Earth's Surface Gaining Coastal Land Area, Despite Sea Level Rise

Guest post by David Middleton


Earth’s surface gained 115,000 km2 of water and 173,000 km2 of land over the past 30 years, including 20,135 km2 of water and 33,700 km2 of land in coastal areas.

Nature Climate Change

173,000 km2 – 115,000km2  = 58,000 km2

33,700 km2 – 20,135 km2 = 13,565 km2

If sea level is rising, how did Earth gain 58,000 km2  of net land surface area, including 13,565 km2 of net coastal land surface area?  I’m sure that there is an obvious logical answer.    The Cretaceous sea level was about 50 m higher than today and land comprised only 23-26% of Earth’s surface area (vs 29% today).

This BBC article goes into a bit more detail and sort of answers my question…

Science & Environment

Surface water shifting around the Earth

By Rebecca Morelle

Science Correspondent, BBC News

25 August 2016


Areas in green show where water has turned into land and those in blue show where land has become water.

Scientists have used satellite images to study how the water on the Earth’s surface has changed over 30 years.

They found that 115,000 sq km (44,000 sq miles) of land is now covered in water and 173,000 sq km (67,000 sq miles) of water has now become land.

The largest increase in water has been on the Tibetan Plateau, while the Aral Sea has been the biggest conversion of water to land.

The team said many coastal areas have also changed significantly.

The research, carried out by the Deltares Research Institute in the Netherlands, is published in the journal Nature Climate Change.


The team found that vast areas that were once land are now submerged beneath water, with the largest change occurring in the Tibetan Plateau, where melting glaciers are creating huge new lakes.


The biggest transformation was seen in the Aral Sea in Central Asia. What was once one of the largest lakes in the world has now almost completely dried up after engineers diverted rivers to irrigate agriculture.


Coastal areas were also analysed, and to the scientists surprise, coastlines had gained more land – 33,700 sq km (13,000 sq miles) – than they had been lost to water (20,100 sq km or 7,800 sq miles).

“We expected that the coast would start to retreat due to sea level rise, but the most surprising thing is that the coasts are growing all over the world,” said Dr Baart.

“We were able to create more land than sea level rise was taking.”


The Beeb

“We expected that the coast would start to retreat due to sea level rise, but the most surprising thing is that the coasts are growing all over the world…”

Of course you expected to see coastal retreat due to sea level rise.  You always expect the observations to fit the failed AGW hypothesis.  The surprising thing is that you keep getting surprised by observations which run counter to your failed hypothesis.

“We were able to create more land than sea level rise was taking.”

No schist Sherlock!  Humans have been adapting to sea level changes since we climbed down out of trees.  If mankind and our infrastructure adapted to this…

We can adapt to 7 to 11 inches of additional sea level rise without breaking a sweat…

Oh say can you see modern sea level rise from a geological perspective?

Featured Image Borrowed From Here

94 thoughts on “Earth's Surface Gaining Coastal Land Area, Despite Sea Level Rise

  1. Is there ANY other science that can get more things wrong, more often, and still be considered science?

    • “If sea level is rising, how did Earth gain 58,000 km2 of net land surface area, including 13,565 km2 of net coastal land surface area?”
      It’s called sedimentation. Climate “scientists” don’t understand basic science concepts, such as eustatic sea level and sequence stratigraphy, hence, they continue to get their pseudoscience wrong.
      As a stratigrapher myself, I’d say that there is actually no eustatic sea level rise, because for that there’d need to be a clear transgression of sea level towards land. Instead we see all local sea levels changing based on regional events, such as uplift, subsidence, or progradation, Global sea level must be measured in these terms, because that’s what we have to compare it to in the past and global sea level itself is influenced by tectonics and sedimentation.

      • The Holocene Highstand certainly left a clear record of transgression. Funny how the current catastrophic sea level rise is managing to inundate coastlines without any indications of transgression… /Sarc.

      • Question for RWturner ==> Lazy Question (I could spend a lot of time to figure this out, but am lazy today).
        How did the Earth gain BOTH land AND water surface area? Doesn’t new land surface have to reduce water surface and new water surface reduce land surface? How did BOTH increase?
        (and yes, I admit, I may be overlooking something very obvious….today….its one of those days.)

      • The last glacier building climate ended in 1850. Natural variation at play. Glaciers have no special place and time in the world – like ants at a picnic they show up when conditions are right. It has happened before which is why we see receding ice reveal old forests and village ruins that had been buried under advancing ice.

    • The Tibetan plateau is one of the most remarkable geological features on the planet . I never realized before Google Earth just how vast and high it is .
      I look out my window at Pikes Peak , one of the 50 points in Colorado poking over 4000 meters . The Tibetan plateau is 2.5M km^2 at that altitude or higher .

      • The Altiplano of Peru and Bolivia is also remarkable. The bottom of Lake Titicaca is higher than the top of Mt. Hood, highest point in Oregon.

  2. Notice they didn’t say that sea level dropped? Oh no. Can’t say that, they said that more land was created but not that sea level has dropped in different places….can’t say that..big no no to AGW and the catastrophic sea level invasion that is supposed to be happening.
    Do you know what this means?
    That possibly, just possibly any ruins of past civilizations might be financially accessible for study!! Which means we’ll learn more and more about our own history and past peoples that lived in places currently underwater. This is exciting stuff!

      • The world gained 13,600 square kilometers of additional coastal land.
        And you are saying that WE created that?
        Then in the purported “battle” between man and the sea – man is winning.
        And sea level rise is not reducing our ability to expand territories and reclaim flooded land.
        I don’t think that sea level actually dropped, either. But. it clearly didn’t rise in a manner that caused us a significant problem. And yet the myth of dangerous sea level rise is potentially going to lead to the misallocation/misappropriation of trillions of dollars over the next few decades.
        Hopefully, this research and the illustrative map will serve the interests of returning to more serious global priorities.

      • Well frog, “I” didn’t say it first. The “team” (Deltares Research Institute in the Netherlands) is credited with this quote, which I found most remarkable. It would be interesting to compare the human land area creation with the natural land creation, determine if more land is a good thing or a bad thing. I assume any natural land creation is a good thing for women and the poor, but any man-made land creation is somehow harmful to our great grandchildren.

    • If the soil and rock are eroding and flowing into the sea or encroaching on it, the volume available to hold the oceans decreases. Therefore, the sea level will appear to rise. However, as material is removed from above land to hgelow sea, the land becomes lighter and tries to rise to achieve a floiat level.
      Some of this might sound counterintuitive. A lot depends on what frame of reference used to measure change in both sea level and land level.
      BTW, how do we establish if the weight of ocean water is constant? Nothing lost to space, nothing gained from micro comets or whatever, nothing lost or gained from differences over time of the degree of hydration of rocks and soils, discharges from sedimentary piles on liquefaction, thixotropy effects? Sure these are possibly too tiny to affect sea level change, but it is a scientific challenge to work out ways to be certain. Fun stuff for the mind that proves.

  3. coastlines had gained more land –
    Sedimentation…..which, of course, they tell us barely contributes to sea level rise

      • Jeff F,
        CO2 causes gravity to weaken? I suppose we’ll need to add that one to the list of things caused by the magic gas.

      • It’s all them asteroids and comets. Especially the ones that CO2 is causing to crash into the earth.
        If we don’t do something, the Earth will be bigger than Jupiter in a few more years.

      • There are quite a few people that believe the Earth is growing. It is an alternative consideration from before the belief in plate tectonics.

      • imamenz wrote, “How can earth gain both land and water?”
        First, let’s digress and think about a related question: how long are the world’s coastlines, in total?
        You might be surprised to learn that there is no consensus. NASA says, “…the coastlines [are] the irregular boundaries between land and sea. There are about 620,000 kilometers (372,000 miles) of coastline.” But the CIA World Factbook says there are 356,000 km of coastline. That’s a pretty big difference!
        It turns out that coastline length depends on how you smooth the zig-zags in the coasts. (Coastlines change with the sloshing of the tides, too, so the timing of the measurements also slightly affects the result.) Another way of writing “356,000 to 620,000” is “488,000 km +/- 27%.”
        So, that gives you a feel for the sort of precision with which such numbers are known.
        Now, what about the surface areas? The total surface area of the earth is about 510 million square kilometers. So let’s look at how the numbers in this paper compare to that total:
        land: 33,700 / 510,000,000= 0.0000661 = +0.00661%
        water: 20,135 / 510,000,000= 0.0000395 =
        Does anyone think that the earth’s land area and water surface area are actually known with such precision?
        My guess is that this is really a paper about rounding errors.

      • “Plate tectonics is not a belief. It’s a fact, ie a scientific observation.”
        Plate tectonics has not been proven, the subduction hypothesis being just that,

    • Well its not so hard really, soil washes off moontains and ends up making deltas. Casing sea levels to rise as more land area displaces the water.
      I.e. consider a sandpit flooded so that all the sand is level and the water is JUST below the sand surface. That ls the ‘deepest water’ ‘most land’ situation. Now build a sand castle in the middle. Where you remove the sand, ‘oceans’ will appear so the sea level falls and the land area decreases.
      Now use a bucket to wash the sandcastle back into the oceans. Water levels rises, land *area* gets bigger. Though there are no more battlements (mountains).
      One wonders how much sea level rise is down to tipping eroded mountains into the oceans….

      • That’s what I thought too,but wouldn’t the new/higher mountains that are created by subduction as a result of plate tectonics balance out the “tipping eroded mountains”.
        Just a thought.

    • Imamenz
      If we’re warming, we’re expanding.
      Proof that [Joint] Nobellist Mann is vindicated.
      mods – look – SARC (SARC) SARC
      Auto [also a [joint] Nobellist – a Subject [a Captive?] of the EU when the EU ‘won’ a Nobel for better hand-washing protocols or something].

    • It’s worse than we thought! The heat from Global warming is not only causing the oceans to expand but the ground too. We’re doomed because, because… well, I don’t know why. But surely it has to be a bad thing, right?

  4. …I’ve noticed an “unprecedented” number of experts that claim to know everything about everything..keep getting “surprised” by new discoveries…!

  5. “… analyses satellite data and visualizes land and water changes around the globe.”
    Tested for accuracy?

  6. One hypothesis that fits the observation is that as the universe is expanding, gravity itself is getting weaker. Hence the expanding earth and the corresponding expanding seas to match, with no net change in tide-lines.
    However, there would be no reason to ‘blame’ humans for this example of ‘inflation’ .., so no state-funding to make a career of it.

    • I believe that gravity is the result of electromagnetic forces, which also have inverse square laws. The electrons will move in such a way that one object will be more electropositive on the side closest to the other, which will be more electronegative on the side closest to the first.
      The universe is accelerating in its expansion outward–moving apart faster and faster at a galactic level. (Learned about 1999 or so). Acceleration means there is a force of some kind. This could also be electromagnetism, as the galaxies are so far apart that electron movement of this type cannot do much to mitigate the repellant force of a slight net charge.
      This idea will not have occurred to too many people, but it is obvious enough that others have thought of it, too (I got it from Immanuel Velichkovsky). I would love to discuss it with knowledgeable physicists).

    • Impressive, but when you start looking at this it becomes clear how misleading their numbers are. For example, Australia has huge areas in the interior that were water and are now land. These areas are almost always dry, so the starting point must have been a rare wet year.

      • Yes, the Australian data, most of it, is not observed.
        It is a fabrication that has not been ground further I strongly suggest.
        I have stood in many of the coloured places over many years,and looked. And at air photos and satellite imagery.

  7. Science is always learning something new, and this one relates to a startling new (~20 years) paradigm of the physics of the Earth. Like other major expansions of knowledge, this increase in understanding rests on previous pictures of the Earth, and does not really deny what we already knew.
    The entire globe is expanding in diameter, and has been doing so for at least 1/4 billion years. This is now proven with some interesting YouTube videos. Websearch “expanding Earth” “seafloor spreading.” You will learn that the Earth has stretch marks in the oceans, and that these are dated. When you start with the present, and run the planet back in time according to the dates, all the continents come together–perfectly. Pangaea.
    First approximation: The Earth is Flat. Well, it IS! To a primitive walking over the Earth, with no horses nor watches, the world is flat. Today, it is still flat over short distances of a few miles. Unless you are in hilly areas, of course.
    Second Approximation: The world is “round” (spherical). You learned all about that in school. This is why there are time zones, etc. All it requires is a bit of an expanded viewpoint–the ancient Egyptians measured the diameter of the Earth.
    Third Approximation: in the 20th century, measurements grew precise and accurate enough to determine that the Earth is actually squashed slightly at the poles. Centrifugal Force makes it a bit bigger around the equator. This is small and nobody talks about it that much.
    Fourth Approximation: Plate tectonics. By the early 20th century, globes were accurate enough to reveal that Africa must once have been connected to the Americas. Wegener was pooh-poohed until the 1960’s, when a subduction zone was discovered off Japan. Now, we had a comprehensible mechanism. Today, the theory is well-established in science, and paleobiology is heavily related to older, larger continents. It was just as true before we understood it. And with the fifth approximation, we have a better mechanism.
    Fifth Approximation: Expanding Earth. I first saw this one from a young-Earth creationist’s website in 1998. His theory was that the expansion came from hydrating dry salts. That isn’t going to explain the phenomenon at all with a world that is thousands of miles deep. We know about the lava flows pushing the continents apart, but there is a great deal more to learn about the mechanism(s). This is true if it is true, not dependent on whether we understand it.
    I got a couple of inflatable globes, and cut one up to see how to tape all the pieces together. This gave me an understanding of where mountains come from. They are wrinkles resulting from the change in diameter.
    The expanding Earth also explains why the Cambrian is all deep-Sea fossils–deep Sea is all there was at that time (also life began at deep-sea vents, where abiotic oil met ocean water, with tremendous energy release from a situation that was a long way from equilibrium). In the Devonian, life spread throughout the seas, and algae photosynthesized at the top. The ages of Amphibia and Reptiles began when the Seas spread apart enough for swampy land to appear.
    The expanding Earth will be taught in elementary schools when enough scientists understand it well enough not to be horrified by it. You’re “crazy” when you’re the first one to understand something.
    This also has important implications for (real) climate science, especially paleoclimatology. The gas laws of chemistry predict a warmer surface temperature in the past associated with a denser atmosphere when the surface area of the world was about 25% or so of what it is now. The very-long-term cooling trend of the geological ages is also explained.

  8. I had to suffer the arch crazy Peter Wadhams this morning.
    He assured BBC Radio 4 Today programme listeners that the ice will be gone next year. Needless to say there was no critical questioning, no counter view, i.e. sceptical view.
    Oh for a decent unbiased interviewer

    • When Arctic sea ice doesn’t perform as predicted, “climate scientists” can simply label whatever ice there is in summer 2017 as effectively gone, then call a press conference to announce this man-made disaster.

  9. I’ve been harping about the effects on land of rising seas and falling seas, I guess to an empty lecture hall. In delta areas and coral islands, accretion occurs with rising sea levels (even 120m rise in 12,000 years was easily kept pace with by these features). Falling sea level will result in erosion of these features. To a degree, with modest sea level rise on beach areas supplied by alluvial sands and moved by longshore currents, encroachment of the sea is resisted and depending on the immediate offshore geometry, may not lose land at all.

  10. In many places, continents are still rebounding from the loss of their ice loads. Thus, Scotland is rising while southern Britain is falling, the latter having been raised by the ice pressing down on northern Britain during the last glaciation.
    Hudson Bay exists because of the mass of the Laurentide Ice Sheet, so recently melted, and the land under it is rising.

    • Rebound from the ice loads is also causing the Great Lakes floors to rise. Water from the Great Lakes, and, based on Gabro’s post, Hudson Bay must go into the Atlantic and raise sea level.
      As always, there is much to learn. We should learn first and pontificate later.
      Ice retreats in the Alps and we find bodies and house foundations. The glaciers of the Alps literally had to cover less area in the past.
      I think our “opponents” are prosthelyzing a theology instead of proposing an explanation of observed phenomena. That explains their statements quite well but contributes nothing to human knowledge.

      • Retreating Alpine glaciers have revealed a new pass, used only during warm intervals. Very instructive.
        The reopening pass in Switzerland shows artifacts from the Holocene Optimum, Minoan, Roman and Medieval Warm Periods, but not from the intervening cold spells.

  11. ” Humans have been adapting to sea level changes since we climbed down out of trees.”
    Not too many oceans in the Great Rift Valley.

    • ” Humans have been adapting to sea level changes since we climbed down out of trees.”
      Or possibly fell out of the trees;
      That is the whole point. Humanities power to adapt is greater now than any time in recorded history. To the cry of “climate change is happening NOW” the answer is “So what?”. We have managed and are still here (too many of us according to some). It is estimated that the Younger Dryas event came close to removing humanity from the northern hemisphere, but even the scots adapted.
      Now that’s what I call climate change”!

  12. This is brilliant.
    Using this satellite mapping system you can confirm for yourself that the sea level rise story of your choice is 99% horse manure.
    Use the link below to zoom in on the famously threatened Bangladeshi delta.
    Which, as we have been repeatedly told, is being consumed by the rising waters. Or collapsing into the sea, taking village huts with it. We all now the story. But what do the satellites say?
    Well, have a look for yourself and what we can immediately see is that the area is gaining more land (green) than it is losing (blue).
    It’s pretty clear cut. I don’t think that we need to start quibbling.
    Green wins.
    P.S. I always knew that the Bangladesh story was 99% bullshit, but now I can prove it using satellite imagery. Ha ha:

  13. A dangerous sea level rise would already have taken landstrips nearly everywhere in the world, except at places with an isostatic rise (after removing of the local icecap after the glacial). This dangerous sea level rise would have been clearly visible nearly everywhere: blue beaches on the map.
    No sea level rise at all on the other side would have shown green strips at all coasts downstream from river delta’s because of sedimentation. Look at the aqua-monitor to check.
    For the future the upstream building of hydropower dams can be a treat for all the beaches downstream river mouths, because of sideward sand and mud transport by the ocean currents. Beaches / coasts need yearly new sediment to sustain and after building dams sediment mostly stays behind the dam. If sediment doesn’t reach the coast any more, coasts will erode and landsurface will be lost there where the coast consists of sand and mud.
    From now, we can follow the processes. Believe me, reading maps is very interesting. You can check so many things. This map is a great one.

  14. NASA tells us the Earth is not expanding because it only grows .004 inches per year. However, when you multiply that increase by the surface of the Earth, that means there are 19 cu km of new Earth material being created each year. When multiplied by hundreds of thousands and even millions of years, this amounts to several miles of new Earth radius over time.
    This new Earth volume continually expands outward, thus raising mountains and causing plates to shift. It creates magma for volcanoes and even creates vast supplies of underground water and oil. Since 1994, the Earth has seen a significant increase in microquakes, suggesting that processes deep within the Earth are active and creating new material.
    I know most people here will immediately claim conservation of mass and energy. However, nuclear reactors are confounding scientists because they produce more mass as they produce energy. Stars and planets are growing in both mass and volume over time, and astrophysics recognizes the Hubble Constant, which says the Universe is growing in both volume and mass.

      • “Apart from meteors and comets, there is no such thing as “new Earth material.” All of the material that erupts from volcanoes or rises up as mountains has been repeatedly recycled by the Earth.”
        Then where is the 19 cubic kilometers each year coming from? It surely isn’t coming from comets and meteors.

      • David Thomson
        August 31, 2016 at 6:44 pm
        There are no free lunches – except in climatology.
        In nuclear reactions, matter is converted to energy hence you lose mass. But a tiny amount of mass produces a huge amount of energy.
        Also, never trust anyone who quotes absolute values about physical processes on the Earth.
        In addition, the study was conducted by a satellite which requires a model and process to calibrate it. There’s no indication of the uncertainty in the measurements – the increase amounts to 30 ppt or 1 ppt per year. How much surface area is there in 1 pixel?

      • “In nuclear reactions, matter is converted to energy hence you lose mass. But a tiny amount of mass produces a huge amount of energy.”
        That is what the narrative is. However, the facts are different. I have a report by Argonne Labs (EBR-II, Sixteen Years of Operation, May 1980) that clearly states LMFBRs produce more fuel than they consume. This is literally saying that the production of energy in a LMFBR also produces mass. Mass is being created along with energy. Do your own research and look for any publication that inventories a nuclear reactor’s fuel and energy and proves the conversion of mass to energy with actual data. I couldn’t find anything.
        “In addition, the study was conducted by a satellite which requires a model and process to calibrate it.”
        That is a semi false statement. Yes, the study was conducted by GPS satellites, and no, there was no modelling involved. The study averaged the total altitudes of all Earth’s surface over a 30 year period. These are direct measurements and the increase of .004 inches is the yearly increase.
        This increase is non-trivial when extended over the lifetime of the Earth and agrees with observations in the Earth’s structure that the Earth appears to be expanding (growing) on a regular basis over time.

      • David Thomson wrote, “I have a report by Argonne Labs (EBR-II, Sixteen Years of Operation, May 1980) that clearly states LMFBRs produce more fuel than they consume. This is literally saying that the production of energy in a LMFBR also produces mass. Mass is being created along with energy.”
        That’s not what it is saying at all.
        When reactors produce fuel, they don’t create it from thin air. They aren’t “creating mass.” They are transmuting one element to another. Through neutron capture, plentiful U-238, which is normally useless as fuel, can become Pu-239, which is usable as fuel.
        David Thomson wrote, “…the study was conducted by GPS satellites, and no, there was no modelling involved. The study averaged the total altitudes of all Earth’s surface over a 30 year period. These are direct measurements and the increase of .004 inches is the yearly increase.”
        That’s impossible. There are no satellites which can do such measurements. Neither GPS nor satellite altimetry is capable of it.
        Please provide us with a citation to the NASA article or paper that you’re talking about.

    • The last time earth added significant mass was in the collision which created the moon. We traded the absorption of a Mars-sized impactor for the “loss” of the moon, made mainly of crust. A pretty good deal all around.

    • David Thomson wrote, “NASA tells us the Earth is not expanding because it only grows .004 inches per year. However, when you multiply that increase by the surface of the Earth, that means there are 19 cu km of new Earth material being created each year.”
      1. How on earth do they claim to know such a thing? Do you have a citation?
      2. I get a different number:
      Assuming they mean that the radius of the Earth increases by four thousandths of an inch per year (due to deposition of dust from outer space?)…
      The total surface area of the earth is about 510 million square kilometers. So…
      Additional volume = thickness of the new dust x surface area of the Earth
      = (0.004 in) * (2.54 cm/in) / (100 cm/m) / (1000 m/km) * 510,000,000 km^2
      = ((0.004 * 2.54 / 100) / 1000) * 510,000,000 km^3
      = 51.8 km^3 (rather than 19 km^3)
      Did I make a mistake?
      3. So what does that additional 51.8 km^3 of planet do to the surface area?
      It’s a pretty simple calculation. The Earth is nearly spherical, with a radius of 6371 km.
      Add 0.004 inches for the expanded radius, after one year.
      0.004 in x 25.4 mm/in = 0.1016 mm = 0.0000001016 km.
      The surface area of a sphere is 4 Pi R²
      So if R2 is the new, increased radius, and R1 is the original radius, then the difference between the two is the additional surface area. In km that’s:
      4 Pi (R2² – R1²)
      = 4 * 3.141592654 * ((6371.0000001016^2) – (6371^2))
      Your 8-digit calculator won’t do that arithmetic, but here’s an online arbitrary precision calculator which will:
      4 * 3.141592654 * ((6371.0000001016^2) – (6371^2))
      = 1.626e-2
      = 0.01626 sq-km
      Over 30 years that comes to just under 1/2 sq-km. That’s obviously far short of the 288,000 sq-km of additional surface area claimed in this paper.
      Or did I make a mistake someplace?

      • “Your 8-digit calculator won’t do that arithmetic…”
        I did the calculation in MathCad five years ago. I no longer have the program due to computer failures and licensing upgrades. Even without being able to double check my earlier work, your result is 2.7 times greater than mine. If you are satisfied with your result, then explain where nearly 52 cubic kilometers of Earth material are coming from each year! Look out your window and envision 52 cubic kilometers. Over thirty years, which is the NASA survey period, there was (by your calculation) 1554 cubic kilometers of new Earth material added!

      • David Thomson wrote, “I did the calculation in MathCad five years ago. I no longer have the program…”
        You don’t need a computer program, it’s just arithmetic. So pick your favorite high-precision calculator and do it again. please. See which number you get.
        David Thomson wrote, “your result is 2.7 times greater than mine. If you are satisfied with your result, then…”
        Huh? It isn’t a matter of being “satisfied” or not. The question is whether it is correct.
        I tried to duplicate your calculation, and I got a different number. So, which is right? I showed my work, and I don’t see an error, but maybe it needs another set of eyes. Please check my work.
        Also please show your work, and I’ll check it, for you.
        But, also:
        1. What is the source of that “0.004 inches/year” number? Citation, please. (Not just “NASA.”)
        2. What does that number mean? Is that a 0.004 inch increase in the radius of the Earth? The diameter? The circumference? I guessed it meant “radius,” but maybe that’s not right.
        David Thomson wrote, “explain where nearly 52 cubic kilometers of Earth material are coming from each year!”
        You’re asking ME? You’re the one who claimed the Earth is getting bigger!
        I already speculated that they might be talking about meteorites: “(due to deposition of dust from outer space?)” The question mark meant I was asking you. I don’t know what they were talking about. If you provide a citation, that might tell us. Please?
        David Thomson wrote, “Look out your window and envision 52 cubic kilometers.”
        Envision it like this: Four thousandths of an inch is about the thickness of a coat of interior latex wall paint. Envision a coat of paint, over the entire earth.
        David Thomson wrote, “Over thirty years, which is the NASA survey period, there was (by your calculation) 1554 cubic kilometers of new Earth material added!”
        1. “Survey period?” It was a survey?
        What kind of survey measures the radius of the earth to a precision of thousandths of an inch??
        We really need that citation, David.
        2. It wasn’t necessarily “new Earth material added.” AR5 estimates that thermal expansion is raising the sea-level by about 1.1 mm/year, averaged over the surface of the oceans. The oceans cover 71% of the surface of the earth, so if AR5 is right about that (a big “if,” I know), then thermal expansion of the oceans would account for 1.1 x 0.71 / 25.4 = 0.0307 inches/year of increase in the average radius of the earth.
        So I doubt that’s what they were talking about, because it’s nearly 8x larger than the 0.004 in/yr figure that you gave.

    • Well, I found it. It’s this article, about this paper. It says:

      Xiaoping Wu of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, led an international group of scientists that applied a new data calculation technique and subsequently determined that the average change in Earth’s radius is 0.004 inches (0.1 millimeters) per year, or about the thickness of a human hair, a rate considered statistically insignificant.
      Since Charles Darwin’s time – say, around the mid-1800s – scientists have speculated that the solid Earth might be expanding or contracting. Now we know it is not.

      So, contrary to what David Thomson thought, NASA did not say that the Earth is expanding by 0.004 inches per year. They said that they attempted to calculate whether the Earth is expanding or contracting and they determined that, to within the error margin of their technique, it is doing neither.
      I haven’t bothered to read the paper, to learn how they reached that conclusion, but the abstract says:

      Here, we use multiple precise geodetic data sets and a simultaneous global estimation platform to determine that… the mean radius of the Earth is not changing to within 1σ measurement uncertainty of 0.2 mm/yr./blockquote>
      (I bolded the relevant bits of each quote.)

  15. There is another factor which is not mentioned below or above that the ipcc has admitted. They actually say that land has risen 0.7mm / year from the filling of underground aquifers from increased rains. It’s a fact that the land is rising from the increased rainfall. In combination with effects documented here such as erosion from mountains and changing pressure on continents from reduced glacier mass and mountain mass the earth is indeed rising more than sea levels are rising producing what appears to be increasing land surface area. Effectively as the article points out there is NO effective sea level rise.

  16. The Google map is very useful. Use it to zoom in on Australia and it shows very clearly large numbers of new pondages built for irrigation along the the Condamine river for example, and where old water storages in New South Wales have been emptied possibly due to the Murray Darling water buy back scheme. Also the green areas in South Australia show lake Eyre and other claypans that dried up.

  17. And I call foul!! Zoom in on Tibet ( to 100m scale). Much of the green areas are in river valleys well below the glaciers and I suspect show where vegetation/ trees? have been cleared for pasture/ crops. Very little green on the edge of glaciers or snow fields. Can anyone else confirm this?

  18. The map tool is useless for identifying land build up or sea level rise. It clearly identifies patterns of land use e.g. irrigation of paddy fields and drying up of same at harvest. It also shows floods and droughts. If this is what was used to make the claims about land or sea increase then this paper and their claims are a gigantic FAIL.

  19. David writes: “I’m sure that there is an obvious logical answer.”
    Well, maybe not obvious, but perhaps logical? In 1989 my house and the ten acres it sits on went three feet straight up. Yep. My house used to be at 1893 feet above MSL, now it’s at 1896 feet. Permanently (at least in geologic time).
    Thanks to the San Andreas Fault and my good luck, the entire Butano Sandstone Formation went up 3′. Who would have guessed? Yep. Stuff like that really happens. So now, there’s just more land above sea level than there used to be. Go figure?
    If it’s any consolation, the whole thing almost killed me and my daughter in about 15 seconds. But it didn’t, we’re both still breathing and happy to be here. Life is, as they say, good!

  20. Growing cotton for foreign currency. Children doing slavery on cotton plantations instead of going to school.
    A bad world then, divided by a wall of iron.

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