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Sea Level rise hijinks: How do you get from 7 inches per century to 11 feet per century? Computer models!

By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project – The Week That Was “TWTW”:

Excerpt: Sea Level Hockey-Sticks? Last week’s TWTW discussed the lawsuit by Rhode Island against oil companies, and the claims that dire increases in sea level rise will occur this century. These claims are like those made by Oakland, San Francisco, and New York City. To establish any observational basis for these claims, this week’s TWTW will further explore their sources.

The technical report, “The State of Narraganset Bay and Its Watershed. 2017,” is instructive. Figure 1 (p. 75) and Figure 2 (p. 76) show the decades-long sea level trends in Newport and Providence, RI, of 2.78 +/- 0.16 mm per year (1.1 inches per decade) and 2.25 +/- 0.25 mm per year (0.9 inches per decade), respectively, from the established NOAA publication “Tides and Currents.” Then, Figure 3 (p. 78) shows NOAA projections of a rise of up to 11 feet by the end of the century (extreme case)! How did a rise of 10 inches per century, with an error of about 10%, turn in to rise of 11 feet by the end of the century (280 mm per century to 3352 mm per century)? This increase in rate of rise of more than 10 times that being measured.

The average case in the NOAA projections given in Figure 3 is a sea level rise of 4 feet. This is given a 50% probability of occurring. From the observed data, this is more than 4 times that which should be expected! The citation given is Sweet, et al. 2017 which relates to the 2017 Climate Science Special Report published by the US Global Change Research Program (USGCRP).

Other citations for an acceleration of sea level rise include the UN Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report (AR5, 2013), which claimed that global sea level rise was 1.7 mm per year, 0.7 inches per decade, from 1901 to 2010; then jumped to 3.2 mm per year, 1.3 inches per decade, from 1993 to 2010. Satellite altimetry is used to substantiate the higher rate of sea level rise from 1993 to 2016. What caused this sudden increase in rate of sea level rise in 1993? Apparently, no one knows. There is no observational evidence given.

As readers realize, TWTW strongly supports comprehensive atmospheric temperature data taken by satellites. These calculations are strongly supported by direct measurements independently taken by weather balloons. But, TWTW has frequently criticized satellite altimetry data on sea level rise because the data are contradicted by a large body of data from many tidal gages around the world. Although some tidal gages are subject to variation from local conditions, such as plate tectonics, and readings are noisy, subject to seasonal variation and prevailing winds, long term trends in stable areas remain about 1 to 2 mm per year (4 to 8 inches per century). Tidal gages in tectonically stable areas show no acceleration in sea level rise – an acceleration claimed by those using satellite altimetry data. The current, claimed acceleration appears from satellite altimetry data appear to be the result of faulty calibration of satellite data with tidal gage data.

Independently, Ron Clutz and Paul Homewood have spliced together differences in the rates of sea level rise as measured by tidal gages and IPCC Model Projections. Clutz for Newport, RI, and Homewood for global data. What we see is a familiar shape – Mr. Mann’s hockey-stick.

How many false icons should the public allow the IPCC? Ben Santer’s falsely named “distinct human fingerprint” was featured in AR2, 1995; Mr. Mann’s hockey-stick in AR3, 2001; the Himalayan glaciers melting by mid-21st century in AR4, 2007; and accelerating sea level rise in AR5, 2013-14? At least the previous icons had some observational evidence, no matter how thin or vague. The latest version offers none.

The fingerprint had condensation of water vapor at higher altitudes (about 10 km (33,000 feet) over the tropics) giving off latent heat, no matter the cause. The hockey-stick had the work of Sherwood Idso and others on bristlecone pines in the White Mountains of California, which attributed recent growth to carbon dioxide (CO2) enrichment. Which was later falsely claimed to be from global warming. The melting of the Himalayas had some glaciers melting; but, as shown later, other glaciers were increasing. There is no strong evidence offered for the latest IPCC icon, the sea level rise hockey-stick, and it is contradicted by strong evidence from tidal gages in stable coastal areas. Should this not be the last false icon