Thursday, April 21, 2011

Sea Levels Don't Respond To Alarmism

In March 2011, The Gillard Government wheeled out it's Climate Change expert (Economist- not Climate Scientist) Professor Ross Garnaut to talk in support of it's newly proposed Carbon (read Carbon Dioxide) Tax. He gave an interview to The Australian newspaper where he predictably claimed: Climate Change may be worse than feared. As part of those wild, typically alarmist and breathless predictions was this:

Ross Garnaut, Julia Gillard’s climate change adviser, yesterday issued a gloomy review of the latest science on global warming, finding the “awful reality” is that previous research may have underestimated the impact of increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere…

While temperatures continue to rise around the midpoints of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change range of projections, he says ”the rate of sea-level rise has accelerated and is tracking above the range suggested by the IPCC”.

So according to Economist Professor Ross Garnaut the rate of sea level rises are "accelerating" if that is true then we should see a increasing up tick on the University of Colorado data from the JASON 1 and JASON 2 satellites that they use to check these rises.

Not so, claims Anthony Watts of Watts Up With That: The Latest Unsmoothed Global Sea Level Data From JASON Shows A Sharp Downtick And Slight Down Trend.

From these graphs put together it shows the recent sharp downturn in the readings.

The next shows a trend since 2002, which is clearly not an upward trend, nor an accelerating one.

So who is right and who is wrong? Going to the Journal of Coastal Research online journal we find this abstract:

Without sea-level acceleration, the 20th-century sea-level trend of 1.7 mm/y would produce a rise of only approximately 0.15 m from 2010 to 2100; therefore, sea-level acceleration is a critical component of projected sea-level rise. To determine this acceleration, we analyze monthly-averaged records for 57 U.S. tide gauges in the Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level (PSMSL) data base that have lengths of 60–156 years. Least-squares quadratic analysis of each of the 57 records are performed to quantify accelerations, and 25 gauge records having data spanning from 1930 to 2010 are analyzed. In both cases we obtain small average sea-level decelerations. To compare these results with worldwide data, we extend the analysis of Douglas (1992) by an additional 25 years and analyze revised data of Church and White (2006) from 1930 to 2007 and also obtain small sea-level decelerations similar to those we obtain from U.S. gauge records.

The full PDF of the above Abstract can be seen here.

If this is the quality of advice that Julia Gillard is receiving from her trusted advisors then is it any wonder she has been duped into proposing a Carbon (Dioxide) Tax only months after categorically ruling one out.

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