USF-led team deciphers sea level rise from the last time Earth’s CO2 set record highs

University of South Florida (USF Innovation)

Researchers study the levels of phreatic overgrowth on speleothems in Teatro Room, Artá Cave Credit A. Merino

Researchers study the levels of phreatic overgrowth on speleothems in Teatro Room, Artá Cave Credit A. Merino

TAMPA, Fla. (Aug. 30, 2019) – An international team of scientists have discovered evidence in the geological formations in a coastal cave showing that more than three million years ago – a time in which the Earth was two to three degrees warmer than the pre-industrial era – sea level was as much as 16 meters higher than the present day. Their findings have significant implications for understanding and predicting the pace of current-day sea level rise amid a warming climate.

The scientists from the University of South Florida, University of New Mexico, Universitat de les Illes Balears and Columbia University published their findings in today’s edition of the journal Nature. The analysis of deposits from Artà Cave on the island of Mallorca in the western Mediterranean Sea, serves as a target for future studies of ice sheet stability, ice sheet model calibrations and projections of future sea level rise, the scientists said.

“We can use knowledge gained from past warm periods to tune ice sheet models that are then used to predict future ice sheet response to current global warming,” said USF Department of Geosciences Professor Bogdan Onac.

Sea level rises as a result of melting ice sheets, such as those that cover Greenland and Antarctica. However, how much and how fast sea level will rise during warming is a question scientists have worked to answer. Reconstructing ice sheet and sea-level changes during past periods when climate was naturally warmer than today, provides an Earth’s scale laboratory experiment to study this question, said USF PhD student Oana Dumitru, the lead author.

The project focused on cave deposits known as phreatic overgrowths on speleothems. The deposits form in coastal caves at the interface between brackish water and cave air each time the ancient caves were flooded by rising sea levels. In Artà Cave, which is located within 100 meters of the coast, the water table is – and was in the past – coincident with sea level, said Professor Joan J. Fornós of Universitat de les Illes Balears.

The scientists discovered, analyzed, and interpreted six of the geologic formations found at elevations of 22.5 to 32 meters above present sea level. Careful sampling and laboratory analyses of 70 samples resulted in ages ranging from 4.4 to 3.3 million years old, indicating that the cave deposits formed during the Pliocene epoch.

Sea level changes at Artà Cave can be caused by the melting and growing of ice sheets or by uplift or subsidence of the island itself, said Jacky Austermann an Assistant Professor at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University and member of the research team. She used numerical and statistical models to carefully analyze how much uplift or subsidence might have happened since the Pliocene and subtracted this from the elevation of the formations they investigated.

One key interval of particular interest during the Pliocene is the mid Piacenzian Warm Period – some 3.264 to 3.025 million years ago – when temperatures were 2 to 3ºC higher than pre-industrial levels. The interval also marks the last time the Earth’s atmospheric CO2 was as high as today, providing important clues about what the future holds in the face of current anthropogenic warming, Onac said.

This study found that during this period, global mean sea level was as high as 16.2 meters (with an uncertainty range of 5.6 to 19.2 meters) above present. This means that even if atmospheric CO2 stabilizes around current levels, the global mean sea level would still likely rise at least that high, if not higher, the scientists concluded. In fact, it is likely to rise higher because of the increase in the volume of the oceans due to rising temperature. The authors acknowledge that this sea level rise would not happen overnight but it would take hundreds to thousands of years to melt such large amounts of ice.

Considering the present-day melt patterns, this extent of sea level rise would most likely be caused by a collapse of both Greenland and the West Antarctic ice sheets, Dumitru said.

The authors also estimated that sea level was 23.5 meters higher than present about four million years ago during the Pliocene Climatic Optimum, when global mean temperatures were up to 4°C higher than pre-industrial levels.

###

The research team also included Senior Research Scientist Victor J. Polyak and Professor Yemane Asmerom of the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, and Associate Lecturers Joaquín Ginés and Angel Ginés of the Universitat de les Illes Balears in Mallorca.

This research is the result of a collaborative National Science Foundation (NSF) project between the University of South Florida and the University of New Mexico and part of the bilateral agreement between USF and UIB, and has been funded by NSF and the Spanish State Research Agency.

From EurekAlert!

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123 thoughts on “USF-led team deciphers sea level rise from the last time Earth’s CO2 set record highs

      • “Sea level changes at Artà Cave can be caused by the melting and growing of ice sheets or by uplift or subsidence of the island itself, said Jacky Austermann an Assistant Professor at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University and member of the research team. She used numerical and statistical models to carefully analyze how much uplift or subsidence might have happened since the Pliocene and subtracted this from the elevation of the formations they investigated.”

        She might, or might not, have got the uplift/subsidence right

        “This means that even if atmospheric CO2 stabilizes around current levels, the global mean sea level would still likely rise at least that high, if not higher, the scientists concluded. ”

        Huge assumptions and no actual evidence for this

        It’s interesting that between 4000 and 7000 years BP sea levels were higher than today .
        eg https://researchonline.jcu.edu.au/54335/16/JCU_54335_Sloss%20et%20al_2018_accepted%20version.pdf

        • When you go through all the mights and might-nots and look at their wide (and asymmetrical) error limits based on these rare multi-factorial proxies for something or other, you quickly realize they have nothing of value to contribute. They almost say as much themselves, talking about the knowledge this could maybe might yield at some point in the future.

          • My thoughts exactly, Michael. Nothing but hot air (with higher than atmospheric CO2 levels, to boot).

        • …and there still seems to be the assumption that CO₂ controls temperature. It does not. So all the rest of the research crumbles in a pile of dust.

    • That was my first thought. How accurately do they know the elevation of that cave 3 million years ago. Oh yes, statistical and numerical models when “carefully” applied yield the answer one seeks.

    • “Sea level changes at Artà Cave can be caused by the melting and growing of ice sheets or by uplift or subsidence of the island itself, said Jacky Austermann an Assistant Professor at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University and member of the research team. She used numerical and statistical models to carefully analyze how much uplift or subsidence might have happened since the Pliocene and subtracted this from the elevation of the formations they investigated.”

      The approach is basic.
      You estimate the sea level then assuming no change in height of the land +-error
      You estimate the uplift or subsistence +-error.

      You then produce a final estimate.

      if YOU disagree with the details of the methodology, you do a better estimate!
      and publish.

      shaking your head and murmering, “i dont believe” or “we dont know”
      is only publishable on blogs.

      • “then assuming no change in height of the land”

        Making such assumptions is unscientific, trying to pass off such assumptions is unprofessional.
        Making assumptions was/is basis for man-made Global Warming subterfuge.

      • if YOU disagree with the details of the methodology, you do a better estimate!
        and publish.

        Er no, Steven, it doesn’t work that way. You appear to be rather ignorant about Science as a discipline.

        The burden is on the hypothesiser to advance a testable model consistent with reality.
        It is enough to show that it has little merit, fails its tests or too refute it or at least degrade its significance.

        Advancing another potentially equally flawed models would not assist.

        In short when one sees someone tearing up newspapers and throwing them out of the train windows, to allegedly ‘keep the elephants down’ and one says ‘but there are no elephants!’ and he replies ‘that is how effective it is, and if you think you know a better way, you should get it peer reviewed and publish it’, it is not incumbent upon one to fall into the trap of his assumptive close.
        You never have, in fact beaten your wife.

        Sometimes the only proof one can find is that it is simply not possible to know certain things.
        And what climate will do next is almost certainly one of them.
        Perhaps Willis, who enjoys such things, could calculate the latent heat of all the ice in Greenland and Antarctica, relate that to the total insolation excess allegedly caused by man made global warming, and work out how many thousands of years it would actually take to melt it all.

        • IIRC, the Panama Gap closed about 3-3.3 million years ago; there was an ocean passage, until then, where there is an isthmus now.
          That would have had some affect on oceanic currents [I have no idea what effect; others may have models to guide them]. Changed currents would be expected to affect the temperatures, too.
          Again, I have no idea how much, or which way.
          Also, the Balearics are in the Mediterranean – an almost closed sea, with, then, only an exit at Gibraltar (the Suez Canal had not, of course, been built, and the Black Se, if it existed at all, was just a restricted bay off the Mediterranean basin].
          I have no idea if that affected the water level then; I think with Gibraltar open, the Meddy should have been at (roughly, allowing for temperature and density) the same level as the rest of the oceans.
          Possibly of relevance. Possibly not, too, of course.

          Auto

          • Good points. They picked a time when ocean (and thus atmospheric) currents were significantly different, in fact right at the time when the Panama Isthmus was closing & global climate was about to change toward glacial periods.

            Apples and oranges.

      • C’mon Steve. Let’s assume that the study is correct and that during the period 3.264 to 3.025 million years ago –temperatures were 2 to 3ºC higher, and CO2 levels were about the same as today and that sea level in that cave was 16.2 meters higher than today. All of which would be pretty amazing to deduce accurately from a brief examination of phreatic overgrowths on speleothems in one cave. And if it were all accurate, that still doesn’t tell us why sea levels were at that level or what the sea level was before or after that time or what other factors might have contributed to that sea level.

        I have followed your comments since back in the early days of CliamateAudit and I know you have the ability to examine claims and the supporting data and make a reasonable assessment of those claims.

        I think the Steve Mosher I once knew would be very skeptical of the claims made in this study and wouldn’t require a published scientific study to comment on the dubious claims that it makes.

        • lancifer

          16.2 metres higher than today?

          There is a big caveat in the study;

          “This study found that during this period, global mean sea level was as high as 16.2 meters (with an uncertainty range of 5.6 to 19.2 meters) above present”

          So with that range of uncertainty the sea levels could have been 3 metres LOWER than today? Anyway as others have said, without knowing the relative height of the land and whether it is rising, falling or static, it is all pretty meaningless

          tonyb

          • First thing that jumped out at me. That is quite an uncertainty range. I would be embarrassed to publish a study where the uncertainty range encompassed 84% of my specified value.

          • The “16.2 meters (with an uncertainty range of 5.6 to 19.2 meters) above present” means:

            16.2 meters above present +3.0/-10.6 meters…which is the 5.6 meters above present to 19.2 meters before present. Nothing below present sea levels was suggested.

          • Well spotted! This alone renders the whole study worthless.

            How does garbage like this ever get through peer review? (Actually, I think we all know the answer).

          • I love when a researcher quotes a data point (16.2 meters) with three significant figures when the uncertainty range demonstrates one sig fig is appropriate. The value 16.2 means that they know the answer to an accuracy (not just precision) of ±0.1 meters. Their real answer is 20±20 meters.

        • I think the science may be quite accurate. Sea levels were likely in this range at this point on the globe and in this fairly narrow range in time. This does not automatically lead to the conclusion that global sea levels were consistent with this finding.
          Are there other studies that lead to the assumption of a 3 to 4 degree warmer average global temp or a CO2 level similar to today?
          Why would sea level be lower today? How did CO2 levels fall? Why are temperatures cooler today? How do we determine cause and effect? It seems obvious that sea level is related to temperature but do we really know the extent of influence of other factors such as continental uplift and erosion filling ocean basins?
          Finally it is usually inferred that predictions of future rise will actually have a significant impact on you and me or our children. In fact, anything beyond a hundred years or so is totally inconsequential and even a decade lessens the impact tremendously. The most important qualifier is the admitting that changes of this magnitude would take thousands of years.
          Studies such as this are of scientific interest only and serve well to fill out the story of our world but matters not one whit to the individual human inhabitant.

        • Phreatic overgrowth is a very good method to determine mean sea level. The problem is to prove tectonic stability.

        • Lancifer,
          Agree with your comments.
          There are intangibles.
          How can we test if the volume of water has been constant over 3 million years?
          The scientist should say “Without proof of constancy, we should not commence this study.”
          The activist might say “Excellent. We have a large factor to prevent den…ists proving we are wrong.”
          That is one way that modern shonky science “progresses”. Geoff S

      • Steven,

        This paper has it backwards.

        Mallorca has been lifting up since before the Pliocene. Sea level there was higher during the Eemian interglacial than now, despite lower CO2. Same goes for the Holocene Optimum, Minoan, Roman and Medieval Warm Periods.

        MALLORCA ISLAND: GEOMORPHOLOGICAL EVOLUTION AND NEOTECTONICS.

        https://geomorfologia.es/sites/default/files/A7%20Mallorca%20Island.pdf

        Pliocene sea level was higher than now not thanks to CO2, but because seas and air were warmer, with less ice, which meant more CO2 came out of solution in the oceans. You and the authors, or perpetrators, confuse cause and effect.

        • Years ago, more than 25, I read an article in some science publication or other which claimed that Angles, Saxons and Jutes invaded England because of pressure of people migrating westwards to their East and rising sea levels in the North Sea forced them to look for more space across the North Sea.

          • Ben

            Yes correct, the higher sea levels translated to higher river heights which meant the inland rivers could support their shallow draft raiding vessels and get far inland

            tonyb

          • Yup. Sea levels were higher in the Roman and Medieval Warm Periods than now, to say nothing of the Minoan and Egyptian WPs and Holocene Optimum.

            Despite the fact that southern Britain is sinking as northern Britain rebounds from loss of its ice sheet, sea level was still higher in those previous warm periods than now. Please see positions of Roman forts on the Saxon Shore (SE England) and Harlech Castle, Wales.

            England was much marshier when the Angles, Saxons and Jutes invaded. Today’s fens are but a vestige. Drainage by people has helped reclaim dryland, but so too has sea level drop.

          • “Despite the fact that southern Britain is sinking as northern Britain rebounds from loss of its ice sheet”

            OMG! It’s gonna tip over! Hold on to your derby hats gents!

      • The notion that Pliocene sea level was quite a bit higher than today is about 40 years old… Not a new discovery.

        The approach to Pliocene eustatic sea level changes is “basic”.

        Relating eustatic sea level change directly to d18O ratios is not quite basic.

        Relating eustatic sea level changes directly to assumptions about Pliocene atmospheric CO2 concentrations is pure speculation.

        This is 100% horst schist…

        One key interval of particular interest during the Pliocene is the mid Piacenzian Warm Period – some 3.264 to 3.025 million years ago – when temperatures were 2 to 3ºC higher than pre-industrial levels. The interval also marks the last time the Earth’s atmospheric CO2 was as high as today, providing important clues about what the future holds in the face of current anthropogenic warming, Onac said.

        This study found that during this period, global mean sea level was as high as 16.2 meters (with an uncertainty range of 5.6 to 19.2 meters) above present. This means that even if atmospheric CO2 stabilizes around current levels, the global mean sea level would still likely rise at least that high, if not higher, the scientists concluded. In fact, it is likely to rise higher because of the increase in the volume of the oceans due to rising temperature. The authors acknowledge that this sea level rise would not happen overnight but it would take hundreds to thousands of years to melt such large amounts of ice.

        Only a total fracktard could conclude something this moronic: “This means that even if atmospheric CO2 stabilizes around current levels, the global mean sea level would still likely rise at least that high, if not higher, the scientists concluded. In fact, it is likely to rise higher because of the increase in the volume of the oceans due to rising temperature.”

        2/3 of the ECS is in the TCR, it happens instantaneously. The other 1/3 takes place slowly over hundreds of years.

        Another 0.5 to 1.0 ºC of warming won’t even break out of the Pleistocene noise level, much less approach Mid-Pliocene temperatures…


        Older towards left.

        All of that happened with CO2 levels most likely lower than today…

        The resolution of Pliocene sea level, temperature, and CO2 are too low to tell us anything about century-scale or even millennial-scale changes or rates of change and the error bars are through the roof. Holocene sea level changes can only be estimated to +/- 12 m.

      • No! “We don’t know” is the science starting point. And often we don’t even know what we don’t know and the last five substantive paragraphs of the report scream “but we’ll make a lot of unproved assumptions, feed them into yet one more computer model whose parameters we will decide on and we’re pretty sure it will give us the answer we want.”

        There is nothing in that research that any business professional would take seriously as a starting point on which to base any future activity and if we weren’t so obsessed with the world’s oceans’ indecent refusal to obey our models and “improve” on its pathetic 3mm a year rise we wouldn’t give this sort of irrelevant academic nerdishness five minutes of our time.

        As a piece of theoretical investigation in somebody’s long vacation it’s fine. If eventually it produces some meaningful data relevant in the real world we’ll listen. Until then …

      • An “uncertainty range” of 5.6 to 19.2 m and then come up with “as high as” 16.2 m?
        That’s one guestimate used to produce another guestimate, Mosher. And that’s not science, you know that.
        And that, according to the “scientists” means that even if temp increase stop at 2C, sea level will likely rise by “at least” that much. That’s not science either – speculative post modern bullshit is closer to the mark.

        You’d do you own credibility a lot of good if you stopped defending indefensible pseudo science like this junk.

      • Right On!!
        When a more reliable and probably more accurate estimate is published, we can transfer consideration to that. That is science at work.

      • You mean, once it is published in a peer reviewed article, the science is not “settled”? Outrageous!

    • If the island of Mallorca is located on the same plate as Venice, than it is going down. If on another, then it is rising

      • Venice is on the AEgeic- Anatolic Plate (the edge is in the middle of the Italian Apenine mountain),
        Mallorca on the Wester Eurasian Plate. I stress western, becaus the werstern part moves southwards, or south-west; there is a crack from Rhone-Burgundy-Rhine (superior) northwards possibly to south Sweden; thes estern part moves northwards.

        • Georg Ruf September 2, 2019 at 3:51 am

          Venice is on the AEgeic- Anatolic Plate (the edge is in the middle of the Italian Apenine mountain),
          _________________________________________

          Yes, and:

          Thetis ocean is the predecessor of nowadays North / East hub built by the river Rhine: south / north

          and River Danube: west / east.

          _________________________________________

          Parathetis south of the European Alps is the predecessor of the nowadays Mediterranean Sea.

          The African tectonic plate INCLUDING Mediterranean sea + Italy presses North folding up the European Alps.

    • My question is what exactly did the straights of Gibraltar look like? And did the Nile flow into the red or Mediterranean seas? How might either or both effect level

      • At that time the Gibraltar was much as it is today, and the Nile has definitely not budged since the Messinian salinity crisis when it dug a Grand Canyon (and then some) for itself. It has still not filled that up completely.

    • John Who,

      millions of years ago that land was higher

      not lower or than it is now:

      With melted ice sheets over Greenland and Antarctica the land bases were relieved of the weight of the ice caps and thus rose.

    • The Mediterranean was only flooded in recent geologic time. It’s land has risen and subsided.

      Even if you buy into the party line presentation, CO2 level follows temperature rise. I postulate that the temperature rise resulted in higher CO2.

      Based on the highly probable geologic variation I doubt this study is ready for prime time.

  1. Utter speculative Bull Shit.

    And again, CO2 HIGH? WHY the heck? And never before?

    And the ICE AGE (10,000 years ago) was caused by WHAT? CO2 going away?

    Too many factors to pass the smell test.

  2. “… it would take hundreds to thousands of years to melt such large amounts of ice.”

    We must enact the GND now! Oh, and force developing nations to stop all industrial development.

    • And leading to the premature deaths of these people dozens of times higher than anything Adolph Hitler ever dreamed of.

      Nazis were far less cruel, arrogant, and destructive than the Green Lefties of today are. Both Nazis then and Lefties now think they are doing and thinking the right things.

      Some historians have the Socialist death toll at half a billion murders…and climbing (with miserable existences as slaves of the state at over 2 billion…and climbing). Quite an accomplishment and something to be proud of for folks hell bent on extreme population control.

  3. It amazes me, how blithely these “scientists” slip their propaganda into a paper:
    paragraph 1: “amid a warming climate”
    paragraph 3: “current global warming”
    paragraph 7: “current anthropogenic warming”

    As if the “current warming” were irrefutable. But what about Russia having the coldest summer since records began?

    I’m disgustipated with the lot!

  4. Until they prove CO2 drives warming, which they cannot do, as it has not done since circa 2000, and which it did not do from 1910-43, it is all speculation and hope

    • Bingo.

      Did anyone notice that the paper *** implicitly *** assumes there is a direct correlation between CO2 and sea level?

      • e.g. in the last ice age (Eemian) CO2 rose slightly later than temperature and also stayed high for many years when the earth had actually already started cooling.
        Maybe CO2 was emitted by the oceans during warming (no humanity at the time), but during cooling couldn’t overcome the cooling effect of Milankovitch cycles.
        CO2 may, by means of greenhouse effect, warm the atmosphere and oceans a bit, but I don’t think it can cause huge sea level vatiations like those seen in ace age cycles

  5. Wow, according to their own error bar the sea level could have been lower than present.
    And nowhere is the study addressing the melting of Greenland or Antarctica.

  6. 4C warmer than present? Impossible, the planet is still here.

    Catherine McKenna, the current Canadian Environment Minister, says we need to prevent a 4C temp rise, “to save the planet”.

    So clearly the Earth could not have been 4C warmer than present. 🙂

    Uh, joe, isn’t this why they call her Climate Barbie? 🙁

  7. Show me where CO2 levels ever preceded temperature levels, or that CO2 levels ever corresponded to a particular temperature level. 8000 to 9000 years ago earth’s climate was 4 to 6 C above current levels and CO2 levels were between 230 and 250 ppm. C02 warms so little that it gets lost in the noise.

    • A WUWT story from a while back deals with the fact that CO2 levels seem to lag temperature increases. link In other words, just to be really clear, rising temperatures cause rising CO2 levels. Rising CO2 levels do not create rising temperatures. The evidence in the linked article is that the alarmists bend themselves into pretzels to get rid of that inconvenient fact.

  8. “ The authors acknowledge that this sea level rise would not happen overnight but it would take hundreds to thousands of years to melt such large amounts of ice.”

    It would be amazing if civilized Man (I know, we have not yet accomplished that) were still around. It would also be surprising if natural variations does not send back into a glacial environment before then.

    All they are showing is that if temperatures stayed warm enough, long enough. the ice melts and the oceans rise. The temperature does not even have to continue warming. Once it is warm enough to begin the melt, the only question is how long until enough has melted. The ice began melting as we came out of the LIA. If we have done anything at all, it has simply been to speed up the process a (very) little.

    Not a very scary senario for the doomsdayers to latch on to.

  9. This study found that during this period, global mean sea level was as high as 16.2 meters (with an uncertainty range of 5.6 to 19.2 meters) above present.

    Throwing study in Trash. Uncertainty range bigger than the result? What’s the point?

    • Definitely a poorly written sentence. Does it mean that the global mean was 16.2 +/- 5.6 to 19.2 (ie the global mean ranged between 10.6 to 35.4) or does it mean that the global mean was between 5.6 and 19.2?

      • Yes, I thought that was very confused – I think it was only in the commentary though, maybe the actual paper is more precise.

  10. Interestingly enough the ages in the article about the Arta Cave are identical with the age of blue ice recently dated at high levels in Antarctica. That would suggest that the Earth had entered a cooling phase not a warming phase.

    • Not really. There is considerable evidence that the EAIS was thicker than now during the Pliocene. Not really surprising. It is precipitation-limited, not temperature limited.

      Warmer -> more snow -> thicker ice.

  11. This is fake science which is sad as everyone knows we are wasting a pile of money to install wind and sun gathering for no benefit and are talking about shutting down civilization to reduce CO2 emissions further.

    The following is a new observation that absolutely disproves the IPCC Bern model of CO2 sink resident times and assumed CO2 sources.

    The observations support the assertion that atmospheric CO2 tracks planetary temperature with anthropogenic CO2 emission causing less than 15% of the recent rise in CO2.

    If that is true there is no CAGW and no ocean acidification problem and the IPCC Bern model of CO2 sources and sinks is absolutely incorrect.

    The entire CAGW team have ignored the recent observation that C14 (C14 from the atomic bomb test) has made its way down to the deepest ocean with no delay, disproving the CAGW created Bern model of CO2 sources and sinks resident times.

    The carbon 14 is carried down to the deep ocean by particular organic carbon which absolutely disproves the CAGW so called Bern model of CO2 sources and sinks, as the Bern model assumes zero organic particulate matter makes it to the deep ocean.

    Odd that there is a paper from 1990 that estimates 130% of the atmosphere pool can sink to the bottom of the ocean in less than a year (Toggweiler) as the ‘Bern’ model estimate of CO2 carried down the bottom of the ocean in particulate particular matter is zero.

    CAGW requires that humans cause the majority of the CO2 rise which required the cult of CAGW to create the non-physical so-called Bern model (named after a city) of CO2 sources and sinks which assumes that ocean circulation (with hundreds of years delay) is the only method of deep sequestration of CO2 in the ocean.

    This is an interesting summary of the Monkey business concerning the creation of the Bern model and past cherry picking of CO2 data to create the CAGW paradigm.

    Carbon cycle modelling and the residence time of natural and anthropogenic atmospheric CO2: on the construction of the “Greenhouse Effect Global Warming” dogma.

    https://www.co2web.info/ESEF3VO2.pdf

    The Bern model assumes that ocean circulation (with hundreds of years delay) is the only method for deep sequestration of CO2 in the ocean.

    The alleged long lifetime of 500 years for carbon diffusing to the deep ocean is of no relevance to the debate on the fate of anthropogenic CO2 and the “Greenhouse Effect”, because POC (particular organic carbon; carbon pool of about 1000 giga-tonnes; some 130% of the atmospheric carbon pool) can sink to the bottom of the ocean in less than a year (Toggweiler, 1990).

    https://www.livescience.com/65466-bomb-carbon-deepest-ocean-trenches.html

    Bomb C14 Found in Ocean Deepest Trenches

    ‘Bomb Carbon’ from Cold War Nuclear Tests Found in the Ocean’s Deepest Trenches

    Organic matter in the amphipods’ guts held carbon-14, but the carbon-14 levels in the amphipods’ bodies were much higher. Over time, a diet rich in carbon-14 likely flooded the amphipods’ tissues with bomb carbon, the scientists concluded.

    Ocean circulation alone would take centuries to carry bomb carbon to the deep sea. But thanks to the ocean food chain, bomb carbon arrived at the seafloor far sooner than expected, lead study author Ning Wang, a geochemist at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Guangzhou, said in a statement.

  12. And why do I find marine fossils less than 3 million years d, hundreds of feet above sea level in the Santa Monica mountains? The earth moves and fossil or gas records are irrelevent unless one can adjust for the movement.

  13. This study found that during this period, global mean sea level was as high as 16.2 meters (with an uncertainty range of 5.6 to 19.2 meters) above present.

    WTF?????

  14. The previous interglacial period, the Eemian, was warmer than this one with more ice cap melting and higher sea levels yet CO2 levels were lower than they are today. There is no real evidence in the paleoclimate record that CO2 has had any effect on climate. If CO2 were really the climate thermostat than it should be currently much warmer than it actually has been.

  15. Is this the same NATURE journal that’s currently facing threat of a law suit for publishing a potentially libellous and inaccurate study condemning certain scientists as ‘deniers’?

  16. Oh. they forgot, a little volcanic activity nearby ?
    Sailing from New Zealand to Australia the engine temp. increased by several degrees, we found that it was a seawater increase in temp. that was the cause. Water depth 4,800 meters, temp. extent =- 10 km. and the smell of sulphur looking back at the horizon you could easily see a huge bubble on the sea.

  17. I compliment the authors on their choice of study area, it is rather nice around Arta. I wish I was there myself.

  18. In 5,000 years if the current rate of sea level rise continues (3mm) sea levels would be ~16 m above what they are today. The study has large error bars ( 5.6 to 19.2 metres) and the authors did conceed it could take hundreds to thousand of years. But I agree CO2 is irrelevant and a red herring.
    The study is not evidence of imminent catastrophe but I suspect it is true (with large error bars).

  19. 60 million years ago the eamian sea covered where I live in San Antonio. All the ice was melted at that time which would account for about 250 feet of sea level rise. Today San antonio is about 500 ft above msl. Therefore the land must have moved up about 250ft.

  20. OK, here is the horrible, horrible problem with this idea. According to even the hypothesis of CO2 amplification, the CO2 “amplified” global temperatures by some amount as CO2 out-gassed from the much warmer oceans.

    The important thing to note is that relationship, according to the running hypothesis of this AGW cult, CO2 in the proxy records is driven almost entirely by temperature. It is an equilibrium shift driven by solubility. It tells us NOTHING of sensitivity. LITERALLY NOTHING! Indeed, you will note from this relationship that atmospheric CO2 is really little more than a proxy of ocean temperature.

    The problem is that when CO2 is raised artificially, like by burning vast amounts of coal, you break the correlation of the proxy. This is not unlike saying that rainfall proxies also have some relationship to temperature, then turning on a sprinkler near rain gauges and saying that the world will get warmer just because the sprinklers are on, filling the rain gauges. And hey, if we do it over a lot of the surface area, the extra water vapor should (theoretically) cause some amount of greenhouse gas forcing! But none of us would be stupid enough to think the temperature verses rainfall correlation would hold and force temperatures to rise just because you poured water in the rain gauges.

    And this is truly one of those “You can’t get there from here” sorts of problems because the running hypothesis on why the changes occurred in the first place is that the formation of the isthmus of panama radically altered ocean currents, leading to a downward spiral of deep ocean/surface temperatures, which also caused a drop in CO2 levels. And yes, once again the CO2 is driven purely by temperature…yet somehow blamed for driving its self before its levels even fell. The mind boggles.

  21. I read this study, was annoyed by its pretense at being science, and thought about commenting. However, with the exception of some of the usual suspects, I see that WATTS commenters have very nicely summed up the gist of the report, which is the variables, both identified and still unknown, greatly exceed the claimed scientific findings being reported, so I have no need to comment and I won’t.

  22. For those interested in how much the land might have risen or sunk since the Pliocene it is interesting to calculate the claimed precision in determining the rise or fall of the land since the Pliocene:

    (19.2-5.6 meters)/3.04 million years = +- 0.002 millimeters per year

    And compare it to actual measured rates and uncertainties over the vastly shorter (117,000 years) since the last interglacial:

    https://perso.univ-rennes1.fr/laurent.husson/PAP/pedojaetal14.pdf

    In this world-wide compilation there is not one single datapoint with a precision even approaching the one claimed in the paper (over a 25 times longer period). Which would incidentally be equal to determining the sea-level during the previous interglacial with a precision of +- 9 inches, or the Holocene highstand to a precision of about +- 2/3 of an inch.

    Absurd.

  23. “Considering the present-day melt patterns, this extent of sea level rise would most likely be caused by a collapse of both Greenland and the West Antarctic ice sheets, Dumitru said.”

    Not at all sufficient, together they would only yield about 10 meters of sea-level. It would require that an appreciable part of the EAIS also melted. The difficulty with this is that there is irrefutable geologic evidence that East Antarctica has been permanently glaciated for about 14 million years.

    Incidentally the Greenland ice-sheet can melt, but not collapse, but “collapse” sounds more terrifying. And the ice in the East Greenland highlands has not melted completely at least since the Oligocene.

    • tty
      This is totally typical of alarmist research-to-order.
      A finding is presented massively different from anything in current geology and it doesn’t even cross their minds to check with other geological evidence.
      This is not science, these are not scientists.

      • I had a AGW alarmist recently ask me why any climatologist would need to know anything about geology. I told him that a true climatologist would need extensive training in a multitude of disciplines to even begin to understand climate (statistics, chemistry, physics, geology, oceanography, etc). He seemed to believe that “climatology” was a scientific field unto itself and that no other disciplines were needed in attempting to elucidate the mysteries of climate. Sad.

  24. Georg Ruf September 2, 2019 at 3:51 am

    Venice is on the AEgeic- Anatolic Plate (the edge is in the middle of the Italian Apenine mountain),
    _________________________________________

    Yes, and:

    Thetis ocean is the predecessor of nowadays North / East hub built by the river Rhine: south / north

    and River Danube: west / east.

    _________________________________________

    Parathetis south of the European Alps is the predecessor of the nowadays Mediterranean Sea.

    The African tectonic plate INCLUDING Mediterranean sea + Italy presses North folding up the European Alps.

    https://images.app.goo.gl/abaQV2CN3WnDM86o6

  25. Hmmmm….. some mystical stuff here makes this all unclear.

    CO2 levels “maybe higher than today”…. OK, where did it come from? Your breath, maybe?
    And what does that have to do with the Present? Nothing. Attempting to compare some spot in a cave that formed 3++ million pre-Hooman Florida years ago with current planet-wide Hooman existence and industry is ludicrous.

    Non sequitur. This is too silly for anyone, with or without pre-prandial caffeine ingestion, to read and NOT start with the Skeptical Response.

    I’m quite sure that, based on current events, this was another way to get more grant money to continue this “study” and get even more carbon-biased conclusions, to get more grant money.

    Try harder.

  26. Sea level 20m higher than today 3Mya means total earth land surface 3 Mya about half what it is today.
    Did the authors discuss the implications of this massive change that geologists had somehow missed – rather like discovering a new hitherto unknown continent the size of Africa, in 2019.
    Did they discuss it’s coherence with other evidence – evidence of a major land surface change would not be hard to find.
    Of course not.
    This smells strongly of a “result-you-like” research finding served to order by alarmists to bolster a flagging sea level alarm story.
    Did the authors think to look at all the places currently less than 20m above sea level, and look for evidence of being under sea level 3 million years ago?
    Of course not.
    This would be the first thing real scientists would do.
    These however are not real scientists but thieving power-grabbing scammers.

    One gets the feeling that “evidence” is already a denyer – right wing – Judeo-Christian – oppressively paternalistic etc.. word and concept that progressives would never use.

    • To be fair, there are different sects of “progressivism”. In fact, there was a statistically significant schism between the two leading sects within the past several years, where members of one sect, the “media” sect, would assault prominent members of the other sect, for political and social progress, leverage, and, it seems, giggles.

  27. “We can use knowledge gained from past warm periods to tune ice sheet models that are then used to predict future ice sheet response to current global warming,” said USF Department of Geosciences Professor Bogdan Onac.

    – says it all: USF Department of Geosciences Professor Bogdan Onac, the ice sheet models tuner, searching for super computers climate models control knobs.

    – climate vs. real world observations: fasten seat belts.

  28. “This study found that during this period, global mean sea level was as high as 16.2 meters (with an uncertainty range of 5.6 to 19.2 meters) above present.”

    Why that far back when the geology of Hallett Cove in South Australia shows-

    “The level shore platform has been eroded by wave
    action across the rocky coastline during the past
    7000 years. The big fold was formed during the
    mountain building about 500 million years ago.
    During the Recent ice age about 20 000 years ago,
    sea level was about 130 metres lower than today
    and South Australia’s coastline was about 150
    kilometres south of where Victor Harbor now is.
    The ice cap started to melt about 15 000 years ago.
    Sea level began to rise and reached its present level
    about 6000–7000 years ago.”
    (Hallett Cove geological Trail, Government of South Australia, Primary Industries & Resources SA, 2010)

    That can be an average annual SLR of 16.25mm/year for 8 millenia babe compared with what the CSIRO reckon of late- https://www.cmar.csiro.au/sealevel/sl_hist_few_hundred.html
    So that’s it we’re all doomed obviously but not to worry the climate changers will turn back the seas and save us all just like last time there was a dreaded dooming-
    https://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/adelaide-remember-when-clairvoyant-john-nash-predicted-earthquake-and-tidal-wave-would-obliterate-adelaide-in-january-1976/news-story/e11935a6d44b5281a47bbfdd65b2dc2d
    That’s the beauty of doomings as without them you can’t possibly be saved.

  29. I don’t see any reason at all to be dismissive of the study out of hand. The authors identified a confounding variable of the height of the land and they believe they have dealt with it. This isn’t the only place in the world where ancient sea levels can be measured. Their conclusions will either be confirmed, disconfirmed, or adjusted.

    • The reason to be dismissive out of hand is that they make the assumption that the atmospheric CO2 levels tell you how much ice there will be. But CO2 levels “the last time they were this high” were driven by the equilibrium of CO2 in the oceans/atmosphere as a result of temperature. Now the CO2 is quite likely being driven by man. This has effectively decoupled atmospheric CO2 from (ocean) temperature.

      So IF the world were at that previous temperature for a long time and IF the antarctic sheet collapsed then sea levels might be that high. But temperatures are clearly not that high right now and since the rate of warming is far below the levels predicted for a climate dominated by CO2, this is all nonsense.

      This is not unlike the way people make the suggestion that some things that have been proposed as powerful feedbacks are reacting faster, therefore the world will warm faster. But indeed, the world is warming slower than predicted, so we’ve not verified warming, we’ve instead disproved the strength of the feedback. In the global warming debate almost everything is presented with those kinds of correlations inverted…the cart drawing the horse.

  30. This sounds like a classic Scientific-Technological Elite result Ike warned about in his farewell address. Government grant money showered down on compliant “scientists” who yield back to the Government the results said Government desired all along. It is corrupt, shameful, and most of all, dangerous.

  31. I saw this article a few days ago, read it with some interest and then ignored it. There are much simpler ways of knowing that sea levels have raised and fallen quite dramatically by using ones eyes! Two raised beaches on Portland bill,Dorset England sit at 16m above present sea level, dated to 200,000 bp and another at approx 12m above present sea level dated to 125,000bp.couple this with at best limited isostatic rebound in this area and with uplift in the nw of the UK and current dropping of the land level in the south of the UK leads me to deduce that this article doesn’t prove anything of any real interest. Sea level has been as high as that, more recently with accompanying low levels of co2. Conclusion co2 is no driver here now or in the past. I even asked my kids why a beach was sitting on top of a cliff. 12 year old said..sea level was higher. 9 year old said or land was lower, or both combined. That’s science and hope for the future of science

  32. At the higher end of their numbers, is there enough water in the world, even if all were melted, to do this?

    • Richard Aubrey September 2, 2019 at 11:21 am

      At the higher end of their numbers, is there enough water in the world, even if all were melted, to do this.
      ___________________________________________________

      Good question.

      The water volume stayed ( almost ) the same.

      The difference is:

      – Ice caps, ( water volume ) sitting on top of land, land mass subducted.

      – Ice caps melted, melt water volume added to ocean volume, land mass elevated.

      Gives some handy arithmetic formula.

  33. Oh, the unintended humor contained in the above article. To wit:

    “One key interval of particular interest during the Pliocene is the mid Piacenzian Warm Period – some 3.264 to 3.025 million years ago – when temperatures were 2 to 3ºC higher than pre-industrial levels. The interval also marks the last time the Earth’s atmospheric CO2 was as high as today, providing important clues about what the future holds in the face of current anthropogenic warming, Onac said.”

    So, the researchers admit the Earth was previously warmer in a “pre-industrial” era when atmospheric CO2 levels were as “high as today”. And this admission works out exactly how, specifically, to provide “clues” about the future “in the face of current ANTHROPOGENIC warming”, which today remains unsubstantiated??? (My capitalization applied for emphasis.)

  34. Was there a land mass at or near either pole three million years ago? that also would
    make a difference.

  35. I think they haven’t quite thought this through. This paper in effect argues that Mallorca has been extremely stable tectonically.

    However if this is true then there is a problem. The Eemian (last) interglacial sea-level in Mallorca is extremely well documented and is only about 2 m above the current sea level (in contrast to the 7-9 meters of the “party line”):

    https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/154377054.pdf

    So if Mallorca is indeed tectonically stable, all talk about the West Antarctic Ice Sheet collapsing during the Eemian is definitely off, even the Greenland Ice Sheet can’t have shrunk by more than about 25%, despite 10,000 years of 5-8 degrees warmer climate than today.

    • There are several Milankovich cycles of different length, and they by themselves don’t affect sea level, only indirectly through the amount of glacial ice.

      During the Pliocene the 41,000 year obliquity cycle was dominant, and dating is hardly exact enough to distinguish that.

  36. So, CO2 atmospheric levels were roughly the same back then as today, and the sea levels during the Pliocene epoch were much higher than sea levels currently. The takeaway of that study should be that sea levels are independent of CO2 levels.

  37. Gibraltar which is about same Tectonic plate and very near has risen 0.10 – 0.15 mm/year last 128 ka = ~ 12 – 20 m. The Eurasian and Afrikan plates push each and create this an upward lift. The 128 ka is very short time indeed compared to the time scale mentioned in this article.

    Decades ago I had an opportunity to travel in countryside of Morocco. In many places e.g. in Agadir you could see fossils of Sea biota some twenty meters above Current Sea level.

    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/248242416_Coastal_uplift_in_continental_collision_plate_boundaries_Data_from_the_Last_Interglacial_marine_terraces_of_the_Gibraltar_Strait_area_South_Spain

  38. Piacenzian Warm Period Temp 2 to 3 deg C higher than present.
    Piacenzian Warm Period Sea Level 16.5 meters higher than present.
    Piacenzian Warm Period CO2 about the same as present.

    If the conclusion is that current CO2 levels will eventually result in sea levels rising another 16.5 meters and temperatures rising another 2 to 3 degrees C, what is the mechanism that will drive this? According to their logic the sea levels and temps should mirror those of 3 million years ago.

    It doesn’t make sense.

  39. Same tired sea-level scaremongering. Sea water licking your toes? Walk back a few feet. Or just live away from the shore.

  40. The maxim is “correlation does not equal causation”. That is, except for global warming. With global warming, correlation ALWAYS equals causation.

  41. There was some research suggesting that the straits near Istanbul were once elevated, so that what is now the Black Sea was a dry depression, and later on an earthquake opened the straits and allowed Mediterranean water to pour into the Black Sea.

    If the previous warm period studied by this article’s researchers occurred before the opening of the Black Sea, the water level of the Mediterranean Sea could have been 16.2 meters higher, to account for the volume of the water currently in the Black Sea.

    This is admittedly speculation, but so is the assertion that a future warming of the climate would raise the Mediterranean Sea by 16.2 meters.

  42. Some years ago I wrote about the recession of the seas over millionsof years as the earth continues to expand and I received a fair share of redicule for it. Now a group of scientists have found that what I said is true. I also went on to show that all civilizations started the higest regions of earth because of the height of sea levels back then. So all this to say that my three books are a Trilogy of this development. The books are’ IS PLANET EARTH EXPANDING” THE MYSTERIOUS RECEDING SEAS’ and ‘THE ASCENT OF MAN:DOWNHILL ALL THE WAY”. All these books take the subject fro m the beginning to where we are today as the earth continues to exopand and the seas continue to recede/ Richard Guy. Author.

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