Monthly Archives: February 2022

Sea Level Rise: 30-year forecasts from NOAA

NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) has caused quite a stir with their latest report about sea level rise. The statement attracting the most attention is:

Sea level along the U.S. coastline is projected to rise, on average, 10 – 12 inches (0.25 – 0.30 meters) in the next 30 years (2020 – 2050), which will be as much as the rise measured over the last 100 years (1920 – 2020).

The one getting far less attention than it should, is:

Sea level rise will vary regionally along U.S. coasts because of changes in both land and ocean height.

Unlike most of the critics of the report (especially the loudest ones), I actually took the time to read it.

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Sea Level Denial

Back in 2010, the North Carolina’s Coastal Resource Commission published the North Carolina Sea Level Rise Assessment Report. Dave Burton of “NC-20” (a trade group for business interests in the coastal counties of NC) ridiculed their results, claiming that the only sensible way to forecast future sea level rise was to fit a straight line to the data from the past, and extrapolate that into the future.

Back in 2016, Florida’s Climate Science Advisory Panel (CSAP) produced a Recommended Projection of Sea Level Rise in the Tampa Bay Region. Willis Eschenbach ridiculed their results that sea level might rise faster than it has in the historical record, saying

“Finally, look at the St. Petersburg sea level dataset, or any Florida sea level dataset. None of them show any significant acceleration, despite covering the period of recent warming. Warming but no acceleration of sea level rise … oops.”

NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), in their latest report, tell us that much of the U.S. may experience a foot of sea level rise by the year 2050. Anthony Watts ridicules their results, claiming instead that sea level has been rising at a steady rate for over a century and we have no reason to believe it will do otherwise.

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If you look at the graph of COVID-19 infections in the U.S., the “omicron wave” is rather obvious:

Yes, it’s that giant spike in the infection rate at the end, the one that has hit us this year.

Let me plot that data again, as a blue line, but reduced by a factor of 100. I’ll also delay it 20 days. That way, we’ll see what 1% of daily infections looks like, when it’s delayed 20 days. But I’ll expand the y-axis so that it covers such a small region, the huge “omicron spike” this year spills over the top of the graph!

That’s because I’ll also plot, as red triangles, the mortality rate, the number of deaths per day (per million population).

And that’s the point. UNTIL NOW, the death rate from COVID-19 in the U.S. has always been higher than 1% of the infection rate delayed 20 days. UNTIL NOW.

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