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Sunday, June 19, 2011

Sea level lies

CU Mean sea-level rise with
+10% adjustment

Fresh lies have been added to the global warming argument, but this time not by self-interested politicians but by reputable scientists. An obscure side note was added to the University of Colorado (CU) Sea Level Research Group web site recently explaining that 0.3 mm/year is added to the sea-level data due to the land masses of the Earth rising through an effect known as glacial isostatic adjustment or GIA. This counterintuitive adjustment is equivalent to a traffic cop adding 10 mph to your speeding ticket because you were driving into a head-wind.

Although the adjustment appears small, it adds 10% to overall sea-level rise data, giving alarmists on either side of the argument fuel for even more hyperbole. Publically presented scientific data should not only be accurate, but should fall in line with what the data represents to the general public. Sea level rise to everyday people means the risk of coastal flooding not some theoretical notion that has no bearing on the real world. I hope therefore that CU removes the adjustment from the figures such that their definition of "sea level rise" is relative to the coastline and not the core of the planet so as to avoid any possible claim of deception on their part.

Al Gore's new $8M coastal mansion
in Montecito, California

The good news is that the current data (even with the +10% adjustment) means that it will take 1000 years for the sea level to rise three meters. Al Gore can now rest easy that his new $8M mansion on the Californian coast will not be inundated any time soon.

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