An Open Invitation to Ira Flatow

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

I had to go to town yesterday, and so I was glad it was Friday, because it’s Science Friday on the local Public Broadcasting System station and I can listen on my truck radio. In general I enjoy Science Friday, because the host, Ira Flatow, has interesting people on the show and he usually asks interesting questions … except when it’s about climate change. In that case his scientific training goes out the window, and he merely parrots the alarmist line.

In any case I was listening to Science Friday yesterday, and Ira referred to some recent pictures of flooding in Miami, Florida, as evidence that climate change is real and is already affecting Florida. It was the radio so no pictures, but he was referring to photos like this that have been in the news …

miami floodingHe was talking with a young woman, a Chicana climate activist. He and the activist agreed that this was clear evidence of anthropogenic climate change. In response to his question, she said that she was definitely using the Miami flooding to drive home the message that people should be very afraid of human-caused climate change, and that we’re already seeing the effects. I was depressed thinking of the fear, uncertainty, and doubt that such false claims would cause.

I fear that both of them have been taken in by what I call a “scientific urban legend”. It’s easy enough to do. It happened to me a lot a while back … not so much lately, my urban legend detector works pretty well these days.

In this case, the urban legend is the false claim that warming over the last century has accelerated the rate of sea level rise. There is no sign of this claimed acceleration.

From the beginning of the climate alarmism in the 1980s, the long-predicted acceleration in the rate of sea level rise has been … well … the kindest description might be “late to the party”, because the predicted acceleration still hasn’t arrived. James Hansen famously predicted back in 1988 that in forty years the West Side Highway in New York City would be underwater. From the 1988 levels, to swamp the West Side Highway would require about a 3 metre (10 foot) sea level rise.

We’re now 27 years into his prediction, two-thirds of the way there, and instead of two-thirds of three metres of sea level rise, the sea level rise in NYC since his prediction has been … wait for it …

Three inches. 7.5 cm.

And from this point to make his prediction come true, we’d need ~ 9.9 feet of sea level rise in 13 years … that’s three quarters of a foot (225 mm) each and every year for the next thirteen years. Never happen. His prediction, like the overwhelming majority of climate alarmist predictions, is total nonsense. Here’s the data, from the PSMSL.

tides new york battery psmslNote the lack of any evidence of acceleration in the New York record … but we were talking Florida, not New York. Unfortunately, the Miami record is short, truncated, and intermittent. There are records from the thirties to the fifties, then a five-year gap, then the record stops abruptly in the eighties, with the last few years missing data. As a result, it’s useless for looking at acceleration of sea level rise. However, there are a couple of long-term stations in the vicinity. Here are the two longest continuous tide station records in Florida:

mean sea level trend key west flKey West  Note the lack of any acceleration. Here are the 50-year trends for Key West, with the trend values located at the center of the 50-year interval.

variation 50 yr sea level trend key west flNow, look at the error bars (vertical “whiskers” with horizontal lines top/bottom). If the error bars of two trends overlap, the difference between them is NOT statistically significant. And in this record, every single error bar overlaps every other single error bar … meaning there is NOT any acceleration of sea level rise over the period 1915-2015.

Next, the corresponding graphs for Pensacola, Florida, only slightly shorter:

mean sea level trend pensacola flPensacola

variation 50 yr sea level trend pensacola flAgain we see the same thing. All of the error bars overlap. No acceleration.

Now, in case you mistakenly think this lack of acceleration of sea level rise is unique to Florida or New York, let me point you to and quote from an article in the Journal of Coastal Research. The authors sum up their study as follows (emphasis mine):

Conclusion:

Our analyses do not indicate acceleration in sea level in U.S. tide gauge records during the 20th century. Instead, for each time period we consider, the records show small decelerations that are consistent with a number of earlier studies of worldwide-gauge records. The decelerations that we obtain are opposite in sign and one to two orders of magnitude less than the +0.07 to +0.28 mm/y2 accelerations that are required to reach sea levels predicted for 2100 by Vermeer and Rahmsdorf (2009), Jevrejeva, Moore, and Grinsted (2010), and Grinsted, Moore, and Jevrejeva (2010). Bindoff et al. (2007) note an increase in worldwide temperature from 1906 to 2005 of 0.74uC.

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.

Note that the “sea levels predicted for 2100 by Vermeer and Rahmsdorf (2009), Jevrejeva, Moore, and Grinsted (2010), and Grinsted, Moore, and Jevrejeva (2010)” are the standard alarmist predictions of sea level rise. The study says that not only is there no acceleration in the record, sea level rise has possibly slowed very slightly over the last eighty years … go figure.

So like I said, this is an opportunity for Dr. Flatow (he has a couple of honorary PhDs …) to abjure his mistaken ways. I’m posting this here, and I’m also sending a copy to him, as well as to other PBS addresses … we’ll see how it plays out. I’d be most happy if he were to post a reply here stating something like ‘If the data changes I change my mind … what do you do?’, but that may be too much to hope for.

All the best,

w.

AS USUAL: If you disagree with someone, please QUOTE THE EXACT WORDS YOU OBJECT TO. This lets everyone know both who and what you find incorrect.

TIDAL DATA: PSMSL

FLORIDA DATA: NOAA Tides and Currents

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337 thoughts on “An Open Invitation to Ira Flatow

    • To make the same point without the abrupt terminology:
      I think you’ve mixed up meters and feet as you work through the calculation. You convert 3 meters to 10 feet, then deduct a few inches from 10 feet but call it meters – then convert the 9.9 meters back to even more feet.

      • Which in no way invalidates your conclusion at the end of the paragraph:”
        ” His prediction, like the overwhelming majority of climate alarmist predictions, is total nonsense

    • As off as your reading comprehension?
      AS USUAL: If you disagree with someone, please QUOTE THE EXACT WORDS YOU OBJECT TO. This lets everyone know both who and what you find incorrect.

    • Thanks to all of you, my blood was so angrified by the lunacy that I couldn’t do simple math. Fixed now.
      w.

      • Another lovely post Willis. I too had apoplexy listening to Friday’s Flatow. Sadly you both missed the obvious: All that mud flowing down the Mississippi, Amazon, Niger, Irrawaddi, Yellow, Yangtse and the rest of them! It’s no wonder the sea level is rising by metes and bounds. And then there’s mount Everest still getting higher… which should lower sea level if they used the top of Everest as the Datum. What’s up with That?

      • Perhaps just to aggravate some of you people, the 97% number Obama recently stated as fact. Don’t want discussion about any made up numbers but, assuming there is a large number of people claiming AGCC, how many of those same people also were experts on the coming Ice Age, then Global Warming and now are so confused they call it Climate Change? So the president tells us 97% agree man has done irreparable harm and it’s too late, send all your money, do any of you see a pattern?

      • What does that have to with Tamino’s work,

        Grant Foster aka “Tamimo” is cowardly propagandist who makes lots of mistakes but deletes any challenge or corrections to what he posts.
        He never steps out side the sanctuary of his blog where he controls all content and is free from being shown for the fool that he is. That is how a propagandist works, it is not how science works.
        Those who choose to believe his BS are pictured above. Get the picture?

      • What does that have to with Tamino’s work,

        Grant Foster aka “Tamimo” is cowardly propagandist who makes lots of mistakes but deletes any challenge or corrections to what he posts.
        He never steps out side the sanctuary of his blog where he controls all content and is free from being shown for the fool that he is. That is how a propagandist works, it is not how science works.
        Those who choose to believe his BS are pictured above.

      • Somebody probably told them that there was no evidence that global warming was real and this was their response.

    • Tom
      Why don’t you do something important and novel by telling us what is wrong with the paper by Houston and Dean. I read it when it came out and have never seen a credible challenge to its findings. Understandably it has just been ignored. Easier that way.

    • This is probably a futile effort. But I read the Florida sea level blog of Taminos. And I cannot see how his 3rd chart of projected rates could possibly follow from the first and second. And in any case, his third chart has such large error bars, I don’t see how any conclusions could be drawn from it. And that is without even asking the question of how could the error bars get larger as we get close to the current year.

      • EVEN IF Tamino could show a rate of sea level rise how do I know it’s due to melting ice / thermal expansion??? Could we be seeing an acceleration in the rate of groundwater extraction?

        UN-IGRAC – 2010
        Global groundwater depletion leads to sea level rise
        A collaboration between IGRAC and the Utrecht University lead to a joint article which is presently in press in Geophysical Research Letters….
        Large-scale abstraction of groundwater for irrigation of crops leads to a sea level rise of 0.8 mm per year, which is about one fourth of the current rate of sea level rise of 3.3 mm per year….
        ——–
        Reference:
        Yoshihide Wada et al – 26 October 2010
        Global depletion of groundwater resources
        Geophysical Research Letters
        DOI: 10.1029/2010GL044571
        Number of times cited: 133

      • Even if there is an acceleration – who done it? Melting ice? Thermal expansion? Or man?

        Abstract – 8 May 2012
        Yoshihide Wada et al
        Past and future contribution of global groundwater depletion to sea-level rise
        Recent studies suggest the increasing contribution of groundwater depletion to global sea-level rise. Groundwater depletion has more than doubled during the last decades, primarily due to increase in water demand, while the increase in water impoundments behind dams has been tapering off since the 1990s……
        http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2012GL051230/pdf
        http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2012GL051230

      • At the risk of sounding like a nitpicker, I have to wonder what “faster than linear” means.
        Speed of light in vacuum is pretty damned linear. Something that accelerates is not necessarily going “faster than linear”… it depends on the acceleration, and the slope of the linear line.
        From what I’ve seen the acceleration, while slight, is negative. So dbakerber’s “faster than linear”, might well be correct, depending on what he means… but it’s getting “faster” in the opposite direction he thinks.
        I have yet to personally see Tamino directly answer a probing question. Even those which should be easy.

    • Tom Dayton October 3, 2015 at 4:02 pm

      The reality is that, as Tamino has shown repeatedly, sea level rise has been faster than linear. https://tamino.wordpress.com/?s=sea+level

      If that is so, please point out the acceleration in the Florida records shown above … and if you can’t, then is Ira Flatow right or wrong about Miami being evidence?
      In any case, I am always skeptical about Tamino. He banned me from his site years ago for asking inconveniently scientific questions, and when a man does that, I don’t believe a word he says from then on unless about three other folks that I do respect agree with him.
      Why not? Because banning me means that Tamino has a huge agenda to support and further climate alarmism through any means, foul or fair …
      In the case of his claims about the Florida sea levels, it’s well known (see here and p. 8 here) that you need about fifty years of sea levels to get reasonable accuracy. In fact, Tammy’s graph looks just like those graphs in reverse … with much smaller errors than observations establish are involved.
      At fifteen years, the error is on the order of ±5-7 mm/year. Note that this is inherent error due to the ~50-year length of the tidal cycles, and is in ADDITION TO statistical error … and Tammy regales us with statistical-only error bars on 15-year data of about ± 2 mm.
      So anyhow, Tom, you’re welcome to believe Tammy’s claims … me, I’ll pass.
      w.

      • One other comment. Tamino is often fixated on WUWT and on myself. When I or someone else writes something on WUWT that questions the received climate wisdom from on high, he’ll often scour the scientific universe for something, anything that might possibly, if held up in a certain way in the dusk with the light behind it, be interpreted as showing WUWT is wrong …
        And naturally, he often makes some foolish error like not accounting for inherent internal sea level trend uncertainty, and just showing us statistical uncertainty instead …
        w.

      • You’re exactly right, Willis, about the lack of acceleration in rate of sea-level rise, and about Tamino (Mr. Grant Foster).
        Tom Dayton wrote, “as Tamino has shown repeatedly, sea level rise has been faster than linear.” But Tamino has not actually shown that. He only thought he showed that. He botched it.
        Tamino’s error was that he conflated satellite altimetry data with tide gauge data, creating the illusion of acceleration in rate of sea-level rise, where none actually exists. (The IPCC made the same mistake. Tony Heller memorably called it the “IPCC Sea Level Nature Trick.”)
        I tried to point out Tamino’s mistake to him, politely, but his blog is heavily censored to stifle such dissent, and especially to prevent corrections of his own errors. That’s how he can get away with the misinformation he spreads, which confused Tom Dayton.
        You’re also right, Willis, about the necessity for at least 50 years of tide gauge data to compute a robust long-term sea-level trend, too. On my site I have a list of other sources making that point, here:
        http://www.sealevel.info/papers.html#howlong
        I don’t have that AMSAT Pacific Country Report for Kiribati in that list, currently, but it’s a good one, and I’ll add it. Thank you for the link!
        However, your other link doesn’t work You wrote, “it’s well known (see here and p. 8 here) that you need about fifty years of sea levels to get reasonable accuracy.” The first “here” link doesn’t work.

      • I just downloaded the most recent satellite altimetry data and it shows a slight deceleration over the entire record.
        From the paper you cited- “We analyzed the altimeter data from November 1992 to April 2010 and found a deceleration of -0.06 mm/y2.”
        So the satellite record shows slight deceleration from 1993 – 2015.
        The tide gauge record shows slight deceleration over 80 years.
        Apparently one way to show ‘acceleration is to truncate the tide gauge data after 1992 and append the satellite altimetry data, since this provides a step increase in the rate of sea level rise.
        The strange thing is that the tide gauges are used to calibrate the satellite altimetry data.
        From the same paper you cited-
        “…measurements were in good agreement up until 1999 and then began to diverge with the altimeters recording a significantly higher sea-level trend than worldwide-tide gauge records. Domingues et al. say that an explanation for the divergence is ‘‘urgently needed’’ (p. 1092) This divergence adds significant uncertainty to the altimeter measurements because tide-gauge records are used to calibrate the altimeter and correct for drift (Bindoff et al., 2007).”

      • To quote you Willis,
        “And naturally ,” Looking at ALL, I am still waiting for someone to put the MOON into the calculation, hmm maybe its to big ?

      • I banned myself from Tamino/Foster’s site after he deleted most of my submitted comment and then attacked me for the remaining out-of-context sentence. I realized that going to his site is a waste of time.

      • I recognized Tamino’s ‘attack with everything true or not then claim victory if any one part is ignored’ propaganda style right out the gate. When a person uses anger, insult, and tortured data instead of polite discourse, I write them off quickly too.
        Basically, I don’t engage with folks that, in my opinion, demonstrate sociopathic tendencies.
        Anything he has to say will need to be vetted by someone of merit before I will waste any time on it. My time is too precious to me to waste it finding his errors, no matter how clever he finds them. Let him run to the end of his chain and bark at others…

    • Tom Dayton and Bill 2, Tamino’s work is based on computer models which all fail to show the current temperatures, rainfall/draught, storm count/intensity and sea level change.
      Willis’ work is based on real data, not models and what is observed is that despite a (small) increase in temperature in the previous century (and none in this century), there is no accelerating sea level increase, to the contrary.
      Thus if you speak of reality, don’t use the output of failed computer models as argument, you make yourself only look foolish on this blog…

      • Ferdinand,
        This is simply untrue…completely untrue. Did you even bother to look at the links before you made this claim?
        His “Florida Sea Level” post is based on data, not models.
        His “Sea Level Rise: Faster than Projected” post looks both at real data AND models in order to conclude that the sea level rise is faster than projected by the modeling.
        And, I could go on…

    • Tamino’s blog he cites peer review you say.

      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
      http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00319.1
      ==================
      Abstract – January 2014
      Global sea level trend during 1993–2012
      [Highlights
      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….
      http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921818113002397
      ==================
      Letter To Nature – 23 March 2014
      The rate of sea-level rise
      Present-day sea-level rise is a major indicator of climate change1. Since the early 1990s, sea level rose at a mean rate of ~3.1 mm yr-1 (refs 2, 3). However, over the last decade a slowdown of this rate, of about 30%, has been recorded4, 5, 6, 7, 8. It coincides with a plateau in Earth’s mean surface temperature evolution, known as the recent pause in warming1, 9, 10, 11, 12……
      http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v4/n5/full/nclimate2159.html

    • It bears repeating that E.Grant Foster, aka “tamino”, doesn’t have any college degrees or any solid scientific training. Evidence to the contrary is, once again, solicited.
      He did some amateur astronomy under the wing of Janet Mattei at the AAVSO. Any more than that?

      • Christopher Keating has nothing worthwhile to add.
        Readers may not recall, but Christopher Keating was featured in an article here last year:
        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/07/06/about-that-30000-to-disprove-global-warming-contest
        Keating was so thoroughly ridiculed by commenters for arranging his phony “wager” (he annointed himself as the exclusive, final, and only arbiter of who would be paid for answering his challenge. Hey, based on that formula, I can offer a reward of ten trillion quatloos to anyone proving that unicorns don’t exist (but like Keating, I reserve the exclusive right to determine whether anyone has won my challenge).
        That’s what Keating did. Instead of offering a completely bogus award that will never be paid, he should start taking ethics classes, followed by placing his $10,000 into an escrow account with a neutral third party, which would employ eminent scientists selected equally by both sides of the debate, and who will decide if Keating’s challenge was met.
        But we know there’s as much chance of that happening as Keating riding a unicorn to class…

      • I concur with “Davie in Canmore”.
        Tamino’s credentials have zero to do with whether he is right or wrong. Scholarly acedemics can be wrong; “waste disposal engineers” can be right. What matters is what they say, not who they are.

    • I looked at the linked post, “Florida Sea Level”.
      The money graph (the 4th one) shows the rate of sea level rise using the latest year as the end, and each previous year (from the beginning to the year 2000) as the start.
      Guess what? It happens that the 2nd and 3rd graphs show a bump upward in sea level during the last 3 years. Now we can’t be sure that it will return to the trend, but previous bumps (in the 40’s and in the 70’s, as seen in the 2nd and 3rd graphs) have returned to the trend.
      So of course if you show the rate with a nearby year (about 15 years previous) as the start, and the current year as the end, the current bump will cause the rate to be high. As you move your start date backward in time from the that (15 year previous) year, the rate will get lower and lower, since the significance of a bump at the end gets smaller and smaller as you go back in time for your start year.
      If you chose the 1940’s bump as your end and a year 15 years before that as your start, and then went backwards in time for your start year, you would see a similar result, showing that at that time the sea level rise was “accelerating”. But gee, a few years later, once the data returned to the trend, if you used THAT year as your end year (and went 15 years previous for your start, and then went back from there for the start), the picture would be totally different, showing no acceleration at all. You would see the same phenomenon using the 1970’s bump as your end year, and repeating the process. But choosing a year after that 1970’s bump (after it returned to the trend), and repeating the process would again not show the acceleration.
      It seems to me that all his analysis really shows is that the sea level has bumped up (above the trend line) recently. It has also bumped up before, and in those instances it came back to the trend line. Will it come back this time? I don’t know, but I have no reason to believe that it won’t.

      • Bryan wrote, “all [Tamino’s] analysis really shows is that the sea level has bumped up (above the trend line) recently. It has also bumped up before, and in those instances it came back to the trend line. Will it come back this time? I don’t know, but I have no reason to believe that it won’t.”
        Right. The ocean, being full of water, tends to slosh. As Willis (and many other experts) have noted, you at least a half-century of data to derive a robust long term trend from a tide station’s measurements of sea-level.
        However, Tamino also made another, more fundamental, error. He created the appearance of acceleration by using a different sets of tide gauges for different portions of his graph.
        There are only four GLOSS-LTT (Long-Term Trend) tide gauges in Florida:
        Fernandina Beach (beginning in 1897) 2.05 mm/yr
        Key West (beginning in 1913) 2.33 mm/yr
        Pensacola (beginning in 1923) 2.12 mm/yr
        Mayport (beginning in 1928) 2.50 mm/yr
        The three longest tide gauge records are from widely separated gauges. Pensacola is in the Central Time Zone, in the Florida Panhandle, near Mobile, Alabama, on the Gulf of Mexico. Fernandina Beach and Mayport are near the Georgia state line, on the Atlantic Ocean. Key West is the extreme southernmost tip of Florida; nautically, it is about equidistant between Pensacola and Fernandina/Mayport. (The distances are large; Fernandina/Mayport is closer to me, in North Carolina, than it is to Key West.)
        None of those GLOSS-LTT graphs show any statistically significant acceleration in sea-level rise, except for Fernandina Beach, where the rate of sea-level rise appears to have increased about 100 years ago (when CO2 was ~300 ppmv), but hasn’t increased since.
        So how did Tamino manage to produce a graph showing an apparent acceleration in sea-level rise, despite the best actual Florida tide gauges not showing any acceleration? Easy: he conflated data from different locations.
        That’s scientific malpractice. Local rates of sea-level change can vary a lot from one location to another, due to differences in local vertical land movement, so by creating a graph with different locations graphed for different time periods, you can create the illusion of either acceleration or deceleration. That’s what Tamino did.
        The first 16 years of Tamino’s graph is just a graph of sea-level at Fernandina Beach. But for the right-hand end of his graph he combined data from eleven Florida tide stations, presumably eleven of these fifteen:
        http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/sltrends_states.htm?gid=1238
        As it happens, most of the shorter tide gauge records are from locations which have experienced somewhat higher rates of sea-level rise than have the locations with the three longest measurement records. For instance, Fort Myers (with a record starting in 1965) has seen 2.73 ±0.5 mm/yr sea-level rise. So by including its data in the mix, Tamino could increase the “average” rate of sea-level rise for the dates since 1965, helping to create the illusion of accelerated sea-level rise.
        Tamino’s “Florida Sea Level” analysis is very shoddy work.

      • It seems that many of those gauges are located in areas where development and ground water extraction could have local effects on apparent mean sea level through local ground subsidence.

      • And have they corrected or over-corrected for the 18.6-yearly Luna Nodal cycle?
        The Dutch seems to have found it.
        Local Relative Sea Level
        To determine the relevance of the nodal cycle at the Dutch coast, a spectral analysis was carried out on the yearly means of six main tidal gauges for the period 1890–2008. The data were corrected for atmospheric pressure variation using an inverse barometer correction. The spectral density shows a clear peak at the 18.6 -year period (Figure 1). The multiple linear regression yields a sea-level rise (b1) of 0.19 +/- 0.015 cm y-1 (95%), an amplitude (A) of 1.2 +/- 0.92 cm, and a phase (w) of -1.16 (with 1970 as 0), resulting in a peak
        in February 2005 (Figure 2). No significant acceleration (inclusion of b2) was found.
        CONCLUSIONS
        Coastal management requires estimates of the rate of sealevel rise. The trends found locally for the Dutch coast are the same as have been found in the past 50 years (Deltacommissie, 1960; Dillingh et al., 1993). Even though including the nodal cycle made it more likely that the high-level scenarios would become apparent in the observations, no acceleration in the rate of sea-level rise was found. The higher, recent rise (van den Hurk et al., 2007) coincides with the up phase of the nodal cycle. For the period 2005 through 2011, the Dutch mean sea-level is expected to drop because the lunar cycle is in the down phase. This shows the importance of including the 18.6-year cycle in regional sea-level estimates. Not doing so on a regional or local scale for decadal length projections leads to inaccuracies.

        http://www.bioone.org/doi/pdf/10.2112/JCOASTRES-D-11-00169.1
        Linear trend lines on sinusoidal curves are very time dependent.

  1. To be precise, it would need to rise 117 inches in 13 years, or 9 inches per year. Or, interestingly, the rate would have to zoom from 1/9th inch per year to 9 inches per year, or 81 times as fast.

  2. ERROR Bars!!!
    Well you don’t see that every day.
    When error bands are superimposed over data sets, certainty takes a hit, as it should. That was refreshing to see.

    • These are the error bands (confidence interval) for the slope. So the plotted straight line should be within this band. If you want it for the data sets (data points), calculation of the “prediction interval” and plotting such would be needed. Would be much wider and straight lines, not curve lines as shown.
      Never calculated and seen displayed on this site.

      • I’ll take what I can get. “If you [also] want it for the data sets…” mmm yes…”Never …seen displayed on this site.” I did once. kill joy. 🙂

      • I have a particular pet peeve of erroneously implied measurement precision (and I mean precision as compared with accuracy) Nobody uses error analysis anymore.

  3. Does Al Gore still own that seaside property in California? Apparently he is not expecting the sea to take it away during his ownership, and he expects to be able to sell it. If the sea were rising at a rapid rate, those expectations would be frustrated.

    • Don’t believe Gore bought “seaside” property, but he did buy property that overlooks the Pacific.
      Perhaps he wants to be able to watch as his neighbors lose their homes.

      • Al Gore bought a San Francisco condo that is in the flood zone from a 20 foot rise in sea level. That is the condo building. Perhaps the Goreacle’s condo is on an upper floor.

      • Yes, Gore bought a condo right on the ocean in SF. Any significant SLR would flood the lower levels, rendering the building probably useless.

      • Obama reportedly bought a sea level mansion in Hawaii.
        The noted climate scientist and sea level expert Leonardo Di Caprio recently testified on sea level rise and climate change before congress, and shortly thereafter invested a huge sum in a multibillion dollar sea side real estate development in Central America.
        Actions speak louder than words.

      • These people screaming “sea level rise” and then buying depreciated shore properties are like Soros and friends killing the coal industry and then buying coal companies for pennies on the dollar ( just recently btw). These people are evil.

  4. I was depressed thinking of the fear, uncertainty, and doubt that such false claims would cause.

    I am not so much depressed thinking of the fear such false claims might cause but depressed that people (scientists no less) are capable of making false claims so easily without a second thought.

  5. Seriously,
    ” He and the activist agreed that this was clear evidence of anthropogenic climate change.”
    should make us all cringe.
    No, it is not “clear evidence of anthropogenic climate change”. It might be clear evidence that there has been a lot of rainfall in that area, However, to link that rainfall to whatever anthropogenic activity they are implying has changed the climate requires more that just “because we said so”.

    • An October Nor’easter is causing massive flooding in South Carolina and parts of North Carolina. How often do Nor’easters form in October? This must be clear proof of climate change.
      And a strong Cat-4 hurricane formed in the Atlantic. How often do category 4 hurricanes form in the Atlantic in October? Don’t pay attention to the 1893 Cheniere Caminada hurricane, the 1898 Georgia hurricane, the 1910 Cuba hurricane, the 1921 Tampa Bay hurricane, the 1944 Cuba-Florida hurricane, the 1948 Miami hurricane, the 1950 Hurricane King, 1952 Hurricane Fox, 1954 Hurricane Hazel, 1955 Hurricane Ione, 1956 Hurricane Greta, and 1966 Hurricane Inez. You see, those cat-4 October hurricanes don’t count because the data is old and therefore not robust. This one, Hurricane Joaquin is special. This is the new normal. From now on, every October will be plagued will dangerous category 4 hurricanes, unlike any time in the past.
      (Is [end sarcasm] really needed?)

      • REX Block:
        “This stretch of the East Coast from Charleston to Washington, D.C., is expected to be deluged as a result of a weather pattern called a “Rex Block,” which is forecast to bring heavy rain to the area’s already-oversaturated grounds.
        This “powerful” low-pressure system over the southeast is moving slowly northeast, carrying heavy rainfall and expectations for high tides, the NWS said.”
        http://www.cnbc.com/2015/10/02/hurricane-joaquin-and-rex-block-to-bring-life-threatening-floods.html

      • Dating prior, the war of 1812 ended after a hurricane wiped out the east coast of the US. Some Historians say the English had other obligations, other wars that ended the war the States started. After the original White House was burned, a hurricane hit worse than Sandy. It became almost impossible to move troops and supplies after that and the fighting ceased.

      • I heard the ‘H’ word on the weather channel today. The rains expected in the mid-Atlantic states will be (wait for it) … “historic.” Now there’s word which has been deflated to meaninglessness. Joining “unprecedented”.

      • Yes, alexwade, unfortunately the /sarc tag is required here, as many of the WUWT posters (both warmists and skeptics)have the same sense of humor and sarcasm as does Dr. Sheldon Cooper. The /sarc tag acts to draw them a simple picture of explanation that they may more readily understand. Bzynga!

      • brians356
        October 3, 2015 at 9:50 pm
        The rain in the Carolinas is not directly associated with Hurricane Joaquin, that is 600 nm away in Bermuda (as a Cat 2).

      • Unfortunately, the rains there are on the order of a 1000 year flood event, and many are suffering greatly, and some are dead.
        This may well be one of the worst flooding events in our country’s history.

      • It provides an anecdotal reference for a stepwise change in weather patterns … better than the wet streets of Miami for sea level rise. I wonder if all that water on the Miami streets is even brackish?

  6. We have something very screwy going on down here (Florida Keys) with our sea level rise. First, Key West is moving NW faster than the measured sea level rise. Second, As you move further up the Keys, you reach a point where there is no sea level rise at all. As measured by historic markers, docks, sea walls, etc.
    So….do we have sea level rise or not?…..depends on where you look

  7. “Note that the “sea levels predicted for 2100 by ………. Jevrejeva, Moore, and Grinsted (2010), and Grinsted, Moore, and Jevrejeva (2010)”
    It’s after midnight here in the UK. If I’d had one more drink I’d be wondering if the Grinsted, Moore, and Jevrejeva (2010 paper was the same as the Jevrejeva, Moore, and Grinsted (2010) paper, but with the paragraphs in a different order.
    Time to switch off.

  8. BTW…Willis we have that every year….sometimes twice…..it even has a name, given to it long before global warming…..it’s called a King Tide….this year it coordinated with a SUPER MOON! (those names tickle me!)

    • Willis…nevermind, I did some looking and found out you guys out there call them King tides too!

  9. Hansen did not actually predict the West Side Highway would be covered in 40 years. He predicted that would happen eventually if CO2 doubled. The journalist interviewing him is the one who posed the question poorly. This was explained clearly, with source material, years ago: http;//skepticalscience.com/Examining-Hansens-prediction-about-the-West-Side-Highway.html

    • Tom Dayton,
      Hansen was flat wrong. Why try to defend his wild-eyed predictions?
      To educate yourself, put “hansen” in the WUWT search box.

      • Tom
        My advice is to educate yourself by not sticking to one site, this one, or any other. You get one angle from WUWT, but there are a heap out there with equally valid views.

      • Simon
        October 3, 2015 at 6:06 pm
        When ‘equally valid views’ conflict, where does one go?
        Two things that are true, by definition, cannot contradict each other.
        Either the rate of change of sea level is increasing, or it is not.
        Its just a matter of working out which data has not been interfered with,looking it up and drawing an obvious conclusion.
        Where some famous celebrity has made a prediction, its possible to make a judgement call on that prediction.
        When journalists don’t change despite new information about the prediction, its time to stop listening to them and still find out what the reality is.
        As Aesop points out
        ‘Beware lest you lose the substance by grasping at the shadow’
        http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/a/aesop107142.html

      • DB
        I certainly have a lot more faith in those who study this stuff than some lame mark on a rock. And they tell us the sea is rising and will continue to do so.

      • Simon says:
        I certainly have a lot more faith…
        That says it all. Simon’s religious faith trumps empirical evidence carved into rock.
        Skeptics know the sea level is rising. Naturally. But all the alarmist predictions of the natural sea level rise accelerating were wrong.
        When one side of the debate makes alarming predictions that are always wrong, sensible people will question their original premise, and their unstated motivations.

      • DB already made the point, but Simon’s quote is so extraordinary that it deserves a second look. Here it is again:
        “I certainly have a lot more faith in those who study this stuff than some lame mark on a rock.”
        Simon is prepared to reject the physical evidence right in front of him because he has “faith” in a particular set of authorities he has pre-chosen. If you are not one of those pre-chosen authorities, nothing you say, and no evidence you present, will get through.
        The weird thing is that WE are the ones called deniers.

      • Simon, don’t put words into our mouths. Basic analysis of tidal gauges both American and Global has shown no overall acceleration. SkS’s claims to the contrary relied on cherry-picked data and ludicrously small error bars, aided by too-short time frames and conflating satellite and land-based gauges.
        There is just no basis with moon hoax comparisons

      • DB
        So we have some pretty clever people, who use very clever equipment, to measure sea level rise to the nearest mm and you place your belief (and reputation) in… well…. your worship of a mark on a rock. And you accuse me of being religious. You are a funny guy DB.

      • Simon sez:
        So we have some pretty clever people, who use very clever equipment, to measure sea level rise to the nearest mm…
        Who might those “very clever” folks be? As TYoke wrote above:
        Simon is prepared to reject the physical evidence right in front of him because he has “faith” in a particular set of authorities he has pre-chosen.
        So which is right, Simon? Empirical evidence, carved into rock 174 years ago?
        Or your un-named “pretty clever people”?
        Pick one or the other, Simon. In this case, they can’t both be right.

      • Simon,
        One more correction:
        You keep erecting a strawman, trying to put skeptics into the position of saying there is no sea level rise. That is not the question. you are trying to re-frame the argument so you can claim that you won. Wrong.
        The question is this: Are human CO2 emissions the cause of any sea level rise beyond what has been naturally occurring over the past couple of centuries?
        Skeptics of the ‘climate change’ scare know the sea level has been naturally rising, and that the rise has not accelerated. We also know that the assertion that human emissions have anything to do with sea levels is a mere conjecture, with no supporting measurements.
        So, Simon, we have this situation:
        1. Sea level rise has remained constant, with a slight, long term deceleration:
        http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3206/3144596227_545227fbae_b.jpg
        2. The planet was recently (≈300 ybp) in the second coldest episode of the entire Holocene. It has been recovering, in fits and starts, ever since:
        http://www.lwhancock.com/images/Ljugzvist2010.gif
        3. If human emissions have an effect on sea level rise, then that must be observed on top of the steady, long term trend in SL rise:
        http://www.climate-skeptic.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/sea-level.gif
        Conclusion: there is no evidence of any “fingerprint of global warming” in the sea level record.

      • DB
        Actually you IMHO are wrong. It is possible to have the mark visible both now and in the past. If the photo was taken at a different time of tide …. or one was taken during a small tide and one a larger one (tides can vary by metres), then yes the photo and the rising seas could both be right and probably are. But we agree anyway that sea level is rising.

      • Simon,
        You’re grasping at straws. The John Daly site explains that the mark was carved at mean sea level (MSL). The pics were taken at MSL. Do you understand MSL?
        Yes, sea level is rising. Naturally. Long term the rise is decelerating. There is no verifiable measurement-based evidence showing that human CO2 emissions have anything to do with sea levels.
        You really ought to give up on this particular argument. Belief is all you’ve got.

      • DB
        Cool, we agree that sea level is rising. We are making progress. Now tell me why you think it is rising? Saying we are coming out of an ice age is not an answer. What is it specifically that causes the level to rise?

      • Simon,
        Instead of trying to change the subject, try to reply to my comment:
        “There is no verifiable measurement-based evidence showing that human CO2 emissions have anything to do with sea levels.
        No doubt you are deflecting because it is your belief that human emissions are the cause of sea level rise. Is that what you think?
        If not, relax, it’s simply nature at work. Nothing to be alarmed about.
        But if you believe human activity is the cause of sea level rise, post your evidence here.

      • I am not going to answer … again… your unanswerable question. You have been told so many times (it has become utterly utterly boring) that it is not possible to give a figure because no figure could possibly be given. And no (yawn) that does not mean the game is over. It just means the question is ridiculous. You always default back to that position of stomping your feet and blocking your ears when you are caught out.

      • Simon October 4, 2015 at 2:55 pm
        DB
        Cool, we agree that sea level is rising. We are making progress. Now tell me why you think it is rising? Saying we are coming out of an ice age is not an answer. What is it specifically that causes the level to rise?

        1. Silt being deposited by rivers.
        2. Ground water extraction going into the oceans.
        3. Global warming (mostly natural) expanding the oceans from higher temperatures and from causing glacial melt..
        4. The U. of Colo.’s spurious redefinition of sea level as oceanic volume, which is rising more than sea level, because ocean floors are sinking into the earth.

      • Simon, you lose. I said:
        Instead of trying to change the subject, try to reply to my comment:
        “There is no verifiable measurement-based evidence showing that human CO2 emissions have anything to do with sea levels.”

        I added that if you believe human activity is the cause of sea level rise, post your evidence here. As usual, you deflected.
        Your response:
        I am not going to answer
        That’s because you have no credible answer. Either you have evidence, or you don’t. Saying my question is “unanswerable” means you don’t have evidence. Thus, all you have is your religious faith that CAGW is causing accelerating sea level rise.
        So the game is over. You’ve got nothin’.

      • rogerknights
        I will be so impressed if you can supply a link to a reference that is on any level credible for the pile of nonsense you just wrote.

      • Guys,
        When you run across someone as clueless as Simon, you should just keep on walking.
        He’s clearly indicated that he is perfectly ok to let someone else do his thinking for him. If he really was interested in learning he would look into the data himself. What he would find is that sea level rise – whether measured by tidal gauge or satellite – has been steady over the length of the record keeping. And whether one wants to use tidal gauge date (1.7 mm / yr rise) or satellite data (3.3 mm / yr rise), it is pretty hard to get worked up over 8 – 10 inches per century.
        The beauty of Simon’s position is he doesn’t have to do the math and can continue to hold onto his belief system, no matter what any real world data might indicate.

      • tmg56,
        You’re right, of course. Simon’s argument is made up of assertions, which are based on his eco-religion. Science has nothing to do with his beliefs.
        For rational readers, we can see that sea level rise has been gradually decelerating:
        http://icecap.us/images/uploads/Sea_Level_Holgate.jpg
        All the wild-eyed scares over Manhattan and Florida being inundated are no more than a figment of the alarmist crowd’s imagination. Real world evidence shows that isn’t going to happen.

    • i like it when people from sks come here. proper moderation allows people to voice alternative opinion and any factual evidence contrary to the meme remains. sks should try it sometime, you might see a better average than 0.75 replies per post 🙂

    • Dr. Hansen has said that five meters is possible by the end of the century. He proposed a doubling of thr rate every ten years.
      If you run the numbers on that, it comes to almost a millimeter per DAY by 2100.

    • Hmmm, that explains how and why Hansen vigorously objected to the article’s inaccuracy at the time and immediately asked for a correction to be issued and then went on TV and explained how he was misquoted. Oh wait, he didn’t?

      • Stage magicians do not usually interview their audience afterwards to single out and instruct those who did actually swoon from an earnest belief in magic, even though such a belief robs the magician of recognition for the difficult skill of prestidigitation.
        But in a particularly bizarre moment of history (the mid 1970s) Uri Geller was touring the world bending spoons with his ‘mind’ and the Shirley MacLaine set was eating it up. A group of stage magicians, evidently concerned that this bona fide belief in psychokinesis had gotten a bit out of hand, broke out through the fourth wall or whatever they call it to publicly demonstrate how these tricks can be performed. The intractable Geller responded by acknowledging their skill, but insisted that he chose to do it (as famously described by James Randi) “the hard way”.
        Perhaps Hansen is just trying to save the world “the hard way”.
        It really does seem that die hard AGW is a mule-like conversion, to channel Asimov. When forced to ignore insufficient or conflicting evidence and assert the cause, unlike Geller who was the lone wolf, they probably confide their true objectives among their peers who grant them indulgence from sins of omission and misdirection. Take one for the team.

    • As explained in this WUWT post (http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/10/22/a-little-known-but-failed-20-year-old-climate-change-prediction-by-dr-james-hansen/) Hansen predicted his sea level rise in 20 years (2008). Some convenient and belated back peddling has muddied this date, but suffice it to say that Hansen had no idea at the time of what he was talking about. It was nothing but pure and unadulterated ego-driven hyperbole. I suspect the same holds true today.

    • Tom, I myself am waiting for Hansen to be right eventually. I’m just sitting down next to my cats, sipping a lovely coffee…eventually Hansen will win out, its going to be a very nice feeling on that day I can assure you. I can just see the two of us; grinning from ear to ear together. And maybe Hansen is with us on that special day, maybe he has a cat or two, like we do?

    • I’m going out on a limb here, but it may be that Simon and some others do not understand “acceleration”.
      “So is the sea not rising?” he asks.
      Of course it is rising and has been for a very long time; we all know that.
      The issue is the rate of change of that rise.
      (Sorry if I got too elementary.)

    • …and Ft Lauderdale, Pompano, West Palm, Hollywood, Florida Keys, etc etc
      Has been going on since the beginning of time.

  10. I still think Marc Morano’s post of the opening flyover of the Fort Lauderdale beach versus current views of the same place is the most immediate indisputable evidence of almost no change in half a century : http://www.climatedepot.com/2014/10/25/film-where-the-boys-are-disproves-rising-seas-scare-the-beach-is-exactly-as-wide-now-as-it-was-in-1960/
    Actually I’m sure sections of Manhattan’s West Side Highway have flooded more than once over the last several decades . I lived at the end of Peck Slip by the Fulton Fish Market from 1984 til 2005 and it flooded back to Water Street twice during hurricanes in the ’80s . Quite a mess with cases of fish floating among the drowned cars and vans . And they fried all the electrics in the basement which was constructed in the 1870s as a big tub with layers of brick and straw and asphalt but needed a higher rim .
    Even smaller tides than those named storms flood sections of the FDR with some frequency . Sandy , tho , flooded the whole area at least a meter and a half deeper than anything I experienced .
    But these floods never last more than 6 hours .

    • I have old pics from the 1920s of Lummus Park and one of the same place today…beach looks identically wide then as now.
      Claughton/ Brickell Key in Biscayne Bay is an excellent example as well.
      See my post below.

    • RE: Beaches being as wide now as in past years.
      Keep in mind the the Corp of Engineers spends a lot of time and money rebuilding beaches.
      I believe it is to counter
      a) erosion from storms
      and
      b) erosion resulting from earlier human efforts to counterat natural erosion.
      As a kid we spenmt 1-2 weeks every summer at OC MD. Still own a place there. A multitude of strategies have been tried there. I believe the only ones which have worked is large scale planting of native dune grasses to reduce loss from big storm events and pumping of sand from the bottom a few hundred feet out from the beach bak onto it.

  11. Ira Flatow is required to adhere to the NPR party line or he will lose his meal ticket.
    Were he to depart from the agenda, they’d turn on him like jackals.

    • It’s more than likely Ira does not require food of any kind; more often than not he seems to be running on some kind of bio-fuel neatly injected into his legs. Anyway, that’s how it sounds to us

  12. “If an honest man is proven wrong, he either stops being wrong or he stops being honest.”

  13. We used to play a game at school called Chinese whispers.
    Someone would quietly whisper something into someone’s ear, they would then repeat it word for word to the next person, and so on. To make things interesting, the whisper might be somewhat complicated and more than just a sentence or two. The last person would report to the group what they heard.
    What would often result after about 20 people was totally different to what the first person said, usually biased towards what individuals within the group would want to be said. The teacher had to stop this game after statements came out against certain people which were totally unrelated to what was started at the first whisper, and often much shortened and simplified.
    A few observations:
    -people didn’t always pass on a message correctly as they might not have heard it properly, in such cases what gets passed on tends to mirror the person’s or group’s individual bias. This was largely unintentional. If they heard it correctly but didn’t understand the message, what they passed on was often worse.
    -sometimes people made things up, especially if they didn’t quite hear it properly but didn’t want to admit they didn’t hear it properly and therefore slow the game (or if they didn’t understand it an didn’t want to be embarrassed). But importantly, there is no way the next person would know that this was the case, as they did not have access to the previous person’s whisper. Moreover, the overall effect was usually cumulative, so often no-one was at fault.
    -People at the end often didn’t want to report what they heard at the end if they strongly suspected there had been some sort of misinformation somewhere.
    -It was also usually quite difficult to trace who had reported wrong information.
    I would suggest that chinese whispers plays a large in the climate science field, as it does in many others.

      • In my world of aircraft maintenance many times the aircraft discrepancy that was written down by a pilot or maintenance people, did not match the discrepancy that I saw. I’m sure the pilots were trying to get it right.

    • Completely off topic here, but I once read about a particular phrase that would survive an entire room of Chinese-whisper transfers, and I can assure you from personal experience (more than once) that it’s true. Try this: “My nose is in your ear”.

      • Maybe off topic, but I should have added:
        sea level could accelerate under climate change—sea level could be accelerating under climate change—sea level could have accelerated under climate change—sea level has accelerated.

    • Some Humans tend to only see and hear what they want to see and hear !! BTW , in Canada this same ” experiment ” was done in French class !! Quite hilarious !!

  14. It seems no fact will dissuade them from this Bravo Sierra
    they don’t care
    it’s the religion
    we are entering some new dark age
    the forces of the 7th century gather in the East
    while they wring their soft hands over sea level rise
    Gaia help us!

  15. I am reminded of the following:
    If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or come true, that is a message the Lord has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously, so do not be alarmed.
    Deuteronomy 18:22

  16. Re: Flooding in Miami The most often featured picture of tidal flooding in Miami is of a particular corner that was actually built below Mean High Tide — water people will know that this means that the expected high tides will always flood this spot. There are drains and pumps to keep the corner clear, but sometimes they get overwhelmed.
    In other words, stupid city planning! Who would authorize a street and stores to be built below the expected high tides in the canal just two block away?

    • Just like most all the damage done by Katrina in New Orleans was due to a faulty assumption that you can build a ship canal 12 feet higher than surrounding neighborhoods and never expect a blowout. I’d bet that very few people in New York even know that many of the subways are well below sea level, and susceptible to a major surge event, like Sandy

      • Nothing will make a city which is below sea level “hurricane proof”.
        When one looks at the damage from Katrina in nearby Mississippi, where the storm actually hit and the storm surge was the worst…one can see why. The storm surge was 27 feet high in the right front quadrant, and penetrated 6 miles inland, and as much as twice that along bays and rivers!
        6 to 12 miles inland. The surge went right over the top of I-10 and kept going for several miles more!
        Just think about that for a second.
        And a 27 foot surge, with waves on top of that!
        What did the damage in New Orleans was a pin prick compared to where the worst of the storm hit…but since the city is below sea level, and many ignored, or were unable to comply with, evacuation orders…the result was many fatalities.
        A direct hit from a Cat 5 is impossible to protect against…it will level everything and flood the debris.
        And then there are the dozens to hundreds of individual tornadoes which are often spun off main circulation.
        Hurricane proof for a tiny sum?
        Sorry Frog, I usually agree with you, but you are incorrect here.
        If you have been the places I have been after storms, like North and South Carolina after Hugo, or Homestead and Florida City after Andrew…you would know different.

      • BTW, even the rebuilt New Orleans levees, although much improved, are not built to withstand a direct hit from a cat 5 storm…it would simply be too expensive to do so, and would likely not work no matter how much was spent.
        Mother Nature rules the coastlines. Hurricanes are the enforcers in this domain.

      • Apologies @Menicholas, for my rash simplification.
        What I should have said, is that tiny amounts invested in fortification and elevation of levees would serve the people of New Orleans better than the hundred’s of billions now dedicated to the manipulation of the weather. And those hundreds of billions do not even seem to have been dedicated to the task of reducing CO2 output, but instead, squandered on outlandlish nonsense that purports to be “innovation”.
        So, this was more or less the contrast that occurred to my mind.
        Sometimes, I am too rushed or attempting to be to pithy.
        But, absolutely, having seen, only this morning, the footage of a multi-storey building being turned inside out by the typhoon in China, I can see that there my use of the words “hurricane proof”, in this instance, come across as ill-informed!!
        Thanks for picking me up on this lazy rhetoric.
        I didn’t even spell levees correctly – it was bad…

    • Kip
      So you agree that we should be considering long term sea level rise when deciding where to let cities expand?

      • Simon
        I believe Kip’s point was it’s stupid city planning to build below mean high tide.
        Actually, I know that was his point because Kip explicitly said it in his post. You apparently had difficulty understanding that concept in his original post, so I doubt my post will help you…

      • Simon,
        “when deciding where to let cities expand” …
        ====================
        The creation of new land was for the need of human activities.
        Notable examples include:
        Large parts of the Netherlands
        https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/65/The_Netherlands_compared_to_sealevel.png
        Much of the coastlines of Mainland China, Hong Kong, North Korea and South Korea. It is estimated that nearly 65% of tidal flats around the Yellow Sea have been lost due to reclamation.
        Inland lowlands in the Yangzi valley, China, including the areas of important cities like Shanghai and Wuhan.
        Large parts of Rio de Janeiro, most notably several blocks in the new docks area, the entire Flamengo Park and the neighborhood of Urca
        Parts of Dublin, Ireland
        Most of Belfast Harbour and areas of Belfast, Northern Ireland
        ====================
        etc, etc, etc:
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Land_reclamation

      • Khwarizmi
        So pretty dumb doing all that stuff when you know the sea will keep rising don’t you think?

      • Reply to Simon ==> The first step, I believe, is not to build below local sea level in a waterfront city — avoiding subsiding land fills (Portsmouth/Norfolk, Virginia) and historic mud flats (New York suburbs) only a few feet above sea level should also be pretty much mandatory.
        See my earlier post on Hurricane Sandy: “From the Scientific Urban Legend Department: ‘AGW Sea Level Rise Made Sandy More Destructive’”.
        The historic fact is that sea ports are built on the sea and docks need to be within some number of feet of mean low tide so ships can dock and be loaded and unloaded. Over the historic periods (last two thousands years) in Europe and the Mediterranean area, some sea ports find themselves underwater now, and some miles from the sea. Coastlines are tricky things….
        Humans have built cities in places they shouldn’t be, in hind sight, forever. From the Los Angeles megalopolis in a near-desert to the tiny village of Quinhagak, Alaska on a gravel bar at a bend in the Kanektak River (naturally, the gravel bar is slowly being washed away).

      • @Khwarizmi, dang my home town was under water glad we fixed that or I wouldn’t be here, @ Simon are you just being obtuse on purpose? As a Dutchman we take great pride in managing the sea, helping and exporting the tech to the rest of the world. ( Bangladesh, Venice (Italy), New York, China etc) and many other places rather than sit around and whine about SLR.

      • @Khwarizmi; Now I know what you are trying to say! SLR ! You are blaming the Dutch reclaiming land and pumping water into the sea all the time you, you you….

      • So you agree that we should be considering long term sea level rise when deciding where to let cities expand?
        ===============
        worrying about “sea level rise” is nonsense. you are talking a matter of inches over a century. what you must worry about is storm surge, which is often 10 to 20 feet over a matter of hours.
        storm surge is a problem anywhere there is a shallow coast-line, such is found along the east coast of the US. this allows the wind to drive the water forward over the shallow bottom, where it piles up against the coast into a tsunami like wave.
        in fact, storm surge is locally much like a tsunami, and should be treated with the same respect. Instead we tend to dismiss storm surge because it is more common and more limited in the area affected.

      • Fred
        So you think it is nonsense to consider predicted sea level rise in when considering future construction and settlement? Please tell me you are not a town planner.

      • Simon October 4, 2015 at 11:39 am
        Fred
        So you think it is nonsense to consider predicted sea level rise in when considering future construction and settlement? Please tell me you are not a town planner.

        Not if the predictors are warmist alarmists and they are basing their predictions on dubious or discredited science.

      • Simon writes “So you agree that we should be considering long term sea level rise when deciding where to let cities expand?”
        If an area was going to be OK for say 100 years then according to your argument we shouldn’t use it now and for the next 5 generations in case sea level put it at risk in the future.
        Do you think the cities in 100 years will look anything like they do now?
        I don’t think many people actually understand the rates of change that are likely. Not only is sea level related change over the next 5 generations going to be “manageable” its going to be unnoticeable.

    • Also in Miami, a hugely expensive real estate development has recently been erected on a island (Brickell Key)which is a spoils pile from some dredging that took place in the 19th century.
      Henry Flagler dredged the Miami River and dumped the dredged material in a few piles at the north end of Biscayne Bay.
      That this pile of sand has been sitting right where it was dumped for over 100 years, and has recently ben built upon, is a direct refutation of any sort of rapid encroachment of the ocean i this area.
      Photo evidence abounds. Just google Brickell Key and click images.
      Here are some I have saved from past discussions:
      http://s1350.photobucket.com/user/menicholas/library/Public/Miami%20and%20other%20Florida%20Pics?sort=3&page=1
      The Don Cesar hotel on St. Pete Beach has stood in the same spot since the 1920’s, and old photos of this famous structure show the Gulf of Mexico in very nearly the same place back then, as is the case now. And difference is hard to spot.
      Ditto for the many Art Deco period hotels which line Collins Ave on South Beach in Miami.
      Lummus Park, just across the street from these hotels, which is right on the beach, is very nearly exactly has it has been for 100 years. And the ocean appears to be very little if any closer to it.
      Hurricane Sandy wrecked many buildings in the New York and New Jersey regions. Some of these were beach homes which had stood where they were built over 100 years ago…right on the beach.
      That says to me that the ocean has moved very little in all that time. Precariously placed structures lasted for all that time before a random storm happened to be large enough, and also to occur during a high enough tide, to damage them. Almost all of those places would have been wrecked if Sandy had hit the day after they were built.

  17. Miami has had a period of onshore winds lasting several days, plus has saturated ground due to heavy recent rains.
    How it can be that anyone can claim that sea level rise is accelerating, when we have tide gauge data proving that it has not, is perhaps the strangest part of the whole CAGW house of cards.
    This is not lie trying to figure out the temp of the whole earth, when we have no thermometers in many regions.
    It is not likely the malarkey about sea ice, because it is happening right down at every beach and estuary in the world.
    In my view, the tide gauge data, when taken as a whole, is unequivocal.
    And good on Willis too, for pointing out the error bars.
    One can find individual months in nearly every tie series in which tie gauges recorded higher levels as much as 100 or more years ago, as those seen in individual months in recent years.
    IOW, The daily and the monthly range is greater than the multi-decadal rate of change.
    When it comes to flooding during storms, it is just as true now as it ever was that the big factors are the time of high tide and the tidal range at the particular location of the storm.

    • Tide gauges aren’t really the best guide to SLR. What really counts are the highest, normal weather, king tides and these, at our place, are lower today than they were 70 years ago.

    • These are the error bands (confidence interval) for the slope. So the plotted straight line should be within this band. If you want it for the data sets (data points), calculation of the “prediction interval” and plotting such would be needed. Would be much wider and straight lines, not curve lines as shown.
      Never calculated and seen displayed on this site.

  18. Coincidentally, I had to go to town yesterday as well so I fired up my wood burning Tacoma and headed down our dirt road here in rural Vermont and the foliage is excellent and so I wonder just why I turned on NPR?? I, too, got Ira and it ruined my fine mood.
    When I got home, I wrote NPR and VPR and told them we would not be continuing our “sustaining memberships”. I was not so upset to have them elect targeted commercials a few years back – hey the money thing has to be tough – but to adopt a political propaganda agenda of regressive extremism??!! I suggested they be renamed to National and Vermont Political Radio and they correctly call another show “Only Some Things Considered”.
    What I wonder is with the Coronation of Hillary looking dim, with Bernie never having a chance except with the children, what are they going to do if Donald Trump becomes President? Or any Republican? Will that change the science?
    It will be a long and arduous unwinding with bunches of shrill screaming and we all will need to buckle down and tell these “useful idiots” to grow up beyond their adolescence, move out of parents’ basements, get a real job (and education too probably), face the sustainability indoctrination squarely, and repent:
    https://www.nas.org/articles/sustainabilitys_war_on_doubt
    get the full pdf at link – it is an excellent study of how the old sustainability meme took over and uses climate change on campuses

    • Bubba, I have been thinking a lot about what’s next. I am now afraid, Bernie Sanders is selling himself as a savior of the youth, free education for all. Lenin, Stalin, Hitler all had the same line, free and good for all. It’s not about who or why if anyone has done anything, it’s all about control of the masses. Just like last election cycle, the kids that voted only heard that they could stay on their parent’s health care plan until they turn 26. Now they know that that didn’t mean that their parents had to pay for it, and now they are paying for others. Free is expensive, but free sells political power.

      • Bernie Sandrs is no Lenin, Hitler or Stalin.
        He strikes me as well intentioned.
        He also strikes me as rather naive.
        I wouldn’t vote for him, but he would have to try very, very hard to perform more ineptly than our current President.

      • @timg56
        Do not believe that a man can spread less evil in the world from ignorance than from malice. It is a slender thread with which to support your optimism.

  19. “Venice appears to be continuing to subside at a rate of about 2 millimeters a year,” said Yehuda Bock, a research geodesist with Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, and the lead author of a new article on the city’s downward drift. “It’s a small effect, but it’s important,” he added.”
    http://www.miami.edu/index.php/features/venice_still_sinking/
    Is Venice, Italy the ONLY city SINKING into the muck at 2mm/yr? Or, can we assume every city built on coastal muck, like my Charleston, SC, is sinking about 2mm/yr…including the tide gage measuring sea level?!
    If we deduct 2mm from the 2.33mm/yr for Key West’s tide gage, what do we get? Is the sea rising or, as with Venice, the only place on the planet that seems to be under the microscope for sinking, is the tide gage sinking with the dock and city it’s mounted on? Why does Plate Tectonics stop where sea level alarmism begins??

    • not to mention that the muck just washes out from under the city as water ebbs and flows

      • Because the Army Corp engineers diverted the rivers flow many years ago. Causing the city to sink and the delta/coastal marshes to be washed away instead of the delta and the state of LA continuing to get bigger.

      • In New Orleans, the much underlying the city is actually compressing and/or oxidizing.
        The natural state for the Mississippi delta region is for the river to drop it’s load of sediment over a given region for a number of years, thus building up the land in that area. Then a large storm or stream flow will cause the river to shift positions, and flow to the sea via a different route. The previous route will be left high and ( relatively) dry, although leaving scars and marks of the previous channel. The new route will typically be the new most direct and lowest route to the sea. The new route will then become the site of deposition for the sediment load of the river, as the river spreads out and hence slows down, which causes suspended solids to settle out. This process continued, and was repeated, over and over again and encompassed a wide region in Southern Louisiana.
        It has occurred for millions and millions of years. Until recently, when the Army Corps of Engineers decided to channelize and contain the river.
        The sediment load that used to replenish the delta and marshlands in southern Louisiana is now carried out into the Gulf of Mexico, via the long and sinuous crows foot of land which can now be seen well south of New Orleans. Since the river is channelized, and is not allowed to spread out, slow down, and drop its load of sediment in the delta, it is instead transported right into the Gulf, and helps to create the semi permanent dead zone of esterification and red tide algae in that part of the Gulf.
        And meanwhile, the areas that used to be replenished by the constantly shifting river are now left to oxidize and erode away…including the land underlying the city of New Orleans. The city is now below sea level in many sections, and sinking more every day…as noted.
        Why that city, which also happens to be in one of the places in the world which is most vulnerable to, and frequently hit by, hurricanes and tropical storms, was rebuilt in place and at great cost…is truly mystifying…even if one does not believe that storms will be worse or more frequent, or that sea level rise is accelerating.
        If one does believe these things, which many of the regulators and lawmakers who concern themselves with these matters claim to do, it is a mind boggling mystery why the occasion of much of the city being wrecked was not taken to be the time to move it to higher ground.

      • @Menicholas, In our area we had ( on a MUCH smaller scale) a similar problem the largest side effect from the channeling was to kill landlocked salmon spawning beds and nearly killing the fish stocks completely . Thankfully we are changing large parts of the “river” back to it’s original meander natural delta and hopefully returning the fish and other wetland creatures!

      • You also have to add in the fact the Northern hemisphere is still springing back into place ( rising ) from the weight of the ice that once covered it during the ice ages , thus , adding to the tiny sea rise !!!

    • Land subsidence can occur when too much groundwater is extracted.

      Many other locations on the Atlantic coast are experiencing similar effects related to groundwater depletion. Surface-water flows have been reduced due to groundwater development in the Ipswich River basin, Massachusetts. Saltwater intrusion is occurring in coastal counties in New Jersey; Hilton Head Island, South Carolina; Brunswick and Savannah, Georgia; and Jacksonville and Miami, Florida (Barlow).
      The chart below shows monthly-mean water levels from 1964 to 2003 for a well in Cook County, southwest Georgia. The well is used for irrigation and public-supply purposes and offers a good visual representation of long-term groundwater declines due to excessive pumping. [d] – data for the chart is available.
      http://water.usgs.gov/edu/graphics/gwdepletionchart.gif

      Miami a part of the Everglades subsidence zone.
      See the map. 45 out of 50 states experience subsidence.
      http://pubs.usgs.gov/circ/circ1182/pdf/12Everglades.pdf
      Land Subsidence in the United States
      http://water.usgs.gov/ogw/pubs/fs00165/

  20. Sometimes, I’ll also tune in to NPR broadcasts; gives me an excuse to yell at the radio.
    Instead of calling NPR a bunch of lying propagandists, I just think of them as Government Radio.

  21. If you Google thi title
    “Why has an acceleration of sea level rise not been observed during the satellite era?”
    You will find a presentation from 2010 and produced by Dr. R.S. Nerem of Colorado Universiy’s Sea Level Reasearch Group. That presentation although five tears old now remains correct that acceleration in the rate of sea level rise since satellite records began is negative.
    CU’s website is easily found and contains a link to the data. It is a simple matter to copy out the text file and employ Microsoft Excel to calculate and verify that the rate of sea level rise since 1992 has indeed exhibited negative acceleration.

  22. Lets say the Ocean is rising at Miami and it is resulting in flooding. What proof has anyone presented that this is a result of the activities of our civilization? And, particularly, is there any new evidence to finally prove the often claimed but never proved connection between the increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere from the burning of fossil fuels and the minor (if any) increase in atmospheric temperatures and any link of all this to any increase in sea levels. Since there is no significant melting of Antarctic polar ice, what meaningful sea level rise are we talking about? The compaction and resulting sinking of land masses is a more likely reason behind more coastal flooding than a rise in ocean levels. I am absolutely frustrated by the media’s constant jump from any reported climate change event to blaming it of our civilizations use of fossil fuels and the resulting minor increase in carbon dioxide.
    As usual I learn a lot from the posts of WUWT and the meaningful flood of comments. Thanks to all.

      • I wish that Ira Flatow would make some kind of comment on this thread, as I’m sure he has seen it. Pro or con – the debate is not “settled science”: (Hello Ira Flatow, are you out there somewhere???).

    • We have seen credible evidence that much of the ongoing sea level rise may be due to such factors as the draining of the Caspian Sea, drawdown of groundwater tables the world over, and whatever mountain glacier melt is ongoing…in addition to any warming of the oceans…which must include the deep ocean/abyssal plains waters…which are only slightly above freezing all even in tropical regions.
      A relatively small pond will cool sufficiently in winter to remain very cold at the bottom right through summer, due to thermal stratification and the colder dense water being trapped down there. Such a pond will continue to warm up all summer long.
      I would hazard a guess that the deep oceans are likewise and in similar fashion still warming up from the cool-off they got not just during the LIA, but even still from during the tens of thousands of years long Pleistocene glacial epoch. And hence expanding slightly.

  23. Willis are the tides measured for mean or the high, high tide and low, low tide?
    is there any relation between the high, high tide and low, low tide? could some increase or decrease actually just be the noise level in measurement?

  24. They will tout a heavy rainstorm as clear evidence of AGW yet call 18+ years of a plateaued average global temperature cherry-picking. The only reason to take them seriously is they fuel political action — to our detriment.

  25. Yup. I live (mostly) directly on the ocean in South Florida, and have no intention of selling soon.
    Also, see essay PseudoPrecision in my most recent ebook for further info on this topic. Willis has it nailed.

  26. Ira Flatow has no incentive to respond here. Some one a few days ago on these boards pointed out that the other side is winning the argument in all areas.
    He doesn’t have and he’s not going to.

    • Thanks, Steve. Let me invite you to take a bit larger view, as follows.
      Ira Flatow may or may not respond here. I would hope he would. In general I try to not hinder people with my thoughts regarding their possible future actions.
      However, in a larger sense it doesn’t really matter. I’ve offered him a chance to take the honorable path by abjuring his credulous ways. He may do so without ever answering here or anywhere.
      But my main intention has been met. He’s been put on notice that his claims are being tested rather than simply believed, and that the testing is public. Scientists don’t like being wrong, just like anyone. As a result I suspect that no matter what he does, the next time Miami is flooded he will remember what happened the last time he played the Miami card …
      w.
      PS—My general rule is that if the other side in a debate finds it necessary to declare vehemently that they are “winning the argument in all areas” … well, I’m sure you can figure out the rest of the rule.

  27. If you want to see some exaggeration re sea level rising, check out this report.
    https://thedemiseofchristchurch.files.wordpress.com/2015/08/effectsofsealevelriseforchristchurchcity.pdf
    It would be laughable except the City Council of my city, Christchurch NZ, is using it to base “mitigations” for the next 100 years.
    I kid you not, 18,000 properties are going to be inundated or otherwise affected within 100 years by a cool 1 metre of sea level rise.
    With a council caveat on each properties title, there are doubts whether these properties will be insurable, a definite fear that these properties will become immediately worthless, and an assurance from the council that alterations or improvements to these properties will require what is known here as a “Resource Consent” . This means presumably that if you can show that your property can survive the expected inundations and you can convince the council that your property will remain functional etc you may be able to carry out some improvements. Only catch is the cost of the paper work. I spent over NZ$200,000 on a resource consent once and it still was refused.
    This is an example of what the climate change scam can do to you!
    If anyone wants to study this paper and make comments to me, please leave a message at http://www.thedemiseofchristchurch.com
    Cheers
    Roger

    • Thanks, Roger. Near as I can tell there are two long-term records in New Zealand, at Wellington (1945 – present) and Christchurch (1924-1988). Christchurch has a trend of 272 mm/century, with a 95%CI of 250 – 294 inches. Wellington has a trend of 257 mm/century with a 95%CI of 239 to 274 mm/century. Neither one shows any perceptible acceleration.
      Given the lack of any significant historical acceleration despite a century of warming, the most probable future prediction is a quarter of a metre by 2115. I could see justification for doubling that to give a margin of safety, but only for critical structures. If someone on the beach wants to build 200mm up from the high tide mark, surely Darwin will take care of that.
      The rest is just engineers doing a CYA thing.
      w.

      • The irony is that the legislation that covers these assessments is quite sensible and says two things: the assessment has got to be based on the likely effects of climate change, and no CYA in the assessment (that comes later in the management phase but only if the assessment shows the effects are uncertain, unknown, or little understood, but potentially significantly adverse – a test unlikely to be passed in the case of coastal processes even on 100 year time frames because it is a slow progressive process).
        The local engineers who did the assessment claimed RCP8.5 was “likely” (improperly invoking the CYA card) and made CYA assumptions throughout a model fitting exercise that double counted uncertainty and lacked empirical validation for critical elements.
        In crude terms they managed to turn a coast line that on 100 year time frames is accretiing as fast as RCP6.0 is going up, into one that’s lapping all over the beach properties.
        The general problem is that those that ply their trade as environmental consultants (in this case a firm called Tonkin and Taylor) don’t know much about risk management on long-term time frames, and don’t understand that risk is driven by uncertainty and therefore best estimates of the uncertainty is what is required of them (not some made up numbers based on CYA).
        They will learn the hard way through the courts that if they are concerned about CYA their duty of care lies in an accurate assessment of the uncertainty, end of story, because there is as much cost to the community of over-egging the assessment as there is to underestimating it.

    • dbstealey
      As is very plain from your first graph, sea level measured by satellites closely follows ENSO because all the satellites measure is the giant pile of warm water in the Pacific blown westwards by the trade winds. Satellite altimetry is fraught with difficulties and the satellites do not measure what people are interested in which is relative sea level (sea level plus or minus vertical land movement) where they live. Relative sea level is easily and accurately measured by local tide gages.

      • Billy Liar,
        I have no idea how that post ended up there. I was trying to reply to one of Simon’s comments, way upthread.
        I agree that tide gauges provide the best SL data. It requires, at the least, maybe a couple hundred around the planet; more would be better. A thousand would be easy to do, and inexpensive compared with the AGW scare, costing $billions per year.
        Some land is rising, some is subsiding, but with enough tide gauges average SL change would be pretty easy to determine accurately.
        Won’t happen, though. The ones doling out the grants don’t want the public to see data like that.

      • Plausible. The Warragamba Dam was built about 65 km SW of Sydney CBD. It holds 2027 gigalitres of water when full. This is rather heavy! Completed 1960 and enlarged 2009. All this weight of water has undoubtedly depressed the earth in its vicinity, which means that areas surrounding the dam – likely out to 65 km or more, could be rising.
        Incidentally, between 1998 and 2007 the catchment had very low rain fall and capacity was reduced to 32.5%. The NSW government then started the building of a desalination plant – CAGW alarmists said that the drought would continue!! It then started raining, and on March 2012 the dam overflowed. The desal plant operated for the first 2 years and in 2012 was shut down. Believed not to have operated since except for maintenance and testing purposes – to be started if dam levels reach 70% and then continued in operation till levels reach 80%. It uses reverse osmosis, powered by the Bungendore “Capital Wind Farm”. A reasonably sane use for the wind farm as the desal plant is not worried if the wind blows or not, it can take whatever power is being produced.

      • “Land is rising?”
        No, Willis, I have heard that land is actually subsiding by almost the same amount from recent measurements which means nothing happening but in Moreton Bay highest astronomical tides are lower today than they were 69 years ago by around 10 inches.

    • Australia is tectonically rather stable and Sydney might more closely reflect what’s actually happening with sea level compared with the measuring the middle of the ocean from 50 miles up in space where contemporaneous atmospheric pressure measurements for the inverse barometer correction are hard to come by (ie they need to be modelled and 1 hPa error in the model = 10 mm error in sea level).

  28. The way the climate scam works in Florida is fairly transparent to the locals.
    In 1980, as the town grew, South Beach built Alton Road, on the prosperous edge of town.
    Alton Road was built to be a few inches UNDER sea level at king tide, and to be used at all other 99% of the times.
    Then the climate scam started, and twice a year or so, at very high tide, like a strange procession of fireflies on the Discovery Channel,
    at very high tide, “climate action” politicians, local, state and national, shoeless, gather by a lectern on inundated Alton Road, with full blast TV coverage, to show the ravaging effects of climate change.
    Look at the calamitous pictures here
    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jul/11/miami-drowning-climate-change-deniers-sea-levels-rising
    “The problem is the city is run by climate change deniers” they say.
    See, otherwise Alton Road would raise itself out of the seas and walk, or the seas would retreat. If you are credulous enough and know that you “got the science.”
    People on Alton Street know the scam better, and elect “climate change deniers”.
    The local gauge shows that sea levels had risen by the same 3mm/year ever since measured.
    The latest political pilgrimage to Alton Road ended in a farce, since cameras, and reporters arrived for the strange pilgrimage. And politicians, with powerful speeches blasting climate deniers.
    But there was no flood, as the city had installed powerful drainage.
    One can check on page 15 of the recent technical document
    “Designing for High Tidal Tailwater”
    http://tinyurl.com/ogjefu8
    a photograph of the temporary, soon to be made permanent, pumps on Alton Road in South Beach dated October 2014, which took care of the high tide that month.
    That made such a laughingstock of all the climate alarmist politicians and media gathered to show cast that Miami is swallowed by global warming,
    made such fools of the climate scare scam promoters that ALL of them lost in the November 2014 elections all offices, starting with the governor, a few weeks later.
    Even though Jeb Bush was not running, this showed to him and to Marco Rubio that being a climate apocalyptic is a losing proposition, these days.
    That is what I referred to about Alton Road as a medieval religious climate pilgrimage site.
    PS Notice also on page 6 the historic sea level rise, the one measured so far, of 0.5 ft/century, after half a century of massive emissions,
    And the TEN TIMES BIGGER sea level rise which, in the view of idiotic climatologists, would start, like, next Tuesday when the laws of physics change.
    PPS I spent last summer near the old port in Marseille, where secular city mayors, around 1880, forbade the religious pilgrimages to Notre-Dame de la Garde, the last sight of those who sailed from Marseille around the world.
    http://www.notredamedelagarde.com/?lang=en
    The US is a free country, and climate pilgrimages are allowed.
    At one’s peril.

  29. Willis,
    My personal position on the subject of sea level change globally is that it is profoundly unscientific to use mm per year measures for a dynamic ocean, when we know almost nothing about the dynamics of the deeper 50 % of the ocean.
    It is not for me to show the rate of change of anything in the deeper 50%
    It is up to the proponents of measurements of sea level change to show if there is, or is not, a quantitative change in the deeper 50%.

  30. It should be mentioned that global warming may increase the severity of flooding in two ways;
    One is the increase in sea level which is discussed here, but the other is more heavy rain.
    As most people know, tropical rain is often more intense than the rain in colder areas. The reason for this is that warm air can carry more water than cold air.
    The water-holding capacity of the atmosphere increases by about 7% for every 1 °C rise in temperature.
    Over the last century we have seen an increase of approximately 0.75 °C in average global temperatures. If some of this warming is caused by an increased level of greenhouse gases due to human emissions, then some of the heavy rain is also caused by human emissions.
    /Jan

    • Then repeat the exercise conducted by Willis Eschenbach, above.
      But, this time by looking at rainfall total averages.
      You will find, similarly, that when you look at graphs of global rainfall averages you will find NO TREND.
      Here in the UK we are constantly being told that we face heavier rainfall, induced by global warming.
      The records disagree.
      Not only is there no acceleration of rate of increase of rainfall – THERE IS NO INCREASE AT ALL.
      This was discussed here: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/01/09/uk-rainfall-2012-the-report-the-met-office-should-have-produced/

      • Jan Kjetil Andersen October 4, 2015 at 12:21 am

        Interesting data frog, but the total averages of rainfall does not tell so much about the risk of flooding.
        Flooding is caused by extreme precipitation events, not by averages.
        The Epa data indicate an increase for the US:
        http://www3.epa.gov/climatechange/science/indicators/weather-climate/heavy-precip.html

        Thanks, Jan, but “EPA data” says no such thing, because the EPA doesn’t collect such data. They reference their graph to the NOAA Climate Extremes Index, but as far as I can see, that site doesn’t contain that information. Instead, it’s an index that for some foolish reason combines the following:

        The U.S. CEI is the arithmetic average of the following five or six indicators of the percentage of the conterminous U.S. area:
        The sum of (a) percentage of the United States with maximum temperatures much below normal and (b) percentage of the United States with maximum temperatures much above normal.
        The sum of (a) percentage of the United States with minimum temperatures much below normal and (b) percentage of the United States with minimum temperatures much above normal.
        The sum of (a) percentage of the United States in severe drought (equivalent ot the lowest tenth percentile) based on the PDSI and (b) percentage of the United States with severe moisture surplus (equivalent to the highest tenth percentile) based on the PDSI.
        Twice the value of the percentage of the United States with a much greater than normal proportion of precipitation derived from extreme (equivalent to the highest tenth percentile) 1-day precipitation events.
        The sum of (a) percentage of the United States with a much greater than normal number of days with precipitation and (b) percentage of the United States with a much greater than normal number of days without precipitation.
        The sum of squares of U.S. landfalling tropical storm and hurricane wind velocities scaled to the mean of the first five indicators.

        Perhaps you can give us a link to the underlying data, since “EPA data” about weather is an oxymoron and their link doesn’t work.
        w.
        PS—Anyone who believes in or cites the EPA is simply not paying attention. They are one of the most science-free of all US government departments.

      • Do you seriously believe everything the EPA puts out? Someone needs to deconstruct that NOAA graph which is presented with no reference to the data upon which it is based. I’m sKeptical..

    • Jan, since you have not provided a single bit of actual data to back up your claim that “global warming may increase the severity of flooding”, you’re just waving your hands and trying to impress people.
      Instead of just spinning empty theories, you might actually look at some data … like this study that shows no increase in extreme precipitation in the UK since 1931. Or this discussion of the reason that US rainfall records are discontinuous and show an incorrect increase. Or this study which says:
      “The Fourth Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Assessment Report (Trenberth et al., 2007), in the words of the authors, “indicates that the frequency of heavy precipitation events will very likely increase in China.”…Seeking to learn how this “indication” may or may not have developed throughout South China over the period 1961-2007, Gemmer et al. focused their attention on one of China’s largest river basins: the Zhujiang (Pearl River) basin…they accomplished by applying nonparametric trend tests to daily precipitation data from 192 weather stations…they write that “less than 9% of all stations in the Zhujiang River basin show significant trends in annual extreme precipitation events…noting also that “no spatial pattern can be detected for the stations with significant trends.”…”we can therefore conclude that no distinct regions in the Zhujiang River basin have experienced trends for annual indices.”” [Gemmer, Marco, Thomas Fischer, Tong Jiang, Buda Su, Lü Liu Liu, 2011: Journal of Climate]
      I must say, Jan, I’ve had it up to here with your style of “global warming MAY increase the severity of __________ (insert favorite feared disaster here)” alarmism. Come back when you have some real data to discuss. Your fears are of no interest to me.
      w.

      • I must say, Jan, I’ve had it up to here with your style of “global warming MAY increase the severity of __________ (insert favorite feared disaster here)” alarmism.

        Ha, ha, good observation, I am afraid that’s how I am, and that’s my style.
        Thanks for the comment however; I will see if I am able to be more specific, I’ll honestly do my best.
        You see, the problem is that the middle way is hard to defend and that is why the climate discussions are so polarized. We either hear that we stand before an apocalypse because of runaway effects if we don’t act immediately, or that the human emissions have no negative effects at all, ever; only huge positive ones which we allegedly know for certain.
        I think the truth is somewhere between there and that there are some great uncertainties.
        However we can also give some quite good predictions based on well established scientific facts. One of those facts is that warm air can carry more water than cold air. We can therefore expect more heavy rainfall in a warmer world and this will case more flooding.
        /Jan

      • Jan Kjetil Andersen October 4, 2015 at 12:59 am

        I must say, Jan, I’ve had it up to here with your style of “global warming MAY increase the severity of __________ (insert favorite feared disaster here)” alarmism.
        Ha, ha, good observation, I am afraid that’s how I am, and that’s my style.

        Ha, ha, still no data … ha, ha, that’s how he is, and that’s his style.
        Further to my comments about the EPA, further investigations shows that they have reported TWICE the area affected when they say:

        This figure shows the percentage of the land area of the contiguous 48 states where a much greater than normal portion of total annual precipitation has come from extreme single-day precipitation events.

        No, it doesn’t … it shows twice the percentage of the land area, but a 100% error is to be expected of the EPA.
        Unfortunately, NOAA doesn’t explain how they calculate the percentage of the land area affected when the number of stations is generally increasing over the period of record. A much more significant number would be the percentage of STATIONS showing increased 1-day rainfall events … but then that might not follow the party line.
        w.

      • I really had a good humored laugh at you comment of my style Willy because I thought it was a good observation. I did not mean to impolitely laugh at you.
        You may be right that the Epa has a weak fundament for the data shown on their website.
        I see that IPPC’s AR5 report also say that there is low confidence in the trends in flooding on a global scale:

        In summary, there continues to be a lack of evidence and thus low confidence regarding the sign of trend in the magnitude and/or frequency of floods on a global scale.

        AR5 WG1 page 2-57
        That means that my foundation for warning of more flooding solely rely on the fact that the water-holding capacity of the atmosphere increases with increased temperature. This should give more intense rain.
        However, I have not found any reliable observational support so far.
        /Jan

      • More fun. Jan, you didn’t come up with the data, so I researched it myself.
        The extreme 1-day precip index results are here, under the filenames like dk-step4.01-01.results for January, dk-step4.02-02.results for February, and the like. There is also the data the EPA used for the index, which is dk-step4.01-12.results, ostensibly a January to December average.
        Here’s the funny part … the average of the individual months of January to December looks nothing at all like the purported Jan-Dec average used by the EPA. Unlike the data used by the EPA, the average of individual months shows much larger areas affected by one-day rainfall extremes back in the 1910-1930 time period than in the current period.
        Not only that, but the average of the individual months is 0.06 (6%), while the purported Jan-Dec figures used by EPA average 0.10 (10%).
        In other words, the usual government cockup.
        Go figure … seriously, Jan, go figure—GO FIGURE THE DATA YOURSELF BEFORE QUOTING IT! You can do this just as well as I can. Why should I need to go to the trouble to show your data is bogus? That just makes you look foolish.
        RUN THE NUMBERS BEFORE UNCAPPING YOUR ELECTRONIC PENS, folks, that’s your job, not mine.
        w.

      • Jan Kjetil Andersen October 4, 2015 at 1:53 am

        I really had a good humored laugh at you comment of my style Willy because I thought it was a good observation. I did not mean to impolitely laugh at you.

        Thanks, Jan.

        You may be right that the Epa has a weak fundament for the data shown on their website.
        I see that IPPC’s AR5 report also say that there is low confidence in the trends in flooding on a global scale:

        In summary, there continues to be a lack of evidence and thus low confidence regarding the sign of trend in the magnitude and/or frequency of floods on a global scale.

        AR5 WG1 page 2-57

        Yep.

        That means that my foundation for warning of more flooding solely rely on the fact that the water-holding capacity of the atmosphere increases with increased temperature. This should give more intense rain.
        However, I have not found any reliable observational support so far.

        I’ve learned in climate that my logical guesses about how things might work are far too often wrong … that’s why I try to base my claims, not on logic, but on data.
        Best regards,
        w.

      • I think it takes more than a quick look at the data to determine whether it is bogus or not.
        I have enough confidence in the scientific community to think that if the information shown on the Epa site had been totally bogus they would have been confronted by this by more than some bloggers.
        /Jan

      • Just to be clear about what my last answer were pointing to, I quote it here

        Go figure … seriously, Jan, go figure—GO FIGURE THE DATA YOURSELF BEFORE QUOTING IT! You can do this just as well as I can. Why should I need to go to the trouble to show your data is bogus? That just makes you look foolish.
        RUN THE NUMBERS BEFORE UNCAPPING YOUR ELECTRONIC PENS, folks, that’s your job, not mine.

        More specifically I have two objections to this.
        Firstly I think it is too much to ask ordinary commenters here to run the numbers for themselves. There would not be many comments here if everyone had to follow that.
        The second objection is that it usually takes more than a quick running in a layman’s homemade computer program to debunk a scientific article. I see that you do that here, Willis, and you have also in several occasions pointed to serious weaknesses in these articles. While I think you do a good job, I do not think that any of us is in the position to do general quality reviews of scientific articles before we quote them.
        That does not mean that we should use all information we find uncritically, but I think a good general rule is to try to use stuff were people can be held accountable. The best source of this is actually peer reviewed articles published in scientific journals. The journals risks their reputation and the scientists risk their career if they publish bad science.
        A second best source is the information found on federal government’s sites like the EPA.
        As the concrete discussion here shows, the EPA may have a weak fundament in this case, but as a general rule I think they are quite reliable.
        The reason for the reliability is that the sites are read by many people and that the government institutions are held accountable for the content. If the content on these sites contradicted the general consensus among university professors and other independent scientists, there would be a highly visible protest. The protests we hear now comes mostly from laymen.
        /Jan

      • Jan Kjetil Andersen October 4, 2015 at 4:54 am

        Just to be clear about what my last answer were pointing to, I quote it here

        Go figure … seriously, Jan, go figure—GO FIGURE THE DATA YOURSELF BEFORE QUOTING IT! You can do this just as well as I can. Why should I need to go to the trouble to show your data is bogus? That just makes you look foolish.
        RUN THE NUMBERS BEFORE UNCAPPING YOUR ELECTRONIC PENS, folks, that’s your job, not mine.

        More specifically I have two objections to this.
        Firstly I think it is too much to ask ordinary commenters here to run the numbers for themselves. There would not be many comments here if everyone had to follow that.

        Jan, all I did was to determine that their yearly average file is NOT the average of their monthly files. if you think you are unqualified to do averages, I’ll take your word for it. As to the other commenters … not so much.

        The second objection is that it usually takes more than a quick running in a layman’s homemade computer program to debunk a scientific article. I see that you do that here, Willis, and you have also in several occasions pointed to serious weaknesses in these articles. While I think you do a good job, I do not think that any of us is in the position to do general quality reviews of scientific articles before we quote them.

        Again, speak for yourself. The analyses I do are not rocket science, as they say, and many, many people here have the ability to do them.

        That does not mean that we should use all information we find uncritically, but I think a good general rule is to try to use stuff were people can be held accountable. The best source of this is actually peer reviewed articles published in scientific journals. The journals risks their reputation and the scientists risk their career if they publish bad science.

        BWA-HA-HA-HA-HA … Jan, the idea that either the scientists or the journals “risk their reputation” if the publish bad science is hilarious. Look at the tons of peer reviewed garbage that I’ve exposed on this site. Look at the dang “Hockeystick”—that’s as skeevy a document as you can find, and Michael Mann and Nature didn’t take any hit at all to their reputations from that.

        A second best source is the information found on federal government’s sites like the EPA.
        As the concrete discussion here shows, the EPA may have a weak fundament in this case, but as a general rule I think they are quite reliable.

        The EPA reliable? BWA-HA-HA-HA-HA , stop, you’re killing me … they are easily the LEAST reliable of all of the government agencies.

        The reason for the reliability is that the sites are read by many people and that the government institutions are held accountable for the content. If the content on these sites contradicted the general consensus among university professors and other independent scientists, there would be a highly visible protest. The protests we hear now comes mostly from laymen.

        Dear heavens, the head of the EPA has been caught colluding with the “green” groups in the “sue-and-settle” scam, she used secret email accounts to do her slimy business, their data on PM2.5 is simply made up, they just tried (and may succeed) in claiming that they have authority over all water in the US including the puddles in your driveway, their mercury rules are a scientific joke … and you think they are reliable?
        Really?? Where have you been the last three decades? Wake up and smell the coffee! The EPA is doing what all good bureaucrats do, trying to increase their power by regulating more and more things. History has shown they will tell any convenient lie to do so, AS IN THIS CASE, where they have wildly exaggerated the 1-day rainfall data to deceive the public … and if you are any example, sadly, they appear to be succeeding..
        Jan, while your naiveté is charming, your faith in both US EPA bureaucracy and the “scientific” journals is hilariously misplaced.
        w.

      • their data on PM2.5 is simply made up, they just tried (and may succeed) in claiming that they have authority over all water in the US including the puddles in your driveway, their mercury rules are a scientific joke

        I do not agree on this.
        I think mercury and PM are considerable health hazards, and that is not something only a claim from EPA.
        Similar institutions in EU and other countries assess these risks in the same way.
        PM shortens the life of millions of people and mercury damage people’s brain.
        Just take one extreme example of the unfair burden of this pollution: The Inuits living in Greenland are heavily disturbed by mercury pollution.
        They live close to the nature, and they are so few that their contribution to pollution is negligible, but they eat animals which are contaminated by pollution which mostly originates from coal fired power plants.
        I think both the Inuits and Americans deserve cleaner environment. It is enough wealth around to pay for that.
        /Jan

      • Jan Kjetil Andersen October 4, 2015 at 10:14 am Edit

        their data on PM2.5 is simply made up, they just tried (and may succeed) in claiming that they have authority over all water in the US including the puddles in your driveway, their mercury rules are a scientific joke

        I do not agree on this.
        I think mercury and PM are considerable health hazards, and that is not something only a claim from EPA.

        Can mercury and PM2.5 cause health problems.
        Assuredly … but that’s not what I said.
        I said that the EPA gives out bogus data. For example, the EPA actually tested PM2.5 on living human subject … which leaves only two choices. Either it doesn’t do as much damage as they claim, or they are risking human lives in a horrendous fashion. Not sure which one is worse.
        As to their mercury rules, buried deep in the mercury rule is the estimated savings of the rule. It is estimated, by them, not by me, that their mercury rule will save between $9,000 and $20,000 per year in avoided health costs. Note that this is not per person. It’s FOR THE WHOLE COUNTRY. It is flat out ILLEGAL for them to make a rule with the costs exceeding the benefits, and the costs in this case will be billions … but thanks to credulous folks like yourself, they’ll likely get away with it.
        So yes, the EPA mercury rules are a joke, but the joke is on us—they plan to shut down coal plants to save twenty grand a year …
        However, you are free to continue along in your fantasy world where the EPA has your best interest at heart … just don’t expect anyone sensible to agree with you, and you’ll do well.
        Or, you could wake up and smell the coffee …
        w.

      • Well, other nations have similar regulations
        The emission standards for EU can be found here:
        http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:32010L0075
        I strongly doubt that the small amounts you mention is meant to cover all the costs of mercury pollution in the US society.
        As a comparison, the costs of mercury pollution in EU are calculated to 10 billion per year here:
        http://www.biomedcentral.com/presscenter/pressreleases/20130107
        Cost estimates in the similar range for US can be found here. http://www.nrdc.org/media/pressreleases/050228.asp
        /Jan

      • Jan Kjetil Andersen October 4, 2015 at 1:55 pm

        I strongly doubt that the small amounts you mention is meant to cover all the costs of mercury pollution in the US society.

        Are you really that unable to read? I said, and I quote (as you did not, which is most tiresome)

        As to their mercury rules, buried deep in the mercury rule is the estimated savings of the rule.

        Is that unclear? It is the amount that the new regulations are supposed to save us, duh, as you would know if you had QUOTED THE EXACT WORDS YOU OBJECT TO. But noooo, you’re the mighty Jan Andersen, you don’t need to quote anything, you’re determined to expose your intellectual laziness to us all.
        And yes, it is that small an amount.

        The Regulatory Impact Analysis of the proposed Mercury Toxic Rules says:

        This proposed rule will reduce emissions of Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAP) including mercury from the electric power industry. As a co-benefit, the emissions of certain PM2.5 precursors such as SO2 will also decline. EPA estimates that this proposed rule will yield annual monetized benefits (in 2007$) of between $59 to $140 billion using a 3% discount rate and $53 and $130 billion using a 7% discount rate.

        However, according to Table 1.3 in EPA’s own analysis,16 mercury only has benefits of $.004–$.006 using a 3 percent discount rate, and $0.000005–$0.000009 billion using a 7 percent discount rate.
        Now, we have to admire their honesty. They’ve given all of the monetary values in billions of dollars, with their estimates of total benefit ranging from $50 billion to $140 billion. And they’ve given their estimate of the benefits from the mercury reduction using a 7 percent discount rate in billions of dollars as well: $0.000005–$0.000009 billion. In human-sized figures, that’s a total nationwide benefit spread out across the population of $5,000–$9,000 from the proposed reduction in mercury.

        SOURCE: Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons Volume 20 Number 2
        So I don’t care in the slightest if you “strongly doubt” it or not. Your doubts are meaningless in the face of facts. You’re just expressing your divine right to remain ignorant and to shower us with your foolish ideas. DO YOUR HOMEWORK BEFORE MAKING MORE STUPID CLAIMS, you are embarrassing yourself.
        w.

      • Hm, I see you have written an article about Mercury here a whole ago,
        The EPA’S Mercury madness
        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/03/31/the-epas-mercurial-madness/
        I think this article is very misleading.
        The problem is that mercury pollution is all about primary versus secondary sources. The primary sources is the ones that move the mercury from deep deposits to the surface. The sources for this is volcanos and mines, including coal mines and coal burning.
        After the mercury emitted from the primary sources has fallen to the ground, it can be re-emitted several times by secondary sources such as forest-fires, dust storms and evaporation from oceans.
        http://www2.epa.gov/international-cooperation/mercury-emissions-global-context
        Your article does not separate the two and is therefore very misleading.
        /Jan

      • Willis says:

        However, according to Table 1.3 in EPA’s own analysis,16 mercury only has benefits of $.004–$.006 using a 3 percent discount rate

        Willis, I am afraid you have misunderstood the table
        They say:

        Avoided IQ Loss Associated with Methylmercury Exposure from Self-Caught Fish Consumption among Recreational Anglers
        3% discount rate $0.004 – $0.006

        This is only a small subset of all negative effects of Mercury exposure to the public.
        Firstly, they only take the monetized value of lost IQ, not all the other documented effect of mercury pollution, such as Impairment of speech, hearing and walking, premature death et cetera.
        Secondly, they only take the exposure of Metylmercury from Self-Caught Fish Consumption among Recreational Anglers.
        People are also exposed to mercury through commercially caught fish as well as other nutrients and breathing.
        Another important point is that these numbers are for the implementation year only:

        Monetized benefits estimates reported here are for the implementation year: 2016. As such, certain health endpoints that take years to manifest, such as avoided IQ loss from MeHg prenatal exposure, may not be fully quantified in the analysis year.

        The cost savings of avoided IQ in the first year are negligible since the IQ loss mainly affects the small children. It will take a generation to see the full savings.
        /Jan

      • Willis Say:

        Numbers are your friend. If your claim is that those are the wrong numbers because they are too small, flapping your lips does nothing. Quote and point out for us the larger EPA numbers from that same analysis quantifying the larger losses you claim I have “misunderstood”.

        The numbers are small because they have only calculated the monetary effects for a subset of the damages caused by Mercury. Other benefits, which are listed but not quantified are:

        Mercury: health
        Impaired cognitive development
        Problems with language
        Abnormal social development
        Potential for fatal and non-fatal AMI (heart attacks)
        Association with genetic effects
        Possible autoimmunity effects in antibodies
        Mercury: welfare
        Neurological, behavioral, reproductive and survival effects in wildlife (birds, fish, and mammals)

        These environmental gains are undoubtedly important and is wrong to disregard this just because it is not monetized. By disregarding them, we say that they are worthless and that is wrong.
        Some effect may even be impossible to monetize. What is for example the cost saving for the US from reducing the Mercury pollution in the fish eaten by the Inutis in Greenland?
        Well, anyway, the Supreme Court has spoken and the consequence will probably be that EPA make an effort to quantify and monetize these benefits.
        As I see it this is an unnecessary delay since the already quantified benefits of PM and SOx reduction shows that the benefits by far outweigh the costs. The delay throws away both human lives and money.
        /Jan

      • Jan writes

        one of those facts is that warm air can carry more water than cold air. We can therefore expect more heavy rainfall in a warmer world and this will case more flooding

        You need to think that thought right through, Jan. The only way heavier rainfall can occur is if at other times there is less rainfall otherwise the net effect is more energy being transferred higher in the troposphere via the latent heat of vapourisation. That would be a negative feedback and cause cooling at the surface.
        So now…why will a warmer atmosphere result in less rain at times? Is that an obvious result too?

    • Jan… the warmists always focus only on the possible negative. What about the benefits that some areas will receive with a much needed increase in rainfall if indeed human emissions lead to more rain. If you look at the planet, it has become 11% greener over the past 30 years. Crop yields have increased enormously as well. A greening planet is a good thing… or do you prefer a brown, parched one?
      While there just may be some negatives somewhere if rainfall has increased, the benefits so far seem to far out-weigh the possible negatives.

      • And Jan might also remember that much flooding occurs (or is noticed!) where humans have built in the wrong places without proper regard for likely consequences.
        Like, ummm, the flood plains of rivers. It happens in the UK and makes the inevitable floods even worse than they would have been. When the houses get flooded and possibly uninsurable, more than one person of global warming-strength stupidity is going to ignore the real reason why it happened.

      • Jan, I am afraid that you have misplaced your confidence in the scientific community.
        Another HISTORICAL FACT (ie data driven) is that more extreme weather occurs when the overall climate is colder as the power for extreme weather comes from the difference in temperatures between the Tropics and the Poles, not from the overall temperature itself.

    • “I have enough confidence in the scientific community to think that if the information shown on the Epa site had been totally bogus they would have been confronted by this by more than some bloggers.”
      Jan, as a lawyer who has worked with and cross examined many expert witnesses in thirty years, who has seen the political bias and corruption of government bureaucrats, I’m always amazed at the naïveté of such a belief, that the government will always be truthful. I hope you don’t think of yourself as a critical thinker, because you are not. And for you to say that the truth must be somewhere in the middle in science is equally naive and not critical thinking. It’s a self serving attempt to sound reasonable. In the process Willis is showing how unreasonable your thinking can be. You think you would have been reasonable taking the middle position in the historic scientific debate of whether the earth is round or flat? You want to have one foot on both sides of the crevice as the earth opens up. Good luck with that.
      Think.

  31. Do not expect any response from Ira Flatow; below is a letter I sent to my local PBS radio station in June 2012, which went unanswered:
    Your fund raising letter arrived today. I am happy to gift KQED $250, but there is a condition attached:
    “Everybody is entitled to their own opinions, but they are not entitled to their own facts.” On Forum last December 7, to quash a caller, Michael Krasny and Ira Flatow both stated categorically of the Climategate emails: “they’ve been disproven.”
    I believe that statement is false, and believe both Krasny and Flatow knew, or ought to have known, that it is false.
    I emailed Krasny, Flatow and the PBS Ombudsman about this matter (copy is attached). As none responded, I conclude that KQED stands behind their words.
    Thus my gift KQED is conditioned on either of two events:
    (1) Krasny or Flatow cite reputable evidence showing the Climategate emails are fake, or
    (2) acknowledge on-air their misspeaking and apologize for any misunderstandings created.
    “KQED is entitled to their own opinions, but KQED is not entitled to their own facts.” Should neither (1) or (2) occur, when time comes for KQED’s broadcast license to be renewed, I shall report an “unfair/biased broadcast,” a breach of the public trust, to the FCC as an informal objection to license renewal.
    Sincerely,
    [NeedleFactory]

  32. Jevrejava is definitely playing in the alarmist camp but is actually doing some very detail science despite that. Enquiring minds need to read the papers in detail, not just scim the misleading abstracts and titles.
    https://climategrog.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/jevrejeva_2014_fig8.png
    figure 8 excerpt from Jevrejeva 2014: “Trends and acceleration in global and regional sea levels since 1807”
    http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/504181/

    Fitting a second order polynomial to the GSL12 for the period
    1880–2009 gives an acceleration of 0.001 mm·yr−2, which is much
    smaller than the 0.009 mm·yr−2 reported by Church and White
    (2011) for that time period. Fig. 15 shows that, at periods longer than
    100 years, global sea level reconstruction is characterised by a positive
    acceleration of 0.02 mm·yr−2 over the full period of 1807–2009.

    0.001 mm/yr2 is 0.1 mm/y faster per century .
    She carefully avoids pointing this out in the abstract and conclusions sections but buries it in the detail of the paper, preferring to fit a quadratic to both the early steady downward trend 1800:1850 and essentially linear increase since 1860 and report solely this acceleration in the abstract and conclusion.
    Well, we would not want to kill the gold cow now, would we ?
    Despite the misleading presentation this is a detailed and thorough paper.

    • Isn’t it odd that the error bars of both reconstructions do not overlap for significant periods. Someone must have underestimated error or they’re working on a different planet.

  33. I just have a question about sea level rise. There are many reports of the erosion of the coast, and that sea level rise is increasing the erosion. But I cannot find the opposite, that the erosion is causing some sea level rise. There must be huge masses of sediments going into oceans every year. This must give a natural increase of sea level, It is strange that it is so difficult to find out how much.

    • It is certainly true that erosion is a force that raises sea levels. However, on a geologic time scale that leveling is balanced by the buckling of colliding tectonic plates, which continues to create new mountains.
      The Himalayas for instance, are still getting higher, and that effect causes sea levels to drop.
      If the solid part of the earth were perfectly even in elevation, our planet would be a WaterWorld.

  34. Willis, You might want to read Chapter 13 of the IPCC AR5 if you haven’t already. Other than paying some homage to climate models that are at best unreliable and more likely completely broken, I think you’ll find it interesting and not terribly objectionable. And it is divine scripture to acolytes of the Church of Climate Change such as NPR and Ira Flatow. It’s take on sea level rise from 1900 to 2015 per figure 13.27 — about 20cm (8 inches). Combining that with your photo, one concludes that Miami was built somewhere around mean higher high water. Probably not all that great an idea. (A dredge and some judicious remediation could probably fix the specific problem in the photo for a century or three if anyone cares enough to spend money rather than whining). BTW even if sea level rise is not that big a deal, humanity genuinely is building way to much stuff with very low (often negative) freeboard compared to the highest likely tidal+wind+storm levels. And that’s before counting in subsidence due to isostacy, sediment compaction, and pumping fluids out from under infrastructure.
    http://www.climatechange2013.org/images/report/WG1AR5_Chapter13_FINAL.pdf

  35. “NASA lost a $125 million Mars orbiter because a Lockheed Martin engineering team used English units of measurement while the agency’s team used the more conventional metric system for a key spacecraft operation, according to a review finding released Thursday” September 1999
    Metric to English conversions (and vice versa) can vex even the smart guys. Unit conversion, although simple in concept, was one of the most common sources of error in student work when I was teaching College Algebra.

    • That is after the Hubble needed adaptive optics for the same reason. They have learnt how to repeat their mistakes.

      • That may be an urban legend. I read and offical explanation that someone had misplaced the measuring rod. Could be and excuse, thoght it looked pretty detailed and choherent.
        The other explanation is that they were so used to making mirrors for spy satellites that they made the usual diameter. The slightly shorter focal lenght was close to what is needed to looking at the planet , not the infinity of deep space.

  36. Like all Warmistas, Ira Flatow is both a professional liar as well as a coward. As well, he is no scientist; he just plays one on what I now call “National Government Radio” (although I still listen to it).

  37. But wait, there’s more:
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/videos/5e92d30f16ca4e5a86f70cab104909d0.htm
    “Date:
    August 27, 2015
    Source:
    AP / Powered by NewsLook.com
    Summary:
    NASA has released new images showing global sea level rise. The agency’s scientists say sea levels have risen four inches in the last two decades. (Aug. 27) Video provided by AP”
    Just listen to the last few seconds of that video, “…the amount of warming we cause and the amount of CO2 we release.” So, we are causing warming somehow AND we are releasing CO2. They leave it up to the viewer to link CO2 to warming since they know that the link has not been scientifically proven.

  38. I’m not sure what is “official” but the Jevrejeva graph above goes from about -120 to 190 from 1860 to 2010. That close to 2mm/year aveage over that period, with a miniscule acceleration which is smaller than the data uncertainty.

    • That is to say that sea level IS rising but there is no sign it has anything at all to do with the supposed impact of massively increased GHG since 1960.
      Obviously the current situation in Miami is more to do with storm swell plus a perigee, full moon ( Sept 28 ) at an eclipse configuration but you can count on alarmists to miss real cause. Headless chickens are notoriously bad a science subjects.

  39. Working for NPR, Flatow has no choice on his climate change coverage. The NPR news Chief is Michael Oreskes, brother of Naomi Oreskes. No doubt if anyone working for NPR were to deviate from NPR’s diktat, they would be fired. It is interesting to note that NPR has not considered the brother/sister relationship a potential conflict of interest that should be disclosed. Now I dont agree with my brother on many things, but I dont see how they could possible consider non-disclosure as reasonable. Heck, you cant even win prizes from radio stations if your close relatives work there.

  40. Like Willis, we also spent many years sailing around the world in a small boat.
    What I found most interesting were the charts of the remote Pacific islands drawn the better part of 250 years ago by the likes of Cook, Bligh, and Vancouver.
    These charts are remarkable works of precision. Most of these areas have never been resurveyed. The original charts are all we have.
    Yet, when one looks at these charts one notices something quite startling. These charts are all drawn to 1 foot precision for water depths less than 1 fathom (6 feet).
    And in the 250 years since these charts were drawn, there has been virtually NO difference in the 1 foot measurements as compared to today. None that can be detected by eyeball.
    The shoreline is still where it was drawn, centuries ago. The drying rocks are still where they were drawn, centuries ago.
    So it sea level rise is happening, how can this be possible? None of these charts have “global sea level rise” corrections on their datum. In point of fact, no ocean chart I’ve see ever shows “global sea level rise” corrections on their datum, yet we do see WGS84 datum correction, which is the satellite (GPS) correction.
    So how is it that ocean charts don’t show a correction for sea level rise? Millions of lives and billions of dollars rely on these charts, yet they don’t have a datum correction for something we are told over and over again by academia is real.
    Or could it be that “global sea level rise” is only happening in Academia, not on the oceans?

      • I suggested just such a study to the real scientists on the real climate web-site. There was zero interest. Which makes sense if you are trying to prove your theory right. Why look for contrary evidence?
        However, the thousands of sailors that rely on the modern charts drawn from the old charts are conducting just such a study every day of the year.
        What gets added to the new charts are the location of wrecks. As well, what gets added is the location of hidden rocks that we missed in the original surveys.
        But what we don’t see is drying rocks from hundreds of years ago disappearing under the ocean. If the chart shows a drying rock, then you can be sure that it will still be drying at low tide hundreds of years later.
        So don’t go trying to drive your boat over a reef marked hundreds of years ago on the chart, trusting that sea level rise has now made it safe. It is only safe in Academia. On the Ocean the reef will still rip the bottom out of your boat, no matter how much correction has been made for post ice age rebound.

      • I think a lot of people are also ignorant of the inverse barometer effect. It only takes a high pressure area of 1043hPa (30.8 in Hg) to reduce depths by one foot. Similarly, a low pressure in a hurricane, say 923 hPa (27.3 in Hg), will raise sea level three feet, even without the waves.

    • As an ocean sailor I agree with that. But there’s more accurate stuff than that for general observation; in Australia and I am sure in the US more so there are many, many housing canal estates close to the sea where the canal walls were always built to king tide levels. Many of these estates are ~ 70 years old, built after WW2 and there are none that I have found where there is ANY sign of SLR.
      There are many where SLs are falling.
      SLR is a bit like justice; it must not just happen, it must be seen to happen.

    • i believe these differing trends in separate areas are purely down to various oceanic current cycles and the shifting weather patterns that go along with them ferd. various causeways and rocks named by fishermen of old would also suggest sea level has not being doing much out of the ordinary for a few centuries.

    • Doc, what is “laughably thin” is your identification of what it is that you think is “laughably thin”. I can’t tell from your comment just what it is that you object to. Are you objecting to what is in your link? Objecting to what I said? Objecting to someone else?
      Please pay more attention. I specifically asked:

      AS USUAL: If you disagree with someone, please QUOTE THE EXACT WORDS YOU OBJECT TO. This lets everyone know both who and what you find incorrect.

      And as usual, some fool ignores my request and goes off on a rant about something that only they can identify …
      In any case, from your link:

      Church et al. (2004) correctly analyze the same data set (their own) that RV [Rahmstorf and Vermeer] incorrectly analyze and conclude that “Decadal variability in sea level is observed but to date there is no detectable secular increase in the rate of sea level rise over the period 1950–2000” (p. 2624). This conclusion is evident from Figure 2 and in stark contrast to the claims of RV and the acceleration they show in Figure 1 for a starting year of 1950.

      w.

  41. You can’t ‘falsify’ global sea level rise WRT to US data only
    ============
    Of course you can:
    the oceans are interconnected, so if it is rising in one place it must be rising in all places. conversely, if it not rising in one place, then it cannot be rising in any other place.
    thus, if sea levels are not rising in the US (or Canada as well as shown by the graphics), then the rise is not global. It is only regional. which is impossible because water seeks the lowest level. so what you are seeing cannot be global sea level rise. it must be something else that is being measured and mistakenly called global sea level rise.

    • No, ferd. The ocean is not a bathtub, it’s a dynamic system, and SLR rates are not homogenous. Didn’t you read your Lomborg when he talks about the ‘geoid’? That, and other effects, are discussed here:
      http://e360.yale.edu/feature/the_secret_of_sea_level_rise_it_will_vary_greatly_by_region/2255/
      By the way, note the matter of isostasy, which definitely affects the Northern Canadian data you mentioned above. Land there is still rising due to post-glacial rebound.
      Bottom line: rates of sea level rise vary a lot by location, and it matters for diagnosing the presence (or not) of SLR acceleration.
      Just for one example, here’s a Steve Goddard post which uses an Aviso map illustrating Jason-1 SLR trends, 2002-2011. You’ll see some drastic rises (mostly in the western Pacific), a lot of more modest ones, and some areas where trends are actually negative–notably the Central Pacific, but also, interestingly for present purposes, off a chunk of the central US East Coast.
      https://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2011/06/21/record-sea-level-rise-rates/

      • Doc Snow October 4, 2015 at 11:07 am

        “…dynamic…”
        This animation of satellite altimeter data shows what I meant by that adjective:
        http://podaac.jpl.nasa.gov/node/430
        Quite a ‘light show’.

        Again, I encourage you to read. We discussed above how you need, not one month, not one year, not one decade, but about fifty years to get an accurate sea level trend.
        And you point to a MONTHLY map of sea level and go ooooh … shiny ….
        Fifty.
        Years.
        w.

      • Doc Snow October 4, 2015 at 10:32 am Edit

        No, ferd. The ocean is not a bathtub, it’s a dynamic system, and SLR rates are not homogenous. Didn’t you read your Lomborg when he talks about the ‘geoid’? That, and other effects, are discussed here:
        http://e360.yale.edu/feature/the_secret_of_sea_level_rise_it_will_vary_greatly_by_region/2255/

        Did you actually read that link? More weasel words than you could ever want. Lots and lots of “may” and “might” and “could” and the like. Yes, changes in winds or ocean currents MAY affect sea levels. But if you’ve looked at as many sea level records as I have, you’d know that you don’t see the kind of jumps in the record that the author is intimating.
        Also, the idea that the change in the polar ice caps MAY affect the sea height levels through changes in the gravity caused by the melting of the ice cap is a joke. As the author says:

        These polar ice caps are Stouffer’s gorillas. They keep sea level higher than it would otherwise be for thousands of kilometers around both land masses, and correspondingly lower elsewhere.
        If the polar ice sheets shrink, though — as they’re currently doing, especially in Grenland and West Antarctica — their gravitational pull weakens and so does their hold on the surrounding water. About a year ago, Jerry Mitrovica, a geophysicist who teaches an entire course on sea level at Harvard, co-authored a paper in Science that laid out what would likely happen if the West Antarctic ice sheet, the smaller of the two sheets that cover the Antarctic continent, were to melt. (Like a complete shutdown of the Gulf Stream, this is not considered likely anytime soon. But recent satellite measurements have shown that glaciers that drain the ice sheet have begun moving faster toward the sea).

        So the author admits it won’t happen any time soon … have you ever calculated how long it would take to completely melt the WAIS? THOUSANDS OF YEARS! And you think he’s making sense?
        Anyone who thinks that changing gravity will affect sea levels in our lifetime needs to go back to school. Even the author doesn’t claim that … although he hints darkly, in the best alarmist fashion, about a slight change in glacier movement.
        Look, Doc, if that kind of thing actually affected sea levels, we’d see it in every record around the world, some stronger, some weaker, because winds and current change constantly.
        But we don’t see that. Instead, we see things like the 120-year New York tidal record … with nothing of the sort.
        w.

      • Doc Snow October 4, 2015 at 10:32 am

        Just for one example, here’s a Steve Goddard post which uses an Aviso map illustrating Jason-1 SLR trends, 2002-2011. You’ll see some drastic rises (mostly in the western Pacific), a lot of more modest ones, and some areas where trends are actually negative–notably the Central Pacific, but also, interestingly for present purposes, off a chunk of the central US East Coast.
        https://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2011/06/21/record-sea-level-rise-rates/

        Yes, of course there are all kinds of short term ups and downs … which is why you need 50 years of tidal data to get an accurate rate of sea level rise. You link to nine years of data … is there some part of “50 years” that seems unclear?
        w.

      • Willis writes

        Fifty. Years.

        I wouldn’t mind betting that a long timescale like 50 years was required for a single data point too. In the same way you established the data required to observe surface temperature changes was longer than 30 years for a single data point.

    • Reply to ferdberple ==> What an odd idea!
      The level of the ocean surface from the center of the Earth (or conversely, down from the satellite) has been being measured for years with a high degree of accuracy.
      It goes up and down, not evenly, based on factors that we have not yet accurately defined or understood.
      As another commenter points out – The Ocean is not a bathtub.
      Like Global Surface Air Temperature, Global Sea Level is a thought experiment that does not reflect an actuality.

    • the oceans are interconnected, so if it is rising in one place it must be rising in all places. conversely, if it not rising in one place, then it cannot be rising in any other place.

      welcome to the layman’s gallery Fred – here’s a short & easy & fun video explaining how sea level is measured – and why it doesn’t quite work the way you think – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q65O3qA0-n4

  42. Kip Hansen October 4, 2015 at 11:56 am

    Reply to ferdberple ==> What an odd idea!
    The level of the ocean surface from the center of the Earth (or conversely, down from the satellite) has been being measured for years with a high degree of accuracy.

    Thanks, Kip. No, ocean surface levels have not been “measured for years with a high degree of accuracy”. That’s only true since 1992, and that’s less than half of the 50-year tidal cycle that you need to get accurate trends. Less. Than. Half.

    It goes up and down, not evenly, based on factors that we have not yet accurately defined or understood.

    Say what? We have very accurate tide tables for all parts of the planet. How could we predict future sea level heights so accurately if we did not understand the vertical motions of the ocean?

    As another commenter points out – The Ocean is not a bathtub.
    Like Global Surface Air Temperature, Global Sea Level is a thought experiment that does not reflect an actuality.

    Yet, as you say, we can measure sea level with a “high degree of accuracy” … so are we measuring an imaginary thing? And if we average those highly accurate measurements, why would we not get a global average sea level? What am I missing here?
    w.

    • Reply to w. ==> Thank you for pointing out that we have been measuring sea level with satellites for 23 years (which certainly qualifies as “years”).
      You have provided the link to the PSMSL site which shows graphically that the sea level rises in some places while falling in others, over the same time period. That changes over time as well (use the slider on the main graphic) — which places see a rise and which a fall. It is important to admit that we do not truly understand the causes behind these differences — we have only some guesses which may be right.
      And, finally, the sea is not a bathtub — it is a dynamic system whose intricacies we only pretend to understand.
      “What am I missing here?” — my only point is that “global average sea level” may not represent an actuality — a real attribute — of the natural system we call “the seas”. It is certainly something that clever statisticians and other numberists can create out of various data sets with lots of adjustments, kriging, homogenization, gridding and other tricks of the trade — the resultant number may just not represent anything useful to science and humanity.
      Thus, yes, if people think they are “measuring” Global Average Sea Level — they are in fact really deriving an imaginary number which does not represent anything that can be experienced except accidentally.
      There may be some utility to knowing that, in general, sea levels have been rising in single digit millimeters (~ 1.7 to 3.2 mm) per year for a long long time, and are likely to continue to do so.
      See my review of sea levels at the Battery at New York in this post.

      • Yes, I think that 1 meter line slips past many. One meter is several times the amount of rise in 100 years in most locations.
        It is an interesting little video, that is for sure.

      • Reply to Menicholas ==> I like it! Note to those worried about 1.7 mm rise per year. The geodists only claim an accuracy of +/- 1 meter to their gravity adjusted sea level model which equals an inaccuracy of 500 times the generally accepted annual average sea level rise.

  43. i don’t know if the NY Daily News has a bias on the AGW debate – but i like the way they presented the Miami flooding news – “Blame it on the supermoon!” is the lead line – at the end they add “what many believe is the rising sea levels due to global warming” – Anthony would have said “what many claim” – either way – the skeptic and the alarmist can interpret that anyway they want
    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/high-tides-flooding-miami-gallery-1.2378955

  44. If you Google the title
    “Why has an acceleration of sea level rise not been observed during the altimeter era”
    you will find a presentation from Steve Nerem of Colorado University’s Sea Level Research Group that discusses the fact that since 1992 when satellite measurement of sea level began, acceleration in the rate of sea level rise has been negative.
    It is easy to download the text file of data at CU’s Web site for sea level and use Microsoft’s Excel to calculate the rate of acceleration for your self.

  45. When you are promoting a fairy-tale like the link between flooding, ‘climate change’ and man-made CO2, you must neglect no opportunity to repeat the meme, so that people have it hammered into their sub-conscious, and stop them realizing that it is a fantasy.
    Ira Flatow’s comments on recent flooding in Miami, Florida, as evidence of climate change, is a good example of this. All hands to help the Party.

  46. TO IRA FLATOW –
    There are tens of thousands of people who are reading this blog. Please reply, we would like to know your thoughts on this.

      • don’t be mean….keep the moral high ground.
        he is either misinformed or he is lying, and i expect that it is the former.
        this is an excellent forum for him to present why he believes what he does, and debate it rationally and fairly.

  47. It is interesting to see (for the first time as far as I’m aware) some posts in which confidence intervals for a fitted line are given and illustrated. The line in question is of course a straight one, and the fit is known as “simple regression”. It is easy to compute the confidence intervals for the slope of such a line, though few people who post on this (most excellent) blog do, or equivalently compute the t statistic for the slope, and to consult the critical values of t for the appropriate degrees of freedom. The t value is the ratio of the slope to its standard error, which any stats software should report. There are some qualifications due to the often considerable serial correlations of the residuals from a time series analysis, but with large amounts of data these are largely academic. The software that I use automatically produces the confidence for the fitted line, as shown in RD50’s post of 3 Oct at 6.59, but also the equivalent CIs for an individual future observation, which are invariably very much wider in the climate world.
    The obvious way to investigate (statistically) possible acceleration in the parameter – which is manifested by a change of slope – is to fit a second order model to the data, and to test the t value of the quadratic coefficient against critical t values. My experience so far has been that the second order terms are trivial relative to the scatter in the observations and never approach a significance threshold.
    Unfortunately I don’t know how to post graphics, otherwise I’d incorporate some. Sorry!

  48. Reblogged this on gottadobetterthanthis and commented:

    If you worry about sea level rise, please take a few minutes to read the insights of a genius farmboy who has spent much time at sea.
    Read and understand this very understandable article. Review what he said, and check his calculations.
    The fact of the matter is that sea level rise rate has been about the same for all of the history of human civilization and our interactions with the sea. It is not accelerating. In fact, is seems to be decelerating, which just might mean we are headed into the next glaciation phase. Maybe not, but maybe. It will take centuries, hopefully, if we are sliding into that next glaciation. While it will take many thousands of years before Manhattan is under a mile of ice again, it could be only a few decades before global crop failures resemble the worst of the little ice age, and it would be downhill from there.
    Please understand, cold kills. Warmer is better.

  49. AGW policy reach is shaping up to be the greatest lie detector test ever devised. Among scientists and science reporters its accuracy is even more refined because they should know better and be more inclined toward fact checking and caution. Ira flunks the test and so does his organization.

  50. Jan Kjetil Andersen October 5, 2015 at 7:14 am Edit

    Willis says:

    However, according to Table 1.3 in EPA’s own analysis,mercury only has benefits of $.004–$.006 using a 3 percent discount rate

    Willis, I am afraid you have misunderstood the table
    They say:

    Avoided IQ Loss Associated with Methylmercury Exposure from Self-Caught Fish Consumption among Recreational Anglers
    3% discount rate $0.004 – $0.006

    This is only a small subset of all negative effects of Mercury exposure to the public.

    Numbers are your friend. If your claim is that those are the wrong numbers because they are too small, flapping your lips does nothing. Quote and point out for us the larger EPA numbers from that same analysis quantifying the larger losses you claim I have “misunderstood”.
    Thanks,
    w.

  51. Jan Kjetil Andersen October 5, 2015 at 7:14 am Edit

    Willis says:

    However, according to Table 1.3 in EPA’s own analysis,16 mercury only has benefits of $.004–$.006 using a 3 percent discount rate

    Willis, I am afraid you have misunderstood the table …

    Jan Kjetil Andersen October 5, 2015 at 12:43 pm Edit

    Willis Say:

    Numbers are your friend. If your claim is that those are the wrong numbers because they are too small, flapping your lips does nothing. Quote and point out for us the larger EPA numbers from that same analysis quantifying the larger losses you claim I have “misunderstood”.

    The numbers are small because they have only calculated the monetary effects for a subset of the damages caused by Mercury. Other benefits, which are listed but not quantified are:
    Mercury: health
    Impaired cognitive development
    Problems with language
    Abnormal social development
    Potential for fatal and non-fatal AMI (heart attacks)
    Association with genetic effects
    Possible autoimmunity effects in antibodies
    Mercury: welfare
    Neurological, behavioral, reproductive and survival effects in wildlife (birds, fish, and mammals)
    These environmental gains are undoubtedly important and is wrong to disregard this just because it is not monetized. By disregarding them, we say that they are worthless and that is wrong.
    Some effect may even be impossible to monetize. What is for example the cost saving for the US from reducing the Mercury pollution in the fish eaten by the Inutis in Greenland?

    So you proudly claim my numbers are wrong and that I’ve “misunderstood the table” … but then when called on it, you have no numbers at all? Pathetic. No, I didn’t “misunderstand the table”, I understood it perfectly.
    And yes, mercury has effects on those things you mention … but HOW MUCH will be changed by this regulation? You seem happy to grunt something akin to “Mercury Bad! Mercury Bad!”. Yes, it’s bad, but how much will these regulations affect that? That’s the part you are missing.

    Well, anyway, the Supreme Court has spoken and the consequence will probably be that EPA make an effort to quantify and monetize these benefits.
    As I see it this is an unnecessary delay since the already quantified benefits of PM and SOx reduction shows that the benefits by far outweigh the costs. The delay throws away both human lives and money.

    You are a very useful dupe for these folks, spreading their disinformation. According to the law, the EPA can’t regulate MERCURY unless it can demonstrate that the benefits of regulating MERCURY exceed the costs of regulating MERCURY.
    They tried to cover it up by pointing to the supposed benefits from PM and SOx, and you are stupid enough to parrot them even after they were caught by the courts. It’s not about PM and SOx, duh. It’s about MERCURY cost/benefit, and their claimed benefits are pathetically small.
    w.

    • And yes, mercury has effects on those things you mention … but HOW MUCH will be changed by this regulation? You seem happy to grunt something akin to “Mercury Bad! Mercury Bad!”. Yes, it’s bad, but how much will these regulations affect that? That’s the part you are missing

      The impact is huge Willis
      We know that mercury can damage the brain, small children and unborn are especially vulnerable. Surveys shows that approximately 2.3 percent of women in reproductive ages have blood mercury concentrations that may increase the risk of learning disabilities in their unborn children. http://www.epa.gov/mercury/exposure.htm#Martin2012
      That means that approximately 75 000 American children are born with less abilities than they could have had, and it will follow them their entire life.
      Approximately half of the U.S. mercury pollution comes from power plants, and the MATS regulation would reduce that amount by 90 percent.
      http://www3.epa.gov/mats/powerplants.html
      I think it is more naive to trust the claims from the coal industry than independent scientist and institutions.
      /Jan

      • Jan Kjetil Andersen October 5, 2015 at 10:40 pm

        The impact is huge Willis
        We know that mercury can damage the brain, small children and unborn are especially vulnerable. …

        Yes, mercury can damage the brain, duh. Since it appears you have reading comprehension problems, I’ll merely repeat what I said above:

        And yes, mercury has effects on those things you mention … but HOW MUCH will be changed by this regulation? You seem happy to grunt something akin to “Mercury Bad! Mercury Bad!”. Yes, it’s bad, but how much will these regulations affect that? That’s the part you are missing.

        Finally, I don’t care in the slightest what the EPA claims. As I pointed out above, they have been repeatedly shown to be in the pocket of the green lobby, and their interest is in extending their regulatory reach. So OF COURSE they might claim things like that “2.3 percent of women in reproductive ages have blood mercury concentrations that may increase the risk of learning disabilities in their unborn children”.
        “May increase”? Will they increase the risk or won’t they? I have no clue what that claim means.
        In addition, the link you gave (to the Martin paper) contains 71 pages, and mentions mercury exactly zero times. Assuming that you are referring to the adjacent EPA mercury document, it contains 69 pages, and mentions “learning disabilities” exactly zero times. So I have to assume you’ve been taking lessons from the EPA and as a result … you’re just making things up.
        That document also says that the methyl mercury levels in US women 16-49 have FALLEN to a third of the 1999-2000 value. Which brings me back to my question:
        How much will the proposed regulations decrease that number? You see, that is exactly the value that the EPA placed a value of $20,000 on, mercury damage to the children of pregnant women … so if you disagree with that value, please point out why.
        w.

      • My fault, I made a pasting error in the first link, I meant to link to this:
        http://www.epa.gov/mercury/exposure.htm
        And the relevant text there says:

        for 16-to-49-year-old women showed that approximately 2.3% of women had blood mercury concentrations greater than 5.8 micrograms per liter (which is a blood mercury level equivalent to the current RfD). This percentage represents an estimated 1.4 million women of reproductive age who have blood mercury concentrations that may increase the risk of learning disabilities in their unborn children. Based on this prevalence and the number of U.S. births each year [Martin et al, 2012], it is estimated that more than 75,000 newborns each year may have increased risk of learning disabilities associated with in-utero exposure to methylmercury

        That 75 000 infants are born with less abilities than they could have had, and they will carry this burden their entire lives.
        These are high stakes Willis; do not take easy on it.
        The MATS regulation will cut 40 to 50 percent of the mercury pollution in the US. No other single regulation can do that much.
        Are you really that sure that the mercury pollution in the US is risk free? Do you take the chance that you are right and all the experts who work on this are wrong?
        /Jan

      • “May increase”? Will they increase the risk or won’t they? I have no clue what that claim means

        The expression “the risk may increase” may sound like a double precaution since we talk about probabilities in both “may” and “risk”, but that is how the realities sometimes are.
        You know as well as I that the result of exposure cannot be predicted with certainty.
        If the pregnant women smoke 20 cigarettes and drinks two drinks, alcohol a day you cannot tell with certainty that it will affect the baby.
        We know with certainty that heavy drinking increase the risk, but is there a safe threshold? Almost all experts say that no such threshold exist for alcohol and cigarettes. Pregnant women should not drink, and no one at all should smoke.
        With Mercury, we know for certain that the risk for damages increases dramatically with high doses, but is it a safe threshold there? Well, most experts say that no such threshold exist for Mercury either, but we cannot know for sure.
        That is why they use this double precaution, but I would not bet against the experts there.
        Do we have to wait until they can say with 100 percent certainty how many lives the toxins will ruin before we regulate it?
        /Jan

      • Jan Kjetil Andersen October 6, 2015 at 5:54 am

        My fault, I made a pasting error in the first link, I meant to link to this:
        http://www.epa.gov/mercury/exposure.htm
        And the relevant text there says:
        for 16-to-49-year-old women showed that approximately 2.3% of women had blood mercury concentrations greater than 5.8 micrograms per liter (which is a blood mercury level equivalent to the current RfD). This percentage represents an estimated 1.4 million women of reproductive age who have blood mercury concentrations that may increase the risk of learning disabilities in their unborn children. Based on this prevalence and the number of U.S. births each year [Martin et al, 2012], it is estimated that more than 75,000 newborns each year may have increased risk of learning disabilities associated with in-utero exposure to methylmercury
        That 75 000 infants are born with less abilities than they could have had, and they will carry this burden their entire lives.
        These are high stakes Willis; do not take easy on it.
        The MATS regulation will cut 40 to 50 percent of the mercury pollution in the US. No other single regulation can do that much.

        Hogwash. To start with, the overwhelming majority of the mercury in the US comes from the OCEAN, not from power plants. Here’s where there is mercury in the water:
        http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/fish_tissue_mercury_concentrations.jpg?w=720
        The idea that any power plant regulation will “cut 40 to 50 percent of the mercury pollution in the US” is bull-goose looney. I live in one of the areas of the US which has the highest mercury deposition rates, and there is not a power plant in sight. Cutting power plant emissions will not change anything for any pregnant woman living where I live. In fact, the high-mercury areas are not where the power plants are, so for those areas the regulations will do zip. Nada. Nothing. Read my post, Mercury the Trickster God, and get up to speed. You are babbling inanities.
        Worse, you are arguing against yourself. The REDUCTION in mercury levels is the critical figure, and the EPA says that FOR THE VERY RISK YOU MENTION, mental retardation of children whose mothers have high mercury levels, the benefit of this regulation is about $20,000 per year for the entire US.
        You, on the other hand, seem to think that there will be some huge reduction, because Mercury Bad! Mercury Bad!
        So it is you that is claiming that the EPA is wrong … only you’re trying to do it by assertion.
        Come back when you have numbers. And don’t play stupid again and give us numbers about total mercury damage or how many pregnant women have high levels. It just makes you look devious and sneaky. I’ve asked you three times, come back with numbers about the REDUCTION in those mercury levels that you expect from the regulations, and the dollar value OF THE REDUCTIONS.
        w.
        PS—you need to learn that any document that says that population X MAY have an increased risk of Y is nothing but propaganda. If they could quantify the risk they would. Yes, man-in-the-moon marigolds MAY be affected by gamma rays, and CO2 MAY affect the temperature, that is absolutely true … BUT ARE THEY ACTUALLY DOING SO?
        It is important because the mercury levels are so low that we can’t even say if there is damage occurring, just that it MAY occur.
        In this case, we have good epidemiological data about the women living downwind of the power plants. If a bunch of brain-damaged children were living downwind of the plants, we’d know about it, because we’ve monitored it.
        But we don’t find that, despite you and a bunch of other ascientific heavy breathers grunting Mercury Bad! Mercury bad! That was the reason I first got interested in mercury, the lack of evidence that the power plants were causing problems downwind.
        So how about you come back with some real numbers, not guesses about what MAY happen.

      • the overwhelming majority of the mercury in the US comes from the OCEAN, not from power plants. Here’s where there is mercury in the water

        Looking at you map, I don’t find it so convincing that most mercury comes from the ocean. Considering the prevailing western wind pattern, I would have expected much more mercury all along the west coast. In this map the inland states like Arkansas, Missouri and Wisconsin have high concentrations. They are all far from the coast but close to power plants.
        Anyway, this is not about where the mercury has entered the atmosphere, the more interesting aspect is how much of the mercury comes from human emissions and how much comes from natural sources. To answer this we have to look at sediments and compare pre-industrial levels with current levels.
        Lamborg & Al. 2002 show that the mercury in sediments in Canada and New Zealand has increased fivefold and threefold respectively since 1900:
        http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2001GB001847/full
        This show that most of the mercury pollution in these areas comes from human sources.
        The problem with your article http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/04/01/mercury-the-trickster-god/
        Is that you claim that figure two show natural mercury in the desert cropland. You have no basis for the claim that it is natural.

        Figure 2. Total Mercury concentration in the atmosphere in 2010. Units are nanograms per litre. The red “hot spot” in the center of the US reflects the natural mercury coming from deserts and croplands

        I you go to the National Atmospheric Deposition Program you can find Mercury deposition maps from each year since 1999. And the maps show variations from one year to another. This indicates that the mercury content in the soil is caused by external sources.
        You make a point of the fact that we see no “hot spots” of mercury concentration around the power plants, but that only prove that most of the mercury is drifting a long way.
        /Jan

    • Jan Kjetil Andersen October 6, 2015 at 1:42 pm says:
      … lots of blah, blah, blah, but no numbers.
      Jan, you’ve claimed my quote of the EPA numbers regarding the reductions in childhood retardation from the proposed regulations was wrong, wrong, wrong.
      In response to this specious claim, I have asked you repeatedly for evidence that my quote of the numbers was wrong. You know, asking for whatever you think is the basis for your claim about benefits of mercury reductions from this proposed regulation.
      Instead of any discussion of the reductions from this proposed regulation, I get endless boring monologues about how bad mercury is, and blood levels of mercury, and where mercury is coming from, and where it is going, and how bad it is in some other way, and how I should pay attention to it, and a million other things, anything under the sun … well, anything except evidence to back up your claim.
      I’m tired of waiting, Jan. You can go try your misdirection skills on someone else. A man like you, who repeatedly refuses to answer a direct question while pretending to answer it, is contemptible. You pretend to be carrying on a scientific conversation, when really you are running from the hard questions like a cockroach from the light.
      I’m done with you. Go bother someone else with your endless whining about mercury. Not interested.
      w.

  52. Veering wildly from the TOPIC, I do recall (Willis) that one of the great “Mercury Myths” is the accumulation of (trace) Mercury in fish. Unfortunately about 20 years ago, dried/frozen fish (for food) was found in the huts of one of the famous South Pole explorer’s. Someone had the presence of mind to take these “pre-industrial” samples and check them for their Mercury content. Same sort of levels found in modern fish! (Indicating natural sources.) It works like this. In the 1970’s there was NO mercury in the waters of Lake Superior. By the end of the ’80’s there were TONS of Mercury in Lake Superior! What happened? The sensitivity of analytical procedures to test had gone from the parts per million (or fractions thereof) to the parts per billion and trillion realm. There is so much water in Lake Superior, that even at say, 2 Parts per Billion, you still have “tons of dissolved mercury” in Lake Superior. There because of the actions of man? Perhaps not.

  53. Christopher Keating October 6, 2015 at 9:57 am

    Willis says: ” the overwhelming majority of the mercury in the US comes from the OCEAN, not from power plants.”

    However………
    ..
    http://www.nature.com/news/humans-have-tripled-mercury-levels-in-upper-ocean-1.15680

    Thanks, Christopher. Let’s start with a few quotes. Here’s the claim:

    Mercury levels in the upper ocean have tripled since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, and human activities are to blame, researchers report today in Nature1.

    and here is a further quote:

    Although several computer models have estimated the amount of marine mercury, the new analysis provides the first global measurements.

    So we have the FIRST global measurements, and they say that levels have tripled …
    Perhaps you’d be good enough to tell us how the FIRST measurements can possibly show that the levels have tripled?
    Here’s their procedure.

    Researchers collected thousands of water samples during eight research cruises to the North and South Atlantic and Pacific oceans between 2006 and 2011. To determine how mercury levels had changed over time, they compared samples of seawater from depths down to 5 kilometres with water closer to the surface, which had been more recently exposed to mercury pollution from land and air.
    Their analysis reveals that human activities — mostly the burning of fossil fuels, but also mining — had boosted the mercury levels in the upper 100 metres of the ocean by a factor of 3.4 since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. The total amount of anthropogenic mercury in the world’s seas now stands at 290 million moles, with the highest levels in the Arctic and North Atlantic oceans.

    Same question … if these are the first measurements, how can they possibly know what the levels were in 1750?

    “They were really able to look back in time with their study,” says Noelle Eckley Selin, an atmospheric chemist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, who was not involved in the study.

    No, they weren’t. And in any case, why are they quoting some random scientist making that bogus claim?
    Instead of “looking back in time”, they noted that the amount of mercury at deeper levels is lower at deeper levels, and immediately claimed that it is humans that are causing it.
    However, consider a situation where there is a constant level of mercury being added to the ocean from volcanoes, forest fires, rivers, and ordinary dust … where would you expect to find the highest concentrations of mercury?
    That’s right … at the surface. Now, perhaps you can tell us how can we distinguish between that situation, and a man-made situation?
    Just more BS alarmism from Nature mag, no surprise there …
    w.

    • Christopher Keating October 6, 2015 at 10:31 am

      So, tell us Willis, how long does it take for water on the surface of the ocean to mix with water 5 kilometers down, in the absence of down welling flows ? 200 or 300 years? more? less?

      Thanks, Christopher. Since there are “down welling flows” everywhere, some large and some microscopic, some constant and some intermittent, I fear your question is too theoretical for me. There are thermal-driven downwelling flows, there are salinity driven downwelling flows, there are wind-driven downwelling flows, there are ice-melt driven downwelling flows, there are silt-driven downwelling flows at the mouths of rivers, there are current-driven downwelling flows, there are diffusion-driven downwelling flows, there are geostrophic downwelling flows … you see the problem?
      However, if there are no downwelling flows at all as your question postulates, like say if the oceans froze solid, the answer is obviously “never”. And freezing the ocean solid is the only way I can think of that would stop all downwelling flows.
      With that out of the way, I notice that rather than answer my questions in my comment, you ignored them and asked me a question. Fine, now I’ve played your little game … are you going to answer my questions? Because if not, this conversation is over.
      w.

    • However, consider a situation where there is a constant level of mercury being added to the ocean from volcanoes, forest fires, rivers, and ordinary dust … where would you expect to find the highest concentrations of mercury?
      That’s right … at the surface.

      No, Willis I would expect to find it mixed all over. Perhaps even a higher concentration in the deep sea because the heavy metal would gradually sink.
      Where do you think the mercury added to the surface would go?
      Can anyone here imagine a continues mass flow where mercury is added to the top of the ocean and the concentration would not spread to the deep water?
      /Jan

  54. Keating has no credibility, as anyone can see here and here.
    Keating is a nasty über-troll who makes pretend challenges, in which he styles himself as the self-appointed arbiter who determines if a skeptic has met his challenge, and will be paid. What do you think, folks? Is Keating sincere? Is he honest? Would he pay, even if glaciers a mile thick descended on Chicago again? As if.
    “Unethical” doesn’t begin to describe him, as we see in the comments below the linked articles.

    • Thanks, db. So this is the artfully clueless Keating, is it? The one who said:

      I will award $30,000 of my own money to anyone that can prove, via the scientific method, that man-made global climate change is not occurring.

      … provided that he gets to be prosecutor, judge, and jury on whether the “proof” has been offered?
      That Keating?
      Gotta say, Christopher, that offer is crazy on so many counts that it’s not even wrong.
      First, and most important, nobody can ever prove anything in science. Can’t be done. You can falsify the claim that “All cougarillas are gray” by producing a black cougarilla, but you can never prove that they are all gray. There might be a white cougarilla hiding somewhere. So your challenge to prove anything at all “via the scientific method” merely reveals that you have absolutely no understanding of the scientific method.
      Next, you have not defined what you are calling “man-made climate change”. Virtually every climate scientist I’ve ever read or spoken to agrees that humans have or could be having an effect on the climate. That’s never been in question. So you are making an offer that no serious climate scientist would even consider.
      Next, there are, and always have been, two serious questions in this discussion:
      • What exact changes, both in time and space, has man imposed on the climate, and
      • By what mechanisms are those purported changes being effected (e.g land cover change, black soot, deforestation, CO2, etc.).
      Me, I say we can affect the climate locally via say deforestation. And we can affect the Arctic climate through black carbon (soot) emissions. However, I also say that none of man’s actions have much effect on the global climate, because of the emergent climate phenomena that act to keep the global temperature within a very narrow range (e.g. ± 0.3°C over the entire 20th century). As an example of just one of these emergent phenomena, when the tropical ocean is hot, clouds cut down the incoming sunshine, and balance is restored. When the tropical ocean is cold, lack of clouds increases the incoming sunshine, and balance is restored.
      Next, you are asking people to prove a negative, that “man-made climate change” (whatever that might be) is NOT occurring … again, can’t be done. In general, you can’t prove a negative.
      Finally, did you seriously think that anyone would be dumb enough to make a bet about anything where his opponent gets to be judge, jury, and executioner as to who won the bet? Perhaps you did think someone would be that dumb … possible, I suppose, given your general cluelessness about science …
      But in my opinion, it is much, much more likely that even you realized that nobody would dream of accepting a bet where the other guy gets to decide who won the bet.
      Which makes your proposition just a cynical ploy to advance your climate alarmist cause and to bid for internet notoriety.
      Well, you’ve achieved your aim. You are now notorious, although not for the reasons you might have hoped. You have firmly established a reputation as a cynical, devious person willing to advance global warming claims by pretending to offer a bet you know will be refused, solely for the publicity value and to advance your cause.
      And that means that you’ve cancelled your own vote.
      So … given that you are that Charles Keating, I’m not surprised in the least that you didn’t answer my questions. You’ve poisoned your own well. Let me offer you some insight from Megan McArdle:

      After you have convinced people that you fervently believe your cause to be more important than telling the truth, you’ve lost the power to convince them of anything else.

      Hey, you’ve convinced me …
      w.

    • Christopher keating says “Classic ad-hominem argument you’ve posted.”
      Is the pot calling the kettle black, Christopher? I notice you forgot to call out the “D” word.

  55. Name calling isnt an ad hominem attack when the name fits.
    Also, calling someone a “uber-troll”, or “despicable” aren’t ad hominem attacks unless the personal shortcomings attributed to, for example, you, also happen to be the reasons why one concludes that you are wrong.

  56. To sum up about mercury so far:
    The surface layer in the oceans contains three times more mercury per litre than the deep water.
    This is very strong evidence showing that most of the mercury emissions come from human activity.
    To those who object to this, I will ask them produce a calculation of a mass flow diagram of mercury between:
    A = Atmosphere
    SW = Surface Water
    DW = Deep ocean Watet
    OB = Ocean bottom sediments
    Where there is a constant natural mercury flow from the atmosphere to the surface and the steady state result is three times more mercury content in the surface water than the deep ocean.
    This evidence from the oceans is confirmed by sediments in inland lakes.
    New Zealand and Canada here:
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2001GB001847/full
    The UK here (paywalled):
    http://pubs.rsc.org/en/Content/ArticleLanding/2014/EM/c4em00334a#!divAbstract
    The conclusion is crystal clear: most of the mercury pollution has human origin.
    /Jan

    • Jan Kjetil Andersen says:
      To those who object to this, I will ask them produce…&etc.
      And I will ask you to produce the names of those killed by 0.3 ppm Hg in the environment. You may use the back of the screen if you run out of space.

      • You may try to trail off this conclusion dbstealey.
        However, we have used much of this post to discuss whether humans or natural sources contribute most to the mercury pollution, and we can see the answer from the content in the sea water.
        It is not possible to make any workable mass flow calculation where you have an unchanged flow of mercury from the atmosphere to the ocean and end up in a steady state with more mercury concentration in the
        upper layer than the lower.
        The steady state situation of unchanged input is the same concentration in all layers.
        The higher concentration in the upper 100 meter layer is strong evidence for increased flow from the atmosphere in the last century.
        /Jan

      • Dbstealey, it seems like you want to trail off the discussion because you do not like the conclusion.
        I think you should be glad for this clear conclusion, because we have learnt something important.
        Several articles here have claimed that mercury pollution is something we cannot do much about because most of it allegedly comes from natural sources.
        These arguments seemed to be plausible, but now we have falsified it. We have gained insight. Be happy.
        /Jan

      • Jan Kjetil Andersen,
        I am happy. But I think you missed my point.
        Mercury is worthy of discussion specifically because of the claimed health effects.
        So, prove it. Or at least provide solid evidence (names of the deceased?) showing that mercury in tiny trace amounts is the problem as claimed.
        Suppose mercury concentration is exactly as you say. Is it a health risk at those concentrations? Or is this yet another scare? I note that people are living longer, healthier lives now. Are you arguing that mercury is causing premature deaths? If not, then how is this different from arguing the number of angels that can dance on a pinhead?

      • I see your point dbstealey. We now know that mercury for the most part comes from human emissions, but that will only matter if we know that the elevated mercury level actually is damaging.
        The effects of high mercury doses have been known a long time. The most known effect is probably the Minamata disease (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minamata_disease ) which is a neurological syndrome caused by severe mercury poisoning. This disease was discovered in 1956 in Minamata city, Japan.
        More recently has the negative health effects of smaller mercury doses been documented. Even small doses can permanently damage the brain, and small and unborn children are the most vulnerable.
        Mahaffey et. Al. (http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/11674/ )show that Between 5–10% of US women of childbearing age already have blood mercury levels that increase the risk of neurodevelopmental problems in their children.
        Bellanger et al (http://www.ehjournal.net/content/12/1/3 )show that an estimated 1.5 million–2 million children are born in the European Union each year with mercury exposure levels associated with IQ deficits.
        EPA has been criticized for not calculating the monetary costs of those damages, and that was the reason the Supreme Court decided to overrule the MATS regulation.
        EPA had chosen to concentrate the cost savings on other aspects of the regulation. When scrubbers are installed to reduce the mercury emissions, a reduction in particulates and Sulfur comes as a co-benefit. What EPA did quantify, was the co-benefits of reducing particulates and Sulfur from the emissions.
        EPA showed that the co-benefits alone would pay for the costs.
        http://www3.epa.gov/mats/health.html
        I think EPA had justified the MATS and that the Supreme Court decision was very unfortunate.
        /Jan

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