This week’s “Ask a Science Blogger” question is:
I read this article in the NRO, and the author actually made some interesting arguments. ‘Basically,’ he said, ‘I am questioning the premise that [global warming] is a problem rather than an opportunity.’ Does he have a point?…
No. Robbins’ article contains only one fact and that fact is wrong.
Most of his article is airy speculation about how warming will be beneficial, without looking at any of the scientific evidence on the question. He seems to be blithely unaware of stuff that happened the real world, like, oh, New Orleans:
But the waters will not rise so quickly, if they do at all. And if this threatens our cities one would think some form of sea wall would be in order. The Dutch have been doing this for years, there is no reason why we can’t copy them.
But anyway, here’s his one fact:
But sea-level data from Tuvalu show basically a flat-line average since 1977 — talk about an inconvenient truth!
And here’s what the South Pacific Sea Level and Climate Monitoring Project 2005 report says about Tuvalu:
The sea level trend to date is +5.0 mm/year but the magnitude of the trend continues to vary widely from month to month as the data set grows. Accounting for the precise levelling results and inverted barometric pressure effect, the trend is +4.3 mm/year. A nearby gauge, with a longer record but less precision and datum control, shows a trend of +0.9 mm/year.
Correction: I cut and pasted from the report for Vanuatu by mistake. The paragraph above now gives the correct figures for Tuvalu (5.0 mm/year) instead of those for Vanuatu (4.5 mm/year).