climate models predict that rising CO2 levels should cause accelerated sea
level rise, sea level measurements show that, thus far, in response to roughly 3/4 century
of substantial anthropogenically-driven CO2 increases, there has been no
detectable acceleration in the rate of sea level rise. In fact, some studies have detected small
a deceleration (slowing). Here are some papers which have
reported the lack of acceleration in rate of sea level rise (h/t to Alberto
Boretti, Robert Dean & Doug Lord):
Woodworth P, et al (2009).
Evidence for the accelerations of sea level on multi-decade and century timescales.
International Journal of Climatology, Volume 29, Issue 6, pages 777-789, May 2009.
Wenzel M and Schröter J (2010). Reconstruction of regional mean
sea level anomalies from tide gauges using neural networks. Journal
of Geophysical Research - Oceans. 115:C08013.
Mörner N-A (2010a). Sea level changes in Bangladesh
new observational facts. (Reprinted here.) Energy and Environment. 21(3):235-249.
Mörner N-A (2010b). Some problems in the
reconstruction of mean sea level and its changes with time.
Quaternary International. 221(1-2):3-8.
Mörner N-A (2010c). There Is No Alarming Sea Level
Rise! 21st Century Science & Technology. Fall 2010:7-17.
JR and Dean RG (2011a). Sea-Level Acceleration Based on U.S. Tide
Gauges and Extensions of Previous Global-Gauge Analyses. Journal of
Coastal Research. 27:409-417.
JR and Dean RG (2011b). J. R. Houston and R. G. Dean (2011) Reply to: Rahmstorf, S. and Vermeer, M., 2011. Discussion of: Houston, J.R. and
Dean, R.G., 2011. Sea-Level Acceleration Based on U.S. Tide
Gauges and Extensions of Previous Global-Gauge Analyses.
Journal of Coastal Research. Volume 27, Issue 4: pp. 788-790.
PJ (2011). Is There Evidence Yet of
Acceleration in Mean Sea Level Rise around Mainland Australia? Journal
of Coastal Research. 27:368-377.
Mörner N-A, (2011a). Setting the frames of
expected future sea level changes by exploring past geological sea
level records. Chapter 6 of book, D Easterbrook, Evidence-Based
Climate Science, 2011 Elsevier B.V. ISBN: 978-0-12-385956-3.
Mörner N-A, (2011b). The Maldives:
A measure of sea level changes and sea level ethics. Chapter 7 of book, D
Easterbrook, Evidence-Based Climate Science, 2011 Elsevier B.V. ISBN:
(2012). Comments on “Assessing future risk: quantifying the effects of
sea level rise on storm surge risk for the southern shores of Long Island,
New York,” by Shepard, et al. Natural
S and Vahrenholt F (2012). Fallstudien aus aller Welt belegen: Keine Beschleunigung des Meeresspiegelanstiegs
während der letzten 30 Jahre. (Case
studies from around the world: no evidence of accelerating sea level rise
over the last 30 years - English
Gregory, White, Church, et al (2014).
Twentieth-Century Global-Mean Sea Level Rise: Is the Whole Greater than the Sum of the Parts?
American Meteorological Society, Volume 26 Issue 13 (July 2013).
(See abstract: “...a
relationship between global climate change and the rate of [Global Mean
Sea Level Rise]... is weak or absent during the twentieth century.”)
Kemp et al (2015) .
Relative sea-level change in Connecticut (USA) during the last 2200 yrs, Earth and Planetary Science Letters,
Volume 428, 15 Oct. 2015, Pages 217-229. doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2015.07.034.
Excerpt from the abstract: "Change point analysis identified that modern rates of rise in Connecticut began at 1850-1886CE.
This timing is synchronous with changes recorded at other sites on the U.S. Atlantic coast and is likely the local expression
of a global sea-level change."
Note: Among the most extreme predictions of accelerated
sea level rise are those from German climatologist
How long should an LTT† sea level record be?
Multidecadal oscillations in regional sea levels mean that at least 50-60 years
of sea level data is required to establish a robust
†Long Term Trend (LTT). See:
Schlesinger, M. & Ramankutty, N. (1994), An oscillation in the global climate system of period 65-70 years.
Nature, Vol. 367, pp. 723-726 (24 February 1994),
(p.1 is here)
Douglas, B. (1995). Global sea level change: Determination and interpretation.
Reviews of Geophysics 33(S1): doi:10.1029/95RG00355. issn: 8755-1209.
Douglas B (1997).
Global Sea Rise: a Redetermination, Surveys in Geophysics,
Vol. 18, No. 2-3 (1997), 279-292,
Excerpt: "It is well established that sea level trends obtained from tide gauge records shorter than
about 50-60 years are corrupted by interdecadal sea level variation..."
Mitchell W, Chittleborough J,
Ronai B, and Lennon G W (2000), Sea
Level Rise in Australia and the Pacific, in the Proceedings of the Pacific Islands Conference on Climate
Change, Climate Variability and Sea Level Rise, Australian National Tidal Facility (NTF), 3-7 April 2000.
(See p.2; excerpt: "...it is scientifically unreasonable to consider
historic records less than several decades to yield realistic estimates of sea level trends.")
Klyashtorin, L. (2001), UN FAO Fisheries Technical Paper 410: Climate Change and Long-Term Fluctuations
of Commercial Catches - The Possibility of Forecasting,
ISBN 92‑5‑104695‑6, ISSN 0429‑9345, 86 pp.
(see p. 5)
Jevrejeva, S., J. C. Moore, A. Grinsted, and P. L. Woodworth (2008), Recent global sea level
acceleration started over 200 years ago? Geophys. Res. Lett., 35, L08715, doi:10.1029/2008GL033611 (see p. 3).
Zervas, C. (2009), NOAA Technical Report NOS CO-OPS 053,
Sea Level Variations of the United States, 1854 - 2006 (see p. xiii).
This report is also a great resource with in-depth information about determination of sea-level trends from
tide gauge measurement records.
Scafetta, N. (2012), "...an interval of just 30 years is the worst that can be chosen because it
is half 60-year cycle, and it happened that for SLR the period 1975-2005 had this 60-year cycle during its
warming phase (the temperature warming phase was about 1970-2000). So, if you fit the last 30-40 years you
get an overestimation of the real trend." [private communication]
Chambers, D., Merrifield, M.A., and Nerem, R.S. (2012). Is there a 60-year oscillation in global
mean sea level? Geophys. Res. Lett., doi:10.1029/2012GL052885
Baart, F., et al (2012).
The Effect of the 18.6-Year Lunar Nodal Cycle on Regional Sea-Level Rise Estimates.
Journal of Coastal Research Volume 28, Issue 2: pp. 511-516.
Woodworth, P.L. (2012).
A Note on the Nodal Tide in Sea Level Records. Journal of Coastal Research Volume 28, Issue 2: pp. 316-323.
Parker, A (2014).
Minimum 60 years of recording are needed to compute the sea level rate of rise in the Western South Pacific.
Nonlinear Engineering, ISSN (Online) 2192-8010, ISSN (Print) 2192-8029, doi:10.1515/nleng-2013-0011.
Alan Cheetham has an informative web page about
various apparent climate-related cycles of approx. 55 to 65 years duration.
passes for science includes opinion, arguments-from-authority, dramatic press releases, and fuzzy notions of consensus generated by preselected groups. This is not science.”Climatologist John Christy, Sept. 20, 2012
What a mess!
The Scientific Method is
what distinguishes “science” from other types of study. It is an algorithm or process
for investigating the physical world. Here's how it is supposed to work, in seven steps:
The scientist observes the available data.
He formulates an hypothesis to explain the observations.
He derives testable predictions from the hypothesis.
He devises experiments or observations to test the predictions.
He does the experiments or makes the observations.
If the test results match the predictions, he cries “eureka!” and
publishes. He can now properly call his hypothesis a scientific theory or theoretical model.
He publishes it along with his data and detailed calculations, so that other
scientists can reproduce and verify his work.
If the test results fail to match the predictions, the theory is said to be
“falsified,” so he discards or revises it and starts over at step 2,
with the new observations or experimental results added to the body of available data.
Step 7 is the test
of a scientist's integrity. If, instead of discarding or revising falsified
theories or models, a disappointed researcher revises the data, to make it
fit his predictions, he's no scientist worthy of the name.
“It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are. If it disagrees with experiment [or nature, or experience, or observation], it's wrong.
In that simple statement is the key to science.” - Richard Feynman (1964)
Unfortunately, much of what
passes for “science” these days fails that test. Here is some recommended reading:
Dickersin K, et al (1987)
found that pharmaceutical trials with positive results were more likely to be published
than trials with negative results. That's just one example of a much broader “publication
bias” problem: when researchers find the results they're hoping for, they publish;
otherwise, they often don't. For example, when climatologists Church & White examined
three sets of tide-gauge records of sea-level measurements for evidence of acceleration
(2006, 2009 & 2011), they found evidence of slight post-1900 acceleration in two of
but slight deceleration in the third (2009).
Guess which one did not have a paper published about it?
Offline: What is medicine's 5 sigma?
by Richard Horton, The Lancet, Volume 385, No. 9976, p.1380, 11 April 2015.
“Much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue.
Afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory
analyses, and flagrant conflicts of interest, together with an obsession for
pursuing fashionable trends of dubious importance, science has taken a turn
U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public
Works Republican Staff has issued several very
informative Reports on Climate Change, the Climategate scandal, and related topics.
submitted by the Institute of Physics to the UK Parliament. The IOP
concluded that the Climategate emails "provide prima facie evidence of
determined and co-ordinated refusals to comply with honourable scientific
traditions and freedom of information law."
GAO Report: Climate Monitoring - NOAA Can
Improve Management of the U.S. Historical Climatology Network,GAO-11-800,
Aug. 2011 (or here)