Theory vs. Evidence: the great climate debate

Theory: There are two things that climate alarmists worry about which could, theoretically, adversely affect our barrier islands:

1. Accelerated sea-level rise.

2. Increased North Atlantic storminess.

Evidence: The empirical evidence is that our barrier islands are unaffected by anthropogenic climate change.

Both of the supposed threats are entirely theoretical. There's no actual evidence of either accelerated sea-level rise or increased North Atlantic storminess associated with anthropogenic climate change.

Mankind has been driving up atmospheric greenhouse gas levels pretty dramatically for about seventy years. Over that time, atmospheric CO2 (carbon dioxide) has increased from under 0.031% of the atmosphere to over 0.040%. Yet the rate of sea-level rise is no faster now than it was 70 or 80 years ago, before we put all that CO2 (and methane, CH4) into the atmosphere. Here's an especially high-quality 168-year long record of sea-level, from a tide gauge in Europe:

Every high-quality, long-term coastal sea-level measurement record in the world shows the same thing: adding 100 ppmv of CO2 (and a lot of methane) to the atmosphere has not detectably affected sea-level rise.

Have you noticed how long it's been since a major hurricane hit the USA? 125 months! It's the longest in recorded history. Worldwide storminess actually seems to have decreased slightly, rather than increased, as greenhouse gas levels have gone up:


“Future generations will wonder in bemused amazement that the early twenty-first century's developed world went into hysterical panic over a globally averaged temperature increase of a few tenths of a degree and, on the basis of gross exaggerations of highly uncertain computer projections combined into implausible chains of inference, proceeded to contemplate a roll back of the industrial age.”  -Dr. Richard Lindzen (Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology, Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, MIT)


Dave Burton          March 22, 2016

NC Sea Level Rise Impact Study Advisory Committee member, U.N. IPCC AR5 WG1 Expert Reviewer, NC-20 Science Advisor.   M: 919-244-3316