Despite Alarmists Denials Statue of Liberty Photos Expose Sea Level Rise Acceleration Failed Projections

Guest essay by Larry Hamlin

The Statue of Liberty standing at the southwestern entrance (New Jersey side) of New York Harbor (Hudson River side) is our Nations most recognized symbol of freedom and hope since its dedication in 1886, and a perfect for testing sea level rise acceleration.

The Statue is housed on Liberty Island (shown below) which is a small 14.7-acre island immediately south of Ellis Island which now houses the Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration.

Following is a brief listing of some off the key information regarding Liberty Island’s long history including the building of the seawalls that protect the island. 

Liberty Island has history going back to its Pre-1000 CE Native American inhabitants that called the island one of three “Oyster Islands” in New York Harbor with these islands representing a major food source. 

The Dutch took position of the island in 1609 and in 1667 ownership was obtained by a Dutch colonist named Isaac Bedloe.

1673 Bedloe dies and the island is renamed Bedloe’s Island.

1732 Mary Bedloe Smith (Isaac’s widow) sells the island to New York merchants to resolve her bankruptcy issues.

1738 New York City takes possession of the island for inspecting incoming ships for contamination and disease. 

1794 after the American Revolution the Federal Government appropriates funding to construct fortifications on Bedloe’s Island. 

1808 to 1811 the U. S. Army administers the building of a military fort on the island. The facility is called Fort Wood with an 11-point star fortress that aides the protection of New York Harbor. See Figure 2.2 below.

1834 New York and New Jersey establish that all of Liberty Islands lands (then Bedloe’s Island) above the low-level water mark are designated as lying within New York and all submerged riparian rights to water and submerged lands surrounding the island are designated as being within New Jersey.

1842 to 1844 A building program was undertaken in the 1840s to significantly improve the deteriorating condition of Fort Wood which included the construction of a new granite seawall that still surrounds the southern end of Liberty Island today that was built in 1842-44. This new wall replaced the prior seawall which was in place between 1811 -1842. Aside from protecting the island’s shoreline the new seawall also retained fill that supported an artificial slope leading up to an earthen parapet surmounted by an outer battery at that time as shown in the diagram of the work below. (Referenced link Pages 2-5 & 2-6 from Chapter 2B History of Liberty Island)

1874 to 1907- The existing portion of the eastern seawall was extended to the northern tip of the island between 1874 and 1879 – In 1887 this seawall was further extended around the northern tip and partway down the western side sufficient to protect the newly created Lighthouse Board Reservation. The western seawall perimeter was fully completed between 1901 and 1907 by the U.S. Army, which led to additional filling to provide a basis for a new barracks building. 

In summary, the existing seawall at Liberty Island (then called Bedloe’s Island) was established by 1844 for the southern, south eastern and south western end of the island that now protect the Statue of Liberty base, pedestal and statue, then extended along the eastern side of the island by 1879, then further extended along the northern tip and part of the western side of the island by 1887 and finally completed for the remaining western side of the island between 1901 and 1907. 

1877 Bedloe’s Island is designated as the site for the Statue of Liberty. The U.S. begins fundraising for the construction of the pedestal. The Army administers the islands military post until 1937.

1881 Architect Richard Morris Hunt completes the initial designs of the pedestal which maintains the 11-point star outline of Fort Wood with significantly increased height and strength. 

1884 Hunt finalizes the pedestal plan which requires up to 20-foot-thick concrete walls faced with granite block.

1886 The Statue’s pedestal is complete. The Statue of Liberty is reassembled on the pedestal and dedicated on October 28th, 1886.

1956 Bedloe’s Island is renamed Liberty Island by a joint resolution of Congress and signed into law by President Eisenhower.

2003 to 2004 The National Park Service (NPS) signs a contract with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to repair “340 linear feet of the 3,119 foot Granite-faced vertical concrete Liberty Island seawall that was originally constructed in the early 19th century and surrounds most of the island. The repairs took place at locations where granite stones had fallen out of the seawall.”

“Construction began in April 2004 and ended in June 2004. “We repaired the seawall on the north and south side of the Liberty Island NPS Shuttle Dock located in the Southeast section of the island,” said Ciorra. “We did this by first hydro blasting the exposed concrete on the seawall, in areas where seawall blocks have dislodged, to remove algae, moss and dirt, and then manually removed old grout and loose disintegrated concrete. We also replaced the disintegrated concrete with Sulphate-Resistant Air Entrained Concrete that is resistant to the marine environment. We took the 36 existing large granite blocks that dislodged, cleaned them, and grouted and reset them back into the wall with mortar.”

“In addition, the entire 340 linear feet of seawall was cleaned and repainted beyond where the actual stones were dislodged and reset,” said Brian Jackson, Project Engineer, USACE, New York District. “The stones that were dislodged and reset were actually only a small portion of the entire length of the wall.”

A photo of the seawall repair site is shown below. The Shuttle Dock is visible in the far-right hand side of the photo.

The photo below shows the ferry dock (far left side with a ferry positioned at this dock) and the Shuttle Dock (right side) used at Liberty Island. The Shuttle Dock is used for National Park Service employees, loading and offloading supplies and materials and other equipment needed to support National Park operations. Both these docks were destroyed by Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and then rebuilt. The 11-point star pedestal base remnant shape originally from Fort Wood that supports the Statue of Liberty is quite visible.

2012 to 2013 Hurricane Sandy struck New York Harbor on October 29, 2012, with a 14-foot storm surge that destroyed both the ferry dock and Shuttle Dock at Liberty Island along with the electrical and sewage systems and much of the walkways and railings surrounding the pedestal. The Statue of Liberty opened again on July 4, 2013, using the rebuilt Shuttle Dock with the ferry dock rebuilding still underway.

Photos below show some of the infrastructure damage and the start of demolition allowing the rebuilding of Shuttle Dock which was used to bring visitors and dignitaries to the re-opening ceremonies of Liberty Island and the Statue of Liberty.

The NPS photo below shows the damaged Shuttle Dock demolition in progress because of the extensive damage from Hurricane Sandy.

The NPS summary of the impacts of Hurricane Sandy are noted below regarding Liberty Island.

“Hurricane Sandy caused a significant amount of damage to the infrastructure on Liberty Island. The Statue and its pedestal and base were unharmed, but all mechanical systems, docks, Promenade, and ancillary structures around the rest of the island experienced heavy damage.

The two dock systems for Liberty Island are critical infrastructure to the parks’ operations, as they provide access and egress for visitors and staff.”    

A photo of the July 4, 2013, reopening of Liberty Island and the Statue of Liberty using the rebuilt Shuttle Dock (the ferry dock rebuild was still underway) to convey visitors and dignitaries to the re-opening ceremonies is shown below. 

The seawall shown in photo above is the south eastern portion of Liberty Island that has been in existence since 1844 that has protected the base, pedestal and Statue of Liberty structures for about 179 years with work done in 2004 by the Army Corps of Engineers to repair a total length of 340 foot seawall section located on either side of the Shuttle Dock (the total seawall around the island comprises 3,119 feet) for various types of damaged, cleaning and painting of the granite wall as described in the Liberty Island history summary provided above.   

The seawall that protects Liberty Island was constructed in the 19th century and remains intact without changes in the seawalls constructed position and height as described in the Liberty Island history key information summary. 

Photographs taken of the Statue of Liberty going back as far as 1844 are comparable to photographs taken even today with the seawall that protects Liberty Island in these photos accurately representing and reflecting the time history of sea level rise since that time relative to the seawalls constructed height and location.

NOAA’s measurements of relative sea level rise in New York Harbor are available from its Battery Tide Gauge Station which is located in the Battery Park area  just 1.6 miles from Liberty Island located on the eastern side of the harbors entrance. Liberty Island is located on the western side of the harbors entrance as shown in the diagram at the beginning of this article.

The Battery Station relative sea level rise measurements and tide predictions for New York Harbor are reflective of relative sea level rise and tide prediction behavior at Liberty Island with both these areas lying close together on opposite sides of the New York Harbor entrance. 

The NOAA Battery Tide Gauge Station measurement information is shown below.

The NOAA Battery 166-yearlong tide gauge sea level rise measurements through year 2022 start in 1856 very close to the 1844 time when the Liberty Island (then called Bedloe’s Island) existing seawall position and height at the south end of the island was established. NOAA’s measured rate of sea level rise at the Battery location is 11.4 inches per century over this period or 1.14 inches per decade.

During this 166-year period since 1856 NOAA measurements have been taken of the relative sea level at the Battery Station showing a total increase of about 18.9 inches during this interval. 

In addition, the NOAA Battery tide gauge station provides other measured information at these locations including tide predictions as noted in the “Products available at 8518750 The Battery, New York” shown on the lower left below.

The photo below of Liberty Island and the Statue of Liberty below was taken in 1893 as identified in the photos official data record. Note the riprap exposed at the base of the wall indicating a low tide condition.

The next photo shows Liberty Island and the Statue Liberty on June 23, 2023, at about 6:35 PM. The photo clearly shows the Liberty Island seawall that protects the southern portion of the Island that was completed in 1844 and the rebuilt Shuttle Dock that was constructed in 2013 after Hurricane Sandy.

Again, note the riprap in this photo at the base of the seawall again indicating a low tide condition. 

The photograph below compares the Statue of Liberty in the year 1893 (as documented in the photo’s data record) with photos taken (by the author) of the Statue of Liberty at a low tide condition on June 23, 2023 (about 6:35 PM EDT) from a cruise ship passing Liberty Island with that ship having left New York Harbor Berth 90 on the Hudson River at 6 PM.

Additionally, note the sea level height on the islands seawall in both the 1893 photo and 2023 photo show exposed riprap at the base of the wall indicating a low tide condition at the time of these photos were taken.

The period of 130 years that has passed between these two photos shows little impact from “rising sea levels”. Using NOAA’s Battery Station rate of relative sea level rise of 1.14 inches per decade discussed above results in an increased relative sea level rise at Liberty Island of 14.8 inches between these years which given the scale of the seawall height in relation to the small total sea level rise would not be particularly distinguishable in such photos. 

Stated another way the height of the seawall clearly establishes that the small relative sea level rise increase that has occurred between these photos period is insignificant even though the period is 130 years long. 

The low tide condition on June 23, 2023, at 6:35 PM is clearly noted in the closeup of the Liberty Island seawall shown below. The scale of the visitors’ size in the closeup photo further demonstrates the seawall height and further establishes the insignificance of the 14.8 inch of relative sea level rise increase even over a period of 130 years.

NOAA’s Battery Tide Gauge Station data provides access to specific tide condition predictions throughout the station’s history. As the tidal calendar below shows, a high tide condition existed at 1:11 PM on June 23, 2023, with a tide height predicted of 4.144 feet as specifically noted on the calendar below.

The height of the tide is measured using the MLLW as the base datum measurement reference point. The darkened area of the seawall above shows remnants of the prior high tide conditions.

The NOAA tide prediction chart below specifically shows the low tide condition for June 23, 2023, at 6:35 PM being at 1.324 feet above the MLLW measurement datum.

A review of the entire year 2023 NOAA tide predictions for the Battery Station shows that the highest tide predicted for the year will occur on August 30, 2023, at 6.25 feet above the MLLW datum as shown below or 4.9 feet above the tide level depicted in the above closeup photo with this increase easily accommodated by the height of the seawall that was constructed 130 years ago.

Given the long term 166 year increasing trend of 1.14 inches per decade of relative sea level rise measured at the Battery Station the existing 130-year-old seawall will be useful for many dozens of decades into the future.

At the Democrats politically contrived 1988 Senate Hearings hyping the global warming crisis Environmental Defense Fund Senior Scientist Dr. Michael Oppenheimer claimed the following regarding increasing global sea level rise acceleration as follows:

“Global mean temperature will likely rise at about 0.6 degrees F per decade and sea level at about 2.5 inches per decade.”

“These rates are about six times recent history.”

“Furthermore, as long as greenhouse gases continue to grow in the atmosphere, there is no known natural limit to the warming short of catastrophic change.”

“Because the oceans are slow to heat, there is a lag between emissions and full manifestation of corresponding warming, a lag which some estimate at 40 years.”

“The world is now 1 degree F warmer than century ago and may become another 1 degree warmer even if conditions are curtailed today.”

“Every decade of delay and implementation of greenhouse gas abatement policies ultimately adds perhaps a degree F of warming, and no policy can be fully implemented immediately in any event.”

“Slowing warming to an acceptable rate and ultimately stabilizing the atmosphere would require reductions in fossil emissions by 60% from present levels, along with similar reductions of other greenhouse gases.”

We are now 3 and 1/2 decades beyond Dr. Oppenheimer’s incredibly flawed and failed alarmists sea level rise acceleration hyped claims with global CO2 emissions having never declined from 1988 levels of  20.82 billion metric tons but instead having now reached 34.37 billion metric tons in 2022 with the rate of relative sea level rise at NOAA’s Battery Station showing little if any change from its 1988 rate of about 11.4 inches per century.    

The Battery Station Datum (STND) which is also called the “datum of tabulation” is a permanent fixed elevation location from which all other tidal measures are referenced.

These permanent fixed tidal reference values are evaluated over 19-year periods called National Tidal Datum Epochs (NTDE) as the official time segment over which tidal observations are taken and reduced to obtain mean values (e.g., mean lower low water, etc.) for tidal datums. This periodic evaluation is necessary for standardization because of period interval and apparent secular trends (rising and falling levels of relative sea level) over time. The present NTDE includes years 1983 through 2001.

The NTDE needs to be regularly revised for a fixed period sufficient to account for all significant tidal periods, long enough to average out local meteorological effects on sea level, long-term effects of land movement, sea level rise measurement changes, and changes in tidal constituents reflecting harmonic behavior over long time periods between the Moon, Sun and Earth. 

Oceanographers, when determining tidal datums, use averaging techniques over a specific period, the tidal epoch of 19 years. The 19 years interval is used because it is the closest full year to the 18.6-year node cycle, which is the period required for the regression of the moon’s nodes to complete a circuit of 360 degrees of longitude (Schureman, 1941) with this time period also encompassing other measurement period needs as described above.  

These intervals are actively considered for evaluation every 20-25 years. The next NTDE tidal epoch will be based on water level data covering the years 2002-2020. The current proposed date for the new NTDE product is 2025. 

The present fixed elevation for the Battery Station Datum is minus 3.29 feet below the MLLW datum for the present NTDE tidal epoch (the interval inclusive of 1983 through 2001) as shown below.

The prior NTDE period occurred from 1960 through 1978 as shown below for the Battery Station.

As shown in this prior NTDE the Battery Station Datum elevation value is minus 3.07 feet below the MLLW datum. 

In the interval between these two NTDE periods the relative sea level at the Battery Station increased resulting in the Station Datum elevation (which is a fixed datum) becoming -3.29 feet below the MLLW from the prior -3.07 feet below the MLLW or an increase relative sea level rise of 0.22 feet or 2.64 inches over the 23-year inclusive interval from 1979 to 2001. This amounts to an increasing relative sea level rise of 0.1148 inches per year consistent with the NOAA Battery Station long term rate of relative sea level rise of 11.4 inches per century (0.95 feet in 100 years) since 1856 as shown in NOAA’s data trend below.

This articles analysis clearly shows that the photos taken of the Statue of Liberty and its seawall over century long time periods (as provided by this articles photo comparing a period of 130 years) that display the lack of significance of relative sea level rise during these long periods are in fact analytically valid visual evidence demonstrating that claims of exaggerated accelerating sea level rise (as presented, for example, in the Democrats failed 1988 Senate hearing described above) hyped by climate alarmists and their “models” have failed.

The photos taken over long time periods that compare the Statue of Liberty and the sea level position on the Liberty Island long established seawall are in fact a symbol and a beacon of truth regarding the flawed climate alarmist decades long failed “model” driven claims of sea level rise acceleration.     

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August 6, 2023 6:10 am

Well, this is a very nice article, that said it is moot. According to AlGore:TheGoreacle the Statue of Liberty is already under water and we have all already died in a Firey Flood. 😎

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  2hotel9
August 6, 2023 7:23 am

If only Mr Hamlin would enlist a proofreader.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Jeff Alberts
August 6, 2023 8:40 am

I was going to ask if his proofreader was on sabbatical or something!

Reply to  2hotel9
August 6, 2023 9:24 am

They must be getting fed up of keep resetting those doomsday clocks lol

Rud Istvan
August 6, 2023 6:28 am

Statue of Liberty must be really cool. The ocean around it is not boiling. But the UN head says the rest is.

abolition man
Reply to  Rud Istvan
August 6, 2023 8:14 am

Shush, Rud!
You don’t want the wokerista crowd to turn their attention to Lady Liberty! They’d probably make her kneel or kowtow or transition, if they can’t destroy her outright!
Liberty is sooo 20th Century, man!

Reply to  abolition man
August 6, 2023 8:25 am

I’m actually surprised that BLM/Antifa (Blantifa) crowd didn’t try to topple her over because of her racist, homophobe, transphobe, fascist history.

Reply to  abolition man
August 6, 2023 11:32 am

Well, she is green….and it’s not easy being green…..according to Kermit.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Rud Istvan
August 6, 2023 8:44 am

Oh, but the ocean around there is broiling hot.
So hot in fact, that just the other day someone was plucked from the ocean after being in the water for a few hours, IIRC, and they nearly died of hypothermia it was so hot. They had to be hospitalized and placed on a blood warmer. If that is not proof of a roastingly hot ocean, what would be?
If that poor soul had gotten any colder, they would have been parboiled alive.

Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
August 8, 2023 11:43 am

“The sun so hot he froze to death, Suzannah don’t you cry.”

Reply to  Rud Istvan
August 6, 2023 9:24 am

It’s made of special anti boil materials, bright chaps those French

Tim Gorman
August 6, 2023 6:32 am

It’s why the common man is becoming more aware of the global warming hoax everyday. It’s the Peter the Wolf syndrome. Sooner or later the people catch on to the hoax. And its why the CAGW advocates get more and more strident every year – warning of doom that is always 10 years down the pike. Hopefully, at some point in this decade, the CAGW advocates will be relegated to the same street corner that “The World Ends Tomorrow” prophets live at.

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  Tim Gorman
August 6, 2023 7:17 am

Rishi Sunak’s popularity surges as he toughens net zero stancePM’s support among Tory grassroots rises after he orders review into LTNs and declares he is on motorists’ side.

In the aftermath of the vote, Mr Sunak declared that he was on motorists’ side as he asked the Department for Transport to carry out a review of low-traffic neighbourhoods across the country.

If he extends his review into other areas he’ll pick up more support

Reply to  Ben Vorlich
August 7, 2023 1:00 pm

Until one day after the elections when he becomes a real believer again. Lies lies and lies. You don’t climb the ladder if not corrupt.

Bryan A
Reply to  Tim Gorman
August 6, 2023 7:28 am

Perhaps providing Sandwich Boards to all COP delegates station
We’re Doomed
The end of the world is Nigh
The Ice Caps will melt away in 2012 2013 2014 2018 2022 10 YEARS

Perhaps we could convince XR and JSO to fly to the UAE and glue themselves to the runways and blockade the roads around the venue there just in time for COP 28

abolition man
Reply to  Bryan A
August 6, 2023 8:08 am

FLY!? XR and JSO should only be allowed to fly to their sumptuous, new abodes in Greenland or Antarctica! All other travel must be by bicycle!!

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  abolition man
August 7, 2023 6:05 am

No they should ALL be shipped to China. A tour of Tianimem Square complete with tanks ought to give them their necessary dose of reality.

Reply to  AGW is Not Science
August 7, 2023 1:02 pm

They would love to have a China like system.

Reply to  Tim Gorman
August 7, 2023 5:17 am

Just had a brainwave….

In the past, people could nod their heads and agree with clean green wind power. What’s not to like when the wind farm is not behind your own house.?

But – the more farms go up in plain-site – near offshore, and onshore, the more people will see them NOT turning, and so are far more likely to realise that the Net Zero policies as “sub-optimal”. To put it mildly.

Now here’s a real tin-foil hat idea. Why do you suppose they banned new onshore wind farms in the UK? …

Because they knew that stationary wind turbines would be seen by millions of people….

Ron Clutz
August 6, 2023 7:22 am

Thanks for a very thorough writeup on NYC sea levels. Just to supplement with some images of the imagined sea level rise vs. observed sea levels.

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Ron Clutz
August 6, 2023 7:25 am

There is also a nice parallel landmark in Massachusetts: Plymouth Rock:

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Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Ron Clutz
August 6, 2023 9:01 am

The thing is, to a “layman”, catastrophic sea level rise may sound like something anyone can just go down to the ocean and see for themselves, or as shown, fail to see any evidence of.
But that is because they are not highly trained and edumacated “scientismists”, schooled in the mysterious arts of Climate Science™.
To these learned scholars, who bravely carry the weight of a doomed and pretty much already dead world on their broad and frightened shoulders, that photo is a piss-your-pants horror show.
They warned us, they told us, and now just look!

The rest of us are so blinded by our blithe ignorance, we do not even know the end of the world when it is staring us right in the face.
Sure, that may look like just a 400-year-old rock sitting at the edge of the ocean, but who are we going to believe, our lying eyes, or the angry and confident words of our deluded, glued-to-the-road, Zombie-Kush infused, middle school dropout betters?

Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
August 7, 2023 1:10 pm

UN representative gloats “we own the science” on climate change during World Economic Forum panel

Bill Parsons
Reply to  Ron Clutz
August 6, 2023 10:36 am

Sea levels must have risen. We can no longer see William Bradford’s footprints.

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Rick C
Reply to  Ron Clutz
August 6, 2023 10:41 am

Ron: According to Britannica, Plymouth Rock has been reduced considerably in size and moved around quite a bit since 1620. It appears it’s been in its current location since 1880. Still a pretty good indication that sea level rise has been pretty minimal in the last 143 years.

August 6, 2023 7:47 am

“At the Democrats politically contrived 1988 Senate Hearings hyping the global warming crisis Environmental Defense Fund Senior Scientist Dr. Michael Oppenheimer claimed the following regarding increasing global sea level rise acceleration as follows:
“Global mean temperature will likely rise at about 0.6 degrees F per decade and sea level at about 2.5 inches per decade.”
“These rates are about six times recent history.”

The problem with this article is the old one of burying the lede. This statement of the problem should have been at the start of the article. What is demonstrated here is that Oppenheimer lied.Since he was a leader in EDF, this should not be surprising. He lied because nowhere in the world was the claimed sea level rise taking place. This was shown many years ago by an expert in tides and tide gauges John Daly in
Still Waiting For Greenhouse (

Oppenheimer should have confined himself to his specialty.

Reply to  cgh
August 6, 2023 9:29 am

Oppenheimer (and I have just had reason to quote him elsewhere) is the guy on record as saying “The only hope for the world is to make sure there is not another United States. We can’t let other countries have the same number of cars, the amount of industrialization, we have in the US. We have to stop these Third World countries right where they are.
Nice feller!

Rick C
Reply to  Newminster
August 6, 2023 10:49 am

My goodness, is this Oppenheimer guy some kind of racist? Paul Ehrlich said something similar about letting poor countries develop cheap energy sources – “like giving a machine gun to an idiot child.” Nice people indeed!

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Rick C
August 7, 2023 6:12 am

People like Erich and Oppenheimer ARE the idiot children, and their junk science based fear mongering IS the “machine gun.”

Their idiotic proposed non-solutions to their imaginary “crisis” will do more damage to humanity than handing every “idiot child” in the world a machine gun.

Harry Passfield
August 6, 2023 7:56 am

Some way I am going to find a way to print off this wonderful article for my nine year-old grandson who will no doubt be forced to listen to teachers telling him that we’re all doomed – mainly by sea level rise (not). Thank you.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Harry Passfield
August 6, 2023 11:57 am

Your nine year-old grandson doesn’t have access to a computer terminal?

Reply to  Dave Fair
August 6, 2023 1:20 pm

The faith in the persistence of information on the internet astounds me. That this article will be available online in 5 or 10 years is by no means guaranteed. Go online and try to find some of the articles regarding COVID therapeutics from three years ago. Go try to find ANYTHING published on Parler before it was deplatformed by amazon. There’s something to be said for hard copy and wall safes.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Nevada_Geo
August 6, 2023 2:31 pm

You can’t utilize the Cloud, removable storage & etc.?

August 6, 2023 8:35 am

A nice article on the history of Liberty Island and its Statue of Liberty monument, but almost entirely overlooked is the importance of land subsidence as it impacts relative sea level trending:

“The sea level off New Jersey’s coast is up to 12 inches higher than it was in 1950. This increase is mostly due to New Jersey’s sinking land, and it’s causing major issues.”
(my bold emphasis added)

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  ToldYouSo
August 6, 2023 9:15 am

This raises an interesting question: If the land subsides, does not mean the same thing as saying that sea level has risen?

I think not. Because land subsidence is a local phenomenon which has nothing to do with the level of the sea.

So what does the phrase “sea level” even mean?
Can it be defined by land that is subsiding in some places, but rising at other locations that are, in certain places, just miles away?
Is sea level defined by how much some land area may be eroding (or undergoing deposition), or is having ground water withdrawn in massive quantities? Or is springing up or settling down due to isostatic rebound due to the melted Laurentide Ice Sheet?

Is there a science to the very concept of “sea level”
It turns out there is:

Sea level is defined by gravity, not by land height.

Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
August 6, 2023 9:59 am

Key word is “relative”, as in “relative sea level trend” (see its use in the last graph of the above article).

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  ToldYouSo
August 6, 2023 5:32 pm

True, but that raises a bunch of new questions and complications to straightforward analysis.

Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
August 6, 2023 8:27 pm

Exactly so! . . . just as is the case when discussing “climate change”, from a scientific viewpoint that is.

Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
August 6, 2023 12:02 pm

Once I learned that the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean are not the same height (at the same level), and that is among other reasons why there are locks on the Panama Canal, I realized than any discussion of worldwide sea level was a moot point. There is no such thing.

Reply to  starzmom
August 8, 2023 11:54 am

There’s locks on the canal because they didn’t just dig a ditch from one side of Panama to the other. They go up to Gatun Lake 85 meters above sea level and back down on the other side.

Not sure what you mean about the Pacific and Atlantic not being the same “height.” The oceans follow the geoid (or define it), but there aren’t any standing ridges in it anywhere when you pass from one ocean to another.

Nicholas McGinley
August 6, 2023 8:40 am

This seems like a good place for everyone to post their photographic evidence of sea level rise or lack thereof.
I will dig mine out and post it here as soon as I am able to.
I have a lot of pictures from around the world showing where the ocean was long in the past, and the same locations more recently, including the present.

I have been gathering and documenting such evidence for many years now, and I can tell you, I have never seen anything which shows any noticeable sea level change over a very long period of time, in excess of 100 years.
IOW, to the extent that sea level is changing, and to the extent that we have old pictures of known seaside locations which show the level of the ocean with respect to the land, there is zero visual indication of significant changes to the level of the ocean or where it sits in relation to the beaches, landmarks, roads, or any other recognizable features the ocean is adjacent too.

Sea level rise alarmism is among the most awful and easily falsified lies of the warmistas.

The ocean is right where it has always been.
People have been claiming land from the sea for millennia, and the sea has had a very rough time taking any of it back.

We have ocean depth charts that are for very important reasons made to be extremely accurate and precise, and we have them for many places in the world going back many centuries.
Anyone who has easy access to any of that data might post it here as well, so we can all look at it and discuss.
I for one have become increasingly skeptical of the NOAA tide gage data.
It is contradicted by a large volume of contradictory information.
Then again, why should we expect that past sea level data would be the one thing they will not alter or lie about?

John Hultquist
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
August 6, 2023 9:34 am

I think you have a good idea about the collection of photographic evidence. Such a project would benefit with a massive grant. Publicize the project and get photos and cooperation. Then the hard part begins. For example, when was the photo taken, date/time/tide. Next, what is known about relative land level: up/down/zip.
Complications exist. For example use Google Earth or similar and search for Cape Shoalwater, WA. This area is known as Washaway Beach.

A stable shore is at Weymouth, Dorset that has been in existence since the 10th century. A photo search shows the many colorful buildings along the shore.

An entire 3-volume series with all relative information would be great. Anecdotal photographic evidence won’t take the skeptic’s view very far.  

Dave Fair
Reply to  John Hultquist
August 6, 2023 12:04 pm

Wouldn’t it be nice if we had trusted governmental agencies around the world charged with doing all that work for the benefit of average citizens?

What? We’re supposed to have such agencies? You could have fooled me!

Gunga Din
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
August 6, 2023 12:26 pm

Old pictures of ocean front landmarks compared to present pictures of ocean front landmarks.
Good idea. (Might be tough to match tide levels, but still good.)
Today’s generation is too easily influenced by a cell phone picture or video a storm where the narrative tells them that it’s all “Climate Change”.
The “C” in CAGW moves along at a snails pace. That’s why the pounce on video of weather events that have happened before as “proof”.
We don’t have video from the 1800’s, but as this post points out, we do have pictures to compare.

DD More
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
August 6, 2023 3:34 pm

And how much of the rise at Battery Park is due to the other end of the water, The Hudson River.
Any study of hydraulics says, cut the cross section of a channel and at the same flow the water will be higher.
A comparison interactive map of Manhattan shows the narrowing the the river.
Might some of the rise have nothing to due with sea level?

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  DD More
August 6, 2023 5:44 pm

I am not sure about that location, but the proximity to the open ocean, and the width of the gap that lets ocean water in, may be such that water will never pile up right there from water flow in the river.
This would also require that there is no longer a change in elevation once the river reaches a certain point upstream.
I suspect that the fact that this is a sea level graph, means that that location is effectively part of the ocean.

One thing is for sure: Those graphs reported as tide gage data, do not contain a record of readings directly. They are highly adjusted, and then modeled. What is shown is the anomaly as compared to the established mean sea level in recent years. Removed are all sorts of factors that cause variations over time.

Read that small print below the graphs in the headline article.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  DD More
August 7, 2023 7:11 am

Ditto for flooding of rivers following “flood control projects.” When we build dikes and other flood barriers, thereby preventing a river that reaches flood stage from spreading into the “flood plain” of the river, one should expect that downstream from the ” flood control project,” future flood “crests” will be higher than in the past, with no increase in the *actual* amount of flood waters involved.

But you’ll never hear about that – it’ll be a “new record” and the dotted line will be drawn to “climate change.”

John Hultquist
August 6, 2023 9:08 am

NatGeo should reprint a version of this along with a retraction of their 2013 cover article. Click on the middle “related” WUWT post where Anthony explains the silliness of the time of 23,537.9 years for that cover to happen.
However, such an article would need to be shorter and smoother for the readership of the magazine. Many old-school types (those who remember when NatGeo and SciAm were decent) dropped subscriptions about 10+ years ago. So, when an article does appear [ 🙂 ], please notify us.

August 6, 2023 9:23 am

Surely the elites, including politicians, wouldn’t buy waterfront property if there was a risk of levels rising?! Of course, they know there isn’t, so they do

John Hultquist
Reply to  Energywise
August 6, 2023 11:12 am

This isn’t a good argument because elites (?), politicians, and celebrities are not very bright, not knowledgeable, and have so much money they can afford to lose $10M. Besides, I can’t think of one that bought a mansion that might be in danger from sea level rise in the next 500 years.

Reply to  John Hultquist
August 6, 2023 12:37 pm

Kerry spent $11.75 million in 2017 for a sprawling estate on the beach in Martha’s Vineyard. The property includes more than 18 acres of land on which his seven-bedroom home sits, overlooking the Vineyard Sound.
Bill and Melinda Gates, passionate climate activists, also shelled out a small fortune for a luxury waterfront home.
Last year, the couple, who are presently in the midst of a divorce, paid $43 million for a massive house on the beach in Del Mar, California, near San Diego.
The Obamas own an $11.75 million mansion in Martha’s Vineyard, near the water as well.
Marty Nesbitt, a close friend of the Obamas and chairman of the Obama Foundation, purchased a tract of land in Hawaii for $8.7 million in 2015, miles from where the two families would visit every Christmas during the president’s time in office, and is building a trio of houses on the beachfront estate.
Even Al Gore, whose warnings about the danger of climate change have been among the most dramatic from a politician, has invested in property overlooking the ocean he says will wipe out coastal towns.

You need some better news sources John

John Hultquist
Reply to  Energywise
August 6, 2023 2:24 pm

Show me the number of feet above mean sea level for each of these.
The Obama place is 9 or 10 feet above. Gore’s ex seems to have an “ocean view” but not ocean front. The Magnum P.I. place is 10 feet above sea level.
Do you have data to indicate, for any of the places you mention, places will drown if the ocean rises, say 3 feet?
Provide data, not news sources such as the WA Examiner report with no data.
I’m not from Missouri but show me anyway.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  John Hultquist
August 7, 2023 7:21 am

Beachfront properties are not just threatened by the imaginary acceleration of sea level rise but the imaginary worsening and imaginary increase in frequency of hurricanes, etc.

Yet the climate fascists continue to buy properties spitting into the wind of all those imaginary “climate issues.”

John Hultquist
Reply to  John Hultquist
August 7, 2023 9:33 am

Not being from Missouri seems to be a downer. Minus six, so far!

Reply to  Energywise
August 8, 2023 11:58 am

Cheapskates. Larry Ellison went and bought an entire Hawaiian island. You never hear him spouting off about climate whatevers.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  John Hultquist
August 6, 2023 2:11 pm

There was a news story a few years back detailing how Leonardo Di Caprio and some of his movie star buddies were investing hundreds of millions of dollars in an oceanfront resort somewhere on the Gulf Coast of Central America, although I do not recall the exact location.
It was right around the time that di Caprio was schmoozing around the world in his yachts and jets to warn the world not to use any gas or other oil products because we are all gonna die if they do.
But I suspect the real reason they are saying this crap, besides naked virtue signaling, is they are thinking we are gonna run short at some point, and he sure would hate to have the riff raff using it all up instead of saving it for important people and their jets and yachts.
BTW, di Caprio never went to an actual school. His primary school education was noted for being a place where kids could “play in the Sun” in a “safe space”.

He tried to go to an actual High School, but got nowhere and dropped out before his junior year.
IOW, he is Mr. Science and we should all do as he says, not as he does.

John Hultquist
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
August 6, 2023 5:49 pm

Blackadore Caye — island appears to be 8 to 10 feet above sea level
Little news
I suspect the government permits are holding it up
Or lack of news could have been a result of Covid

August 6, 2023 9:24 am

Having spent most of my 77 years on the California coast I can attest to the fact that sea level seems stagnant. Same rocks I used to fish off at low and high tide are still there for me to stand on. Beaches and beach surf breaks ebb and flow with the seasons and storm patterns and unmolested point breaks haven’t changed. Flooding still happens at the same places. If you’re going to lie to me about sea level change being catastrophic you’ll need better facts.

Reply to  mleskovarsocalrrcom
August 6, 2023 10:30 am

No, no: this is all because California is leading the way against AGW, so of course its coast is fine. Probably has great air too!

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Ian_e
August 7, 2023 7:24 am

Yeah since Nevada is propping up California’s grid with coal fired power, clearly Nevada will get all the flooding./sarc

August 6, 2023 10:04 am

The PSMSL web site shows the relative sea level at The Battery as shown in Mr. Hamlin’s article is rising at a rate of about 2.8 mm/yr as he says. The “other information” button at the PSMSL The Battery site shows land elevation changes at the sea level gauge. It is the one labeled NYBP. It shows that for the past 13 years at least, the land level at The Battery gauge is sinking at a rate of about 1.8 mm/yr. A nearby GPS gauge at Elizabeth New Jersey installed in 2004 is sinking at about the same rate. This info suggests that the true sea level rise at The Battery gauge is about 1 mm/yr at least in recent years and likely much longer since land level changes are nearly always caused by long lasting geologic processes.

August 6, 2023 10:28 am

An 8-course dinner with all the interest reserved to the last course. I can’t help thinking the author must have been paid by the word.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Ian_e
August 6, 2023 12:07 pm

Why don’t you do the Cliff Notes version, Ian?

Steve Case
August 6, 2023 11:21 am

“Despite Alarmists Denials Statue of Liberty Photos Expose
Sea Level Rise Acceleration Failed Projections”

Download NEW YORK (THE BATTERY)tide gauge annual data from the PSMSL.
Create a graph in Excel and display the 2nd order polynomial trend and equation

        y = 0.0052×2 + 2.0266x + 6692.9

Multiply the x² value and round it off to get 0.01 mm/year² of acceleration which
is essentially zero acceleration. This is true for most long term tide gauges There
are over 50 tide gauges with nearly complete data going back to 1900 and most
of them show acceleration of 0.01 mm/yr² or less.

Tide Gauge Acceleration Distribution.gif
Steve Case
Reply to  Steve Case
August 6, 2023 11:26 am

Let’s see if that image can be cropped so’s you kin see it.

Tide Gauge Acceleration Distribution.gif
August 6, 2023 12:20 pm

Very nice.

August 6, 2023 3:41 pm

much ado about nothing
( William Shakespeare )
400 years ago, some interesting parralels

Bill Parsons
August 6, 2023 4:42 pm

Pardon this digression down Xeno Lane, but from what I can tell the main trend that’s accelerating in the U.S. now is illegal immigrants.

They say Lady Liberty welcomes all immigrants. Here’s what we are getting:

Legally in 2022:

During fiscal year 2022, USCIS welcomed 967,500 new citizens during naturalization ceremonies held across the United States and around the world. This is a 20% increase from last year and the highest number of naturalizations seen since FY 2008.Jul 5, 2023 


“Encounters” at the border: Nearly 2.4 million “encounters” at the U.S.-Mexico border in fiscal year (FY) 2022. About 30% of these are expelled. The others “apprehended” to await review.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Bill Parsons
August 6, 2023 4:45 pm

This migration is not climate driven. It’s economic driven. People fleeing governments that are killing them with poor economic conditions – just like the Democrats are doing here in the US. The problem is that there isn’t any place left for Americans to migrate to that is any better than here!

August 7, 2023 12:11 am

I’m not gonna go into all of the absurd ASSumptions in this stupid article (such as the fact that they have no idea if the island has sunk a bit… OR that water undercuts seawalls and erodes them so they sink and must be replaced. But *IF* sea levels have risen AT ALL, I guarantee it has happened before and/or it is so insignificant it is more logical to worry about a tiny asteroid splitting your skull..just you.
I am a few weeks from turning 70. I was the first person I knew of to call the Global Warming crap a hoax on pretty much every forum and discussion I was in.
The reason was that before GW there was the Acid Rain hoax. As the older folks know it was the #1 story in the USA for about a decade & on the cover of every mag and paper. I was alerted to its lies by a science newsletter called Access to Energy. I began to research the ppl & orgs feeding the lies to the media. It was a group called UCS (Union of Concerned Scientists). Their board of about 87 ppl had almost no scientists and they were all Marxists. They got their funding from the CPUSA and the USSR. They used the Institute for Policy Studies as a front to feed the media. THEN:
Almost miraculously the biggest dog (at the time) in the news world, after carrying this lie for a decade suddenly told the truth. 60 Minutes did a 180 turn and did a 20 min segment titled ‘The Acid Rain Hoax’.
Aaand POOF! it was almost as if never happened. No apologies, nothing. A short time later after a false start on a “global ice age”, the very same marxist scum came up with ‘Global Warming’. So, the very first time I heard the phrase I looked into who was behind it. SURPRISE! It was the usual suspects.
NOTE: In case you weren’t aware, the “fix” for global warming was exactly the same as the fix for acid rain!? You know the “fix”; make the USA a 3rd world nation. Who could have seen that coming?
So, I couldn’t care less about their charts and figures. I knew it was all a big fat lie. And I started telling it everywhere I went. As their lies popped up I said “I told you so” over and over till I was hoarse.
We are now 3 decades into this idiocy and the liars
🎯have a record of ZERO accuracy with any of their pronouncements and warnings.
🎯Nearly all of their data has been withdrawn or exposed as deceit.
🎯Some of the main pushers have admitted it was all wrong.
🎯MUCH🎯MUCH more significantly (for the wise among us) the world leaders in govt and business have almost to a person PROVED they don’t believe a bit of it by building homes on the oceans & flying their jets between their estates.
This was another in a growing number of propaganda operations to engender fear in the populace so they might be manipulated and controlled.

August 7, 2023 2:55 am

The sea level is a lot lower in the left hand, black and white photo, I would say by the height pf a person! Clearly this isnt the case, so the right hand photo mush have been taken at a different low tide. Dont forget, low tides are all the same, they vary, a lot.

Mumbles McGuirck
August 7, 2023 1:12 pm

A few years ago, I purchased a book which featured photographs of various buildings around Miami from 100 years ago paired with a recent photo of the same building taken from the same position. Of course, the books purpose was to show how little or how much places in Dade County had changed. But many of the homes and hotels depicted were near the water, either Biscayne Bay, a canal, or the Atlantic. You could readily see that the water levels hadn’t changed much. Granted the timing of the tides may not have been the same, but the tidal variation in many of these locations isn’t large. I’m sure it wouldn’t take much effort to do something similar for other locals and the results would be as convincing.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Mumbles McGuirck
August 8, 2023 2:00 am

South Florida is one a few places in the world where tides at the coast are nearly nonexistent.
Out over open water, there are a bunch of such places, called amphidromic points, but tides are generally higher near and at shorelines.
I first became aware of this about 20 years ago when I was camping at a retreat at Knight’s Key campground, located right at the landward side of the seven-mile bridge.
As I was setting up the tent right next to the water, I noted that we were doing so on land that was only a few inches, maybe 4 or 5 inches above the sea level.
I was wondering about the tides out loud, and then forgot about it.
Well, a couple of days later, another guy, who was setting up his tent right next to mine at the time, pointed out to me that this place had ‘the slowest moving tides I have ever seen”.
The tide had not moved more than a few inches all weekend.
When I got home, I went online and started looking into it, and found out right away that the Florida Keys have long been well known to have about zero tidal range.
Turns out the particulars of the geometry of that location cause the tidal bulges that travel around the Earth all cancel out right there, and this may be further dampened by the strong current flowing through the Florida Strait which is directly adjacent to the Keys.
Strong currents tend to dampen out waves, and I think do the same with tides, but this is a just a guess.

As one goes north along both sides of the peninsula of Florida, tidal ranges slowly increase, but are very low along both coasts for a fairly long distance from the Keys.

One result of this is that the beaches in the keys, to the extent that there are any, are filthy sand, with no tides to clean the sand of dirt and debris. In Summer, heavy rain cleans the sand up, but by the end of the dry season, that sand is dirty!
comment image

There are some other places, as can be seen, with very low amounts of tidal range.

According to the info from published tides in that place, it seems there can be as much as a foot of tidal range, but I did not see anything close to a foot of water movement over an entire weekend at the campground anytime I have been there. I would have guessed less than 6″.

Knights Key Tides.PNG
Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Mumbles McGuirck
August 8, 2023 2:06 am

This explains it a little:

“The typical tidal range in the open ocean is about 1 metre (3 feet) (blue and green on the map on the right). Closer to the coast, this range is much greater.[citation needed] Coastal tidal ranges vary globally and can differ anywhere from near zero to over 11 m (36 ft).[3][failed verification] The exact range depends on the volume of water adjacent to the coast, and the geography of the basin the water sits in. Larger bodies of water have higher ranges, and the geography can act as a funnel amplifying or dispersing the tide.[4] The world’s largest tidal range of 11.7 metres (38.4 feet) occurs in Bay of FundyCanada,[3][5][failed verification] a similar range is experienced at Ungava Bay also in Canada[6] and the United Kingdom regularly experiences tidal ranges up to 15 metres (49 feet) between England and Wales in the Bristol Channel.[7]
The fifty coastal locations with the largest tidal ranges worldwide are listed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the United States.[3]
Some of the smallest tidal ranges occur in the MediterraneanBaltic, and Caribbean Seas. A point within a tidal system where the tidal range is almost zero is called an amphidromic point.”

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