Monday, May 7, 2018

Sea Level Rise Hysteria in California Delta

Subtitle: The Data Shows Zero Cause For Alarm

The headlines are certainly alarming, but what are the facts?

From  :   "Climate Change. The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta could undergo many changes due to climate change and sea level rise in the decades ahead. The potential impacts to this region include an increased risk of levee failure, loss of agricultural land and productivity, loss of wetlands, reduced water quality,. . ."

From  "How climate change could threaten the water supply for millions of Californians  --  When it comes to California and climate change, the predictions are staggering: coastal airports besieged by floodwaters, entire beaches disappearing as sea levels rise.

"Another disturbing scenario is brewing inland, in the sleepy backwaters of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. It’s a threat to the Delta’s ecosystem that could swallow up a significant portion of California’s water supply."

And now, the truly terrifying article, by environmental scientist Ronald Melcer:   "There is nearly a 70 percent chance that by [year]  2100 we’re going to see 2.4 ft of sea level rise at the Golden Gate Bridge. That’s with a low-emissions scenario, which is based on the Paris climate agreement. [But] if we don’t do anything, that’s where [California is] headed. That [do nothing scenario] shows 3.4 ft of sea level rise by 2100."  see link 

All that is certainly sobering, if it were anywhere close to being true.  But, the facts show it is simply scare-mongering at its worst.   Sadly for science, this type of mis-information is and has been the reality for many years now.   Some facts are shown below. 

Figure 1
Change in Sea Level at San Francisco, CA - NOAA
Overall Trend is 1.96 mm/yr (7.8 inches per Century)
But note zero rise from 1985-2014
The Figure 1 shows the measured, gauge-based sea level increase at San Francisco Bay since 1855.  The overall increase was only 1.96 mm per year (7.8 inches per century).  What is more interesting, though, is the period from 1985 through 2014.  In those 30 years, the sea level did not increase at all.  The heavy black lines indicate the flat trend from 1985 through 2014.  (one could easily start the zero-trend period a few years earlier, in 1980)   Yet, the false-alarmist scientists insist that sea level was rising faster in the past 30 years or so, due to increased Carbon Dioxide, CO2, in the atmosphere from burning fossil fuels.   Certainly, that is not true in San Francisco Bay, as measured by NOAA. 

Now, to examine the rate of sea level increase that is required to achieve the alarmist claims from above by Melcer:  With a low-emissions scenario, he claims 2.4 feet increase in sea level by year 2100.  And, with a do-nothing or business-as-usual scenario, he claims 3.4 feet by year 2100.   A bit of math shows that 2.4 feet equates to 8.9 mm per year increase.   That's almost 4.5 times the measured rate over the past 150 years, and infinitely higher than the zero increase during the past 30 years.  

Similary, the 3.4 feet increase by year 2100 equates to 12.6 mm per year; almost 6.5 times as great as the measured, steady rate since 1850.  Again, that rate is infinitely higher than the zero increase during the past 30 years. 

So, with the actual NOAA measurements at only 1.96 mm per year, how does a scientist make such outrageous claims with a straight face?   The answer is in what are referred to as "tipping points."  These are predicted events that greatly accelerate existing trends.  In the case of sea level rise, the tipping point is supposedly the rapid melting of Greenland ice and Antarctic ice.   That rapid melting is to occur because CO2 shines its heating rays down on the ice.   The reality is that Antarctic ice is increasing, not decreasing.  The Greenland ice is melting only due to black carbon and soot particles that were and still are deposited from coal-burning power plants, wildfires, and jet engine exhaust.    As it turns out, coal-burning power plants will be shutting down in 20 to 30 years due to a lack of affordable coal.   

The false-alarmism is blatant on this one.   The sea level at San Francisco would be required to jump from barely 8 inches per century to 52  inches per century. 

Roger E. Sowell, Esq.
Houston, Texas
copyright (c) 2018 by Roger Sowell - all rights reserved

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1 comment:

John Bennett said...

Actual measurement versus predictive modeling where the outcome justifies the selected inputs - just doesn't sell in this mainstream media driven information age we live in. Rational discourse on scientific research is being shouted down. Cognitive dissonance has become a national mental health problem. In the 70's we were schooled on the "Tragedy of the Commons" and the need to change societal behavior before we ran out of food, water, clean air, etc. We also needed to deal with the certainty of the coming ice age.
The "hockey stick" predictions associated with "Global Warming" have not matched the temperature measurements so the fact that our climate changes over time has been transmogrified into a mandate for social engineering and redistribution of wealth. I sure hope my children live long enough to see the pendulum swing back the other way.