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Aaaargh! We\’re All Gonna Drown!

The research, published in the journal Environmental Research Letters, used the latest satellite technology to measure sea level rise

It found that sea levels have been rising by 3.2mm per year for the last 30 years, rather than the 2mm previously calculated.

If the trend continues then sea levels could be rising by 9mm per year within a century. The total rise by 2100 could be 1.2m.

Right, so sea level rises have been much less than the alarmists have been telling us.

And, err, why should a one off correction be then straight line projected as an acceleration of level rise rather than what it is, a one off correction of previous estimates?

3.2 mm a year means 32 cm by 2100. About a foot.

44 thoughts on “Aaaargh! We\’re All Gonna Drown!”

  1. Pendantry alert 🙂

    Only if you are still living in the year 2000, of course. Still makes it 11 inches. So if the little kiddies are currently on the shore-line, it might just flood their cute little wellies by about June 2076.

    Assuming a totally snatched from the top of my head ‘cute wellies height’ of 8 inches (and massively simplifying for lack of tides, cute toddlers not growing into grumpy middle-aged persons etc, etc.)

  2. Its bollocks, as you’d expect from the Torygraph-on-climate, though not in the way you think. That the *current* rate is ~3 mm/yr has been known for a while, see for example

    As for “so sea level rises have been much less than the alarmists have been telling us”, that seems to be some lies you’ve made up (you certainly don’t bother support it). The denialists will certainly try to pretend that SLR either doesn’t exist or is smaller than observed (

    In fact, there is interesting work on the resolution of conflicts between the satellite and tide gauge estimates, which I could point you at if you’re interested in the science. Which you aren’t, obviously.

    Tim adds: Hmm.

    New Scientist:

    Church says this is above any of the rates forecast by the IPCC models. By 2100, sea levels could be 1 metre or more above current levels, he says. And it looks increasingly unlikely that the rise will be much less than 50 centimetres.


    A number of recent studies taking the semi-empirical approach have predicted much higher sea level rise for the twenty-first century than the IPCC, exceeding one metre if greenhouse gas emissions continue to escalate

    CS Monitor:

    The estimates from the National Research Council, taking advantage of more recent research, range from 19 to 55 inches. The study is expected to become a common frame of reference that coastal communities can use in planning.

    Sure seem to be some people out there insisting that it’s going to be more than 30 centimetres by 2100.

  3. > The sea level won’t rise that much, because the ice will run out.

    Idiot. There is 50+ meters of SLR in Antarctic ice, and 5+ in Greenland. If you think melting all that wouldn’t be a disaster, you’re a cretin.

  4. William M Connolley is a very funny man

    What must it be like to be you, William? Worrying yourself silly in your little Cambridgeshire village, where everyone laughs at you behind your back?

  5. Oh dear, did “As for “so sea level rises have been much less than the alarmists have been telling us”, that seems to be some lies you’ve made up (you certainly don’t bother support it)” prick you a little?

    But for someone who so often picks up others for their errors, you’re startlingly careless here. You said ***have been***, past tense. All your newly added examples are about the future. You’ve got this wrong. The people who lie about SLR are the denialists.

    The “new” stuff (which isn’t new at all, its just the Torygraph fooled by basic lack of memory, which makes this kind of blog discourse so pointless, because almost no-one keeps the actual facts straight enough to remember the past) is saying ~1.2m by 2100. Which is essentially what all your 3 quotes say, too. So where exactly is this inconsistency you claim to find?

    At the end you say “3.2 mm a year means 32 cm by 2100. About a foot.” – but surely you’re not stupid enough to predict to 2100 by simply extrapolating existing trends? That would be so dumb that I’d despair for you.

  6. Right now I’m rather more concerned with whether I will be able to afford to heat the house soon or even whether there will be gas and electric available when I need to. 2100 will have to look after itself I’m afraid and as I live a mile and a half from a coastline that has been in and out whenever it feels like for centuries and the people who live next to it have always coped I suspect 2100 will do the same.

  7. “If the trend continues”

    Four words which have justified every piece of junk science for the past 30 years. It is fundamental fallacy behind every “peak oil/energy/blah” scare, yet is never, ever discredited.

  8. So Much for Subtlety

    William M. Connolley – “Its bollocks, as you’d expect from the Torygraph-on-climate, though not in the way you think. That the *current* rate is ~3 mm/yr has been known for a while”

    Is it just me or has the quality of Willie’s arguments gone down? I may be missing some subtle point here, but isn’t he just arguing that while they were full of sh!t a few years ago, running a baseless scare campaign, they have re-done the science and quietly dropped the predicted rise to something no one in their right mind, as TW points out, should be worried about?

    “but surely you’re not stupid enough to predict to 2100 by simply extrapolating existing trends? That would be so dumb that I’d despair for you.”

    But of course he does have the added bonus of seeming to imply that the trend will not continue, it will get worse.

    The oceans are heating. They have been for a little while – the oceans lag the rest of the planet. Naturally sea levels will rise. But not for long. As the planet is not heating any more.

  9. Rob>> “If the trend continues”

    > Four words which have justified every piece of junk science for the past 30 years.

    You do realise you’re attacking our host, don’t you? Because extrapolating a trend is exactly what Timmy is doing. I’m the one saying that isn’t a sensible way to do it.

    SMFS> I may be missing some subtle point here

    No, you’ve missed the bleedin’ obvious. There’s nothing subtle here.

    > they have re-done the science and quietly dropped the predicted rise

    No, you’ve got that totally wrong, aided and abetted by Timmy having got it wrong. SLR “predictions” from the IPCC have been pretty much the same for the past 10 years or so – since the ’95 report, from memory. Quite a few other scientists have started to suggest that something higher – a bit above 1m – is more likely.

    > As the planet is not heating any more.

    Still peddling the same old lies, eh?

    Nick Luke> Statistical sample of one

    Why are you trying to dignify your cherry-picking with “statistical”? SLR varies geographically. Picking one station is meaningless. If you want, I can find you one (or two, or ten, or…) weather-monitoring station that has showed cooling over the last 100 years. That, too, is meaningless in terms of the global record (other than telling you that variation exists).

  10. Have I missed something?
    For a linear rise in sea levels to take place we need to have a constant acceleration in the rate at which water is being added to the planet’s surface because of the increasing area that is being covered by water. If that is so, what positive feedback mechanism is driving it and can we be sure it’s driving a constant increase in sea levels ie that that rate is increasing?

  11. Give it up Connolly–you eco-liars have had your chips. The world will end one day (–and after reading the tripe from leftist trolls who plague this blog that is probably no bad thing, as a species that produces such evil as statism and socialism does not deserve to survive anyway-) but it won’t be thro’ man-made global warming.

  12. SimonF> Have I missed something? … because of the increasing area that is being covered by water

    Yes. You’ve missed the fact that the ocean surface area is essentially constant, because the change in area is so small for the range of rise being considered.

    diogenes> instantly destroys whatever point he is making.

    You appear to be confessing that you’re too unthinking to distinguish surface from substance.

    You’re also condemning Timmy to the trash can; he isn’t noted for tolerating fools gladly either.

  13. WMC>

    You know, every time I see someone use the term ‘denialist’ I wonder if they’re aware that it was coined by Clarkson taking the piss out of the people now using it.

    And then I wonder if they’re aware that the ‘denier’ meme was deliberately started by Holocaust-deniers looking to gain credibility by conflating their cause with entirely (or, even in your head, surely relatively) legitimate scientific scepticism.

    Which is it? Neo-Nazi Holocaust denier yourself, or just duped into doing their work for them?

  14. Did you write that article, William? It appears to be a collection of talking points from AGW campaigners; it even kicks off with a conspiracy theory-

    “Climate change denial is a set of organized attempts…”

    “The relationships between industry-funded denial and public climate change skepticism have at times been compared to earlier efforts by the tobacco industry…

    Oh noes! It’s Big Evil!!!!11111!11!!1

    I mean come on. You don’t really think that’s a serious article do you? It’s fucking ludicrous.

  15. The stoat quoting Wikipedia as a source on Climate Change issues is the most ironic thing ever. Hilarious. What a moron!

  16. Oh good grief you lot are thick.

    I’m referencing (not quoting, you’re too stupid to even get that distinction right) the wiki article to give you the sense in which I’m using the word, no more.

    Meanwhile… all this discussion is heading well off into the weeds, presumably in an effort to pretend that Timmy hasn’t got it hopelessly wrong. Is anyone still attempting to defend his original assertion that “sea level rises have been much less than…” or even his modified one (I’m still not sure whether he’s realised its totally different to talk about the past or future, but some of you lot may just about be able to understand the difference) which is presumably something like “predictions of sea level rises have changed a lot recently”.

  17. Ian>

    Sorry, for a second I thought you were suggesting Lippy had coined the use of it in climate-waffle circles. I wasn’t aware she had popularised the term ‘Holocaust denier’ but it seems perfectly plausible now you mention it, although I couldn’t find anything one way or the other with a quick google or be bothered to do a proper check.

  18. WMC>

    So you’re saying we should assume you’re naive and easily manipulated into doing neo-Nazi’s work for them, rather than holding neo-Nazi views yourself?

    I find that plausible, since fooling you evidently isn’t that hard given that you consistently manage it.

  19. If anyone took rising seal levels in any way seriously, sea front property would be uninsurable, nor could you get a mortgage for it. This doesn’t seem to be the case anywhere.

  20. venter – yes thaqt is hilarious, isn’t it? The person who has done the most to discredit wikipedia uses it as a source.

  21. William,

    This was the quote: “Right, so sea level rises have been much less than the alarmists have been telling us.”

    As you use “denier” to mean a specific subset of your audience defined by an article you helped write, I don’t think it’s a stretch to assume Tim uses “alarmists” to mean people he wants it to mean – probably certain environmental activists.

    Given that some environmental activists have been publicising a possible future of tens of metres of sea level rise, his point seems unarguable.

    Yet you try.

  22. Louise Gray has misunderstood what the paper is all about – not new observations versus old observations but new observations versus old modelled projections. IPCC AR4 gave the observed rate of rise for 1993-2003 as 3.1 mm/year. Rahmstorf finds 3.2 mm/year for 1993-2011. No cause for alarm.

    The study is a bit odd, too. AR4 didn’t give best estimates for 21st-century sea-level rise and it acknowledged the disparity between the observed rate and modelled estimates. Yet the study compares the observed rate with an alleged AR4 ‘best estimate’ projection of 2.0 mm/year for 1993-2011 (which it got from info not included in AR4 and which was labelled ‘not a best estimate’) and finds – ta da! – that there’s a disparity between the observed rate and modelled projections. I’m not sure why this is news.

    I smell Doha.

  23. just puzzled – or as Connolley would say, “thick”, because he really wants to help me to understand /sarc – the tidal range round the British isles is roughly 5-6 metres. How accurate is any sea-level measurement that talks in terms of millimetres in such a context?

  24. @ diogenes
    If you take tens of thousands of measurements each year and adjust for the tidal cycle (i.e. you compare one observation in year N with another in year N+7 moved by just enough days and minutes to to match the move in the phase of the moon) you can get an estimate of the rise in sea level. Allegedly “the latest satellite technology” can produce revised and more accurate data on sea levels in 1993-2007: presumably they retrofitted it in the TARDIS.
    That is not the only fallacy here.
    Warm water has lower density and higher volume than cold water. So if global temperatures really did rise by 0.4C between 1993 and 2007 as Louise states elsewhere, sea level should risen by *more* than that without any melting of Greenland and Antarctic ice [melting seas ice has precisely zero impact on sea levels].
    So the Telegraph environment correspondent does not understand O level physics.

  25. I fear that WMC is missing the point. The point being that if AGW were true then government action would be required. And government action is bad. Therefore AGW cannot be true.

    Furthermore, since climate science is hard, it is impossible to mount any effective evidence-based argument one way or the other on this sort of forum. Instead, the question is best decided by which side can muster the most commentators to shout the loudest. Hence, for the purposes of this forum, AGW is provably false.

    Meanwhile, outside in the world, the laws of physics continue to operate.

  26. The spectacle of the weasel Connelly actually quoting Wiki is almost enough to cause mass hysteria. Give up William, your reputation is fucked up enough as it is, you saying something is an almost automatic reason for it to be accurately assumed to be automatically fabricated.

  27. The point being that if AGW were false then no government action would be required. And government action is good. Therefore AGW cannot be false.

  28. Worse than that: the Govt needs more power–cause the plebs have to be put in their place, if possible right back in the filth and poverty from which science and markets have rescued them–what have we got?
    Silent Spring?
    Global cooling?
    Ozone holes?

    Oh yes!!–man-made global warming–and off to the fucking races.
    Eco-liars, Eco-freaks, Eco-scum.

  29. Thornavis: agreed. However, WMC, who’s been copping a lot of flak here, is not a catastrophist scaremonger. If you read his blog you’ll see him acknowledging that he’s lost a bet he made: his wrong prediction was that the loss of sea ice in the Arctic would be less than has proved to be the case.

  30. OK so the recent loss of Arctic ice is greater than some bloke on the internet thought it would be, so what, it’s happened before and recovered, where is the evidence that it’s anything to get worked up about yet, if at all ? WMC may not be a catastrophist but nearly everyone else who comes at Polar ice from a warmist position is, which is my problem with the whole AGW thing. I’m prepared to accept that there may be some adverse effects from it, which may be matched by positive effects but the predicted outcomes are all over the place, it’s just not possible to take any of them seriously anymore. The approach is so scattergun and retro fitted to whatever the weather is doing at the time ( as with the, drought, no sorry floods, warm winters er actually cold ones, wibble that we’re constantly fed and expected to swallow ) that something is bound to be right eventually, whereupon it will be seized on as evidence that we’re all going to die. If you or WMC or anyone else can actually dive into the horrible mess and bring out a nugget or two of truth I’d be amazed.

  31. But Tim wasn’t criticising WMC, he was criticising ‘Alarmists’. It was WMC who sallied forth throwing out insults to the left and right.

  32. @ MrPotarto
    The news item said that the world had warmed up so that would mean100% of the ocean. Now, if we are sensible and recognise that the met office scientists are only claiming to measure surface temperature and take the lowest plausible impact on ocean temperatures i.e. that the bottom has not yet been affected but the surface has warmed by 0.4C, then – unless someone has changed the physics – the average temperature has risen by more than 0.2C since surface area isgreater than area of deeper water. Ocean depths are measured in kilometres. So depth should have increased by more than 11mm just from the rise in temperature. I haven’t even bothered to do the sums precisely because it is out by an order of magnitude.

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