Are Sea Levels Really Rising?

It’s so amazing.  I sometimes give in and assume, "well, I guess that global warming and sea-level rise are really happening."

Then I take a read of stuff like this interview with one of the world’s most respected sea-level experts, and I shake my head, and realize that "unbiased" information is, actually, impossible to find.  Or, rather, if you find it, how could you know.

In the interview, Dr. Nils-Axel Mörner states (among other things)

From 1992 to 2002, [the graph of the sea level] was a straight line, variability along a straight line, but absolutely no trend whatsoever. We could see those spikes: a very rapid rise, but then in half a year, they fall back again. But absolutely no trend, and to have a sea-level rise, you need a trend.

Then, in 2003, the same data set, which in their [IPCC’s] publications, in their website, was a straight line—suddenly it changed, and showed a very strong line of uplift, 2.3 mm per year, the same as from the tide gauge. And that didn’t look so nice. It looked as though they had recorded something; but they hadn’t recorded anything. It was the original one which they had suddenly twisted up, because they entered a “correction factor,” which they took from the tide gauge. So it was not a measured thing, but a figure introduced from outside. I accused them of this at the Academy of Sciences in Moscow —I said you have introduced factors from outside; it’s not a measurement. It looks like it is measured from the satellite, but you don’t say what really happened. And they answered, that we had to do it, because otherwise we would not have gotten any trend!

According to the interview, even though the satellite and other worldwide data showed no sea-level rise, the data were adjusted based on the tide gauge readings of ONE SITE on the planet (Hong Kong) which, it is believed, is subsiding (sinking) in order to "fit" the data into the required trend.  And then those "adjusted" data were presented as hard evidence of the sea-level change.

3 responses to “Are Sea Levels Really Rising?

  1. Dear Rip,
    Dr. Nils-Axel Morner is not “one of the world’s most respected sea-level rise experts.” Dr. Morner is one of the foremost critics of global warming, equating it recently to the theory that the sun revolved around the earth. See Spiked-online.com’s just released survey, “What’s the Greatest Innovation“.
    http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php?/innovationsurvey/article/3244/
    As for that meeting before the Academy of Sciences in Moscow, the group he claimed to represent sent an official disclaimer letter. John J. Clague, President of the International Union for Quaternary Research (INQUA); wrote the President of the Russian Academy of Sciences in July 2004:
    “It has come to my attention that Dr. Nils-Axel Mörner gave presentations at the seminar on climate change organized by the Russian Academy of Sciences at the request of President Vladimir Putin earlier this month. Dr. Mörner attacked the science of climate change, while claiming that he is President of the Commission on Sea Level Change of INQUA (International Union for Quaternary Research).
    I am writing to inform you that Dr. Mörner has misrepresented his position with INQUA. Dr. Mörner was President of the Commission on Sea Level Change until July 2003, but the commission was terminated at that time during a reorganization of the commission structure of INQUA. Dr. Mörner currently has no formal position in INQUA, and I am distressed that he continues to represent himself in his former capacity. Further, INQUA, which is an umbrella organization for hundreds of researchers knowledgeable about past climate, does not subscribe to Mörner’s position on climate change. Nearly all of these researchers agree that humans are modifying Earth’s climate, a position diametrically opposed to Dr. Mörner’s point of view.”
    See http://secure.environmentaldefense.org/documents/3868_morner_exposed.pdf
    Does this sound like a respected scientist? One who misstates his credentials at an international forum? Shortly after this conference he resigned as a professor and his department was closed.
    For more about that interview visit my blog, countdowntothemeltdown, my post – Today’s News, for June 26th.
    If you want to learn about sea level rise go to the official sites.
    1. The Center for Sponsored Coastal Ocean Research (CSCOR) is part of the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration. See their chart on sea level rise at http://www.cop.noaa.gov/stressors/climatechange/current/sea_level_rise.html
    This is what they say: “Sea levels have risen between 100 and 250 mm (4 and 10 inches) during the past century and will inevitably be affected by climate change in the future. The rate of sea level rise during the twentieth century has been nearly 2 mm per year, which is an order of magnitude higher than the average over the last several millennia.”
    2. The United Nations Environment Programme, UNEP/GRID-Arendal site has a news site, ClimateWire.org, try this link for more on Sea Level Rise. http://www.climatewire.org/results.cfm?eid=6&q=sea+level+rise
    3. Try looking at the document itself at http://www.ipcc.ch/http://ipcc-wg1.ucar.edu/wg1/Report/AR4WG1_Pub_Ch05.pdf
    page 409, which specifically states they used satellite observations, a “decade-long altimetry data set shows that since 1993, sea level has been rising at a rate of around 3mm yr …” “Coastal tide gauge measurements confirm this observation.”
    I guess Dr. Morner forget to mention that they used a decades worth of altimeter readings from satellites, huh. Pretty convenient absence for a man accusing others of Falsifying Data. Do you think it is proper to leave out data which contradicts a theory? I don’t and most scientists don’t, but apparently Dr. Morner does.
    Check out this chart for sea level rise over the last century and the numerous projections given by the IPCC, http://www.grida.no/climate/vital/19.htm.
    If you want to debunk sea level rise find a better authority then a discredited retired professor.

  2. Mr. Doom,
    In logic, we have what is known as the ad hominem attack. I don’t care if Dr. Morner was discovered to be one of the world’s foremost child pornographers. The fact remains that he is one of the most well-informed people on the planet regarding sea level change, as evidenced by the fact that until recently he was, as you point out, the President of the INQUA Commission on Sea Level Change. So we can leave the “discrediting” behind. Anyone with his credentials deserves, at least, to be heard.
    Morner’s (and others) recent excommunication from the cult of scientists who support global warming theories is only further evidence that the group of scientists promoting global warming are not open to challenge and are more politically than scientifically motivated. True science welcomes challenge.
    All of the documents you link to simply provide various restatements of Dr. Morner’s objection: data which have already been massaged. Nowhere in your lengthy reply do you ever address the real point – that IPCC fudged the data to fit it to the tide gauge observations. Curiously, even the IPCC report states clearly that sea levels in the 1990s DROPPED over a very sizable region:
    – The eastern Pacific
    – The Gulf Stream
    – The Indian Ocean
    That’s an enormous area to experience sea level drop if, in fact, the oceans are racing upward.
    Also, the IPCCs own data shows that over the larger time frame of roughtly 1960-2000, sea level rise was only about 1mm/yr. In global systems, 30 years is considered to be the requisite length of time to demonstrate a trend. Anything can happen in 10 years.
    Consider this 2001 IPCC document (p. 652-653) which predates the wild politicization of global warming. In it, we learn that the Greenland and Antarctic ice caps are actually expanding!
    You wrote: “I guess Dr. Morner forget to mention that they used a decades worth of altimeter readings from satellites, huh.” No. Exactly wrong. Re-read my article. Dr. Morner claims that the RAW DATA from the decades worth of satillite altimeter readings, according to the IPCC itself, demonstrated NO TREND AT ALL until after it was “adjusted” to fit the tide-gauge readings.

  3. Sorry, the link failed to post.
    Read this, p. 652-653:

    Click to access IPCC.Ch11.2001.pdf

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