Der Spiegel 1948: “America Will Become Less” – Sea Level Rise Of 6 Millimeters Per Year!

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Awhile back Stefan Rahmstorf took a few readings off the coast of North Carolina and concluded sea levels were rising faster than at any time since Jesus had walked on water.

Well, Der Spiegel noticed it 63 years ago in 1948 and wrote a piece called America will become less”. Obviously Rahmstorf had only recycled an old story from Der Spiegel when he wrote that paper. Needless to say his remix of that story was promptly debunked (J. R. Houston and R. G. Dean, Journal of Coastal Research 27 (4), 788-790 (2011).

In 1948, just after the 1910-1945 warm period, Mr. H. A. Marmer of the US Coast and Geodetic Survey of the North American Coastal Observation Bureau “reported that the sea level along the east coast of the USA was rising 6 mm/ year” and posed the question:

Is the country sinking or is sea level rising?  It is still not decided. The uniformity of change along the 2000-km coastline allows us to conclude that the sea is partly responsible.”

Der Spiegel then mentioned that sea level rise from sediment build-up from rivers discharging into the ocean adds 3-4 mm of sea level rise per century and writes:

A big part of sea level rise is the melting of ice. During the last ice age there was approximately 40 million cubic kilometers more ice on land than today. The melting of ice made the sea level rise about 100 meters over the the last 10-20 thousand years. And again a strengthened melting of glaciers and polar inland ice like a few decades ago could be responsible for the rising sea level along the American east coast.”

Der Spiegel also mentioned that Scandinavia was rising while the North German coast was sinking at a rate of 20 cm per century. Along North America Der Spiegel wrote that measurements had been taken since 1895, and that sea level in 1948 was accelerating:

…in the time until 1930 the coast sank at a rate that was only one seventh of the current rate. Then it began, from Florida in the south, to Maine in the north, a sinking of 6 mm per year. If that will continue, no one knows.”

As Der Spiegel was writing about melting polar caps and rising sea levels, it was only 26 years later in 1974 that they warned us of a new coming ice age.

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5 responses to “Der Spiegel 1948: “America Will Become Less” – Sea Level Rise Of 6 Millimeters Per Year!”

  1. DirkH

    Ah, Rahmstorf 2007. I just made a comment at WUWT. It was the first paper where he used his nonlinear trend toy, ssatrend; he recycled it for the Moscow-Heatwave-due-to-AGW paper.
    My comment:
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/10/26/rahmstorfs-new-heat-wave-twisty/#comment-779374

  2. DirkH

    Slow newsday with regard to AGW. Zeit online has something: Interview with Malaysian activist; Chandran Nair; urges governments in Asia to prohibit private car ownership. “The political quest is to prepare people for relinquishment”. German:
    http://www.zeit.de/wirtschaft/2011-10/interview-chandran-nair?dfdd

  3. matti

    The 1948 article well illustrates that every time the natural cycle troughs or peaks we tend to over react. We did it during warming peak of the 1930’and 1940’s as the article clearly shows , then again in the mid 1970s when the scientists were calling for an ice age ,we did it again during the latest global warming peak of the 1990’s and are about to do it again as some are now calling for an ice age again . Meanwhile the weather continues to cycle as it has always does . The troughs and peaks vary slightly but that is enough to get the “sky is falling “scientists out in full force People really do have short memories . Things are the same , and yet they also change constantly.Lets ride the wave and not panic as the doomers and gloomers want us to..

  4. DirkH

    Genius scientists find out that a lot of the water in the Ganges comes from rainwater, not from melting glaciers. Nicely contrasted to Monbiot’s utterances who predicted doom and gloom for India:
    http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2011/10/24/glacial-george.html

  5. Joe

    And yet as we speak, there are Germans dreaming of imposing the Morgenthal plan on itself voluntarily, enthusiastically seeking to reduce Germany to an impoverished and deindustrialized agricultural and pastoralist society.

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