New Study On 20th Century Sea Level Rise Signals That IPCC 21st Century Projections May Be Grotesquely Overblown

Germany’s University of Siegen issued a press release on a recent study conducted by climate scientists. It turns out that natural oceanic cycles indeed do play a far greater role on sea level fluctuations than first believed.

Hat-tip: Die kalte Sonne.

Therefore, because the factors were not correctly considered in the past, we can immediately conclude that the scary projections made by the IPCC for the 21st century were falsely calculated and are thus likely grotesquely exaggerated.

What follows is the University of Siegen press release, which I’ve translated in English.
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Natural Sea Level Fluctuations Underestimated

University of Siegen study shows: The effects of natural ocean cycles on sea level changes is greater than first believed

Scientists all agree that global mean sea level rose by 14 to 21 cm since 1900. Up to now everyone assumed that the largest part of the rise was connected to man-made climate change. However a new calculation by a team of scientists led by German scientist Dr. Sönke Dangendorf of the Water and Environment Institute (fwu) of the University of Siegen now shows the causal uncertainties are much greater than previously assumed. The effects of natural ocean cycles on sea level is thus greater than first believed.

Dangendorf“The uncertainties on the causes of the observed sea level rise since 1900 published up to now fluctuate between 2 and 3 cm. Earlier about 90% of the sea level rise was attributed to anthropogenic effects, i.e. caused by man. These figures are based on the assumption that naturally caused fluctuations in the ocean last merely a few years, and thus explain only a very small part of the observed rise. The latest results however shows that the natural ocean cycles even can persist over decades or centuries. Therefore we can no longer exclude that natural fluctuations may have contributed up to ±8 cm to the observed sea level rise,” says Dangendorf (photo). The results have been published in renowned journal “Nature Communications”.

In its 5th assessment report in 2014 the IPCC summarized that ocean heating and melting of glaciers explain about 80% of the observed sea level rise since 1900. On the other hand the share by the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets over the said time period still remains uncertain. What’s clear is that neither ocean warming nor the glacier melting can be traced back 100% to anthropogenic effects. Eduardo Zorita, coauthor and scientist at the Helmholtz Center in Geesthacht, adds: “From earlier studies we know that a considerable share of the glacier contribution over the past centuries results from the Little Ice Age and only 50% are connected to anthropogenic factors. Due to insufficient measurements the man-made share of oceanic warming is known only over the past decades, where it reached about 90 percent of the entire warming. It is in any case improbable that the anthropogenic effect was more than 50 or 60% over the entire 20th century because the greenhouse gas emissions accelerated significantly during this period.

[It needs to be pointed out that man may be blamed for ocean warming only if it is proven that man was responsible for the overall global warming to begin with. This is hotly disputed as there is strong evidence of natural factors behind global warming.]

Tide gauges measuring the water level along the coasts are the main sources of data on past sea level changes. One problem these gauges have, however, is that in addition to the effects of oceanic warming and glacier melt they also measure local wind-induced mass redistributions. It’s a fact that these fluctuations dominate the sea level signal over short timescales. Dr. Alfred Müller, coauthor and professor of mathematics at the University of Siegen, argues: “Wind signals mask all long-term changes – not only those anthropogenic, but also natural ocean cycles. In the past this resulted in almost the entire sea level rise being attributed to anthropogenic effects.”

The scientists selected a new approach with which they analyzed the single components of the measured signal separately. As a result this allowed a more precise description of natural variability. “Using our methodology we reach the conclusion that the minimum anthropogenic part of sea level rise since 1900 is about 45%. This number is smaller than assumed previously, but in any case it agrees better with independent studies on single components (e.g. ocean warming, glacier melt),” Dangendorf summarizes. “Also if the values are less than previously assumed, it is important to point out that a significant part of the rise is attributable to anthropogenic effects,” says Dr. Jürgen Jensen, coauthor and professor of hydromechanics and water engineering at the University of Siegen: “For this reason, and in order to minimize the uncertainties in future projections, it is extremely important that we better understand the individual components as well as the natural and anthropogenic factors.”

Reference:
Dangendorf, S., Marcos, M., Müller, A., Zorita, E., Riva, R.E.M., Berk, K., Jensen, J. (2015): Detecting anthropogenic footprints in sea level rise, Nature Communications, doi:10.1038/ncomms884

Photo credit: University of Siegen

21 responses to “New Study On 20th Century Sea Level Rise Signals That IPCC 21st Century Projections May Be Grotesquely Overblown”

  1. John F. Hultquist

    In the past this resulted in almost the entire sea level rise being attributed to anthropogenic effects.” [Dr. Alfred Müller]

    I guess “in the past” means since the UN-IPCC and fellow travelers began campaigns to redistribute wealth. Science was not then so influenced by requests for proposals that sought to show human caused global warming. If you want something – pay for it.
    The University of Siegen didn’t get the UN memo.

    1. David Appell

      Stopping AGW is about REDUCING redistributions of wealth from the bottom upward.

      The rich and affluent, who by far cause most of AGW, are polluting for free while gaining economic benefits from it. But that changes the climate for everyone, and it’s the poor who suffer most from climate change. They pay the costs.

      So the net redistribution is from the poor to the affluent. Upward.

      1. DirkH

        David Appell 19. August 2015 at 6:04 PM | Permalink | Reply
        “Stopping AGW is about REDUCING redistributions of wealth from the bottom upward.”

        But the subsidies are “degressive” as a percentage of income.
        Also, a warmer world would reduce heating costs – as temperature differentials between tropics and poles would be reduced according to the theory of Global Warming, and the cold regions would warm far faster than the already warm regions, the poor would profit from Global Warming – while taxing their carbon-rich fuel would HURT the poor most.

        See? I think I delivered a 100% politically correct leftist argument. You’re the expert on that. Did I play by the rules?

        Why do you want to hurt the poor, David? You’re paid by a brother pair of evil billionaires right?

        1. David Appell

          “Also, a warmer world would reduce heating costs – as temperature differentials between tropics and poles would be reduced according to the theory of Global Warming, and the cold regions would warm far faster than the already warm regions, the poor would profit from Global Warming.”

          Utter nonsense, not even worthy of you.

          Are there more people living in the tropics or above the Arctic circle? Let’s see your numbers.

          Does air-conditioning cost money to run?

          1. DirkH

            Did Africans need air conditioning for the last 5 million years while developing into Homo Sapiens (allegedly that happened! Not in the cold swamps of Saxony, but gosh, in the non-air-conditioned tropics! Some even say we are ADAPTED to that!)?

      2. Oswald Thake

        Militant mis-statements of the truth R us! Poor people living in terrace houses in, say, Salford, pay over the odds prices for electricity whilst wealthier people on leafy suburbs get a subsidy for covering their roofs with solar panels, not to mention wealthy landowners (David Cameron’s father-in-law, anybody?) raking in several hundred thousand pounds a year from wind turbines; an underhand transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich. But one has to admire the fortitude with which the wealthy endure this state of affairs!
        Non sequiturs seem to be us, too, David! What on Earth has your reply to DirkH to do with the subject matter? IF the worlds warms, and IF the average temperature at higher latitudes increases, surely more people would live there?
        Warmth is good, bringing longer and better growing conditions, and life is easier.

      3. Ed Caryl

        David, how do the “rich and affluent” GET rich and affluent? By providing something that the less rich and affluent are willing to pay for. The “something” requires resources to produce. If there are no “rich and affluent” there is no “something”. There is no car for you to drive, no food at your local market, no computer on which to see my comment. You would be living in a stick and wattle hut which you built yourself and grubbing in the forest for your food… if you were still alive.

        The present is called civilization, and it exists because of something called a capitalist economy. All other systems have been less than successful in producing this result. All talk about AGW or CAGW is distraction. Sound and fury meaning nothing.

      4. AndyG55

        “who by far cause most of AGW”

        There is NO anthropogenic warming except in the heavily adjusted and UHI affected surface data.

        In the whole of the satellite data there is absolutely no warming apart from the step up caused by the solar forced 1997-2001 El Nino release of energy from the oceans. None what-so-ever.

        The AGW lie is totally destroyed by 36 years of satellite and weather balloon data.

  2. David Appell

    “Therefore, because the factors were not correctly considered in the past, we can immediately conclude that the scary projections made by the IPCC for the 21st century were falsely calculated and are thus likely grotesquely exaggerated.”

    Nope.

    The Zorita et al paper is about local changes in sea level. From the abstract:

    “The GMSL, however, remains unaffected by such biases.”

    GMSL = Global mean sea level

    http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2015/150729/ncomms8849/full/ncomms8849.html

    Their value, 45%, is the MINIMUM anthropogenic contribution to GMSL. It’s a lower limit.

    “On the basis of a model assessment of the separate components, we conclude that it is virtually certain (P=0.99) that at least 45% of the observed increase in GMSL is of anthropogenic origin.”

    1. DirkH

      “The GMSL, however, remains unaffected by such biases.”

      Hence the funding of Zorita et. al. also remained unaffected… as they made the necessary bow.

      1. David Appell

        Is that really the best unproven excuse you could come up with? It’s extremely lame.

        1. DirkH

          Well, my good old Big Government Smear.
          I am a believer in the conspiracy theory that Big Government secretly FUNDS all these climate scientists.
          I am sure you will refute that theory instantly.

        2. AndyG55

          What is extremely lame is your worthless presence on these blogs.

          You seem to live just to post tripe on blogs where you continually show that you are a scientific illiterate and that the only thing you have to offer is blatant propaganda lies and distortions.

          I guess if that is how you want to spent your meagre existence, that is up to you, but it does point you out as being a rather sick person mentally.

          I understand that you consider it an extension of your science fiction writing in a low-end irrelevant journal, but you really need to step back and ask your self why you are here.

          IFF you come up with a truthful answer, you will see that that there are many other thing even someone as pathetic as you could be doing with your worthless time.

    2. AndyG55

      There has been no change of the rate of sea level change in the last 100+ years.

      There is ABSOLUTELY NO HUMAN SIGNAL in the rate of sea level rise, (unless you use the adjusted satellite data tacked onto the steady as she rises tides gauge data)

    3. AndyG55

      “On the basis of a model assessment of the separate components, we conclude that our models are 99% responsible for the zero change in the rate of sea level rise”

  3. DirkH

    O/T German article about ludicrous ideas of Schleswig Holstein’s MP, Albig, SPD about energy supply. Sounds a lot like certain commenters here. Well he’s a social democrat.
    http://ef-magazin.de/2015/08/19/7323-torsten-albig-erklaert-die-energiewende-stuss-mit-lustig

  4. Denis Ables

    Whoa! We’re between ice ages, and one look at sea level chart covering the past 12 to 15,000 years shows a steady increase, with the current annual rate now miniscule. In other words, we’re probably at the end of our lovely inter-glacial period. What’s to explain? Sea level has increased 400+ feet, most of it long before human activity could be blamed. At least some glaciers are still receding (recently uncovered forests dating back thousands of years).

    After looking at the 12,000 year chart does ANYBODY believe the recent miniscule variations in the past few decades is suddenly due to anthropogenic activity?

    1. DirkH

      According to Genesis human activity WAS to blame.

  5. Oswald Thake

    Known in England as a ‘QTWTAIN’ – a Question To Which The Answer Is No!

  6. Steve Pruett

    Global warming pushes wealth upward? What nonsense. There has been NO cost of global warming to date for the poor or anyone else. Agricultural productivity has increased along with CO2. Predictions of future catastrophes are based on unvalidated models that don’t work very well and which actually give a huge range of temperature change which are disguised in most graphs by using an average. In the meantime, we are spending billions on subsidies, which takes money from the economy, increases fuel prices and has killed thousands in England due to “fuel poverty” during harsh winters in the last few years. The billions in subsidies also mean that governments, NGOs, and individuals have less money with which to help poor countries develop cheap power, which alarmist wouldn’t allow anyway, because it would involve the use of coal. About a billion people do not have access to reliable electrical power, and they cook and heat by burning whatever fuel they can find, leading to smoke inhalation and consequent adverse health effects that substantially decrease life span. So, on the basis of flaky science, you are willing to kill people or fail to take actions to prevent their deaths? A crash program to switch to “green energy” will be enormously costly to the countries who have traditionally provided the most foreign aid, while not having a substantial effect on CO2 because of the rate of growth of power generating plants (mostly coal) in China and India. By the way, if you doubt that the science is flaky, explain the failed predictions of an ice free arctic by 2013 or 2015, decreased sea ice in accelerated warming in Antarctica, the upper atmosphere “hot spot”, climate models that did not predict the “pause”, linear increase of temperature as CO2 increases, millions of climate refugees, etc., etc.

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