The National Academy of Sciences Forecasts Sea Level Rise of 22 mm/yr…

MAY 20, 2010
Scientists’ Report Reasserts Man’s Role in Climate Change   By GAUTAM NAIK
The National Academy of Sciences, a group of elite American researchers that advises the U.S. government, on Wednesday issued an 869-page report reasserting mankind’s role in altering the climate and calling for specific policy measures to help forestall undesirable effects.The report, requested by Congress 2008, essentially supports the main findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a United Nations body whose most recent report released in 2007 was criticized for containing several errors.[…]In some areas, the study provides a more up-to-date assessment of climate change. “We carefully looked at the scientific literature of the last five years, our own [academy] research,” plus other sources, said Pamela Matson, dean of Stanford University’s school of earth sciences, who helped compile the report.  

Nonetheless, the academy acknowledged that there is significant uncertainty when attempting longer-term predictions about climate change.  

For example, the 2007 IPCC report said sea levels could rise by between 0.6 and 1.9 feet by 2100, but later studies suggested that forecast was too conservative. The academy’s report incorporates the newer research and concludes that sea levels could rise by as much as 6.5 feet in that period.  

[…]  

Wall Street Journal

No actual new research… Just a review of what’s been published in the last five years. No critical analyses of those publications… And… No doubt… Like the IPCC… Any counter-paradigm publications were dismissed, ignored or not even acknowledged to exist.  

I haven’t tried to locate the actual report yet. This just appeared in the paper today. But let’s look at the one specific item cited in the article…  

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

   

 
 

For example, the 2007 IPCC report said sea levels could rise by between 0.6 and 1.9 feet by 2100, but later studies suggested that forecast was too conservative. The academy’s report incorporates the newer research and concludes that sea levels could rise by as much as 6.5 feet in that period.  

   

Sea level rose at a faster rate from 1993-2003 than it has since 2003…  

  

A projection of the measured sea level rise from 1700 to 2009 gives us about 300 mm of sea level rise from 2007-2100. That’s 11.8 inches. Less than 1 foot. A far cry from 6.5 feet. There is no evidence that the maximum possible sea level rise could be greater than the IPCC’s low-end projection. None. Zero. Zip. Zilch. Nada.  

  

6.5 ft is 1981 mm.  

Sea level would have to rise at a rate of 22 mm/yr from now until 2100 in order to achieve a 6.5 ft rise by 2100.  

Here are the top ten decades of sea level rise (mm/yr) since 1700…  

  1. 1804-1813   12.75
  2. 1803-1812   10.67
  3. 1728-1737   10.30
  4. 1789-1798     8.38
  5. 1842-1851     7.87
  6. 1858-1867     7.82
  7. 1788-1797     7.72
  8. 1861-1870      7.66
  9. 1808-1817     7.58
  10. 1785-1794     7.18

None of those 10-yr periods has come anywhere close to 22 mm/yr… And all of those periods occurred long before man started pumping CO2 into the atmosphere.  

Here are the top ten decades (mm/yr) from 1950-2002…  

  1. 1989-1998    4.66
  2. 1990-1999    3.95
  3. 1991-2000    3.86
  4. 1956-1965    3.79
  5. 1986-1995    3.78
  6. 1974-1983    3.71
  7. 1952-1961    3.65
  8. 1993-2002    3.63
  9. 1988-1997    3.44
  10. 1975-1984    3.30

Sea level data from 1700-2002 sourced from:  

“Recent global sea level acceleration started %over 200 years ago?”,
Jevrejeva, S., J. C. Moore, A. Grinsted, and P. L. Woodworth (2008),
Geophys. Res. Lett., 35, L08715, doi:10.1029/2008GL033611.  

LINK  

Satellite altimetry data from 1993-2010 show that sea level rise has decelerated to less than 3 mm/yr.  

Sea level has never risen more than 12.75 mm/yr on a decadal scale since 1700.  

Sea level hasn’t risen by more than 4.66 mm/yr on a decadal scale since 1950.  

Yet the National Academy of Sciences can predict a sea level rise of 22 mm/yr over nine (9) straight decades (starting today) and keep a straight face.  

These people will destroy the credibility of science… If they already haven’t.  

The full report can be purchased from the National Academy of Sciences ($67 for the paperback or $44 for a pdf download).  

This freaking report was commissioned by Congress and paid for with our tax dollars.  

Why in the Hell do we have to buy it if we want to read it?  

A four-page summary is available free of charge. It’s nothing but a rehashing of old IPCC talking points.  

Here’s a list of the “authors”…  

Panel Membership: Pamela A. Matson (Chair), Stanford University; Thomas Dietz (Vice Chair), Michigan State University, East Lansing; Waleed Abdalati, University of Colorado at Boulder; Antonio J. Busalacchi, Jr., University of Maryland, College Park; Ken Caldeira, Carnegie Institution of Washington, Stanford, California; Robert W. Corell, H. John Heinz III Center for Science, Economics and the Environment; Ruth S. Defries, Columbia University; Inez Y. Fung, University of California, Berkeley; Steven Gaines, University of California, Santa Barbara; George M. Hornberger, Vanderbilt University; Maria Carmen Lemos, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; Susanne C. Moser, Susanne Moser Research & Consulting; Richard H. Moss, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory; Edward A. Parson, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; A. R. Ravishankara, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; Raymond W. Schmitt, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution; B. L. Turner, II, Arizona State University; Warren M. Washington, National Center for Atmospheric Research; John P. Weyant, Stanford University; David A. Whelan, The Boeing Company; Ian Kraucunas (Study Director), National Research Council.  

Chaired and vice chaired by people who are not climate scientists…  

Pamela A. Matson: A biologist. The “chair” of the panel is not a climate scientist.  

Thomas Dietz: Professor of Sociology. The “vice chair” is not even a scientist.  

Steven Gaines: A biologist.  

George M. Hornberger: Professor of civil engineering.  

Maria Carmen Lemos: Professor of Economics.  

Richard H. Moss: Ph.D. from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University.  

Edward A. Parson: Law school professor.  

A. R. Ravishankara, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration: A chemist.  

John P. Weyant: Professor of Management Science and Engineering.  

David A. Whelan: An aerospace engineer.  

Ian Kraucunas: A gov’t bureaucrat.  

The rest of the panel had at least some relevant climate science qualifications.  

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3 Responses to “The National Academy of Sciences Forecasts Sea Level Rise of 22 mm/yr…”

  1. Gnojek Says:

    There is no evidence that the maximum possible sea level rise could be greater than the IPCC’s low-end projection. None. Zero. Zip. Zilch. Nada.

    The IPCC’s low end projection is 0.6 feet, right? 7.2 inches.

    11.8 inches > 7.2 inches last time I checked.

    • David Middleton Says:

      I should have written, “There is no evidence that the maximum possible sea level rise could be significantly greater than the IPCC’s low-end projection. None. Zero. Zip. Zilch. Nada.”

      The IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report (2007) projected a sea level rise of 190 mm (7.5 in) to 590 mm (23.2 in) by the end of this century. The observational data support a sea level rise of no more than 300 mm (11.8 in). For sea level to rise by 590 mm by the end of the century, it would have to rise by an average of 6.6 mm/yr for 90 years. 190 mm would require 2.1 mm/yr. 300 mm would require 3.3 mm/yr.

      The point of the blog post was the NAS claim that the IPCC’s high-end projection was too low. The NAS paper claims that sea level could rise 1980 mm by the end of the century (22 mm/yr). Sea level didn’t rise 22 mm/yr during the last deglaciation. From 15,000 years ago until 10,000 years ago, sea level rose at an average rate of 13.6 mm/yr.

      IPCC low-end projection: 2.1 mm/yr
      Maximum rate supported by the data: 3.3 mm/yr
      IPCC high-end projection: 6.6 mm/yr (twice the maximum rate supported by any data)
      NAS projection: 22 mm/yr (almost seven times the maximum rate supported by any data and almost twice the rate of the last deglaciation)

  2. David Middleton Says:

    @KR,

    The ice melt has supposedly accelerated since 2003 (Velicogna, 2009).  The rate of sea level rise decelerated since 2003.

    GRACE (Gravity Recovery And Climate Experiment) consists of two satellites, launched in 2002, that measure subtle variations in Earth’s gravitational field.   GRACE is the ideal tool for measuring changes in Earth’s polar ice caps.

    One of the most prolific authors on GRACE has been Dr. Isabella Velicogna, UC Irvine.  Back in 2009 Dr. Velicogna published this paper in GRL:

    Increasing rates of ice mass loss from the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets revealed by GRACE

    Dr. Velicogna concluded that the ice mass-loss was “accelerating with time.”  She found that “in Antarctica the mass loss increased from 104 Gt/yr in 2002–2006 to 246 Gt/yr in 2006–2009.”

    Since the launch of GRACE, Dr. Velicogna has participated in several papers on GRACE and ice mass loss estimates for Antarctic and Greenland.  Each paper has presented a more dire situation than the previous one, yet GRACE has not actually measured a significant ice mass loss in Antarctica.  The actual GRACE measurements  indicate a net mass gain (44 ±20 Gt/yr) from October 2003 through February 2007.

    Riva2007.png

    Furthermore, the GIA-adjusted Total Mass Differences (TMD) from the TU Delft publication are significantly lower than those of Velicogna 2009.

    GIA is the abbreviation for “glacial isostatic adjustment,” sometimes referred to as post-glacial rebound (PGR).  The areas of the Earth’s crust that were covered by thick ice sheets during the last glacial maximum were depressed by the ice mass.  As the ice sheets have retreated over the last 15-20,000 years, the crust has rebounded (risen) in those areas.  So, the GRACE measurements have to be adjusted for GIA.   The problem is that no one really knows what the GIA rate actually is.  This is particularly true for Antarctica.

    Riva et al., 2007 concluded that the ice mass-loss rate in Antarctica from 2002-2007 could have been anywhere from zero-point-zero Gt/yr up to 120 Gt/yr.  Dr. Riva recently co-authored a paper in GRL (Thomas et al., 2011) which concluded that GPS observations suggest “that modeled or empirical GIA uplift signals are often over-estimated” and that “the spatial pattern of secular ice mass change derived from Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) data and GIA models may be unreliable, and that several recent secular Antarctic ice mass loss estimates are systematically biased, mainly too high.”  (I don’t have access to the full text of Thomas et al., 2011, just the abstract).

    So, there’s no evidence that the Antarctic ice sheets have experienced any significant ice mass-loss since GRACE has been flying.  The GIA has generally been as large or larger than the asserted ice mass-loss.

    Now, regarding a quadratic function for sea level rise, yes it did follow a quadratic function as it accelerated from the Little Ice Age hiatus to its modern rate.

    A projection of the measured sea level rise from 1700 to 2009 gives us about 300 mm of sea level rise from 2007-2100. That’s 11.8 inches. Less than 1 foot.

    See…

    “Recent global sea level acceleration started over 200 years ago”
    Jevrejeva, S., J. C. Moore, A. Grinsted, and P. L. Woodworth (2008),
    Geophys. Res. Lett., 35, L08715, doi:10.1029/2008GL033611.  

    LINK  

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