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30 Scientific Papers Reveal Inverse CO2 – Sea Level Signal: As CO2 Rises, Sea Level Falls

Written by Kenneth Richard

According to the IPCC (2013),  global sea levels rose by less than two-tenths of a meter (0.19 m) between 1901 and 2010.  Considering the scientific record of long-term sea level trends from locations across the globe, this small <0.2 m change in sea levels over the course of the last 110 years does not even fall outside the range of natural variability.

Sea levels have commonly risen and fallen at amplitudes much greater than two-tenths of a meter.   As Harris et al. (2015)  confirm, “relative sea-level variations of 1 m were common throughout the Holocene.”

For example, consider Bracco et al. (2014).  These scientists found that sea levels along the coasts of South America were a full 4 meters higher than they are now between 5,500 and 6,000 years ago.  Then, over the course of just a 400-year time span  (between 4,700 -4,300 years ago), sea levels dropped by a full 3 meters (to +1 meter above today’s levels), then rose by 2 meters (to +3 meters above today’s levels), and then fell to current levels after 4,300 years ago.   Here’s what these long-term sea-level oscillations look like graphed (Fig. 5):

NTZ Sea Level Highstand Uruguay Oscillation

These rapid variations in sea levels pose critical explanatory problems for advocates of the AGW (anthropogenic global warming) supposition that human CO2 emissions, and not internal Earth-system dynamics, are what drive sea level changes.  Specifically, AGW advocates presume that rising CO2 concentrations cause sea levels to rise (and lowering CO2 concentrations cause sea levels to fall).  A large volume of rapidly accumulating scientific evidence not only does not support this CO2-rise-causes-sea-level-rise supposition, it suggests that a long-term  inverse correlation could just as easily be formulated: As CO2 rises, sea levels decline.

To illustrate this, consider the Bracco et al. (2014) graph above depicting meters-per-century variations in sea levels with the corresponding CO2 concentration recorded for each period.   Notice that the highstand period (5,000 to 6,000 years ago) had lower concentrations of CO2 than the following millennia that subsequently had higher CO2 concentrations.  Also, consider that there was no significant change in CO2 levels during the 400 years of rapid sea level changes.  Finally, notice that the last 200 years of sea level changes (if there have been any) are undetectable on this scale at this location even though CO2 concentrations were rising from 280 ppm to 400 ppm during this period.

NTZ Sea Level Highstand Uruguay Oscillation copy

And this isn’t just true for the coasts of South America.  In the peer-reviewed scientific literature, a non-correlation — or inverse correlation — for CO2 and sea level (as CO2 rises, sea levels fall) has been reported by scientists for dozens of locations across the globe just in the last few years alone.  Graphs (with CO2 ppm concentrations, text, and arrows added) for a few other locations are shown below.

Prieto et al., 2016  (Argentina, Uruguay)

NTZ Sea Level Highstand UruguayArgentina CO2 copy

Dura et al., 2016  (Vancouver Island)

NTZ Sea Level Highstand Vancouver2 CO2

Kench et al., 2014  (central Pacific Ocean)

NTZ Sea Level Highstand CO2 Pacific copy

But not only is the CO2-rise-causes-sea-level-rise AGW supposition dubious, so is the entire paradigm of an alarming and catastrophic human-caused sea-level rise future.

Consider Bangladesh.   According to Rashid et al. (2013), the mean sea level was “at least 4.5 to 5 m higher” 6,000 years ago than it is today.  At that time, CO2 levels ranged close to 265 ppm, or 135 ppm lower than today’s 400 ppm.   Not only that, but for the last 1,500 years, there has been no noticeable difference in the shoreline near Bangladesh — despite the rapidly rising CO2 levels during this period.

Rashid et al., 2013  (Bangladesh)

[T]he highest RSL [relative sea level] transgression in Bangladesh at approximately 6000 cal BP, being at least 4.5 to 5 m higher than the modern m.s.l. [mean sea level]  After this phase, the relative sea level started to fall, and consequently, a freshwater peat developed at approximately 5980–5700 cal BP. The abundant mangrove pollens in the salt-marsh succession shows the regression at approximately 5500 cal BP, when it was 1–2 m higher than the modern sea level. The curve indicates that at approximately 5000 cal BP and onwards, the RSL started to fall towards its present position, and the present shoreline of Bangladesh was established at approximately 1500 cal BP and has not noticeably migrated inland since.”

It was recently pointed out that there are 4 newly published papers confirming that natural variability largely explains recent sea level fluctuations, not anthropogenic CO2 emissions.    Scientists also continue to publish papers (about 30 are compiled here) that indicate relative sea levels across the globe were often meters higher than they are now as recently as a few thousand years ago . . . when CO2 concentrations were much lower and anthropogenic CO2 emissions were non-existent.

In sum, scientists are increasingly finding that is difficult to even detect an anthropogenic signal in the noise of strong natural sea level variability spanning decades to millennia.  So at what point did it become “settled science” or “basic physics” that raising or lowering CO2 concentrations cause sea levels to rise or fall?

Prieto et al., 2016  (Argentina, Uruguay)

“Analysis of the RSL [relative sea level] database revealed that the RSL [relative sea level] rose to reach the present level at or before c. 7000 cal yr BP, with the peak of the sea-level highstand c. +4 m [above present] between c. 6000 and 5500 cal yr BP (depending on the statistical method used) or at c. 7000 cal yr BP according to the ICE-6G model prediction, gradually falling after this time to the present position … Particularly for the Río de la Plata (RDP), a Holocene RSL curve was presented by Cavallotto et al. (2004) based on 14 uncalibrated 14C ages from selected samples from the southwestern coast of the RDP (Argentina). This RSL curve was re-plotted by Gyllencreutz et al. (2010) using the same index points and qualitative approach but using the calibrated ages. It shows rising sea-levels following the Last Glacial Termination (LGT), reaching a RSL [relative sea level] maximum of +6.5 m above present at c. 6500 cal yr BP, followed by a stepped regressive trend towards the present (Fig. 2a).”

Dura et al., 2016  (Vancouver Island)

“In northern and western Sumatra, GIA models predict high rates (>5 mm/year) of RSL [relative sea level] rise from 12 to 7 ka, followed by slowing rates of rise (<1 mm/year) to an RSL [relative sea level] highstand of <1 m (northern Sumatra) and 3 m (western Sumatra) between 6 and 3 ka [6,000-3,000 years ago], and then gradual (<1 mm/ year) RSL fall until present (Fig. 7a, b).”

Sander et al., 2016  (Denmark)

Results: The data shows a period of RSL[relative sea level] highstand at c. 2.2 m above present MSL [mean sea level] between c. 5.0 and 4.0 ka BP [5,000 to 4,000 years before present] .After that, RSL drops by c. 1.3 m between c. 4.0 and 3.4 ka BP to an elevation roughly 1 m above present MSL. Since then, RSL has been falling at more or less even rates.”

Lee et al., 2016  (Southeast Australia)

“The configuration suggests surface inundation of the upper sediments by marine water during the mid-Holocene (c. 2–8 kyr BP), when sea level was 1–2 m above today’s level.”

Yokoyama et al., 2016  (Japan)

The Holocene-high-stand (HHS) inferred from oyster fossils (Saccostrea echinata and Saccostrea malaboensis) is 2.7 m [above present sea level] at ca. 3500 years ago, after which sea level gradually fell to present level.”

Long et al., 2016  (Scotland)

“RSL [relative sea level] data from Loch Eriboll and the Wick River Valley show that RSL [relative sea level] was <1 m above present for several thousand years during the mid and late Holocene before it fell to present.”

May et al., 2016  (Western Australia)

“Beach ridge evolution over a millennial time scale is also indicated by the landward rise of the sequence possibly corresponding to the mid-Holocene sea-level highstand of WA [Western Australia] of at least 1-2 m above present mean sea level.”

Haghani et al., 2016  (Caspian Sea)

Caspian Sea (CS) water level has fluctuated repeatedly with an amplitude of larger than 25m during the Holocene without any link with the eustatic sea level. …. The data from the Langarud sequence indicate that the CSL [Caspian Sea level] rose to at least −21.44m during that time (i.e. >6m higher than at present), as Langarud was probably not on the shore itself but was affected by distal brackish water flooding. This result is in line with historical findings about the CSL high-stand during the 14th and the early 15th centuries.  … This massive brackish water invasion would have caused a serious disruption to food supply to Persia.”

Chiba et al., 2016  (Japan)


“We reconstruct Holocene paleoenvironmental changes and sea levels by diatom analysis.  Average rates of sea-level rise and fall are estimated during the Holocene.  Relative sea level during Holocene highstand reached 1.9 m [higher than today] during 6400–6500 cal yr BP [calendar years before present].”

Leonard et al., 2016  (Great Barrier Reef)

Holocene sea level instability in the southern Great Barrier Reef, Australia

RSL [relative sea level] stabilised ~0.2 m above present levels by 900 yr BP. While the mechanism of the RSL instability is still uncertain, the alignment with previously reported RSL oscillations, rapid global climate changes and mid-Holocene reef “turn-off” on the GBR are discussed.”

Read the full article at  notrickszone.com