Sea level rise acceleration

You only have to look at the graph below showing sea level rise since 1880 to see that it has accelerated from about 1mm/year at the end of the 19th century to about 3mm/year at present.(from CSIRO).


If you take a closer look at recent sea level rise you’ll see that it has been very consistent, only deviating from the trend line by about 10mm at any time.



So if you were unscrupulous, and wanted to try to make it look like sea level rise had decelerated what could you do? You could split the series at a point where sea level was above the trend line and compare trends before and after.  this is what Klaus-Eckart Puls did (green line added by me):


Of course, you could achieve the opposite effect by splitting at  a point in time where sea level was below the trend line.  Note that the trend for the first half, 3.5mm/year isn’t significantly different from the overall trend and that the latest measurement lies on the trend fitted to the first part of the data (the green line above).

Naturally, Andrew Bolt was taken in, claiming that sea level rise was slowing, oblivious to the fact that this contradicted his earlier claims that sea level had stopped rising.


  1. #1 Lionel A
    December 12, 2012

    And what is more this sea level increase is not uniform across the globe as described here: Jerry Mitrovica, Harvard University

    and the book reviewed here Book review: Rising Sea Levels: An Introduction to Cause and Impact by Hunt Janin and Scott Mandia is worth a read for more background.

  2. #2 Hockey Schtick
    December 12, 2012

    1) There was no acceleration of sea rise over the 20th century

    2) Sea level rise may have instead decelerated over the 20th century

    3) Sea level rise has greatly decelerated since 2005 to 1.1 to 1.3 mm/yr

  3. #3 Adam
    South Dakota
    December 12, 2012

    I think you are both wrong. I grant that the first graph shows a slight acceleration. However, the second graph, to me, shows a slight deceleration. Fit a 2-degree polynomial through these points and I am sure you will get a negative coefficient for the 2nd degree variable. Also, I don’t see why breaking the data set in two as such is a bad idea. What is a bad idea is trying to fit lines through data that obviously exhibit seasonality which the author is doing. If you want to attack the author, attack her for not treating the data with more care.

  4. #4 MikeH
    December 12, 2012

    SKS have a sea level version of their famous “going down the up escalator” temperature graph to highlight how letting morons play with graphs can be dangerous.

  5. #5 Stu
    December 12, 2012

    “Hockey Shtick”… reading comprehension: you are doing it wrong.

    0.5/5 for content, 0.0 for originality. Need better trolls.

  6. #6 Wow
    December 13, 2012

    “1) There was no acceleration of sea rise over the 20th century”

    And no 21st century at all!

    ‘sfunny thing. You use words without understanding them.

  7. #7 bill
    December 13, 2012

    Gee, more variations on the ‘global temps / SLR / sea-ice/glacial melt has been declining / decelerating since last Wednesday’ theme! Colour me astonished…

    Also, I think you’ll find the justification for the fit will be the usual ‘I prefer the result.’

    And, lets remember the dip at the end of the charts was brought about by the massive La Nina dumping a goodly proportion of the content of the oceans on land for a longish holiday…

    I suspect that by 2015 I’m sure this claim will have disappeared down the memory hole, along with all the other wishful claims that ‘it’s over / nearly over’.

  8. #8 Bernard J.
    December 13, 2012

    As noted above, as little as six months ago denialists were claiming that sea level rise had reached a plateau. I’m wishing now that I’d attempted to enter into a wager on it with them.

  9. #9 Neil White
    December 13, 2012

    And if you look at the latest data it’s right back on the straight line!

    Neil White

  10. #10 phil
    December 13, 2012

    AOne must have a good reason to make a split like that and fit two different models. You would have to have good reason to assume that the underlying model had changed to justify making that split. If the underlying assumption is an essentially linear model, it’s fine to fit it with a line, but not fine to break up the data unless, again, the underlying model can be assumed to have changed, requiring a new fit.

    A quadratic might be no better. A quadratic over the whole set of data assumes a common acceleration at all times. Unless there’s justification for that assumption, conclusions based on such a fit cannot be taken with much weight.

    What might be better overall if one feels it necessary to entertain a split is to get a distribution of fits over a series of cutoffs. Then you can get a distribution of slopes which might be interesting to see. This might be a more honest way of presenting the possibility of a deceleration – though it’s still problematic (the shorter the domain of the fit the higher the variance). In reality, I think it would be a better way of showing that we can’t really make any conclusions about acceleration or deceleration on that time scale – the data just has too much structure at that scale and the fit will have too much variance.

    Overall, I’d say this: the fancier you get, the less you can trust the results. I’d say the only thing you can really trust from data that looks like this is: UP.

  11. #11 Bernard J.
    December 13, 2012

    And if you look at the latest data it’s right back on the straight line!

    Ah, but that graph wasn’t obtained from Spangled Drongo’s highly standardised datum point on Chevron Island on the Gold Coast, so it can’t be right…

  12. #12 bill
    December 13, 2012

    Neil White : Ho ho, let’s see them polynomial fit that, then…

  13. #13 Wow
    December 13, 2012

    Simple: just use whatever order of polynomial that predicts “recovering any time now”.

    You’re assuming some level of honesty that frankly doesn’t exist.

  14. #14 Anthony David
    December 13, 2012

    What irks me about these statistical magicians is that they throw up these graphs, choosing inflection points that fit their story, without ever completing the story by relating the inflection to any observable phenomenon. That is what separates wish-fulfillment and science.

  15. #15 Anthony David
    December 13, 2012

    In the absence of editable content on this site:
    s/t and s/t from s/

  16. #16 Eli Rabett
    December 14, 2012

    Polynomial fits, Eli will show you polynomial pants suit fits

  17. #17 spangled drongo
    December 14, 2012

    In spite of the bed wetting you will all be relieved to note that SEQ SLs with today’s king tides once again show they are lower than they were at that old benchmark of 49.9 years ago. 200 mm lower to be exact, in spite of the swell and surge.

    For Learnard Bernard’s guidance, there was another benchmark going back 66 years at Cleveland Point in Moreton bay which was a similar distance below its old heights too.

    Disappointing I know, but I’m sure you will all sleep better [and drier] in the knowledge.

  18. #18 Lionel A
    December 14, 2012

    SEQ SLs with today’s king tides once again show they are lower than they were at that old benchmark of 49.9 years ago. 200 mm lower to be exact,…

    Precise references please, otherwise your point is…?

  19. #19 Wow
    December 14, 2012

    His point seems to be that he hasn’t a clue what “global” means.

  20. #20 spangled drongo
    December 15, 2012

    Here is the Brisbane tide gauge since 1966. Going nowhere:

    Fort Denison [Sydney] is similar.

    Historically, SLR has been the most positive indicator of global warming and if local SLs have not risen for nearly 70 years it is very likely that neither SLR nor GW is happening on a bigger scale at much more than natural variation.

    Go back to bed.

  21. #21 spangled drongo
    December 15, 2012

    And now the IPCC regrets

    “Many empirical relationships have been reported between GCR or cosmogenic isotope archives and some aspects of the climate system (e.g., Bond et al., 2001; Dengel et al., 2009; Ram and Stolz, 1999). The forcing from changes in total solar irradiance alone does not seem to account for these observations, implying the existence of an amplifying mechanism such as the hypothesized GCR-cloud link. We focus here on observed relationships between GCR and aerosol and cloud properties.”

  22. #22 deniersarethick
    December 15, 2012

    Gees what a surprise dronga quotes dumbass denier crap.
    Even the main stream media get it,

    Professor Steve Sherwood, the director of the Climate Change Research Centre at the University of NSW, was the lead author of the chapter in question.
    He says the idea that the chapter he authored confirms a greater role for solar and other cosmic rays in global warming is “ridiculous”.
    “I’m sure you could go and read those paragraphs yourself and the summary of it and see that we conclude exactly the opposite – that this cosmic ray effect that the paragraph is discussing appears to be negligible,”

    What a surprise. Clutching at straws again drongo.

  23. #23 Nick
    December 15, 2012

    Drongo,the Fort Denison tide data is not ‘similar’ to Brisbane’s…which is why you chose not to link to it.

    “SLR has been the most positive indicator of global warming” Bullshit claims are the most positive indicator of your ignorance.

    “The IPCC regrets…er admits:” Er, you’ve caught the tabloid disease. The most positive indicator of daft rejectionism is the resort to quote mining.. I suppose now that Alec Rawls has misrepresented his competence,broken his confidentiality agreement and lied about the draft contents,idiot rejectionists will cease their fantasies about their possession of a so-called high ground in the so-called debate. Of course not,you are idiots after all. Idiocy–mental feebleness– is your defining quality. You take it wherever you go.

  24. #24 bill
    December 15, 2012

    This Rawls premature release will go the way of Climategate 2.0; it’ll get the onanists (and one assumes the aptly-named drongo is one) all in a frenzied – and frankly, desperate – lather, but those looking on will only be made queasy by the accompanying degrading spectacle.

    ‘You keep saying that – I do not think you it means what you think it means…’

    The Right seems to be increasingly unashamed of it’s resort to pure fantasy and blatant dishonesty; this is fine, internally at least, because their target audience is not interested in reality, having abandoned it long ago given its institutionalised liberal bias. However, from the outside it’s like watching a troupe of malignant grotesques de-evolve in real time.

    In short, there’s nothing to this one whatsoever, chum-monkeys, and you’re all left limp, damp, and with your trousers tangled around your ankles…

  25. #25 bill
    December 15, 2012

    “The most interesting aspect of this little event is it reveals how deeply in denial the climate deniers are,” says Steven Sherwood of the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia – one of the lead authors of the chapter in question. “If they can look at a short section of a report and walk away believing it says the opposite of what it actually says, and if this spin can be uncritically echoed by very influential blogs, imagine how wildly they are misinterpreting the scientific evidence.”

    Dear chum-monkeys: you are morons. And that’s it.

    You’re not threatening – except in the sense that your imbecilities might well be adopted by other dishonest knuckle-scrapers who love their SUVs more than their grandchildren – you are a joke. A very bad joke that won’t go away, sadly, but still a joke.

    In short, you are such an intellectually dishonest and pathetic rabble that you have James Delingpole to speak for you. Much joy may you have of each other…

  26. #26 bill
    December 15, 2012

    Link fail for the above.

  27. #27 spangled drongo
    December 15, 2012

    Fort Denison is mainly different from Brisbane because it goes back about 100 years uninterrupted. It has had SLR of about 5 cm in that time, mostly early last century but you Doltoids can only see recent acceleration.

    Truly amazing!

    And the rest of your logic is similarly breathtaking.

  28. #28 spangled drongo
    December 15, 2012

    Bill, for someone like you who I assume is not in climate “denial” [whatever that means] is no doubt so aware of what is going on around him that he would have rock solid reference points over recent decades for gauging SLR against these highest astronomical tides that turn up every year.

    So tell me, what is your impression of observable SLR as indicated by these HATs?

    Or haven’t you bothered to ever check?

    Just happy to accept computer-modified statistics of remote sensing systems?

  29. #29 bill
    December 15, 2012

    Whereas you’re perfectly content to concentrate on one data point that happens to give a result you prefer.

    Much of Denial really is an ASD, isn’t it?

    We’ll all just assume that you know full well your little chum quote from the IPCC leak doesn’t mean what you lot are so desperately trying to convince each other it does…

  30. #30 bill
    December 15, 2012

    And just to really, really, hammer the point home, referring to the very cherry-picked quote kindly chummed for us by our non-learned friend above:

    “The single sentence that this guy pulls out is simply paraphrasing an argument that has been put forward by a few controversial papers (note the crucial word “seems”) purporting significant cosmic-ray influences on climate. Its existence in the draft is proof that we considered all peer-reviewed literature, including potentially important papers that deviate from the herd. The rest of the paragraph from which he has lifted this sentence, however, goes on to show that subsequent peer-reviewed literature has discredited the assumptions and/or methodology of those papers, and failed to find any effect. The absence of evidence for significant cosmic-ray effects is clearly stated in the executive summary. This guy’s spin is truly bizarre. Anyone who would buy the idea that this is a “game changer” is obviously not really looking at what is there.”

    Or is simply a dishonest, mouthbreathing yokel.

  31. #31 spangled drongo
    December 15, 2012

    “Whereas you’re perfectly content to concentrate on one data point that happens to give a result you prefer.”

    No Bill, nothing to do with what I “prefer”, It’s the only evidence anyone can verify.

    AKA the real world.

    You didn’t answer my question so I can only assume that you prefer to deny the evidence of simple observation and embrace computer generated assumption.

    Not very scientific of you.

  32. #32 Jeff Harvey
    December 15, 2012

    From watching spangled drongo embarrass himself more and more on this thread, methinks he ought to head over to the dreaded Jonas thread where he will be at home. I am sure the two of them would make great sparring partners.

  33. #33 Olaus Petri
    December 15, 2012

    Bringing out the heavy artillery are we Jeff? 🙂 Reverends of the climate threat shaking tent needs no infidels pointing out that sola scriptura isn’t science. 😉

  34. #34 bill
    December 15, 2012

    ‘Reverends of the climate threat shaking tent needs no infidels pointing out’ – good grief!

    Trying to be a smartarse in a language you have limited command of does not work, and 🙂 these 😉 don’t help.

  35. #35 Olaus Petri
    December 15, 2012

    You really got me there Bill. Sorry for not speaking in toungues. 😉

  36. #36 bill
    December 15, 2012

    Yes, dear, we all know you think you’re hilarious – for the rest of us it’s like watching a dog try to play the trumpet.

  37. #37 spangled drongo
    December 15, 2012

    A bit of bright sunshine got you worried Bill?

    Just relax. Even your mate Andy supports the leak from this “open and accountable” institution:

    Could it be that “it’s the sun stupid” is too much to bear.

  38. #38 Olaus Petri
    December 15, 2012

    More angry than usal today Bill? Is it the new “leak” perhaps? 😉

  39. #39 spangled drongo
    December 15, 2012

    Bill, still waiting for you to tell me whether you make any actual king tide SL observations on a long term basis or just rely on the internet blurb.

  40. #40 bill
    December 15, 2012

    It’s amazing, ain’t it? It isn’t the sun, fool – as I’ve pointed out above.

  41. #41 bill
    December 15, 2012

    …and I don’t give a damn about your idee fixe.

  42. #42 spangled drongo
    December 15, 2012

    So Bill, I can take that as a no-I-don’t- use-observational-evidence-in-forming-my-opinions and yes-I-exclusively-rely-on-junk-science, can I?

    And the sun does seem to be a bit bright today doesn’t it?

    Shining into unwelcome spots.

    Never mind.

  43. #43 Lionel A
    December 15, 2012

    All this tide stuff coming from somebody who uses the term ‘king tide’ which is not of scientific use, it being idiom (in Australasia) for spring tides.

    Have you visited either of the sources of information in the first post on this thread and furthermore paid attention?

    For then you should realise that using observational evidence from one point, using one method, is not how global sea level trends are assessed.

    You are somebody else (or perhaps a sock) who tries to brush out the bigger picture.

    Now as for bright sunshine, ain’t it summer down there.

  44. #44 spangled drongo
    December 15, 2012

    Yesterday’s king tide was a “highest astronomical tide” [there Lionel, is that sciency enough for you?] by about 1 cm but they depend on lots of external factors so tide predictions arent always right however on this pear-shaped geoid of ours you will find that if SLs don’t go anywhere but slightly downward for around 70 years then we are not experiencing SLR, accelerating or otherwise.

    Ergo, if the IPCC is to be believed and SLR incorporates many aspects of global warming, we are probably not experiencing any global warming other than natural variation.

  45. #45 Jeff Harvey
    December 15, 2012

    What’s interesting is this hypothetical scenario, which reveals quite clearly that the climate change deniers don’t give a f*** about science (as if that wasn’t clear by now).

    If the next IPCC report, as will almost certainly happen, argues that the evidence for human forcing in the recent warming is greater than ever, then the denial-os-phere will go into battle mode, trying to find any minute cracks in the armor which they can assiduously exploit to ensure that nothing is done.

    If, on the other hand, the next IPCC report to some extent downplays the human fingerprint, as the cherry-pickers are now doing, then watch the deniers trump it as the best and most comprehensive scientific report yet by the organization.

    This is what the dopey brigade (SD, Olaus) are doing here. Hardly surprising. Neither has anything more than a kindergarten education when it comes to science. They are guided by their far-right political biases.

    Olaus: given the fact that you’ve never uttered a scientific word in your miserable life, here or on any other thread in Deltoid, except to parrot your brainless hero, its more than a bit rich for you to criticize anyone commenting in any scientific field. Moreover, its clear to me that you have not a shred of science in your professional background (that is IF you have a profession at all). Certainly if you want me to demolish you with science, I will be more than happy to do so. Besides, given the fact that you are an ignoramus, weren’t you banushed to the thread of your semi-literate hero?

  46. #46 spangled drongo
    December 15, 2012

    A withering rebuttal, Jeff.

    The way you deal with the facts. Wow!

  47. #47 Lionel A
    December 15, 2012

    if SLs don’t go anywhere but slightly downward for around 70 years then we are not experiencing SLR, accelerating or otherwise.

    Now please inform us of where, once all other factors have been considered, sea level rise is static. Back up any assertions with authentic, coherent evidence.

    You have not paid attention to items in post one here now have you otherwise you would not be continuing with this sillyness.

  48. #48 Jeff Harvey
    December 15, 2012

    Spangled dumbo,

    Here are the facts. See if you can understand them.

    The IPCC reports are based on the empirical evidence that has been accumulated in the field of climate science with respect to the various factors forcing climate. Since the last report was published in 2007, the evidence of a human fingerprint has grown, based on the peer-reviewed literature. Certainly, for every study suggesting that natural variation/solar forcing may play a major role, many, many more have pointed towards the human combustion of fossil fuels as by far the most significant factor.

    The authors who contribute to documents like those from the IPCC, the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, and on the Montreal Protocol, are told to base their summaries on the published scientific literature. The final draft of these documents will not be allowed to stray away from the prevailing evidence found in the world’s scientific journals. Some of the authors who are skeptics may attempt to dilute the message, but they will be overruled by those referring to the evidence that is again published.

    That is the bottom line. These large documents cannot stray from the evidence produced in the peer-reviewed literature – in other words, they merely summarize the state-of-the-art.

    The problem is that people like you, Olaus etc. and the guy who leaked the latest draft clearly don’t know how these panels arrive at their decisions. Most deniers, many of whom have never published a scientific paper in their lives, must think that these committees are able to dismiss the bulk of scientific evidence and come up with alternate explanations. That is why the usual suspects can flood the blogosphere with ridiculous cherry-picked snippets in which a few phrases are taken out of context to exaggerate the influence of the sun. But, if you had read any of the published literature that has been produced since 2007, you’d realize that very, very, very few papers have concluded this at all, whereas a great deal more have supported the prevailing view of C02 emissions being the primary driver.

    Thus it would make absolutely no sense whatsoever for an independent panel to emphasize the findings of half a dozens studies over the conclusions of several hundred or more.

    So of course the final draft 2013 is not going to downplay the human fingerprint over solar forcing. Not in a million years.

  49. #49 GSW
    December 15, 2012


    Just to add to Jeff’s last post;

    As we’ve revealed on the Jonas thread, the certainties (likely, very likely, extremely etc) on various statements from the IPCC are derived using a form of magic.

    They’re opinion, and fairly bizarre opinion at that, often totally removed from the empirical evidence available. Like a vote amongst extremists at a greenpeace rally – you get the sort of thing.

  50. #50 Olaus Petri
    December 15, 2012

    Beware GSW and Sprangeld, I have strong feeling that Jeff has an ant-collecting card up his sleeve, and that he very soon is about to show it for us.

    It can beat us (and reality) into pulp! 😉

  51. #51 Olaus Petri
    December 15, 2012

    Sorry, “spangled” it is.

  52. #52 chek
    December 15, 2012

    “They’re opinion,”

    correction: they’re informed opinion derived from the best available data and professional experience. ‘Opinion’ is what you get from some guy in a bar.

    “and fairly bizarre opinion at that,”

    That’s because they’re informed opinion derived from the best available data and professional experience. To cranks with an agenda, that seems absolutely bizarre.

    “often totally removed from actually based on the peer-reviewed empirical evidence available”. A fairly straightforward correction there.

    “Like a vote amongst extremists at a greenpeace heartland rally – you get the sort of thing. you can see exactly what sort of thing’s going on here, or indeed anywhere Griselda shows its fact-twisting face.

  53. #53 chek
    December 15, 2012

    Wasn’t Spangled Drongo the crank who tool his personal sea level experience from about a mile inland on a re-engineered river system?

  54. #54 chek
    December 15, 2012

    re above: tool = took
    Can’t imagine what I was thinking.

  55. #55 Wow
    December 15, 2012

    Hey, how can you speak, Olap, when you don’t even know how to measure a temperature trend????

  56. #56 spangled drongo
    December 15, 2012

    Let me say it once more for those who choose not to live in the real world.

    I have lived around the seafront of SEQ for over 70 years in bay and estuary front houses where king tides came up and covered lawns and even flooded wells that were needed in those days prior to reticulated water. My grandfather owned the jetty store and flats at Woody Point where I lived during the war and various other relatives lived and had farms by the bay etc. I also visited many similar neighbouring properties.

    I still have connections with some of these properties.

    Today, some of these houses still exist and some still retain the same landscaping and lawn levels, even the same old wells. I lived in one of these in 1946 and we had to put a levy bank around the well to prevent the regular flooding.

    Today the king tides are not as high as they were then and haven’t been for many decades.

    The simple fact is there has been no SLR in SEQ over this period [~70 years] and while it may be a local fact, it is generally true for the rest of the globe.

  57. #57 chek
    December 15, 2012

    “while it may be a local fact, it is generally true for the rest of the globe.”

    Except it isn’t, because by your own metric you cannot know that. You’re relying on your own faulty memory, with no written contemporaneous records, and generally making shit up.

    To paraphrase XKCD, “To trhe chagrin of cranks everywhere, numbers continue to be best system for determining which of two things is larger”.

    And numbers is what your own CSIRO and the IPCC use.

  58. #58 Lionel A
    December 15, 2012

    Let me say it once more for those who choose not to live in the real world.

    Well, by your own admission your ‘real world’ does not extend much beyond your own feet.

    There are many places in the world where the sea level appears to have dropped, around the Baltic for example, due to isostatic uplift in that case but elsewhere the reasons are a good deal more complex and to do with changes in ocean currents and even the shape of the globe as the weight of ice north and south lifts somewhat thus changing the dynamics of the Earth’s rotational stresses.

    It may surprise you to learn that there is a ‘hill’ of water in the
    North Atlantic as the gyre moves around it, slightly offset towards the West.

    Perhaps you had considered such mechanisms but this is not apparent in your posts. You will be well served to watch the Mitrovica presentation already alluded to. Don’t be an ignorant numpty like Jonas.

  59. #59 Wow
    December 15, 2012

    spangled drongo is so fat, his trouser belt circumnavigates the world!

    (not a joke: this would have to be the case for glittery idiot here to believe that one place constitutes “the globe”).

  60. #60 Jeff Harvey
    December 15, 2012


    Thanks for correcting GSWs garbled nonsense (he spews so much crap here that its hard to know where to begin critiquing it).

    What makes it more embarrassing for GSW is that he clearly has hardly ever read a peer-reviewed journal in climate science in his life yet somehow magically purports to know what the prevailing evidence shows. And, as you said, the conclusions of the IPCC are based on the overwhelming scientific evidence, and not on the opinions of right wing bloggers and pundits who loathe government regulations.

    Essentially, like Olaus, GSW long ago gave away the fact that he doesn’t give a damn about the scientific evidence so long as climate change is driven from the political agenda. That’s what comes from being a right wing-nutter for you.

    As for Olaus, he’s beyond hope. Dumb as a rat’s butt.

  61. #61 spangled drongo
    December 16, 2012

    Chek, I’ve been around the worlds oceans in a very hands-on way and the story there is similar.

    We all know that on this flat-spotted, pear-shaped geoid there are fluctuating SLs for various reasons. They come and they go but water seeks and finds equilibrium releatively quickly and 70 years of slightly declining SLs in Moreton Bay indicates, world wide, there is nothing to get hysterical about.

    Of course, to stay on thread, 1 cm of SLR from this position will have you Doltoids bed-wetting over rapidly accelerating SLR.

    Stand by, it could happen at any minute.

  62. #62 chek
    December 16, 2012

    “I’ve been around the worlds oceans in a very hands-on way and the story there is similar.”

    And the world’s oceanographers haven’t?
    What is it with you people?

  63. #63 spangled drongo
    December 16, 2012

    The world’s oceanographers may or may not be aware of what’s happening in the real world.

    But tell me, have you taken any benchmark measurements of your local seafront over a long period to be able to refute what I am telling you or do you just, as you like to put it, “make shit up”?

    Here’s an indication of just how screwed you are on SLR:

  64. #64 MikeH
    December 16, 2012

    “Here’s an indication of just how screwed you are on SLR:”
    Wait for the reference to some peer reviewed science. Oh no! A massive fail. A link to a blog called “notalotofpeopleknowthat” about the Maldives building airports. There is you first problem drongo. The blog should really be called “alotofpeopleknowthat” given that it is on Wikipedia
    and with 200 inhabited islands in the chain, flying happens to be a convenient way of getting around.

    So basically we have a dispute between a drongo’s eyecrometer and the NASA and European Topex/Poseidon, Jason-1 and Jason-2 satellites.
    And they wonder why the world laughs at them?

  65. #65 chek
    December 16, 2012

    A better “indication of just how screwed you are on SLR” SD, is that you have no data, apart from your very own say so. And while I’m sure your mother believes every word you say, the world, on the whole, doesn’t.

    Now what you do have to say no doubt appeals to many mid-continental hicks who’ve never travelled and for whom seas and oceans are abstract concepts, but that’s by-the-by in a world increasingly reliant on verifiable measurements and data for just about everything.

    I recall now that you also needed some help to understand how satellites ‘knew how to maintain altitude’ on your previous mission here. Perhaps you’re not as in touch with the world as you like to think.

    And while you’re busy sneering at the Maldives airstrips maybe stop to consider what a Sandy style storm surge (which put Battery Park NYC under thirteen feet of water) last month would do to those islanders.

  66. #66 spangled drongo
    December 16, 2012

    Mike if you dealt with the messages instead of shooting all the messengers first, you might manage to see the conflict of logic in your foolish argument.

    These people can fool you that they are worried about their freeboard problem and you are happy to give them other peoples money to “solve” it yet they spend their own money as though they haven’t got a problem [and they know they haven’t].

    They are not only smart enough to know what’s going on in the real world but also smart enough to know that you haven’t a clue.

  67. #67 spangled drongo
    December 16, 2012

    Chek, my data happens to agree with the local tide gauges.

    What about your own observations WRT long term SLs?

    Anything there at all to support your argument?

    Or are you just “making shit up” again?

  68. #68 spangled drongo
    December 16, 2012

    “stop to consider what a Sandy style storm surge (which put Battery Park NYC under thirteen feet of water) last month would do to those islanders.”

    “Making shit up” again?

    How about a Fukushima-type tsunami?

    Stop bed-wetting over something that will probably never happen and if it does is completely unpreventable.

    The Maldives will never be anything other than very low-lying atolls that rise and fall with SLs as they have always done.

    But you feel you should guarantee their existence with my money, right?

  69. #69 GSW
    December 16, 2012


    You’re right spangled. This has been pointed out a number of times to the increasingly detached from reality here, those who wish to attribute every catastrophe to rising levels of CO2. Sandy was not caused by CAGW (AR5 draft has an update on storminess 😉 ) as we’ve discussed at length on the Jonas thread.

    The Maldives are an atoll that rise and fall with SLR, storm surges and fresh water extraction will always be a more likely threats. For atoll response to SLR see,

    It’s Environmental Politics not Science. Groucho Marx quote,

    “Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.”

    Which it’s difficult to argue with.

    “But you feel you should guarantee their existence with my money, right?”

    Well yes they do, and it has nothing to do with their existence.

  70. #70 spangled drongo
    December 16, 2012

    Thanks GSW

  71. #71 bill
    December 16, 2012

    Spangly dropkick needs his own thread. The OCD meets ASD schtick is just freakin’ dull

  72. #72 spangled drongo
    December 16, 2012

    Bill, that is an interesting gravitar. Could it be described as a Little Cuckoo or is it a Little Shrike Thrush AKA a Thick Head?

  73. #73 chek
    December 16, 2012

    “Stop bed-wetting over something that will probably never happen”

    Yeah, there were quite a few folks on the New Jersey shore that last week of October that had lived there all their lives, weren’t expecting anything worse than they’d seen in the past and weren’t moving for anybody or anything.

    Like you, they didn’t understand that the world is changing, although I think shock will have driven that message home to them on the back of losing everything.

    And as for your other question, the CO2 causing the change very likely didn’t come from the Maldives so where else does responsibility lie?.

  74. #74 Jeff Harvey
    December 16, 2012

    Just for Spangled dumbo:

    I just prefer the empirical literature over your personal observations:

  75. #75 spangled drongo
    December 16, 2012

    No climate scientist worth his salt believes that crap about Sandy:

    And even John Church admits that Ross’ 171 year old benchmark at Port Arthur shows only a 13.5 cm SLR in 171 years [brighter people know that it really shows a 30 cm fall but either way it says nothing is happening]

    That’s empirical, not the computer adjusted statistics of a remote sensing system.

    My personal observations agree with the local tide gauge.

    Maybe you have some long term personal obs to refute that or are you only doing a Chek?

  76. #76 spangled drongo
    December 16, 2012

    “And as for your other question, the CO2 causing the change very likely didn’t come from the Maldives so where else does responsibility lie?”

    You still don’t get it Chek. Coral atolls rise and fall with SLs as they have always done. It’s called the Darwin principle.

    But as SLR isn’t happening anyway, you can relax.

  77. #77 Wow
    December 16, 2012

    “No climate scientist worth his salt believes that crap about Sandy:”

    What crap about Sandy?

    Are you trying to say it never happened?

    Or that hurricanes are not driven by the evaporation from a high SST?

  78. #78 Wow
    December 16, 2012

    And still you don’t know how much more than Australia the world is.

    You didn’t go to school, did you.

  79. #79 Wow
    December 16, 2012

    “It’s called the Darwin principle. ”

    No such thing.

  80. #80 Lionel A
    December 16, 2012

    I’ve been around the worlds oceans in a very hands-on way and the story there is similar.”

    As have I. And do you know, surprise surprise sea level was fluctuating all the time. I put this down to the fact that I was floating on it in a sizeable ship, an aircraft carrier.

    Indeed, at times it was fluctuating enough for the c45k ton ship to bury its head in the green such as to have green water poor down the for’ad lift and at other times splits to open in the side of the hull where the sea worked in with sufficient force to push one deck up towards the next and crushing the, sizeable, boat in between. On another occasion steaming through the Pentland Firth in a force 11 the pitching was so violent that a descent in to a trough caused all traps (sit down toilets) in the for’ard heads (on 4 deck under the forward aircraft workshops on 3 deck which in turn were just aft of the cable deck) to vent huge plums of water – to the great discomfort of one unfortunate caught out whilst engaged in his daily constitutional. Some bidet effect that.

    But I digress. Cast you eyes to Dubai where they have had to take extraordinary and unplanned for measure during the island construction projects and where they are now forming plans for floating developments:

    Spurred by Rising Seas, Dubai’s Floating Ambition.

    More on other aspects of this madcap scheme:

    Dubai’s artificial islands have high environmental cost
    The Price of “The World”: Dubai’s Artificial Future

    But the science show how blinkered is your vision as indicated by Mitrovica and Jeff Harvey here.

  81. #81 Lionel A
    December 16, 2012

    In answer to continued Drongo droppings.

    Not long ago a scientist and blogger had an Oh Shit moment over the feared increase in GHG release from melting permafrost which will add to another Oh! Shit moment at the end of the last summer Arctic sea ice melt, which can only mean that if sustained over succeeding seasons, and there is no reason to think that there will be a sustained recovery, a further increase in the rate of Greenland Ice melt.

    I turn this will raise sea levels enough to continue the undermining of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet leading to rapid increases of melt there. And your vision is pinned on one metric from one location, what a twerp you are.

    And this is ignoring the largest elephant in the room.

  82. #82 GSW
    December 16, 2012


    Just to give you the heads up, in case you haven’t worked it out already. wow’s not worth responding to, he’s strongly influenced by personal observations, but as he inhabits a different astral plane to the rest of us, his comments aren’t of much relevance here.

  83. #83 Paul S
    December 16, 2012

    spangled drongo,

    What you say about South-East Queensland can be checked against real data. Firstly, we can look at a global map of sea level trends over the past 20 years of satellite altimetry. Sure enough, it shows that South-East Queensland is encased within a bubble of non-rising sea level.

    We can go back further by looking at tide gauge records from the region. The longest I can find in the region is from Brisbane. Sure enough, this backs up what you say – no evidence of relative sea level change over 40 years. Going slightly further afield for longer records from Sydney and Newcastle again appears to support what you say -little more than 5cm relative sea level rise since 1900.

    The kicker is that all this data which supports your contentions about a particular region also supports global SLR of ~20cm since 1900 and 3mm/yr since 1992. So, no, it doesn’t provide a good indication for the global picture.

    The question of why SEQ shows this behaiour is potentially interesting. One known reason for sea levels to drop is the building of dams, reducing the outflow of rivers to the sea. This article suggests South-East Queensland has been particularly active with regards to dam building.

  84. #84 Jeff Harvey
    December 16, 2012

    Another study for Spangled Dumbo (his webname is an affront to the insectivorous bird and I refuse to use it) to rub mire salt in his denier wounds:

  85. #85 Lionel A
    December 16, 2012

    Now if drongo dropper had bothered to actually study works on MSL rise he would have been aware of that dam effect.

    The increase in the number of dams globally has put a bottleneck in the rate that deposited rain and snow melt flows to the sea.

    Aside from its effect on local sea levels it also is a root cause of subsidence in many delta estuaries such as those in China, the mouths of the Mississippi and the Nile through the hiatus in supply of sediment,

    Rising sediment behind dams is certain to cause many to eventually fail in their purpose at that.

    But of course to consider this one has to be aware of the bigger picture which is something that the faux-science sites [1] steer their readerships away from.

    We Use Wishful Thinking,
    Cardinal Puff,
    CO2 nonsense
    Jo Novalue
    Climate tawdry

    and a number of others.

    dronga dropper read Janin & Mandia before you drop any more.

  86. #86 spangled drongo
    December 16, 2012

    Thanks Paul S for confirming my observations.

    But do you really think that local dams cause local SLs to fall?

    That strategy could save our bacon from JH’s crazy projection from:

    “global coupled climate model simulations with the new representative concentration pathway mitigation scenarios to 2300”

    It’s one thing to read and consider these “projections” but placing your faith in these systems and ignoring real world obs just shows you up as the wild-eyed, climate religious ideologues you are.

    Not to mention your hysterical reactions against anyone who tries to show you what’s really happening.

  87. #87 chek
    December 16, 2012

    “Not to mention your hysterical reactions against anyone who tries to show you what’s really happening.”

    In your neighnourhood, and for the present. The global picture is what everyone else is concerned about.

  88. #88 Jeff Harvey
    December 16, 2012

    Spangled dumbo, like most other deniers, is one of those typical of the anti-environmetnal crowd who believe that 100% unequivocal proof is needed before we do anything about AGW. As I have said on Deltoid before, the same strategy has been used over and over again since the 1980s to stall co-ordinated responses to a range of other anthropogenic problems including acid rain, ozone depletion, habitat destruction deforestation etc. It is now especially being used to prevent any meaningful action being undertaken to slow the rate of warming, especially as those benefitting from the status quo see this a threat to their profit margins.

    This is why I so utterly loathe the deniers in every sense of the word. What gives their political agendas away is that most of those on the internet aren’t scientists and yet somehow they try and give the impression of being experts in fields they’ve never formally studied. Why else disagree with the bulk of the people doing the research unless (1) you think you know more than they do, or (2) you hate the repercussions of their research? Drongo, Jonas, GSW, Olaus and many others who contribute to WUWT, BH, Nova, CA etc. fall int either (or both) of these categories. Its clear that none of this bunch are professional scientists, yet they try and give the impression that they can separate poor science (meaning 95+% of it) from good science (<5%, most of it spewed out on right wing blogs).

    Science has never operated by consensus, but public policy has no choice but to be based on it. Scientists rarely agree on anything, therefore the strength of the conclusions reached by successive IPCC documents is testament to the immense consensus reached by the majority of climate and Earth scientists over AGW. If we wait until the data are all in, then it will be much to late.

  89. #89 spangled drongo
    December 16, 2012

    “This is why I so utterly loathe the deniers in every sense of the word”

    How is trying to acquaint you with what’s really going on outside, denying anything?

    Particularly when you don’t want to know?

    A reasonable conclusion from any rational person would be that it is someone with your attitude that is the denier.

    No Jeff love, maybe why you loathe people like me is that you are a religious ideologue who is too lazy to get of his fat backside to be rational about anything.

    But I’m happy to be proved wrong when you present your own long term obs on SLR.

    BTW, where’s Lernard Bernard?


    Last year when I presented you with my obs [we only get a HAT once a year] he rolled out the big guns and shot me from every angle.

    But he hasn’t uttered a peep this time.

    Could it be that he agrees with me?

    If he does it would be polite of him to apologise.

    Come out from under the table Bernie, I wont bite.

  90. #90 spangled drongo
    December 16, 2012

    Chek thinks that SLs can be declining for 70 years in Moreton Bay but rising out of control in the rest of the world.

    Quelle science!

  91. #91 chek
    December 16, 2012

    Chek thinks that the data is what can be trusted, not anecdotes from anonymous nobodies..

  92. #92 spangled drongo
    December 16, 2012

    So Lionel, you think that going to sea in a 45k ton aircraft carrier is “hands on”?

    That’s not hands on as far as confronting the sea is concerned.

    That’s bloody looxury! With all the artificial aids and literally hundreds, if not thousands, of other “hands on” to keep you safe.

    Try making landfall on your pat malone in a 15 foot wooden boat without a motor and using a sextant to navigate.

    That’s just a little more “hands on”.

  93. #93 spangled drongo
    December 17, 2012

    “Chek thinks that the data is what can be trusted, not anecdotes from anonymous nobodies.”

    And there I was thinking it was only bill that was the Thickhead.

    Paul S above has already confirmed my data.

    Now, do you have any data of your own to provide?

    Or does being a Thickhead only allow you to “make shit up”?

  94. #94 Paul S
    December 17, 2012

    Thanks Paul S for confirming my observations.

    No problem, but you seem to be missing the point that your local observations are fully consistent with observations covering the rest of the planet which show a clear sea level rise of about 20cm from 1900 to today.

    But do you really think that local dams cause local SLs to fall?

    Dams mean terrestrial impoundment of water which would otherwise be in the oceans, causing sea level to drop in relative terms. Without the dam in place the water would have outflowed down the river to sea. With the dam in place less water will be flowing down the river, reducing the water input to the oceans. Clearly the first region to see such a change will be the one local to the estuary.

    Dam impoundment is mostly a one time thing, taking place over a few months or years. After a while the oceans should equilibrate making the diference in local level less pronounced and the dam impoundment will register simply in the eustatic (global average) figures. However, damming in Queensland seems to be very much an ongoing thing, so even though the movement of the oceans may be filling in the gaps from past impoundment new developments may be continuing to reduce the outflow to the ocean.

    I found a (long) list of weir and dam projects which have been built in Queensland.

    It’s one thing to read and consider these “projections” but placing your faith in these systems and ignoring real world obs just shows you up as the wild-eyed, climate religious ideologues you are.

    Real world obs show sea levels rising at the upper-end of past projections.

  95. #95 spangled drongo
    December 17, 2012

    Paul, thanks for that but sea water isn’t like trachite lava. It finds equilibrium quickly. We have an East Australian Current that is rectifying this problem every minute of our lives, some times running north, sometimes running south and sometimes in a gyre.

    Also consider this, the runoff of stormwater today is enormously greater that it was prior to civilisation. Because of land clearing, cropping, grazing, roads, freeways, airports, suburban, industrial and urban development there is a greater part of precipitated water going back into the oceans than historically.

    I have a pond in 60 ha of rain and wet sclerophyl forest and when I get 50 mm of rain my pond rises 50 mm. If my place was a farm 50 mm of rain would raise it 2 metres.

    When we have a flood and the bulk rushes out to sea, the small portion that remains in dams is just that. A small portion.

    And when the flood that has just filled the dam is rushing out to sea it would be raising local SLs, not dropping them.

    “Real world obs show sea levels rising at the upper-end of past projections.”

    Show me your data, Paul.

  96. #96 indigo
    Reality-based community
    December 17, 2012

    Ah, denialists. The planet isn’t warming, the seas aren’t rising, the Arctic isn’t melting, the birds and insects aren’t migrating, the droughts aren’t longer, nor the weather more extreme. None of it is happening, because to admit that it is happening would mean examining the systems, politics and epistemologies of how humans live on this earth. We would have to look critically at ourselves and the world order we have built, its structures of power, at capital and its global flows, at an earth that we simply assume is available to be dug up and burned, caught, grown and killed in ever more ingenious ways. We would have to examine all those givens that we think are eternal and change them, but for some such a prospect is so unbearable that they would rather deny reality than do it.

  97. #97 spangled drongo
    December 17, 2012

    Many people here [not all] are just like Prof Steven Sherwood.

    Alec Rawls points out just which way is up with the scientific method:

  98. #98 Skeptic
    December 17, 2012

    Spangled dumbo:

    ignoring real world obs

    such as that shows global sea level trend variations in excess of 200 mm over 20 years and shows what a lie your claim is:

    it (no SLR) is generally true for the rest of the globe

  99. #99 Skeptic
    December 17, 2012
  100. #100 chek
    December 17, 2012

    “Alec Rawls points out just which way is up with the scientific method”

    There’s a lot of it about. And it all seems to come from crank sites.

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