Thursday, April 21, 2016

Bryan Leyland: Things you know that ain't so - sea levels are rising

Things you know that ain't so - the sea level is rising rapidly and this will continue to increase

We are constantly being told by the Royal Society of New Zealand and others that the sea level is rising more and more rapidly and we must be prepared for a rise of something like 1 m over the next 100 years or so – 10 mm per year. This is a serious matter because many Councils are now restricting building close to the sea and putting restrictions on existing houses that have substantially reduced their value.

There is no scientific foundation for this belief. It is based on the output of computer models that, so far, have been shown to consistently overestimate the rate of sea level rise.

So what do we know about sea level rise?

There are two ways of measuring sea level rise. 

One is from the records of tide gauges spread around the world. The oldest records date back to the 1890s and, the average rise for 225 tide gauges spread around the world is 1.48 mm per year.

This is close to the generally accepted 1.72 mm per year for tide gauges.

In the 1990s, Australia set up a series of very accurate tide gauges all around Australia and on many Pacific Islands. These show that, for the majority of sites, the sea level rise since the mid-1990s was less then 2 mm per year.

The Pacific Islands record shows, for instance, that the sea level in Tuvalu has hardly changed since 1992. At the moment, as a result of the current El NiƱo, Tuvalu sea level is about 100 mm below the level in 1994 – 1997.

According to "Sea level rise – history and consequences” by Bruce Douglas there has been no acceleration of the rate of rise during the 20th century.

The other source of sea level rise data is from satellite observations. These show a reasonably steady rise of about 3.2 mm per year. Nobody seems to be able to explain the difference but it is possible that it is due to warm patches in the middle of the ocean increasing the oceanic sea level. Many "climate scientists” have cobbled together the tide gauge and satellite records and used the result to claim that the rate of rise is increasing. This is, of course, highly unscientific.

Predictions of sea level rise from IPCC computer models range from about 150 mm to 300 mm by 2100. In 2011, NASA’s predictions ranged from 200 mm to 700 mm.  At the present rate of rise the figure would be 125 mm.

The Ministry for the Environment has cobbled the satellite record onto the tide gauge record and predicts a sea level rise of something like 0.5 m to 0.8 m by 2100.  But, to its shame, the Royal Society of New Zealand leads the pack with a projected rise of .3m to 1 m. More than anybody else!

So there we have it! All the evidence indicates that the sea level is likely to rise 100 to 200 mm by 2100. But the government, the Royal Society and other public bodies choose to believe the predictions of the sea level models that have been spectacular failures so far and, as a result, are devaluing coastal properties and preventing development in places where, in all probability, there would be negligible risk for hundreds of years. 

So blind belief in flawed computer models overrules the evidence. And coastal communities pay. 


Anonymous said...

Estimates put ground water extraction at about 300km³ per year in 2000, (probably higher now) adding about 0.8mm/year to sea level rise (USA and particularly India being biggest contributors). That cannot continue for much longer.

Which really makes the situation even less worse-than-we-thought, and suggests an icecap loss flux of around zero if we are to believe the ARGOs ocean heat data and the estimated 1.5mm/year thermosteric (thermally induced expansion) rise, and discount the irrelevant 0.3mm/year glacial isostatic 'correction' invented to make the data look worse

Apocalypse cancelled.

Bill O'Donnell S/Phil. said...

There is an anomally in all these predictions, in that climate-change/global-warming,et al, is an INEXACT science. Also the water in our oceans is not constant in its didtribution levels. IF the polar ice-caps do melt substantially, without replacement by snow in their places of origin, then there is a tremendous shift of weight distribution around the globe, and a consequential subtle/or not-so-subtle POSSIBLE shift in the axial rotation of our sphere, which may/will affect seasonal climate extremes.

Unknown said...

Predictably moronic behavior by our politicians once again. Will common sense and intelligence ever return to NZ's administration. Not with our ignorant electorate me thinks.Climate change is the new delusional religion now. Lets all crawl under our beds and quake with the muslim terrorist that hide there.

Mike L. said...

Well said, Bryan. I note that Al Gore has not sold his seaside residence, despite his hysterical predictions on sea-level rise!

Anonymous said...

All communications from satelite get processed by computer programs and algorithms as do images from the same sources. Depending on instructions given to the programmers of the algorithms, fudge factors can be in-built to deliver what management want. Even the programmers might have 'personal' beliefs that require subtle inclusion - might be an Al Gore worshipper and so ensure the prophet gets figures that 'assist' where in fact they maybe completely neutral or even opposite. Can you believe one set of stats. No. But can you believe multiple stats if they emmanate from corporations having the same aims, or the same masters? No. Erosion has modified coastlines since seas and oceans formed, and will continue to do so. Also land has been delivered up from the sea. The sea, land interface is forever changing at varying degrees, at different locations.

Toby Heale said...

Whatever your view about the cause of global warming might be, it exists. I believe it is cyclical and I proved it (to my satisfaction) in Corruption-Absolutely! published by the Social Affairs Unit in London in 2009. But the awful environmentalist hand-wringing attitude must finally be brushed aside. We know what's coming and we must do the work. Build the flood defences, the irrigation channels and the dams. What the greens are doing is saying Stop! Stop! Stop burning fossil fuels and global warming will go away. What if they are wrong and it is cyclical? Mother nature reliably exterminates every species that fails to adapt to a changing environment -- And that is exactly what the Greens are telling you to do -to fail to adapt and prepare.

paul scott said...

I was making a photo essay on the economic collapse and abandonment of holiday villages, and hotels on the South east coast of Thailand
I asked as many Thais as I could get conversation with, what had happened, why the people had left.
“The sea came in” they told me. The sea came in, the sand disappeared, and the people left here.
Ahha I see. "Global sea rise” But why such a major intrusion, nearly a metre .
Now, before this, the Thais had been very busy building massive dams during the 1960’s immediately inland for a reservoir, and agriculture.
The result was a diminishment of ten of thousands of tons of silt outflow at the Phetchaburi delta.
This in turn allowed the encroachment of the sea, and by the time I arrived with my camera in 2013, it was desolation hotel village coastline.
Similar in other areas of Thailand coast, both sides, and Bangkok itself on the banks of the Chao Phraya.
In Bangkok they make things worse by groundwater extraction, causing subsidence.

At the beach, Caroline bay, Timaru, where we used to swim as kids, the beach [ sea level haha ] has receded several hundred metres.
This since the building of the jetty and wharf there in the 1870’s. The opposite effect, sand and silt deposits. The sand is washed in and does not escape.

So coastal changes I have seen, are man made to some extent, but not caused by that evil, smelly, and toxic Carbon dioxide or global warming at all.