Saturday, May 14, 2011

If the Facts Don't Fit...

...Doctor 'em
Faced with the embarrassing fact that sea level is not rising nearly as much as has been predicted, the University of Colorado’s NASA-funded Sea Level Research Group has announced it will begin adding a nonexistent 0.3 millimeters per year to its Global Mean Sea Level Time Series. As a result, alarmists will be able to present sea level charts asserting an accelerating rise in sea level that is not occurring in the real world.

Human civilization readily adapted to the seven inches of sea level rise that occurred during the twentieth century. Alarmists, however, claim global warming will cause sea level to rise much more rapidly during the present century. United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) computer models project approximately 15 inches of sea level rise during the 21st century. That’s more than double the sea level rise that occurred during the twentieth century. A more “mainstream” prediction among alarmists is 3 feet of sea level rise this century. Some alarmists have even projected 20 feet of global sea level rise this century.

Satellite measurements, however, show global sea level rose merely 0.83 inches during the first decade of the 21st century (a pace of just 8 inches for the entire century), and has barely risen at all since 2006. This puts alarmists in the embarrassing position of defending predictions that are not coming true in the real world.

The University of Colorado Sea Level Research Group is coming to their rescue. The NASA-funded group claims glacial melt is removing weight that had been pressing down on land masses, which in turn is causing land mass to rise. This welcome news mitigates sea-level rise from melting glacial ice, meaning sea level will rise less than previously thought. However, it is very inconvenient for alarmist sea level predictions. Therefore, instead of reporting the amount by which sea level is rising in the real world, the Sea Level Research Group has begun adding 0.3 millimeters per year of fictitious sea level rise to “compensate” for rising land mass.
Isostatic sea level change has been known and understood a long time, at least since I was an undergrad back in the neoneolithic.  When ice accumulates on land, the land sinks; when the ice melts, the land rebounds upward. It's been happening since the end of the ice age 14,000 years or so ago (in fact, the land is probably alway rising or falling due to isostatic effect, since they tend to be slow compared to the formation or melting of the ice.  Moreover, it tends to be a local phenomenon.  The ice presses the area under it down; around the ice, the land rises, just like silly putty would rise around a finger pressed into it.  But a whole lot slower.

How they justify this "adjustment" of the data ongoing on a global basis due to this local effect, and without going backwards, and changing the past history of sea level rise to match is just unbelievable.  It doesn't even seem like much of a correction until you consider:
While this is not monumental in and of itself, it will allow alarmists to paint a dramatically different picture of sea level rise than is occurring in the real world. For example, the current pace of 8 inches of sea level rise for the present century is essentially no different than the 7 inches of sea level rise that occurred last century. However, with an artificially enhanced 9.2 inches of sea level rise, alarmists can claim sea level is rising 31 percent faster than it did last century.
 It wouldn't sound nearly as good if the rate changed from 8 to 9...

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