I said in my last essay that I would return this week to another theme that is having a big revival just at the moment, post the USA withdrawal from the Paris Accord. This one is ‘rising sea levels’. It was one of the dooms forecast in the NYT Mag article I referred to last time: Barring a radical reduction of emissions, we will see at least four feet of sea-level rise and possibly ten by the end of the century. I can only shake my head in wonderment at claims like this one.  Has there been a dramatic increase in sea levels somewhere? No. Has there been a stunning new paper published somewhere whose message should fill us with terror? No. It’s just another scary story. I came across the sea-levels theme in a number of places, but the most useful one for readers is Larry Kummer’s ‘Fabius Maximus’ site that I have referred to on a few occasions.

I choose it because it has many useful links. Larry Kummer writes: As so many of the predicted effects of climate change have failed to appear on time (e.g., the end of winter, more and stronger hurricanes), rising sea levels have become the focus of climate activists. It creates easy (if unscientific, even daft) graphics of global flooding — hopefully panicking insurance companies and landowners. Unfortunately, as so often the case, the science has not supported their screams of “Wolf!”

Now a new cycle begins, with the first salvo being Jeff Tollefson’s “Satellite snafu masked true sea-level rise for decades” in Nature, 17 July 2017 — “Revised tallies confirm that the rate of sea-level rise is accelerating as the Earth warms and ice sheets thaw.” A mild tone, as such articles go.

Roy Spencer was scornful of the way the Nature story was written up by the mainstream media: I’m calling “fake science news” on the Nature reporter who covered the story… The researchers in April made a major adjustment to the first 1/4 of the satellite record, bringing those early sea levels up. This results in adding curvature to the upward trend (an acceleration) by flattening out the early part of the curve. This new signature of “acceleration” was what made the news in the new Nature study, even though the long term trend went down.

 In short, the effect of the change was not that sea-level rise was accelerating but that the long-term trend was revised downwards, almost the opposite of the headline message. Roy Spencer had a nice dig at the headline writer, pointing out that anyone can write a headline that is not technically incorrect but carries a unwarranted doom-laden message: ‘Scientists agree. Sea-levels are rising. We are all going to die.’

James Hansen, the putative father of the CAGW scare, came out with his own take on sea-levels in the same week. Here is a bit of it:

I don’t think we’re going to get four or five degrees this century, because we get a cooling effect from the melting ice. But the biggest effect will be that melting ice. In my opinion that’s the big thing — sea-level rise. Because we have such a large fraction of people on coastlines — more than half of the large cities in the world are on coastlines. The economic implications of that, and the migrations and the social effects of migrations — the planet could become practically ungovernable, it seems to me.

But of course no one with any sense or knowledge of the data is talking about a four or five degree rise in temperature by the end of the century, and where we get a cooling effect from melting ice I don’t think anyone knows. We still have to see a single climate change migrant, despite the millions of them there were going to be arriving somewhere in 2010, and the 150 to 300 million expected in 2050. All in all, this Hansen quotation shows a man who just likes sounding off.

Larry Kummer offers some options rather as Judith Curry did about future climate. I’ve edited them a little to reflect my own views (I am less certain about these matters than Larry is).

  1. The seas are slowly rising and may continue to do so. They have been rising slowly for thousands of years. If the IPCC is right (AR5) there will be an increase in Global Mean Sea Level of about 25 cm by the end of the century. This is well within the adaptive capacity of nations. (The rise around Sydney under these circumstances seems likely to be around 10 cm. It will be hard for my elderly great-grandchildren to notice.)
  2. Perhaps the rate of increase in sea levels is increasing; perhaps it is not. There’s lots of natural variation, and what is being measured (‘the signal’) is very small and hard to separate from noise.
  3. If the world continues to warm, sea-level rise may rise a little more quickly, through thermal expansion and some melting of land-ice.
  4. Those consumed by alarm about global warming will continue to exaggerate all of this.

If you read past Larry Kummer’s options you will find several charts and links to support these conclusions. Read them all, and you are likely to come away with the view that the whole thing is hugely uncertain, and there is no immediate or even short-term (fifty years or so) problem.

And people like me scratch their heads and ask, Why are we doing all this? Why are we trying to reconcile tidal gauge and satellite observations? Most tide gauges are on mainland sites, for good and obvi0us reasons. Why are we trying to establish a Global Mean Sea Level? It all sounds like trying to establish a Global Mean Temperature. In the case of temperature, I keep arguing that the only purpose for doing so is to be able to suggest that there is a trend, that the earth is warming, and by implication that we humans are responsible. To say it once again, I have no great difficulty with the notion that the earth is warming, though on the admittedly rubbery evidence, there hasn’t been much since 1850, and a warmer planet is for virtually all life forms better than a colder one.

So what is the point of a Global Mean Sea Level? I think the explanation is similar. If it is possible to show that that the seas are rising, then it will be possible to show that a continuation of this trend will cause problems for someone at some future time, and possible therefore for alarmists to cry ‘We are guilty!’ I’ve written about this before, as here.

The problem with both these averages is that they mean nothing to anyone. We live with local, not global, weather and sea conditions. If you want to know what will happen to your seaside property in the NSW central coast, the best indicator is the Fort Denison tide gauge in Sydney, which has been running for nearly a century and a half, and shows an increase of a little less than 1 millimetre a year, or about 10 cm a century. Sydney is stable geologically. Fremantle and Auckland will give you comparable sea-level rises. Go to the north-west of Western Australia, on the other hand, and you’ll find much larger sea-level rises, partly because of geostatic changes (movements in the earth’s crust). The Baseline Sea-Level Monitoring Project shows the diverse variations around Australia.

Coincidentally, I was at a dinner to mark the thirtieth anniversary of the abolition of the department of Science (in July 1987, caused by the Hawke government’s consolidation of 39 departments into 15 super departments). The guests were all scientists and scientific managers, plus one former Minister (Barry Jones). It was a good dinner and an enjoyable evening. One of my dining companions, whom I had not met before, raised the subject of sea-level rises, and suggested that I was not up with the latest findings about reconciling tide-gauge with satellite measurements, and thus reconstructing an approximation for 20th century sea-level rises.

It was the wrong place and time to have a discussion, but he kindly sent me two papers, both of which I’ve now read. The first, by Hamlington and Thompson, sets out a rationale for using tide gauges: If the focus is on estimating the 20th century trend in GMSL, the set of tide gauges employed should largely consist of long records that are relatively unaffected by (or that can be reliably corrected for) vertical land motion. If you are interested in regional trends and variability, you can use tide gauges with shorter life spans, but beware of land movements. I thought it a good paper, more accessible than many in this field. And I agree with the recommendations.

The second, by Jevrejeva, Matthews and Slangen is behind a pay-wall, but I am happy to forward a copy to any reader interested. This paper starts with a straightforward alarmist assumption: For delicate coastal ecosystems, small islands and fast-growing coastal cities (Hallegateet al. 2013; Jevrejeva et al. 2014), sea level rise is one of the most dangerous aspects of climate change (IPCC 2013). Global sea level rise is an integral measure of warming climate (Munk 2002; Church et al. 2013; Jevrejeva et al. 2010), reflecting alterations in the dynamics and thermodynamics of the atmosphere, ocean and cryosphere as a response to changes in radiative forcing.

 Stating as a fact what has yet to be proved is not a promising start, but we can move on to the point of the paper, determining a sea-level ‘budget’ for the 20th century. A great deal of data produces what to me seems another finding where the uncertainties are greater than the signal. No one doubts that the seas have been rising slowly. They have been doing so for a long time. The real question is whether they are rising now in an unprecedented way, and whether anyone should worry about it. Both these papers contribute to the question, but neither of them provides a definitive answer.

And I ask again: why are we doing this? For those who do all this, of course, the reason is straightforward. Here are Jevrejeva and colleagues: It might never be possible to determine contributions from sea level components to the twentieth-century sea level rise to the same accuracy as has been archived for the past 10–20 years. However, it remains important to understand better the magnitude and uncertainties of the physical processes that contributed to sea level rise and variability during the twentieth century.

 Why is does it remain important for anyone else? That is the question.










Join the discussion 119 Comments

  • Don,

    Thank you for the kind words, and attention to our website. I’d like to look at one point you mention, which might be useful to your readers.

    “I am less certain about these matters than Larry is.”

    There is a good reason for that, because of something I alluded to in this post — but should have stated explicitly.

    The posts on the FM website about climate change discuss it from a public policy perspective (it’s about geopolitics). Neither I nor my coauthors are climate scientists, so we can’t start with a blank slate (“1. Earth is a ball of rock with an atmosphere”), any more can than the average voter or representative.

    For operational reasons, I choose to start with the findings of the IPCC. They are comprehensive, more or less reflect mainstream thinking of climate scientists, explained in details (with supporting references), and stated with a commendable degree of both precision and explicit uncertainty. Among all the public policy issues we discuss, none have anything even close to this good. More often public policy is made on the basis of unstated beliefs — many of which are myths or lies.

    These matters are all about your standards. We have low standards due to our experience. People often complain about the IPCC. I wonder what public policy body they compare it to? The Science Policy Institute of Heaven?

    The IPCC, like most policy-related study institutions, a somewhat ramshackle apparatus. I’ve written about its limitations. Perhaps the largest is its exaggeration of the certainty of their conclusions. For example, the 2012 survey by the PBL Netherlands Climate Assessment Agency found that only 47% of scientists surveyed agreed with the IPCC’s AR5 headline statement “that more than half of the observed increase in GMST {global mean surface temperature} from 1951 to 2010 is very likely due to the observed anthropogenic increase in GHG {greenhouse gas} concentrations.”

    This episode showed the state of the public discussion. The IPCC finding was a quite natural (people being what they are) overstatement. To avoid ruining the narrative, the study’s authors carefully avoided mentioning this finding. Even better, they led a brutal attack when I did the arithmetic and reported it.

    In climate science the approved narrative (CAGW) is everything. Even the IPCC, even facts and math, must give way to it. This madness is what first attracted me to this subject, showing our inability to clearly see the world and respond to it.

    To see the post about the 97% consensus and the PBL study undercutting it: https://fabiusmaximus.com/2015/07/29/new-study-undercuts-ipcc-keynote-finding-87796/

  • Don Aitkin says:

    Fair point, Larry. It would have been better had I said you were more ‘confident’ than I am, rather than ‘certain’. Then, perhaps not. I think I have enough sense, experience and knowledge to get to my own position about the science behind the notion that disaster awaits us, so I do post essays like this one (and many many others). If you decide that that is not a position available to you then, yes, I guess you need to use the IPCC’s reports. Even a quick survey of the differences between the Summary for Policy Makers and the long WG1 science report will make you wonder, however. And you did your own diligence on it as well

    • Don,

      Your statement was fair. I poorly stated my assumptions. I’ve written hundreds of these, and there are always new lessons learned.

      Side note: my posts about climate used to get dozens of indignant rebuttals by climate activists. Some were fair. Some were reasonable. Most ranged from to misinformed and deluded to mad rants. Now I get only a few. My guess (emphasis on guess) is that they have moved onto to new fields. Pollution and famine were hot dots. Then Peak Oil was the hot dot. Climate had a long run, but now that might be fading (the current burst of hysteria might be its last gasp).

      I wonder what comes next from the “do what we want or the world will die” crowd?


  • JimboR says:

    “But of course no one with any sense or knowledge of the data is talking about a four or five degree rise in temperature by the end of the century”

    But that was the question he was asked, and he knocked it on the head. What else would you have him do?

    “and where we get a cooling effect from melting ice I don’t think anyone knows”

    I know we get a cooling effect from melting ice, so should you.

    • Don Aitkin says:

      The physics says it takes an immense amount of hear to melt a lot of ice. Perhaps you could explain why, given the heat, we will experience cooling, or sufficient cooling to counter-balance the heat. It doesn’t seem plausible to me. Hansen’s interest is in increased sea-levels. you accept his view?

    • Jim,

      “But that was the question he was asked, and he knocked it on the head. What else would you have him do?”

      Yes, Hansen “knocked it on the head.” Much as Mann spoke out against that NY Mag article. Even the most activist scientists are (at last) pushing back against the alarmist activists.

      “I know we get a cooling effect from melting ice, so should you.”

      That’s an illustration of how the climate debate goes off the rails. It is seldom about “yes or no” (cooling, warming, etc). Rather it is about “how much” (magnitude) , “how fast” (rates), and “when” (timing).

      I did a fast glance and found little in the peer-reviewed literature about the cooling effect of melting ice reducing the global average temperature or (more usefully) ocean heat content. Rather, the effect of melting ice caps is described as warming the world, since ice better reflects sunlight. Melting creates positive feedback, accelerating both the rates of melting and temperature rise. See Wikipedia for a brief description: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ice-albedo_feedback

      So Don’s question is logical: how do we get a net cooling effect from the ice?

    • JimboR says:

      It’s precisely because it _takes_ a lot of heat to melt ice that we get a cooling effect. The surrounding environment has to hand over that heat, and hence cools in the process. It’s why ice cubes are such an effective way to cool your G&T.

    • JimboR says:

      DonA: “The physics says it takes an immense amount of hear to melt a lot of ice. Perhaps you could explain why, given the heat, we will experience cooling, or sufficient cooling to counter-balance the heat. It doesn’t seem plausible to me. ”

      Don, I think that statement of yours tell us all we need to know about your grasp on high school physics.

      • spangled drongo says:

        “It’s why ice cubes are such an effective way to cool your G&T.”

        Jimb, you question Don’s grasp on high school physics?

        That’s added ice. No comparison.

      • Don Aitkin says:


        Mine was a remark en passant. But, if I take your response seriously, then I would add the following to help in explanation. The usual locus of terror about melting ice is the Greenland ice-cap. Now to melt ice at all you need to provide a lot of energy. For any amount of real ice you need 334kJ/kg to melt it. We can do that with a blow torch on a standard big cube, the kind that used to go into ice-chests.

        Now for Greenland. According to Wikipedia and other sources (they differ a bit) Greenland’s ice sheet is huge, about 2.85 * 10^6 km^3 = 2.85*10^15m^3, which gives you about 2.85*10^18kg of ice. To melt that would require something like 10^21kJ of energy. That is an enormous amount of heat, and not just for one day! Where’s that heat to come from? I suppose you could see the Gulf Stream warming up, but that’s not going to provide any real heating for a long time. The terror is about something happening to it soon. Where’s that heat to come from? It has to come from a much warmer, very much warmer, atmosphere.

        Hence my remark. To melt the Greenland ice-cap you would need a lot of extreme heat over Greenland. That would have to heat that is more or less everywhere in the northern hemisphere, and only a little reduced in the southern (if it were to be a real heatwave over a long, long time). What we would notice is this heat, not the reduction in it caused by the melting of the ice in Greenland.

        I hope that is clear.

      • JimboR says:

        Not really I’m afraid.

        If we could return to your essay for a moment…. you berate James Hansen (” this Hansen quotation shows a man who just likes sounding off”) for answering a question put to him about the viability of the IPCC’s worst case RCP8.5 scenario. Your “no one with any sense or knowledge of the data is talking about a four or five degree rise in temperature by the end of the century” would surely be better directed at his interviewer rather than him. I assume he has little control over the questions he’s asked. In any case, he knocks it on the head and his argument is that the cooling effect from melting ice would absorb that energy and thereby keep a lid on the temperature rise.

        To that, you respond: “where we get a cooling effect from melting ice I don’t think anyone knows.” and when pressed: “The physics says it takes an immense amount of hear to melt a lot of ice. Perhaps you could explain why, given the heat, we will experience cooling, or sufficient cooling to counter-balance the heat. It doesn’t seem plausible to me. ”

        Your latest response (July 30, 2017 at 7:16 pm) just reveals more lack of knowledge of basic high school physics. It confuses energy, temperature and power. It’s so bad I’m hesitant about dissecting it further, but here are a few points to consider:

        . Hansen isn’t talking about the amount of energy required to melt all of Greenland, you are

        . Melting of ice is a continuous process. Your reasoning seems to assume you dump an enormous amount of energy in, the temperature rises as a result, and then the ice starts melting to cool things down. The reality is, as each Joule of energy arrives it can go into converting ice to water and if it does there’ll be negligible increase in temperature. The temperature will only shoot up at the end when the arriving excess energy is no longer being absorbed by the melting process.

        . “Where’s that heat to come from?” – the sun.

        . “What we would notice is this heat” – Yes, heat (kJ) is energy, not temperature, and you would notice the heat energy in the form of melting ice. If and when that process stops, you’d notice it as rising temperature.

        . “That is an enormous amount of heat, and not just for one day!” You’re confusing Energy with Power there. I’ve not checked your maths, and I’m not the one pushing a melting Greenland scenario (and nor is James Hansen, at least not in this response), but let’s assume your maths is correct and it does need 10^21kJ of energy to melt that much ice. Then it takes that much energy to melt that much ice, whether you do it in 10 minutes, or 100 years. The former takes a lot more power than the latter. It makes no sense to talk about energy “and not just for one day”. Energy is Power * Time. It makes no sense to multiply Energy by Time.

        Here’s a really simple experiment you can try on the stove top at home to demonstrate what Hansen is claiming: take two identical pots, on two identical burners both set to low. Put 2L of room temperature water into one pot and 1L of room temperature water plus 1L of ice cubes into the other. Plot the temperature Vs time for each pot. The energy going into the first pot will go into heating up the water and you’ll see it on the thermometer. The energy going into the second pot will go into melting the ice cubes and you’ll see it in the form of less ice cubes and way less temperature rise on the thermometer. So long as there’s more ice to melt, the temperature rise will be greatly suppressed. That is what Hansen is referring to when says “cooling effect from the melting ice”. In response, in your essay, you write:

        “where we get a cooling effect from melting ice I don’t think anyone knows.”

        • Don Aitkin says:


          I’ll bet you were a delight to your teachers. I make an en passant remark, and you dissect it with scorn. What would I know…

          The sentence at issue is this one of Hansen’s: ‘I don’t think we’re going to get four or five degrees this century, because we get a cooling effect from the melting ice.’

          Hansen says that we won’t see four of five degrees this century, not because it won’t be there (my reading) but because it will be masked by the melting of the ice caused by the heat.

          For this to be the case we have to be talking mostly about the Greenland ice-cap, because melting some of it will require much less energy than melting Antarctica. For any melting to occur there will have to be a considerable, prolonged heatwave. While Greenland ice would react by melting, the rest of the world would experience the heat that must be everywhere if this fantasy were to play out, unless for some reason it was all focussed on Greenland. So around Greenland people would notice that it was hotter than usual, and that the ice was melting everywhere. But away from Greenland, surely, what people would notice is that it was much hotter, much, much hotter, than it had been.

          Now maybe the melting of the ice in Greenland and the much reduced melting in Antarctica, nine times larger, would reduce the real heat a little. If you can do the maths, go ahead and show me what the net effect is. I think my little comment is sensible and based on the science. Perhaps you would have been happier if I’d said something more ‘scientific’, like ‘the net effect will still be a considerable increase in felt heat’.

          Remember, Hansen’s sentence is vague. How much a of a cooling effect he didn’t say. Where you would experience it, he didn’t say. It sounds both silly and scary to me, which is why I made the comment.

          If you think you meant something else, by all means explain it.

        • JimboR says:

          “I make an en passant remark, and you dissect it with scorn.”

          I’m not sure Hansen would agree that “this Hansen quotation shows a man who just likes sounding off.” is an en passant remark. It’s still not clear to me what’s wrong with his answer.

          “Hansen says that we won’t see four of five degrees this century, not because it won’t be there (my reading) but because it will be masked by the melting of the ice caused by the heat.”

          Close. I would say Hansen is saying in the worst-case scenario energy imbalance that could otherwise have caused a 4 to 5 degree warming this century, would instead be “consumed” by the process of melting ice. Of course, once consumed in that manner, you never get it back… at least not until you re-freeze that water. If your sole concern is temperature increase, then the cooling effect of the melting ice is your friend.

          “For any melting to occur there will have to be a considerable, prolonged heatwave”

          Why? Melting is occurring now. That melting “consumes” energy, energy that would have otherwise gone towards making everything warmer.

          • Don Aitkin says:

            Apparently melting is not occurring now, and Greenland had its coldest July day on record. But let that pass. You stick to your view of things. It seems vague to me, but there you are.

          • JimboR says:

            Melting occurs every summer, with or without CAGW. Provided more snow falls during the winter than ice melts during the summer the glacier or ice sheet grows. Whatever amount of ice melts during the summer absorbs energy, and things are cooler as a result…. no CAGW heatwave in sight.

            Can you explain why you think you need “a considerable, prolonged heatwave” to melt ice? An ice cube will melt sitting in your fridge. You need a certain amount of energy to melt ice, that doesn’t mean you need high temperatures.

          • Chris Warren says:

            Greenland land ice is continuing to melt at over 280 gigatonnes a year.

            See https://climate.nasa.gov/

            It is possible to cherry pick very short periods when ice mass is increasing but this practice is only for denialists.

            The trend is unmistakable.

          • spangled drongo says:

            Poor ol’ blith is still in the thrall of the GRACE gravy meter.

            Even NASA admit that it’s not working:

            space-based GNSS reference antenna concept has
            already been prototyped with the GRACE mission, and
            GRASP is designed to compensate for the various
            shortcomings of the GRACE spacecraft:


          • Don Aitkin says:

            Jimbo, this series is now at the footling level. Hansen, presumably in New York, says he won’t notice a four/five degree level of heating because it will be lost or masked because of the melting ice. How much ice has to melt to make this possible? Think on’t. And while doing so ask yourself whether those in the Sahara, Singapore, and Sydney will also notice the that the four/five degree heat has somehow been masked by melting ice.

            This is silly stuff. I won’t add further to it.

          • JimboR says:

            Don I’m desperately trying to imagine your mental model of all this stuff that would lead to the responses you’re giving. Within the context of the very unlikely worst case RCP8.5 scenario playing out (the context of Hansen’s answer), it seems to me that you imagine one day we’re going to wake up to a 4-5C temperature increase and then the ice is going to start melting. Those living near it will be able to cool their hands by the ice and those living in Singapore, Sahara and Sydney will be feeling the heat. Eventually all that heat will work it’s way towards the ice and Hansen’s theory that the cooling effect of melting ice has saved us from a 4-5C temperature increase will prove correct. You say that’s implausible, and I agree and it’s not what Hansen is suggesting.

            All this happens in baby steps, not quantum leaps of 4-5C. The energy imbalance is happening now (even you admit we’re in a slow warming phase)… it’s affects are slow, subtle and relentless. Think about “5C by the end of the century”. That about 0.06C per year. Do you think you’d notice that, or would just do what you do now and say “it’s just the weather possibly with some gentle warming thrown in”? The arrival rate of this energy imbalance is slow compared to the rate at which the earth/oceans/atmosphere/climate/weather/glaciers are able to mix it all up. It gets distributed in all sorts of places. Hansen claims that quite a bit of it would end up being used to melt ice, and as such that energy would never appear as a temperature increase… it’s been spent, at least until that same net amount of water re-freezes. The annual winter/summer freeze/melt cycles that glaciers go through now (and even before any CAGW) are more than sufficient to encompass this excess heat energy. Remember, it’s only this year’s (or maybe last year’s if it takes a while to get there) excess heat energy they have to deal with…. the equivalent of a 0.06C temperature rise if you like. If they do that, you’d notice a slow steady reduction in ice (the summer melt would exceed the winter freeze) and the 4-5C temperate increase would become purely hypothetical (what might have happened if the ice wasn’t around to melt a bit more each year).

            That’s all Hansen is claiming, and I’ve seen nothing in your responses that would refute that, and certainly nothing to warrant your scornful “this Hansen quotation shows a man who just likes sounding off”. He’s got physics on his side, I’m not sure what you’re relying on but whatever it is, it’s unpersuasive.

          • spangled drongo says:

            “He’s got physics on his side”

            There, there, Jimb, I’m sure he has.

            Even if he doesn’t understand them well enough to quantify WV feedback or even know if it is pos or neg.


  • Chris Warren says:

    This is a very lazy comment:

    It creates easy (if unscientific, even daft) graphics of global flooding — hopefully panicking insurance companies and landowners. Unfortunately, as so often the case, the science has not supported their screams of “Wolf!”

    So what is the science?

    Clearly science says that if all land ice melts there will be serious flooding that should concern insurance companies, landowners, city planners, and clear thinking democrats. No one has produced easy, daft graphics of “global” flooding except possibly some religious nutters.

    The potential sea level rise is here:


    This equates to a rise of around the height of a 20 story block of flats.

    Any small trend melting land ice – if it continues long enough – will melt all ice.

    • Chris,

      “This is a very lazy comment …So what is the science?”

      I suggest you read a post before your critique it. Where is the science? Summarized in that post: 3500 words following the science from the IPCC’s AR5 thru some of the major peer-reviewed papers published since, to two new conference presentations. With summaries and links.

      “The potential sea level rise is here:’

      I suggest you read the link you give, “How do we estimate the global volume of ice?”, more carefully. It shows the liquid volume of the world’s ice, but doesn’t say that it will melt. It’s very first sentence is “The IPCC and other outlets frequently indicate how much sea levels will rise under given climate change scenarios.”

      The IPCC provided useful scenarios to evaluate these, rather than the lazy “what if all the ice melts” fear-mongering. The worst case scenario given is RCP8.5. That produces a lot of flooding. Climate scientists consider it to be improbable (as both Hansen and Mann said after the NYMag article) — as a worst case scenario should be.

      The likely scenarios produce rising sea levels, but far smaller — and at slower rates.

      None melt all the ice over any foreseeable time horizon.

      • Chris Warren says:

        That seems too subjective.

        The objective fact remains:

        If all the land ice melts, the sea level rise will be around a 20 story block of flats.

        Whether global warming eventually gets to this point is a separate issue and depends on whether greenhouse gases continue to accumulate in the atmosphere.

        Is there any science that produces different outcomes should all land ice melt?

        • Chris,

          You are going deep into science denial. Climate scientists have spent decades looking at likely future scenarios, going out centuries — looking at many different paths. In none of them does “all the ice melt.”

          • Chris Warren says:

            Your accusation of denial is crude and false.

            It remains that if all land ice melts then the rise will be around 20 stories high.

            I provided the scientific basis earlier.

            Whether this will happen is a completely different issue with entirely different calculations.

          • Chris,

            “It remains that if all land ice melts then the rise will be around 20 stories high.”

            Yes, that’s pure science denial — since no climate scientist says that is even possible from climate change under any foreseeable time horizon.

          • Chris Warren says:

            That is irrelevant.

            Where has any scientist said that if all land ice melts that the rise will not be around 20 stories?

            Anyone arguing scientifically that all land ice will not melt (for whatever reason) is not contradicting my statement.

            You seem to have committed Don’s error. You have reinterpreted my point that “if all ice melts” into some other statement such as “All ice will melt” and then wasted time on getting into a frenzy over this.

            So do you agree that if all ice melts that the sea level rise will be around 20 stories high?

          • Larry Kummer says:


            “Clearly science says that if all land ice melts there will be serious flooding that should concern insurance companies, landowners, city planners, and clear thinking democrats. ”

            That statement is false. Climate science says that there is no climate mechanism that would melt all land ice over any foreseeable time horizon.

            Therefore this scenario does not and should not “concern insurance companies, landowners, city planners, and clear thinking democrats.”

            We have the IPCC’s work that describes climate scientists’ scenarios. We should worry about which of those comes true.

          • spangled drongo says:

            “Where has any scientist said that if all land ice melts that the rise will not be around 20 stories[sic]?”

            Hey, blith! When are you going to stop proving yourself to be the alarmist-in-chief as well as blither-in-chief and settle back to some rational discussion?

            When the usual limits for alarmists is the number of angels dancing on the head of a pin, you have to spoil it all with your 20 storey SLR.

            BTW, blith, we know “stories” are your specialty but please learn to spell.

    • spangled drongo says:

      “So what is the science?”

      Well may we say God save the Queen,

      Because nothing will save the blitherers.

  • spangled drongo says:

    Until there has been a reliable audit of vertical movement of the worlds tide gauges, we won’t know the net rise or fall in world sea levels.

    A GPS chip installed at Fort Denison is showing that the land is sinking at a similar rate to its indicated SLR, IOW, nothing happening.

    Moreton Bay in SEQ is a vertically stable part of the world and sea levels there are actually lower than they were 70 years ago as borne out by the local tide gauge:


    And also by Morner’s paper on Indian SLs:


    But what people need to realise is that even though tide gauges in vertically stable parts of the world may show some smoothed rise or fall the only result that affects us is the highest astronomical tide levels.

    Tide gauges can show sea level rise [through higher low tides or higher median tides] without king tides actually getting higher or even with them actually falling and it is that king tide level that affects human habitat.

    Changes in sea levels through ocean hydraulics such as trade wind patterns which are very persistent and which have an enormous effect on surface currents and SST movements are also additional influences.

    For instance, during an el Nino many tide gauges show sudden SLR but there are also many places, particularly tropical coral areas, that show a sudden fall often causing huge coral mortality.

  • spangled drongo says:

    Sea levels could be about to fall some more:

    “…the -33°C reading earlier this month was “the coldest July temperature ever recorded in the northern hemisphere“, smashing the previous record of 30.7°C.”


  • JMO says:

    Melting ice will have a cooling effect, this is due to the latent heat involved to change different states of matter. In this case water is being changed from a solid to a liquid – this requires energy. In other words a given mass of ice at 0 deg requires energy/heat to become water at 0 deg. The energy must come somewhere, in the case it would come from the reduction of temperature from the ambient atmosphere. Of course this would be a temporary effect as the probable reduction in albedo would affect later temperatures (assuming all other variable eg cloud cover remain the same).

    As for sea level rises, I distinctly remember Tim Flannery saying on ABC TV mid-late September 2006 that sea level may rise up to 4 metres within 10 to 15 years. Wow, as he been proved wrong on that one!! I also distinctly remember the 50 million climate refugees from low lying areas such as Pacific Islands will swamp us by 2010. There was ony 1 (yes ONE) who claimed to be a climate refugee to settle in NZ. His case was dismissed by an Auckland court. Boy were they wrong on that one, as well!!

    A couple of years ago, I was on sight seeing cruise in Macquarie Harbour in Tasmania. A short distance inside the treacherous heads is a line carved into the rocks by convicts (when it was a penal settlement mid -19th century), This line marked the highest tidal water mark so that ships entering the harbour can work out the harbour’s depth as they enter to make sure the harbour was deep enough for their ship’s draft. That line now is NEVER covered it is well above the highest tide level. Of course this is probably to due geological land rising, but does hardly concur with dangerous sea level rises due to global warming. I seem to recall some years ago an ANU climate doomster writing a paper that global sea levels have risen at least 20cm, and (or course) it was higher for SE Australia.

    I will start to be convinced there may be a problem when both Al Gore sells is huge seaside mansion near Malibu and Tim Flannery sells his waterside properties in the Hawksbury and head to the hills.

  • Gary says:

    Suggest readers look at 4 most recent articles on sea level rise over at Tamino’s website ‘Open mind’:


    • spangled drongo says:

      Gary, all Tamino does is worship at the Church and White of satellite measured and adjusted SLR.

      When he is not cherry picking tide gauges in vertically moving earth stations, that is.

    • spangled drongo says:

      But the big king tide that occurred last Sunday night, 23/7, was within the old AHD100 sea level for king tide heights that has been around for the last 60 years at least.

      If we are having sea level rise, why is it that no one is witnessing it?

    • Don Aitkin says:

      Yes, they are all worth a scan. I think most readers will come away with the view that it is all even more uncertain than they thought, a point I made in the essay. Then read the Hansen piece mentioned below.

  • Neville says:

    Allied to this so called dangerous SLR BS is the ongoing scary GBR fairy stories. Here’s Dr Peter Ridd to enlighten us about what is happening with reefs and of course some that exist in much warmer seas and much further north than the GBR.


  • Bryan Roberts says:

    ” Why is does it remain important for anyone else? That is the question.”

    I recall making a similar comment in the previous thread. It didn’t get much air time, either.

  • David says:

    Dana Milbank from the Washington Post, offers this advice on how best to manage the delusional Trump.

    “Don’t use sarcasm. Avoid humor. Don’t criticize, accuse or blame. Avoid sounding patronizing or condescending. Don’t assume they are not smart. Be respectful. Be aware that the delusions they may experience are their reality. Stay calm. Minimize distractions. Turn off the TV. Simplify — one topic at a time. Stick to present issues. Acknowledge what the other person says and how they feel, even if you don’t agree.”

    This got me thinking about how I engage with the denialists on this site. I realize I have been going about it the wrong way, all along. So I am going to try a new approach. Here goes.

    Don, Nev & SD, turn off your TV.

  • Don Aitkin says:

    There is an excellent essay by Kip Hansen on the issue of averaging averages at


    which is relevant to the question of sea-levels. Indeed there are references to sea levels in the Comments, which are a good read too. His main focus is on ‘global temperature’, but his critique applies just as well to ‘global sea levels’.

    • Don Aitkin says:

      And another good essay by Willis Eschenbach on whether sea levels are accelerating of not (he says NOT), at


    • spangled drongo says:

      Yes, Don, I have always wondered about the difference between the “mean” temp that we measure rather than the real “average” temp. that is never measured correctly.

      But the satellite altimetry system trying to measure SLR must be a much bigger statistical nightmare with the vagaries of every ripple, wave, swell, tide, surge and infinite changes in barometric pressure etc, not to mention the signal coming back from hard, floating objects, on a pear shaped geoid being measured by a satellite doing circular orbits that are changing in altitude with time.

      To even begin to believe that this is anything other than statistical gobbledegook conveniently adjusted to present a reflection of modelling presumptions, requires a great deal of faith.

      But the converted just lap it up.

  • Bryan Roberts says:

    Climate denial or science denial?

  • Neville says:

    Willis has replied to Tamino about his recent SLR post at WUWT. Willis has been banned from Tamino’s site since 2009 ( guess why) and he agrees that he made a tiny mistake. But check out how little SLR we can expect by 2100 and compare it to the so called 20th century SLR. Here’s his update.

    DATA—I’ve put the 63-station data here, as a CSV file so that anyone can use it in Excel or any other program.

    [UPDATE] Over at Tamino’s website, where since about 2009 I’m barred from commenting because I was asking inconvenient questions, he points out that there is a simpler and more accurate method for finding out if a dataset contains acceleration. This is to see if the squared term in the quadratic equation is statistically significant after correction for autocorrelation, duh … he is correct.

    My thanks to him for pointing this out, although I do have to deduct points for his repeated ad hominem attacks on me in his post … haters gonna hate, I guess.

    Using his method I identified seven of the sixty-three stations as having statistically significant acceleration and three stations with statistically significant deceleration. However, the average value of their acceleration is 0.015 ± 0.012 mm/yr2 … which is not statistically different from zero. Here are the stations and their accelerations:
    0.0605 0.0542 0.0676 0.0477 -0.0543
    0.0979 0.0510 -0.1052 -0.0573 0.1258

    I note that one station he says has significant acceleration doesn’t appear in this list (Boston). I find that the p-value of the acceleration term for Boston is 0.08, not significant. I suspect the difference is in how we account for autocorrelation. I use the method of Koutsoyiannis, detailed here. I don’t know how Tamino does it.

    I would also note that the average acceleration of the entire 63-station dataset is 0.014 ± 0.008, still not statistically significant. And if this turns out to be the long-term acceleration, currently the rate of rise is on the order of a couple of mm/yr, or 166 mm (about 7 inches) by the year 2100. IF this increases at 0.014 mm/yr2, this will make a difference of 48 mm (under two inches) this century.

    Curiously, in the previous fifty-year period 1900-1950 there are only three sites with significant acceleration out of 38 datasets covering the period, and none are in the first list:
    0.0976 -0.1182 0.0959

    Whatever any future sea level acceleration turns out to be, it is very unlikely to put the Statue of Liberty underwater anytime soon …

    Man, I love writing for the web. All my errors get exposed in the burning glare of the public marketplace of ideas, I get to learn new things, what’s not to like?

  • Neville says:

    About 99% of all the ice on our planet is locked up in Antarctica and Greenland. Here’s a Royal Society graph of all the models covering the next 300 years. Note even their models don’t show any dangerous SLR at all. Antarctica (89%) is negative and Greenland ( 10%) is positive.


  • bb says:

    Another battle with the Lernaean Hydra. When if ever it is accepted that sea level rise really is not of the concern, then another will come along. Can such a debate ever be won? As realists we realise that overall the human race need not be concerned about changes in our climate. We base that on geological climate history and recent climate history. We cannot find concrete empirical data to show that it is reality. As realists we should realise that to the other side this doesn’t mean much. My concern is not so much with the belief of anthropogenic climate change but more with the actions being taken to combat it. That is the efforts being taken to reduce the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. There are many many measures for this purpose. There are renewable energy targets, less emissions from cars and so on. Taxes to encourage us to use less electricity and anything that is thought to have an effect.

    Let us not argue the case for every scare put forward. Rather let us say to the warmist’s what are you doing about?

    It has to be recognised there has been a large effort to reduce CO2 in the atmosphere. As to the cost of this it has to be agreed it is large. So if all this is being done let us measure the effectiveness. Can that be done? Certainly yes NOAA produces the ESRL CO2 (Mauna Loa) interpolated mean of world CO2. It comprises 227 datasets which are used to produce the result. It is instructive to look at this measure http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-co2/plot/esrl-co2/mean:12/plot/esrl-co2/trend. Since 1960 the linear trend is upward more than that the rate of change is increasing. What does this mean it means that all human efforts to reduce CO2 has not produced any measurable result. Realising this means the current efforts have no more effect than a prayer wheel!

    It is an exercise in futility so there is only two choices. Change the ways of reducing atmospheric CO2 or as humanity has always done adapt to the changes that do occur. My knowledge of climate history indicates to me adaption is what always humans have done back as far as our knowledge allows.

    • Neville says:

      Yes bb, you are right, but don’t expect the extremists to agree, because evidence and data are ignored at every turn. Here’s Lomborg’s 5 minute video that includes ALL the relevant evidence/data relating to Paris COP 21.
      Remember COP 21 is just BS and fra-d ( Dr Hansen’s claim) because the EIA forecasts co2 emissions will be 34% higher by 2040 and the IEA estimates just 2.4% of TOTAL world energy will be generated by S&W by that date. Very simple sums.
      But this 100 TRILLION $ fra-d ( by 2100) doesn’t worry the fanatics although the COP 21 first step out of 99 will have failed miserably by 2040. Adaptation and more R&D are the only answer if they think that future co2 emissions are a problem.
      Of course we know that these fools couldn’t care less about co2 emissions at all but seem to want to harm our OZ economy and help our competitors as much as they can. And full credit goes to MACCA on their ABC for continuing to highlight their hypocrisy and stupidity in relation to our coal and gas exports. BTW fossil fuel exports boomed during the Rudd, Gillard, Rudd years.

    • Chris Warren says:


      Sea level rise is currently around 1 foot a century and shows signs of speeding up.

      This can be dismissed as “not of concern” but the underlying cause is. It is a symptom.

      If we cannot deal with sea level rise when it is trivial, how will future generations deal with it if it doubles?

      Waiting until the consequences of global warming are more obvious will be too late to do anything.

      While there are many measures and efforts to reduce CO2, the CO2 concentration continues to rise and are now well beyond any level produced by natural variations and volcanoes since the age of the dinosaurs.

      • spangled drongo says:

        “Sea level rise is currently around 1 foot a century and shows signs of speeding up”

        Is that right?

        Have you been outside to check lately?

        Talking to an 85 year old mate yesterday who I used to build wooden boats with ~ 60 years ago, who I hadn’t seen for the last 20 years and who has been an esplanade dweller all his life, I asked him for his take on local sea level rise and he said that when he was young the king tides used to back up the stormwater drains and flood the esplanade to the point where cars got well doused with salt water if they drove through.

        But nowadays, he says, the king tides stay in the gutters and don’t flood the roads.

        “If we cannot deal with sea level rise when it is trivial, how will future generations deal with it if it doubles?”

        You are quite right. If this negative quantity doubles we will be up the creek without any water.

        Isn’t it amazing how you can’t see it happening yet it must be and has to be simply because you believe in it and the Church and White of SLR tells you it is so.

        But do not despond. Just go outside and look. Evidence can set you free.

  • spangled drongo says:

    Remember when Envisat was operating?

    It showed SLR of only 0.76 mm/y but when it stopped operating it was adjusted to 2.33 mm/y:

    “After the Envisat stopped transmitting, the whole series was changed dramatically. In addition, the full length of the data beginning in 2002 is now shown. It appears that Envisat data from 2002-4 shows a fall in sea level, but this dive was not shown until now when the new stronger increase in sea level dominates the picture.”


    The adjustocene is alive and well.

  • Neville says:

    Dr Roy Spencer points out that there has now been a 12 year drought in major US Hurricane activity. Yet Gore’s latest Sci-fi flick claims that extreme events are worse today than they were 10 years ago. Here’s Dr Spencer’s short post.
    4,300 Days Since Last U.S. Major Hurricane Strike
    “July 31st, 2017

    “Wednesday of this week will mark 4,300 days since the last major hurricane (Category 3 or stronger, 111-129 mph maximum sustained winds) has made landfall in the U.S.

    That’s almost 12 years.

    The last major hurricane to make landfall in the U.S. was Wilma striking Florida on October 24, 2005, one of several strong hurricanes to hit the U.S. that year. The unusual hurricane activity in 2005 was a central focus of Al Gore’s 2006 movie, An Inconvenient Truth, in which Mr. Gore suggested 2005 was going to be the new normal. As you might recall, Gore went on to receive a Nobel Peace Prize for helping to raise awareness of the severe weather dangers from global warming.

    Instead, the bottom dropped out of Atlantic hurricane activity after 2005. The “drought” of landfalling U.S. hurricanes continues, and as seen in this graphic from WeatherStreet.com, no hurricanes have yet formed anywhere in the Atlantic basin in 2017, despite the forecast for an above-normal hurricane season.”

  • Neville says:

    In 2006 Gore claimed that the “Earth would reach a point of no return within ten years”. But co2 emissions have soared in the last 11 years and no evidence of a tipping point can be found anywhere.
    How does this joker get away with these huge porkies time after time? And why does Gore’s delusional nonsense create such a following from the world’s pollies and media etc even when he is so obviously wrong?

    • spangled drongo says:

      Neville, here’s another list of failed environmental predictions. Some of these people won prizes for their stupidity:


    • Chris Warren says:


      A “point of no return” is a different argument than a “tipping point”.

      However we now know that we have just experienced the hottest July on record without natural variation as caused by El Nino last year.

      As the BoM’s Mr Browning said, last July’s above-average temperatures were explained by a nearby El Nino, but this year’s even warmer temperatures could not be explained in the same way.

      As sea level has been increasing consistently since 1880 or earlier, no natural variation can be used to provide an explanation.

      So why has sea level been increasing consistently for over 130 years? Is it possible to get back to a stable sea level or have we passed a point of no return?

  • Ross says:

    Are sea levels still falling, Drongo?

    • spangled drongo says:

      You mean you didn’t check my NASA link below, blith?

      Or then again you could try observing the real world for yourself but you probably can’t handle that.

  • spangled drongo says:

    Don, it would be interesting to know how much influence floods, cyclonic storm surge and tsunamis have on the “official” measurement of SLR around the world because they add huge increases yet are not really anything to do with SLR.

  • beththeserf says:

    If you’ve got a long term sea level tidal gauge bench mark,
    historically recorded and witnessed, no agenda ‘and in a place,
    no land rise or sinking, why, here’s a spot to take measure,
    kinda’like taking your pulse, and there’ s no tipping point, yike,
    New York under water… panic station fever.


    • spangled drongo says:

      Yes, beth, that’s an indicator of the real world.

      Lempriere was a very knowledgeable and practical person and people of his day in remote coastal areas who lived and died by getting the tides right would know to the last quarter of an inch where MSL was.

      Marking it on a vertical stone cliff like that is almost self indicative and he was in residence there for some time so would be able to check it over an extended period.

      To have some boffin come along a century and a half later and claim that he didn’t know what he was doing is sheer arrogance.

      But that’s what boffins and blitherers do.

  • Chris Warren says:

    According to scientists publishing in “Surveys in Geophysics” (September 2011, Volume 32, Issue 4–5, pp 585–602) in their article

    Sea-Level Rise from the Late 19th to the Early 21st Century

    Authors, John A. Church, Neil J. White estimate the rise in global average sea level from satellite altimeter data for 1993–2009 and from coastal and island sea-level measurements from 1880 to 2009. For 1993–2009 and after correcting for glacial isostatic adjustment, the estimated rate of rise is 3.2 ± 0.4 mm year?1 from the satellite data and 2.8 ± 0.8 mm year?1 from the in situ data. The global average sea-level rise from 1880 to 2009 is about 210 mm. The linear trend from 1900 to 2009 is 1.7 ± 0.2 mm year?1 and since 1961 is 1.9 ± 0.4 mm year?1. There is considerable variability in the rate of rise during the twentieth century but there has been a statistically significant acceleration since 1880 and 1900 of 0.009 ± 0.003 mm year?2 and 0.009 ± 0.004 mm year?2, respectively.

  • Neville says:

    There are many recent SL studies that one could link to plus recent world glacier studies that show a slowing of retreat since 1950. Here’s the 2016 Donchyt’s et al study that found the earth has more coastal land today than 30 years ago.


    • spangled drongo says:

      Yes, Neville, you would wonder how there could be more land with constant SLR but when you worship at the Church and White of SLR, common-sense doesn’t come into it.

      Nils Axel Morner has a better grip on world SLR than probably anybody and his recent obs in India agree with my own:

      “It is an oscillation record: a low level in the early 16th century, a +50-cm high level in the 17th century, a level below present sea level in the 18th century, a +20-cm high level in the 19th and early 20th centuries, a ?20-cm fall in 1955–1962, and a virtually stable level over the last 50 years. This sea level record is almost identical to those obtained in the Maldives and in Bangladesh. The Indian Ocean seems to lack records of any alarming sea-level rise in recent decades; on the contrary, 10 sites analyzed indicate a sea level remaining at about ±0.0, at least over the last 50 years or so.”


  • spangled drongo says:

    July global warming 0.07c warmer than June and 0.28c above the line.

    That couldn’t possibly be nat var, could it?


  • Chris Warren says:


    It appears you are the only human who has responded to my post.

    However, if you understood global warming better, you would know that it is possible for coastal land to increase relative to sea area if both land and sea experience thermal expansion.

    Land expands more than water for the same rise in temperature and global warming impacts land just as much as the oceans. Also land has additional warming from urban heat island effect.

    Land temperature increase in Australia has been in the order of .5C with most of the warming in the nineteenth and 20th centuries.

    As the Earth’s land mass heats up, it must expand.

  • Chris Warren says:


    Maybe it would be better if you stopped channeling stuff from denialist websites because it is making it look like you don’t understand global warming.

    If you understood the most basic high school physics you would know that when water warms from 0 to 4C it contracts. There would be a lot of ocean warming in this range.

    This is a chart of water volume response by temperature.


    So if warming is general, you would expect some areas to experience sea level rise, and some to experience sea level fall.

    Both indicate global warming.

    • spangled drongo says:

      Yes, blith, it’s called natural climate variability. It’s been going on forever.

      But don’t forget to get in touch and let us all know when you can show that tiny amount of warming since the LIA, awa that negative SLR can be proven to be anything else.

      In the meantime you will just have to wash your sheets more regularly.

  • Neville says:

    Let’s hope that this time a proper independent audit is carried out on the BOM. Good luck to Jennifer and Jo etc.

    “BOM scandal heats up: Kininmonth, Watts, Nova quoted in The Australian “We audit banks, why not BOM?”

    “Today, Graham Lloyd, and Jennifer Marohasy turn up the heat even more on the Bureau of Meteorology’s strange practice of “editing” raw data. The Bureau says it works to the “highest possible standards”. Natch. So an independent audit would clear them, silence the critics, and restore their reputation. Strangely, instead they have been apparently avoiding an independent audit for six years now and counting….
    The Australian: BoM faces storm over weather data inaccuracies

    It is the biggest public scandal for BoM since furious debate was sparked three years ago over its treatment of historic and contemporary temperature rec­ords to compile its new homogenised national temperature data series known as ACORN-SAT.

    For an agency that screams from the rooftops every time the mercury nudges to the slightest record high, losing a half a degree Celsius here and there at the lower extremities is a pretty poor look.

    In reply, once again, the BOM promises another do-it-yourself review. The Minister (Josh Frydenberg) has insisted on two external independent experts, but if the BOM gets to approve or appoint them, that box won’t be hard to tick (just ask the NZ NIWA team). Apparently the last public scandal in 2014, the Minister then (Greg Hunt) killed off a proper investigation of the BOM to supposedly “protect the reputation and integrity of the institution” which, of course, did exactly the opposite. Given the BOM’s “excellence”, the effect of another hand-picked one-day forum to study none of the key issues that skeptics raised, told everyone that Hunt didn’t think its integrity would survive a high school debate, let alone a forensic investigation.

    As “blogger Jo Nova” is quoted as saying:

    “We audit banks, companies, government departments, energy flows, and projects, but we don’t officially audit science.

    “Whenever big money is involved we assume things need to be checked.

    When it’s just the planet at stake, who cares?

    – from the just released new IPA Book — Climate Change: The Facts 2017 (pre-order your copy now!)
    Automatic weather stations work in Antarctica, but not in Goulburn?

    Bill Kininmonth — the guru himself, cannot figure out why the equipment would fail now:

    William Kininmonth, a former head of BoM’s National Climate Centre, says he is puzzled that after decades of service the bureau now claims the automatic stations are not fit for purpose at some cold weather locations.

    “My understanding is a lot of testing was done before the automatic weather stations were installed in all different sorts of conditions,” Kininmonth says. “Why this is happening now, unless they have changed their manufacturers who they get them from, I don’t know.

    “I would have thought minus 10 would have been well within their scope. They take automatic weather stations down to Macquarie Island and Antarctica, I can’t understand this at all.

    “It seems to me they have some sort of automatic collection system in the computer; once the data comes in, they check on it then. I don’t know why they would be doing that at that stage.”
    The rise of citizen scientists

    Major kudos and plaudits to Lance Pidgeon — one of the original unofficial BOM audit team that gathered together around this blog, who have been posting here for years. See Lance’s other savage BOM critiques here, none of which have been resolved.

    Lloyd comments on the unofficial BOM team — the volunteers that won’t stop asking hard questions:

    What cannot be controlled is a small army of largely amateur enthusiasts such as Pidgeon who pore over the millions of lines of BoM’s temperature data made public by the high-profile institution. Pidgeon, a freelance radio technician and citizen scientist, has found instances where thermometers accurate to a tenth of a degree were adjusted by as much as two degrees. Original cooling trends in temperature records were being revised to warming trends.

    There are vast areas of the nation where identical temperature readings have been recorded over long periods and places where the daily minimum temperature has exceeded the maximum, changes that defy logic.

    Records of extremely hot days before the turn of the century have been erased, in one celebrated case simply because a diligent worker had taken the observation on a Sunday, which was outside of usual practice.

    Thanks to the dedication of the other volunteers and their cutting work, advice and cameraderie (Thank you Ken, Chris, Bill, Bob, and Geoff and Warwick (thorns for decades, long before me), and David, Andrew, Ian, Phil, John, John, Ed and Tony and of course, Jennifer Marohasy).

    Last word from Anthony Watts:

    [Anthony] Watts says a solution would be to calculate temperature trends from stations that have a long record, no moves, no equipment changes, no time-of-observation changes, and remain free of nearby infrastructure encroachment.”

    “Choosing only stations like this ensures that there is no need for adjustment of data, and that this data is representative of the true changes in the surface temperature over time,” he says.

    “Until the existing data quality problem is fixed, which has created an artificial warming bias, it is nonsense for the mass media to promote the idea of any year being the ‘warmest year on record’ ”.

    – Also from Climate Change: The Facts 2017 .

    I’ll have a lot more to say about this article. Lloyd has done a great job. Credit to Jennifer Marohasy for this and for editing the magnificent new IPA book.

    • spangled drongo says:

      “Choosing only stations like this ensures that there is no need for adjustment of data, and that this data is representative of the true changes in the surface temperature over time,” he says.

      Yes, Neville, it would require no effort or expense at all for BoM to not only be scrupulously scientific but be seen to be scrupulously scientific.

      Why do you suppose they would pass up this chance to be frank with us?

      Could it have anything to do with no longer being in control of the climate, SLR etc?

      They have now had a taste of the Adjustocene and they aren’t about to let is slip from their grasp.

      This is why they need to be audited by a red team like the rest of Cli Sci.

  • Neville says:

    Gore’s latest Sci-fi flick starts to come under fire.


    And AIS also tanks at the box office. Seems a lot of people have had enough of Gore’s porkies.


  • spangled drongo says:

    The Adjustocene is happening everywhere under neomarxism in the name of science:

    “Because the economic and human health implications of regulations are profound, the science they are built upon must be unimpeachable. Yet the public can have little confidence the rules forced upon them are scientifically justified.”


  • Chris Warren says:

    Sea levels over the long term show a weak but accelerating pattern, but the weakness is a consequence of having to combine two tendencies; 1.) water contracts as it warms from 0 to 4C recovers its original volume as it warms from 4 to around 6C and then 2.) produces a final nett thermal expansion. Thermal expansion occurs in water greater than 4C.

    In polar regions, warm water at 4C is denser than surrounding water. For sea water this temp point will be different but the principle is the same. Sea Ice melts at minus 2C.

    So if this system is disturbed by warming over this point, a stream of warm water will flow undercutting glaciers that are edging out to sea.

    This is now becoming quite obvious. As explained here: https://archive.is/jmtwk

    A huge part of overhanging Antarctica Ice separated a few weeks ago. It is a sign of what is to come.

  • Chris Warren says:


    What is the evidence for:

    “Records of extremely hot days before the turn of the century have been erased, in one celebrated case simply because a diligent worker had taken the observation on a Sunday, which was outside of usual practice.”

    How does this relate to the topic of this thread?

  • spangled drongo says:

    “A huge part of overhanging Antarctica Ice separated a few weeks ago. It is a sign of what is to come.”

    And did you-all notice the enormous SLR as a result? [koff]

    Enough of the desperate, alarmist blither already!

    It’s also a sign of what has been happening for millions of years. We have had much bigger ice bergs in the past.

    Poor, silly, twisted blith don’t know his alarmism from his nat var.

    I think it’s time you put your mum on, blith.

  • Chris Warren says:

    Of course it is necessary to separate out natural variations from human impacts. While it is common practice to average temperature data over 11 years – the sunspot cycle, this may not work in the case of sea level.

    However we can look at past data shown here:


    Here we see a period dominated by natural variability [1700 – 1800] then a slight rising tendency overlaid on natural variability [1800-1860] followed by a relatively rapid acceleration [1860-2013]. The new trend appears to have smothered mush of any benefit from natural variability.

    You can also see the same breakout from natural variability in the CO2 ice core record going back 500,000 years.

  • Chris Warren says:

    Interesting thermal image of Larsen C damage. Clearly by warm water undercutting (a second effect of global warming) not warm melt water from the surface boring down (an alternative process).


    The collapse here replicates the earlier collapse of Larsen B of an area equal to the US state of Rhode Island.

    See here: https://archive.is/boagR

    Of course we are only seeing the initial stages, and if present tends continue – more will follow.

    • spangled drongo says:

      To use your words at 10.56 am, blith:

      “How does this relate to the topic of this thread?”

      Please explain how any of this is, a/ anything other than nat var and b/ contributing to SLR?

      Where IS your mum?

      I must speak to her about your bladder problems.

    • spangled drongo says:

      “Of course we are only seeing the initial stages, and if present tends continue – more will follow.”

      Where did you learn such cutting edge sci, blith?

  • Chris Warren says:

    A useful summary of global sea level rise including trend.

    The blue line is from data from a region – North East Atlantic available from 1850.


    It is possible to track sea levels back 1,000 years.


  • Bryan Roberts says:

    … but Australia desperately needs more climate scientists (27?) before the New Year.

  • spangled drongo says:

    Factual historic evidence of sea levels now lower than they were.

    From Judith Curry:

    “Notwithstanding the statements of the IPCC AR4 who assert a sea level status quo from ancient until modern times, there are many studies that point to a picture of relatively static sea levels after the initial Holocene rise. These then show that some 3000 years ago there was a further inundation (think Lyonesse in Cornwall) and in early Roman times levels were somewhere around current levels. Levels then rose significantly through the Roman period peaking around the 700 AD Byzantine period at levels higher than today.”

    Also in a part of Southern England that is actually sinking, this site was always thought to be so far out to sea that it would never be found:


  • spangled drongo says:

    Here’s the Envisat satellite data before it got adjusted. Fascinating how it showed no SLR compared to the others:


  • spangled drongo says:

    Harmonic Analysis of Worldwide Temperature Proxies for 2000 Years.

    German Scientists Claim Climate Change Is Cyclical, Global Cooling Coming Next

    A recently published paper from Horst-Joachim Lüdecke1, *, Carl-Otto Weiss2

    1 HTW, University of Applied Sciences, Saarbrücken, Germany


    The Sun as climate driver is repeatedly discussed in the literature but proofs are often weak. In order to elucidate the solar influence, we have used a large number of temperature proxies worldwide to construct a global temperature mean G7 over the last 2000 years. The Fourier spectrum of G7 shows the strongest components as ~1000-, ~460-, and ~190 – year periods whereas other cycles of the individual proxies are considerably weaker. The G7 temperature extrema coincide with the Roman, medieval, and present optima as well as the well-known minimum of AD 1450 during the Little Ice Age. We have constructed by reverse Fourier transform a representation of G7 using only these three sine functions, which shows a remarkable Pearson correlation of 0.84 with the 31-year running average of G7. The three cycles are also found dominant in the production rates of the solar-induced cosmogenic nuclides 14C and 10Be, most strongly in the ~190 – year period being known as the De Vries/Suess cycle. By wavelet analysis, a new proof has been provided that at least the ~190-year climate cycle has a solar origin.


  • David says:

    Meanwhile Australia recorded its hottest July on record. Just saying.

    • spangled drongo says:

      As long as you’re only “just saying”, davie.

      “BoM initially claimed the adjustments were part of its quality control procedures. But bureau chief executive Andrew Johnson later told Environment Minister Josh­ Frydenberg that investigations had found a number of cold-weather stations were not “fit for purpose” and would be replaced.”

    • Thorfinn says:

      A stuck record for sure. Hottest ever blah….more rats on the treadmill.

  • David says:

    Steady on SD. Dont shoot the messenger.

  • […] I should have set this up much earlier, and have done so now because I want to alert readers to an excellent essay by Willis Eschenbach about whether there has been any acceleration in sea-level rise in the satellite period. Sea-levels were the subject of a recent essay. […]

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