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In the wake of the storm surges from Hurricane’s Harvey and Irma various news outlets have once again been hyping the purported link between human caused climate change and sea level rise. Climate alarmists continue to push the false narrative that humans are causing sea levels to rise to peaks never before seen, or at least not since the end of the last ice age, and that sea’s are rising at a rapid rate. It may not surprise the scientifically literate or naturally skeptical to find, however, neither claim is true. Let’s talk about the present rate of sea level rise first. The rate of sea level rise over the past century has been slower than most of the last 12,000 years, and did not increase from the 19th to the 20th century nor the 20th to the 21st. Indeed, over the past two years, despite an ongoing rise in greenhouse gases, sea levels have actually fallen modestly — a change none of the climate models has predicted.
Satellite data from NASA reveals global ocean levels have dropped approximately 2 ½ millimeters during the past two years. Falling sea levels can’t be squared with the narrative rising human greenhouse gas emissions are driving warming, causing seas to rise. Natural fluctuations, however, fit the data perfectly.
And what about the (relatively) recent past. It turns out sea levels have been much higher than at present even since human civilizations arose since the end of the last ice age 18,000 to 12,000 years before present (YBP).
No Tricks Zone has compiled a list of studies examining sea levels from around the world. Those studies show sea levels have varied radically since the end of the last ice age, often being several feet higher than at present. Studies show historic sea levels at locations around the globe have been much higher in recent history than now:
- The Antarctic Peninsula (as much as 15.5 meters higher than at present between 7,000 and 8,000 YBP)
- Argentina (2 to 5 meters higher between 5,300 and 7,000 YBP)
- Bangladesh (4.5 to 5 meters higher 6,000 YBP)
- Brazil (4 meters higher 5,000 YBP)
- China (2 to 4 meters higher 4,000 to 6,000 YBP)
- Denmark (2.2 meters higher 4,000 to 5,000 YBP)
- South Africa (3.5 meters higher 4,650 YBP)
- Sumatra (2 to 6 meters higher 3,000 to 5,000 YBP)
- Thailand-Malaysia (4 to 5 meters higher 6,000 YBP), and Vancouver (1 to 3 meters higher 3,000 to 6,000 YBP).
From New Zealand to Japan, from Uruguay to Kuwait to the Arctic, dozens of studies indicate sea levels were higher for long periods since the end of the last full ice age than they have been since humans began emitting substantial amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. There is little reason to believe the present rate of sea level rise is due to anything other than natural cycles.
When it comes to sea levels, nature still dominates any effect humans have on the climate.