Stoat

Sea level lies?

This one is a bit odd; via HotWhopper is the WUWT post Obama was right–‘the rise of the oceans began to slow’. This purports to show a graph of rate-of-SLR, and shows it declining. The graph has no clear source, the post says “h/t to Dr. Pat Michaels”. And down in the comments Michaels admits to it, so it must be his. However, it appears to be simply faked [*].

But weirdly, crudely faked [*]. All of this is at HW but: first of all the recent data showing that SLR isn’t declining, has been omitted. This is just std.denialist stuff. But then the graph has been smoothed or mangled in some unspecified way, presumably to remove noise, so it looks like a smooth decline. After a bit, Michaels shows up in the comments and says “I posted this for funsies” Its not clear what he means by this: that faking graphs and presenting them as though genuine is funny? [Its not clear what the original context of this is; maybe it made some sense in context. Anyone know where he first posted it? I tried to check this new-fangled “twitter” thing but it didn’t show up.] I don’t think he was deliberately spoofing WUWT and its band of unthink commentators – as you’d expect, the obvious idiots (James Padgett, etc.) all fell for it. But its too much even for the slightly-less-than-stupid WUWT folk: even they manage to notice that it doesn’t at all fit with the obvious publically available obs.

[Thanks to commentators: the source is http://www.worldclimatereport.com/index.php/2012/09/10/sea-level-acceleration-not-so-fast/. That makes one thing quite clear: Michaels was lying when he said he posted it “for funsies”; that’s his std I’m-really-serious type stuff. It does however excuse the lack of 2012 data – he posted that in 2012. It doesn’t excuse WUWT picking up and running with out of date junk, though; nor does it explain just what Michaels did to end up with that particular plot. I see there is now an update at WUWT (which still doesn’t source the plot); everyone who has pointed out his errors is a “whiner” it seems. I think if you were being honest about this you’d just reproduce the http://sealevel.colorado.edu/ chart, and perhaps note that its a short series because its from satellite, and if you want a longer series you need to look at tide gauges; I can’t see that Michaels “analysis” adds anything useful.]

[* Update: I think I have to be honest and correct myself here: it isn’t faked; the best analysis I’ve seen is by Bluegrue who reckons Michaels has got his values from regression, although Michaels values appear to be wrong.]