Monthly Archives: October 2019

Sea Level Acceleration Denial

Dave Burton, you still don’t understand.

You finally commented on this post, showing a graph of San Diego data and saying:

As you can see, there’ve been >112 years of continuous measurements, and still no detectable acceleration.

Not true. I detected acceleration. You don’t believe it. Then you gave us this:

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Sea Level Acceleration

Dave Burton has visited, and commented extensively on this post. He takes exception to the sea level data I used, and suggests that sea level has been rising at a steady, unchanging rate “since the late 1920s.” To quote him:


Neil, many locations have seen a little bit of acceleration “since the 1800s” — but not since the late 1920s.

Is that true? I’m skeptical.

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Global Temperature Evolution 1950 to 2018

It’s been a while since Foster & Rahmstorf (2011) took global temperature time series and removed our best estimate of the changes due to known fluctuating factors, the el NiƱo Southern Oscillation (ENSO), aerosols from volcanic eruptions, and variations in the output of the sun. After removing fluctuations of known origin, what was left over was a very steady rise in global temperature.

I’ve improved (I believe) the method by allowing for more detail in the response to ENSO. I now allow both a “prompt” (not necessarily immediate) and “more delayed” response, as well as a seasonal pattern to the ENSO response. I’ll probably expound on those details at some point, but not now. Now, let’s look at the results.

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Sea Level Rise

The streets flood even without storm, rain, wind, even on a calm sunny day. It didn’t used to happen, but now the highest spring tides of the year (around October) bring flood waters, septic systems back up, waste oozes onto streets and lawns, saltwater leaks into groundwater and spoils drinking supplies. It’s not a pretty sight, and it’s not confined to Miami and New Orleans, it’s all along the coast.

It’s an undeniable sign sea level is rising. But one wonders: how fast?


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