Plimer notes that “the tidal measuring station at Port Adelaide is sinking, thereby recording a sea level rise”. The same is true of many other areas of subsidence, a fact apparently lost on most contemporary oceanographers. “If there is a sea-level rise we would expect every atoll in every ocean to be inundated. But we don’t see this. We would expect harbours around the world to record a sea level rise. This is not recorded. So something is seriously wrong with the catastrophist dogma.”
Most contemporary oceanographers aren’t aware that the land could be sinking? Apparently Pearson and Plimer think that oceanographers are idiots. I guess its possible but maybe Plimer (or Pearson) could have checked what the oceanographers actually say?
Here’s TAR 11.1:
“Mean sea level” at the coast is defined as the height of the sea with respect to a local land benchmark, averaged over a period of time, such as a month or a year, long enough that fluctuations caused by waves and tides are largely removed. Changes in mean sea level as measured by coastal tide gauges are called “relative sea level changes”, because they can come about either by movement of the land on which the tide gauge is situated or by changes in the height of the adjacent sea surface (both considered with respect to the centre of the Earth as a fixed reference). These two terms can have similar rates (several mm/yr) on time-scales greater than decades. To infer sea level changes arising from changes in the ocean, the movement of the land needs to be subtracted from the records of tide gauges and geological indicators of past sea level. …
We estimate that global average eustatic sea level change over the last hundred years is within the range 0.10 to 0.20 m (Section 11.3.2). (“Eustatic” change is that which is caused by an alteration to the volume of water in the world ocean.)
In other words, the basis of Plimer’s claim that there has been no sea level rise is
(1) ignoring the scientific evidence; and
(2) making up his own evidence.
Pearson quotes Plimer:
“Subsidence can play some cruel tricks … This is what is happening in many Pacific Ocean atoll nations and this subsidence produces an apparent sea-level rise. We naughty fossil-fuel burners are not causing sea levels to rise. Some, but not all, of the Pacific Ocean atoll nations are sinking as part of a normal geological process,” he says.
Samir Patel in Nature 440:734-736:
A mean sea-level rise in Tuvalu of just 20 to 40 cm in the next
hundred years would significantly increase the frequency and depth of
saltwater flooding and accelerate coastal erosion. It would threaten
the Tuvaluans’ food and housing, poisoning the pits where they grow
giant swamp taro plants and undermining buildings. It could make the
country simply uninhabitable.
What’s happening to sea levels in Tuvalu?
There are two tide gauges in Tuvalu. One, operated by the University
of Hawaii until 1999, sits on a small concrete wharf behind the
three storey Taiwanese-built government building. In 1993, the NTC
installed a more modern and accurate gauge a few kilometres north at
the country’s only deepwater wharf. One of twelve in the South
Pacific, this gauge should in theory provide quantitative confirmation
that Tuvalu is being engulfed, as the king tides and the wet cuffs of
my trousers suggest.
But in 2000 an NTC analysis reported a negligible increase of 0.07 mm
a year over the past two decades from the University of Hawaii gauge,
and a drop in sea level from the seven years of NTC data. It was clear
that the El Nino/Southern Oscillation (ENSO), which drives down sea
level in the western Pacific, affected both of these records. And the
international environmental group Greenpeace asked John Hunter, a
climatologist at the University of Tasmania, to have another look at
the data. When he adjusted for ENSO and the vertical movement of the
Hawaii gauge, which is thought to be sinking, Hunter found a sea level
rise of around 1.2 mm a year.
Hunter’s figure is consistent with the global estimate of the
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC): 1 to 2mm a year for
the twentieth century. But the Tuvalu estimates are based on a couple
of gauges and a reasonably short record, points out John Church of the
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO)
in Hobart, Tasmania, who was one of the lead authors of the chapter on
sea level in the IPCC’s most recent assessment.
Recently, Church and his CSIRO colleague Neil White have moved to a
more regional approach. They have combined records from tide gauges
around the world, some of which date back as far as 1870, with
satellite altimeter data to assess regional variation in sea-level
rise. Their results for the South Pacific are in line with the Hunter
and IPCC estimates, and they are now looking specifically at Tuvalu
and other small island nations.
Plimer doesn’t seem to have bothered looking at the scientific evidence, but Pearson fell for it, as did the always gullible Tim Blair.
(Via Ken Brook).