Nils-Axel Morner is probably the world’s expert on sea level changes. He has recently published a paper entitled: Deriving the Eustatic Sea Level Component in the Kattaegatt Sea
Astract: Changes in global sea level is an issue of much controversy. In the Kattegatt Sea, between Denmark and Sweden, the glacial isostatic component factor is well established and the axis of tilting has remained stable for the last 8000 years. At the point of zero regional crustal movements, there are three tide gauges indicating a present rise in sea level of 0.8 to 0.9 mm/yr for the last 125 years. This value provides a firm record of the regional eustatic rise in sea level in this part of the globe.
We are lectured monotonously about the “consensus” that carbon dioxide produced by human activities is “highly likely to cause dangerous global warming”. The alarmist computer models are all based on this assumption, with predicted warming multiplied by also assuming strong positive feedbacks.
A consensus of opinion never determines a scientific question – real proof depends on evidence and logic. Consensus is a tool of politics and a guidepost for lemmings.
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The so-called “Greenhouse Effect” depends entirely on the known property of carbon dioxide gas to intercept radiant heat in certain wavelengths. This process starts operating as soon as the extra gas enters the atmosphere.
If this influence is strong enough to drive “dangerous global warming”, its effect should be noticeable even in the short term, with Earth’s surface temperature increasing in step with increasing carbon dioxide.
Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has been steadily increasing for over a century, but global temperatures have fluctuated in broad cycles decades long, and the temperature trend has been flat for the last 17 years.
This evidence suggests that increasing carbon dioxide is not a major driver for dangerous global warming, no matter what the consensus says – even if a million people say a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing.
We may still get natural global warming, as the vast restless oceans roll over or the solar cycles change, but man-made carbon dioxide is not driving these processes. Moreover, a bit of warming is not our greatest risk – history shows that ice ages extinguish more species and habitats than warm eras.
The consensus of alarmists is trying to lynch an innocent party.
Ray Evans was one of the first Australians to recognise the poor science and dangerous goals of the global warmists. Way back in 2006, Ray wrote a well-reasoned booklet entitled “Nine Facts about Climate Change”. It still stands as a clear summary of the debate.
At most, global average sea level is rising at a rate equivalent to 2-3 inches per century. It is probably not rising at all.
Sea level is measured both by tide gauges and, since 1992, by satellite altimetry. One of the keepers of the satellite record told Professor Mörner that the record had been interfered with to show sea level rising, because the raw data from the satellites showed no increase in global sea level at all.
The raw data from the TOPEX/POSEIDON sea-level satellites, which operated from 1993-2000, shows a slight uptrend in sea level. However, after exclusion of the distorting effects of the Great El Niño Southern Oscillation of 1997/1998, a naturally-occurring event, the sea-level trend is zero.
The GRACE gravitational-anomaly satellites are able to measure ocean mass, from which sea-level change can be directly calculated. The GRACE data show that sea level fell slightly from 2002-2007.
These two distinct satellite systems, using very different measurement methods, produced raw data reaching identical conclusions: sea level is barely rising, if at all.
Sea level is not rising at all in the Maldives, the Laccadives, Tuvalu, India, Bangladesh, French Guyana, Venice, Cuxhaven, Korsør, Saint Paul Island, Qatar, etc.
In the Maldives, a group of Australian environmental scientists uprooted a 50-year-old tree by the shoreline, aiming to conceal the fact that its location indicated that sea level had not been rising. This is a further indication of political tampering with scientific evidence about sea level.
Modelling is not a suitable method of determining global sea-level changes, since a proper evaluation depends upon detailed research in multiple locations with widely-differing characteristics. The true facts are to be found in nature itself.
Since sea level is not rising, the chief ground of concern at the potential effects of anthropogenic “global warming” – that millions of shore-dwellers the world over may be displaced as the oceans expand – is baseless.
We are facing a very grave, unethical “sea-level-gate”.
The UN IPCC and others with a vested interest in the global warming scare have not bothered to check what sea level evidence says about global temperature changes.
Sea levels are very sensitive to temperature changes, and the oceanic indicators are currently reading “steady”.
So are all other thermometers.
Apart from bubbles of heat surrounding big cities, the thermometers and satellites of the world have not shown a warming trend for 17 years. This is in spite of some inspired fiddling with the records by those whose jobs, research grants and reputations depend on their ability to generate alarming forecasts of destructive global warming.
To explain this absence of warming on Earth’s surface, the warmists now claim that “the missing heat is hiding in the deep oceans”.
This sounds like a water-tight alibi, hard to disprove because of our inability to measure “average ocean temperature” directly.
However, the ocean itself is a huge thermometer – all we have to do is to read the gauges.
Most liquids expand when heated, and this property is used in traditional thermometers. They have a glass reservoir filled with liquid (usually mercury) and a graduated scale to measure any thermal expansion of that liquid.
More, as well as:
The Environmental Multinationals have lost their Way
Sea levels have been rising and falling for as far back as we have evidence, and current sea levels are lower than they were during the Roman Warm Period.
Robert Endlich has looked at the evidence still visible today:
An important turning point in British history occurred in 1066, when William the Conqueror defeated King Harold II at the Battle of Hastings. Less well-known is that, when William landed, he occupied an old Roman fort now known as Pevensey Castle, which at the time was located on a small island in a harbor on England’s south coast. A draw bridge connected it to the mainland. Pevensey is infamous because unfortunate prisoners were thrown into this “Sea Gate,” so that their bodies would be washed away by the tide. Pevensey Castle is now a mile from the coast – further proof of a much higher sea level fewer than 1000 years ago.
Before modern Italy, the region was dominated by the famous City States of the Mediterranean, among which is Pisa, with its picturesque Cathedral Square and famous Leaning Tower. Located near the mouth of the Arno River, Pisa was a powerful city, because maritime trade brought goods from sailing ships right into the port. Its reign ended after 1300 AD, the onset of the Little Ice Age, when sea levels fell and ships could no longer sail to her port. Once again, some say “river silting” was the cause.
However, Pisa is now seven miles from the Tyrrhenian Sea, with large meanders upstream from Pisa and little meandering downstream. When a river is “at grade,” the downstream gradient is as low as possible, as with the meandering Mississippi River and delta in Louisiana. Rivers with a strong downstream gradient flow to the sea in a direct route, with few meanders, as with the Rio Grande in New Mexico.
The facts of history are clear. Sea level was 400 feet lower at the end of the Wisconsin Ice Age, 18,000 years ago. Sea levels rose rapidly until 8,000 years ago. As recently as 1066, when the Normans conquered England, sea levels were quite a bit higher than today.
During the Little Ice Age, 1300 to 1850 – when temperatures were the coldest during any time in the past 10,000 years – snow and ice accumulated in Greenland, Antarctica, Europe and glaciers worldwide. As a consequence, sea levels fell so much that important Roman Era and Medieval port cities (like Ephesus, Ostia Antica and Pisa) were left miles from the Mediterranean.
Since the Little Ice Age ended about 160 years ago, tide gages show that sea level has risen at a steady rate – with no correlation to the rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels.
Sea level is a dynamic property in our planet’s climate cycles, which are closely linked to changes in solar energy output and other natural factors. It is unlikely to change in response to tax policies that make energy more expensive and economies less robust – no matter what politicians in Washington, Brussels or the United Nations might say.
Much to their chagrin, Mother Nature doesn’t listen to them. She has a mind of her own.
Robert W. Endlich served as a weather officer in the US Air Force for 21 years and a US Army meteorologist for 17 years. He was elected to Chi Epsilon Pi, the national Meteorology Honor Society, while a basic meteorology student at Texas A&M University. He has degrees in geology and meteorology from Rutgers University and the Pennsylvania State University, respectively, and has studied and visited the ancient sites of Rome, Ostia Antica and Pisa.
I have spent 55 years in the engineering profession where ignoring the evidence often kills people. Thus I am predisposed to look at the evidence before drawing conclusions.
Many articles and claims about sea levels are in conflict with the evidence.
For instance, sea level has been rising at something between 2 and 3 mm per year since the end of the Little ice age. As you can see from the graph, there is no indication that the rate of sea level rise is increasing. There is some indication that the rate of rise has reduced slightly since 2006.
In addition, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology set up a chain of sea level measuring stations around Australia and in the Pacific that are the most accurate in the world. As you can see from the chart, the sea level at Tuvalu dropped markedly during the 1997 – 1998 El Niño and since 2000 it has been substantially constant. Claims that Tuvalu is sinking beneath rising sea levels caused by man-made carbon dioxide therefore cannot be true. it is most unfortunate that many people who choose to spread this rumour have not bothered to look at the data. It is particularly unfortunate for the population of Tuvalu because they have been told that their very real problems with erosion are beyond their control when, in fact, they have largely caused them by taking too much fresh water out of the water table and by mining the reef for coral to reclaim land. If the powers that be recognised that this is the case, then aid could be concentrated on solving the real problems, not the imaginary ones.
One division is 100 mm.
Others claim that Pacific Islands are disappearing. Once again, this does not stack up against the evidence:
Professor Cliff Ollier of the School of Earth and Environmental Studies, the University of Western Australia, recently presented a paper in Poznan, Poland, in which he described the sun as the major control of climate, but not through greenhouse gases.
Abstract. The threat of dangerous climate change from anthropogenic global warming has decreased. Global temperature rose from 1975 to 1998, but since then has levelled off. Sea level is now rising at about 1.5mm per year based on tide gauges, and satellite data suggests it may even be falling. Coral islands once allegedly threatened by drowning have actually increased in area. Ice caps cannot possibly slide into the sea (the alarmist model) because they occupy kilometres-deep basins extending below sea level. Deep ice cores show a succession of annual layers of snow accumulation back to 760,000 years and in all that time never melted, despite times when the temperature was higher than it is today. Sea ice shows no change in 30 years in the Arctic. Emphasis on the greenhouse effect stresses radiation and usually leads to neglect of important factors like convection. Water is the main greenhouse gas. The CO2 in the ocean and the atmosphere are in equilibrium: if we could remove CO2 from the atmosphere the ocean would give out more to restore the balance. Increasing CO2 might make the ocean less alkaline but never acid. The sun is now seen as the major control of climate, but not through greenhouse gases. There is a very good correlation of sunspots and climate. Solar cycles provide a basis for prediction. Solar Cycle 24 has started and we can expect serious cooling. Many think that political decisions about climate are based on scientific predictions but what politicians get are projections based on computer models. The UN’s main adviser, the IPCC, uses adjusted data for the input, their models and codes remain secret, and they do not accept responsibility for their projections.
Prominent climate alarmist James Hansen claims that the wisps of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere could melt all the ice caps, cause the ocean to boil and that would be the end for all of us.
Listen to the him trying to scare us witless:
Are we and the fishes and the corals in danger of being cooked?
The diagram below shows that the Pacific Ocean surface temperature is not rising – in fact it looks to be slowly turning into a cooling phase. The seasonal variations caused by the sun are obvious, but there is no correlation between this horizontal trend of temperature and the rising trend of the carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere.