New Policy Brief Shows No Evidence of Accelerated Sea-Level Rise

Via press release:

A new Policy Brief from The Heartland Institute shows there is no evidence of acceleration in the rise of global sea levels since the 1920s and concludes the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) concerns over this issue is “without merit.”

The Policy Brief, titled “Global Sea Level Rise: An Evaluation of the Data,” authored by Dr. Craig Idso, chairman of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, Dr. David Legates, professor of climatology in the Department of Geography at the University of Delaware, and Dr. S. Fred Singer, is taken from a chapter of Climate Change Reconsidered II: Fossil Fuels, a report fromthe Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC).

According to IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report, “it is very likely that the rate of global mean sea level rise during the 21st century will exceed the rate observed during 1971–2010 for all Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) scenarios due to increases in ocean warming and loss of mass from glaciers and ice sheets.”

However, Idso, Legates, and Singer argue “sea-level rise is a research area that has recently come to be dominated by computer models. Whereas researchers working with datasets built from long-term coastal tide gauges typically report a slow linear rate of sea-level rise, computer modelers assume a significant anthropogenic forcing and tune their models to find or predict an acceleration of the rate of rise.”

They note local sea-level trends “vary considerably because they depend not only on the average global trend, but also on tectonic movements of adjacent land. In many places vertical land motion, either up or down, exceeds the very slow global sea-level trend. Consequently, at some locations sea level is rising much faster than the global rate, and at other locations sea level is falling.”

For example, in Stockholm, Sweden, sea-level rise is “negative due to regional vertical land motion.” The water intrusion problems around the Chesapeake Bay in Virginia and Maryland are also not due to sea-level rise, but instead to land subsidence (the sinking of the land surface) from human activity such as groundwater depletion.

Instead of accelerated sea-level rises, the authors find “the best available data” shows “evidence is lacking for any recent changes in global sea level that lie outside natural variation.” They point out that if the negative effects of the claimed accelerated rise in sea level, such as a loss of surface area, were to be visible anywhere, it would most likely be in the small islands and coral atolls in the Pacific Ocean. However, research indicates many of these islands and atolls are actually increasing in size. Simply, they are “not being inundated by rising seas due to anthropogenic climate change.”

Fears of an accelerated rise in sea levels caused by anthropogenic climate change are misplaced and overblown. Further, this fearmongering should not be used by policymakers in coastal states and cities to advocate for policies that would seek to limit or eliminate carbon dioxide emissions.  

The following documents provide more information about land subsidence, sea-level rise, and climate change.

Global Sea-Level Rise: An Evaluation of the Data

https://www.heartland.org/publications-resources/publications/global-sea-level-rise-an-evaluation-of-the-data

This Heartland Policy Brief authored by Dr. Craig Idso, chairman of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, Dr. David Legates, professor of climatology in the Department of Geography at the University of Delaware, and Dr. S. Fred Singer reviews recent research to determine if there is any evidence of such an acceleration and then examines claims that islands and coral atolls are being inundated by rising seas.


This coincides with what our own Willis Eschenbach has found.

91 thoughts on “New Policy Brief Shows No Evidence of Accelerated Sea-Level Rise

  1. New Policy Brief Shows No Evidence of Accelerated Sea-Level Rise

    Jeesh, how many dozens times does this have to be demonstrated?

    • Because it hasn’t ….

      https://www.pnas.org/content/115/9/2022

      “Satellite altimetry has shown that global mean sea level has been rising at a rate of ∼3 ± 0.4 mm/y since 1993. Using the altimeter record coupled with careful consideration of interannual and decadal variability as well as potential instrument errors, we show that this rate is accelerating at 0.084 ± 0.025 mm/y2, which agrees well with climate model projections. If sea level continues to change at this rate and acceleration, sea-level rise by 2100 (∼65 cm) will be more than double the amount if the rate was constant at 3 mm/y.”

      • I will once more repeat my favorite sea-level gauge, Kungsholmsfort in Sweden where the level has been measured since 1886. By a pure coincidence in 1886 it happened to be located at exactly the point where sea-level rise and postglacial isostatic adjustment were equal, consequently NO relative sea-level rise. Guess what, 135 years later it still is situated where where sea-level rise and postglacial isostatic adjustment are equal:

        https://www.psmsl.org/data/obtaining/rlr.monthly.plots/70_high.png

        Not a lot of acceleration there….

        • That’s actually quite interesting tty. Thanks for that reference. Much appreciated. Would be worth looking for other similarly balanced sites. Please tell me it’s not in a floating harbour 😉

        • tty

          I do not like so very much to contradict you because you usually post thoughtful comments.

          But… when you show one single tide gauge station, how will you avoid your readers deriving some global meaning out of it?

          Don’t you have the impression that they will do the same mistake as those people taking CONUS’ temperatures as a good reference for the Globe, although CONUS’ surface is no more than 6 % of the Globe’s land areas?

          PSML is a set of actually over 1500 (in the sum since beginning) available stations.

          Don’t you think that it would be better to analyse all the stuff globally, instead of looking at Kungsholmsfort, Battery Park or Trois-Rivières and drawing premature conclusions?

          A look at PSML’s average of the absolute station data might convince you a bit:

          https://drive.google.com/file/d/155kto6ylc74G1zCydn6V5Oj4wfjoqFsw/view

          • Kungsholmsfort has a long and high-quality series. It is geologically extremely stable. The rate at which GIA is proceeding is known within very close limits, since it has been exhaustively investigated in Sweden ever since Linnaeus days, and finally any acceleration must be extremely noticeable there.

            Undocumented averages are quite useless on account of the very variable rates of uplift/sinking at the sites in question. And as for “absolute”, there are probably very few if any sites with reliable data on uplift/subsidence going back to the 1880’s except swedish ones.

          • Bindidon
            “Don’t you think that it would be better to analyse all the stuff globally, instead of looking at Kungsholmsfort, Battery Park or Trois-Rivières and drawing premature conclusions?”

            No, it would not be better. You simply cannot include all the divergent error margins at a large number of sites in order to come up with a global average that means anything. You simply wind up with an absolute number that is irrelevant to the physical world.

            tty is correct: “Undocumented averages are quite useless on account of the very variable rates of uplift/sinking at the sites in question.”

          • Tim Gorman

            1. “No, it would not be better. You simply cannot include all the divergent error margins at a large number of sites in order to come up with a global average that means anything. You simply wind up with an absolute number that is irrelevant to the physical world.”

            Sorry, you are – as is tty – simply wrong. Because
            – keeping on single observations obviously leads us to the usual singularity bias, letting you think that the world looks like the little bits you observed;
            – looking at all sites together gives you an idea of how they differ / diverge depending on lots of parameters;
            – averaging the whole is not a self-contained goal; on the contrary, it gives you the possibility to compare it with other averages measuring similar things but arising from completely orthogonal measurement methods and tools.

            And this is the reason why I processed the entire PMSL gauge data set: the goal was to compare own quick shot results with those obtained via satellite-based altimetry:

            https://drive.google.com/file/d/1NUueHTTWSteZoZdolMUrZTTe5ohByhO6/view

            That this raw evaluation cannot consider any of the factors like subsidence, uplift, gravity, ocean currents etc etc: that is sooo evident that I don’t know why tty did mention it.

            *
            2. “Undocumented averages are quite useless on account of the very variable rates of uplift/sinking at the sites in question.”

            It is so easy to produce smooth, elegant wordings. What about doing the same job instead?

            *
            Of course: though having convinced me that endless critiques against either altimetry or gauge data processing are somewhat clueless, my gauge averaging leaves me unsatisfied: because I would have preferred a much finer comparison down to some accurate grid level.

            But unfortunately, altimetry data at grid level is, unlike Roy Spencer’s UAH grid data, available in NetCdf format only. I’m too lazy to go into it.

            What remains as a last little task is to compute the linear estimates, within the 1993-2013 reference period, for all stations having shown sufficient data for that period, and to sort these estimates, thus giving me an idea of how much these stations’ raw data differ in trend.

            Of great interest for me is also to have a closer look at e.g.
            https://tinyurl.com/y3wl9sa2

            because it is the center of a 2.5 ° grid cell containing not less than 19 tide measuring stations; I would like to know how different these neighboring stations are in the trend. The same is true for all other cells with more than 10 gauges located in them.

            *
            Thus, Tim Gorman: feel free to express your critique! Since it is based on general assumptions rather than on the evaluation of real, specific data, I apologise, but… it actually cares little to me.

          • Bindinon:

            “Sorry, you are – as is tty – simply wrong. Because
            – keeping on single observations obviously leads us to the usual singularity bias, letting you think that the world looks like the little bits you observed;”

            Huh? If an individual member of the data set diverges from the overall average then there are only a few possible conclusions that can be reached. 1. the data from the individual member is inaccurate. 2. The global overall average is inaccurate. 3. The error margin of the overall average is the difference between the overall average and the individual value.

            I think we can ignore 1. So only 2 and 3 are in play. Either one of these makes the overall average questionable.

            “– looking at all sites together gives you an idea of how they differ / diverge depending on lots of parameters;”

            If you do not know the error margin of the overall average then it can tell you nothing. You are only fooling yourself. The theory of large numbers simply doesn’t apply to multiple measurements taken by multiple different measuring devices made on multiple different test subjects.

            “averaging the whole is not a self-contained goal; on the contrary, it gives you the possibility to compare it with other averages measuring similar things but arising from completely orthogonal measurement methods and tools.”

            If you do not know the margin of error for the averages being compared then, again, you are only fooling yourself that you are making a valid comparison between the averages.

            “And this is the reason why I processed the entire PMSL gauge data set: the goal was to compare own quick shot results with those obtained via satellite-based altimetry:”

            And you included nothing on the margin of error propagated throughout the gauge data set. So comparing your result to anything is meaningless.

            “What remains as a last little task is to compute the linear estimates, within the 1993-2013 reference period, for all stations having shown sufficient data for that period, and to sort these estimates, thus giving me an idea of how much these stations’ raw data differ in trend.”

            If you do not include an analysis of the margin of error contribution of all these stations to the overall error of margin for the entire system then any “average” you find is meaningless. You would still be making the assumption that the theory of large numbers will lead to an average that is more accurate than any individual member.

          • Tim Gorman

            As I predicted: the endless, usual blah blah everybody knows about.

            Why don’t you try to explain the coincidence between raw PMSL gauge data and two altimetry data sets?

            Of course it happened by accident, didn’t it?

          • Bindidon: “Why don’t you try to explain the coincidence between raw PMSL gauge data and two altimetry data sets?”

            I am not the one making the assertion that averaging multiple measurements of multiple items using multiple measuring devices can give an accurate result. *YOU ARE*! Why don’t *you* support this using the appropriate math?

            Do you understand what the work “coincidence” actually means?

      • Sorry but that’s rubbish, you/they cant say that with any confidence at all. Given the error margins in the original measurements. Plus, Anthony’s dog kenzo could get stuff published via PNAS.

        • Blunder:
          Give me some satellite derived SL science that says otherwise to that study please.
          Hand-waving denial doesn’t cut it.

          And tide gauges, don’t cover the full 70% of the Earth’s surface that is the oceans.

          • Simply check your own paper. And its cite or ref 12. Re. Correcting errors in satellite altemetric measurements for instrument drift etc. Note margins of error. Then tell me you me them or anyone else can detect the change in acceleration claimed in your post. Also note the age of cited paper, not that that in itself is an issue.

          • Really depends on all your sources of error and if they can be considered to have a gaussian distribution or not, whilst this might be the case with purely random errors it’s not the case systematic ones. So you can combine your noise, error terms and uncertainties til1 your blue in the face…. all you’ve done is waste your blrain power and compute time. Still up to you. The same can be said for your covariance matrix paper quoted below. Still hey ho… what do I know??

      • Oops. Should add im not saying its not rising, just that theres no significant acceleration.

        • Blunder.
          Bless…
          As always likely here on WUWT, when opposing the bias – ignorance and bias ejaculated in ad hom.
          No study forcoming in evidence of the hand-waving.
          It’s not big, and it’s not clever Mr Blunder.

          And here is another one (meta study).
          All showing acceleration….

          https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/2017GL073308

          “In this study, we have investigated the sea level budget over the altimetry era (1993–2015) by comparing the temporal evolution of GMSL and the sum of the components using a large number of data sets and computing ensemble means for all terms of the sea level budget equation. Our results confirm, as in previous studies, the importance of correcting for TOPEX A instrumental drift. The new approach based on the GMSL budget indicates a drift of 1.5 ± 0.5 mm/yr, in agreement with the preferred value of Watson et al. [2015] but lower than Zawadzki et al. [2016]. Applying this correction over the first 6 years of the altimetry record leads to lower GMSL rate (of 3.0 ± 0.15 mm/yr) over the altimetry era than previously assumed. More importantly, the GMSL rise since the mid‐2000s shows significant increase compared to the 1993–2004 time span. This contradicts conclusion of previous studies [e.g., Cazenave et al., 2014] that reported slowing down of about 30% of the GMSL rise during the years 2000s (without TOPEX A drift correction), attributed to La Niña events. Here we show that in spite of the several temporary sea level drops caused by La Niña events, THE GMSL HAS INCREASED DURING THE LAST DECADE.” (my caps).

          • Sorry Anthony, but i referenced that above… comment on thier covariance matrix. Thier analysis is similarly flawed. Still I see I’m dealing with a believer. So, again hey ho…. what do I know… wasnt hand waving at all I’m just telling you it’s very badly done science and I’ve tried to explain in simple terms why it’s bad science. I propose leaving it there. I could also go on about people being selective in thier use of tide gauges and any outliers when they recalibrated thier satellite data, but what’s the point? Suggest you buy a boat or a dingy… though even with the accelerations that both you and they are quoting you’ve still got quite a long wait before you’ll have enough extra water to float it….. maybe wellies would be a more cost effective solution?

            Oops… just noticed… you seem to be implying that I’m saying sea level isn’t rising…. I’m not…. I’m just saying that neither you or they have demonstrated that its accelerating either here or in either of the quoted papers

          • Addendum.. anthony, some links re satellite radar altimeter that I googled for you

            https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://topex.ucsd.edu/rs/altimetry.pdf&ved=2ahUKEwiisuHptdXiAhUOLFAKHamCCKQQFjAJegQIAhAB&usg=AOvVaw3N52abCU_8W2-Lp69XoIx7

            And…

            https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://earth.esa.int/documents/10174/950521/01_Tuesday_OCT2013_Cipollini_Altimetry_1.pdf&ved=2ahUKEwiXoY_du9XiAhXCZ1AKHX_MAXYQFjAMegQIBRAB&usg=AOvVaw2aDEzZlih-8aQCvrdaeHL2

            Note. . A few things.. the Ghz ranges being used… Chirp pulses, SWH, the hope that all noise is gaussian… types of error… and their sources… lots of stuff really… issues with those pesky waves… finally…. but not least the resolution of said devices.

            After that… return to the issues… with errors or uncertainties mentioned previously
            You really cant just magically average these things together to get any form of submilimeter resolution or indeed get rid of the errors themselves.

          • Also at what point did I indulge in an ad hom attack? My tone of typing may have implied that I personally think that you might be intellectually challenged, but I didnt and i still haven’t said actually said that to you.

          • “Oops… just noticed… you seem to be implying that I’m saying sea level isn’t rising…. I’m not…. I’m just saying that neither you or they have demonstrated that its accelerating either here or in either of the quoted papers”

            No, I am only implying that you are saying there is no acceleration.
            There is, as those studies and the one below show, and that out and out denial of that is as I would expect here.
            Would be very different if the studies showed a deceleration I’m sure.

            But hey, be my guest – it makes not one jot of difference, as this place is an echo-chamber of sceptics, and has zero influence on the science that the IPCC reviews.

            https://www.earth-syst-sci-data.net/10/1551/2018/essd-10-1551-2018.pdf

            “The GMSL acceleration estimated in Sect. 2.2 using Ablain et al.’s (2017b) TOPEX-A drift correction amounts to 0.10mmyr−2 for the 1993–2017 time span. This value is in good agreement with the Nerem et al. (2018) estimate (of 0.084 ± 0.025 mm yr−2) over nearly the same period, af- ter removal of the interannual variability of the GMSL. In Nerem et al. (2018), acceleration of individual components are also estimated as well as acceleration of the sum of com- ponents. The latter agrees well with the GMSL acceleration.”

            Oh, and thanks for the courteous response.
            Not really that difficult is it?

    • beng135

      New Policy Brief Shows No Evidence of Accelerated Sea-Level Rise

      You ask “… how many dozens times does this have to be demonstrated?”

      Well, from my humble layman’s point of view, it hasn’t been yet in any really valuable, irrefutable form.

      But unlike Anthony Banton, I won’t provide for any official reference to work done by scientists.

      As we are nearly all lay(wo)men here, I prefer to present an own evaluation of the data sets involved in sea level measurement:

      – tide gauge data from PMSL
      https://www.psmsl.org/data/obtaining/rlr.monthly.data/rlr_monthly.zip

      – satellite altimetry data from NASA
      https://podaac-tools.jpl.nasa.gov/drive/files/allData/merged_alt/L2/TP_J1_OSTM/global_mean_sea_level/GMSL_TPJAOS_4.2_199209_201903.txt

      The latter was obtained – upon registration – from the web page
      https://climate.nasa.gov/vital-signs/sea-level/

      PMSL data is raw stuff, and was therefore evaluated as is, i.e. no station selection was made based on criteria like degree of completeness, age etc etc. Only those stations were eliminated which lacked data necessary for anomaly generation wrt to given periods. No homogenisation was performed.

      A first step was to compare the data generated for PMSL with that downloaded from NASA for 1993-2018 (based on the same reference period: 1993-2013):

      https://drive.google.com/file/d/1BwiiYbbACIwwmo4av9KiWrG02iVfbcho/view

      You see that the two time series, though built out of considerably differing data, show similar trends computed by Libre Office Calc (in mm/year with 2 sigma) for the period considered:

      – PMSL: 3.072 ± 0.09
      – Sat altim: 2.997 ± 0.04

      The redundant numbers after the decimal point are a hint that we don’t compare 3.45 with 2.55 🙂

      Don’t expect any kind of month by month correlation: we compare full Earth satellite data with the data provided by on average 600 stations (of about 1500) located within ~ 300 grid cells of 2.5 ° size!

      It is interesting to compare the gauge and altimetry trends for consecutive, 5 year distant starts:

      ————–Gauges——–Sat——
      1993-2018: 2.99 ± 0.04 | 2.43 ± 0.36
      1998-2018: 3.23 ± 0.05 | 2.36 ± 0.56
      2003-2018: 3.45 ± 0.08 | 3.88 ± 1.01
      2008-2018: 4.22 ± 0.14 | 4.30 ± 0.67

      That gives us, for 1993-2018, an acceleration of 0.078 ± 0.019 mm/yr² for altimetry data, and of 0.143 ± 0.04 mm/yr² for the gauge data.

      Similarly, we can list all consecutive trends with 5 year distant start for the PMSL data since 1883:

      1883-2018: 0.33 ± 0.04
      1888-2018: 0.27 ± 0.04
      1893-2018: 0.28 ± 0.04
      1898-2018: 0.33 ± 0.04
      1903-2018: 0.41 ± 0.04
      1908-2018: 0.48 ± 0.05
      1913-2018: 0.49 ± 0.05
      1918-2018: 0.57 ± 0.05
      1923-2018: 0.66 ± 0.05
      1928-2018: 0.80 ± 0.06
      1933-2018: 0.87 ± 0.06
      1938-2018: 0.87 ± 0.06
      1943-2018: 0.79 ± 0.07
      1948-2018: 0.87 ± 0.07
      1953-2018: 0.99 ± 0.08
      1958-2018: 1.10 ± 0.09
      1963-2018: 1.23 ± 0.11
      1968-2018: 1.27 ± 0.12
      1973-2018: 1.40 ± 0.14
      1978-2018: 1.62 ± 0.17
      1983-2018: 1.69 ± 0.21
      1988-2018: 1.93 ± 0.26
      1993-2018: 2.43 ± 0.36
      1998-2018: 2.36 ± 0.56
      2003-2018: 3.88 ± 1.01
      2008-2018: 4.30 ± 0.67

      And this gives the following accelerations for some starts, in mm/yr²:

      1883-2018: 0.024 ± 0.003
      1923-2018: 0.034 ± 0.005
      1963-2018: 0.065 ± 0.01
      1993-2018: 0.143 ± 0.04

      Last not least: here is a chart comparing my little evaluation of PMSL

      https://drive.google.com/file/d/15ShmjtFE2dwdG3afpEN5wpSYSl9AH88E/view

      with the CSIRO data anybody can download from

      https://research.csiro.au/slrwavescoast/?ddownload=327

      *
      If you think that’s all wrong and rubbish: don’t write it is.
      Download all the data instead, process it and come back here with your results.

      Regards
      J.-P. D.

      • You cant use the satellite products in the way that you would seem to want to. They only have 2cm resolution. Not all of your errors and noise can be considered to be gaussian i.e. random in distribution… so you can make them go away…. the proof of that… is not only referenced in all the docs for the satellites themselves… its further reinforced by thier recalibration…. you cant recalibrate.. random..in other words there are systematic errors…so you can nicely present your numbers as much as you like, and a nicely as you like but you simply cannot present them in the way that you seek i.e not with any meaning attached to them. And two sigma…. theres a reason why 6 sigma is considered proof.. and its because even 4 and 5 sigma events can vanish overnight… strangely or ironically even, its instrument errors that are mostly the cause.

        You have a set of tools available to you that can give repeated but fairly inaccurate results. There are only limited ways to turn them into precision instruments.

    • I always use the Battery Park, New York, tide gauge and GPS elevation data, available at PSMSL.org as a truth serum. The gauge is mounted on crystalline rock and is therefore about as steady a place as one can find on a coast anywhere. The gauge shows an extremely steady rise of nearly 3 mm/yr since about 1850, about 170 years. Recent GPS data also provided by PSMSL.org shows that about half or more of that is due to land subsidence. When the Battery Park tide gauge accelerates but the GPS does not, I may begin believing the AGW meme.

      • I like this kind of solid empirical data. Wood you be audacious enough to extrapolate those results the a part of the Eastern coast?

        • Mr. Riverin,

          Water seeks its own level as you know so all one really needs is a single stable long-term tide gauge observed for many years, with some means to correct for changes in the level of the land on which it sits. The relative sea level can be momentarily altered by winds and tides, but in the long term it will return to wherever it should be. Baltimore also hosts a long term gauge, operating for about 120 years, with GPS elevation data. It shows about the same as The Battery. For a really long term look at the US east coast see https://www.jcronline.org/doi/abs/10.2112/03-0123.1 This is a 2006 paper by Dr. Curt Larson based on examining coastal peat bogs. He concludes that over the past 6,000 years (not a typo) east coast sea level has been rising at an annualized rate of from 1 to 2 mm/yr with lots of ups and downs along the way. Many things have changed in the past 6,000 years, but, it seems, not sea level rise.

          • Yes, all other things being equal. The trouble is, they frequently aren’t. Local variations in gravity, for instance. And as the mantle plumes rise and fall beneath the continents carrying material of different densities, the local value for the gravitational constant can change.

  2. OK, so the sea level is not rising, and the rate of temperature change of the atmosphere is too small to measure by conventional means.
    The only system of assessment that shows climate temperature increase outside natural climate variation is climate change computer models.
    It is worth noting, those same models can not hind cast with any accuracy and their forward projections have always been wrong. They tend to have a consistent bias towards the alarmists desired “it is getting hotter” projection, I can’t understand why they don’t calibrate the programs using accurate real data….?.
    Recent data over the past 20 years looks to be pointing towards a cooler climate. Recent winters in both the Northern and the Southern Hemispheres are also pointing towards a cooler climate.
    Let us hope it is just normal variation. Given the choice hotter is better than colder, even the fat over population of Polar Bears, seem to be telling us that too.
    Hey ho, that’s nature.

    • “OK, so the sea level is not rising”

      No. Everyone — even Nils-Axel Morner (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nils-Axel_M%C3%B6rner)– agrees that Sea level **IS** rising, albeit not very fast. The issue is whether the rate of increase is itself increasing. Everyone also agrees that the rate of increase reported by tidal gauges is significantly lower than that observed by satellites. (very roughly, about 2.0mm per year vs 3.0mm per year) Recent acceleration is Sea Level rise is a (rather desperate) attempt to explain the discrepancy. I’m not sure that anyone other than the lunatic left actually believes that’s the cause. But it’s pretty much the only remotely plausible thesis on the table at the moment.

      2 to 3 mm per year amounts to 8 to 12 inches per century. Annoying, but not in anyone’s top ten list of real environmental concerns.

      • Perhaps my initial “sea level is not rising” was too glib, thank you for qualifying it. I should have said sea level is not rising beyond the normal rate established over the past centuries. It is behaving normally, following our position relative to the last glaciation event.
        As I understand it the current increase is closer to 4 inches/century than the 12 inches/century but as you say it is not of any significance to normal people.

        • Even at 12 inches per century why would anybody care that is their entire lifetime (if they are lucky) the same for most buildings and about 4 times the lifetime of any road or infrastructure. It is simply a non issue, when it starts moving at 12 inches per decade wake us.

          • I can´t understand why some 0, something is so scary thing to somebody be hysteric about it.
            If it is 2mm per year, its like nothing. If it accelerates to 3mm per year, it´s still like nothing.
            I can´t think that humankind has lost it´s ability to do something to keep their socks dry.
            This is a non problem, and to waste this much ink just to write this is stupid and the whole hysteria about this nonsense is even more stupid.

            And if somebody is seeing this as a proof of AGW, that somebody should go to doctor to check his/hers mental condition.

            We have real problems on this planet, this is not one of them.

      • There has not been a one foot rise in sea level in 100 years. Hole smoke, who is blowing smoke?

    • Willis found sea level rise acceleration?
      Or merely sea level rise?
      Well, let’s see what he says, and in bold letters (his bold, not mine):
      “And this makes it very likely that Church and White are manufacturing sea level acceleration where none exists … bad scientists, no cookies.”

      Let’s be careful not to misrepresent the findings.
      Of anyone.
      The data shows that sea level is rising, and has been doing so for over 150 years, and that this rise has been at a fluctuation rate, but that outside of these cyclic fluctuations…the rate of rise is NOT ACCELERATING (all caps means I shouted that last bit)!
      (Exclamation point means I meant that $h!t)

      OK, lets boil that down:
      Willis finds no acceleration.
      Unless one accepts that the alarmists’ practice of using various means and methods of making crap up is legit.
      No acceleration.
      So says Willis.
      So says the data.
      So says everyone being scientific about it.

      Hardly anyone probably cares what I say, but for the record, I say even the tide gage data is suspect, given what the site that disseminates the data says about how the charts are derived.
      In the past, prior to the era of CAGW alarmism, there was no such monotonic rise in global sea level in any of the scientific literature on the issue.
      In fact, during the 20th century, these sources published graphs showing multi decadal periods of that century during which sea level declined or held steady, before rising again.
      The tide gage data is NOT raw data at all.
      Various smoothing mechanisms have been employed to remove all manner of variations, and who knows how valid the methods that were used to do so are?
      Besides for that, all of the tide gage data is relative to some benchmark, which is mysteriously difficult to ascertain. But if this benchmark is itself in error (and every measurement has error), then the tide gage data is itself multiply suspect.

      We do have other means to determine what exactly the ocean is doing: We can look at it.
      Vast amounts of photographic evidence exists from the dim distant past, in which the location of the shoreline is plainly visible in relation to landmarks which still exist and are fixed to the ground.
      I have yet to see any photographic evidence that the level of the sea has changed by any noticeable amount in the past 100+ years.
      I challenge anyone to show some such evidence of the sea encroaching upon the land.
      Anyone.
      We all know how we feel when we have various official accounts of some crime or incident, and then see video which contradicts such official accounts: We regard the spoken words as lies, and the video as what actually happened (given of course that the video has not been doctored or taken out of context).
      For some of the photographic evidence and more analysis of which I speak, here are some Twitter links:

      Miami Beach from the air, 1925 vs 2017:
      https://twitter.com/NickMcGinley1/status/1113538567056310272/photo/1

      And a larger collection of graphic evidence, which was part of a longer discussion of the issue on Twitter involving several people:
      https://twitter.com/NickMcGinley1/status/1103877310409654273/photo/1

      And some others in the same vein:

      https://twitter.com/NickMcGinley1/status/1111044849082486784/photo/1
      https://twitter.com/NickMcGinley1/status/1106981752336191488/photo/1
      https://twitter.com/NickMcGinley1/status/1101293220821127168/photo/1
      https://twitter.com/NickMcGinley1/status/1107102743309754368/photo/1

      There are real problems in the world.
      The ocean swallowing us all up because global warming aint one of them.

    • Eschenbach did find acceleration. Sea level rise being .76 mm faster in 1993-2013 than it was in 1972-1992 is what Eschenbach derived friom tide gauge data.

      I am aware he said “And this makes it very likely that Church and White are manufacturing sea level acceleration where none exists … bad scientists, no cookies.” I have a beef with his choice of words, that is easy to take as claiming no acceleration exists where .76 mm/year (rise rate increase above the 1.5 mm/year of 1972-1992) exists according to him.

      • Well, I am going by his remarks in conclusion.
        The fact that two time periods have different rates of rise is not evidence of an accelerating rate, per se.
        There have always been cyclical variations superimposed on the long term trend.
        These variations have been used by warmistas to claim that acceleration had indeed started to occur, but of course within a few years it became obvious that it was just the latest iteration of the pattern that can be seen in most of the long term tide gauges.
        The comment thread attached to that article by Willis is one of the good ones…lots of info from a large number of people.

    • You guys are way over thinking this…

      NOAA started it all when they announced…in 2014… sea level rise was accelerating…they announced it again in 2015

      Of course it did…that was the Super El Nino

      You can pick any date on the sea level charts…draw a straight line to the peak at 2014…and waa laa…the rate of sea level rise is faster

      …and what happened after that?…..sea level rise went right back to the same rate it was before

      More of NOAA’s confirmation bias…and another prediction bites them in the butt
      …NOAA is not that damn complicated…think simple

      https://www.climate.gov/sites/default/files/SotC2017_02_SeaLevels_graph_800x450.jpg

  3. I found it strange that the original satelite measurements had been running at 3.0-3.3 mm rise per year, while the tide gauges ran at 2.2-2.3mm per year – Basically running at constant delta of 1.0-1.2 mm delta since the inception of the satelite measurements.

    Then a few years ago, the satelite measurements were “corrected” to match the tide gauges in the early years 1993-1995 era and thereby miracously showing very high acceleration of sea level rise. Yet the tide gauges still show the 2.2-2.3mm rise per year

  4. Sea level is rising. It has risen for a long time and it will continue to rise even if man and mankind’s impact on the planet had never existed. The cause of that natural rise is purely down to physics and Archimedes worked out the science behind that cause quite a while ago. The only question is,”is man is now starting to cause any acceleration to that natural steady rise?”.

    I read an article from a psychologist in a newspaper last year. It advised those that believed in man made climate change (I know we’re supposed to use the term “anthropogenic”, but there are a lot of non experts that read this site who don’t want to have to pick up a dictionary to be able to understand it), to stop directly challenging the “deniers” in derogatory terms and to start to apply a sort of logic. The article suggested that a better approach would be to say, “what would convince you?”

    For my money, I would begin to be convinced of the reality of man made climate change if a majority of those old fixed sea level gauges, located at points that were geologically stable – where the land didn’t move up or down – started to show a non linear (not a straight line) sea level rise upwards for more than 30 years that had used data that was not adjusted. I know the measurement of temp and sea level are separate, but one does have an impact on the other.

    The fact that both ends of the Panama Canal, Brest, Sydney etc etc all show only a linear increase in sea level makes me unconvinced. I appreciate that sea level rise is not necessarily going to be equal all over the globe, but one question that has not ever been answered by those who believe in rising seas, despite me asking that question for years, is WHEN will those tide gauges start to show a non linear rise in sea level?

    • What would satisfy me? Real data. Data which has been carefully collected according to clear, published procedures. If adjustments are needed, then they should be clearly documented as to why they are needed and exactly how they work. I want to see the raw and adjusted data. I want to have access to the software used to process/adjust the data. I want to see the validation report for that software. I also want to see a clear statement on the aggregate accuracy of the measurement systems used and access to the written analysis showing where those accuracy figures come from (the entire chain including hardware and software artifacts). If data is combined/averaged/krieged/whatever I want to see the details on that including the software used and the validation report(s) for that software.

      I’m a software engineer that works on safety-critical systems, so I don’t trust unverified, unvalidated software models. They are fine for studying processes, but are totally inadequate for making policy decisions.

      • And if adjustments to the data are made, they need to be an order of magnitude smaller than the signal being sought. Otherwise the adjustments easily become the signal.

        And I am a hardware engineer who works on safety critical systems, and I don’t trust software either. 😉 However, the most common root cause of accidents resulting in injury or death is not SW nor HW: it is human error. Human error (sometimes intentional) also drives bad science.

        • Clay Marley
          It would be desirable to design a system where the potentially compensatable errors are a small fraction of the actual ‘signal.” However, imagine a situation where a 2-meter measuring stick is used to measure some variable to centimeters, and unthinkingly adds one meter to all the recorded measurements. The appropriate thing to do is to subtract one meter from all readings. That is not unlike converting degrees Kelvin to Celcius! The important thing, as others have pointed out, is to be transparent in all adjustments and justify them.

    • Spot on Teddz!
      With the increase of downward radiation increasing due to CO2, sea level is the first place where you would expect to see an effect. Nine-tenths of this radiation (= heat) is supposed to be going into the water.
      Without sea level rise acceleration, the very first link in the chain of anthropogenic global warming is missing.

  5. When water freezes it expands, which explains burst water pipes and cracked engine blocks. Physically speaking, ice is less dense than liquid water, that is why ice floats in liquid water. Upon melting, floating ice shrinks taking up less space. Water levels do not rise. Actually water levels drop. That is simple, basic, fundamental science.

    • Thaddeus Drabick,
      “Archimedes’ principle states that the upward buoyant force that is exerted on a body immersed in a fluid, whether fully or partially submerged, is equal to the weight of the fluid that the body displaces and acts in the upward direction at the center of mass of the displaced fluid.” Another way of saying that is that ice displaces a volume of water equal to the volume of the equivalent weight of water.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archimedes%27_principle

    • You miss a basic problem that big iceberg at the bottom of the world isn’t sitting in the water it is on a landmass. The Arctic sea ice melting does not add much to sea level rise but Antarctica melting would. Up until the last couple of years Antarctica had actually been gaining mass but that has reversed if you go to the sea ice page up on the menu you can see it.

  6. The ocean currents and atmospheric teleconnections are doing a great job providing us with what appears to be the optimum climate for sea life, and flora and fauna. Way down the road when plate tectonics set up something else, all bets are off. So I contend we are damn lucky to be living in this pleasant time, weather and all.

  7. Sea levels are rising very slowly. The causes include climate warming, which has been going on since the peak of the most recent glaciation period, roughly 16 thousand years. Additional factors include the net effect of tectonic action, erosion of land, and the effect of rebound in regions formerly covered with now melted glaciers.

    There is no debate that these are the causes of ongoing sea level rise. The only debate is the relative contributions of each component affecting sea level rise, and the relative contributions to warming (i.e., “natural” vs. human caused CO2 emissions).

    • Actually, the best indications are that it has not been warming since the last glacial maximum.
      It is very likely that the warmest period of the Holocene was some 8,000 years ago, and it has been cooling in a cyclic pattern ever since, with the MWP being the coolest of the warmings, and the LIA the coldest of the cool periods of these approximately 1000 year cycles.
      From the WUWT paleo climate page:

      http://www.pages.unibe.ch/products/books/qsr2000-papers/alley.pdf

      https://wattsupwiththat.com/paleoclimate/

    • Since increased CO2 levels are a recent phenomena, occurring largely during the past 50 years, and there has been no change in the rate of sea level rise during that time as shown by tide gauges operating for over the past 120+ years, it seems to me that CO2 must be ruled out.

  8. But it does rise above trend rates when called upon by politicians, mainly from the northeast. Some promoters part the waters and others pull the waters.

  9. In the UK, the best way of determining sea-level rise is by analysing the operation of the Thames Barrier, which was built in 1982 with the intention of preventing catastrophic flooding, such as happened in 1953. The barrier is operated whenever the tide is expected to reach 4.87 metres in Central London.

    The dangers are storm surge in the North Sea, combined with a high tide. The Barrier has been put into operation many times, but there has not been an acceleration in its use, as warmers predicted. For example, it was operated 32 times between 2001 and 2005: yet in the last 5 years to 2019 it has only been used 9 times. The figures can be seen on Wikipedia. It’s easy to cherry-pick dates from the table, but it’s obvious that there has been no increase in the operation of the Barrier over the years.

    A few years ago, the UK Environment Agency, which is responsible for the Barrier, were asked what plans they had for improving or replacing the Barrier, in the light of Global Warming. They replied that as the expected 8mm of sea rise had not materialised, there were now no plans to replace the Barrier until 2070 at least.

  10. Heartland must have issed this ….

    https://www.pnas.org/content/115/9/2022

    “Satellite altimetry has shown that global mean sea level has been rising at a rate of ∼3 ± 0.4 mm/y since 1993. Using the altimeter record coupled with careful consideration of interannual and decadal variability as well as potential instrument errors, we show that this rate is accelerating at 0.084 ± 0.025 mm/y2, which agrees well with climate model projections. If sea level continues to change at this rate and acceleration, sea-level rise by 2100 (∼65 cm) will be more than double the amount if the rate was constant at 3 mm/y.”

    • “Calculation of Acceleration.
      We perform a least-squares fit of a quadratic using a time epoch of 2005.0 (the midpoint of the altimeter time series), where acceleration is twice the quadratic coefficient. ”

      Very convincing methodology. Don’t analyze the data. Instead just assume there is an acceleration.

      • tty:
        Yes indeed – accn only really started in ~93 (as the study says).
        Try finding some satellite study data that is a tad more recent than 25ish years ago…..

        https://www.earth-syst-sci-data-discuss.net/essd-2019-10/

        “Over 1993–2017 we find a GMSL trend of 3.35 ± 0.4 mm/yr within a 90 % Confidence Level (CL) and a GMSL acceleration of 0.12 ± 0.07 mm/yr2 (90 % CL). This is in agreement (within error bars) with previous studies. The full GMSL error variance-covariance matrix is freely available online: https://doi.org/10.17882/58344 (Ablain et al., 2018).”

        • I rolled around laughing at that did you actually read it, that is the worst piece of statistic masquerading as science I have seen in a good while … it’s junk.

          Lets skip past the fact they are running analysis starting as short as 5 years and then taking the worst they can find they come up with acceleration 0.12 ± 0.07 mm/yr2. Now that is a year on year growth which any sane person would exclude because you had to run short year timespans to get it in the first place.

          It is junk.

          • And I rolled about reading your predictable response,
            Which is just junk handwaving denial.

            Can you do the same for this as well please, and add to the some total of denial in these leaned annals LOL ….

            https://www.earth-syst-sci-data.net/10/1551/2018/essd-10-1551-2018.pdf

            In plain language … denial is expected from denizens here, but the odd, lost soul may just wander here and be sceptical enough to follow my links to science that contradicts the usual dominating bias here.
            Please link to some science regarding satellite SL altimetry studies (taking into account satellite drift) that shows otherwise.
            Or are you going to stick at the handwaving rubbishing of them?

          • The standard attack of one from the church of Climate Science ™ .. we are all deniers and heretics and should be burnt at the stake.

            You know nothing of what I believe but just go for the standard response because I don’t believe a piece of junk you put up as evidence. The key to science is putting up good clean evidence not pseudoscience junk that is how it works with us in the hard science.

            Now if you want to see a problem with your argument look solely at the Jason 3 data which has the latest and greatest sensors and software and explain the result given you claim the sea level change is accelerating.

  11. Ah yes, SLR, the fall-back scare tactic of Alarmists everywhere. Since temps aren’t exactly performing well, nor is Arctic sea ice. Yes, yes, we know, the “heat” is hiding in the oceans. Because you see, CarbonHeat™ is different from regular heat, almost having magical properties. CarbonHeat™ would follow the laws of physics, but it never studied law.

  12. I swear to the Almighty that AGW scientists must be raising the table with their knees as they present their sea level rise poster sessions! At the very least, I would be checking for post-it note pads under one side of the table legs!

    Go ahead and snicker! Hansen did it with the air conditioners!

  13. Idso, Legates and Singer, saying that atolls and small Pacific islands would show any acceleration best is disingenuous! Surely they know that these coral islands actually grow, keeping abreast of any sealevel rise. They kept pace with the 120m rise from 20,000yrs ago. I have corrected this a hundred times. Ditto river deltas like that of the Ganges which also grow with SLR.

    I’m a sceptic, but one of those equal opportunity types.

  14. Texas A&M sent photographers to Tangier Island Virginia to capture fist hand the impacts of SLR, paid for by A&M.

    I then found this on the history of the shoreline of that Island starting from the [first] survey in 1850, and 9 surveys after that one, ending in 2013, in an Army Corps of Engineers report (Figure on page 13).

    http://cdm16021.contentdm.oclc.org/utils/getfile/collection/p16021coll5/id/1171

    Clearly the land was subsiding even then (1850 to 1905 shows a great loss of land in in 55 years).

    Since Tangier land loss is a SLR story often built around, this figure is very important. Global warming is not the issue, but natural land subsidence is, with a small addition of SLR. Yes, the island mostly voted for Trump, so they are not put (as a group of people) in any proper context.

  15. Here is the kicker.
    It is a good job sea level is slowly rising. If it wasn’t, it would indicate water is being locked on land via ice and snow build up. Now I am a simple individual, that has simple desires. One of those desires is a warmer climate because warmer is better than colder.
    When the sea stops quietly increasing and starts to subside, than that is the time to genuinely worry.

  16. LdB

    “Now if you want to see a problem with your argument look solely at the Jason 3 data which has the latest and greatest sensors and software and explain the result given you claim the sea level change is accelerating.”

    Jason 3? I thought “cela me dit quelque chose…”.

    And indeed found on disk a reference to a NOAA data file “slr_sla_gbl_free_txj1j2_90” 2 years ago, but I had forgotten to bookmark the link where I downloaded it from.

    A quick Google search gave me this:

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/slr_sla_gbl_free_txj1j2_90/

    Oooh how interesting!

    Because one of the next links showed to the actual picture which looks a tiny bit different, doesn’t it?

    https://www.star.nesdis.noaa.gov/sod/lsa/SeaLevelRise/slr/slr_sla_gbl_free_txj1j2_90.png

    Reminds me this good old escalator pic…

    And processing again the file “slr_sla_gbl_free_txj1j2_90.csv” of course gave the same result.

    Thus sorry LdB… You (and by extension, commenter Blunderbunny) seem to have been the victim of the usual cherry-picking. Warmistas aren’t good people, but coolistas aren’t better.

    But nevertheless, your mistake was in some sense helpful, because the NOAA data I had forgotten shows, during the last ten years, somewhat less dramatic than NASA’s:

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ymgyypxPvJoDkls0tbcGzJVw_iBKImh5/view

    And… I prefer to show less dramatic things.

  17. /www.youtube.com/watch?v=SGkHMk_-pU8
    Ft. Lauderdale Beach 1960.
    Go there now and nothing (as far as the ocean is concerned) has changed.

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