be a plan to use hydro turbines in the downhill leg to power the uphill pumps. Then when that is discovered to be unfeasible, there will be a surcharge on electricity consumers to pay for the pumping.
Once seawater starts to flow into Death Valley, the anticipation of a new source of fresh water will be used as reason to dump all the water impounded in Northern California into the Sacramento river to save introduced fish. When it is discovered that salt will not settle out of seawater when there is no tide (Note Mediterranean Sea has no tide), what will come next? Will desalination plants be built just to make a fresh water lake out of the new salt lake?

Walt D.
July 10, 2015 1:50 pm

Time to get my micrometer out and head down to the beach.

Walt D.
July 10, 2015 1:52 pm

Always knew that those old feeler gauges that we used to used to adjust valve clearances and spark plugs would come in useful some day.

July 10, 2015 8:01 pm

Fascinating how whatever is stuidied, even over millions of years, it always comes down to CO2 and the necessity for wrecking the developed world’s economies lest we have disaster a decade or two out. It’s almost like you have to say stuff like that to get published nowadays.

Reply to  noloctd
July 11, 2015 11:10 am

Absolutely sight. Same too with any chance of getting a research grant – however daft the proposal, and there have a few!

Jeff Alberts
July 12, 2015 4:30 pm

“When past temperatures were similar to or slightly higher than the present global average…”
So they’re admitting today’s meaningless global average isn’t unprecedented after all, when compared to past, estimated meaningless global averages.
I think the whole charade is meaningless.

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