Veteran Meteorologist: “Old And New Data Show Sea Level Rise Deceleration”…Alarmist Projections “Contradicted”

Retired German meteorologist Klaus-Eckart Puls has written an analysis at the European Institute for Climate and Energy (EIKE) website here. He concludes:

Old and new measurement data show that sea level rise has decelerated.”

The article is a bit long and so I’ll focus on the main results only.

North Sea rise stagnates

First he discusses a 2013 study by T. Wahl, et al.: “Observed mean sea level changes around the North Sea coastline from 1800 to present”; Earth-Science Reviews; Volume 124, September 2013, Pages 51, which examined 30 North Sea tide gauges, of which some of them go back up to 200 years and most of them 100 years. The results:

Source: T. Wahl, et al.

The Wahl paper writes:

In summary the long term trends in the North Sea are not significantly different from global sea level trends, while the inter-annual and decadal variability are much bigger in the North Sea and hardly comparable to those derived from the global sea level reconstruction considered here.

The recent rates of sea level rise (i.e. over the last two to three decades) are high compared to the long-term average, but are comparable to those which have been observed at other times in the late 19th and 20th century.”

Puls concludes: “There are variations, but no acceleration on a 100-year scale!!!”

Sea level rise at the German bight

Puls then examines data from the German bight. The results are depicted by the following graphic:

Evaluation of coastal tide gauges at the German bight: “No acceleration!” Data: Albrecht, F., T. Wahl, J. Jensen and R.Weisse (2011).

Puls’s conclusion: “The data going back in part over the last 160 years show no acceleration in sea level rise. Rather there is a slight weakening as the polynomial indicates.”

Global sea level rise slowing down

Although variations at the North Sea are greater than those of global sea level, Puls writes that the overall trend is practically the same. He provides a graphic of the data taken by satellite:

Evaluation of satellite altimetry – data source:

Puls writes: “Even over the two most recent decades no acceleration can be detected, rather there is a weakening.”

Meteorolgist Puls then summarizes the results of the GRACE data for the last 9 nine years: “Only 1,7 mm per year.”

The EIKE article then looks at the “grotesque” discrepancy between satellite data and tide gauge data, and that to this day there is still no reasonable explanation for it. One thing is sure: the collection of tide gauges doesn’t lie.

Puls concludes

The constant stream of alarm reports of supposedly dramatic sea level rise at present and in the future cannot be confirmed by observations. Rather, the data as a whole contradict it. Worldwide neither tide gauges nor satellite data indicate an acceleration in sea level rise. Rather they show a weakening. There is a glaring contradiction between earlier and current statements from a number of institutes, climate models and the IPCC. Moreover there are strong indications that the satellite data showing higher values were “over-corrected”.


12 responses to “Veteran Meteorologist: “Old And New Data Show Sea Level Rise Deceleration”…Alarmist Projections “Contradicted””

  1. Ed Caryl

    The discrepancy between satellite data and tide gauge data can be explained. Satellite data looks at the whole ocean. Tide gauge data looks at just the shoreline. Away from the shore, as a part of the ocean warms, as the western Pacific has, it expands, upward. As warmer water is less dense, gravity loses sway and it bulges upward. This is exaggerated in deep water and non-existent in shallow water. The satellites are looking at a combination of water temperature and depth, not shoreline sea level.

    The real sea level rise is slowing as the amount of remaining land ice in melting climes is reduced and the amount of water removable from endorheic lakes and aquifers becomes limited.

    1. John F. Hultquist

      Good points. I had not thought about the sea level measurements much but the near shore versus the deep ocean locations for measurements makes a lot of sense.

      I’ve used the phrase “the easy ice has already melted” to express your 2nd point.

      I had to think about your “endorheic lakes” statement. Then I remembered Mono Lake.
      “When the city of Los Angeles diverted water from flowing into the lake, it lowered the lake level, which imperiled the migratory birds. The Mono Lake Committee formed in response,…”

      More history on this can be found by searching on the “Owens Valley.”

      In the USA early irrigation often involved taking the spring run-off and flooding the land (aka rill irrigation). There was and is a lot of through-flow into “waste water ditches” and that goes back to the rivers. I’ll guess when well water use was first begun the practice of flood irrigation continued. Now center pivot and drip methods are preferred. Thus, a lot of the moisture goes into (or through) the crops and gets shipped around the world (or into the air). Still, the water in our Washington State apples eventually goes to the ocean.

    2. AJ Virgo

      Why has Antarctic ice grown past its record size and why has the Arctic ice cap recovered ? How does this affect sea level and if the missing heat increase since 1998 has gone into the ocean why is it so deep where it cant be measured? If scientists are wrong about heat disappearing into the ocean then how are they to be trusted?

      1. DirkH

        Science has nothing to do with trust. There have always been greedy / corrupt scumbags in science. For instance Carl Sagan.

  2. Havsnivåstigningen accelererar inte - Stockholmsinitiativet - Klimatupplysningen

    […] Jag är inte så bra på tyska men de har översatt en del av texten till engelska och dessutom finns valda delar översatta på Pierre Gosselins blog. […]

  3. Loodt Pretorius

    Once the Dutch start lifting their dykes I will believe that sea levels are rising, until then it is mere idle speculation.

    1. Mindert Eiting

      It’s funny that besides seven billion parrots you never hear a sound from the people in our water institutions (Waterschappen). Maybe they are just doing their work. When the Dutch lift their dykes, it’s probably because the land is sinking.

  4. Richard

    The Australians put state of the art sea level measuring equipment on 12 pacific islands around 1993. These are carefully monitored and maintained, they show very little if any sea level rise. That icon of global warming Tuvalu shows none over the last 10 years.

  5. Annette N. Kemp

    Global sea level rose by about 120 meters during the several millennia that followed the end of the last ice age (approximately 21,000 years ago), and stabilized between 3,000 and 2,000 years ago. Sea level indicators suggest that global sea level did not change significantly from then until the late 19th century when the instrumental record of sea level change shows evidence for an onset of sea level rise. Estimates for the 20th century show that global average sea level rose at a rate of about 1.7 millimeters per year. Satellite altimetry observations, available since the early 1990s, provide more accurate sea level data with nearly global coverage and indicate that since 1993 sea level has been rising at a rate of about 3 millimeters per year. Climate models based on the current rate of increase in greenhouse gases, however, indicate that sea level may rise at about 4 millimeters per year reaching 0.22 to 0.44 meters above 1990 levels by the period 2090-2099 ( IPCC 2007 ).

    1. Ed Caryl

      There are many questions about altimetry based sea level measurements. One problem is that the technique purposely excludes ocean areas close to shorelines. Another problem is the the areas showing the largest rise are also areas with the largest error margins, with errors of the same magnitude as the rise. Another problem is one I described in my comment above: the rise measured is thermal expansion in mid-ocean, not shoreline sea level. The only rise that will affect shore infrastructure is real tide-gauge sea level, which has been rising at about 1.7 mm/year, or 17 cm (six inches) projected into the next century. IF warming continues. And just how many of the climate models have been validated by current real temperature data?

    2. DirkH
      Well as to the stabilization up to
      “until the late 19th century when the instrumental record of sea level change shows evidence for an onset of sea level rise.”

      It looks to me like this is the typical Mann / Marcotte fallacy/SOP of splicing signals with different low pass frequencies and sell the resulting homunculus as science.

  6. Elinor C. Albert

    The Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services has been measuring sea level for over 150 years, with tide stations of the National Water Level Observation Network operating on all U.S. coasts. Changes in Mean Sea Level (MSL), either a sea level rise or sea level fall, have been computed at 128 long-term water level stations using a minimum span of 30 years of observations at each location. These measurements have been averaged by month to remove the effect of higher frequency phenomena (e.g. storm surge) in order to compute an accurate linear sea level trend. The trend analysis has also been extended to 240 global tide stations using data from the Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level (PSMSL) .

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