Timescales for detecting a significant acceleration in sea level rise ?

By steven d keeler | May 09, 2014


.... accelerations might first be recognized in a statistically significant manner (if not apparent already) in sea level records that we have artificially extended to 2100. We find that the most important approach to earliest possible detection of a significant sea level acceleration lies in improved understanding (and subsequent removal) of interannual to multidecadal variability in sea level records.


Junk Science,  like this example ,  CAN be made up !


Haigh, et al


Do NOT be blinded to the subtlety of this paper’s purpose.  Here is a synopsis :

It has been a CAGW article of faith ( The Religion of the Edmonds eco loons ) that SLR is accelerating. (Hansen, 5 meters by 2100, etc.) Alas, NOAA in the satellite era says it is not, rather constant at 2.8mm/ yr. Worse, the satellite data can be interpreted as saying it has been decelerating since 2003-2006 (pick your own cherries) to 2.4mm/ yr. Still worse, the closure problem (SLR must equal GIA plus melt plus thermosteric volume expansion) says probably less than 2.4. It was supposed to be about 3.1 and accelerating. This has occasioned two ridiculous peer reviewed explanations. First, that the heavy rains over Australia and elsewhere in 2011 caised that years indisputable dip. The water had not returned to the sea. Trenberth, of course ! The only problem is, the recorded rainfall (whether or not it returned to the sea) equals less than half of the dipwater volume. The other explanation is that an El Nina biased period dumped extra rain on Australia, the Amazon, and the Congo since 2006 that has not yet returned to the sea. (Climate Etc discussed this recently). Also falsifiable easily. Australia has been in net drought, and the Amazon and Congo basins cannot retain extra rainfall by their fundamental hydrology.

So the only option left other than to admit the pause has slowed melt in and thermostatic rise, is to say, well, we just cannot be sure until 2030. Move the goalposts. A climb down of sorts. Does paint AR4 into a falsified corner. Does make the previous papers look even more stupid than they already were.

IMHO, the key point is: “The error bars are so large we cannot establish an acceleration trend. ”
The second point is: “If there is an acceleration trend, it will take 10 years to overwhelm the error bars.”
The final point is – “We think there is an acceleration trend in there somewhere.” which, of course, is required to get published in this environment.

Takeaways ?

1. We cannot detect accelerating sea level rise.
2. If sea level rise is accelerating, it will take another ten year for it to be detectable.

Oh, and here’s their 10 tide gauges :

Den Heider
New York
Key West
San Diego

... and without exception  …. every one of them is showing a faster subsidence rate than sea level rise.  Do the research for yourself !

And while your doing that :  Forget the satellite measurements ??  Is it physically possible for the satellites at 1400 km orbits to resolve sea level down to 1 mm ?


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