Reality vs. Theory: Scientists Affirm ‘Recent Lack Of Any Detectable Acceleration’ In Sea Level Rise

Scientists: ‘Loud Divergence Between Sea

Level Reality And Climate Change Theory’

Global Sea Level ‘Acceleration’ Just 0.002 mm/year²

According to peer-reviewed, “consensus” climate science, anthropogenic CO2 emissions are the cause of Arctic sea ice decline.  In fact, peer-reviewed, “consensus” climate science indicates the causal relationship is so direct and so linear that it can be said with confidence that we humans melt one square foot of sea ice for every 75 miles we travel in a gasoline-powered engine.

The modeled results are even more alarming for the polar ice sheets.   Like Arctic sea ice, the peer-reviewed, “consensus” climate science says that there is a direct, causal relationship between the magnitude of our CO2 emissions and the magnitude of polar ice sheet melt.   Therefore, by driving our vehicles and heating our homes we are catastrophically melting the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets to such a degree that our CO2 emissions will likely cause sea levels to rise 10 feet during the next 50 years (by 2065).

Ten feet is the equivalent of about 3.05 meters of sea level rise by 2065.

So, according to peer-reviewed, “consensus” climate science, the catastrophic melting of the polar ice sheets will produce 0.61 of a meter of sea level rise per decade, which is 61 mm/year, over the course of the next 50 (now 48 – a 2015 paper) years.  To achieve this, more than an order of magnitude greater sea level rise acceleration will need to begin . . . immediately.

The trouble is, the physics, and reality, do not support “mainstream” climate science models predicated on anthropogenic CO2 emissions as the principal driver of  ice sheet melt and sea level rise.  For example:

1. East Antarctica, which comprises two-thirds of the continent, has been gaining mass since 2003 (Martín-Español et al., 2017).

2. The Western Antarctic Peninsula has been rapidly cooling since 1999 (-0.47°C per decade), reversing the previous warming trend and leading to a shift to surface mass gains of the peripheral glacier” (Oliva et al., 2017).

3. The Greenland ice sheet (GIS) has been melting so slowly and so negligibly in recent decades that the entire ice sheet’s total contribution to global sea level rise was a mere 0.39 of a centimeter (0.17 to 0.61 cm) between 1993 and 2010 (Leeson et al, 2017) .  That’s a sea level rise contribution of about 0.23 mm/year since the 1990s, which is a canyon-sized divergence from the 61 mm/year that adherents of peer-reviewed, “consensus” climate science have projected for the coming decades.

And now Australian scientists have published a new paper in the journal Earth Systems and Environment that “does not support the notion of rapidly changing mass of ice in Greenland and Antarctica“.  The paper highlights the “loud divergence between sea level reality” and “the climate models [that] predict an accelerated sea-level rise driven by the anthropogenic CO2 emission“.

In fact, the key finding from the paper is that long-term observations from tide gauges reveal a “recent lack of any detectable acceleration in the rate of sea-level rise“.    The modern rate of sea level rise acceleration – 0.002 mm/year² – is so negligible it falls well below the threshold of measurement accuracy.

The lack of a detectable global-scale sea level rise acceleration recorded in tide gauge measurements isn’t a novel finding.  In recent years, dozens of other scientists have bravely come forward to challenge “consensus” modeling that implicates anthropogenic CO2 emissions as the preeminent cause of ice sheet melt and sea level rise.

Perhaps at some point “consensus”-based climate science will jettison its focus on models and projections of perilous future climate states directly caused by anthropogenic CO2 emissions and instead embrace the observational evidence that may undermine the alarm.

Until then, we will likely need to continue learning about how many millimeters we humans raise sea levels for each kilometer we drive in our fossil-fuel-powered vehicles.   Because that’s how “consensus” climate science works.

Parker and Ollier, 2017

[L]ocal sea-level forecasts should be based on proven local sea-level data. Their naïve averaging of all the tide gauges included in the PSMSL surveys showed ‘‘relative’’ trends of about + 1.04 mm/year (570 tide gauges of any length). By only considering the 100 tide gauges with more than 80 years of recording, the average trend was only + 0.25 mm/year [2.5 centimeters per century]. This naïve averaging has been stable in recent decades, and it shows that the sea levels are slowly rising but not significantly accelerating. They conclude that if the sea levels are only oscillating about constant trends everywhere, then the local patterns may be used for local coastal planning without any need to use purely speculative global trends based on emission scenarios.

The loud divergence between sea-level reality and climate change theory—the climate models predict an accelerated sea-level rise driven by the anthropogenic CO2 emission—has been also evidenced in other works such as Boretti (2012a, b), Boretti and Watson (2012), Douglas (1992), Douglas and Peltier (2002), Fasullo et al. (2016), Jevrejeva et al. (2006), Holgate (2007), Houston and Dean (2011), Mörner 2010a, b, 2016), Mörner and Parker (2013), Scafetta (2014), Wenzel and Schröter (2010) and Wunsch et al. (2007) reporting on the recent lack of any detectable acceleration in the rate of sea-level rise. The minimum length requirement of 50–60 years to produce a realistic sea-level rate of rise is also discussed in other works such as Baart et al. (2012), Douglas (1995, 1997), Gervais (2016), Jevrejeva et al. (2008), Knudsen et al. (2011), Scafetta (2013a, b), Wenzel and Schröter (2014) and Woodworth (2011).

[T]he information from the tide gauges of the USA and the rest of the world when considered globally and over time windows of not less than 80 years […] does not support the notion of rapidly changing mass of ice in Greenland and Antarctica as claimed by Davis and Vinogradova (2017). The sea levels have been oscillating about a nearly perfectly linear trend since the start of the twentieth century with no sign of acceleration. There are only different phases of some oscillations moving from one location to another that do not represent any global acceleration.

The global sea-level acceleration is therefore in the order of + 0.002  ± 0.003 mm/year², i.e. + 2 ÷ 3 μm/year², well below the accuracy of the estimation. This means that the sea levels may rise in the twenty-first century only a few centimeters more than what they rose during the twentieth century. This is by no means alarming.

The information from the tide gauges of the USA does not support any claim of rapidly changing ice mass in Greenland and Antarctica. The data only suggest the sea levels have been oscillating about the same trend line during the last century and this century.

Other New Supporting Papers Indicating No Anthropogenic Sea Level Rise Signal

Watson, 2017

The analysis in this paper is based on a recently developed analytical package titled ‘‘msltrend,’’ specifically designed to enhance estimates of trend, real-time velocity, and acceleration in the relative mean sea-level signal derived from long annual average ocean water level time series. Key findings are that at the 95% confidence level, no consistent or compelling evidence (yet) exists that recent rates of rise are higher or abnormal in the context of the historical records available across Europe, nor is there any evidence that geocentric rates of rise are above the global average. It is likely a further 20 years of data will distinguish whether recent increases are evidence of the onset of climate change–induced acceleration.

Munshi, 2017

Detrended correlation analysis of a global sea level reconstruction 1807-2010 does not show that changes in the rate of sea level rise are related to the rate of fossil fuel emissions at any of the nine time scales tried. The result is checked against the measured data from sixteen locations in the Pacific and Atlantic regions of the Northern Hemisphere. No evidence could be found that observed changes in the rate of sea level rise are unnatural phenomena that can be attributed to fossil fuel emissions. These results are inconsistent with the proposition that the rate of sea level rise can be moderated by reducing emissions. It is noted that correlation is a necessary but not sufficient condition for a causal relationship between emissions and acceleration of sea level rise.

Hansen et al., 2016

Together with a general sea-level rise of 1.18 mm/y, the sum of these five sea-level oscillations constitutes a reconstructed or theoretical sea-level curve of the eastern North Sea to the central Baltic Sea … which correlates very well with the observed sea-level changes of the 160-year period (1849–2009), from which 26 long tide gauge time series are available from the eastern North Sea to the central Baltic Sea.  Such identification of oscillators and general trends over 160 years would be of great importance for distinguishing long-term, natural developments from possible, more recent anthropogenic sea-level changes. However, we found that a possible candidate for such anthropogenic development, i.e. the large sea-level rise after 1970, is completely contained by the found small residuals, long-term oscillators, and general trend. Thus, we found that there is (yet) no observable sea-level effect of anthropogenic global warming in the world’s best recorded region.

Palanisamy, 2016

Building up on the relationship between thermocline and sea level in the tropical region, we show that most of the observed sea level spatial trend pattern in the tropical Pacific can be explained by the wind driven vertical thermocline movement. By performing detection and attribution study on sea level spatial trend patterns in the tropical Pacific and attempting to eliminate signal corresponding to the main internal climate mode, we further show that the remaining residual sea level trend pattern does not correspond to externally forced anthropogenic sea level signal. In addition, we also suggest that satellite altimetry measurement may not still be accurate enough to detect the anthropogenic signal in the 20-year tropical Pacific sea level trends.

Hadi Bordbar et al., 2016

Here we address the question as to whether the recent decadal trends in the tropical Pacific atmosphere-ocean system are within the range of internal variability, as simulated in long unforced integrations of global climate models. We show that the recent trends are still within the range of long-term internal decadal variability.

Global Sea Levels Actually Rising About 1 mm/yr… Not 3+ mm/yr

McAneney et al., 2017

Global averaged sea-level rise is estimated at about 1.7 ± 0.2 mm year−1 (Rhein et al. 2013), however, this global average rise ignores any local land movements. Church et al. (2006) and J. A. Church (2016; personal communication) suggest a long-term average rate of relative (ocean relative to land) sea-level rise of 1.3 mm year. …The data show no consistent trend in the frequency of flooding over the 122-year [1892-2013]  duration of observations despite persistent warming of air temperatures characterized in other studies. On the other hand, flood frequencies are strongly influenced by ENSO phases with many more floods of any height occurring in La Niña years. … In terms of flood heights, a marginal statistically significant upward trend is observed over the entire sequence of measurements. However, once the data have been adjusted for average sea-level rise of 1.3 mm year−1 over the entire length of the record, no statistical significance remains, either for the entire record, or for the shortened series based on higher quality data. The analysis of the uncorrected data shows how the choice of starting points in a time series can lead to quite different conclusions about trends in the data, even if the statistical analysis is consistent. … In short, we have been unable to detect any influence of global warming at this tropical location on either the frequency, or the height of major flooding other than that due to its influence on sea-level rise.

Zerbini et al., 2017

Our study focuses on the time series of Alicante, in Spain, Marseille, in France, Genoa, Marina di Ravenna (formerly Porto Corsini), Venice and Trieste, in Italy. After removing the vertical land motions in Venice and Marina di Ravenna, and the inverted barometer effect at all the sites, the linear long period sea-level rates were estimated. The results are in excellent agreement ranging between + 1.2 and + 1.3 mm/year for the overall period from the last decades of the 19th century till 2012. The associated errors, computed by accounting for serial autocorrelation, are of the order of 0.2–0.3 mm/year for all stations, except Alicante, for which the error turns out to be 0,5 mm/year. … Our estimated rates for the northern Mediterranean, a relatively small regional sea, are slightly lower than the global mean rate, + 1.7 ± 0.2 mm/year, recently published in the IPCC AR5 (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 5th Assessment Report) (Church et al., 2013), but close enough, if uncertainties are taken into account. It is known that Mediterranean stations had always had lower trends than the global-average ones. Our regional results, however, are in close agreement with the global mean rate, + 1.2 mm/year, published by Hay et al. (2015) which is currently being discussed by the oceanographic community.

Mörner, 2017

Global tide gauge data sets may vary between +1.7 mm/yr to +0.25 mm/yr depending upon the choice of stations. At numerous individual sites, available tide gauges show variability around a stable zero level. Coastal morphology is a sharp tool in defining ongoing changes in sea level. A general stability has been defined in sites like the Maldives, Goa, Bangladesh and Fiji. In contrast to all those observations, satellite altimetry claim there is a global mean rise in sea level of about 3.0 mm/yr. In this paper, it is claimed that the satellite altimetry values have been “manipulated”.

In this situation, it is recommended that we return to the observational facts, which provides global sea level records varying between ±0.0 and +1.0 mm/yr; i.e. values that pose no problems in coastal protection.

20 responses to “Reality vs. Theory: Scientists Affirm ‘Recent Lack Of Any Detectable Acceleration’ In Sea Level Rise”


    Hurray! We have a testable hypothesis. At 1.7 mm/yr average linear trend in SLR, it will take 30 years at 0.002 mm/yr2 to give a 10% anomaly (over the linear trend). At 0.005 mm/yr2, it will take 19 years, and at 0.09 mm/yr2 (giving 3.0 m anomaly) it takes only 5 years. This magnitude of anomaly should surely have shown up by now with the increased CO2 load we have contributed to the atmosphere since 1950.

  2. Michael Jones

    “…recent lack of any detectable acceleration in the rate of sea-level rise“.

    Is this just sloppy language or are we to read this literally? Is the author really discussing the 2nd differential here?

    We seem to have a an acceleration in a rate (implicitly of change) of a level!

    Is he just trying to say that there is no detectable rise in sea levels?

    1. tom0mason

      Read it literally.

      Sea levels are still rising but this rise is not accelerating in the rate of the rise.

      However the virtual reality version of sea-levels (as used by IPCC and AGW alarmist) say that there is acceleration, you would have to question those living in that virtual world how they think about that.

      Or to put it another way, the propaganda message (from the deranged IPCC and AGW believer brethren) that sea-rise has and will proceed at an accelerating pace, is wrong. Not just lacking accuracy, not misconstrued, or wrongly interpreted but just plain and simply wrong. It totally lacks truth. There is no acceleration in sea-level rise. It’s just an alarmist meme to frighten people to pay their hard earned money into a scheme with NO merit. It is a con. It lacks credibility. It is not truthful. Sea-levels are not rising at an ever faster rate! It is a dead parrot!!

      Or just say “…recent lack of any detectable acceleration in the rate of sea-level rise“.

    2. Kenneth Richard

      “Is he just trying to say that there is no detectable rise in sea levels?”

      No, the authors are saying that the rate of sea level rise has not accelerated when looking at the long-term data.

      In fact, it’s possible to have a deceleration in sea level rise rates while overall sea levels are still rising.

      For example, the rate of sea level rise decelerated after 1950 according to long-term tide gauge measurements. Seas were still rising, but at a slower rate.
      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).

    3. yonason

      @Michael Jones 30. October 2017 at 5:23 PM

      You ask – “Is this just sloppy language or are we to read this literally? Is the author really discussing the 2nd differential here?”

      You do realize that a bit of internet sleuthing would resolve your quandary, without making you look like a complete ignoramus. Here’s just one item.
      “Study Reveals Stunning Acceleration of Sea Level Rise”

      Warmists are making that ridiculous claim, and, like yourself are too lazy to look for the easily available information that would tell them it’s not happening. Well, either that or they are deliberately lying.

      Anything else you can’t be bothered to look up yourself that you want to waste our time with?

    4. Tom O

      Actually, I think it is sloppy reading, not sloppy writing. Or perhaps it’s just sloppy thinking.

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  5. Kurt in Switzerland

    … nor is there a sustained acceleration signal in sea level rise vs. time. Go figure.

  6. Kurt in Switzerland

    tomOmason & Kenneth Richards:

    A semantics observation:

    1) sea level rise is the topic.
    2) the RATE of sea level rise is the first derivative (mm/y).
    3) the ACCELERATION of sea level rise is the SECOND derivative (mm/y2).

    So a {sustained} increase in the RATE implies a positive second derivative, whereas a {sustained} decrease in the RATE would imply a negative second derivative. Constant rate would imply zero second derivative, as you certainly are aware.

    In your discourse above, you appear to be referring to an acceleration in the RATE of increase, which would be one derivative too many (I believe you actually mean an acceleration in the RISE and an increase in the RATE of RISE).

    1. yonason

      @Kurt in Switzerland 1. November 2017 at 12:01 AM

      You seem to be taking the term “acceleration” entirely too literally, in the technical sense. It’s being used in the less formal sense of an increase in the rate of sea level rise, which itself is only an approximate average, and as such one can’t even legitimately talk about a first derivative of it. That alone should settle whether “acceleration” means a second derivative.

      Consider this definition at…
      “acceleration – an increase in rate of change; ‘modern science caused an acceleration of cultural change’.”

      I think we can all agree that “cultural change” is not a differentiable function. But it conveys a sense of what is happening.

      Bottom line – you are overthinking it.

    2. tom0mason

      OK Kurt in Switzerland, maybe english is not your first language, so lets make this very clear.

      According to the alarmists sea-level rise is accelerating! That is the rate of change (of sea-level rise) is increasing year on year.

      Look here (a US government site)

      Where on page 5 where they categorically state the alarmist message —

      “Global SLR is accelerating:
      •20th century = 2 mm/yr (e.g., Church et al., 2004)
      •1993-present = 3 mm/yr (e.g., Merrifield and Merrifield, 2009)”

      One of the favorite ‘tricks’ is to show just part (usually 2011 to 2016) of this graph to show acceleration.

      Other papers on the subject include satellite data and finds that sea level rise has apparently accelerated over the 20th Century (Church 2008 . And from this the AGW dullards and alarmist build a whole argument of accelerating sea-level rise based on that paper see .

      And lastly there is the IPCC ( )
      The graph at the bottom of the page most certainly shows acceleration in sea-level rise. But that’s what should be expected from the demented IPCC bureaucrats.

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  9. Robertguilt

    China wasted less renewable power in the first nine months of the year, data from the National Energy Administration (NEA) showed, the latest sign that Beijing’s efforts to improve efficiency in its wind and solar sectors are paying off.

    From January to September, the curtailment for wind power across China dropped 6.7 percentage points from the same period last year to 12 percent, while wasted solar power fell 3.8 percentage points from a year ago to 5.6 percent, the data showed on Tuesday.

    Despite some improvement, the amount of electricity that failed to connect to the grid remains significant in the western parts of the country, with almost a quarter of solar and a third of wind power lost in Gansu province.

    The government has set targets for the amount of renewable power that should reach the grid to resolve the problem of energy going to waste, one of the country’s biggest challenges in its clean energy campaign.

    Last month, the NEA said it hopes to solve the issue by 2020.

    Installed renewable power capacity reached 630 gigawatts (GW) by the end of September, with hydropower capacity at 339 GW, wind power at 157 GW, solar power at 120 GW and biomass energy at 14.23 GW, the NEA data showed.

    China produced 1.17 trillion kilowatt hours of electricity from renewable energy, accounting for 25 percent of its power mix in the first three quarters.

    “Renewable energy has become the main force of China’s new electricity,” said Li Chuangjun, deputy director of the renewable energy department at the NEA, in a separate statement on Tuesday.

    (booklet printing, printing in China).

  10. Peter

    “China produced 1.17 trillion kilowatt hours of electricity from renewable energy, accounting for 25 percent of its power mix in the first three quarters.”Yeh! And they told the truth about Bird flu and the SARS virus too!

    1. yonason

      I think the Chinese “know what they are doing,.”

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