Guest essay by Larry Hamlin
On June 23, 1988 the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources held a hearing addressing the Greenhouse Effect and Global Climate Change.
Among the presenters at this hearing was Dr. James Hansen, Director, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies who introduced his infamous and now debunked global surface temperature model results with future temperature projections under three different scenarios of CO2 emissions growth that grossly over exaggerated resulting projected global temperature increases.
Also testifying at the hearing was Dr. Michael Oppenheimer, senior scientist with the Environmental Defense Fund who presented claims that included projections of future sea level rise acceleration that would occur in the coming decades.
Specifically Dr. Oppenheimer claimed that:
“This increase in global temperature causes a concomitant rise in global sea level as ocean water expands and land ice melts.”
“Global mean temperature will likely rise at about 0.6 degrees Fahrenheit per decade and sea level at about 2.5 inches per decade over the next century. These rates are 3 to 6 times recent historical rates.”
“Because the oceans are slow to heat, there is a lag between emissions and full manifestation of corresponding warming — a lag of perhaps 40 years. The world is now 1 degree F warmer than a century ago and may become another one or more degree warmer EVEN IF EMISSIONS ARE ENDED TODAY.”
EIA data shows that global emissions have climbed by more than 60% since 1988 increasing by about 13 billion metric tons per year of CO2. Dr. Oppenheimer continued:
“These changes are effectively irreversible because greenhouse gases are longed lived.”
“This committed warming means some adaption measures, such as sea defenses and coastal abandonment, are inevitable.”
It has now been 30 years since these dire climate change sea level rise acceleration warnings were presented at the 1988 Senate hearing on Global Climate Change with global CO2 emissions having increased by more than 60% during this period.
Surely the signs of the 1988 projected sea level rise acceleration with measures of “sea defenses and coastal abandonment” must now be clearly apparent given the huge increase in global CO2 emissions that has occurred since then along with increasing global temperatures with the accompanying increasing “ocean water” expansion and global “land ice melting.”
NOAA has just updated its extensive network of tide gauges (142 locations) to include measurements through 2017.
This measured data continue to demonstrate that there has been no coastal sea level rise acceleration observed at these locations during the last three decades of claimed sea level rise acceleration as hypothesized by presenters at 1988 Congressional hearing.
NOAA has tide gauge data measurement records at 16 locations of 99 or more years in duration that cover the Pacific, Atlantic and Gulf Coast oceans. Examples are provided for the Battery in New York, San Francisco in California, Honolulu in Hawaii and Key West in Florida.
NOAA tide gauge location measured rates of coastal sea level rise remain consistent with trends going back 10 or more decades at these and other locations showing that claims of man made global sea level rise acceleration remain unreflected at coastal locations.
These observational results suggest that natural climate drivers are controlling coastal sea level rise behavior not man made CO2 emissions.
Additionally these results pose a significant challenge questioning the validity of the science behind global mean sea level rise acceleration assessments and claims.