Latest posts by H. Sterling Burnett (see all)
- Paris Climate Participants Miss Targets While U.S. Reduces Its Emissions - July 12, 2018
- Pope Francis’s Misguided War on Fossil Fuels - July 6, 2018
- Climate Fight Loses a Warrior - July 1, 2018
Several recent scientific studies found little evidence humans are affecting sea levels, while one study finds the planet is
adding land mass faster than it was being submerged.
A dissertation by Hindumathi Palanisamy of the Laboratory for Studies in Geophysics and Spatial Oceanography in Toulouse, France found sea levels are determined by interactions of numerous components of the climate system (oceans, ice sheets, glaciers, atmosphere, and inland water reservoirs) on a wide range of spatial and time scales and that by studying “sea level spatial trend patterns in the tropical Pacific and attempting to eliminate [the] signal corresponding to the main internal climate mode, we show that the remaining residual sea level trend pattern does not correspond to externally forced anthropogenic sea level signal.”
A study by a group of scientists led by Mohammad Hadi Bordbar from the Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research in Kiel, Germany concluded recent sea level trends in the tropical Pacific “are still within the range of long-term internal decadal variability [and] [f]urther, such variability strengthens in response to enhanced greenhouse gas concentrations, which may further hinder detection of anthropogenic climate signals in that region.”
Another study, by Sönke Dangendorf and colleagues at the Research Institute for Water and Environment at the University of Siegen, Germany, found “there are … considerable decadal to centennial signals linked to intrinsic natural variability in the climate system. … [A] non-negligible fraction of the observed 20th century sea level rise still represents a response to pre-industrial natural climate variations such as the Little Ice Age.”
While sea levels are rising, a study published August 25 in Nature Climate Change determined Earth’s coasts actually gained land over the past 30 years. The study reports Earth’s surface gained 22,393 square miles of land over the past 30 years, including 13,000 square miles along coastal areas. Study co-author Fedor Baart told the BBC, “We expected that the coast would start to retreat due to sea level rise, but the most surprising thing is that the coasts are growing all over the world.”
In short, sea levels have risen more than 400 feets since the end of the last ice age 12,000 to 18,000 years ago, and while still rising, they are rising at a slower rate now than they have on average since that time, and have shown little or no increase in the rate of rise in the past 150 years — the purported time period of human caused climate change. If the past geologic record is any guide, seas will continue rise until the onset of the next ice age regardless of what humans do.