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Sea level rise “unprecedented” when modeling the ancient past

Kurt Lambeck at ANU scored a Climate Bingo moment in the modern media last week with declarations that the 20cm rise in sea levels last century was “unprecedented” in the last 6,000 years! But sea level is fiendishly difficult to measure thanks to rising and falling bits of land. Present day scientists argue over sea level changes in the last 10 years, yet Lambeck seems to have figured out the sea levels in 4000BC. Tricky, what.

When Nils Axel-Morner tried to figure out which modern spot in Denmark is tectonically stable he looked at 60 years of detailed data, from 40 beaches around Denmark. Lambeck has a model that kinda does all that and more. It works out the mass of the icesheets circa Tutankhamen and calculates the mantle conditions. He sorts out the geoidal bulge with assumptions about mantle viscosity to look at tectonic displacement. Hmm. Could be some uncertainty there?

This is Fig 1 from Lambeck et al 2014. Note the scales. Really. Figure how large the 15-20cm rise of the last century would look on the y axis here which doesn’t just cover 150cm, it covers 150 meters. Who would be brave enough to declare that sea levels did not rise by 15 or 20 centimeters per century at least once during the last 6,000 years?

...

Fig. 1. Distribution of far-field sea-level data for the past 35 ka. (A) Depth−
age relationship of all data with 2σ error estimates.

Here’s a closeup of the graph for scale. As best as I could, I marked what a one meter rise would look like (the little red dot). That’s five times the size of the warming in the last century. I searched for a more detailed graph of the last 6,000 years in the paper or the supplement, but couldn’t see one. Perhaps I missed it?

Close up of Fig 1.

The PR certainty in this is out of all proportion. See the spread on that holocene data in Australian sea levels to get a better idea of what sea level data is like. Would Lambeck really declare that in Moses day seas definitely weren’t rising at the same rate from, say, 1310 BC to 1210 BC? I ask, because in Greenland at least, things were heating up quite a bit around then. (Not that I care about the exact years, just the principle.) Lambeck has “found” a form of natural historic data smoothing. As Eric Worrall points out, when the dates of proxies are uncertain the peaks and troughs tend to blend. It is only the more accurate data today that will pick up steep rises and falls.

A case of PR Amplification?

The headlines bear little resemblance to the data or the body of the paper:

The Guardian: “Sea level rise over past century unmatched in 6,000 years, says study”

Research finds 20cm rise since start of 20th century, caused by global warming and the melting of polar ice, is unprecedented”

The paper:

“On time scales of 10 5 years and less, sea-level change at tectonically stable regions is primarily a function of changing ice volumes and the Earth’s response to the changing ice-water load, but neither the ice history nor the response function is independently known with the requisite precision for developing predictive models.

“…. ambiguities remain…

“The changes in Antarctic ice volume since the LGM remain poorly known… etc

The source of the PR-amplification starts with the paper. PNAS made sure even journalists who only read on paragraph could get the “right message” by sticking this summary in a special blue box on the front page:

From ∼1,000 observations of sea level, allowing for isostatic and tectonic contributions, we have quantified the rise and fall in global ocean and ice volumes for the past 35,000 years. Of particular note is that during the ∼6,000 y up to the start of the recent rise ∼100−150 y ago, there is no evidence for global oscillations in sea level on time scales exceeding ∼200 y duration or 15−20 cm amplitude.

The journalists like  and Anna Salleh could’ve asked skeptical questions to test out this extraordinary conclusion. Here are a few things Lambeck and journalists could’ve discussed to give listeners a better idea of what matters about sea levels.

1. Sea levels started rising before 1800, long before we got coal fired power stations.The cause and effect link is missing in the last 200 years. Why look back 6000?

2. The rate of the modern rise has slowed (see here too), just as it was supposed to accelerate with the Chinese Coal Boom. This is not what climate models predicted. If climate models don’t understand the modern sea level change, isn’t it a bit of a stretch to claim that other models of polar ice, oceans and crusty old Earth movements might make a good stab at the exact rise from say, 2200BC to 2100BC.  There is no sign of acceleration in sea levels over the last 50 years, when most man-made CO2 was produced.

3. Even if the modern rate was unprecedented in the last 10,000 years, so, by some measures, was solar activity.

4. Argument from ignorance is still argument from ignorance:

“We see no evidence in the geological record from about 6000 years ago to 100-150 years that resembles the rise that we see in the last 100 years.”

So we see “no evidence” in a past that was measured with an entirely different method, and adjusted using a different technique?

Here’s the IPCC viewof the late 20th Century rates of sea level rise. Under the relentless influence of extra CO2 sea levels have … slopped all over the place. Average rates vary from something like 10 to 20cm a century in this one graph.

IPCC AR5: Figure 5.17. Overlapping 10-year rates of global sea level change from tide gauge data sets (Holgate and Woodworth, 2004, in solid black; Church and White, 2006, in dashed black) and satellite altimetry (updated from Cazenave and Nerem, 2004, in green), and contributions to global sea level change from thermal expansion (Ishii et al., 2006, in solid red; Antonov et al., 2005, in dashed red) and climate-driven land water storage (Ngo-Duc et al., 2005, in blue). Each rate is plotted against the middle of its 10-year period.

 

Discussion and Conclusions On time scales of 105 years and less, sea-level change at tectonically stable regions is primarily a function of changing ice volumes and the Earth’s response to the changing ice-water load, but neither the ice history nor the response function is independently known with the requisite precision for developing predictive models. Observations of sea level through time do provide constraints on the ice and rheology functions, but a complete separation of the two groups of parameters has not yet been achieved. Separation of the analysis into far-field and nearfield areas provides some resolution, but ambiguities remain: a consequence of inadequate a priori information on ice margin evolution and ice thickness, observational data that deteriorates in distribution and accuracy back in time, the likelihood of lateral variations in the planet’s rheological response, and the everpresent possibility of tectonic contributions.

Lambeck admits he’s modeling something complicated. Does he admit there is a chance his models are wrong?

Unlike other studies, Lambeck’s research has taken into account the Earth’s responses to melting ice. The relationship between melting ice and sea level rise is not simple, says Lambeck. “When the ice sheet melts all sorts of physical things happen and the sea level response to that is quite complex. It will go up in some parts and go down in other parts of the planet.”

For a start, he says, the gravitational attraction between the ice and the water changes. “When an ice sheet builds up, it pulls the water towards it so that within a certain distance of the ice sheet, sea levels actually go up, whereas much further away they have to go down.”

Ice sheets also squash the Earth’s crust down, which causes sea levels to fall, and when the ice melts, the crust slowly rises back up. “So you’ve got the change in the amount of water that goes into the ocean, you’ve got the response of the land to the redistribution of the weight on the surface, and you’ve got the change in the gravity field,” says Lambeck.

Over a period of 20 years, Lambeck and colleagues have been developing a model that takes these factors into account. Together with field data from elevated or submerged remains of shorelines, corals, salt marshes and tree trunks they have been able to get a picture of how sea level has changed over 35,000 years.

 The Intro does give us an idea of how tricky is it to measure sea levels when the ground is deforming, rotating, and subsiding.

The sea-level signal from the glacial cycle exhibits significant spatial variability from its globally averaged value because of the combined deformation and gravitational response of the Earth and ocean to the changing ice-water load. During ice-sheet decay, the crust rebounds beneath the ice sheets and subsides beneath the melt-water loaded ocean basins; the gravitational potential and ocean surface are modified by the deformation and changing surface load; and the planet’s inertia tensor and rotation changes, further modifying equipotential surfaces. Together, this response of the earth-ocean system to glacial cycles is referred to as the glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA) (13–17). The pattern of the spatial variability is a function of the Earth’s rheology and of the glacial history, both of which are only partly known. In particular, past ice thickness is rarely observed and questions remain about the timing and extent of the former ice sheets on the continental shelves. The sea-level response within, or close to, the former ice margins (near-field) is primarily a function of the underlying rheology and ice thickness while, far from the former ice margins (far-field), it is mainly a function of earth rheology and the change in total ice volume through time. By an iterative analysis of observational evidence of the past sea levels, it becomes possible to improve the understanding of the past ice history as well as the Earth’s mantle response to forces on a 10 4 y to 10 5 y time scale.

h/t to Panda,and thanks to Lionell Griffiths for advice too.

REFERENCES

Lambeck et al (2014) Sea level and global ice volumes from the Last Glacial Maximum to the Holocene, PNAS, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1411762111  (Supplementary material.)

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Sea level rise "unprecedented" when modeling the ancient past, 8.7 out of 10 based on 53 ratings

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128 comments to Sea level rise “unprecedented” when modeling the ancient past

  • #

    In my not so humble opinion:

    The paper is specifically INTENDED to baffle and intimidate the reader. It is pure science fantasy filled with pretend quantitative precision. There are a few bits of anecdotal reports added to lend a bit of appearance of connection to reality. The use of proxies is simply part of the obscurity who’s purpose is to further the intimidation.

    To wit:

    1. Data that has to be “corrected” is NOT data. It is noise. A correction presumes one knows what the true value actually is. However, all one actually knows about the data is the measured values. In fact, the accuracy and precision of the measured values prior to the satellite era is unknown and indeterminable. Even the accuracy and precision of satellite measurements have a mountain of corrections, assumptions, adjustments, untestable theories …. This makes ALL of the measurements suspect on any time scale. Certainly not worthy of the Chicken Little fear of the **Sky Is Falling**.

    2. The paper is filled with complex equations with NO justification for their use nor derivation provided. This gives an apparent precision that actually does not exist. Worse, they are uninterpretable because the symbols and terms are undefined and therefor cannot be used for any replicate computation. The standard academic claim is implied that it is intuitively obvious to the most casual observer – the remainder is left as an exercise for the student. They are all nothing but assertions INTENDED to intimidate the reader into submission.

    3. What is attempted to be “measured” is the relative relationship between land and sea. This on a very elastic ball of solid, liquid, and gas about which we know that it is in a constant state of flux on ALL time scales from uncounted internal and external forces. There is NO solid point of reference the permits the accuracy of millimeters in an almost 8000 mile (8000mi = 1.2875e+10mm) diameter ball of spinning malleable stuff. To measure that to a millimeter is to measure to one part per ten billion. Where is the PROOF that this can be done on such a scale let alone actually to have been done over the past 40 THOUSAND years? Proof does not exist! It is the logical equivalent of measuring a bouncing Jello ball with a rubber band yardstick.

    4. A name is not the thing. A map is not the territory. Models are not reality. Any relationship to anything real is at best approximate and often largely accidental. Ground truth is lost in the translation. There is a method by which their relationship to reality can be improved but that it was used in creating the paper is not evident. All I see is “let’s pretend.”

    5. If we assume the graph represents something close to the unmeasurable reality, there is virtually no change in the measurements for the last 6 to 7 thousand years. The cluster of reported values have a several meter scatter. This is NOISE in the reported measurements. To say a 20 cm change over the 20th century is unprecedented is beyond absurd! It is nothing but noise in the noise. It is not a prelude to a global catastrophe.

    6. Even if true, if man can’t adapt to a 20 cm change in sea level in a century, man has far more serious problems than a rise in sea level.

    7. All you can validly say about sea level is that at a particular point on the shore of a land mass is that there is more or less land that is more or less exposed or submerged. You cannot validly say that the ocean is globally higher or lower – at least not to the accuracy claimed.

    8. As was observed by the ancient Greeks: the only thing that is truly constant is change. Man must by necessity adapt or die but he needn’t destroy a very hard won technological civilization based upon nothing but fear of the future. Civilization is how man has adapted to the fundamental fact of change in the universe. The technological part only makes it a more effective adaptation. To give that up is to give up human existence.

    Considering the above analysis, what then of the conclusion that man is somehow causing a global catastrophe? This spins so far into unreality as to be at least a thousand alternate universes to the left of the one we inhabit.

    Fundamental principle: When you see something that is absurd, don’t question the absurdity. Search for what is accomplished by the absurdity. When found, you will have found the purpose behind the absurdity. That will tell you what need to know to protect yourself from it.

    It follows that the purpose behind all the catastrophic theories is the destruction of the products of the mind of man and thereby man himself. It is the Frankenstein Complex expanded to a global scale. It is the hatred of the good because it is GOOD.

    My bottom line is that if one can’t get the qualitative aspects of an argument right, there is no point in trying to substitute quantitative analysis for the confusion. It is nothing but an attempt to obscure the fact you don’t know what you are talking about and don’t want anyone else to know that you don’t.

    1063

    • #
      Rereke Whakaaro

      Lionell,

      I have always considered you to be one of the most clear thinking and erudite persons that I have ever corresponded with.

      But, my friend, you have exceeded yourself this time! This is plainly brilliant, and one of the best “take-downs” I have seen in a very long time.

      The philosophy behind your words can stand as a benchmark for us all.

      560

      • #
        helen brady

        Did anyone else watch the BBC program on Extreme Weather last night? Fantacy with lovely graphics seems to be Science these days as there was plenty of speculation but few attempts at anything except modelling with even better computers. No mention of failures of present models.

        120

        • #
          pauline young

          Hi Helen
          I watched it and was amazed there was no actual reference to AGW…. after the British Met office famously predicted about 5 years ago that children wouldn’t know what snow is… perhaps they’re learning some prudence. Anyway i was also surprised to see the reading University referenced because they are the source of a MOOC I am doing which starts next month. It’s a free open online course that can be accessed through http://www.futurelearn.com Might be an improvement on one being advertised by my old alma mater University of Queensland which is advertising one dealing with climate sceptics starting next year.

          40

          • #
            Richard C (NZ)

            Pauline

            >”…after the British Met office famously predicted about 5 years ago that children wouldn’t know what snow is…”

            Longer.

            ‘Snowfalls are now just a thing of the past’

            By Charles Onians, Monday 20 March 2000

            According to Dr David Viner, a senior research scientist at the climatic research unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia,within a few years winter snowfall will become “a very rare and exciting event”.

            “Children just aren’t going to know what snow is,” he said.

            http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/snowfalls-are-now-just-a-thing-of-the-past-724017.html

            A climate change classic.

            40

            • #
              sophocles

              The poor kiddies … and nature’s response in the winter of 2010/2011 was even more classical: coast to coast snow from Land’s End to John O’ Groats, with heavy falls and record low temperatures.

              30

            • #
              sophocles

              after the UK Met Office had predicted `a warm mild winter …’ for the second year in a row. The Winter of 2009-10, aka The Big Freeze, was immortalised by this photo taken from NASA’s Terra satellite.

              This winter for GB is not looking good with the Didcot power station fire.

              The Express is head-lining an early and deep freeze which won’t be pleasant if their national grid doesn’t hold up.

              10

    • #
      Eddie

      Seeing the length ( it always looks bigger on a smart phone) I was reluctant to engage, but Rereke’s words have assured me its going to be worth It, so I’m keeping reading it for a moment to savour.

      120

    • #
      NielsZoo

      Brilliant and very well said. Thank you for sharing your opinions… both humble and otherwise.

      110

    • #
      Peter Miller

      Well said.

      The Climate Inquisition will definitely be coming for you.

      110

    • #
      Annie

      Brilliant! I laughed when I read your comment as I had been thinking “This is complete unmitigated gobbledegook” as I read the post!

      120

      • #
        Konrad

        I believe the more appropriate term is Bafflegab as this also implies intent as well as obfuscation.

        Milton A Smith who coined the word, describes it succinctly -

        multiloquence characterized by consummate interfusion of circumlocution or periphrasis, inscrutability, and other familiar manifestations of abstruse expatiation commonly utilized for promulgations implementing procrustean determinations by governmental bodies.

        An examination of the dangers of rampant Bafflegab -
        https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/9686940/armstrong/Nursing%201982.pdf

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        • #
          tom0mason

          .

          I found the paper to be from academics who have constructed an obdurate venture into unparalleled and unique obliquity of irrationalization which is an original rarely witnessed beyond the tranquil assurances of a ‘safe cell’ within the confines of a sanatorium.

          80

    • #
      MRW

      Well, since it takes ~95 cubic miles of meltwater from grounded ice to raise the global sea level by one millimeter in the real world, 20 cm would mean ~19,000 cubic miles of meltwater in the 20th C.
      http://sealevel.info/conversion_factors.html

      So where did 19,000 cubic miles of meltwater come from?

      daveburton, author of the link above, explains the difference between local and global sea level here:
      http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/10/17/with-argo-there-is-a-wide-range-warming-and-cooling-rates-of-the-oceans-to-depths-of-2000-meters/#comment-1764746

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    • #

      Your point 2 alone should have made the paper unworthy of publication.

      I baulk at statements in the paper like

      Past sea level is measured with respect to its present position and contains information on both land movement and changes in ocean volume.

      measured? Such are the origins of self-delusion.

      ISTM that not once did the authors, in “measuring” sea levels, get their feet wet.

      150

    • #
      tom0mason

      Also Lionell,

      the graph presented says that it is ‘Observerved relative sea level (m), against Time (ka). There is NO observerved data covering that time span. It is an inferred estimation from a composit of many proxies data.
      Each proxy will have degrees of error to be taken in to consideration, as well as the degree that they do not agree with each other. Add to this the miriad other changes that has happened (geological movement, volcanos, erosion and weathering of the earth’s surface over that timescale, and it all starts to become very iffy (technical term for unknown proxy systemic and nonsystemic errors).

      Very pretty graph though, put it in for a Tuner Prize (it must be worth that much?).

      71

    • #
      bemused

      On Point 8, that is exactly what the Green Left wants to happen; for human civilisation to crumble and return to the caves. The only thing that they don’t comprehend is that were it to happen, the meek will not survive and singing Kumbaya won’t help when the remaining savages kill the weirdos and take their women.

      20

    • #
      Anthony

      Fantastic.

      00

  • #
    Rereke Whakaaro

    Jo,

    … PNAS made sure even journalists who only read one paragraph could get the “right message” …

    242

  • #
    Alexander Carpenter

    Right on, Lionell!

    The biggest challenge in “climate science” these days is figuring out just who it is behind that curtain, and exactly who they work for.

    90

  • #
    the Griss

    Nothing untoward happening here. !!

    Sydney Harbour is 0.65mm/year, since 1890, no sign of any change in rate.

    241

    • #
      Bill Johnston

      Not!

      A problem with most estuary data is that there are seriously contaminated by urban signals such as leaky pipes; urban irrigation; washoff and other changes to the estuary’s water balance. Australia’s longest series – Sydney, Fremantle and Newcastle are measured on watersheds that have experienced constant change from dam-building, harbour infilling and dredging; conversion of open-space and woodlands to rooftops and well-watered lawns, as well as increasing volumes of ‘imported’ water. Sydney Water for instance provides around 250 litres of water/person/day to the Sydney Basin. Very little of it evaporates; it all flows somewhere and not all into the ocean outfalls.

      There have also been major shifts in the climate that have affected sea level measurements; notably a sustained shift in the latitude of the high-pressure ridge in about 1945.

      Cheers,

      Bill

      211

      • #
        the Griss

        Ok, taking all these things into account….

        What is YOUR modelled estimate of the trend in the measured sea level rise at Fort Denison?

        60

      • #
        Peter C

        Bill,

        Did you help Kurt Lambeck write his paper?

        50

      • #
        the Griss

        Trying to make some sense of your post..

        You aren’t seriously suggesting that any of these things have any affect on the sea level trend in areas that are totally open to the sea, are you ?????

        Are you really saying that water levels at Fort Denison and Newcastle and rising faster or slower than the ocean it is directly connected to ????

        60

      • #

        I think you forgot the sarc button, Bill …

        10

      • #
        Greg Cavanagh

        Bill, if what you say is true, one would expect the graph to have a lot more ups and downs. But it’s nearly dead flat within 15mm band.

        Where exactly is this “contamination” of record data?

        Sydney Water for instance provides around 250 litres of water/person/day to the Sydney Basin. Very little of it evaporates; it all flows somewhere and not all into the ocean outfalls

        I take it from this sentence, that you believe this is new water entering the system. Not something comming from a dam upstream?

        00

    • #
      the Griss

      And as you get further away from the influence of El Ninos etc etc…..

      You get even smaller trends..

      90

  • #
    sophocles

    The Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level website should be on every journalist’s bookmark list.

    It’s data set is collected from official tide gauge records around the world.

    It has a handy global map with a slider control on which you can set the time span you want. Unfortunately for us, it starts at 1900 CE, so finding out what was happening during the tail end of the last glaciation of the current ice age, is a little difficult.

    But it’s fun to see where the land is sinking … or rising … and staying the same. Enjoy.

    Interestingly, it shows mean sea level rise at Auckland NZ from 1965 to 2010 as effectively zero.

    150

    • #
      sophocles

      Ha. Playing with it today gives a different result from yesterday:
      > + 0.5 mm pa but < + 1.0mm pa

      That makes overall rise over the 55 years a mere 27.5 mm or near enough to 1 inch as not matter.

      130

    • #
      Greg Cavanagh

      It has two locations in Australia.

      In fact, they are modelling the ENTIRE southern hemisphere with just 4 stations.

      00

  • #
    Svend Ferdinandsen

    “When an ice sheet builds up, it pulls the water towards it so that within a certain distance of the ice sheet, sea levels actually go up, whereas much further away they have to go down.”

    That is true, but only to some degrees. The water in the rising ice sheet comes from the sea, so the sealevel shall fall in average. Why else talk about melting ice rising the sea?

    “Ice sheets also squash the Earth’s crust down, which causes sea levels to fall, and when the ice melts, the crust slowly rises back up. “So you’ve got the change in the amount of water that goes into the ocean, you’ve got the response of the land to the redistribution of the weight on the surface, and you’ve got the change in the gravity field,” says Lambeck.”

    I dont think the Earth is very compressible, so when an ice sheet squash the Earth’s crust down, it has to rise at other places and vice versa. The catch is maybe that he has made a model!

    Just look at the Iceland eruption. The lavaflow comes from the Bardarbunga caldera which sinks 40cm each day.

    82

    • #
      DavidH

      … when an ice sheet squash the Earth’s crust down, it has to rise at other places …

      Indeed. The ice sheet over the British Isles covered Scotland but not southern England, which rose as the ice compressed the crust further north. Since the retreat of the ice, post-glacial rebound has been occurring, with Scotland still rising and, conversely, the south sinking. This Wikipedia map is a good illustration.

      80

    • #
      hunter

      Actualy there are places on Earth where ice sheets depressed the crusta many meters.
      But the impact of depressing the crust is on the land- it does not depress the sea level. It depresses the *land* where the ice is *pressing down*.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post-glacial_rebound

      80

  • #

    I burst out laughing when I read the statement:

    a model [that] works out the mass of the icesheets circa Tutankhamen

    Because it seems that Tutankhamen was horribly deformed from inbreeding. I will leave it to you to draw the obvious parallels here.

    140

  • #
    handjive

    16 October 2014

    They say all politics is local so this week when scientist John Church published a report in the world’s most prestigious science journal, Nature, about sea level rise, it made me look out my kitchen window.

    I live in a town where sea level rise is not just academic.
    My life is spent surrounded by salt water.
    My home is a very modest south coast fibro cottage on a promontory at Moruya Heads, four hours drive south of Sydney.

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/oct/16/rising-sea-levels-isnt-a-scientific-threat-its-happening-outside-my-window?CMP=twt_gu

    And he votes.

    _______
    – Blockquote edited in later – Jo

    130

    • #
      helen brady

      Dont worry NRMA is only quoting an extra 6,ooo for flood insurance in Port Stephens. Lucky my friend turned out not to be on the flood prone map.

      80

    • #

      From memory, Handjive, the promontory at Moruya is about 20 to 30 metres above sea level. Don’t panic. There is no boogie man. Everything is all right.

      You said that all politics is local. With respect, I have to disagree. All politics is people – look at the person, not at the issue.

      For example, in the past there have been stories of councils proposing to resume waterfront houses because of some vague notion that they are ‘at risk’ from claimed sea-level rises that, not surprisingly, will occur at some point in the distant future. Knowing humans as I do, my first thought would be to check who has been buying properties in the area to see who would own the ‘new’ waterfront houses when the ‘current’ waterfront houses were resumed and demolished.

      But not all leftists are evil. Some have mental illnesses that lead to obsessiveness about ‘global warming’ while others are just plain stupid.

      For example, take the issue of recycling. It does not matter to its proponents that it is not cost-effective and is environmentally unsound, because it achieves everything its proponents want it to achieve:

      - it makes a statement about their noble beliefs;
      - it gives the appearance of achieving a virtuous objective; and
      - it punishes the less-noble for their ‘excessive’ consumption.

      Look at the person, Handjive, not at the issue.

      140

      • #
        handjive

        Hi Barry.

        My mistake.
        All the text is a quote from the link.

        Except the “And he votes” quip. That is mine.

        Recycling is just a form of green slavery

        “Everybody involved in the waste industry knows this simple fact: all rubbish can be sorted much more efficiently by machines without the need for any human intervention.

        That may come as a surprise to you, but think about it for a moment.
        We are the generation that built the large hadron collider.
        Do you really think that it has been beyond human ingenuity to invent a simple and cheap machine that can distinguish a tin can from a glass bottle?”

        http://www.spectator.co.uk/features/9106352/why-kerbside-recycling-is-just-slave-labour-for-councils/

        60

        • #
          Barry

          No, I owe you an apology, Handjive. I’ve read your stuff before and this one seemed to be out of character. Based on that alone I should have had more respect for your opinions. I did read the article and mistakenly concluded that you had reproduced it to indicate your agreement with it. Sorry about that. Won’t happen again.

          60

  • #
    Binny

    Shrug he did what he’s paid to do – He constructed a scary computer model.
    No one gets paid for ‘non scary’ computer models.

    140

    • #
      the Griss

      I can absolutely verify that when you prove something is “non-scary” using their climate data… funding stops. ! :-(

      Sorry.. cannot elaborate further.

      160

  • #
    handjive

    Tutankhamen lived 3,000 years ago.

    A 3,000-year-old mystery is finally solved: Tutankhamun died in a hunting accident

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/a-3000yearold-mystery-is-finally-solved-tutankhamun-died-in-a-hunting-accident-397570.html

    3,000 years ago, they made religious sacrifices to the storm god, Baal.

    http://www.techtimes.com/articles/17875/20141014/ancient-cult-complex-discovered-in-israel-ritual-sacrifices-for-storm-god.htm

    Lambeck just needs to connect the dots.
    Maybe if he substitutes animal bones with energy consumption …

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    TdeF

    No one believe this scare in business or engineering. Look at all the sea side development. Tim Flannery and Al Gore have both bought waterside dwellings. Then trillions have been spent in the last twenty years building into the ocean. New massive airports at near sea level around the world, for example. Even when they could have gone much higher, they have not. Then the developments around Dubai like the Palm. The best engineers working on the best scientific advice have ignored this scaremongering. Besides, the low countries like Holland and Belgium have lived with this for hundreds of years. The little mermaid still sits on her rock, unfussed. In fact land rises in Scandanavia and the northern UK after the last ice age are far more serious. It is why Stockholm was moved.

    As for the connection with global warming, melting sea ice does not raise water levels at all and there is no evidence that melting land ice is doing any more than uncovering human settlements from 1000 years ago. We have not even reached the levels of the Roman warming. If there is no observable problem with annual summer/winter sea level rises in England or America, why the panic about a slight move in an average? We see the extremes every year from the heat of summer in the arctic to the depths of winter. No problem.

    Land level rises are more the problem, as with the loss of ports around the world with silting and sand dumps as with Ostia, the port of Rome. Catholics still shun meat on Friday just to protect the trade in the old port. In fact old Rome is buried many meters under the ground. Beijing is dealing with 1cm a year with sand dumped by from the Gobi. Ports are continually being dredged just to keep them operational as the rivers silt up the ports and the land grows outwards. At the same time, parts of the coast of England are long a meter a year to erosion. This is life, not a disaster.

    No this is all scare tactics, fantasy disaster. If you visit Egypt, around the Thebes/Luxor temples, there are dark mud brick walls 35 metres high, which used to be repaired and closed every year. Look closely in the photographs. Why? Because the annual floods were 35 metres high and the temples areas were just holes in the river. Man coped. No one complained. Problems begat solutions and created societies. We do not need Chicken Little types posing as concerned scientists.

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      Robert O

      In the south of France many of the old Roman ports are 10′s of km. from the sea, and in Morocco it’s the same, on the road from Rabat to Tanger there are relics of Roman ports. Either the land has risen (or silted-up), or the ocean level has dropped over the past 2000 years.

      When I was a schoolboy, more than 50 years ago, we lived in a coastal town and my father had a small fishing boat and we moored the dinghy on the river bank. I was there a couple of years ago, and apart from a little erosion, I didn’t notice much change in the tides. Should have I?

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    Ursus Augustus

    But Jo, it IS unprecedented.

    It is unprecedented that the media is able to readily confect such nonsense out of the vast amount of scientific data now readily available let alone present it as substantive.

    It is unprecedenmted that large swathes of the science community are effective and active spin merchants and self promoting lobbyists for their own funding.

    It is unprecedented that our modern mass media is reverting to the intellectual level of a mediaeval street mob.

    This is way beyond the boy who cried wolf, this is the boy who points his mobile phone camera at an ant, uses his zoom app to fill the screen with a close up of the ant, take the pic and Tweets it to the world with the hash tag “SPACEMONSTERSHAVELANDED”.

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      Ted O'Brien.

      I doubt that it is unprecedented.

      I remember when as a 14 year old I was translating Cicero and Julius Caesar I could see that politicians hadn’t changed in 2.000 years. And this is politics, you know, not science or journalism.

      It is also pertinent to remember that at about the same time I was deeply shocked to discover that Antoine Lavoisier, the father of modern chemistry, was sent to the guillotine during the French revolution with the declaration: “The country needs no scholars!”

      in Australia 2014 I can now see what they were on about.

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    tom0mason

    As I’ve said before, if there is any drastic sea-level rise then surely national Navies, port authorities, people living and the older businesses trading by the shores, ports, and beachfronts would noticed as the sea laps ever closer to their livelihood.
    Also if old photos of such areas are compared to today can a significant rise be seen? From the few I’ve seen no is the answer.

    IMO it is just more blather dressed up as science. It is not science it is nonsense, and a very expensive waste of time.
    The sooner everyone notices it is getting colder the better for that is what will change everything – the public noticing its not as hot anymore.

    Forward to CO2 at 0.06% (600ppm) and the greening of the globe!

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    hunter

    There is no credible objective evidence that slr is diong anything unusual. Atolls are not drowning, coastal flooding is not increasing, beaches are not disappearing in unusual ways, barrier islands are not being inundated.
    The slr-climate crisis gambit is pure bs.

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      Rereke Whakaaro

      However, there is considerable evidence that the Pacific Island atoll nations are calling out for financial reparation for the potential damage done to their very existence, if sea levels rises according to the computer models. They do, however, intend to stay where they are, and do not want to move anywhere else. Hmm?

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    pat

    PR certainty!

    VIDEO: 20 Oct: NoTricksZone: Amazing…AP Reporter Seth Borenstein Emphasizing Value Of “New Catch Phrases” To Hype Up Climate Stories!
    By P Gosselin
    For the media, at least for the AP’s Seth Borenstein, it’s not about presenting the science in a professional and balanced manner, rather it’s all about sensationalizing it and getting the editor to print it. The good stuff starts at about the 7:30 mark…
    http://notrickszone.com/2014/10/20/amazing-ap-reporter-seth-borenstein-emphasizing-value-of-new-catch-phrases-to-hype-up-climate-stories/

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    Svend Ferdinandsen

    It is strange that peoble get upset by rising sea level that might rise 1m in 100 years.
    Have they ever thaught of how long time a house stands?
    In 100 years i believe most houses in danger or not have been rebuild or moved.

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    Rud Istvan

    Both Jo’s post and Lionell’s comment deal very effectively with this new ANU nonsense.
    The essay Pseudo Precision in my new ebook out today, Blowing Smoke, lays out the difficulties in just measuring SLR the past century, and deconstructs two very silly further newish papers that attempt to explain very recently ‘maybe slowing’ SLR in which Australia featues prominently– all that recent rainwater retained in the Outback, you know. Models said so. But rain gauges and geography said otherwise. Jo is getting a complementary copy tomorrow, and permission to excerpt here as she sees fit.

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    nfw

    It must be true, it has a hockey stick shape!

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    Roy Hogue

    Gosh! I think I’ll probably need to get worried about this… …eventually. I mean, after all, from the description he has one powerhouse of a model there, so it must mean something. I’m sure I’ll get it all figured out given enough time.

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    pat

    o/t but am hoping TonyfromOz will critique the following, as it is being picked up by CAGW-sceptical websites, as well as the usual CAGW lot. promising a renewable future that “would cost the average household only about 18 cents per month” is obviously a winning strategy!

    19 Oct: CleanTechnica: Roy L. Hales: America Can Nearly Quadruple Its Renewable Electricity By 2030
    A recent Union of Concerned Scientists (USC) study found that America can nearly quadruple its renewable electricity in the next 15 years, reaching 23% by 2030. This comes in response to the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal that America set a modest goal of 12% renewable energy by 2030. Rachel Cleetus, Senior Climate Economist of UCS, referred to the EPA’s goal as just a fraction above “business as usual.” The UCS found raising this target, to +23% of the nation’s electricity from non-hydro renewable sources by 2030, would cost the average household only about 18 cents per month. Cleetus described this as a realistic and affordable goal: “Looking at the way renewable energy is ramping up and costs are falling dramatically, there is a real opportunity to go farther.”…
    http://cleantechnica.com/2014/10/19/america-can-nearly-quadruple-renewable-electricity-2030/

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      gnome

      It seems “The Simpsons”‘ Cletus the slack-jawed yokel has been promoted to “Senior Climate Economist”.

      I would ask, what could a “Senior Climate Economist” be expected to know about the economics of power generation, but there would be too many other questions preceding that one, and my attention span would be exhausted long before I got to it.

      The Union of Concerned Scientists can be glad it is not incorporated in Australia- we are currently having a Royal Commission into union corruption, and I could see their activities falling under its terms of reference.

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    • #

      Thanks pat. I’ll (try and) make it short. The article mentions this:

      The UCS found raising this target, to +23% of the nation’s electricity from non-hydro renewable sources by 2030…..

      Currently, renewable power in the U.S. supplies the following. Wind 4.1%, and Solar 0.2%, for a total of 4.3% actual power generated for consumption.

      So to raise that to +23%, that means they need to multiply existing Capacity by a factor of 5.4.

      Think about that for a minute.

      They want to do this by 2030, 16 years from now, so that means constructing the current total wind and solar existing capacity every three years starting from now. That’s the equivalent of one new large scale wind plant (400MW – 160 towers) coming on line every ….. FIVE DAYS, continuously from right now.

      It CANNOT be done.

      Then on top of that, current existing capacity will need to be replaced by that date as well, as its life expectancy is only 15 to 20 years at best, so they’ll just need to keep constructing them at the same rate to stay at that +23%.

      Not only that it cannot be done, there’s not enough money to do it, and there’s not enough space to do it.

      It WILL NOT be achieved.

      And 18 cents a Month cost. That’s so damned laughable it needs no response. It’s an absolute fabrication.

      Oh, as for renewables, in 2030, Hoover Dam Hydro will have been in operation for 94 years.

      Source – Total Power

      Source – Renewable Power

      Also, note from the total power source here, despite old, ancient, low Nameplate coal fired plants closing in great numbers, actual power delivery from the remaining coal fired plants has risen, 4.8% to end of year 2013, and 3% on top of that 2013 figure for this current year. Also note here that while there have been no new Nukes in the US, that power delivery has also risen by 3% and is currently operating at an 89% Capacity Factor.

      Why has REAL power generation risen. Because Renewable power does not do what is claimed of it, and needs REAL backing up.

      Tony.

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      Graeme No.3

      Once again the claim that renewables are cheaper than conventional power. This is ABSOLUTELY BOGUS.

      Any commercial power source has to earn enough income to pay for
      running costs (e.g. fuel, lubricant etc.)
      maintenance
      paying back the capital cost of the equipment (usually borrowed)
      Interest on borrowings

      The claim that “Wind is free so wind energy is cheaper than conventional sources” completely ignores these matters. True, wind doesn’t usually require fuel, excepting those wind farms in the North & Baltic Seas where they have to keep the blades turning), but maintenance can be 10-20% (Germany) of income.
      Paying off the borrowings is usually ignored by the Greenies who base their ideas on the fairies leaving big bags of money at the bottom of the garden.

      These people merely look at the spot price and see it is cheaper than the conventional sources. Of course it must be. When the wind blows the electricity has to go somewhere otherwise the grid blacks out. Either the consumption has to increase (most unlikely), the excess go into storage (hydro) or conventional sources have to shut down. The driving force is that the wind electricity is supplied more cheaply (and is usually compulsory). This doesn’t worry the wind farm operators because they get separate subsidies to make up their costs. That’s what the RET and Carbon Tax were about.
      The moment subsidies are dropped is the moment when developers give up plans for renewables.

      20

  • #
    Geoffrey Williams

    Great response from Lionell Griffith.
    Lionnell’s comments put this study into it’s proper perspective!
    As such this study by Lambeck / ANU has no scientific credibility and should fool nobody.
    Geoff Williams

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    the Griss

    I recall some old Chinese or Japanese records that show a possible periodicy of some 300-350 years.

    If this periodicy actually exists, sea level will top-out some time mid century.

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    handjive

    Quote: “Research finds 20cm rise since start of 20th century, caused by global warming and the melting of polar ice, is unprecedented”

    The Lempriere-Ross Mark: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/467007.stm

    “This is the oldest known such bench mark in the world,” says greenhouse dissenter John Daly, who took the photograph.
    “Ross put it in an ideal location which is both geologically stable and open to the vast Southern ocean, with no local estuary effects to distort the tides.

    “But when we look at the Ross-Lempriere 1841 bench mark, one thing becomes crystal clear: There has been no sea level rise this century – none at all.

    “John Daly has taken the mark, which is a nice clear bench mark, and said ‘that is the mean level of the sea at that time’, and it wasn’t,” says Dr David Pugh, from the Southampton Oceanography Centre, UK..
    The Southampton scientist is now assisting CSIRO in their current research programme.

    John Daly suspects the results, when they do come out, will confirm the accuracy of the Lempriere-Ross work and raise a big question mark over the claims of the scientific establishment that sea levels are on the rise.”
    ~ ~ ~
    We know much about Lempriere as he was an ardent diarist.
    His diaries are held in the Mitchell and Dixon Collection at the State Library of New South Wales.

    Lempriere was an erudite man.
    He was an accomplished artist and spoke five languages.
    He was naturally curious and spent much time examining the fauna of the region, going to the extent of learning how to preserve animal specimens from a taxidermist in Hobart Town.

    Another of Lempriere’s great interests was meteorology, and it is his meteorological records that are held by the Archives.
    These records are in the form of handwritten tables listing temperature, rainfall, humidity, barometric pressure, spontaneous evaporation, prevailing winds and cloud formation.
    They tell us that, for instance, on 29 September 1858 there was a ‘heavy fall of hail and rain during the day, squally in the morning’.

    National Australian Archives.
    http://yourmemento.naa.gov.au/2011/01/archives-conservation-efforts-assist-global-warming-research/
    ~ ~ ~
    Commander James Clark Ross

    In 1839, distinguished naval officer and polar explorer James Clark Ross (1800–1862) set off on an expedition to the Southern Ocean with two ships, HMS Erebus and HMS Terror.

    In April 1842, he stopped at Port Louis, (Falkland Is.) primarily to make magnetic field and other measurements, but also to make repairs to his ships which had been badly damaged in the Drake Passage.

    Having set up a winter base, he took the opportunity to make careful measurements of sea level relative to two benchmarks cut into the cliffs and marked with brass plaques.

    These marks remain in good condition to this day.

    This fact, along with the apparent good quality of Ross’s data, has allowed Woodworth’s team to compare the sea level records from 1842 with measurements taken at Port Louis using modern instruments in 1981–1982, 1984 and 2009.

    They also used information from nearby Port Stanley, where a permanent tide gauge was operated in the 1960s and 1970s and where NOC has had an operational gauge since 1992.

    After correction for air pressure effects and vertical land movement due to geological processes, the researchers find that sea levels rose by an average of around 0.75 millimetres a year between 1842 and the early 1980s.

    They point out that this figure is similar to previous estimates for the long-term rate of sea-level rise at Port Arthurin Tasmania, measurements with which Ross was also associated, and at other locations in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres.

    However, they also find evidence that the rate of sea-level rise has accelerated over recent decades.
    Specifically, they estimate that sea levels around the Falkland Islands have risen by an average of around 2.5 millimetres a year since 1992, a figure consistent with measurements made by satellite radar altimeters over the same period.

    http://noc.ac.uk/news/measuring-sea-level-rise-falklands
    ~ ~ ~

    The Lempriere-Ross mark, CSIRO, 2001/2002:
    Global predictions are for the rate of change to increase, such that by 2100 sea-level will be between 9 and 88 cm above the 1990 global average sea-level.

    For the periods 1990 to 2025 and 1990 to 2050, the projected rises are 3 to 14 cm and 5 to 32 cm respectively (Houghton & Ding 2001).

    Already the Port Arthur benchmark is showing a rise in sea-levels of at least 13 cm since 1841, with an average annual rate of 0.8-1.0 mm/year (Pugh, Coleman & Hunter 2002).

    http://soer.justice.tas.gov.au/2003/casestudy/4/index.php

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    • #
      Peter C

      Thanks Handjive,

      John Daly wrote quite a bit about the Tide Mark at the Isle of the Dead, Port Arthur, Tasmania, all of which is worth reading if you are interested in sea levels and global warming.

      “John Daly has taken the mark, which is a nice clear bench mark, and said ‘that is the mean level of the sea at that time’, and it wasn’t,” says Dr Pugh.
      “From all the evidence we know it was the high water level at that time – it’s like the difference between mid-tide and high-tide. He’s wrong.”

      Dr Pugh and his coauthors insist that the tide mark was placed at the high water mark, which seems utterly ridiculous. High water is very variable. Which high water should be used? Neap tide? Spring tide? High water corresponding with a storm or atmospheric low pressure?

      John Daly explains a lot of it here, along with his reasons for thinking that the tide mark was placed at the mean tide level.
      http://www.john-daly.com/ges/appendix.htm

      The credibility of the Pugh, Coleman and Hunter paper (Pugh, Coleman & Hunter 2002) is further diminished by the fact that John Hunter helped to write it. Dr John Hunter is a Climate Change fanatic.

      Dr John Hunter
      http://www.acecrc.org.au/Our%20People/Researchers/Dr%20John%20Hunter
      “He has a keen interest in seeing that the science of climate change is accurately communicated, not distorted by the so-called “climate skeptics” and is appropriately incorporated into public policy.”

      Dr John uses his own personal website to attack the writings of John Daly.
      The ABC program Catalyst-”Taking Australia’s temperature” made quite a feature of him (in relation to the tide mark)

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      Rereke Whakaaro

      At Greenwich, in London, is a high-tide mark, that consists of a horizontal line, with an upwards pointing arrow.

      What we need is an ancient mariner.

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      • #
        Peter C

        I have not seen that tide mark at Greenwich. However if a High Tide mark is indicated by an upward pointing arrow, that is even more evidence that the Isle of the Dead tide mark did not indicate high tide at the time since (as you imply) the arrow points downward.

        30

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          Graeme No.3

          The Water Gate (Traitor’s Gate) in the Tower of London was added in 1285.
          It would be interesting to see how far, if at all, the water level has risen in 729 years. This despite the fact that the Thames has been hemmed in by developments on the banks and tidal flats, so the water level at that point should be higher.

          20

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        Peter C

        Could you be referring to a surveyors bench mark Rereke?
        http://www.geog.port.ac.uk/webmap/thelakes/html/topics/benchmk.htm

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    the Griss

    We know land surfaces areoften moving,

    How do they know that the land under the sea in some part(s) of the 70% of the oceans, is not gradually rising at say 10cm/year.

    A bulge of this sort over a large area under the sea would be more than sufficient to cause the very small rate of sea level rise that might be occuring…

    ..and nobody would ever know it was happening.

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    Ron Cook

    How appropriate:-

    Crossword in Herald Sun 20th Oct.

    1 down, easy clue “MODELLED”. Cryptic clue “Give shape to TREND JOURNALIST FOLLOWED”

    answer – FASHIONED.

    Seems to me Lambeck FASHIONED a MODEL to his own predetermined TREND for JOURNALISTS to FOLLOW without question.

    R-COO- K+

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    Neville

    A very good interview of Patrick Moore by Alan Jones this morning. This bloke is about as good on his feet as anyone on either side of the CAGW debate and he knows more than most as well. And his delivery is punchy with no dithering.

    http://www.2gb.com/audioplayer/69681#.VEW0qRtxkdc

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  • #
    Todd

    What’s the deal with the figure “150,000 people die each year from Global Warming” coming from? I’ve been lurking in r/environment for a while and these people really believe this sh[snip]. Just want to know where it’s coming from.

    30

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    pat

    thanx TonyfromOz for your response to the CleanTechnica piece.

    here we go again…quotes from Butler, Milne at link:

    21 Oct: SMH: Inga Ting: Green Economy Index 2014: Australia ranked last for leadership
    Australia has fallen sharply in international green economy rankings, coming last out of 60 countries for performance on political leadership and climate change, and 37th overall, new research shows.
    Our performance now lags behind developing nations such as Kenya, Zambia, Ethiopia and Rwanda, according to the 2014 Global Green Economy Index. A green economy is one that improves the quality of life while reducing its environmental impact.
    “Australia has seen a sharp decline since the change of government,” said Jeremy Tamanini, chief executive of Dual Citizen, the Washington consultancy that produced the research.
    “Its head of state [Tony Abbott] has a negative association with the green economy concept.”…
    The index uses data from various sources, including the International Energy Agency, Cornell University, Yale University and the international INSEAD business school, to measure each country’s performance and perception.
    ***Perception scores are based on an international survey of more than 1000 practitioners in green economy sectors…
    http://www.smh.com.au/business/carbon-economy/green-economy-index-2014-australia-ranked-last-for-leadership-20141020-118s1t.html

    About DualCitizenInc
    Purpose
    Our purpose is to improve the value of data and communications as tools for promoting international development and green growth.
    Dual Citizen was founded in 2010 amidst a global economy in turmoil…
    People: Jeremy Tamanini
    Jeremy started his career in the private sector at an Internet start-up and then as Director of Marketing at Armani Group…
    He has worked with international organizations including the World Bank and Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), as well as with government agencies in the United States (U.S. Department of State, U.S. Agency for International Development)…
    Jeremy is a graduate with distinction from Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service with a Master’s degree in Foreign Policy

    http://www.dualcitizeninc.com/dual-citizen-washington-new-york/

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    • #

      Thank you pat.

      What an absolute joke,

      Our performance now lags behind developing nations such as Kenya, Zambia, Ethiopia and Rwanda, according to the 2014 Global Green Economy Index. A green economy is one that improves the quality of life while reducing its environmental impact.

      Improves the quality of life.

      Huh! Who are these morons trying to kid.

      Kenya – 7.8TWH generation per year – Population 45 Million

      Zambia – 11.5TWH generation per year – Population 15 Million

      Ethiopia – 5.2TWH generation per year – Population 95 Million

      Rwanda – 0.32TWH generation per year – Population 12 Million.

      So, all up, that’s 24.8 TWH total generation per year for a population of 167 Million people.

      Sooooo, let’s see now. That’s 10.5% of Australia’s total power generation for 7.6 times the number of people, a disparity by a factor of 72.

      Quality Of Life!!! WT[snip]!

      Isn’t it great that we can find facts that blow these morons out of the water.

      Source – International Energy Statistics

      Tony.

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      Graeme No.3

      “Australia has fallen sharply in international green economy rankings, coming last out of 60 countries”

      What good news!

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  • #
     D o u g   C o t t o n 

    [SNIP, off topic, repetitive. Please censor yourself Doug. Stop spamming. - Jo]

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      Rereke Whakaaro

      The models are wrong, simply because they do not adequately predict empirical observations, and neither can they successfully hind-cast historically recorded trends.

      Nothing else you say makes any sense to me whatsoever. But that is immaterial because having an alternate explanation is not necessary to demonstrating that a hypothesis is wrong.

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        Konrad

        having an alternate explanation is not necessary to demonstrating that a hypothesis is wrong

        BINGO!

        This is entirely correct. It is not up to sceptics to provide an alternate model for something as complex as climate. It is only necessary to demonstrate that the CO2 = warming hypothesis is critically flawed.

        This can be simply done by correctly answering any of the following questions -

        1. Can incident LWIR slow the cooling rate of liquid water that is free to evaporatively cool?

        2. Will the speed of tropospheric convective circulation remain constant for increasing radiative gas concentration?

        3. Will a SW translucent material heat the same over a diurnal cycle of solar illumination compared to a SW opaque material with the same specific heat capacity?

        4. Are the oceans truly a near blackbody?

        If the answer to any of these is “No” then the AGW hypothesis is trashed. ClimastrologyTM holds that the answers are Yes, Yes, Yes and Yes. Reality holds that the answers are No, No, No and No.

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  • #

    star commentI was in Penang Malaysia when the tsunami struck ten years or so ago about to finish a Master’s in Earth Science.

    So I chose as my topic the impact of the tsunami on the west coast of the island. During field work I found that waves had thrown ashore substantial quantities of offshore mud.

    During desk work I found documents in the national library of the Geology Department that showed ancient shorelines about two meters (6 feet) higher than at present. I found that most streams had cut the same distance down into the ground.

    Both of these observations point to sea level two meters higher than at present. Dating was first done by British geologists around 80 years ago.

    More recently the Quaternary Group of the national Geology Department confirmed the height of the old beach lines and their age at about 5,000 years.

    The period is called the hypsithermal or the Holocene Climate Optimum, a climatic phase in the early to middle part of the Holocene lasting several thousand years-when conditions were appreciably warmer than today. The Sahara Desert was dotted with several lakes and populated by cattle herders who left their artwork on the rocks.

    Clearly whenever anyone wants to frighten people they have to avoid mention of the hypsithermal. That explains why Kurt Lambeck at ANU chose the period AFTER 6,000 years ago as his starting point.

    Still it doesn’t work because if sea level was higher during the hypsithermal when it was much warmer than at present, then sea level must have been higher during the Minoan Warm Period, the Roman Warm Period and the Medieval Warm Period and lower during the intervening cold periods.

    Kurt Lambeck relied on his knowledge that most people have not studied the Quaternary Period or the Holocene. His intention was clearly to deceive his audience by omission.

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      the Griss

      Hey..no sea level dropping please.. I’ll have to paddle further to catch a wave. :-)

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      • #
        Ron Cook

        Greetings Griss,

        I have been going down to Smith’s Beach, Phillip Island every year for the last 50 years. The tide STILL goes out the same distance, The tide STILL comes in the same distance and to the SAME heights depending on cyclic variations, wind, time of day/month/year etc. In all that time I have not seen any sign of a higher water line. So, Griss, you don’t have to paddle any further LOL :-) .

        On a serious note tho’, what I have noticed is that sand has been systematically washed off the beach leaving more rocks exposed on the Eastern side of the beach. This is a totally different issue, me thinks, and photos from much earlier years show a lot more sand above high water mark. Perhaps wind and tide directions may be the influence. I’m there are people with expertise in that area that could enlighten me.

        Cheers all
        R-COO- K+

        Amongst the fun

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        • #
          Ron Cook

          Oooops, sorry a couple of typos there.

          “I’m sure there are people………………..”

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          John F. Hultquist

          I do not know the area, Phillip Island, being discussed, so can’t be specific. However, sand is moved along beaches by the water as it comes at an angle up the beach, then flows down again (at an angle). The movement is called “longshore drift.” [Try a search using the images tab.]
          Sand supply, or lack thereof, is something to look at. Where did the sand come from? Maybe the landscape of a river dumping sand into the sea has changed – soil conservation practices might decrease the sand load. Another possibility is shown in the diagram here where groins slow or keep sand from moving and then farther along the shore the sand is no longer replenished (sand-starved).
          http://teachers.sduhsd.net/hherms/herms/ocean/FEATURES/groin-jet.gif

          If you have a college nearby, ask if there is a geologist or physical geographer that has looked at this beach. They like field trips.

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      ianl8888


      His intention was clearly to deceive his audience by omission

      Yep

      Works, too … the “meeja” love it

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      John Of Cloverdale WA

      “…. sea level must have been higher during the Minoan Warm Period, the Roman Warm Period and the Medieval Warm Period and lower during the intervening cold periods.”
      I think most Geomorphologists, Geologists and Archeologists know this. A pity some of these alarmist Climate “Scientists” don’t study the past.
      Interestingly, in 1974, I lived near Pevensey Castle (East Sussex) which is located couple of kilometers from the coast. However, during Roman occupation, it was originally built on the coastline.

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      • #

        Would you believe that the castle was secretly de-constructed early in WW2 and rebuilt further inland to confuse German U-Boot captains and force them to become grounded?

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      Graeme No.3

      Roughly when Dogger land (in the North Sea) went under, and the English Channel formed. Also when Kangaroo Island was cut off from South Australia, and possibly Bass Strait forming cutting off Tasmania.

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    Ron Cook

    Very much o/T how do I put a decent pic of myself instead if the supplied avatar?????????

    R-COO- K+
    Potassium Salt of a Aliphatic Acid.

    ___
    REPLY: Go to Gravatar to set your own picture. It will show on every site that uses Gravatar, and retrospectively too. – Jo

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    thingadonta

    “Over a period of 20 years, Lambeck and colleagues have been developing a model …”

    A model of the past. Even their models of the present don’t work.

    You can stop reading there.

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    John Of Cloverdale WA

    I learnt to swim at Wylie’s (tidal) Baths (built at South Coogee, Sydney in 1907) in the 50′s. After reading about unprecedented sea levels, I thought, foolishly, that it must be well under the low tide mark by now. Surprisingly, I noticed by Goggling that it still exists and is still functioning.
    I wonder if the other coastal tidal baths in NSW, built in the late 1890′s/early 1900′s, have also escaped this unprecedented-sea-level-rise caused by global warming?

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    • #
      Ted O'Brien.

      Someone posted this higher up. Should solve your problem. Fort Denison.

      http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/sltrends_global_station.htm?stnid=680-140

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        Richard C (NZ)

        John, Ted, re Wylies’s Bath’s built 1907, visit 1950, and Fort Denison graph #33.1

        Fort Denison has the appearance of a linear trend once a line is slapped on the data but there really is no linear characteristic until after 1950. 1910 is at the same level as 2010 and 1950. From 1950 to 2010 is the only linear part and it’s flat, not rising.

        The approx 100mm variance (up, down, and back up again) occurred prior to 1950. But the 1907 data is above the trend line when the level was on the up to 2010. So there’s little difference to the present as John found.

        It is the application of linear trends to non-linear data that is the root cause of uninformed climate and sea level alarm in my opinion.

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      the Griss

      All the ones around Cronulla area are still there, not much sign of any rise in sea level.

      Was up in Newy a couple of weeks ago, and the Newcastle Beach baths are still the same, although the Merewether baths seem to be having major resurfacing work done.

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    DaveR

    It seems that the average 2o~ (2 sigma) error on the graph is about +/-5m. Thats an estimate of the accuracy of the estimate of the sea level. And Lambeck rattles on about 20cm?

    From his introduction: “….From ∼1,000 observations of sea level, allowing for isostatic and tectonic contributions, we have quantified the rise and fall in global ocean and ice volumes for the past 35,000 years.”

    1,000 observations? 1,000 estimates more likely, and they all have a 2o~………

    Been in Canberra too long.

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    Bulldust

    O/Topic but I am quite astonished… the ABC luvvies have no less than 7 articles competing at the top of The Drum mythologising Goigh Whitlam:

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/thedrum/

    I wasn’t here (in Oz) at the time, but somehow I suspect Barnett’s balanced view might be closer to the truth:

    https://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/25310855/gough-was-not-great-barnett/

    A couple thoughts:

    1) How many articles would there be praising Howard (who served far longer than Whitlam) if he passed away?
    2) Can we ever expect balance at the ABC … no, sorry that one is rhetorical.

    Love the way the Labor luvvies are stomping all over Barnett for suggesting Whitlam was a mere mortal…

    I wonder how many more Drum articles are going to be piled on overnight…

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    • #
      Andrew McRae

      Yep just noticed that too. It’s become the GBC.

      This is one of those rare moments when Progressives become competitive with each other. Whoever can write, sing, paint, score, or sculpt the most sycophantic epitaph honouring the Great Gough will gain much kudos in Progressive circles.
      Watching them all try to outdo each other is both amusing and rather tragic.

      Credit where it’s due; Fully federally funded tertiary education was a rather bold investment. Total government distortion of the labour market, but an investment nonetheless.

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    Richard C (NZ)

    >”Present day scientists argue over sea level changes in the last 10 years, yet Lambeck seems to have figured out the sea levels in 4000BC. Tricky….”

    Yes tricky. And meaningless, because it’s GMSL.

    In the last 20 years, GMSL is completely skewed by a relatively small area (in global terms) north of Australia. The positive global sea level rise trend is almost entirely due to an apparent huge “bulge” located in the Western equatorial Pacific region, the 3-D “bulge” graphed by Steven Goddard (Real Science) here:

    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-TCuraJcuhmo/VDQYX55ALWI/AAAAAAAAGio/AwGapPYsgNI/s1600/sea%2Blevel%2Bbulge%2B2.png

    Location on the global map from AVISO:

    http://www.aviso.altimetry.fr/fileadmin/images/data/Products/indic/msl/MSL_Map_MERGED_Global_IB_RWT_NoGIA_Adjust.gif

    Now if Kurt Lambeck could provide basin-by-basin analyses for 4000BC to compare with the above, that would be helpful.

    Sophocles pointed to PSMSL at #5 and that is exactly what everyone should be aware of. I’ve posted at Jennifer Marohasy’s ‘Opera House Still Above Sea Level’ with links and quotes from the AU govt’s ‘State of the Environment 2011′ with respect to Queensland, Northern Territory, and New South Wales sea level rise starting here:

    http://jennifermarohasy.com/2014/10/opera-house-still-above-sea-level-despite-homogenisation/#comment-566520

    In that comment and following are links to the following PSMSL graphs of NZ, AU, and Tasman with 21st century data:

    Tauranga (Salisbury Wharf)
    Napier
    Wellington Harbour
    Dunedin (Port Chalmers)
    Bluff
    Nelson
    Port Taranaki
    Whangarei (Marsden Point)
    Chatham Island
    BRISBANE (WEST INNER BAR)
    DARWIN
    SYDNEY, FORT DENISON 2
    NORFOLK ISLAND
    LORD HOWE ISLAND

    Not one of those exhibits consistent rise this century and the only one long-running series that could be described as linear rise is Wellington. Fort Denison certainly doesn’t exhibit that characteristic.

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    pat

    ???

    21 Oct: SMH: Peter Hannam: Pacific warms towards El Nino levels as Australia heats up
    Ocean temperatures are again warming in the Pacific, helping to drive global temperatures to new highs and also leaving conditions primed for an El Nino event to be declared in coming months.
    The Bureau of Meteorology said sea surface temperatures in the central equatorial Pacific had warmed closer to El Nino-threshold levels in the past fortnight.
    “They’re at the warmest levels they’ve been since the build-up [for an El Nino] started in March,” Andrew Watkins, manager of climate prediction services, told Fairfax Media.However, meteorologists are yet to see the signature elements of such an event, such as a sustained stalling or reversal of the east-west trade winds, Dr Watkins said.
    One reason why the atmosphere to yet to “couple” with the oceans and reinforce conditions needed for an El Nino to develop is that sea surface temperatures also remain warmer than usual in the western Pacific, he said. Without that temperarure gradient, winds won’t reverse…
    Outback to bake
    Australia is already experiencing unusually warm temperatures and rainfall deficiencies typical for an El Nino year. Clear night skies in inland areas are also leading to frost – another symptom, Dr Watkins said…
    A huge pool of heat will settle over much of South Australia, Northern Territory and Queensland with maximums of 42 degrees or more for Sunday and Monday…
    The fact 2014 may challenge for the hottest year even with at most a weak El Nino is one reason climatologists warn action must be taken to curb the rise of greenhouse gas emissions that trap ever more heat from the sun.
    The bureau’s Dr Watkins said heat records could be broken even without a “full-blown El Nino” because of the planet’s broadscale warming. Sea-surface temperatures in the central Pacific, for instance, had increased by about 0.5 degrees since the 1950s.
    http://www.smh.com.au/environment/weather/pacific-warms-towards-el-nino-levels-as-australia-heats-up-20141021-119bzl.html

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    pat

    21 Oct: Australian: Nick Cater: Time for cooler heads to prevail
    DR Karl Kruszelnicki turned uncharacteristically snarky on Tony Delroy’s radio show last week. Delroy had been watching Catalyst, the ABC’s Thursday night science program, and had caught up with the news that global warming was falling behind schedule.
    “Between the 70s and, sort of like, the early to the late 90s, there was a substantial rise in global temperatures,” said Delroy, “and it seems to have flattened out a bit since 1998.”…
    “You’ve got to say that it is, for the climate change deniers, a window of opportunity. There’s a lot of high-profile people out there pushing the line, people like And­rew Bolt are out there every night.”
    Dr Karl snapped back. “Ah, which university is he a professor of climate science at?”
    Listen to the experts, urged Dr Karl. Climate scientists were ­“really unified”, he said. “Ignore opinions, stick with the facts.”
    Well the fact, according to Catalyst, is that the planet hasn’t warmed since 1998…
    “The ocean is absorbing huge amounts of heat energy and then will toss it back on us further along,” Dr Karl told Delroy.
    Nobody suggested that temperatures should rise in a straight line, he said. “It’s much more complicated than that … there are so many factors involved, El Nino, La Nina, Pacific Decadal Oscillation, etc, that suggests that you need a 17-year window to able to look past the noise.
    “And here they are saying we’re looking at a nine-year window and it looks sort of not as uppity as before. Well that’s easy, it’s not a 17-year window.”…
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/time-for-cooler-heads-to-prevail/story-e6frg6n6-1227096554835

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    pat

    21 Oct: Guardian: Adam Vaughan: Divest MPs’ pension fund from fossil fuels, says Caroline Lucas
    Green party MP calls on parliament to pull money out of gas, coal and oil investments
    MPs should follow in the footsteps of the Rockeller family, Glasgow University and churches around the world by pulling their pension fund investments out of fossil fuels, according to Caroline Lucas.
    The Green party MP says the £487m Parliamentary Contributory Pension Fund should join the movement of hundreds of institutions worldwide who have already divested $50bn (£31bn) from gas, coal and oil investments as a way of tackling climate change. A University of Oxford study says the campaign has grown faster than any previous divestment movements, including those on apartheid and tobacco.
    Lucas has written to Brian Donohoe, the chairman of the fund’s trustees board, telling him that she is particularly concerned that the fund is contributing to global warming and of the economic risk to such assets if governments put in place “effective climate regulation”…
    Lucas said the divestment campaign had benefited from comments by the governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, who said earlier this month that the “vast majority of reserves are unburnable.”…
    Donohoe, a Labour MP for Central Ayrshire, said he did not think fossil fuels were an investment the fund should avoid, or pull out of.
    “We’ve got to balance what individuals like she [Lucas] will say about certain investments… [with] the good of the fund…
    He added that his personal view was that Lucas was a lone voice on the issue. “I don’t know what she’s talking about frankly. If she’s talking about stopping taking coal out of the earth, that would have to be universally applied, there’d be a closure to all coal-fired power stations. That would have quite a significant impact on Soctland and perhaps elsewhere. I don’t know where she’s coming from on this one.”…
    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/oct/21/divest-mps-pension-fund-from-fossil-fuels-says-caroline-lucas

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    pat

    21 Oct: ABC World Today: Climate Council warns bushfires becoming more frequent and severe with climate change
    NICK GRIMM: A report by the Climate Council has found bushfires across south-eastern Australia are becoming increasingly intense, and that the economic cost of major outbreaks is likely to triple by the middle of this century.
    The report has laid the blame on climate change, which it says is increasing the frequency and severity of hot days…
    AMANDA MCKENZIE: What we found is that extreme fire weather had increased over the last 30 years in New South Wales, and that this obviously has strong risks for the state.
    The bush fire season has also lengthened, so it’s now starting earlier and lasting longer. Fire weather’s extending into spring and into autumn…
    BARNEY PORTER: Rob Rogers is the deputy commissioner of the New South Wales Rural Fire Service.
    ROB ROGERS: Certainly, if you took last year as an example, it was a very severe fire season and, with some significant losses, so I think it’s fair to say that obviously we gear ourselves up as a fire agency for peak fire events, and I guess the driver of those peak fire events could be many things and could be climate change, but I’m obviously not an expert in that to be able to comment on that.
    BARNEY PORTER: Why was there a new category introduced in New South Wales? Catastrophic conditions.
    ROB ROGERS: Well, the new category was actually nationally introduced, and what it recognised was the pre-2009, historical evidence shows that, going back some decades, there’s been fire events that actually breached the other categories, which was extreme…
    http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2014/s4111350.htm

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    Tom O

    I think everyone is misreading the title. It says “Sea level rise “unprecedented” when modeling the ancient past” and implies that the sea rise over the last century was unprecedented as well. First, realize that the sea level rise when modeling the ancient past IS unprecedented. It hadn’t been modeled before, so that makes it unprecedented. As for the 20cm for the last century, well, perhaps he could find no other century that HAD a 20cm rise – they were all more or less than that, thus that, too, is unprecedented. The paper probably is correct, just it is also useless drivel.

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    • #

      The Guardian: “Sea level rise over past century unmatched in 6,000 years, says study”

      Research finds 20cm rise since start of 20th century, caused by global warming and the melting of polar ice, is unprecedented”

      Read again. The Guardian article is the reference for the 20cm rise being “unprecedented”.

      I think you are giving both the authors of the referenced paper and The Guardian article an unearned benefit of the doubt (a loose re-interpretation of an ambiguity). If the Guardian intended the headline to be re-interpreted in multiple ways, it is worthy of condemnation way beyond what I offered in my comments at #1. I suggest a simple parsing of the plain text of the headline is sufficient it unlock its meaning but not necessarily its intent. The intent must be abstracted from the full context and content of the articles.

      I suggest that only small subset of my eight points is sufficient to discount the referenced and The Guardian article actually being about science. It would even be praising the articles too highly to call them “propaganda”. Yet, to call them “useless drivel” is not quite right.

      Consider the use we have made of them in this post and appended comments. Yes, the articles are drivel but they are defiantly not without usefulness. At the very least, they once again demonstrate GIGO as it applies to the mythical and mystical entity called “climate science”.

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    Tristan

    “sea level is fiendishly difficult to measure thanks to rising and falling bits of land”

    Implication: Because I’ve said that its ‘fiendishly difficult’, you should doubt the veracity of this paper.

    “He sorts out the geoidal bulge with assumptions about mantle viscosity to look at tectonic displacement. Hmm. Could be some uncertainty there?”

    Rewording: I’m going to share with you some complicated sounding nouns followed by a question mark because I want you to doubt the veracity of this paper, I won’t actually query him, or anyone who understands the paper, because they might actually have an answer. It’s not like this is a science website, jeez.

    “Who would be brave enough to declare that sea levels did not rise by 15 or 20 centimeters per century at least once during the last 6,000 years?”

    Lambeck didn’t declare that though. He stated that he found “no evidence of oscillations exceeding ∼15–20 cm in time intervals ≥200 y from 6 to 0.15 ka BP.” Which is a reasonable thing to say, if you didn’t find evidence!

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    tty

    “He sorts out the geoidal bulge with assumptions about mantle viscosity to look at tectonic displacement.”

    Very impressive indeed. One of the reasons for studying the isostatic adjustments since the latest ice-age is to try to determine mantle viscosity which is not known even on order-of-magnitude level.

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    tty

    By the way I think tias paper is on the whole a fairly decent though vastly overhyped piece of work. However I am sceptical of any study using Bayesian statistics which are inherently subjective and essentially impossible to reproduce without much more information than is provided in this paper (and essentially any paper where the code used is not published). And Bayesian statistics does not make it possible to extract exact information from noisy data. It only makes it possible to produce pretty graphics that makes it look like you can.
    The most interesting part is really the supplementary data which actually includes all used data points. This shows that the geographical coverage is very sparse and that not all points are really “far-field” with respect to glaciation as claimed (both Tasmania, South Island New Zealand and Barbados are dubious in this respect). Furthermore a check of the data in the critical time-interval 200-6000 BP shows that the “money-quote” about unpredcedentedness is really based on one single site, Kiritimati atoll. No other site has sufficiently dense temporal coverage to detect century-scale change over this interval, though there are data from several sites that suggest that “unprecedented” changes has indeed occasionally occurred during this period. As a matter of fact the Kiritimati data are unique in the whole data set with respect to the ramarkably small chages in seal-level over the last 6000 years, with a total range of 0.5 meters. Here are the comparable figures for sites in Australia (generally considered as a tectonically extremely stable area, with the possible exception of the Western Victoria/SE S Australia volcanic field):
    South Neck Beach 0.7 m
    Batemans Bay 0.8 m
    Ceduna 0.7 m
    Port Lincoln 1.5 m
    Port Franklin 1.2 m
    Redcliff Belperio 3.1 m
    Port Pirie 3.2 m
    Port Wakefield 2.1 m
    Port Gawler 1.3 m
    Fisherman Bay 3.5 m
    Mambray Creek 0.7 m
    Red Cliff Burne 1.5 m
    Wood Point 2.1 m
    Abrolhos 1.3 m
    Inner Cleveland Bay 2.0 m
    Pioneer Bay 0.7 m
    Goold 0.8 m
    Magnetic Island 0.8 m
    Yule Point 0.9 m

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      Richard C (NZ)

      >”Furthermore a check of the data in the critical time-interval 200-6000 BP shows that the “money-quote” about unpredcedentedness is really based on one single site, Kiritimati atoll.”

      In other circumstances, John Cook’s Skeptical Science refers to this by their term “single study syndrome”.

      They (SkS) extoll Peter Minnett’s unpublished theory, based on a single NIWA study, of how greenhouse gasses heat the ocean without mention of the syndrome so there must be allowable exceptions apparently. I think the criteria might be somewhat meme-based so I’m guessing Kurt Lambeck gets a free pass in this case. The rest of the world can be excluded in favour of Kiritimati atoll if that’s what it takes to grabs the headlines.

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    dave

    Please may we have a response from Kurt Lambeck. It would be revealing, just as a non-response would be!

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