Friday, March 13, 2009
Whom to Believe?
The most recent alarmism has been about what the real rate of rise in the sea level has been since 1993. That's the year when satellites were launched to monitor the level of the oceans. Another important year in this dispute is 2003 when we began to get data from the now 3000 Argo buoys. Tidal measurements (left) over the past 120 years show a rise a little less than 2mm per year. Satellite measurement appears to show a rate about 3mm per year. Over a century the 3mm rate (without change in that rate) would lead to a rise of
To the right is the MSL altimeter record in detail. Although it still looks to me like it's tailing off since 2006, the rate is up at over 3mm/yr.
Here is what a prominent Aussie scientists, John Church, said recently about the issue:
The most recent satellite and ground based observations show that sea-level rise is continuing to rise at 3 mm/yr or more since 1993, a rate well above the 20th century average. The oceans are continuing to warm and expand, the melting of mountain glacier has increased and the ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica are also contributing to sea level rise.
Wait, we know precisely what has happened recently to the oceans from the thousands of sophisticated diving buoys in the Argo system. Here is what Josh Willis, a PhD at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory said a year ago about sea temperatures revealed from that system, specifically regarding the fact that since the system was fully deployed in 2003, it has recorded no warming of the global oceans:
Less rapid warming, right, so much less it's called cooling. But there is a mystery then, as Dire Straits once sang:
There has been a very slight cooling, but not anything really significant...Global warming doesn't mean every year will be warmer than the last. And it may be that we are in a period of less rapid warming.
Two men say they're Jesus, one of them must be wrong.
If the ocean has been slightly cooling since 2003, how can the sea levels have risen since 1993 in part by continued warming and expansion of the ocean?
UPDATE: Because I am a fool, I believed scientist John Church when he said, in the article, "By 2100, sea levels could be 1 metre or more above current levels..." A milimeter is .oo1 of a meter. Mulitply that by a hundred and you get .3 of a meter, just about a foot. How Church got to over 3 feet could be explained by the same math error I made or it could be explained by his belief that, in the future, it will be warmer and more ice on land will melt and flow into the sea. I'm not saying it's impossible, but possible is not the same as probable. Yeah, John, sea levels could be a meter higher in 2100 and monkeys could come flying out of my butt, too. With the average global air and sea temperatures both going down in the first decade of the 21st Century, there will have to be a rapid reversal soon to get back to increasing the 3 mm per year rate to a 9 mm per year rate. When will we see this reversal and acceleration? Any bets?