Daily, we are bombarded with ridiculous headlines from news organizations like the Washington Post, New York Times, and The Guardian. about potential climate catastrophes. Aside from fake stories about melting sea ice in the Arctic, to Greenland’s melting ice sheet, and temperature rise scares, sea level
rise lies is probably one of my biggest “pet peeves” in poorly conducted climate science.
Some of these headlines project anywhere from 15 to 205 feet (Figure 1) of sea level rise by 2100 or earlier, which is totally out of proportion of what sea levels can rise in that span of time.
To juice up their stories even more, they insert photoshopped images (Figure 2) of what coastal cities would look like if their sea level rise scare came true.
However, these stories are nothing new. On September 26, 1988, The Canberra Times reported that the Maldives would be underwater within 30 years thereafter (Figure 3).
So, the Maldives have been underwater since September 26, 2018, right? NO! Not even close! (See Figure 5).
Contrary to their forecasts, sea level around the Maldives is rising at a rate of about 3.52 millimeters (0.14 inches) per year (Figure 6) with a margin of error of +/-0.89 millimeters per year. In order for the land surface of the Maldives to be submerged under ocean water, in other words, to become Atlantis, then sea levels would have to rise about 230 feet (2,760 inches). This means that their forecast was off by only 2,756 inches.
Globally, sea levels have risen eight inches over the past 100 years, which translates to a rate of +/-0.08 inches per year. In other words, that is eight one hundredth’s of an inch per year.
If sea levels were to rise at an even faster rate, such as by a factor of ten or more, it would still be within the natural boundary of where sea levels can rise.
Sea levels have risen by approximately 400 feet since the beginning of the last glacial period (Figure 7), 20,000 years ago (the end of the last glacial was around 11,500 years ago)
Between 15,000 and 8,000 years ago was the time frame in which the sea levels rose the most and the fastest; they rose at a rate of 50 feet per 1,000 years, 6 inches per 100 years, which is around 0.6 inches annually. The current rate, as mentioned before is 0.08 inches per year and eight inches per century.
If we do the calculations, the rate of sea level rise has dropped by nearly 90% since 8,000 years ago.
Sea level rise is not accelerating, it is decelerating.
Heller, Tony. “Distinguishing Between Natural And Man-Made Sea Level Rise.” The Deplorable Climate Science Blog, WordPress, 1 Jan. 2018, realclimatescience.com/2018/01/distinguishing-between-natural-and-man-made-sea-level-rise-2/.
Heller, Tony. “Four Metres Sea Level Rise In The Next Twelve Years.” The Deplorable Climate Science Blog, WordPress, 1 Nov. 2018, realclimatescience.com/2018/11/four-metres-sea-level-rise-in-the-next-twelve-years/.
“Live Cam Kuredu Island Resort.” SkylineWebcams, 1 Jan. 5274, http://www.skylinewebcams.com/en/webcam/maldives/lhaviyani-atoll/kurendhoo/kuredu-island.html.
“NOAA Tides & Currents.” NOAA/CO-OPS ODIN – NOAA Tides & Currents, NOAA, tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/sltrends_station.shtml?id=454-002.
Raso, Beatrice. “Cambiamenti Climatici, Spaventose Proiezioni Sull’aumento Del Livello Globale Dei Mari: 15 Metri in Più Entro Il 2300 Se Le Emissioni Di Gas Serra Rimangono Elevate.” Meteo Web, 9 Oct. 2018, http://www.meteoweb.eu/2018/10/cambiamenti-climatici-aumento-mari/1162201/.
Rohde, Robert A. “Post-Glacial Sea Level Change.” Wikimedia Commons, Wikipedia, commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Post-Glacial_Sea_Level.png.
Rush, Elizabeth. “Rising Seas: ‘Florida Is about to Be Wiped off the Map’.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 26 June 2018, http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jun/26/rising-seas-florida-climate-change-elizabeth-rush.
“Threat to Islands – The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 – 1995) – 26 Sep 1988.” Trove, The Canberra Times, 26 Sept. 1988, trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/102074798.