New adjustments to early satellite data confirm accelerating sea level rise

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Well la-de-da! Surprise, surprise! New adjustments made by climate scientists to early satellite sea level data confirm an accelerating sea level rise.

The numbers didn’t add up. Even as Earth grew warmer and glaciers and ice sheets thawed, decades of satellite data seemed to show that the rate of sea-level rise was holding steady — or even declining.

Now, after puzzling over this discrepancy for years, scientists have identified its source: a problem with the calibration of a sensor on the first of several satellites launched to measure the height of the sea surface using radar. Adjusting the data to remove that error suggests that sea levels are indeed rising at faster rates each year. “The rate of sea-level rise is increasing, and that increase is basically what we expected,” says Steven Nerem, a remote-sensing expert at the University of Colorado Boulder who is leading the reanalysis. He presented the as-yet-unpublished analysis on 13 July in New York City at a conference sponsored by the World Climate Research Programme and the International Oceanographic Commission, among others.

Nerem’s team calculated that the rate of sea-level rise increased from around 1.8 millimetres per year in 1993 to roughly 3.9 millimetres per year today as a result of global warming. [emphasis mine]

This data correction might be true, but the highlighted phrases from this Nature article reveals two reasons why I do not trust these changes. First, there is the fact that this research and its adjustments to past data have not been published nor reviewed by anyone other than the people who agree with them. Second is the bald-faced completely impossible claim made that the sea level rise is caused by global warming. This work itself cannot possible determine what caused the sea level rise, as it is only observational, attempting to measure the rise, not study the cause. To make such a claim in this context is inappropriate.

Finally, it is this quote that makes me even more suspicious that this is garbage:

“As records get longer, questions come up,” says Gavin Schmidt, a climate scientist who heads NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City. But the recent spate of studies suggests that scientists have homed in on an answer, he says. “It’s all coming together.”

Gavin Schmidt is the king of data tampering, constantly fiddling with the old climate data controlled by his institute so that it always cools the past and warms the present, thus increasing global warming not by actual observational data but by his personal whim. As this recent peer-reviewed review of Schmidt’s tampering noted, “The conclusive findings of this research are that the three GAST data sets are not a valid representation of reality.”

The sooner these fake scientists can be removed from positions of power over the datasets climate scientists need and use, the better.



  • Cotour

    So these guys are saying that in the last 10 years or so the sea has risen (3.8mm = 1.5 inches) 15 plus inches? (30 inches over 20 years?)

    I live on the water, I find that very hard to believe. The sea level has basically been about the same in the NYC area for the last 30 years, I suppose it might have risen a bit. But not to the degree claimed from my observation. I will see a friend of mine this afternoon who owns a marina, at the waters edge every day dealing with floats, docks, ramps etc. for the last 40 years, and I will ask him his real world opinion.

  • Cotour: While I agree with you, your conversion from millimeters to inches is wrong, by a lot. 3.8mm equals less than 0.15 of an inch.

  • Cotour

    “Gavin Schmidt is the king of data tampering, ”

    Aren’t you concerned about a liable law suit for statements like this, ala Mark Stein / Micheal Mann? Or might you welcome such a situation?

  • Cotour

    Wups, forgot the decimal placement in the conversion table .

    It did seem a bit high to me :)

    Even worse from the “Global warming” alarm point of view, 0.15 inches per year is a non event, and you are saying that its probably really half of that? 80 years to gain 1 inch? (and its probably half that?)

  • LocalFluff

    Where I live the “isostatic uplift”, i.e. how much the land raises itself every year after having been depressed by the huge ice masses of the last ice age, is 7 millimeters per year. Still our stupid politicians, and all of our stupid voters, spend billions and billions on digging ditches to save ourselves from the immediate deluge of the climate doomsday.

    It was all just a fraud from the beginning to the end and all through. I proud myself of having realized this already in 2001, and voicing the fraud while working for an electric power company. You can see when someone is lying. You don’t need to delve into any of their made up “models” to figure that out. Any parent knows when their kid is lying.

    The smartest rats, like Santers, are already leaving the sinking climate ship (or the climate research ship stuck in Antarctic ice as it ironically actually were). The stupid ones stay and will drown.

  • Vladislaw

    I have relatives in North Carolina .. they say they can tell the difference in storm surges … the water comes farther inland today more so then they can ever remember in their lifetimes…

  • Des

    The unadjusted raw numbers show a rising sea level. Is this not a reason for concern?

  • Des: You should read the other comments here, which correctly point out that even at this so-called higher rate of rise, 3.8mm per year, it will take almost a century for the sea to rise a little more than a foot.

    This rate is no reason for concern, at all. It will be something that simple market forces at the coasts can handle, quite efficiently. The worst thing we could do is fundamentally restrict our freedoms and change our laws in a panic, as that will in truth limit our ability to deal with even the worst predicted sea level rise.

  • Cotour


    What should sea level be doing?

    Should sea level be static and unchanging?

  • eddie willers

    Richard Feynman believed that if the facts didn’t confirm the theory, you changed the theory.
    Climate “scientists” change the facts.

  • Mike Borgelt

    Of course the sea level is rising. What we are seeing is the residual from the major sea level rise when the last ice age ended around 10-15 thousand years ago.
    Yes there are problems in certain local areas but these generally are caused by erosion and subsidence and human activity such as dredging the wrong places without regard for the consequences. On some small third world islands even by fishing with dynamite.
    Oh yes, there ain’t a damn thing we can do about it until the ice returns. Which it will.
    The actual tide gauges show no rise. WUWT covered this story a couple of days ago.

  • Edward

    eddie willers,

    That is an excellent observation. In science, that is called “fudging” the data. It is unethical, and it is disturbing that no one has been successful in calling them on it.

    This sentence from the article is telling: “The rate of sea-level rise is increasing, and that increase is basically what we expected.

    They have clearly tampered with the data in order to make it fit their expectations. Expectation bias strikes again, but this time they had to fudge the answer, not just assume the conclusion that they wanted to have.

    Why did it take a discrepancy between their expectations and the data to get them to conclude the calibration was in error? Because they did not like the answer that the data gave, so they changed the data.

  • wayne

    Richard Feynman on Pseudoscience

  • Phil Berardelli

    Cotour and other commenters have rightly raised the factor of seabed elevation shifts as essential factors in calculating sea-level changes. The climate science community — or at least the advocates of AGW — conveniently ignore the fact that Earth’s surface comprises dynamic plates, all of which are rising and falling above the planet’s mantle due to many factors, and all of which are rising and falling relative to one another. Science can only estimate the true amount of sea-level change due to atmospheric temperature change by 1) subtracting out changes caused by plate tectonics and post-glaciation decompression, and 2) determining what percentage of temperature change is anthropogenic — something that to this day remains unproven. To state otherwise is speculation, wishful thinking or deliberate falsehood.

  • LocalFluff

    I think that an increasing sea level, if it occurs, has good effects for our economy and for all wild life. And I love wild life. Wild nude animals! Running around eating each other. Without it national Geographics would never have existed. Nor beef.

  • Edward

    Hah! Even the question as to whether coffee is good for us or bad for us is not settled science. How can they come to settled conclusions on complex worldwide phenomena when they don’t even trust the little data that they have?

    From historical surface temperature measurements, to modern satellite data, to satellite sea level data, they keep adjusting the data that they have.

  • Heard you on John Bachelor WINA. Sometimes I play with my data but keep the original data. I take it NOAA is corrupting the data record. Also little attention is given to ASOS automated weather stations where software can create manipulated data. The automation parallels big upsurge of temps in 1980s. Anybody really think every month is the hottest ever?

  • Blair Hawkins: I am terrible with acronyms, and as a writer I also hate them. What does “WINA” meant? Also, what does “ASOS” stand for? I am also interested in you statement that the introduction of automated weather stations in the 1980s paralleled an increase in temperature. Most intriguing.

    Note that since the 1980s the total number of weather stations has declined significantly.

  • wayne

    I can handle one of those:

    WINA– radio station 1070 AM and 98.9 FM. Charlottesville, Virginia

  • wayne

    Had to look up ASOS…
    –either a British fashion retailer…. or in this context–
    “Automated Surface Observing Systems”

    Pivoting– after “they” manipulate all the satellite data, they will have to start changing the elevations of all the surveying benchmarks all over the Country.
    >That will be more difficult to pull off.

  • Cotour

    While we are on the subject.

    Q: Does NOAA specifically calculate continent rebound into their or anyone else’s estimation of sea level rise? The one may well counter act the effects of the other for many thousands of years, no?

    I do not recall this calculation being considered.

  • Cotour: Legitimate scientists on sea level rise have included continent rebound for decades. The trouble is that the rebound amounts are so uncertain with the tiniest change effecting the rise of sea level significantly.

  • Edward

    Blair Hawkins wrote: “I take it NOAA is corrupting the data record.

    They should be keeping records of the original “as measured” data. If they are not, then they are not following basic scientific procedures, the ones that you learned in Junior high school science class (or should have). Scientists always keep the original, unreduced, unprocessed data. Unless you are the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, and you told your colleagues that you would rather destroy the raw data than turn it over to others for verification; then you just conveniently “lose” it during an office move, because you didn’t consider it important enough to protect, or maybe because you know that it didn’t support your expectation-bias conclusions.

    Or am I being too kind to the (non)scientists who work at — and collaborate with — the CRU?

  • Cotour

    And then there is this:

    Who denies climate or a changing climate? Why did the terminology have to be changed from “Global warming” to “Climate change”? (Among the many other mutations the term has gone through) Is it the fact that the average temperature of the earth has not in fact warmed and the sea has not risen and so a new term had to be minted to better communicate the desired “Correct” political imagery to the populous?

    Don’t like the data? Then just change the data. Don’t like the terminology because it does not support the data? Then just change the terminology.

    The upside to Nye’s observation is that…………he and people like him will also be moving on in an eternal kind of way in time. Also generation X, the next generation, tends to be more conservative and the trend in politics as of late is more conservative.

    Just another “Social justice” / “Politically correct” warrior of the Left. This in fact is what threatens us all IMO.

  • captjeff

    “The new study does NOT revise recent sea level rise upward, as is suggested by the Nature headline quoted above.” according to Roy Spenser. See site for full explanation on how Nature fake newsed it.

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