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UK Sea Level Rise Speeding Up–Claim Met Office: Data Proves Otherwise

July 28, 2022

By Paul Homewood




Sea levels are rising much faster than a century ago, reveals the Met Office’s annual look at the UK’s climate and weather.

The State of the Climate report also says that higher temperatures are the new normal for Britain.

Conservationists warn that spring is coming earlier and that plant and animal life is not evolving quickly enough to adapt to climate change.

The report highlights again the ways climate change is affecting the UK.

The UK is warming slightly faster than the average pace of global temperature increase, it also explained.

The Met Office assessed climate and weather events for 2021 including extreme events like Storm Arwen that caused destructive flooding.

Sea levels have risen by around 16.5cm (6.5 ins) since 1900, but the Met Office says the rate of rise is increasing. They are now rising by 3-5.2mm a year, which is more than double the rate of increase in the early part of last century.

The Met Office has published its latest State of the UK Climate Report. It’s the usual mix of bad weather events and the claim that the “climate continues to change”, when it is doing no such thing. I will take a closer look in a day or two. But I want to look first at that blatantly fake claim about sea level rise.

First a look at the map they show:




Their claim of 5.2mm is the adjusted for GIA at Stornaway. But as the report goes on to state, the measurements at Stornaway are not reliable, and should be used with caution:



It is shockingly irresponsible for the Met Office to use the Stornaway figures so prominently.

But what about the other sites?

The trends conveniently begin in 1991, the year of the Pinatubo explosion, which drastically cooled the Earth for the next couple of years, and consequently caused sea levels to drop. We can see the effect at Newlyn. This drop, of course, has artificially increased the 30-year trend.


The annual change also highlights just how volatile sea levels can be in the short term. However, if we look at the decadal changes, a clear pattern emerges:


There was a sharp increase in 2002, as the Pinatubo linked sea level falls unwound. But since then, decadal changes are similar to most of the record since 1916. In the last ten years, sea have risen by 42mm, in line with the Met Office’s 4.2mm a year. The Met Office compares this with the long term rise of 1.84mm. However, what they don’t explain is that there have been many periods with similar rates of rise to now, but that these were interspersed with other periods when seas fell, notably the global cooling period in the mid 20thC.

It is evident from the chart below that there is no acceleration, as they claim:

mean trend plot


At North Shields, it is clear that sea level rise has actually been slowing down in the last two decades, and the rate of rise is lower than for most of the last century:


The Met Office report deliberately distorts what the data is actually saying, with the intent to mislead the public into believing the ever sillier predictions of apocalyptic sea level rise coming our way.

The Met Office also claims that the UK data is consistent with the global data:


In which case, they must also accept that the global data shows no sign of acceleration either!

  1. ThinkingScientist permalink
    July 28, 2022 3:50 pm

    Showing a shorter period rate at the recent end of the timeseries and comparing to a longer period rate is of course the same trick pulled by the IPCC in AR4 and AR5. Its crap.

    Moving slope calculation as you have done it here is the best way. A rolling slope of sea level appeared as a Figure in AR5 and completely blew the IPCC own argument as it was clear the rate in earlier periods was higher than currently. See AR5 Technical Summary TFE.2 Figure 1 panel B. They didn’t make that mistake again and simply didn’t include the figure in AR6.

  2. Vernon E permalink
    July 28, 2022 3:50 pm

    GB News at lunchtime featured Bob Ward discussing this report. One of the two lady prersenters gave him a really hard time and asked all the right questions including a lot about the reliability of computer based models. Well done her. Ward, as ever, cleverly obfuscated all the data but especially using muddled percentages referring to percentage changes in green house gases but deliberately not mentioning the actual percentages of water vapour and CO2!

  3. July 28, 2022 3:53 pm

    I don’t know how the sea level rise can be denied. The photo to this article shows a section of the M5 as it passes through Taunton, which used to be 40 miles inland, but as can now be clearly seen has the sea water lapping at its suburbs.

    In the real world of course sea level rise started around 1750 as the LIA released its grip and has been proceeding steadily at the same rate for a century or so.

    • David Wild permalink
      July 28, 2022 6:54 pm

      Que? Relax, Taunton is still about 30 miles from the sea (Stert Flats, Briidgwater Bay), as it always was. It is much more prone to freshwater flooding – eg the Mendip Flood of July 1968 and the Great Somerset Levels mis-management of 2013-4

      • July 28, 2022 8:50 pm


        I was joking

      • Chaswarnertoo permalink
        July 29, 2022 9:06 am

        On the other hand, Glastonbury was surrounded by the sea when the sea defences failed in C18. They’re not called the levels for nothing.

  4. July 28, 2022 3:58 pm

    If I had a pond into which I dumped billions of tons of garbage my water level would rise too. Question: do they ever measure the rise of ocean floors, or the consequence of cliff erosion, etc?

    • MrGrimNasty permalink
      July 28, 2022 4:28 pm

      The ocean floor actually sinks slightly, they add it on to the sea level rise I think.

    • Gamecock permalink
      July 28, 2022 10:26 pm

      The ocean basin is unmeasurable. Attributions are fake. We know nothing.

      There is a 40,000 mile long range of volcanoes in the world’s oceans, changing the basin continuously.

      As with most of ‘climate change,’ it is just the deification of Man.

      • jchr12 permalink
        August 6, 2022 6:08 pm

        Quite !

  5. July 28, 2022 4:39 pm

    There are no lies too big for the Met Office, and of course the same goes for the BBC.

  6. Cheshire Red permalink
    July 28, 2022 4:44 pm

    These reports are always designed to mislead the public, always. And that’s exactly what they do.

    Put the author/s in Court under Oath and let’s see how their racketeering stands cross-examination. Oh that’s right, it won’t.

  7. Broadlands permalink
    July 28, 2022 4:48 pm

    More scary stories , again with not a word on what it is that eight billion people could possibly do to mitigate or prevent it from taking place. The solution choices provided by the politicians in Paris and elsewhere are absurd and impossible to put in place without devastating results to global economies. Their ‘medicine’ is worse than the fabricated disease.

    • Matt Dalby permalink
      July 29, 2022 9:26 pm

      We don’t need to mitigate sea level rise, we simply need to adapt to it. Simple solution would be to build a sea wall. Even if sea level rise was 5mm a year we would need to add a new row of bricks to the top of the wall roughly ever 30 years.

  8. JBW permalink
    July 28, 2022 4:53 pm

    I have often wondered how anyone can accurately measure the volume of water in the oceans and how more water flowing into the ocean can be estimated to cause a particular rise in levels. What with underwater volcanoes and other geological forces, the difficulty of measuring every coastline with all of Slartibartfast’s crinkly bits and then there is the various slopes of each coast line to consider and how well they will absorb or not the incoming rise. What are the error bars on these calculations?

  9. Ian Cunningham permalink
    July 28, 2022 5:30 pm

    Notice they didnt include Lerwick and they compare adjusted data with non adjusted data…thats really scientific!

    • Curious George permalink
      July 28, 2022 6:18 pm

      The days of adjustments are over. Now they homogenize.

  10. avro607 permalink
    July 28, 2022 6:21 pm

    You had me going there for a minute Clim. Reason with your Taunton remark.If one looks atTides and Currents world wide,one finds sea level values vary.Some rising or falling,or remaining static.
    Rather like Temp. measurements,a sea level can be regarded as an intensive value and is only of any relevance at that time and place.

  11. kpwychwoods permalink
    July 28, 2022 6:46 pm

    If sea levels are rising, where is the water coming from?

    • July 28, 2022 8:29 pm

      Partly melting glaciers (which have been retreating since the Little Ice Age ended) and partly through thermal expansion

      Seas of course have been gradually rising since the Ice Age ended

      • Crowcatcher permalink
        July 29, 2022 5:33 am

        And then, of course, there are a lot more ships on the oceans displacing all that water – Archemedis and all that – slipped by the BBC!!!!!

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      July 29, 2022 8:16 am

      It’s largely thermal expansion I believe.

  12. dennisambler permalink
    July 28, 2022 7:18 pm

    Early morning news BBC R2 said sea level was rising faster around the UK than anywhere else in the world, ‘cos water can do that. When it was hot they said it was hotter than anywhere else in the world. It must be a new trend.

    A scare a day keeps the plebs from play.

    • MrGrimNasty permalink
      July 28, 2022 8:21 pm

      I did notice the UK was added to the rest of the world as a place warming twice as fast as the global average! Still, propaganda that can never be publicly debated does not have to make sense.

      • Graeme no.3 permalink
        July 28, 2022 10:43 pm

        That’s why the Government wants to reduce your use of gas & electricity which cause local warming.
        Another reason for apparent sea rise might be a sinking economy.

      • Julian Flood permalink
        July 29, 2022 8:21 am

        If you want to see a place warming at twice the average oceanic rate then look at the Sea of Marmara.

        This caused by a vast cloud of CO2 and water vapour hovering over it. Or maybe some warming has a different cause.


      • ThinkingScientist permalink
        July 29, 2022 12:42 pm

        The explanation for the twice as fast is because land is warming faster than oceans, so anywhere people live is generally on land. Therefore any country is warming twice as fast as the global average. Its become an internet meme – just google “countryname warming twice as fast” using your chosen country name and likely you will get a hit.

        Of course if you compared country based warming rates to the land average, some would have to be faster and some slower, otherwise the average wouldn’t be…the average.

      • ThinkingScientist permalink
        July 29, 2022 12:51 pm

        And here is a graph illustrating the “twice as fast” propaganda. Its not strictly 2x between land and global but it is between land and ocean. But hey, when you have a propaganda pipeline to fill, what does that matter?

      • Dave Andrews permalink
        July 30, 2022 4:46 pm

        The Guardian now regularly reports that the Arctic is warming three times as fast as anywhere else.

    • Richard Hill permalink
      July 29, 2022 8:02 am

      Yes, I’ve noticed that when I run a bath the water doesn’t stay at the tap end. Guessing the oceans are quite similar, with a significant influence from long term cycles of course. 30 years is but the blink of an eye.

  13. cookers52 permalink
    July 28, 2022 7:48 pm

    Met Office should talk to the experts.

  14. July 28, 2022 8:10 pm

    Is that photo, photoshopped?

    Regardless, I suspect that it’s not what they are wanting readers to believe.

  15. July 28, 2022 8:12 pm

    Far worse the next paragraph – moving to an index of tide gauges to avoid reliance on long running sites only.

  16. Mad Mike permalink
    July 28, 2022 9:21 pm

    Off topic here but it seems that the Grid has run out of capacity in West London and the Thames Valley might be next shortly.

    It’s much quicker than I thought it would happen and it’ll be interesting to see where this will lead. This is without all the heating and transport switching to electricity. The massive upheaval needed to build extra capacity, not to mention the enormous cost, is hard to contemplate.

    • Julian Flood permalink
      July 29, 2022 8:22 am

      Hard to contemplate but easy to ignore. For example, see HMG.


  17. Phil Grizzell permalink
    July 28, 2022 9:29 pm

    More BS from the BBC 🙂

  18. Coeur de Lion permalink
    July 28, 2022 9:37 pm

    I recall that both Attenboro and Shukman raised oh god not again drowned Miami streets. Built below king tides and East Florida tectonics, Shukperson’s many layered lying when Trump pulled the American taxpayer out of the failed Paris Agreement lives in the memory. Forgot to
    mention that Trump’s USA was the only country reducing CO2. Produced a little Maldivian who needed climate money to build four more airports before sinking beneath the waves.

  19. July 28, 2022 9:50 pm

    It is shockingly irresponsible for the Met Office to use the Stornaway figures so prominently.

    If that’s what they’re relying on, it must mean their case is weak.

    • roger permalink
      July 28, 2022 11:32 pm

      Just so long as they didn’t take the measurements on a Sunday

    • July 29, 2022 11:49 am

      All levels in the UK, maritime and terrestrial, are based on MSL Newllyn and always have been. This is the only refence point that should be used because of its long historical record.

  20. M Fraser permalink
    July 28, 2022 11:30 pm

    Off topicish, the BBC, idly looking at a bbc sport ‘have your say’ comment site, I congratulated a correspondent for bringing the world back to two genders. The moderators deleted it as being offensive, to whom I’ll never know, but it certainly highlights the warped thinking at that once esteemed establishment.

  21. M E permalink
    July 29, 2022 3:36 am

    Rising compared to what if parts of Britain are tilting and other parts rising ?. I think it was South sinking and North rsing in my Geomorphology books back in the dark ages before the world warmed . Scotland rises in the Highland region I think. But anyway if the land dips the water will be seen to rise . IMHO

    • MrGrimNasty permalink
      July 29, 2022 10:48 am

      Obviously that is taken into account, if you read it.

      What really matters is what tide gauges actually show at the coast, what sea level is doing relative to the land at any one location.

      The theoretical/satellite/modelled sea level rise in the middle of the oceans taking all factors into account is great for alarmism, but not much use practically.

  22. Phoenix44 permalink
    July 29, 2022 8:13 am

    If the UK is warming faster than average then somewhere is warming slower than average. Where and why?

    • ThinkingScientist permalink
      July 29, 2022 12:43 pm

      See my answer upthread to this conundrum. Its called how to lie with statistics.

  23. Jimmy R permalink
    July 29, 2022 8:23 am

    Just as well then that we are in the middle of a drought so a lot less water is entering the sea from the rivers!

  24. Julian Flood permalink
    July 29, 2022 8:27 am

    If you want to see a place warming at twice the average oceanic rate then look at the Sea of Marmara.

    This caused by a vast cloud of CO2 and water vapour hovering over it. Or maybe some warming has a different cause.


  25. europeanonion permalink
    July 29, 2022 11:43 am

    Tides are governed by the gravitational influences of sun and moon. That being the case, especially with temperature data showing a modicum of increase, it seems logical to suggest that our star is actually, for whatever reason, playing a bigger role. Can it be that the sun’s intensity is causing London to heat up while in the North West we are still seeing grey skies on a daily basis? Are we alone in the north west suffering from the heat effect of more water vapour in the atmosphere? The AGW argument seeks to cover all basis and yet all it seems to conjure is that some places have aberrant weather sometimes. If it was not for the alacrity of our communication systems we would be none the wiser. Floods are always catastrophes and invariably followed by drought. Is that a sign that we are mismanaging our resources and allowing valuable water go to waste, vilified? Electricity, its production, is a major problem. River systems damned taking with them ways of life, spawning opportunities; causing wars; digging-up more of the world to secure minerals, inviting control and exploitation from grim political systems, the means of accessing the stuff ever more controlled. The thought that we could be on the verge of an era whereby it is the authorities that tell us where we can go and on what days for whatever duration; it would be so easy to achieve in turning routes off for driverless vehicles. When you do not have to come-up with ideas about the next of man’s great leaps forward but, rather, just depend on metering and control then we have been drowned in the Rubicon (once renowned for no way back, a commitment to decisive action; a trivial shallow stream that is now a raging torrent intimating making do) and we must accept our role as ciphers to whoever controls the agenda.

  26. Gerry, England permalink
    July 29, 2022 12:38 pm

    When their own data contradicts what they say you are left with the options of:-
    a) incompetence, or
    b) deliberate lies.

    I think most of us would vote for b – unless you are in the USA where your vote will magically change to a.

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