Sea level still increasing.

Sea level is rising, as these results for Church and White (2006) show:

sealevelSeparation between the lines is for graphing purposes only, but the increases show that sea levels rose about 200 mm, or 20 cm, or about 8 inches, over the last 120 years.  There is no indication of a slowdown.

Below, in one of my responses to a comment, I mention and provide a link to the pdf of a poster by Brian Beckley and collaborators. He gave me permission to post his images, and here I show one of quite current sea levels. Even annual variations can be seen. He cautions that these measures are difficult.

beckleyaIt doesn’t look to me that sea levels are showing a recent decline indicative of global cooling. Something happened between 1998-2000, and it would appear a similar thing might be going on over the last couple years.

Here’s a plot that removes several sources of cyclic variation, also demonstrating sea level rise.


Easterling and Wehner (2009) discuss making conclusions about the long-term climate based on such short-term variations.


Church, J. A., and N. J. White (2006), A 20th century acceleration in global sea-level rise, Geophys. Res. Lett., 33, L01602, doi:10.1029/2005GL024826.

Beckley etal. 2007. A reassessment of global and regional mean sea level trends from TOPEX and Jason-1 altimetry based on revised reference frame and orbits. Geophys. Res. Lett., 34, L14608

Easterling, D.R., and  M.F. Wehner. Is the climate warming or cooling? Geophys. Res. Lett., 2009; 36: L08706

11 Responses to “Sea level still increasing.”

  1. kim says:

    The slowdown in the rise of sea level is in the last three years, SINCE the publishing of your graph. This slowdown is consistent with the onset around 2005 of global cooling, and is VERY consistent with the documented cooling of the ocean since 2005.

  2. Will says:

    Please provide the primary reference to back up your assertions concerning global cooling and reduced rates of sea level rise. I will gratefully post the relevant plots/tables. Until then, I have no basis to accept your assertions.

    Will Wilson

  3. kim says:

    See the atmospheric temperature series from UAH, RSS, HadCru, and Josh Willis’s oceanic temperature series from the Argos bouys. All show cooling from around 2005. The Sea Level data is from the Jason/TOPEX satellites on a Colorado University graph.

    [C]limate alarmism have now transcended arguing whether or not the globe is cooling. The alarmists now want to argue that the trend is short term. Well, with the Pacific Decadal Oscillation and the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation recently flipped to their cooling phases we can expect at least two decades of cooling. If the sun gets into the act with another Grand Minimum, we may cool for a century. CO2′s role in climate, and hence man’s role, has been exaggerated.

    If you really want to understand man’s effect on climate see Roger Pielke Sr’s blog for the regional microclimate changes caused predominately by land use changes.

  4. Will says:

    Thank you for the lead on Jason/TOPEX measurements, despite the lack of a specific citation. I am posting new plots shortly. [The newest data isn't published yet, but I found a pdf of a poster presentation, available 4/252009 at One curve shows a downturn since 2007, similar to a brief downturn from 1998-2000, and this recent downturn/fluctuation might be the source of this "global cooling" assertion. It is not persuasive as a global trend.]

    In the meantime, this general ocean cooling concern was fully addressed by Andrew Revkin, with an extensive quote by Josh Willis, here:

    Soon I will also post data on urban heat islands, which you allude to, but UHI phenomena does not account for climate change phenomena.

  5. kim says:

    It’s nice of you to post graphs which make my point; thanks. I do not allude to the UHI; Pielke Pere’s advocacy of anthropogenic microclimate change is a good deal more sophisticated than that. [...]

  6. Will says:

    I did not post graphs that make your “point”; I found data presented at a conference that might underlie the unsubstantiated assertion that we have entered a period of decreasing sea levels. You referred to UHI through your mention of regional changes through land use, and your reference to Pielke, who greatly emphasizes additional anthropogenic effects.

    I moderate these comments to keep to factual statements, and deleted some of your remarks, which were unsubstantiated assertions. I also deleted an additional reply you made that had no factual content.

  7. Dear Will,

    Please keep up the good work.

    [....] There are more than 1,000 articles related to the various aspects of climate change posted on my blog — just click on the label “sea level rise” or use the search field in the upper left corner.

    The “A Few Things Ill Considered” blog posts a weekly collection (hundreds of articles, it seems) on all aspects of this problem.

  8. GL Lee says:

    So where’s the “new’ water coming from? Melting icecaps? Well, that couldn’t be it because it’s a fact that the caps are bigger/thicker than ever. SO… is it from the slow expansion of the globe? If you don’t buy into the Pangaea theory, which I do not, then it’s possible that water is still leaking into the oceans the same way the oceans were formed when the globe expanded and created the space between the continents.

    Since global warming has been proven untrue, maybe the scientific community should work off my theory.

  9. Will says:

    Water expands as it warms, and much of the sea rise is due to global warming.

    Beckley etal 2007 cite numbers from glacial loss in the order of 0.3-0.4 mm/yr; that also contributes to sea rise.
    “Recent glacial ice mass loss determined from the
    GRACE mission for Greenland (0.43 ± 0.04 mm/yr,
    updated from Luthcke et al. [2006b]) and Antarctica
    (0.39 ± 0.20 mm/yr [Velicogna and Wahr, 2006]) and
    losses from mountain glaciers such as Alaska (0.32 ±
    0.06 mm/yr [Tamisiea et al., 2005])”

    Thanks for your comments, and I’d appreciate journal citations backing up your assertion that “global warming has been proven untrue”…


  10. This research causes a major problem for climate change supporters who use tree ring changes as the basis for their arguments showing that the world has got hotter. They will be disappointed to discover that all they have proven is the fact there have been a lot of changes in solar and planetary activity over the past two thousand years.

  11. STadmin says:

    Tree rings measure broad climate patterns: no water with heat — no tree growth. Lots of water with cold — no tree growth. Lots of water with warm temps but highly variable first/last frosts — high mortality. The bulk of evidence for climate change does not involve tree rings. I mention solar activity here, and denial of climate change on that basis falls flat, too:

    Why deny fact? Let’s deal with the causes and consequences.

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