Does the PNAS have an interest in selling windmills, solar panels and sea walls and collecting carbon taxes?

Guest essay by Giordano Bruno*

*NOTE 6/7/16 12PM PST: This essay was submitted to me under this name, and I had no reason to doubt it when it was submitted. It was actually submitted by Albert Parker. I should have recognized this name Giordano Bruno from early Earth-centric skepticism, but didn’t.

Parker has admitted this to me and adds this via email, asking it be inserted:
“For those interested, they can read about pseudonyms at and about Giordano Bruno at Giordano Bruno is a nice pseudonym for a climate scientists. Giordano Bruno insisted that the universe is in fact infinite and could have no celestial body at its “center”. He was a skeptic of the consensus science of the Earth at the center of the Universe, that despite popular, was lately proved to be wrong. The interested readers may also read about the Roman Inquisition at

Further, this article has some flaws that render it problematic. For example, Parker wrote:

“…because of the agreed prospect of up to 9.9 meters sea level rise by 2,100.”

This language is wrong, and implies by the year 2100, but what was actually said in the PNAS article is:

Analysis based on previously published relationships linking emissions to warming and warming to rise indicates that unabated carbon emissions up to the year 2100 would commit an eventual global sea-level rise of 4.3–9.9 m.


The language in the abstract is imprecise, and I can see how one could make the conclusion that it implies by the year 2100. But the article itself says:

“We find that within a 2,000-y envelope there is a strong relationship between cumulative emissions and committed sea level under either of our tested assumptions about WAIS stability…”

Thus, Parker confused the time span, and thus his claims in the article below about the year 2,100 are completely wrong.

Thanks to readers who emailed me that pointed out the issues. I apologize that this inaccurate story was published.

I’m making some procedural changes to the way stories are submitted so that stories under pseudonyms won’t happen again, along with other changes to ensure the accuracy of stories.

While it might make sense to remove this article, I think it serves better as an example of a mistake that was made, so that it can be learned from. – Anthony Watts


The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) [4,5,6] are now openly supporting claims of sea level rises by 2,100 for the United States exceeding (10) ten times the upper bound of the most alarmist scenario considered by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) AR5 [1], and (50) fifty times the values suggested by the acceleration of tide gauges [2, 3], and the explicit political requests of urgent action now in the US to fight climate change with more mitigation and prevention.

Strauss, Kulp & Levermann [4] propose in PNAS their apocalyptic views of United States coastal cities inundated by rising seas. Their computation suggested unabated CO2 emissions would commit global sea-level rises of 4.3–9.9 meters with more than 20 million people displaced in the United States. They concluded with the unequivocal political request of more prevention (i.e. windmills, solar panels, carbon taxes) now in the United States.

By censoring every other observation, only a comment by Boyd, Pasquantonio, Rabalais & Eustis [5] has been permitted by PNAS. This comment only adds the request of more mitigation (i.e. levees, sea walls, coastal management) now in the United States.

This comment has been followed in PNAS by the reply by Strauss, Kulp & Levermann [6] for a perfect agreement on the urgent climate action now in the United States in the form of further prevention and further mitigation because of the agreed prospect of up to 9.9 meters sea level rise by 2,100.

The already alarmistic latest sea-level predictions by the IPCC [1], purely based on process based models, were returning projections of global mean sea level (GMSL) rise by 2,100 relative to 1986–2005 for the scenarios SRES A1B, RCP2.6, RCP4.5, RCP6.0 and RCP8.5 (Table 13.5 of [1]) of 0.60, 0.44, 0.53, 0.55 and 0.74 metres. The ranges indicated for every prediction were [0.42 to 0.80], [0.28 to 0.61], [0.36 to 0.71], [0.38 to 0.73] and [0.52 to 0.98].

The most likely sea level rise scenario for 2,100 based on true measurements at the tide gauges as [2, 3] is the prosecution of the trend shown in the last 60-70 years. The sea level rise is on average slow rising and acceleration free. The experimentally inferred trend is well below the less alarmist prediction of the IPCC AR5. For the specific of the United States, the average relative sea level rise is constant at about +1.7 mm/year mostly due to subsidence totaling on average less than 20 centimeters sea level rise by 2,100.



Figure 1 – a, b) Relative sea-level rise for the United States (images from [2] downloaded May 16, 2016) over the time window of data 1930 to 1999 and 1930 to 2014. The relative rates of rise are quite similar, somewhere larger and somewhere smaller, to demonstrate they haven’t accelerated that much. Over this century, the rates of rise of sea-levels haven’t accelerated that much in the United States. Similarly, in every other area of the world where they are measured.





4. B. H. Strauss, S. Kulp & A. Levermann (2015), Carbon choices determine United States cities committed to futures below sea-level, PNAS , 112 (44):13508-13513.

5. E. Boyd, V. Pasquantonio, F. Rabalais & S. Eustis (2016), Although critical, carbon choices alone do not determine the fate of coastal cities, PNAS, 113 (10):E1329, 2016.

6. B. H. Strauss, S. Kulp & A. Levermann (2016), Reply to Boyd et al.: Large long-term sea-level projections do not mean giving up on coastal cities, PNAS, 113 (10) E1330.

91 thoughts on “Does the PNAS have an interest in selling windmills, solar panels and sea walls and collecting carbon taxes?

  1. Hey Giordano, what’s that I smell burning? In the mid-70’s EXXON geologists and geophysicists discovered that seismic records coordinated worldwide. The sea level went down and it went up, over and over again. This realization became Sequence Stratigraphy and it shows what happens when you have a lot of H2O and the temperature (climate on a big scale) varies enough to partition this into different physical phases, you know, like ice and water, etc, in response to complex variables. The normal variation of sea level is something like 50 meters higher and 150 meters lower. These alarmists are worried about mose farts when there is an elephant coming down the road. Ron Long

    • 50 meters higher? You’re out to lunch. I dare you to try and back that up. Take your socialist drivel to one of the CAGW echo chambers.

      • I don’t know about 50 meters, but I do know that during the last inter-glacial sea levels were substantially above the levels of today.

      • Actually, the 150 m lower sounds about right for ice ages. However, if I remember, 50m higher is a “melt all ice on the planet” level. I don’t recall any evidence for that happening in the past several million years.

      • Actually, I know what. If they are meaning throughout all of geologic history, including the Cretaceous age, then yes. There was effectively no permanent ice on the plant due to the arrangement of the continents. The ocean went up as far as Dallas. However, that’s not a rational view to take given that it’s based on continental arrangement. It’s about as relevant to this discussion as the big bang or big crunch.

      • SMC, I personally worked in the Late Cretaceous Mancos Shale from New Mexico to Montana, it is a marine shale and mudstone formation representing deep inland sea-floor accumulation. Its geology and distribution require both depression of a foreland basin AND a high-stand in sea level. For the record I have been threatened by global warming/alarmist factions, but am the opposite end of the spectrum from a socialist. We geologists see long-term cyclic events in earths geologic history such that current predictions of temperature/sea level are only noise against the historical background. I also am an admirer of Giordano Bruno, who (even though he was a bit of a rascal) burned at the stake for his scientific convictions.

    • And in geology there is relative sea level and eustatic sea level. Eustatic sea level, of course, being changes in global sea level recognized to have happened contemporaneously on all coasts. What we have observed over the past 100 years is clearly relative sea level changes, with some coasts seeing a rise in sea while others have witnessed a drop.
      By the very technical definition of sea level changes, there is no global sea level rise. True global sea level change, or eustatic change, last occurred at the end of the last glacial period where sea level rise was global, and high enough to mask local uplift or subsidence, as well as too high for sedimentation to keep pace.

      • RWTurner, think of sea level, at least changes of significance, as being driven by the amount of ice stacked up on continental masses, because sea ice is in equilibrium with sea level. What if, due to sea-floor-spreading, aka continental drift, Antartica moves 10 degrees north latitude? You get a lot of ice melt, maybe 20 or 25 % of what now exists (and we are in the Holocene, an interGlacial). You don’t need to melt all of the ice, just reduce the amount stacked up on continental masses. I did a paleo-environment analysis for a dinosaur track location near Malargue, Argentina (they walked through a muddy intra-tidal bay leaving great footprints) and just above that stratigraphic level was the end of the Cretaceous, marked by the last incursion of marine sediments from the Atlantic side of South America to the base of the ancestral Andes. Same deal as the Late Cretaceous Mancos Shale (but a tectonic back-arc setting). Think of the global warming crowd looking up into the atmosphere, not seeing the Dynamic Earth (Peter Wylie) below them. The complex elements that need to go into models accurately predicting big changes in the natural world are many and complex (but strangely cyclic?). Ron Long

  2. The thought of turning the USA into a ten meter depth swimming pool, seems a bit reactionary to me.
    But they could start the first phase of the mitigation program by immediately constructing a ten meter high solid concrete dam wall, against sea level rise right across the Southern border of the USA. Not encroaching on any Mexican Territory, because we wouldn’t want to put anything on their property.
    That would keep the Sea of Cortez, and the GOM from inundating CA, AZ, TX etc, all the way to Florida.
    Somebody needs to inform the NAS that hurricanes and such go up tens of km, and will go over any barrier you build, filling up whatever depth swimming pool you build.
    Like they have at N’Orlins for example.

    • It is rarely mentioned, but Congress passed and Bush signed the bill to build a 700 mile wall acrouss the Southern border in 2006. Obama cancelled this with an executive order when he became President in 2009.
      Why is this never mentioned, even Clinton voted for the bill along with many other Dems. > Politics > Special Reports > Immigration Debate » FOLLOW POLITICS ON: Mobile Newsletters & Alerts RSS Facebook Twitter
      With Senate Vote, Congress Passes Border Fence Bill
      By Jonathan Weisman
      Washington Post Staff Writer
      Saturday, September 30, 2006
      The Senate gave final approval last night to legislation authorizing the construction of 700 miles of double-layered fencing on the U.S.-Mexico border, shelving President Bush’s vision of a comprehensive overhaul of U.S. immigration laws in favor of a vast barrier.
      The measure was pushed hard by House Republican leaders, who badly wanted to pass a piece of legislation that would make good on their promises to get tough on illegal immigrants, despite warnings from critics that a multibillion-dollar fence would do little to address the underlying economic, social and law enforcement problems, or to prevent others from slipping across the border. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) surprised many advocates of a more comprehensive approach to immigration problems when he took up the House bill last week.

      • Catcracking wrote: “Why is this never mentioned, even Clinton voted for the bill along with many other Dems.”
        It is never mentioned because the Leftwing News Media censors any news that makes the Liberal Democrats look bad.

      • John Oliver did a spiel on the Trump Wall (which is pretty funny unless you think this wall is really important.)
        The discussion of the current fence begins at ~7:40. He explains all of the problems of the fence that a wall would make worse.

      • Where I do wildlife photography in the Lower Rio Grande Valley twice a year, the wall (or fence as I’d call it) is already built and extends from the Gulf of Mexico to at least Laredo and maybe a lot further. Because the wall is built mostly as straight lines and the Rio Grande snakes like most rivers, the are places where the wall is on the banks of the Rio Grande and places where its probably a mile in from the banks. It’s the most fertile land in Texas and is 99% farm land, meaning there are hundreds of openings in the wall for farmers to enter to farm their land. There is almost always a manned border patrol vehicle near the wall openings. I am told that the wall extends all the way to California and the Pacific, but I can not confirm that. Unless someone can confirm the contrary, the wall apparently is already built, but like most walls can be tunneled under or climbed over.

        • That is false. Most of the CA-AZ-NM-TX border is open 4-strand cattle fences. or nothing at all. A little bit in the cities of South CA has a “fence” but that is punctured by tunnels underneath.

    • Never mind the hurricane heights. Don’t build a six foot wall against 7 foot waves!

  3. Sea level rise of 4.3 meters over the next 84 years is about 5 cm per year. Oceans had better start rising soon or they’ll have some serious catching up to do.

    • As is true in general for global warming. Now climate conditions are “unprecedented” and, because of positive feedback, “accelerating.” Most of the models show it, they have been coded with net positive feedback. This is the true linchpin of CAGW theory. Pull this pin, and the whole structure will collapse into a pile of old broken climatologists. Other sciences have survived massive upheavals and come through stronger after the graves were leveled.
      What remains to be seen is if the seeds sown by click-bait CAGW fear mongers take hold and drive vote-seeking, pandering, political lifers to positions of great power.

    • Slightly OT, but a lesson on “how the left counts”: here in Toronto, there was an announcement that builders would be providing 1,250 geared-to-income apartments over five years. Even a basic innumerate could calculate that this is an average of 250 units per year, for five years.
      Do you know how many were actually built?
      Twelve. Over five years.
      You’d think there was SOMEONE who, at the end of year one said (even if all 12 were built that year) would have said, “um…bit of a problem here, boss”.
      Or is it like Lucy and Charlie Brown and the football: NEXT year it will happen. For sure. Just trust us.

    • It’s going to rise all at once on the same day that the global average temperature rises by 3.5 C.

  4. 9.9 meters? Sounds like a number you’d pull out of a hat — rounds up nicely to an even 10 meters. Did they provide any evidence or science to back up their claim?

  5. Let’s call it what it is, not NAS but NAP, National Academy of Propaganda.
    One only needs to look at their publications to realize the corruption of “science”.

  6. It would more clear if “…sea level rises by 2,100” instead read “sea level rises by the year 2100…” Years do not have commas.

  7. Please go back and read the article. They are NOT projecting 10 m of sea level rise by 2100, they are estimating the long-term sea level rise as a result of CO2 releases during this century, two very different time scales.

  8. The PNAS paper is perhaps a little agressive, but not unreasonable. The Eemian was about 1-2C warmer than present (seafloor core proxies) and the sea level highstand was about 7 meters higher than present, taking about 3 millennia to reach and 4 millennia to recede via ice sheet reformation.
    But it makes no sense to project something that takes 30 centuries to happen onto todays cities and populations as an urgent present mitigation argument. Warmunist nonsense.

    • What about factoring in the next ice age, which may well have started before year 4000.

    • Warmunist nonsense is right. Geez, look how many different civilizations have come and gone over just the last 2000 years. Now we are in the age of nuclear weapons. It’s virtually certain that present civilizations will be vastly different in just 200 years, let alone 2000! You know what really hurts? The fact that I am paying a portion of virtually every one of these a-holes salaries. How I will savor the taste of sweet revenge!

    • And when the rise is exactly the same (when you de-fudge the numbers) as before any actual rise in CO2 was ever observed. You can “mitigate” an oncoming train all you like, but you’re still going to be paste…
      Now, if they were to advocate, say, a 25 year cycle of re-evaluating the heights of seawalls – maybe building them higher by a few centimeters – that would have been valuable. Except to their bank accounts, of course.

    • Headline in 5016! ” Sea level drop to leave valuable ports high and dry”,” California legislators vote billions for new underwater facilities “!

    • Better to wait another 250 years when we should enter a Star Trek future. They will be able to deal with whatever issues occur concerning climate at that time. So in the meantime, relax and enjoy life.

  9. 9.9 meters?
    I believe that climatologists put decimal points in their forecasts to show they have a sense of humor. H/T William Gilmore Simms

  10. Per CAMCam^2 and ristvan, could someone confirm and update this article to reflect the actual paper? If I read their comments correctly, the authors have taken the current variety of (overblown) IPCC scenarios and projected the consequences over 2000 years? So they are saying 10 meters by 4016? If so, this is an outrageous piece of hype – talk about a prediction (oops, projection) that will be hard to verify…
    And we are supposed to get upset about this? There’s plenty of chance that we will be headed down for another little ice age (or god forbid, a big one) by then – how are they supposed to know anything about sea rise over the next 2 centuries, let alone the next two millennia?

    • PNAS does not say anything about 2,000 years….It says the year 2100..
      “Anthropogenic carbon emissions lock in long-term sea-level rise that greatly exceeds projections for this century, posing profound challenges for coastal development and cultural legacies. Analysis based on previously published relationships linking emissions to warming and warming to rise indicates that unabated carbon emissions up to the year 2100 would commit an eventual global sea-level rise of 4.3–9.9 m”.

  11. Could someone edit out all those commas in the date year 2100 (I presume “2,100” refers to that year). Reads now as if written by a numerical illiterate.

  12. now openly supporting claims of sea level rises by 2,100 for the United States exceeding (10) ten times the upper bound of the most alarmist scenario

    As per the others, above (CamCam^2, ristvan, TP), This post seems to have gotten off to a confused start, and settled into incoherence.
    To tell the truth, I could not make heads or tails of it.

  13. I stand corrected, but it is said somewhat deceptively..Caught it after the third reading !! Must be slower than usual today..

    • The graph above DOES show 10 metres possible by 2100, but it says “committed”. That’s what caused the misunderstandings….

    • Not entirely your fault. “Committed Sea Level Rise?” Really? Who thinks like this? Someone who desperately needs to make an alarming impression.
      You know, it works on some people. Check this out:

      • Gonna have to change the cliché to “A bunch of whiny little boys.”
        And notice the kid want to “do something”, namely punish people. Wonder if it ever occurred to the mom to suggest to her son that perhaps he can do something constructive, like get a trash collection group going.

  14. For all I can tell from the geologic record, New York could be under 100 meters of water rather than 10 meters by 4100. Of course the water would all be in its solid rather than liquid state.
    Glaciation seems to have a quick onset when it finally gets around to it.

  15. Not so fast, you incompetents. A centennial sea level rise of ten meters is an imbecility. Even Al Gore was afraid to allow more than 6 meters of his inconvenient truth to be used for the sea level rise. As a result of this moderation he was awarded the Nobel Prize. The actual centennial sea rise can be calculated from the work of Chao Yu and Li in 2008. It is just under 10 inches, not 10 meters as these bozos have a nerve to claim. What Chao Yu and Li did first was to determine the effect on sea level of all water impounded by man-made enclosures built since 1900. No one has even bothered with it since then.They observed that the reported sea level curve, which had been irregular before that, became linear for the 80 years prior to 2008. If you know something about scientific measurements you know that anything that has been linear that long is not about to change anytime soon. I am willing to bet that the actual centennial sea level rise, when measured, will not deviate from predictions based on Chao Yu and Li by more than one inch.

    • ..Believe it or not, they are actually “projecting” 2,100 years into the future, not the year 2100, though it is done rather deceptively !! Some how they think the SLR will continue, unabated and unchanged, for the next 2,000 years !!! Totally insane..

  16. If we do not change our capitalistic ways, by 2100 we wil be comitted to the 9.9M
    rise at some point in the distant future.

  17. Maybe, just maybe the PNAS is working for global insurance companies. Developers , too will like to acquire land which people evacuate because of the high insurance premiums, if nothing else.
    Who has shares in insurance companies?It would be interesting to find out.
    from New Zealand.

    • Acquire land? Insurance companies? For 2000 years into the future? You’re kidding, right? Land ownership never lasts more than couple hundred years before being completely reset by an invading army.

  18. Marcia McNutt is the new president of the US National Academy of Sciences. She is a geologist, previously was editor of Science Magazine, and is a full-on, we’re all doomed AGW alarmist.
    If she has a say over content at PNAS, expect nothing from her but the permitted AGW narrative.

  19. The National Academy of Science has never gone so low before permitting only non-academic affiliates of Climate Central,,, Crescent Growth Capital and Gulf Restoration Network to discuss the sea level rises in the United States of America unchallenged in PNAS
    by Giordano Bruno
    Just a few remarks on my post to note how the authors of the extreme paper on the committed sea level rise of 9.9 meters that can only be approved and not criticized in PNAS are not exactly the academics that should write in the Proceedings of the National Academy of the United States of America, similarly to the authors that were permitted to comment the paper to approve the claim and allow the authors one more reply. Please look at the affiliations of the authors.
    Carbon choices determine US cities committed to futures below sea level
    1. Benjamin H. Straussa,1,
    2. Scott Kulpa, and
    3. Anders Levermannb,c
    Author Affiliations
    1. aClimate Central, Princeton, NJ 08542;
    2. bPotsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, 14473 Potsdam, Germany;
    3. cPhysics Institute of Potsdam University, 14476 Potsdam, Germany
    1. Edited by James Hansen, Columbia University, New York, NY, and approved September 18, 2015 (received for review June 8, 2015)
    The 3 authors are 2 from Climate Central that is not exactly a scientific organization but a blog of alarmists, plus 1 from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, the world leading organization in climate scare, showing his two academic affiliations possibly to mitigate the lack of an academic affiliation by the first two authors. Theoretically, only Anders Leverman qualifies as an academic. Please note who edited the work.
    the paper may also be downloaded here
    The only comment that has been permitted by PNAS has not been written by academics, but by affiliated to alarmist organizations or companies selling climate mitigation.
    Although critical, carbon choices alone do not determine the fate of coastal cities
    1. Ezra Boyda,1,
    2. Vincenzo Pasquantoniob,
    3. Frank Rabalaisc, and
    4. Scott Eustisd
    Author Affiliations
    1., LLC, Mandeville, LA 70448;
    2., New Orleans, LA 70115;
    3. cCrescent Growth Capital, LLC, New Orleans, LA 70170;
    4. dGulf Restoration Network, New Orleans, LA 70130
    Look at the affiliations:, LLC, Mandeville, LA 70448 is not a University., New Orleans, LA 70115 is also not a University. cCrescent Growth Capital, LLC, New Orleans, LA 70170 I suppose is a financial institution. dGulf Restoration Network, New Orleans, LA 70130 does not seem an University either.
    Reply to Boyd et al.: Large long-term sea level projections do not mean giving up on coastal cities
    1. Benjamin H. Straussa,1,
    2. Scott Kulpa, and
    3. Anders Levermannb,c
    Author Affiliations
    1. aClimate Central, Princeton, NJ 08542;
    2. bPotsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, 14473 Potsdam, Germany;
    3. cPhysics Institute of Potsdam University, 14476 Potsdam, Germany
    PNAS has permitted not only one publication by these guys mostly without an academic affiliation, but also a comment by other extreme alarmists not having exactly academic affiliations, and the final reply by the original authors, while censoring every proper comment by academics.
    The National Academy of Science of the United States of America has never gone so low before.
    Should not the editor in chief of PNAS resign?

  20. guys,
    when The National Academy of Science of the United States of America supports so openly the claims of affiliates of (I repeat)
    Climate Central, Princeton, NJ 08542, LLC, Mandeville, LA 70448;, New Orleans, LA 70115;
    Crescent Growth Capital, LLC, New Orleans, LA 70170;
    Gulf Restoration Network, New Orleans, LA 70130
    not sure with what kind of academic record, with three slots open to them as paper, comment and reply to give the false impression of a settled scientific consensus for a committed sea level rise of 9.9 metres, and every other contribution on the subject by true academics and scientists with proper, respectable, university affiliation, the title of professor and more than 100 peer review papers published on sea levels are censored, this is a clear sign something really wrong is going on with science and democracy in the most important country of the world.

  21. Um, what’s going on here? It has been pointed out that Giordano Bruno’s statements about the PNAS are incorrect, but he doesn’t seem to have acknowledged his mistake, or asked for the article and headline to be corrected.
    Is this going to allowed to slide, or will it be addressed?

  22. Hope this doesn’t sound overly critical, but I hope that now that this has dropped down the page a bit, that the correction won’t be missed by a large number of people who read the original. That’s why I’m a fan of retractions being published with the same presence as the original story was given, rather than just amending the story in place.
    I think this would set a good example for other organizations publishing scientific research, to do as much to draw attention to things they got wrong, as they do to promote the next paper.

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