How would you describe this graph of global sea level from the University of Colorado?

i-3be053761d486aae2b354f3b0fc41547-sl_noib_global.png

Well if you’re Jennifer Marohasy, you call it a “dip in global sea level” and say that “since 2005 the steady upward trend has stumbled“.

The most recent observation is right on the long term trend line.

You can get a better idea of trends with this version, which removes the effects of changes in air pressure and seasons:

i-7a867f43123db029d780644318b1b742-sl_ib_ns_global.png

Who are you going to believe, Marohasy, or your lying eyes?

Comments

  1. #1 John P
    December 9, 2008

    I vote for “clear upward trend.”

  2. #2 Dano
    December 9, 2008

    There is a PR person or energetic dupe at DotEarth who repeatedly links to this graph to claim sea levels are falling. I suspect either they credulously believe tools like Marohasy or purposely spread doubt. Anyway,

    I just linked to this yesterday to show – again – that this claim is BS.

    Note early in the year (late summer in the hemisphere that is mostly ocean) the obs are higher than 2005 and likely highest measured.

    Best,

    D

  3. #3 John
    December 9, 2008

    According to President (elect) Obama, the oceans stopped rising on June 4th.

    “…this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on Earth.”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kbbIQFcEhcQ

    Maybe he hasn’t seen the chart yet? Or maybe he can’t take control of the ocean height dial until after the inauguration? :P

    The satellite measurements of ocean height and temp are fascinating though!

  4. #4 ben
    December 9, 2008

    The linear trend is upward, but the data does appear to be tapering off at the end. Let’s hope that that is what’s really happening :)

  5. #5 Demesure
    December 9, 2008

    What the graph means? Warmists forgot to tell the sea to act?

  6. #6 Nick
    December 9, 2008

    I’d say that Jen has just received another scented package from her fancy man…”Why,I do de-clare,that’s a very..impertinent little graph, Mr Morano. I am quite overcome!”

  7. #7 jonno
    December 9, 2008

    There has been no sea level rise since 2006 ;)

  8. #8 John McKay
    December 9, 2008

    I can’t believe anyone would be enough of a tool to make the “peaked in 2005″ argument when there are so many more creative conspiracy theories possible. Personally, I think Colorado is just making this up to improve the value of their real estate.

  9. #9 kevin
    December 9, 2008

    John, nice use of ellipses there to leave out the (paraphrasing, b/c I’m to lazy to transcribe) “If we have the courage and will, generations from now we will look back and say this was the moment…”

    I also like how slow = stop in your mind, and moment means a 24 hour period.

  10. #10 DavidONE
    December 9, 2008

    Are you all BLIND?! The graph clearly shows global sea rising stopped in 1998!!1!

    ManBearPig! Scientists forgot about the sun! SUVs on Mars! Etc.

  11. #11 Brad
    December 9, 2008

    It looks like the sea levels stopped rising between about 1998 and 2000, only to start rising after that. It also looks like they’ve levelled off starting about 2007. Based on past trends it’s going to show an increase as time goes on, though. I’d hardly say that sea levels have stopped rising.

  12. #12 jre
    December 9, 2008

    Now that John has been kind enough to mention it, we in the US should take a moment to reflect on what it will mean, after eight long years, to have a president who respects the scientific enterprise.

    We had a chance in 2000 to elect one … no, wait, we did elect that guy, but it didn’t take. Maybe this time we will have better luck.

    As to Marohasy, that post is beyond goofy. As a check, I did a regression on the data set plotted (+3.3 mm/yr., just as advertised) and on Marohasy’s cherry-picked 2005-present period (+1.3 mm/yr.). You can’t even fabricate a “dip” by cherry-picking! And Jennifer Marohasy finds it “interesting” that she can somehow see a dip in sea level during the same period that CO2 increased by 7 ppmv? Seriously: WTF?

  13. #13 Brian D
    December 9, 2008

    Transcribing for Kevin (#9):

    “America, this is our moment! This is our time! Our time to turn the page on the policies of the past, our time to bring new energy and new ideas to the challenges we face, our time to offer a new direction for this country that we love! The journey will be difficult, the road will be long. I face this challenge, I face this challenge with profound humility, and knowledge of my own limitations, but I also face it with limitless faith in the capacity of the American people. Because, if we are willing to work for it, and fight for it, and believe in it, then I am absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment that we began to provide care for the sick and give jobs to the jobless. That this was the moment that the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal. This was the moment when we ended a war, and secured our nation, and restored our image as the last, best hope on Earth. This was the moment, this was the time when we came together, to remake this great nation so that it may always reflect our very best selves, and our highest ideals.”

    He’s clearly pointing out traditional progressive causes (welfare/equality, environmentalism, and peace) by framing modern examples of their application (and points he campaigned on) from the perspective of the future. He also says “began to slow”, which is clearly different than “stopped”. Kevin is correct – as is jre.

  14. #14 Lank
    December 9, 2008

    Anthony Watts suggests that the leveling off in rising sea levels in the last several years correlates with a noticeable drop in sunspot activity in late 2005. http://wattsupwiththat.com/

    The ‘leveling off’ sea level trend over the last few years is just what would be expected since rising global temperatures have stalled over the last decade. Sea levels would take some time (several years?) to equilibrate and reflect the flat or negative temperature trend that we are now experiencing.

  15. #15 sod
    December 9, 2008

    “dip” was the first word, that came to my mind!

    HONESTLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. #16 llewelly
    December 9, 2008

    Clearly some hero of industry has foiled the Environmentalist Plot to raise sea levels by pumping glacier water into the ocean.

  17. #17 t_p_hamilton
    December 9, 2008

    Lank:Anthony Watts suggests that the leveling off in rising sea levels in the last several years correlates with a noticeable drop in sunspot activity in late 2005. http://wattsupwiththat.com/

    The ‘leveling off’ sea level trend over the last few years is just what would be expected since rising global temperatures have stalled over the last decade. Sea levels would take some time (several years?) to equilibrate and reflect the flat or negative temperature trend that we are now experiencing.”

    If the dip in solar activity in 2005 is having a significant cooling effect, then the maximum in solar activity in 2000-2002 should have had a significant effect compared to other years. Where is it?

  18. #18 picoallen
    December 9, 2008

    Hey, come on. It clearly stopped rising … in 1994, 1998, 2001, 2003 AND 2006.

    Or if you want to use the corrected plot, then it stopped in 1993, 1998, 2003, 2004 and 2007.

    How many times does it have to stop before you people are convinced!

  19. #19 Lank
    December 9, 2008

    t_p_hamilton #17. The correlation with sunspot activity vs temperatures sure looks a lot better than the C02 vs temperature plot over the last decade. Why is this so?

    http://icecap.us/images/uploads/MSUCRUCO2.jpg

  20. #20 Ray C.
    December 9, 2008

    But…but…but…

    AAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLL GOOOOOOOOOORRRRRRRRRRRE!

  21. #21 Brian D
    December 9, 2008

    llewelly: Clearly some hero of industry has foiled the Environmentalist Plot to raise sea levels by pumping glacier water into the ocean.

    No, see, it’s Al Gore, who convinced the polar bears to start hiding ice! It’s not really gone, it’s hidden in liquid form in the sea!

    (With my regards to Marcus Brigstocke.)

  22. #22 cce
    December 9, 2008
  23. #23 Lank
    December 10, 2008

    cce – my comment and question “The correlation with sunspot activity vs temperatures sure looks a lot better than the C02 vs temperature plot over the last decade. Why is this so?” and you respond with a link making a very average attempt at trying to explain how the temperature on Mars is controlled by dust storms.

    Why can’t you accept that there is absolutely no correlation with earth’s temperature and CO2 during the last decade.

  24. #24 Marion Delgado
    December 10, 2008

    Plateaued, flat, much lower than the medieval warming period, inaccurate, and only rising near urban heat islands.

    Do I win?

  25. #25 Marion Delgado
    December 10, 2008

    Wait, I want a second chance.

    Declining. Sea levels are lowering and the Earth is cooling, due to natural variation.

    This time I know I nailed it.

  26. #26 Bernard J.
    December 10, 2008

    Lank.

    Even you should know that the answer to your question lies in the timescale being considered, and in the superimposition of noise.

    Do you really need someone to draw pictures for you?

  27. #27 WotWot
    December 10, 2008

    Why can’t you accept that there is absolutely no correlation with earth’s temperature and CO2 during the last decade.

    Um, er, ah…

    Nah, don’t worry about it, life’s too short.

  28. #28 dhogaza
    December 10, 2008

    Why can’t you accept that there is absolutely no correlation with earth’s temperature and CO2 during the last decade.

    OMIGOD! AGW hasn’t driven natural variability out of the climate system! Someone inform all those commie climate scientists that unless AGW drives natural variability out of the system, it can’t exist!

  29. #29 adherent
    December 10, 2008

    A somewhat offtopic question prompted by this post, but, does anyone have any insight into why Marohasy does this? I mean, you have to manipulate the data in a consciously deceitful way to advance this position. I know the IPA is paying the bills, but seriously, what makes her tick?

  30. #30 cce
    December 10, 2008

    Lank,

    Why don’t you admit you didn’t read it?

  31. #31 bugs
    December 10, 2008

    What’s really happening.

    It’s rising, no it’s falling, no it’s rising again, oops, now it’s falling, no it’s rising, and it’s falling, now it looks likes rising, but it’s falling……

  32. #32 dhogaza
    December 10, 2008

    what makes her tick?

    Political ideology. Without science denialism, you can’t support the position that a free-wheeling, unfettered market offers nothing but benefits to humanity at large (though of course the robber barons are driven by selfishness, not supposed benefits to humanity).

  33. #33 DavidK
    December 10, 2008

    Damn and double damn dhogaza … I thought it was Socratic irony that makes Marohasy tick.

  34. #34 Michael
    December 10, 2008

    There’s no such thing as a global average sea level.

  35. #35 Boris
    December 10, 2008

    There’s no such thing as a global average sea level.

    Sorry, Marion, but Michael wins the thread. Please practice your denialism and say 50 hail Rands for penance.

  36. #36 Bernard J.
    December 10, 2008

    Michael.

    Perhaps you could explain to the rest of us exactly why you say what you did at #34, and also why scientists around the world utilise the concept of mean global sea level in spite of your insight to the contrary.

  37. #37 Joel Shore
    December 10, 2008

    Lank,

    There has also been no correlation between the temperature and the solar seasonal cycle here where I live over the last week (and, I live very far from the tropics…so those egghead scientists would claim the seasonal cycle should be particularly strong here). I suppose I should conclude from this that the seasonal cycle is just a myth, just like AGW?

  38. #38 Michael
    December 10, 2008

    BJ,

    It’s clear that such a concept is flawed. Sea levels rise and fall all the time (simultaneously even), so the idea of a mean is meaningless.

    Others have shown that there are other, more plausible, takes on the available data. I think the work on the PDO in relation to ENSO and El Nino is particularly intersting. The upwelling noted in relation to this phenomena should be especially noted.

    You get some very different results should you plot the HADCRUT data against Nino 3.4, utilising r^, where r is what ever I want it to be.

    Solar insolence cannot be discounted either, given it’s effect on the PWP when measured in Planck Units of Water. Even if a rising global mean sea level were true, which, by definition, it cannot be, such a situation would mean an increased sea surface area, leading to increased evaporation and then cloud cover, with a resulting increase in libido. My wife has noticed no such thing.

    Finally, there is an excellant paper (Bob Cohenite et al, yet to be written) which demonstrates all this quite convincingly.

  39. #39 Douglas Watts
    December 10, 2008

    The graph is very clear. Sea level wants to take our gunz and make us gaymarry.

  40. #40 bi -- IJI
    December 10, 2008

    If you consider the total depth of the seas, you find that 3.3 mm/yr is simply an insignificant blip in the whole scheme of things.

    Also, it’s the liberals’ fault anyway. If Obama had accepted McCain’s invitation to appear at town hall meetings, the seas wouldn’t have risen.

  41. #41 Christophe Thill
    December 10, 2008

    I see fluctuations around a very steady, very regular linear upward trend. With the raw data, I admit there was some doubt: the trend seemed to be less steep since the last 3 years. But the de-seasonalized version is quite clear. Anyway, we’re talking about big things, a whole system with complex relations and interactions. You don’t reverse a trend so quickly in such a thing.

  42. #42 Dano
    December 10, 2008

    Christophe, stop it with your logical analysis. Obviously Algore is fat!! goes to the beach and displaces water. We know when he goes to the beach by the peaks in the graph.

    Best,

    D

  43. #43 jre
    December 10, 2008

    I have family pictures taken at the beach clearly showing a lot of body-surfing, splashing and general horseplay, with a sea level monitor clearly visible in the background.

    If this is representative of the data quality from sea level monitors around the world, then I say the entire system is suspect. I would like to solicit anyone interested in improving the state of climate science to send me all your beach pictures. Depending on the quality of the pictures’ subjects, I may ask for followup.

  44. #44 Paul
    December 10, 2008

    >bi-IJI said:
    If you consider the total depth of the seas, you find that 3.3 mm/yr is simply an insignificant blip in the whole scheme of things.

    Erm, It may be small (now), but small increases have a huge impact on humans.

    If you took your logic further, then a 20mm or a 50mm rise are also completely irrelevant!

    Absolute measurements in this case are not very relevant.

  45. #45 Paul
    December 10, 2008

    jre said:
    >…with a sea level monitor clearly visible in the background.
    If this is representative of the data quality from sea level monitors around the world, then I say the entire system is suspect.

    Remember those things called satellites?

  46. #46 jre
    December 10, 2008

    Remember those things called satellites?

    Oh, you think there is a “consensus” that they are called “satellites”, do you? Well, consensus science is not science, me boyo. So there.

  47. #47 Dano
    December 10, 2008

    If this is representative of the data quality from sea level monitors around the world, then I say the entire system is suspect.

    This premise is wrong. Thus the conclusion is wrong.

  48. #48 Brian D
    December 10, 2008

    Michael, Frank: I salute you.

  49. #49 jre
    December 10, 2008

    This premise is wrong. Thus the conclusion is wrong.

    There you go again, trying to blind us all with your “logic.”

  50. #50 Marion Delgado
    December 10, 2008

    Boris:

    My hat is indeed off to Michael’s elegance.

    I gracefully concede.

  51. #51 Dano
    December 10, 2008

    There you go again, trying to blind us all with your “logic.”

    I felt the blinding in my gut, when I looked at the data in the eye and said: “They are a good man. Now, how can we screw these data for not following the party line?”

    Best,

    D

  52. #52 Dano
    December 10, 2008

    I agree with Marion and others above. Solar insolence indeed!

    Best,

    D

  53. #53 jre
    December 10, 2008

    Oh, all right.

    Michael — It seems today the field is yours! Well tried, sir!

    But you have not heard the last of us.

  54. #54 zippy
    December 10, 2008

    “If you took your logic further, then a 20mm or a 50mm rise are also completely irrelevant!

    Absolute measurements in this case are not very relevant.”

    Exactly. What would they be relative to? The deepest part of the ocean? Have we found it yet? Does the depth of that change?

  55. #55 Brian D
    December 10, 2008

    Zippy: Not only is the result of global warming totally insignificant given the depth of the oceans, the depth of the oceans may in fact catastrophically change as a result of global warming.

    Also, Chewbacca lives on Endor.

  56. #56 Dave Andrews
    December 10, 2008

    Wow,

    3.1 + or – 0.44mm per year

    Well this is really something to worry about, especially as I understand some land masses are sinking as well. But hang on a minute, are’nt some land areas still rising after the effects of the last ice age?

    And are’nt tidal ranges across the world measured in feet and metres?.

    Should I really be worried about millimetre rises?

  57. #57 Lank
    December 10, 2008

    Zippy – you make a good point. Yes, the depth of ocean floor does change as tectonic plates move against each other. In some contacts they subduct, buckling the ocean floor into deep-water trenches. At other plate junctions sea floor rises as plates spread and produce new crust. These changes will undoubtedly affect sea-levels and could account for millimetres/year of ‘average’ SL change.

  58. #58 Steve L
    December 10, 2008

    Hi, this has been enjoyable. I suppose I should read about it at the U of Colorado website (or something somewhere) … but is anyone else surprised that the correction for air pressure and seasons also seems to have increased the sea level by ~5-6 mm?

  59. #60 Paul
    December 10, 2008

    >Exactly. What would they be relative to? The deepest part of the ocean? Have we found it yet? Does the depth of that change?

    The interest in sea level rises is a human one. The seas could be infinitely deep, but if they rise a small amount it can have a great influence on coastal communities. Your interest in depths may or may not have scientific or mathematical merit, but it doesn’t matter if humans have their homes washed away in a few decades.

    People are only interested in sea levels relative to a safe known level that hasn’t caused their homes to be washed away (for example) in the recent past.

  60. #61 t_p_hamilton
    December 10, 2008

    Lank:”tphamilton #17. The correlation with sunspot activity vs temperatures sure looks a lot better than the C02 vs temperature plot over the last decade. Why is this so?”

    Because a decade is dominated by noise. Look at 50 years: Solar intensity FLAT, CO2 up, T up.

  61. #62 t_p_hamilton
    December 10, 2008

    Brian:”llewelly: Clearly some hero of industry has foiled the Environmentalist Plot to raise sea levels by pumping glacier water into the ocean.

    No, see, it’s Al Gore, who convinced the polar bears to start hiding ice! It’s not really gone, it’s hidden in liquid form in the sea!”

    No, it is the polar bears who are thriving, pissing on the ice and melting it.

  62. #63 Lank
    December 10, 2008

    tph #61 – Sea level over the last 6,000 or so years has been remarkably constant compared with the preceding 10,000 years.

    http://www.agmates.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/sea_level-pg-450.jpg

    When you take your ‘noise’ into account it seems trivial as does mankind’s influence on these SL changes.

  63. #64 Bernard J.
    December 10, 2008

    Michael.

    I appreciate your insight. You raise some very important points, and I take the one regarding solar insolence very seriously indeed!

    Thankyou for your clarifications.
    ;-)

  64. #65 Bernard J.
    December 10, 2008

    Michael.

    I might have to retract my appreciation. I’ve just showed your post to a friend during lunch, and for some reason he sprayed his beer over my laptop.

    Of course I have to blame you, even though it was I who asked for your insight in the first place.

    Solar insolence, libido – snigger! I only wish that the cohenites and Birds of the world could be as genuinely witty.

  65. #66 nanny_govt_sucks
    December 11, 2008

    You can get a better idea of trends with this version, which removes the effects of changes in air pressure …

    Great! So now we’re adjusting for air pressure!

    Can I see the historical global temperature chart adjusted for air pressure now? Oh, and can we re-run all the multi-proxy temperature reconstructions with the air-pressure-adjusted temp chart?

  66. #67 Chris O'Neill
    December 11, 2008

    Lank:

    Sea level over the last 6,000 or so years has been remarkably constant compared with the preceding 10,000 years.

    6,000 years x 3 mm/year =18 metres

    Looks like sea level over the last 6,000 or so years has been remarkably constant compared with what’s happening now.

  67. #68 Chris O'Neill
    December 11, 2008
    You can get a better idea of trends with this version, which removes the effects of changes in air pressure …

    sucks:

    Great! So now we’re adjusting for air pressure!

    Dear sucks, so sad to hear that adjusting for air pressure does not suit you. I was so looking forward to reading your argument about how important it is to adjust for air pressure.

  68. #69 Bernard J.
    December 11, 2008

    Great! So now we’re adjusting for air pressure!

    NaGS, you’re obviously not a SCUBA diver, or else acquainted with the meteorology of storm surges, or you would know that air pressure can have a marked effect on sea level.

    Or was your intention really just to make yourself look silly?

  69. #70 nanny_govt_sucks
    December 11, 2008

    Dear sucks, so sad to hear that adjusting for air pressure does not suit you.

    When did I say it does not suit me?

    I’m all for adjusting for air pressure, but why limit it only to adjusting sea levels? Let’s see the adjustment applied to global temperatures as well!

  70. #71 nanny_govt_sucks
    December 11, 2008

    Let me try my earlier post again:

    Great! So NOW, finally, we’re adjusting for air pressure! Hooray! It’s about time! I’m not being sarcastic!

    Now, when will someone get around to adjusting the global temperature record for variations in air pressure?

  71. #72 Tim Lambert
    December 11, 2008

    nags, there is no long term trend in air pressure, so as you can see from the graph, the adjustement just removes some noise and does not change the long term trend. So if you really were concerned about this, you would just plot annual temperature averages and not the monthly ones that your lot use for cherry picking purposes.

  72. #73 Vagueofgodalming
    December 11, 2008

    jre – yes! All those people pushing up the sea level by splashing about in the water. If only they wore fewer clothes they would have less effect: I suggest you promote this in your photographic campaign.

  73. #74 Chris O'Neill
    December 11, 2008

    sucks:

    I’m not being sarcastic!

    Now, when will someone get around to adjusting the global temperature record for variations in air pressure?

    And not being presumptuous either.

  74. #75 t_p_hamilton
    December 11, 2008

    Lank scores an own goal: “Sea level over the last 6,000 or so years has been remarkably constant compared with the preceding 10,000 years.”

    Which makes the recent rise something different, like due to AGW.

    “When you take your ‘noise’ into account it seems trivial as does mankind’s influence on these SL changes.”

    When compared to the temperatures during the big bang temperatures, a few hundred Kelvin is no big deal. Therefore you should not worry if we get thrown into a fire.

  75. #76 Greg Laden
    December 11, 2008

    Very interesting data. Periodicity?

    Yes, there are several dips. Which tend to be followed by catastrophic rises.

    So we’ve seen a dip since 2005. That can only mean … oh crap … blub blub blub bub….

  76. #77 Oakden Wolf
    December 11, 2008

    It’s amazing to me that skeptics like Watts appeal to their readership with such blatant cherry-picking. What really gets me is that this coincidence of a La Nina and solar minimum (the former having everything to do with the cool year and the latter nothing to do with it) allows a spurious correlation with increasing sunspot numbers – which will happen shortly – and increasing global temperatures – which is still happening and will reassert itself shortly. The spurious correlation will allow skeptics, with likely “scientific” support from Willie Soon and Sallie Baliunas, to claim that the warming is solar-induced and not anthropogenic.

    Sea level is a potent data type indicating the ongoing warming without any appeal to “bad data”. The skeptics have to gyrate cleverly to avoid its implications.

  77. #78 Brian Schmidt
    December 11, 2008

    Oakden’s right, unfortunately. The denialists will soon stop talking about an imminent cooldown and bring back Singer’s nonsense about 1500-year solar warming cycles.

  78. #79 nanny_govt_sucks
    December 11, 2008

    nags, there is no long term trend in air pressure,

    Reference please!

  79. #80 t_p_hamilton
    December 11, 2008

    The global average air pressure is a function of the weight of the atmosphere. The weight of the atmosphere depends on its composition, which has not changed substantially, weight-wise.

    By the way, variation in MSLP has very little effect because water is not very compressible.(documentation at http://sealevel.colorado.edu)

    Climatologists have mean sea level pressure (MSLP) data sets, because they are interested in local persistent pressure changes due to wind fields, which are strongly associated with ENSO and other oscillations.

  80. #81 bi -- IJI
    December 11, 2008

    > Reference please!

    If you dig through the entire collection of freedom-loving books by John Locke, Ayn Rand, Friedrich von Hayek, Murray Rothbard, etc. etc. etc. you’ll find it somewhere.

    Along with all your the other ‘true legitimate facts’ which you’ve known all along about governance.

  81. #82 Chris O'Neill
    December 12, 2008

    John McLean is at it again:

    THE Victorian Government’s restriction on coastal development because of a predicted rise in sea levels is a farce. It ignores data that shows global average sea levels have fallen since 2005, that sea surface temperatures in Bass Strait are benign, and Victoria’s sea level fluctuates according to water sloshing around the Pacific as a consequence of El Nino and La Nina. …

  82. #83 toofan
    March 24, 2009

    hi there, can i ask someone here to help me compare these 2 graphs for my university project on sea level rise?

    http://img19.imageshack.us/img19/3659/graph1v
    http://img18.imageshack.us/img18/3685/graph2….

    email me at tofanshater@yahoo.com plz

    many thanks