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ONLY 0.8% Of Tidal Gauges Show Sea Level Rise Near IPCC’s Alarmist Predictions!

Written by Pierre Gosselin

 

A huge discrepancy exists between satellite measurements and observed coastal tide gauge readings. Source: CSIRO.

Accurately measuring the sea level with a satellite is highly complex and fraught with uncertainty. Even the slightest equipment miscalibrations can produce inaccurate results.

For sea level rise, the figures that are often cited come from namely two sources: satellite measurement, which goes back 25 years and therefore doesn’t properly account for multidecadal variations, and tidal gauges placed along the coastlines where people actually live.

Satellite data may be overstating sea level rise

The assumed current global sea level rise from the satellite data TOPEX/Poseidon spacecraft and its successors, which began collecting data in late 1992, was reported by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) to be 2.8 inches(seven centimeters).

Some experts recently warned, however — after having made adjustments to the satellite measurements — that sea level rise has accelerated and thus could increase some 75 centimeters over the century, which would be in line with projections made by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 2013.

Other sources say that sea level rise could be as much as 3.4 mm per year, and thus accelerating (e.g., see chart above).

Indeed, if these high-end projections were accurate, then coastal areas would be facing serious challenges. But those alarmist claims have been met critically, and at times even with derision.

There remains lots of uncertainty, and so the question today is: How much are coastal areas (where it really matters) at risk really?

Tide gauges: “most extensive, accurate and significant” datasets

One way to check what’s really going on is to examine the tide gauges along the coasts worldwide. Since the early 1800s, NOAA and its predecessor organizations have been measuring tide levels.

According to the NOAA, “This database has become one of the most extensive, accurate and significant geophysical data sets in existence.”

To do this the NOAA keeps a coastal station tide list for tracking global linear relative sea level (RSL). Manually I counted 358 stations.

A number of them stopped measurement some years ago, while others were put in operation in the 20th century. The list appears not to include the US tide gauges.

The data and charts can be looked at country-by-country here.

Less than 1% on track to meet IPCC’s 75 cm sea level rise by 2100

Examining the data to get a general idea of how the sea level is behaving at these tide stations. A number of points were observed:

1) Only three stations show an RSL rise of 7.5 mm/year or more, meaning that only three stations (0.8%) are on track to reach the IPCC’s alarmist 75 cm sea level rise projection by 2100. And if we use the more conservative 60 cm rise, only five stations (1.4%) are on track!

Only 14% show a rise equal to or greater than satellite global rate

2) Only 51 tide gauges (14%) are measuring 3.2 mm/year or more, which is approximately equivalent to about what the satellites are said to be measured globally. That figure would need to be near 50% if the satellites were true.

3) Fifty-four coastal tide gauges (15%) show that relative sea level has in fact been falling.

4) The mean relative sea level rise as to the tide gauges is about one third less than what is measured by the satellites, i.e. approx. 2.3 mm per year, or less than 10 inches per century.

This is only a rough overview. Naturally, a more detailed look recent tide gauge trends of the last two or three decades would tell us more about the accelerating sea level rise. Or maybe not: rate changes over such short time periods have more to do with natural variations.

So in general? If you’re living and working at the institutes who operate the satellites, then you might be showing concern about the figures you’re getting (it’ll help with funding, in any case).

But if you’re the average person living near the coast, then in most places there’s not much to be alarmed about. There’s a good chance the satellites are overstating sea level rise just a bit and so you can better rely on what your local tide gauge has been showing.

Read more at No Tricks Zone