U. Of Colorado Boulder Sea Level Alarmism Based On Sloppy And “Faulty” Science, Veteran German Scientists Say

German scientists Dr. Sebastian Lüning (geology) and Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt (chemistry) say recent sea level rise paper is “alarmist” and based on sloppy, “faulty” science.

Sea level rise grossly overstated by sloppy science

By Frank Bosse and Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt
(Text translated/edited by P. Gosselin)

In mid February a frightening report made the rounds through the mainstream media, and also the German evening news Tagesschau warned: Sea level is not rising linearly, but rather exponentially and thus we should expect a sea level rise of 65 cm by the end of the century! At linear sea level rise rate at today’s 3 mm/year, 25 cm would be only manageable.  So what’s behind the story?

The urgent report is traced back to a study led by Robert S. Nerem of the University of Colorado in Boulder. In it the authors should have adequately filtered out the ENSO sea level fluctuations. An El Nino results in much greater rainfall in the East Pacific, which leads to a temporary rise in global sea level. Vice versa, a La Nina results in much rain falling on land (especially Australia) where it is temporarily stored and so leads to less water in the ocean, and this is clearly detectable globally.

Fig. 6: Plot of the Nino3,4  index since 1980. Currently it is showing a moderate La Nina. Source here.

As it is clear to see in Figure 6, near the beginning of the satellite measurements in 1998 there was a surplus water amount. After 2010 there was a deficit of water and in 2017 too much. The authors of the study, however, did not adequately remove these natural fluctuations, as was later discovered shortly later.  As a result the recent El Nino got partially used in the calculation and impacted the trend result, as did the 2011/12 La Nina and the 1997/98 El Nino. This resulted in a growing trend and allowed Nerem et al (2018) to use a quadratic fit, which was then extrapolated out to the year 2100.

Such an approach resembles the error of a real beginner, which one calls over-fitting. The data basis of 1993 to 2017 is much too small, and also fraught with error and so does not allow a credible trend going out to 2100.

And because no data were included with the study, it was necessary to invest two or three hours to uncover the shortcoming. Perhaps the peer-reviewers could not be bothered to check it adequately and so allowed the scientific sloppiness to find its way into a journal. From there, the media turned it into headlines.

A total false alarm

The conclusion is clear: a faulty paper that bordered on alarmism ended up making its way into the German evening news.

Findings on the temperature trend-dampening factors such as the AMO and the PDO don’t even get mentioned in our science media. This is how politics gets done using science selection. We will see over the coming years exactly how things develop. Both major ocean indices are pointing negative and the solar activity is below normal, which are major counter-warming factors.

39 responses to “U. Of Colorado Boulder Sea Level Alarmism Based On Sloppy And “Faulty” Science, Veteran German Scientists Say”

  1. Lasse


    Explain this curve. German station Wismar with periodic changing water level showing no sign of acceleration.
    We deserve a better research.

  2. tom0mason

    From THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA, Plaintiff, v. B.P. P.L.C., et al., Defendants.

    William Happer, Steven E. Koonin, and Richard S. Lindzen, on behalf of the defendants put together a tutorial to educate the court. In it they very reasonably stated —

    A signature of human impacts on sea level would be an increase in the rate of rise after about 1950, when human influences started to become significant. Such a signature is not evident in the rate over the past century,… in fact, the acceleration post-1990 is not statistically different from the (presumably natural) acceleration experienced during the 1930s. Given the observed variation prior to 1950 and the steady quadrupling of human influences since 1950, one must conclude there are other important drivers of sea level rise beyond CO2.

    the full text is available at —

    1. Bitter&twisted

      This is going to hurt.

      1. Newminster

        That would be good. No gain without pain!

  3. Dorian

    The reason why this paper and the multitudes of others that assume that “something” is getting worse, like global temperatures, or sea-level rises, is because most of these authors, I dare not call them scientists or intelligent, is because they fail miserably in following the basic principles of statistical or data analysis. One obvious lesson these authors, I am sure have been taught, but yet flaunt, all for reasons of grant profiteering, akin to the 18th century high-seas privateers (aka pirates), is that you never extrapolate beyond your data-set range! There are literally multitudes of textbooks outlining all the dangers of doing this.

    But, of course, if you extrapolate 100-17=83 years beyond the 2017-1993=24 years of data-set, you can concoct any wacky scenario, irrespective of normalizing out El Nino and La Nina variations.

    Think about it. These authors seriously thought that you could conclude an absolute, that is, not providing a correspondingly suitable error margin (which in itself would make the entire paper meaningless), that is inferred from just 24 years of data, for something that will not happen for another 83 years!!!!!

    Frankly, these authors along with the editors who passed the paper, should be dismissed and have they’re degrees pulled from them. This paper, and the peer review system that passed it, is exemplary of gross incompetence and out right scandalous betrayal to science that is going on in the Scientific Community.

    As I have often said, if we allow such nonsensical papers to be published, our Journals will be filled with so much garbage, that so much time will be wasted in filtering through all the minutiae and out-right lies that no body will ever find the good science to build upon. Specifically, if a really major break through paper is written, it will may well be decades or longer, before it becomes in general science for its breakthrough work.

    We truly are entering an Age Of Dark Science, were good science is buried under scientific filth all because of grant larceny.

    1. Steve

      Congrats for a very well written ‘put down’

    2. tom0mason

      Well said.

    3. Don from Oz

      My thanks too Dorian. Down to earth sensibilities expressed in a clear dispassionate manner.

    4. Newminster

      “Flout”, please, Dorian. “Flaunt” is showing off, “flout” is ignore or disobey.

      Otherwise 10/10!

    5. SebastianH

      I am curious, can you provide examples for “good science” in the field of climate research?

      1. AndyG55

        Seems that seb realised just how little REAL science there is in climate alarmism.

        No empirical science to even back up the big fallacy of warming from enhanced atmospheric CO2

        Not much good science anywhere from the AGW troughers.

  4. Bitter&twisted

    More likely that the paper was “pal” reviewed.
    Papers that give the “right” answer, will get a free pass.

  5. Frederick Colbourne

    “ore likely that the paper was “pal” reviewed.
    Papers that give the “right” answer, will get a free pass.”

    The Court did not ask for a new peer-reviewed paper, but rather a “tutorial”, which is what the Court got.

  6. Bitter&twisted

    Frederick, I’m talking about the sea rise paper, not the court paper.

  7. SebastianH

    Why do you guys trust Lüning and Vahrenholt so much regarding climate science? I mean they wrote a book full of false statements which was generally regarded as “junk science” … yet you translate every article they write on their blog (the very blogscience Kenneth so dreads) and the skeptic crowd chears like those two are some kind of super scientists who speak the truth about everything (because it matches your gut feeling about climate change).

    Very weird …

    1. Kenneth Richard

      Why do you guys trust Lüning and Vahrenholt so much regarding climate science? I mean they wrote a book full of false statements which was generally regarded as “junk science”

      Please cite the sources that identified the large volume of “false statements” in their work and the sources who characterize their work as “junk science”.

      1. SebastianH

        Just read any review of that book …

        They are lucky non of their nonsense had to go through peer review, just book reviews.

    2. AndyG55

      You have yet to show one piece of what they have every written as being “false statements”.

      Except in your mindless little fantasies, of course.

      You are EMPTY, seb.

  8. Don

    Guys, why o why do you engage with this mindless troll?

    The only reason he posts his childish questions is to divert your attention.

    He is never interested in the answers you provide.

    He just wants to waste your valuable time and the thread off topic.

    If EVERYONE just completely ignores his mindless rabbeting he will eventually curl up & go away……

    1. Kenneth Richard

      What SebastianH has to offer is an illustrative representation of the vacuousness of the beliefs he espouses as Truth.

      Every time he writes an unsupportable claim (e.g., 30,000 species are going extinct every year, CO2 is causing browning/desertification on a global scale, “acidification” is happening so fast that marine species cannot adapt, West Antarctica is warming 10 times faster than the rest of the globe, etc.), or every time he non-substantively criticizes papers highlighted in our articles, and then, in response, we use scientific papers published in peer-reviewed journals to support our positions and undermine his beliefs as he cites alarmist blogs…we are demonstrating how feeble his beliefs are…and how his name-calling and insults (“It’s nonsense!”) and blogscience aren’t persuasive.

      My main issue with him is when he dishonestly makes up positions that we don’t have and tries to pass them off as something we have written/posited. That’s about all he has left to do (concoct straw men), as his views consistently get pummeled in the comment sections.

      In sum, SebastianH is our prop. He’s like the opposing “team” that the Harlem Globetrotters face in their “games”.

      1. AndyG55

        Yep, poor seb does immeasurable HARM to the AGW “cause”

        He is sort of like a drunk, brain-addled heckler from the back row of a concert.

        All he has is meaningless attempts at distraction.

        Most AGW trollettes are like that.

        Mindless yapping with NOTHING in the way of real science to back up anything they say.

        They need to be answered though, to show just how VACUOUS and EMPTY their yapping is.

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