Spiegel Article By Stefan Rahmstorf Has “Nothing In The Least To Do With Science”…”Embarrassing”

Reposted from the NoTricksZone

By P Gosselin on 23. December 2020

The world is going underwater?…Really?

By Die kalte Sonne
(Translated/edited, subheadings by P. Gosselin)

“Der Spiegel” has an in-house columnist on climate issues: Stefan Rahmstorf from PIK Potsdam. His latest prank: “Why the sea level is rising faster and faster“. He writes in the introduction, citing data:

The rate of rise has doubled during this period, from 2.1 to 4.8 mm per year.”

We want to check this and find something: the European data from “Copernicus”. They cover the period from 1993 to March 2020, so they are very recent. Now we search for the trend increase claimed by Rahmstorf and calculate 5-year trends of the global measured values up to the year plotted on the abscissa:

Fact: No long term trend change

Indeed we find the trend increase: if the 5-year trends were quite accurate at 3 mm/year until 2003, they dropped until 2011, after which they increased to the value Rahmstorf mentioned until 2015, but then dropped again to the just a little above the 3mm/year they already had at the beginning.

Has the long-term trend changed? No, From 1993 to now it is quite exactly 3 mm/year.

Rahmstorf shady use of statistics

Does internal variability play into it, which influences the (in terms of climate) still rather short data set of 1993-2019 (complete years) in such a way that one can interpret all sorts of things into it, if one wants to?

We find a hint where Rahmstorf linked to the data, but we have to look into the past of the website of the University of Colorado:

No serious oceanographer

In 2013 (after a strong La Nina event in 2012) it was shown there how the sea level rise depends on La Nina and El Nino (ENSO for short).

After the La Nina in 2012, there was an El Nino in 2016, so this explains the peak in the top image. What Rahmstorf calls a “consequence of fossil energy use” (namely the trend increase of sea level rise) in a bold subheading of his “Spiegel” article is in reality the consequence of natural ENSO variability? We can’t accept this from a serious oceanographer (his job title).

New peer reviewed paper contradicts Rahmtorf

We therefore look into peer-reviewed science and come across a very recent paper (Iz & Shum 2020) in the Journal of Geodetic Science. The authors examine much more meticulously than we have been able to do with the data set of satellite-based observations of sea level and find plenty of natural forcing variables that belie some acceleration in the short data set.

The authors end by advising that assessments of future trends should be “undertaken with extreme caution.”

Rahmstorf does not do this when he later concludes, “Houston, we have a problem.” What follows from Rahmstorf is the ever familiar narrative: tipping points of Greenland ice, etc. etc.. Again he ends with the well-known:

The next two decades will determine how many island nations will sink and how many coastal cities will be flooded.”

You can write something like that, but it has nothing in the least to do with science.

Sloppy journalism by Spiegel? “Embarrassing”

The “Spiegel” should correctly mark the article of Rahmstorf as “a citizen’s opinion” because it is nothing more. He neither reports the state of science nor shows the uncertainties of his own conclusions.

Embarrassing for an oceanographer.

Addendum from CR: Some background on Rahmstorf

At the end of the day, the secret of Rahm-smoothing is that it’s a triangular filter with linear padding. All the high-falutin’ talk about “embedding dimension” and “nonlinear … lines” is simply fluff. All the claims about doing something “new” are untrue, as are Rahmstorf’s claims that he did not use “padding”. Rahmstorf’s shift from M=11 to M=15 is merely a shift from one triangular filter to a wider triangular filter – it is not unreasonable to speculate on the motive for the shift, given that there was a material change in the rhetorical appearance of the smoothed series.

Finally, I do not believe that the Team could successful assert a copyright interest in the triangular filter ( \copyright  The Team).

Steve McIntyre

Quite aside from the realclimatescientistsmoothingalgorithmparameterselectioncontroversy, another interesting aspect of Figure 3 of the Copnhagen Synthesis Report is the cone of model projections. Today I’ll show you how to do a similar comparison for an AR4 model of your choice. Unlike Rahmstorf, I’ll show how this is done, complete with turnkey code. I realize that this is not according to GARP (Generally Accepted Realclimatescientist Procedure), but even realclimatescientists publishing in peerreviewedliterature should be accountable for their methodology.

Here is Figure 3 from the Copenhagen Synthesis Report. I take it that the grey cone is the spread of model projections – note that the caption says that these are from the Third Assessment Report. Raising the question – why the Third Assessment Report? Wouldn’t the Fourth Assessment Report be more relevant?

Steve McIntyre
4.7 30 votes
Article Rating
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
December 24, 2020 6:20 am

USA today recently published that South Dakota had a 60% positivity rate for Covid!!!!! They went on to say that SD was as bad or worse than anywhere in the world!!! What they did not say was that that data was from one day, a Saturday, when a relatively low number of tests were administered, and that the next day the rate was uder 4% with a 7 day average of about 20%. Nor did they mention that the SD death rate was at or below the national average. The purpose of the media is to sell add space and/or to push propaganda.

Kevin kilty
Reply to  Dennis Topczewski
December 24, 2020 6:44 am

This is how the media behave everywhere else, so it is no surprise they do here as well. Have a look at SD on the <a href=””> USAFacts website </a> to see that the state passed through a peak of whatever wave this is about 6 weeks ago — and this is with the delay of a one-sided running mean filter applied.

With certain exceptions, like Holman Jenkins in the WSJ, I have yet to see national media present truthful data.

December 24, 2020 6:47 am

The old saying is that “figures will not lie,” but a new saying is “liars will figure.” It is our duty, as practical statisticians, to prevent the liar from figuring; in other words, to prevent him from perverting the truth, in the interest of some theory he wishes to establish. We can only do this by being absolutely fair ourselves.

Carroll D. Wright:

Thank goodness for Steve McIntyre who can sort out the bad statistics.

Reply to  commieBob
December 24, 2020 7:21 am

I well remember the quote “Figures don’t lie, but liars figure!”, I have been using it for decades. It is attributed to Mark Twain.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Kpar
December 24, 2020 3:42 pm

Samuel Clemens also said: “There are lies, damned lies and statistics.”

Old Cocky
Reply to  Dave Fair
December 24, 2020 6:11 pm

He attributed it the Disraeli, which may or may not have been correct..

Gary K Hoffman
Reply to  Old Cocky
December 25, 2020 1:51 pm

Well it would have to be one or the other.

Russ Wood
Reply to  Dave Fair
December 26, 2020 3:52 am

Stan Kelly-Bootle (of the Devil’s DP Dictionary) added ‘Delivery promises” to that list!

John Bell
December 24, 2020 7:11 am

Looks like Stefan is standing in the Arctic for the photo, i bet he got there using fossil fuels, maybe took a helicopter ride to look at the ice.

December 24, 2020 7:16 am

tide gauges follow the AMO…

Just Jenn
December 24, 2020 8:10 am

3mm…really? A puff of wind could change that and we’re guilted into believing it is all of our “evil ways” that are ruining the Earth?

You know one thing about true believers the world over–humans are “bad”, “evil”, and they have the ultimate solution to everything because they are “good”, “pure”. It is amazing how much that goodness and purity is blind to reality isn’t it?

Reply to  Just Jenn
December 24, 2020 10:23 am

Where i live all it takes is a strong onshore wind along with a low pressure system and sea level can be a foot above the normal high tide.

Reply to  Klem
December 25, 2020 2:06 am

Klem, where I live that can be a metre above predicted.

Reply to  Just Jenn
December 24, 2020 11:13 am

How come the most devout believers have private jets

Reply to  Notanacademic
December 24, 2020 1:39 pm

Their reward of course!

Reply to  Just Jenn
December 24, 2020 1:39 pm

Original sin, from which there is no escape except through total obedience to the priests.
Nothing new.

Paul Penrose
Reply to  Just Jenn
December 25, 2020 10:26 am

“Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Just as true today.

December 24, 2020 8:17 am

Effin Dumbdork: “I got so scared about climate change that I peed myself. Now sea level is rising!”
comment image

Reply to  icisil
December 24, 2020 8:35 am

The picture says it all….a “XXfill-inXX” willing to do anything to further his agenda.

Reply to  icisil
December 24, 2020 11:42 am

Pictures can be very deceiving, for all we know Al Gore’s predictions came true and he is in fact stood on top of the Empire State building whilst being photographed by an approaching life boat ?

Reply to  icisil
December 24, 2020 5:40 pm

Rahmstorf in the ocean.
His ego displaces planetary bodies of water.
Oh noes.
His storfs are a stink…

Steve Case
December 24, 2020 8:21 am

The Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level (PSMSL)
lists 258 stations with nearly complete data back to
1993. Here are the median and average rates mm/yr
for the periods 1993 – 2005 – 2018

Median 3.02 1993-2005
Median 3.10 2005-2018

Average 2.8 1993-2005
Average 2.3 2005-2018

Looks like acceleration is negative.


Steve Case
Reply to  Steve Case
December 24, 2020 8:27 am

Besides all that, check out the Photo page
on his web site, the guy is full of himself.

Reply to  Steve Case
December 24, 2020 8:57 am

That is a very large carbon footprint he seems to have. Analogous to someone opposed to gun ownership having an arsenal in their basement….an animal rights activist owning a mink ranch….etc…

Reply to  DMacKenzie
December 24, 2020 1:05 pm

In New Zealand recently, an assessment was made of the Carbon Footprint due to travel of all political parties. The largest – yes, you guessed it, the Green Party. Hypocrisy, thy name is Activist!!

Reply to  DMacKenzie
December 24, 2020 1:41 pm

Or the politicans pursuing “gun control” who employ armed bodyguards.

Reply to  Steve Case
December 24, 2020 9:25 am

I love the new Social Media-Science-Marketing intersection. I dismiss any so called scientist that have a webpage like that.

Terry Brady
Reply to  Steve Case
December 24, 2020 12:59 pm

Well he certainly seems to have a rather large dose of NARCISSISM.

Reply to  Terry Brady
December 25, 2020 9:17 am

That’s it, on the point, egomaniac ^12

Reply to  Steve Case
December 24, 2020 7:16 pm

I like the way he rigged his lifeline in the last photo…. Genius at work.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Steve Case
December 24, 2020 11:23 am

Well Steve, after one applies the Rahm-smoothing and made-up data secret sauce to SL datasets, everyone knows climate negative trends become alarmist positive trends.

Joel O'Bryan
December 24, 2020 8:37 am

Science departed the climate scam back in 1995. Climate change alarmism is a fraud all the way down now. A cottage industry of rent-seekers and fame seekers who push it like a band of carnival barking charlatans to the public, a public mostly unaware of the depth of scam being perpetrated on their freedoms and pocket books.

Rahmsdorf is complete and utter fraud.
And so many others are provable frauds and serial half-truth tellers with regards to the “science” on climate:
Michael Mann is a fraud (and a disgrace).
Katherine Hayhoe is a fraud.
Gavin Schmidt is fraud.
Ben Santer is a fraud.
Andrew Dessler is fraud.
… and so many others.

Last edited 2 years ago by Joel O’Bryan
Ron Long
December 24, 2020 8:42 am

From the idiots love company theme: Presumptive President-Elect Joe Biden says that climate change is an existential threat and it will be at the center of his administrations agenda. Remember Rahm Emanuel: Never let a crisis go to waste? Instead of resolving the science we are increasing the slop to the pigs (government funding available for the CAGW crowd, as long as they attribute the problem to Trump/Republicans/SUV’s/Brexit/raceism.

Reply to  Ron Long
December 24, 2020 8:59 am

Looks like we got this administration (whether it is Biden, Harris or someone else) for another 4 years minimum. Maybe the right thing to do is to stop fighting and join them and get on the gravy train. Take the ill gotten gains, put it in a safe currency, buy property in a nice, first world tropical island or country and enjoy it.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  rbabcock
December 24, 2020 11:40 am

Hey max out the credit cards too. why not?
Pay it off with inflated, worthless dollars in a year from now after the Biden-Harris team cranks up the printing presses in an attempt to bail out Blue states and failed cities like NYC.

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
December 25, 2020 1:06 am

“…Pay it off with inflated, worthless dollars in a year from now…”
Can somebody please explain this to me? The more worthless your currency, the better off you are? I’m just a working stiff, I claim no financial expertise, but every day I see people losing homes and dignity because of the worthlessness of the little money they still have, yet every effer tells me how I can repay my debt easier with worthless money.
Please enlighten me, I am too stupid to work it out myself.
…and please, when you have to scrimp on cheese to afford shoes, there is no stash of gold in my safety deposit box at the bank with fees I cannot afford, so don’t start with fairy tales of investment growth.

December 24, 2020 9:27 am

The alarmists ignore, or are ignorant of, the fact that global sea level was 6 meters higher at the peak of the prior interglacial period 125,000 years ago. Perspective matters.

Ron Long
Reply to  stinkerp
December 24, 2020 10:50 am

Excellent, stinkerp, you’re an Honorary Geologist.

Steve Keohane
Reply to  stinkerp
December 25, 2020 6:54 am

Sea level was 2 meters higher just 4-6 Kya. Did all that water escape the atmosphere, or did it become glaciers and polar ice in an allegedly warming world? Perspective does matter.

December 24, 2020 9:39 am

Folks…..the ocean level has been rising since humans invented the boat; now we have super tankers….they float by displacing water…it causes the level to rise in our oceans. You could replicate this experiment in your bathtub. Remove all the ships from our oceans and you’ll see the level drop significantly.

Reply to  Peter
December 24, 2020 10:27 am

Did you forget the /sarc tag?

Ron Long
Reply to  MarkW
December 24, 2020 10:52 am

Maybe Peter is a refugee from the old publication “Journal of Irreproducible Results”? so he doesn’t need a sarc tag?

Reply to  MarkW
December 24, 2020 8:21 pm

For something as ridiculous as that the sarcasm is implied; with the exception of those that have (D) after their names, or ‘griff’ somewhere in their names.

Jeff Alberts
December 24, 2020 9:57 am

After the La Nina in 2012, there was an El Nino in 2016, so this explains the peak in the top image.

So… the oceans knew an El Nino was coming, and started rising, 5 years before it happened, in preparation?

Reply to  Jeff Alberts
December 24, 2020 10:28 am

Are you under the impression that the oceans transition from La Nina to El Nino in a day or so?

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  MarkW
December 25, 2020 9:49 am

You’re giving the impression that it’s 5 years. Where is the data to back that up?

Reply to  Jeff Alberts
December 24, 2020 11:50 am

The El Nino event is the release of the built-up water.

That is why they produce spikes in atmospheric temperatures.

So yes. !

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  fred250
December 25, 2020 9:51 am

But, there is either an El or a La almost every year, right?

Reply to  Jeff Alberts
December 25, 2020 11:02 pm

El Nino formed up to 2015, then let go.

Sorry you don’t understand how an El Nino works and that it takes a while to dissipate.

December 24, 2020 1:11 pm

Sea level by satellite is a bit like surface temperatures.

Just after 2000, all the past data started changing.

comment image

December 24, 2020 1:39 pm

Tell it to Bill Gates, He believes in climate change so much that he bought a seaside home for $43 million in San Diego county this year. A 10 foot sea level rise would be a real problem there. Maybe he plans a really big sea wall around it? Or hopes to get a big tax write-off?

Barack Obama also bought a climate risk property by a pond at sea level on Martha’s Vineyard:

Louis Hooffstetter
December 24, 2020 7:02 pm

Article By Stefan Rahmstorf Has “Nothing… To Do With Science”.Par for the course. Stefan Rahmstorf has a long history of publishing ‘climate science’ articles that have nothing to do with science.

December 24, 2020 8:11 pm

Is there a Darwin award for alarmism?

Reply to  mikee
December 25, 2020 1:13 am

No Darwin award for alarmism, because Darwin’s work has been used to perpetuate fake science for so long, people have forgotten that evolution is just a theory, with as many holes as AGW.
Dinosaurs were around for hundreds of millions of years, but ask any “Darwinist” why we built satellites in ten thousand (100? no-one suggests mankind as old as a million) we managed so quick, but no dinosaur learned to make a knife in 300 million?
Maybe global warming is caused by the vast metal foundries the lizard race is running underground, we call their chimneys volcanoes.
Hey, if Ramstwit can get paid for crap, I can add my two cents….send me money!

December 25, 2020 9:13 am

Since years, Rahmstorf left the path of science,he is nothing else than an agitator and climate warrior, not more, not less.

Roger Knights
Reply to  Krishna Gans
December 30, 2020 9:09 am

He’s also the pope’s right-hand man on climate change. FWIW.

Gordon A. Dressler
December 26, 2020 12:48 pm

The first graph in the above article must be a joke, right?

First, how does one have a “normalized value” (on the graph’s y-axis) of zero??? Should the plotted data not be centered on a normalized value of “1” whereupon positive and negative variations off the central value would then have mathematical meaning (e.g. equivalent percent deviations)?

Second, even assuming the vertical axis was a numerically mislabeled axis for GMSL, Global Mean Sea Level, as per the legend on the graph, conservation of ocean water mass on a global basis would mean either (a) a great variability in land-supported ice versus ocean water volume, or (b) a great variability of atmospheric water content versus ocean water volume, or (c) a great variability of ocean basin volume (i.e., ocean floor subsidence or uplift) . . . all asserted to be related in some strange manner with ENSO, which is a mostly physically-localized phenomenon in the equatorial Pacific regions just “sloshing” warm/cool waters in eastward-westward directions.

Methinks the above referenced article by Stefan Rahmstorf is indeed, as the headline says, “nothing in the least to do with science”.

%d bloggers like this:
Verified by MonsterInsights