Annals of Global Warming: Warm the oceans, raise the sea level

September 15, 2015

Svein T veitdal is one of those rare scientists who can explain why science observations are important in effects on people in just living their lives. A good man to listen to (you can follow his Twitter account: @tveitdal).

Recently he sent this notice:

Critics of the science of climate change and the work to slow or halt warming don’t like charts like that. Sea level is something measured by humans, worldwide, for a long time. That’s real data.

And it’s scary.

T veitdal’s Tweet was just a small part of a very large graphic from NASA, explaining the observations that tell us sea levels rise, how the observations are made, and what it means to you and me.

NASA infographic on sea level rise

NASA infographic on sea level rise: We know seas are rising and we know why. The urgent questions are by how much and how quickly. Available to download, this infographic covers the science behind sea level rise, who’s affected, how much melting ice is contributing, and what NASA is doing to help.

Yeah. “Your planet is changing. We’re on it.”

As Ban-ki Moon said the other day, there is no Planet B. We have only one Earth.

General science teachers, geology teachers, physics and chemistry teachers, history, geography and human geography teachers should see if someone at your school has a plotter and can print this thing out for you, poster size.

Annals of Global Warming: Kiss goodbye the beaches of the Chesapeake Bay

May 5, 2010

Endangered beaches in Chesapeake Bay - map from Jim Titus, EPA

Endangered beaches in Chesapeake Bay - map from Jim Titus, EPA, via Wired

At Mother Jones Magazine’s website, “Buh-bye, East Coast Beaches”:

Over the past decade, [Jim] Titus and a team of contractors combined reams of data to construct a remarkably detailed model of how sea-level rise will impact the eastern seaboard. It was the largest such study ever undertaken, and its findings were alarming: Over the next 90 years, 1,000 square miles of inhabited land on the East Coast could be flooded, and most of the wetlands between Massachusetts and Florida could be lost. The favorably peer-reviewed study was scheduled for publication in early 2008 as part of a Bush Administration report on sea-level rise, but it never saw the light of day—an omission criticized by the EPA’s own scientific advisory committee. Titus has urged the more science-friendly Obama administration to publish his work, but so far, it hasn’t—and won’t say why.

So Titus recently launched a personal website,, to publish his work. “I decided to do my best to prevent the taxpayer investment from being wasted,” he says. The site includes “When the North Pole Melts,” a prescient holiday ditty recorded by his musical alter ego, Captain Sea Level, in the late ’80s.

Tip of the old scrub brush to Climate Desk.

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A carrot for a nose: Healing newtism among climate contrarians

March 18, 2010

Peter Sinclair takes some claims from climate denialists too seriously.  I hope.

On the other hand, he thoroughly shreds some of the more hoary claims of the denialists.  Plus he includes clips of everybody’s favorite movie, Monty Python and the Holy Grail.  Give it a watch, “Flogging the Scientists”:

Gee.  Here in Texas we could use a Peter Sinclair film on history, economics and other social studies.  Quick!

Tip of the old scrub brush to Tim Lambert at Deltoid.

Astounding manipulation of data — from the climate denialists

January 26, 2010

Especially since they purloined the e-mails from the Hadley Climate Research Unit (CRU), climate change denialists get bolder and bolder about making wilder and wilder statements of disinformation.

For example, our old friend Anthony Watts now makes criminal charges in his headlines, that scientists altered data to reflect the opposite of what their research found and then lied about it — but read the story, about Himalayan glaciers.  Watts quotes a story with a bad headline from The Daily Mail, in which a scientist tells how important scientisits consider the situation in the Himalayas, with glacier decline. There is no confession of any wrongdowing, but Watt’s headlines it “Scientist admits IPCC usied fake data to influence policy makers.”  There’s no confession.  Were it so wildly inaccurate, wouldn’t Watts post the science that rebuts the IPCC claim?

Anyway, Dale Husband takes a harder look at some of the denialist claims.  Nils-Axel Morner claims that, contrary to all measures and the actual submersion of islands, sea level rises do not occur.  Morner testified to that point to the British government in 2005, according to Dale Husband.

Can you detect the “trick” Morner used to deny sea level rise in his graph?

Morner's "data trick" to show no sea level rise, 2005

Morner's "data trick" to show no sea level rise, 2005

Morner’s work is the basis of Anthony Watts’ and Christopher Monckton’s claims that the Maldives are not sinking, and probably the “science” basis for almost all claims that the oceans do not rise.  You gotta follow the footnotes.

The intellectual execution, drawing and quartering of Morner’s claims is worth a read, at Dale Husband’s Intellectual Rants.

Good heavens.  Is Morner really the intellectual basis of this part of the denialists’ denial?  This isn’t an area I’ve followed closely.  My experience is that if Monckton cites him, he’s probably wrong.  But Morner is the major author on sea levels in the denialist compilation of what they claim is not crank science.

Maybe the denialists should just take up yoga.  If you stand on your head to look at the charts, they all look different, and the charts showing the temperature rising aren’t quite so scary.

Maybe estimates of sea level increases are low; maybe climate change damage will be greater than expected

June 20, 2009

Eternal Hope at Daily Kos wonders what happens if the conservative estimates of sea level rise — the ones you usually see cited in the press — turn out to be way too conservative.  What happens if sea levels rise about double what some are estimating now?

If the severity and frequency of storms does not increase much, we may be able to accommodate the changes over time (though remember, some say we can do it easily).

How willing are the skeptics and denialists to tell cities and insurance actuaries that the fears of ocean-level increases are piffles?

Speaking of insurance:  Texas has been hammered over the past 20 years by unseasonal and much more-severe-than-usual thunderstorms, ice storms, straightline winds, tornadoes and hurricanes.  Home insurance rates skyrocketed.  State regulators argue with insurance companies about whether rate increases are justified.  Insurance companies cite claims for problems that did not exist earlier, and which may be blamed on climate change.  (How much excess mold will occur due to warming?)

Sometimes the arguments erupt into lawsuits and regulatory action.  One such argument drags on now, with up to a $1 billion in overcharges at stake.  How much of the fight from the insurance companies comes from their fears of the effects of global warming?

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