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Guardian Peddles Latest Sea Rise Scare

June 27, 2018

By Paul Homewood


Latest nonsense from the Grauniad:



In 1890, just over six thousand people lived in the damp lowlands of south Florida. Since then the wetlands that covered half the state have been largely drained, strip malls have replaced Seminole camps, and the population has increased a thousandfold. Over roughly the same amount of time the number of black college degree holders in the United States also increased a thousandfold, as did the speed at which we fly, the combined carbon emissions of the Middle East, and the entire population of Thailand.

About 60 of the region’s more than 6 million residents have gathered in the Cox Science Building at the University of Miami on a sunny Saturday morning in 2016 to hear Harold Wanless, or Hal, chair of the geology department, speak about sea level rise. “Only 7% of the heat being trapped by greenhouse gases is stored in the atmosphere,” Hal begins. “Do you know where the other 93% lives?”

“In the ocean,” Hal continues. “That heat is expanding the ocean, which is contributing to sea level rise, and it is also, more importantly, creating the setting for something we really don’t want to have happen: rapid melt of ice.”

A real estate developer interrupts Hal to ask: “Is someone recording this?”

“Yes.” The cameraman coughs. “Besides,” Hal adds, “I say the same damn thing at least five times a week.” Hal, who is in his early seventies and has been studying sea level rise for over 40 years, pulls at his Burt Reynolds moustache, readjusts his taupe corduroy suit, and continues. On the screen above his head clips from a documentary on climate change show glacial tongues of ice the size of Manhattan tumbling into the sea. “The big story in Greenland and Antarctica is that the warming ocean is working its way in, deep under the ice sheets, causing the ice to collapse faster than anyone predicted, which in turn will cause sea levels to rise faster than anyone predicted.”

According to Marco Rubio, the junior senator from Florida, rising sea levels are uncertain, their connection to human activity tenuous. And yet the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change expects roughly two feet of rise by century’s end. The United Nations predicts three feet. And the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration estimates an upper limit of six and a half feet.

Take the 6 million people who live in south Florida today and divide them into two groups: those who live less than six and a half feet above the current high tide line, and everybody else. The numbers slice nearly evenly. Heads or tails: call it in the air. If you live here, all you can do is hope that when you put down roots your choice was somehow prophetic.

But Hal says it doesn’t matter whether you live six feet above sea level or sixty-five, because he, like James Hansen, believes that all of these predictions are, to put it mildly, very, very low. “The rate of sea level rise is currently doubling every seven years, and if it were to continue in this manner, Ponzi scheme style, we would have 205 feet of sea level rise by 2095,” he says. “And while I don’t think we are going to get that much water by the end of the century, I do think we have to take seriously the possibility that we could have something like 15 feet by then.” 

Meanwhile back in the real world, sea levels around Florida have been rising at 2.11mm/yr, or 8 inches per century. Of this, about a quarter of the rise is due to the fact that the land has been sinking since the end of the Ice Age.





There is no acceleration, as is falsely claimed. Indeed, sea levels were rising faster than now in the middle of the 20thC.




And Miami’s coast line looks little different now than in the 1930s:



 Lummus Park, Miami Beach – The 1930s and now.

I sometimes wonder what Guardian readers have between their ears.

  1. HotScot permalink
    June 27, 2018 3:22 pm

    Guardian readers have socialism between their ears. It blocks out everything else.

  2. June 27, 2018 3:37 pm

    “Only 7% of the heat being trapped by greenhouse gases is stored in the atmosphere,” Hal begins. “Do you know where the other 93% lives? In the ocean,”

    Hal has no understanding of basic physics, so he is ideal for Grauniad readers.

    • dave permalink
      June 27, 2018 4:20 pm

      These people really have no idea of scale, or time, or what is physically possible.

    • TheVogon permalink
      June 27, 2018 8:21 pm

      Well basic physics tells us that the specific heat capacity of water is ~ 3300 times that of air per m3 at sea level.

  3. June 27, 2018 3:59 pm

    The speed we fly at has increased a thousand fold? What? The Wright flyer did about 35mph apparently. I’m unaware of any modern aircraft that whiz along at 35000 mph!!

  4. Broadlands permalink
    June 27, 2018 4:16 pm

    The father of this Hal Wanless was a highly regarded Full Professor of Geology at the University of Illinois. Dr. Harold R. Wanless. As I knew him, took his course, I would be surprised if he accepted what his son has promoted and projected without looking carefully at the historical evidence.

    • Alan Kendall permalink
      June 28, 2018 3:48 pm

      I have known Hal for nearly 40 years and although I have disagreed with him on some geological matters, upon the topic of Florida coastal evolution and sedimentation he had no peer. On the other hand, I cannot agree with his projections of future sealevel rise and, quite frankly cannot reconcile his current beliefs and pronouncements with the man I worked with and admired.

  5. Harald Martin permalink
    June 27, 2018 4:21 pm

    And now, almost 5 years after scientist discovered a volcano under the Antarctic, we finally have them coming out and telling the truth about the melting going on at the south pole. Why did they wait so long to tell the truth? Searching for more global climate change grant money probably.

  6. June 27, 2018 4:25 pm

    Miami beach property prices don’t depend on the latest Guardian fairy stories, it seems.

  7. markl permalink
    June 27, 2018 4:50 pm

    Lies, more lies, and damn lies. “In a time of deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” ~George Orwell

    • dave permalink
      June 27, 2018 6:11 pm

      That irresponsible old heat!* First It gets itself “trapped in the oceans”; and then it rushes to both Poles, as if on conveyor belts, starts undermining the ice-caps (God only knows how, since these are on land), and – pooft! – thirty million cubic kilometers of ice are to melt in a blink of an eye.

      * ‘Thermal energy,’ if you insist.

      P.S. These people are all bat-shit crazy!

      • rapscallion permalink
        June 28, 2018 7:38 am

        Dave – only one ice cap is on land. Antarctica

      • dave permalink
        June 28, 2018 10:14 am


        The Greenland Ice Cap is on land. I count that as “the ice sheet at the North Pole.” Granted, the Geographic North Pole is situated in the Arctic Ocean. The Magnetic Pole is presently on Ellesmere Island in Canada.

  8. June 27, 2018 4:57 pm

    “A lie can travel halfway around the world before the truth can get its boots on.”
    – attributed to Mark Twain, and many others

    The most depressing thing is that, in one day, this #FakeNews story already apparently has about 50,000 hits on Google:
    How is that even possible??



    Rate of sea level rise is currently doubling every seven years

    That’s a plain lie. The actual rate of SLR hasn’t changed significantly since the 1920s. The trend is linear since 1920s & plainly unaffected by CO2 & manmade global warming:

    Curbing fossil fuels to reduce SLR is superstition, not science.


    Greenland… ice melt… accelerates every year

    That’s another lie. Most years Greenland loses only ~200 Gt of ice (= 0.6 mm sea-level = 2.2 inches/century), but over the latest (2016-2017) “glaciological year” it gained ice. Ref (DMI):
    Here’s a graph from that DMI article:

    Aside: Compare the dearth of coverage of that story about Greenland, to the massively-promoted story a few days ago about a reported uptick in Antarctic ice melt (= 0.3 inches of sea-level rise over 25 years), and you’ll have a very big clue to why so many people are so confused about climate change.



    Click to access guardian_elizabeth_rush_fakenews_dab_twitter_replies_screenshot2.pdf

    • June 27, 2018 10:44 pm


      Google has been made part of the problem – Eric Schmidt I suspect has been pivotal in that.

    • dave permalink
      June 28, 2018 6:12 am

      The Greenland Ice Sheet is not following the script, for the second year in succession:

    • CheshireRed permalink
      June 28, 2018 12:36 pm

      I’ve thought for ages that CO2 levels should be shown on every weather or data graph to offer a visual comparison between measurements and CO2. In this case it’s plain as day there’s zero correlation between CO2 and sea level rise rates.
      Theory falsified.

  9. Bitter@twisted permalink
    June 27, 2018 5:13 pm

    Reminds me of the mad computer in 2001.
    But this Hal is madder.

  10. Stonyground permalink
    June 27, 2018 5:28 pm

    On independent radio news there has been reports on the hot weather and the wild fires on Saddleworth Moor. Climate change has not been mentioned once. I wonder if the world is losing interest and eventually there will only be the Guardian and the BBC still banging on about it.

    • quaesoveritas permalink
      June 27, 2018 5:36 pm

      Its only a matter of time before someone mentions it.
      Meanwhile the BBC and others are going on about how wonderful the hot weather is!

    • June 27, 2018 6:48 pm

      As a child growing up next to the Peak District, I recall that moorland fires were a regular feature of summer when there had been no rain for a few weeks – I don’t think they made national news. I wonder what people prefer – a decent spell of hot weather or a Beast from the East? It would seem from the local news in the south-west that everybody is reveling in a gloriously warm summer, with reservoirs 85% full and no concerns about a drought.

      • Ben Vorlich permalink
        June 27, 2018 8:47 pm

        Growing up in rural Perthshire I remember two large Heather fires during long dry spells. The first in the late 1950s set the peat alight which burnt/soldered for several weeks before the autumn-winter rain finally put it out. The second was not as serious but burnt for 24 hours and the peat reignited several times.
        I haven’t been back to the area of either fire for more than 30 years but suspect the damage is still clearly visible.

      • June 27, 2018 10:47 pm

        Not quite as SW as you – but heat wave panic and Public ‘Elfs have been seen and heard on BBC traffic broadcast radio interruptions along the M4 corridor….

  11. bobn permalink
    June 27, 2018 6:23 pm

    Meanwhile, In The Arctic… (reported by zerohedge)
    In a development that could further advantage OPEC members as they step up production to compensate for falling exports out of Venezuela and (potentially) Iran, the Barents Observer is reporting that two of Russia’s largest Arctic out-shipment points for oil and LNG have become “packed with ice” leaving tankers and carriers stranded in the “paralyzed” area, which hasn’t been this packed with ice at midsummer in four years. Experts had expected that ice clogging up the Gulf of Ob would melt with the summer months, allowing Rosatomflots, the state-owned energy company responsible for the region, to avoid relying on their nuclear-powered icebreakers to clear the area.

    According to Rosatomflot, its icebreakers will be working at least through the first week of July to free stranded ships from the ice. Two icebreakers, the Taymyr and the Vaygach, are working overtime. There are also several smaller tugs and icebreakers working in the waters around the Sabetta port.
    One Rosatomflot representative pointed out that the climate change fears which had analysts worried about rapid melting of ice caps in the Arctic have apparently receded.
    The global warming, which there has been so much talk about for such a long time, seems to have receded a little and we are returning to the standards of the 1980s and 1990s, says company representative Andrey Smirnov.
    Full report at link:

    • dennisambler permalink
      June 28, 2018 10:24 am

      It looks like they pinched all the ice from the Barents sea, next door to the Kara sea into which the Ob flows.

      “..the lack of sea ice in the northern Barents Sea has been a regular feature of charts lately – at this very moment, an enormous stretch of ocean in this area that has traditionally been ice covered is currently open.

      As the ice recedes, the ocean surface in turn receives less fresh water from its melting.

      And as that happens, the deeper Atlantic waters mix higher and higher towards the surface, not only warming the seas but also making them more salty. The result, the study says, has been a “dramatic shift in the water column structure in recent years.” Arctic surface waters, with a temperature below freezing, are “now almost entirely gone.”

      “This region is shifting to the Atlantic climate, and it’s going fast,” says Ms Lind.”

      More Ob-servations needed.

      • dave permalink
        June 28, 2018 3:07 pm

        “…enormous…it’s going fast…”

        That is children babbling, not scientists.

        The change in the Barents Sea is a change in SEA-ICE which can have no effect on SEA-LEVEL.

        The Barents Sea is, indeed, a shifting “frontier zone” between Atlantic and Arctic – which is why conditions have varied over time.

        As anyone can see from the following plot, the reduction of sea-ice in the summer is a done deal for the Barents Sea. This “tipped” years ago. It is the “new normal.” Perhaps, there will be no winter ice there in the future. We cannot know, and we cannot affect any changes.

        The Arctic volume of sea-ice, at any given time of the year has been increasing for several years:

      • bobn permalink
        June 28, 2018 5:58 pm

        Godamn, Now Putins stealing all the ice!

  12. John F. Hultquist permalink
    June 27, 2018 7:21 pm

    When I was in college you had to be in a fiction writing class to make stuff up.

    • June 28, 2018 11:26 am

      And in my botany courses, you had to back up what you said and critical thinking was a part of analyzing theories.

  13. June 27, 2018 7:55 pm

    Here’s the picture at vulnerable Key West, showing history vs. model projections:

    • CheshireRed permalink
      June 28, 2018 12:46 pm

      Ha ha. Nope, can’t see anything wrong with those projections at all. Nailed on.

  14. Broadlands permalink
    June 27, 2018 9:44 pm

    Some people just like to play “Chicken Little” with the climate but never seem to realize there isn’t much that can realistically be done to stop it, especially “urgently, before it’s too late!” It will soon be on to the next “crisis” anyhow. That’s what keeps alarmists employed. Watch out for that asteroid! It’s intent on changing the climate. Act now!

  15. June 27, 2018 10:23 pm

    How dare you ! these people deal in truths
    We know “truths” and modelling are two different things
    But BBC put up one of their video adverts : Maps reveal hidden TRUTHS of the world’s cities
    \\ A new website that lets people delve into data on the world’s cities has been launched.
    Dr Robert Muggah from the think-tank Instituto Igarapé showed the BBC some of his favourite maps from EarthTime//

    First thing to say is that his refugee and 4C sea level maps are MODELLING not truths
    eg on refugees he makes the outrageous claim
    0:28 “What we have here is data showing the movement of every single refugee since the 1990’s”

    The sea level projection for UK is simply using a map of UK at 33ft elevation
    My 7 tweets

  16. June 27, 2018 10:31 pm

    It is the post 2010 data he us looking at.

    These people believe “today” is special. History means nothing to their present.

  17. John189 permalink
    June 27, 2018 10:54 pm

    Going back ot the Grauniad article, it makes me despair to think that there are people, and people of influence, who presumably lap up such breathless, brainless rubbish. Population of Thailand multiplying a thousand-fold in just over a century? Accelerating sea-level rise, doubling every seven years? And I just love the lobbing into the air of “205 feet of SLR” by 2095 in a paragraph that ends with the thought that we might not quite get that, more likely “15 feet” as if that were a close figure. This is utter drivel!

  18. June 28, 2018 12:59 am

    The sea level has been rising about 12,000 years ago, since our last ice age BEGAN to melt. It’s now up 400+ feet. About 6,000 years ago the RATE of annual sea level increase began dropping. The current annual rate of rise is 1.5mm per year (tidal gauges) or 3+mm per year (dubious NASA satellite data). 1mm = 4/100 of one inch.

    Alarmists are evidently claiming that, although we continue to live in, and enjoy, our warm interglacial period, the sea level rise is now due to human activity. In other words, suddenly Mother Nature stopped, but human activity immediately took over and is guilty of the last few inches of sea level rise.

  19. Coeur de Lion permalink
    June 28, 2018 6:24 am

    It’s going bust.

    • dave permalink
      June 28, 2018 7:01 am

      “It’s going bust.”

      I presume that by, “it,” you mean “The Guardian.” Unfortunately, it got so much money from selling “The Auto Trader” that it can go on indefinitely, despite its print sales being only 150,000 a day.

      Another natural phenomenon that is not following the script is:

      Violent cyclones were supposed to increase or decrease or something.

      The ACE seems distinctly “average” recently. I blame global warming for this.
      You see, it is obvious to a true believer that there must be TWO mechanisms, and the one is nicely wiping out the effect of the other…

      The temperature of that part of the Atlantic where weather can develop, from “Invests” * to Storms, continues to be cooler than usual, and so not conducive to a strong Caribbean season.

      * An odd piece of jargon this. Seems to stand for “baby circulations which need to be investigated” or watched. In the case of the Caribbean, these circulations usually commence off the coast of Africa, and drift all the way across the Atlantic.

  20. June 28, 2018 7:34 am

    Hi Paul, off topic but as you haven’t done a post on moor fire yet I had nowhere to post it.

    I am already hearing the cries of climate change being the reason for saddleworth moor fire. However I remembered reading a few studies over the years suggesting that the moors were being mis-managed which was leading to increased risk of wild fires.

    This is one such study.

    I have only skimmed through it but to me it suggests that not sufficient prescribed burning has been done over recent years. Prescribed burning over winter creates fire breaks and reduces excess combustible material. I find it curious that the media do not seem to investigate these issues and instead jump on the climate change mantra.

    I have also read in other articles that emergency access roads had not been maintained, beating brooms have been removed and to compound matters emergency services have got rid of their Land Rover fleets so have less capability to reach the fires quickly. I shall try and find these articles.

    Apology for off topic comment, just thought you may be interested in case you did a post on the moor fire.



  21. Brian Johnson UK permalink
    June 28, 2018 11:46 am

    What absolute rubbish! The Grauniad is about as dependable in its accuracy as a chocolate fireguard is in reflecting the heat.

  22. June 28, 2018 11:53 am

    In watching some fascinating YouTube programs from BBC documentaries I have learned quite a bit about your neck of the woods during and following the latest glacial episode. For example, there was no English Channel, it was all land–a land called Doggerland. There are ongoing archaeology “digs” to bring up stuff from the villages now on the ocean floor. That is what I call sea level rise. The melt following the start of inter-glacial warming was rapid and vast lakes created suddenly burst with ice walls collapsing. Creation of the Washington scablands and the return to ice-age with the St. Lawrence’s sudden and vast input of fresh water into the Atlantic shutting down the conveyor belt currents are just 2 more examples.

    I love geology and archaeology. We have learned so much about the sophisticated civilizations existing many thousands of years ago in Europe and elsewhere.

    You might want to send a Tweet to The Guardian to watch your own British shows.

    • June 28, 2018 12:42 pm

      Here is a nice little video of Doggerland.

    • John F. Hultquist permalink
      June 29, 2018 3:24 am

      Joan says: “ return to ice-age with the St. Lawrence’s sudden and vast input of fresh water into the Atlantic

      That is way too simple.
      In North America the ice front was long and numerous marginal ice-front lakes existed. In the central part, water drained south via various rivers into the Mississippi. A bit to the east there were 3 or 4 major drainages from the area now called Lake Erie. In NY State there is the drainage of the Mohawk River into the Hudson.
      Much of the impounded water had already gone by the time the St. Lawrence valley was ice free.
      During all the time it took, the ocean level was rising about 400 feet (120 m.). What the conveyor belt might have been like before, during, and after that rise is not clear.

      Some, but not all, of the lakes are shown HERE.

      • June 29, 2018 11:52 am

        I did not want to get into the weeds, but give an overview. However, it was the rather sudden drainage of Lake Agassiz through the St. Lawrence which has been credited with much of the havoc with the Gulf Stream.

        Additionally there was the collapse of a vast underwater shelf providing a tsunami which carved though the area known as Doggerland, creating the cliffs of Dover and opposite in France. Coupled with the rapid sea-level rise with the end of the glacial period, you have the English Channel.

        Where I live was the vast pro-glacial Lake Monongahela. As rivers, such as the Monongahela River (less than a mile from my home), flowed north they became dammed up during the glacial episodes. Lake Monongahela covered parts of WV, PA and OH. Finally the gap broke though near Pittsburgh allowing for drainage through the Ohio River to the Gulf of Mexico. We have a lot of yellow and gray clays here near the surface and unstable soils laid down when this was the lake bed for the Lake Monongahela episodes. In fact, “Mononghaela” is an Indian name meaning “slipping banks.”

  23. Tom O permalink
    June 28, 2018 3:36 pm

    Sadly, unless I am mistaken, there is a large part of the Earth called “land,” True, far less then the surface covered by the ocean. On the other hand, it tends to run far deeper than the ocean does as well. Granted, again, the ability of the land to absorb heat is less than the ocean, but better than the air – we are talking absorbing and retaining. Still, it apparently doesn’t matter to some “scientists” to recognize that. And sea level rise rate doubles every 7 years? Really? On what planet?

  24. Michael permalink
    June 28, 2018 7:21 pm

    So, he starts by saying Florida was mainly wetlands, i.e. very low lying, and now complains sea level rise will drown it?? eh? quelle surprise. It’s no surprise New Orleans has flooding problems from time to time either

    • John F. Hultquist permalink
      June 29, 2018 3:54 am

      On Google Earth, search for ‘ Greenacres, FL ‘
      I visited that area and it is laced with ditches to drain the water. About 7miles (11 km) from the Atlantic Ocean, there will be rising and falling of the water with the tide. Turtles lay eggs on the edge of the ditches and alligators cruise through, even into the culverts under the housing developments. This continues farther inland and the surface water is much influenced by flow from Lake Okeechobee; sort of a northern beginnings of the Everglades.

  25. June 29, 2018 8:51 am

    Dogger land. In the area known as the North Sea. It has been known to archaeologists for a long time. It was thought that Mesolithic people could walk across it to Britain. But it seems unlikely, now. It was known as the Dogger Bank to fishermen in recent centuries and items were occasionally dredged up. see the site at the Ashmolean Museum Oxford with artefacts from Mesolithic

  26. M E permalink
    June 29, 2018 9:23 am An on going excavation of Mesolithic living conditions.

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