FAIL: 30 year old climate prediction proves to be a load of bunkum

In 1988 there was this prediction via an article in the Canberra Times:

‘Sea level is threatening to completely cover’ Maldives’ 1,196 islands within 30 years —

Well, it’s 30 years later, and the Maldives is still there, all 1196 islands. Here’s the article:

132 thoughts on “FAIL: 30 year old climate prediction proves to be a load of bunkum

    • huh?

      satellite data we had 30 years ago did not track sea-level rise. In fact, 30 years ago was the very beginning of satellite data on _temperature_ and was too new to provide trends.

      you are welcome. 🙂

      • To achieve the upgrade of the Maldives tourism industry, the prerequisite is to upgrade the airport in Malé, and the airport upgrade construction is the most significant.

        Obviously why the Maldives are desperate for their Klimate Ka$h Kowtow.

        • Oh, the underwater cabinet meeting was about promoting kerosene burning international tourism then, I thought it was some stupid stunt saying they were concerned about rising sea levels due to burning fossil fuels.

          My bad, I must have been mislead by reading The Guardian’s coverage or something.

          I mean it would be totally hypocritical to make a fuss about AGW and then expand the airport as much as is physically possible and burn more “carbon”.

        • yeah ONLY??? 4 Million tourists a year???
          and that early item stated running out of water by 1992
          so what do the tourists wash n drink with?
          or the water obviously didnt run out just like the seas didnt drown em
          how much funding have they suckered over the years I wonder?

      • yeah, being a climate scientist is very lucrative! All those Physicists who switched to program trading for hedge funds over the past 20 years have missed out on the million$ they could have made on $100K, 3 year grants.

        [about 20 years ago a colleague in the AI lab where I worked got an MBA and a job at an investment bank. He sent me a job posting that required no experience but a PhD in “Math or related’ and an ability to program in C++. No experience necessary. Starting salary (20 years ago): $400K. (yes, I am an idiot for not applying :-})

    • Whoever it was, might be dead by now. Or retired at least. So none to take responsibility. Keep this in mind for predictions on 2050.

        • Probably most people here at WUWT don’t get the science from the msm – they understand that the msm exaggerates and lies about climate change, and there are frequent discussions about actual peer reviewed papers etc.
          But here’s the problem: at least 97% of ordinary people most likely get *all* their science from the msm such as the BBC and the Guardian.

          When people make ridiculous and exaggerated claims such as this one about the Maldives it will almost certainly get into the papers, it doesn’t matter whether it’s from a scientist or not. Anyway, many scientists have made ridiculous claims, such as an ice free Arctic summer. And what about James Hansen’s claim about a road in New York which, very soon now, will be under water?

          This has always been a big problem in the climate wars: when someone makes cataclysmic predictions it will make the headlines. But when the years have passed and it’s obvious the claim was laughable nonsense there will be just silence in the msm. And no doubt the same people will be making the same cataclysmic predictions, but with the dates moved forward.

          I don’t care whether the person who predicted the Maldives would be under water by now is a scientist or not. All that matters is that he was in the paper and it probably influenced people’s opinions. It is this constant drip-drip of doom mongering that has got us where we are today, with the world squandering trillions of dollars that could have been spent on things that would improve the wellbeing of humanity. I regard this willful doom mongering as a crime against humanity.

          • “they understand that the msm exaggerates and lies about climate change, ”

            The MSM lies about everything except sports results, which it can’t spin, can’t lie about and can’t remove.

          • Even then, I wouldn’t trust the MSM to be fully truthful about sports results. They’d find a way to spin it if their agenda needed them to.

          • I read this mash from Mosh yesterday, thought someone could reply better than I. Thanks Chris Wright. I have said over the years that if you want the newspaper to print your press release, make it about the environment. Doesn’t matter if you’re promoting a bake sale, just say it’s about preserving wetlands-they’ll print it.

        • And are you a scientist Steven?

          Remind us what your qualifications are for pontificating about climate science?

          • Don’t expect an answer Phoenix44, you just responded to another of the mosh’s patented drive-by postings.

    • no.
      the guy who made the prediction was the
      former director of TV for the maldives
      he held the enviromental post for 2 years.
      in 1989 he said the situation was not so dire.

      look people
      dont get your science from newsclipping
      and research sources.

      its not a science prediction.
      its a tv clown
      who got a 2 year political appointment

      • Well if you knew anything about climate you would know very well that mean sea level is already well above what can be seen with the naked eye. Just ask the remote sensing team at CU at Bolder Colerado

        Only competent scientists with sophisticated equipment and satellites can tell were sea levels REALLY are. I mean you cannot see an inverse barometer with the naked eye, can you? You can not see GAIA adjustments which need to be applied.

        Only qualified experts are capable of telling that many of these islands are ALREADY UNDER WATER. Instead of denying this reality , we must act to save them.

        Ring today for great flight deals to the Maldives.

    • Chick Little: The sky is falling, the sky is falling>
      Relativistic Chicken Little: The sea is rising, the sea is rising.

  1. Well, there is a prediction totally busted. After seeing that old newspaper article, I remember it now as one of the principal propaganda pieces that was concurrent with the Hansen meme of 1988, when the official birth of CAGW Alarmism as a Religion started in earnest.

    Just to think going forward, that there is going to be hundreds of other predictions that will come and go, without merit as well. No open Arctic waters to the North Pole with the fabled North West passage open for business. It is sad that these predictions were accepted somehow as a truism, some type of proof that the thinking 30 years ago would have things happening this year that clearly aren’t happening. And the same will probably be true in 30-40 years from now, right back where we were with the 1979 average temperatures back at the start of the modern satellite era. This whole dangerous global warming and climate change scare has to be re-thought.

    • I don’t think that the fabled Northwest Passage goes to the North Pole. Has anyone actually predicted / forecast / projected an ice-free North Pole?

      • I didn’t say the Fabled Northwest Passage went to the North Pole. I mentioned sea ice disappearance and Northwest Passage in the Arctic in the same sentence. Once for an open Arctic Ocean for free of ice, and the other the utilization of the Northwest Passage. And it is worse than I thought. Take a look at the Youtube video below of Al Gore in 2009 saying it is possible that the entire Arctic could be entirely ice free in the summer within the next 5-7 years. That would have been between 2014 and 2016. Others predicted the same by 2030. So here is a prediction by AL Gore already busted as well.

      • There have been photos posted here I think showing submarines surfacing at the North Pole, ice-free of course, from the 1960s!

        • I remember a National Geographic article from1959-1960 titled “Nautilus 90 North” showing the first US nuclear sub surfacing at the North Pole by breaking through very thin ice. I always remembered that.

      • Yeah, you sure got that part right. But he represents most scientists in the popular climate mainstream discussion. I didn’t hear mainstream science denounce him. Yet.

        • Yep…many even went ahead and said that “An Inconvenient Truth” actually “got the science right.”

        • You wont get much science done if you stop to denounce every single example you find of a non scientist being wrong about something.

          • And yet if you (referring to actual scientists) refuse to denounce the mischaracterization of science when it occurs (but only on one side of the equation, they’re quick to denounce it when a skeptic gets something wrong), don’t be surprised when the people believe that the mischaracterization is representative because you refused to inform them otherwise.

          • Phillip: Yes, but think about all the time Mosher saves on the other side of this coin- the next time the press reports on a skeptic position will be the first.

      • steven mosher,
        If the Man-Made Global Warming debate was carried on in the world of science we could have a rational debate. However, the problem is that the Man-Made Global Warming advocates are political in nature.
        No one argues for imprisoning or killing people for being Standard Model-deniers and advocating for String Theory. No one takes $100 trillion (yes, trillion) dollars from taxpayers, consumers, and poor people across the world to prove their allegiance to the Standard Model even though they know it will accomplish essentially nothing – even if the theory is correct. Implementing the desired policies will leave many millions of people in poverty to live and die in squalor who otherwise could have better lives. For politicians and their supporters to do that in order to get to morally preen is evil.
        It is the phony alarmism and push for disastrous policies based on a theory that no one can possibly argue has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt that is so horrible.

      • Yes they do, apparently. Predictions like this is what the 97% consensus is built upon. When an alarmist makes the ”consensus” claim, you can only assume they believe the Maldives are presently submerged, and indeed all the other failed predictions they clung to are still their version of reality.

    • This was published in the Canberra Times, a rag that stopped letting facts get in the way of its prejudices many years ago. The CT is part of Fairfax , known – but no longer loved by many of us here in Oz- as Fairfaux. Just for fun, I may write a letter to the CT reminding them of that prediction. There is about zero chance of that reminder getting published.

  2. They can become a diving Mecca if only the sea level will rise. They have already prepared a great advertising picture for their brochure. It will be terrific! Specialty menu featuring fish of the day. Just think …. you will be able to dine with your meal floating on a tray! So fresh you just grab the one you want to eat! No more problems with water or drought!

    Maybe geoengineering for a sea wall around all the islands and flood them today.

  3. In the end, the Earth is going to do what the Earth is going to do. The only climate fortune teller I ever put stock in was George Carlin, and sadly he is no longer with us.

  4. Yeah, but this is completely refuted by the imaginary data based on the hypothetical false modeling of the 1990 IPCC report, which says the earth will be covered in water by 2100. Or not.

  5. Someone better tell their Government leaders who were meeting at the bottom of the sea in scuba gear, as I recall, that it’s okay to come up now…

    • If they come up somebody had better tell them Obummer has gone and so have his promised billions. Also if they were going to migrate to the Himalayas they may find the glaciers have not all melted. If they were going to migrate to Antarctica they may find it has not yet become a tropical rainforest.

  6. Has someone got a web site listing the predictions from 30+ years ago, together with the current state of affairs?

    Ideally, it should have two tables – one for the press and general public scares (which are always overblown), and one tracking ‘genuine’ scientific papers and predictions from authoritative bodies such as state meteorological offices.

    It would be a useful resource for political discussions…

    • Chaamjamal, can you tell us more about your website? It appears to be a mix of substantive articles, like Wunsch’s critique from 2010, plus newspaper clippings. Do you have citations for the newspaper articles? This must have been a fair amount of work. But as I read through some of your summaries, I recalled reading many of those articles.

  7. The Maldives have also moved to the Indian Ocean. This Climate Change certainly has som weird effects!

  8. This is clearly a marketing job for Bill McKibben to scream until they get their runway project funded with other people’s money.

    • The next UNFCCC fly-in should be held in Malé so that they can show the world just what is at risk from Catastrophic Sea Level Rise™.

      • There airport is to small to handle all of the personal jets that it takes for that crowd to meet someplace.

  9. If ‘sea level raise’ was truly an issue the price of coastal land should cheap yet it’s not. This story would have been more informative with information on how they insured the building that are slated to be submerged in the near future…

  10. Plenty of websites with the same 30 year claim…30 years starting from between 2015-2018 depending on author lol.

  11. It’s great news! The world has been spared from a disastrous climate apocalypse! Taxpayers globally can keep their crumbs!

  12. Just looking at a “Visit Maldives” web site and realise they are missing a key marketing marketing proposition popular in retail. All they need to do is simply change the title to “Visit Maldives before it is gone forever”.

  13. “There should a test for prognosticators, forecasters, futurist, predictors,and visionaries: They should have to disclose their past record for predicting the future.”

    Anonymous Heins

    • I have only one prediction, “nobody can possibly get that many things wrong unless they are using the wrong math”. Guessing would have yielded better results. The probability of getting every prediction wrong is extraordinarily high… they’ve looked at the situation completely wrong.
      At the top of WUWT is a tab that says ” Climate Fail Files “…. it hasn’t been updated in awhile, but still true
      The salient point is that the math determined and predicted exponential warming from a given amount of co2. AGW as a theory should have died a swift and sudden death 10 years ago.

  14. I predict, the loss of islands all over the world, practical fusion reactors, and Elon Musk’s vision of the HyperLoop are all going to happen on the same day. 30 years from whenever you’re reading this.

    • I think Elon Musk’s Hyperloop will come before the other two. Mind you, it may only travel about 1/4 mile, but who’s counting?

  15. None, as in zero, of the AGW claims have come true yet they continue spout new ones constantly. Somebody was tracking the failed claims but quit about a decade ago after cataloguing hundreds of them. One problem was many of the cited URLs for proof would go stale and when people would go to check they’d get a 404. A common question I ask AGW believers is “what claimed catastrophe/extinction/etc. has actually proved correct? The best answer they can give me is “just wait” while never admitting to there being none.

    • If you’re going to do that you need a screen grab – or to pick it off the Wayback Machine. Always do that before advertising something that embarrasses Warmists – they will delete things like that immediately and swear they never existed…

  16. If you feel that all these island nations are going to inundated by the sea-level rise then go there and attempt to by some land there. ALL island nations I’ve look at have had, and continue to have, rising prices on the very small amount of available land. So if these island are really doomed why are they still perceived as a safe haven for your retirement?

    Why do the rich and famous people buy whole islands (Faith Hill and her husband Tim McGraw, Richard Branson, Eddie Murphy, Steven Spielberg, Leonardo DiCaprio, Tyler Perry, Mel Gibson and Julia Roberts, Johnny Depp who seems to want to own most islands, etc.) Many of them own property in the Bahamas.
    Of those Leonardo DiCaprio stands out as he purchased the Blackadore Caye island, which is located off the coast of Belize. As we know he’s an outspoken climate change activist. He’s overseen the construction of an eco-conscious luxury resort on the 104-acre isle — so much for that island’s environment then.

    • typo
      “…then go there and attempt to by some land there.”
      should be
      then go there and attempt to buy some land there.

  17. There are often news reports about how the president of the Maldives is demanding payment for the rising seas levels that are “threatening” the island. They are written as if the islands are already covered by water. Of course the president is just looking for free money and the statements about the islands being covered with water are just discredited model predictions, not actual observations.

  18. All of those islands and atolls that Darwin visited and wrote about from his voyage on the Beagle are still there!

    His account of the origin of atolls is as valid now as it was in 1842. The symbiotic relationship between blue-green algae and the coral animal is still as true as ever. Coral reefs still remain in the photic zone.

  19. just as the daily racing form says about horses past performance is not indicative of future results…..the “climate” is the past record of the weather and never has made any prediction about future weather.

    • Tue, but history can sure validate if a current weather activity is “unprecedented” or not…… not that it matters but it seems to make a difference for the AGW alarmists and take center court for their scare mongering.

  20. How about a gofundme account for Anthony? If the AGW believers can raise 5 million dollars, Anthony agrees to shut down WUWT. They’ll pay you to stop beating them up, I think.

  21. The Canberra Times articles states:

    “The Environmantal Affairs Director, Mr Hussein Shihab. sain an estimated rise of 20 to 30 centimetres in the next 20 to 40 years could be “catastrophic” for most of the islands, which were no more than a metre above sea level.”

    It would appear that most of the islands are were no more than 20-30 cm above sea level in 1988. I guess that the catastrophe has somehow, magically been averted.

  22. Several recent studies have shown that globally land area is increasing (including the threatened ‘low-lying’ island groups), and that the majority of beaches are growing or stable.

    Is it not possible that marginally rising sea levels favour accretion, whereas falling sea levels leave land unsupported, undercut, and favour erosion? I don’t know, but it sounds half logical to me!

  23. Accurate predictions are possible only in the applied exact sciences based on solid physical/chemical/mathematical equations describing relationships between variables, e.g. in various branches of engineering.
    Climate is not exact science since there are no accurate formulae describing relationships between variables. If for some reason a prediction comes true it’s more by chance than application of
    a superior knowledge.
    I did one prediction ten years ahead of the event, which came correct to one decimal point, the subject where even the NASA’s two top experts in the field failed.
    Let’s make it clear that my ‘success’ was not result of any kind of superior knowledge but simply applying analogy from electro-mechanics to astrophysics, so I refer to it as the Incredible coincidence

  24. Climate doom predictions make money and so we can expect a constant stream . No one is really ever held accountable for their lies so climate doom salesman like scientifically unqualified Al Gore can continue to spew complete BS for as long as they want till people stop buying the merchandise .
    Here is a prediction, Al Gore will be long gone before the Arctic is ice free and the world will be better for it .

  25. Priceless! Thank you.

    Here is the 1989 paper from the Proceedings of the Small States Conference on Sea Level Rise edited by Shihab Hussein, which states:

    Whether you like it or not, the Maldives will have no choice but to adapt to sea level rise.

    and goes on to recommend a number of responses including building sea walls and elevating portions of some islands.

    It would be interesting to know whether any such responses were taken and how far above sea level the new airport expansion is.

    And this is from Shihab Hussein’s Linked In profile:


    Ambassador (Retired) Hussain Shihab’s Short Resume.
    Former Permanent Representative of Maldives to the United Nations, (25th July 1998- 18th August 2002) was also holding the position of one of the Vice Presidents of the 55th General Assembly and acting President on two occasions. He was also the first Director of Environmental Affairs of Maldives( Jun 1986) and Chief Coordinator of the Small State Conference on Sea-level Rise (14 – 18th November 1989). The forum that initiated the action to bring together the Small Islands within the United Nations to combat the issue of climate change. Ambassador Shihab was the chief Negotiator for his country, throughout the negotiations for the UNFCC. He was also a member of two Expert Groups of the Commonwealth on Climate Change and Sea-level Rise, and its effects on Small Island States,( 1987 -1989) and ( 1991-1993) which published two important documents on the effects of Climate Change on the Small Island States. He was the Director of the South Asia Cooperative Environment Program; SACEP (1995 – 1998); the regional body of South Asia dealing with the environmental Issues of the region, as its Chief Executive. He was also the Ambassador of Maldives to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (2007 – 2010) the Philippines (2013 -2014), Organization of Islamic Conference (2008 -2010) and High Commissioner to Srilanka (2010 -2014) and Australia (2013 -2014). Ambassador Shihab , who was also the head of the National Television Channel; TV Maldives( 1978 -1986) , and is a “Silver-Pen Award” winning journalist (1993) is active in training youth, in his two fields of expertise in Media and Foreign Relations.
    A Lyricist and a singer for film, he has also Written and Directed several Television Feature Films and is a recipient of the Golden Award for his work in that field.

    He is now a media consultant.

      • Yes, except this is the kind of drivel that gets the media juiced up and establishes popular belief and support. The problem then is, you never hear the ”scientists” that you give credibility to, come out loud and clear and call B.S. to the nonsense. It’s as good as supporting it. Lying by omission.

  26. On predictions…..

    There must be many predictions that are now hitting their “use by” date.

    Is there a website/blog etc. that lists all these?

    • Yes there is. Has been around for years. Been around for several years, and is nicely organized by topic.

  27. tony got you again. sublimating c02 strikes again.

    a. the guy was on a 2 year political appointment, 1986 to 88.
    b. not a scientist
    c. former director of TV for the maldives
    d. there was no consensus science to back this up.

    there is no controlling people who want to misrepresent the science, and no stopping hellers strawmaning.

    get your science from svience papers
    get your summary of the consensus from the ipcc.

    stop trusting what you read in the press
    stop trusting tweets
    and dont be fooled by heller again

    • here. someone else on the thread found it

      prior to 1988

      “was also the head of the National Television Channel; TV Maldives( 1978 -1986) ”

      no science background

  28. I think people are being a tad harsh.

    This article was published in the Canberra Times and as all sane Australians know, Canberra exists in its own little world filled with cardigans, yoga classes and 3pm finishing times. Also Skywhale.

    Canberra is currently one of the best examples that can be found supporting the existence of Multiverse Theory, and just because the these islands still exist in the universe we live in, doesn’t automatically mean they haven’t been completely swamped within Canberra Reality.

  29. I think it is time if not to dedicate a website then at least a section to naming and shaming those politicians and in particular scientists who went public with their baseless alarmism. Funny isn’t it that the mainstream meadia is completely silent on this…..

  30. It would have been nice if the article explained exactly who the guy making the claim is, and that this isn’t a prediction from a climate scientist. Or any kind of scientist for that matter.

  31. Canberra is basically a public service city , full of politicians and hangers on employed in the public service , essentially a Green nest festered with socialism.
    No surprise they would print that .

  32. Hypocrites. Nice to see that I am not alone in observing that the economy of the Maldives is completely dominated by tourism. Tourism is the only reason that the vast majority of people who live there get to live there and have anything above a stone-age standard of living.

    The tourists who bring their money to support the economy of the Maldives have to travel thousands of miles, usually by jet aircraft burning vast amounts of CO2-emitting fossil fuels. And then, most take fossil-fueled-powered boats the final miles to their dive locations for their precious few hours of under-water time. For those who are fortunate enough to already live there, their CO2 impact isn’t any better. Nearly everything they need to survive, including food and fuel is brought via aircraft or by diesel or oil-powered shipping.

    If the residents of the Maldives honestly believe that CO2 is solely responsible for ultimately sinking their islands, then I think they have the moral obligation to act accordingly. This means giving up the tourist trade, reverting back to a sustainable stone-age existence, or just leaving altogether. Demanding that the rest of the world pay them money on top of what they earn from tourism just so that they can continue with their unsustainable carbon-subsidized lifestyle unabated is simply self-serving, hypocritical and absurd. And shame on the rest of the world for falling for this.

    This is a prime example of the scam that is “carbon shaming”.

  33. What a disastrous 30-yr anniversary.
    But in between things happened:
    – in 2000, we started an International Sea Level Project in the Maldives
    – which rapidly documented a general absence a rapid sea level rise
    – and we wrote a paper (in GPC, 2004) saying “no fear”
    – followed by my booklet called “The Greatest Lie Ever Told” (2007)
    In 2003 “a group of Australian scientists” vandalized a tree documenting stable sea level conditions.
    This was taken up in Rickard Bean’s theatre play “The Heretic”, played in London 2011.
    What an anniversary for IPCC and all the AGW proponents.
    Whilst they must feel ashamed
    We, the realists, have all the reasons to celebrate the absence of a rapid sea level rise.
    skål from Nils-Axel Mörner in Sweden (and the rest of the world)

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