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Geologist Dr. Don Easterbrook debunks ‘absurd’ new warmist study claiming 1,700 U.S. cities will be below sea level by 2100 — Easterbrook: ‘The rate used by [Lead Author] Strauss for his predictions is more than 10 times the rate over the past century!’

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Analysis by Geologist Dr. Don J. Easterbrook, an Emeritus Professor at Western Washington University, who has authored ten books and 150 journal publications. Presented 31 research papers at international meetings in 13 countries outside the US.

Easterbrook: ‘More than 1,700 U.S. cities will be partially underwater by 2100? What is going to cause sea level rise to accelerate and where will the water come from?’

More than 1,700 American cities and towns – including Boston, New York, and Miami – will be drowning by the end of this century accoroding to a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by Benjamin Strauss. Twenty five percent of the populations of these 1,700 cities would be living below sea level by 2100 and 79 cities with a combined population of 835,000 would be submerged by 2023 and about half of the population of Fort Lauderdale, Hoboken, and Palm Beach would be submerged by 2023 according to Strauss. The basis for these amazing conclusions is apparently a 12 inch (222 cm) per decade rise of global sea level, the maximum IPCC estimate, which is postulated to be caused by increasing atmospheric CO2.

According to Strauss, Norfolk, Virginia, the largest naval base in the U.S., would be at risk by the 2040s and the Pentagon has already begun actively planning to relocate bases. Much of Miami would be under water by 2040 and half of Palm Beach, FL would be submerged by the 2060s.  Fort Lauderdale would be well below sea-level. About half the population of Cambridge, MA, across the Charles River from Boston would be submerged by the early 2060s

How does this compare with sea level rise over the past century? Sea level rose 12 cm (6 ½ inches) from 1900 to 1980 (Fig. 1) or about 7 inches per century.


Figure 1.  Sea level rise from 1900 to 1980.

Projecting this same rate over the next century would give a sea level rise of about 2 inches by 2030 and about 6 inches by the end of century.



Figure 2.  Sea level rise based on projection of past rates.

A comparison of the projection of sea level rise over the past century with the projected sea level rise of Strauss is shown in Figure 3.


Figure 3. Comparison of projected sea level rise based on rates over the past century with the IPCC rate used by Strauss (the maximum IPCC rate).

The difference between the two projections is remarkable. The rate used by Strauss for his predictions of 1700 submerged cities is more than 10 times the rate over the past century!  Two questions immediately arise: (1) what is going to cause such accelerated sea level rise and (2) where is all the water going to come from?

The accelerated rise is based on postulated accelerated warming but there has been no warming in the past 15 years and, in fact, the climate has cooled during that time (Figure 4). So no climatic warming means no accelerated sea level rise as postulated by Strauss.



Figure 4. Cooling of -0.23°C per century over the past decade. (modified from Monckton, 2013)

In order to get the accelerated sea level rise postulated by Strauss, much of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets would have to  melt.  However the Antarctic ice cap is expanding, not meltng and the Greenland ice cap was about the same size as at present during the Holocene Climatic Optimum. In addition, Morner (2011) has shown that the maximum possible eustatic sea level rate is only 10 mm year, (i.e., 1.0 m in a century).

The conclusion that we can draw from these data is that the huge rise of sea level rates proposed by Strauss are absurd and that the maximum sea level rise by 2100 will be less than one foot.

Related Links: 

Prominent Geologist Dr. Don Easterbrook: Validity of Marcott et al. new ‘Hockey Stick’ study PART II — The study’s ‘conclusion is wrong’ — ‘The Marcott et al. conclusion that “Global temperatures are warmer than at any time in at least 4,000 years” is clearly contrary to measured real-time data and thus fails the Feynman test, i.e., it is are wrong…Claim of ‘A heat spike like this has never happened before, at least not in the last 11,300 years’ is clearly contrary to measured real-time data and thus fails the Feynman test, i.e., their conclusion is wrong’ 

Prominent geologist warns ‘global COOLING is almost a slam dunk’ for up to 30 years or more — ‘There is no single piece of real evidence that points to CO2′ as driving temps – Dr. Don Easterbrook: ‘We’ve had 27 climate changes in the last 400 years: warm, cold, warm, cold. There have been four in this past century that have nothing to do with CO2, because CO2 wasn’t a factor hundreds of thousands of years ago. We know that those are not at all related to CO2. So why would we expect climate change today to be related to CO2?’