New Paper: Global Sea Level Rise Has Greatly Decelerated Since ~2002, Contrary To Predictions

  • Date: 08/10/14
  • The Hockey Schtick

A new discussion paper published in Ocean Science evaluates multi-mission satellite sea level records and shows that the rate of sea level rise has greatly decelerated since ~2002, as has been documented in prior research finding sea level rise decelerated 31% since 2002, and decelerated 44% since 2004 to less than 7 inches per century.

This is obviously the opposite of climate model predictions in response to a steady rise in CO2 greenhouse gas levels, but is compatible with the ongoing “pause” of global warming. 

Other notable findings from the paper include:

1) The positive global sea level rise trend is almost entirely due to an apparent huge “bulge” located in the Western equatorial Pacific region [Fig 12 immediately below, and the “bulge” 3-D illustrated by in the 3rd figure below]. 

2) Conversely, all areas shown in blue have experienced a drop in altimetric sea levels [different from relative sea levels which are more dependent upon land height changes] from 1993-2010, including most of the East and West coasts of North and South America. 

3) As the 2nd figure below indicates, this “bulge” is almost entirely steric sea level rise from thermal expansion, as opposed to eustatic sea level rise from melting of ice. The fact that the “bulge” is so localized in the equatorial Western Pacific points to trade winds or ocean oscillations such as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation as responsible, rather than any effect from greenhouse gases, which would cause a generalized, not highly localized, effect on ocean thermal expansion or eustatic sea level rise from melting ice.

4) The 4th figure below shows an alternative method of determining sea level rise using ARGO + GRACE finds sea levels rising at 2.31 mm/yr, about 35% less than determined by the satellite altimetry methods.

5) The 5th figure below [Figure 10 of the paper] shows sea level rise has greatly decelerated since ~2002, as has been documented in prior research. This is the opposite of climate model predictions in response to a steady rise in CO2 levels, but is compatible with the ongoing “pause” of global warming. 

6) Figure 7 below shows how easy it is to tamper with previously published satellite data from the European ENVISO satellite, which previously showed sea levels rising at 1.59 mm/yr [very similar to what global tide gauges show], but a convenient new processing algorithm magically increases or up-justs the rate of ENVISO sea level rise by 86% to match the US satellite data of 2.96 mm/yr. It’s deja vu all over again.
7) The final figure below also shows the deceleration of sea level rise since ~2002 in the US satellite data alone. 

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