Robust Natural Variability Affirmed In Global Sea Level Rise Rates – No Correlation With CO2 Forcing

 Tide Gauge Evidence: Sea Levels 

Rose Faster Before 1950 Than Since

In recent years it has become increasingly apparent that tide gauge measurements of sea level rise often do not align with climate model expectations.

The models are predicated on the assumption that anthropogenic CO2 emissions, which have risen explosively since about 1950are the drivers of modern sea level rise.

Evidence from observed sea level trends have not been cooperating with this narrative, however.

Tide gauges indicate there has been a substantial overall reduction in the rate of sea level rise since about 1950 rather than the expected substantial acceleration.

For example, UK oceanographer Simon Holgate reported a 29% deceleration in global sea level rise rates from the first half of the 20th century (1904-1953) to the second half (1954-2003)

Holgate, 2007    “The rate of sea level change was found to be larger in the early part of last century (2.03 ± 0.35 mm/yr 1904–1953), in comparison with the latter part (1.45 ± 0.34 mm/yr 1954–2003).”

A small sampling of regional tide gauge results (SW Pacific, Japan) affirm the deceleration of sea level rise since the mid-20th century, and indicate the highest rates of sea level rise occurred before human CO2 emissions began accelerating rapidly.

Gehrels et al., 2012    “Between 1900 and 1950 relative sea level rose at an average rate of 4.2±0.1 mm/yr. During the latter half of the 20th century the reconstructed rate of relative sea-level rise was 0.7±0.6 mm/yr. Our study is consistent with a similar pattern of relative sea-level change recently reconstructed for southern New Zealand.”

Sasaki et al., 2017    “Sea level variability around Japan from 1906 to 2010 is examined using a regional ocean model, along with observational data and the CMIP5 historical simulations. The regional model reproduces observed interdecadal sea level variability, e.g., high sea level around 1950, low sea level in the 1970s, and sea level rise during the most recent three decades, along the Japanese coast. … That the wind-induced sea level rise along the Japanese coast around 1950 is as large as the recent sea level rise highlights the importance of natural variability in understanding regional sea level change on interdecadal timescales.”

A reconstruction of global-scale rates from tide gauges (Jevrejeva et al., 2008) dating back to 1700 also reveals a deceleration in the rate of sea level increase since 1950.

Jevrejeva et al., 2008

Rates Of Recent Rise For 2,133 Global-Scale Tide Gauges: 1.04 mm/year 

According to a comprehensive analysis (2,133 tide gauges) of Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level (PSMSL) data, the current (2014) global mean sea level rise rate is a little more than 1 mm/year.

Parker, 2015   “The nominal satellite altimeter-based determination of the absolute global mean sea level is actually a computational result rather than a direct observation. It is obtained by correcting the satellite altimeter raw signal with algorithms having many features in common with the climate models. Regardless of any modeling problems, Carter et al. (2014) pointed out that estimates of sea-level change from satellite-collected data remain problematic, because of the many uncertainties in data collection and processing. In particular, there is inconsistency between the results derived by different research groups, with all results depending upon the accuracy of complex adjustments, some of which lack in- dependent verification, plus the severe problem that the signal being sought may be less than the noise level of the data being used. Many corrections applied to all satellite altimeter measurements of sea-level since 2003 had the effect of changing a sea-level record that showed no trend or a gentle rise into one that projects high rates of rise.”
“The latest PSMSL Table of Relative Mean Sea Level Secular Trends update 14-Feb-2014 ( proposes the relative rates of rise computed for 2133 tide gauges of variable record length (maximum 183 [years], minimum 21 [years], average 56.5 years) with the more recent, shortest readings collected mostly in areas of subsidence and a strongly non uniform geographical coverage. The average relative rate of rise of the 2133 tide gauges is 1.04±0.45 mm/year

NOAA’s ‘Believed’ Rates Of Recent Rise From Tide Gauges: 1.7-1.8 mm/year

Adding NOAA’s ‘Believed’ Modern Rate To The Long-Term Rate Trend

Trends In Human CO2 Emissions Rates (GtC/year)

Non-Correlation: Sea Level Rise Rates & CO2 Emissions Rates

Reconstructed Trends In Total Solar Irradiance 1700-2013

Yndestad and Solheim, 2017

“Deterministic models based on the stationary periods confirm the results through a close relation to known long solar minima since 1000 A.D. and suggest a modern maximum period from 1940 to 2015. The model computes a new Dalton-type sunspot minimum from approximately 2025 to 2050 and a new Dalton-type period TSI minimum from approximately 2040 to 2065. … Periods with few sunspots are associated with low solar activity and cold climate periods. Periods with many sunspots are associated with high solar activity and warm climate periods.”

Apparent Correlation: TSI And (Lagged) Sea Level Rise Rate Changes

Apparent Correlation: TSI And Northern Hemisphere Temperatures

Stoffel et al., 2015

32 responses to “Robust Natural Variability Affirmed In Global Sea Level Rise Rates – No Correlation With CO2 Forcing”

  1. Lasse

    Gauges that is not reliable.
    Satellites is better or?
    Nasa think so and mixes gauges and satellites to get acceleration:

    As if gauges stopped to work after the satellites was launched!
    Trump and I think NASA is unreliable.

  2. SebastianH

    Kenneth, how does it feel to quote the word “model” so many times? Isn’t that what you accuse me of all the time? All I have is models? No actual measurements?

    According to your graphs TSI varies by 2 W/m² over decades. So from around 1950 to today TSI increased from ~1360 W/m² to 1362 W/m² and back to 1361 W/m² since 2000. 50 years 2 W/m² increase means an average increase of 1 W/m².

    Converted into actual forcing on the surface? 0.25 W/m² average on Earth’s surface. 0.175 W/m² when considering the albedo. That’s not nothing, but it’s not enough to explain the OHC change (especially with the decrease back to 1361 W/m² and the OHC still climbing at roughly the same speed as before). An influence on thermal expansion and ice melt might be there, but it can’t be the main driver with that low amount of change, right?

    1. AndyG55

      poor seb think that TSI is the only change during the Solar maximums.


      Ignorance, yet again.. and proof he hasn’t learnt one tiny thing during his baseless AGW religion trolling sessions.

      1. SebastianH

        Enlighten me!

        1. AndyG55

          NO-ONE has any chance of ever enlightening you.

          You do not have the capacity to be bright !!

    2. AndyG55

      “but it’s not enough to explain the OHC change”

      Show us actual DATA on actual OHC change.

      Levitus is a AGW agenda driven model, nothing more.

      ARGO data is unfortunately in the hands of a rabid cultist who has actually admitted throwing away “cooler” data.

      1. SebastianH

        Another case of “i don’t like the data, so it must be fake”? If that’s the only thing that skeptics can do to sleep at night, ok … noted.

        1. AndyG55

          Show us real data from before 2003, seb…

          We are waiting…

          Or are you just FABRICATING , yet again.

          It is easy to show that Josh’s actions have greatly devalued any real data from ARGO.

    3. David A

      Sebastian. Please tell us the residence time is disparate solar insolation entering the oceans. The longer the residence time, the greater the accumulated affect, positive w

  3. Lasse

    The old gaugestations have long series of data.
    That is good for observation of acceleration.
    Lack of!
    There is a 60 Year cycle to be found at most stations.

    1. tom0mason

      In the paper ‘On the decadal rates of sea level change during the twentieth century’ by S. J. Holgate1 (GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, VOL. 34, L01602, doi:10.1029/2006GL028492, 2007), found a few longer records for his study. And when suitably processed the 60year cycle information is filtered out.

      [6] In order to test whether a few high quality records could provide similar information to the composites, nine tide gauge records were carefully selected from the database of the Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level (PSMSL, available at [Woodworth and Player, 2003]: New York (1856–2003), Key West (1913– 2003), San Diego (1906–2003), Balboa (1908–1996), Honolulu (1905–2003), Cascais (1882–1993), Newlyn (1915–2004), Trieste (1905–2004), and Auckland (1903–2000).

      And from these geographically scattered sites Holgate1 is able to make a reasonable composite plot of sea level rise. His conclusion —

      5.Summary and Conclusions

      [22] Based on a selection of nine long, high quality tide gauge records, the mean rate of sea level rise over the period 1904–2003 was found to be 1.74 ± 0.16 mm/yr after correction for GIA using the ICE-4G model [Peltier, 2001] and for inverse barometer effects using HadSLP2 [Allan and Ansell, 2006]. The mean rate of rise was greater in the first half of this period than the latter half, though the difference in rates was not found to be significant. The use of a reduced number of high quality sea level records was found to be as suitable in this type of analysis as using a larger number of regionally averaged gauges.

      [23] Finally, in extending the work of HW04 to cover the whole century, it is found that the high decadal rates of change in global mean sea level observed during the last 20 years of the record were not particularly unusual in the longer term context.

  4. AndyG55

    Satellite sea level data “adjustments” started between 2000 and 2003.

    And continued upwards, unabated by reality.

  5. Craig T

    Kennith, your quote attributed to Parker and Ollier, 2015 isn’t in the paper you linked. When I search using parts of your quote I only find your pages. Is there another paper the quote came from?

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