Accelerating Sea Level Fraud In Climate Science

Climate scientists say sea level rise rates have increased from 1.4 mm/year to more than 3 mm/year, and that it is the fastest rate in 2,800 years.

Seas are now rising faster than they have in 2,800 years, scientists say – The Washington Post

This is in direct contradiction to the 1990 IPCC report, which said there was no convincing evidence of an acceleration of sea level rise during the 20th century.

1990 IPCC Report

So how did this magical doubling of sea level rise rates occur? Prior to 1993, tide gauges were exclusively used to measure sea level.  Since then, satellite data has been used to generate the new inflated numbers.

Sea Level | Vital Signs – Climate Change: Vital Signs of the Planet

Satellites have lots of issues with taking mm level sea level measurements.  The ocean surface is very rough, satellite orbits decay, and satellite measurements frequently have an error nearly as large as the trend.

Global mean sea level results

Even worse, they add in 0.3 mm/year for a global isostatic adjustment (GIA) to the satellite record. This is done because the sea floor is sinking in response to glacial rebound after the end of the last ice age.

What is glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA), and why do you correct for it? | CU Sea Level Research Group

GIA would be relevant if you were calculating properties like ocean depth or ocean volume  which can’t be directly measured, but it has no validity for sea level – which is directly measured and is essentially the distance from the center of the earth. The only justification to make any adjustment to sea level would be to account for measurement error – and GIA has nothing to do with measurement error. A sinking ocean floor lowers sea level, not raises it. And if they are going to use GIA, they would need to add it to the tide gauge data too. Using it only for the satellite data is both junk science and fraudulent.

Additional fraud has been introduced by altering the tide gauge data.  Over the past five years, NASA has lowered 1930-2000 sea level rise rates, and then introduced a post-1993 hockey stick at the end. This makes it look like sea level is rising faster now.

2014    2019

But the tide gauge data tampering story gets worse. NASA has massively altered their tide gauge data over the past 40 years. In 1982, James Hansen showed sea level rise rates dropping close to zero after the mid-1950s. Their current graph shows acceleration after 1940.


Sea level rose quickly during the 1940s.  Glaciers were melting at an astonishing rate, and climate experts were worried the melting ice was going to drown seaports.

18 Feb 1952 – Melting Pole Ice Threat To Ports – Trove

But by 1961, there was unanimous consensus Earth was cooling. There was a sharp cooling during the 1960s and 1970s.

January 30, 1961 – NYTimes

Which led climate scientists to forecast a new ice age in 1972.


The sea level rise slowdown after 1955 was clearly documented by NASA.

And even in 1982 they were doing junk science. NASA excluded data where the land was rising (like Scandinavia) but used data from places where the land is sinking like the east coast of the United States. This skewed the numbers upwards.


Note Hansen’s comment below about nonlinear response.


If sea level rise rates were accelerating, tide gauge graphs around the world would be non-linear with an upwards curvature.  Water seeks a level surface, so any nonlinear “response” would be seen globally.  There is no evidence this is occurring.

Sea Level Trends – NOAA Tides & Currents

Sea Level Trends – NOAA Tides & Currents

Sea Level Trends – NOAA Tides & Currents

NOAA says “the absolute global sea level rise is believed to be 1.7-1.8 millimeters/year” – about half what NASA is claiming from their satellite data.  Sea level has risen 400 feet in the last 20,000 years – almost all of that before 8,000 years ago. It has nothing to do with humans.

File:Post-Glacial Sea Level.png – Wikimedia Commons

There is no indication that sea level rise is accelerating and no indication that government climate scientists are capable of being honest about anything.  Ever.

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44 Responses to Accelerating Sea Level Fraud In Climate Science

  1. Disillusioned says:

    Man-Made Post-Glacial Sea Level Rise looks to be the answer to CAGW…

    Oh, wait….

  2. Anon says:

    Judith Curry also seems to concur, in this recent article:

    Climatologist counters climate-disaster predictions with sea-level report

    “Rates of global mean sea level rise between 1920 and 1950 were comparable to recent rates. It is concluded that recent change is within the range of natural sea-level variability over the past several thousand years.”

  3. Shoshin says:

    Sea level rise is a red herring. The fundamental assumption in IPCC Global Warming modeling is that CO2 causes an amplification of the effect of water vapor to produce excessive warming. No such CO2/H2O vapor amplification mechanism has ever been demonstrated, documented or tested. It is the single issue around which the entire AGW premise rotates. Without this mechanism all of AGW research is speculation.

    If a researcher clearly demonstrated and outlined how other researchers could independently experimentally test AND falsify this amplification mechanism, I would accept the premise of AGW (assuming, of course, that the mechanism withstood testing and falsification). And the researcher would certainly be entitled to a Nobel Prize in Physics as this research would solve a fundamental question of our time.

    Einstein didn’t propose experiments to show that he was right; finding things in science that are consistent with your views is both child’s play and meaningless. His experiments were designed to show where he could be wrong. Einstein knew that his theories were, and will always be, one experiment away from being trashed, discarded and replaced by something that better describes reality. Accepting a consensus opinion is the refuge of social sciences not hard sciences.

    • Louis Hooffstetter says:

      Two points:

      1) Shoshin is absolutely correct: No CO2/H2O vapor amplification mechanism has ever been demonstrated, documented or tested.

      According to the climate models, the CO2/H2O vapor amplification mechanism should exist, and play a huge role in global warming. If the amplification mechanism exists, we should observe the tropospheric hot spot (also predicted by the climate models) as a direct result. But we don’t. And because the tropospheric hot spot has never been observed, the CO2/H2O vapor amplification mechanism is most likely BS. As commenter Rah has stated, climate models aren’t climate science, they’re climate porn. They don’t reflect reality, they’re expressions of what climate ‘scientists’ wish was happening to our climate.

      2) “Even worse, they add in 0.3 mm/year for a global isostatic adjustment (GIA) to the satellite record.”

      And how do these climate ‘scientists’ measure global isostatic adjustment (GIA)? They don’t! The GIA adjustment number is generated (made up) by another computer model. And these climate ‘scientists’ admit “the GIA uncertainty is AT LEAST 50%”.

      WHAT?! Are you kidding me?! The uncertainty in the GIA is AT LEAST 50%?! That means there’s LESS THAN a 50% chance that the GIA adjustment is correct! They basically pull a number out of their back holes and call it GIA adjustment.

      But that’s how climate ‘scientists’ roll!
      Good job Tony. Thanks again for highlighting this fraud.

  4. Lasse says:

    Sea levels are in fact accelerating.
    Sea levels are in fact decelerating .
    Look at this graph from SF CA:

    Periodic and no CO2 correlation.

    • John of Cloverdale, Western Australia says:

      OMG! Seattle is sinking.

    • Shamrock says:

      At the risk of sounding simplistic, we have had two warming periods in the last 100 years. Hint: both couldn’t have been caused by humans, though I understand revisions are on the way. So, why wouldn’t sea levels have risen? That in no way validates AGW or the doomsday chicken littles of CAGW, tipping points and the hypocrisy of shipping coal to China.

    • The West coast of Northern American is under the influence of a subduction, moving North West, which could bring about significant seismic activity resulting in significant loss of life. This is well known and documented. As such tidal measurements on the West coast have to be interpreted with caution. When taking tidal measurements on a global scale, it is quite possible that the earth is either sinking or rising, depending on the geographical location being considered.

      Thank you, Tony for your excellent work. I am most grateful.

  5. THX1138 says:

    BBC Quietly Obliterates And Rewrites Science News | PSI Intl

    NASA Whistleblower Exposes Huge Climate Model Gaffes | PSI Intl

    Why was I born into an insane asylum?

  6. John of Cloverdale, Western Australia says:

    “‘Will the advancing waves obey me, Bishop, if I make the sign?’
    Said the Bishop, bowing lowly, ‘Land and sea, my lord, are thine.’
    Canute turned towards the ocean—’Back!’ he said, ‘thou foaming brine.

    ‘From the sacred shore I stand on, I command thee to retreat;
    Venture not, thou stormy rebel, to approach thy master’s seat:
    Ocean, be thou still! I bid thee come not nearer to my feet!’

    But the sullen ocean answered with a louder, deeper roar,
    And the rapid waves drew nearer, falling sounding on the shore;
    Back the Keeper and the Bishop, back the king and courtiers bore.

    And he sternly bade them never more to kneel to human clay,
    But alone to praise and worship That which earth and seas obey:
    And his golden crown of empire never wore he from that day.
    King Canute is dead and gone: Parasites exist alway.”
    William Makepeace Thackeray

  7. Robertv says:

    I have always wondered how much sea level rise you get from the land sliding into the oceans.

    ‘The continental shelves are covered by terrigenous sediments; that is, those derived from erosion of the continents. However, little of the sediment is from current rivers; some 60–70% of the sediment on the world’s shelves is relict sediment, deposited during the last ice age, when sea level was 100–120 m lower than it is now.[10]

    Sediments usually become increasingly fine with distance from the coast; sand is limited to shallow, wave-agitated waters, while silt and clays are deposited in quieter, deep water far offshore.[11] These accumulate 15–40 cm every millennium, much faster than deep-sea pelagic sediments.[12] ‘

  8. FrankT says:

    Some additional information. There is PhD thesis (2001, TU Delft, Netherlands) by Kyra van Onselen titled “The influence of data quality on the detectability of sea-level height variations”. It focuses on the Dutch coast. Key aspect is that long term (20-30y) variability in sea-level determines detectability of trends, and that even substantial changes, such as from 1.5 mm/y to 4.5 mm/y, cannot be detected at this time. The document is available on the link: .
    Attached is a fragment from the conclusion of chapter 4.

  9. John of Cloverdale, Western Australia says:

    Let’s blame Exxon (Esso in the day) for knowing about global eustatic sea level changes and climate change then letting the Geological world know about their work in 1977. Explorationists and sequence stratigraphers are indebted to the work of Peter Vail and his Exxon colleagues. Much credit must go to their teacher, Larry Sloss at the Northwestern University for introducing them to sequence stratigraphic cycles.
    Below is an image composite of a) USGS Memoir 26 book cover, authored by Exxon geologists, b) their global sea level curve (known then as the Vail curve) and c) the great man himself, Larry Sloss (the father of sequence stratigraphy) leading a geological party in Montana back in 1944.
    And when someone says to me, ‘you’re a geologist, what would you know about climate change?’, I just sigh with disgust and give them a dirty look.

  10. Gamecock says:

    ‘Even worse, they add in 0.3 mm/year for a global isostatic adjustment (GIA) to the satellite record. This is done because the sea floor is sinking in response to glacial rebound after the end of the last ice age.’

    It’s worse than we thought! The ocean basins are unmeasured. Climate ‘scientists’ make pronouncements about causes for the change in level, without a clue as to changes in the container. There is vast volcanic activity under the seas, as well as other things affecting the size of the basin.

  11. steve case says:

    The sea level rise slowdown after 1955 was clearly documented by NASA.

    It’s easy to test that slowdown after the 1950s. The Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level PSMSL has the records from over 1200 tide gauges around the world. A few of them have records going back a century or more. Make a plot where each point represents the rate of sea level rise for the previous 30 years and you will see a high point around 1950. It bottoms out in the 1970s and has risen since. Whenever you see the claim that sea level has accelerated in recent decades and the the start point is no earlier than 1970 you can assume you are being lied to with a cherry pick.

    Let’s see if Tony’s web page will still put up a graphic. If not it’s here

    • scott allen says:

      steve I have an even better one from PSMSL, the oldest sea level gauge is located at Kronstadt and has been taking sea level measurements since about 1773 and show no sharp rise in sea level.

      Using Topex to measure sea level to the mm is almost laughable as by NASA own website Topex is only accurate to 4.2 cm + or -

      • steve case says:


        Thanks for the link

      • Robertv says:

        ‘The oldest sea level gauge is located at Kronstadt and has been taking sea level measurements since about 1773 and show no sharp rise in sea level.’

        Taken into account the strong rebound in that zone ?

        • scott allen says:

          that was addressed on page 24, numbered paragraphs 1 ,3 and 4.

          The issue at hand is, are the coastal lands subsiding or the oceana rising?
          I am not criticizing your post but it was just a photo with no data to the original work.

          read the “key limitations” on sea level gages.
          These statements are rarely ever mentioned in world wide sea level measurement.

          • Louis Hooffstetter says:

            Scott: The Scientific American article you linked to is a classic example of how climate ‘scientists’ intentionally obfuscate the issue of sea level rise to alarm the public. Relative sea level rise has two components: 1) actual sea level rise (the amount the surface of the oceans is actually rising) and 2) land subsidence. But these two components are completely separate and unrelated. Subsidence has a number of causes (isostatic adjustment, oil/groundwater withdrawal, mining, compaction of sediments, etc.) but regardless of the cause, subsidence is NOT sea level rise and is in NO way related to sea level rise. There is NO sea level rise involved with subsidence whatsoever. Here’s a simple proof: Wade into the ocean up to your knees and then kneel down. The water rises up to about your waist. Did the sea level rise until it reached your waist? No. You simply sank down (subsided). There was no rise in sea level at all.

            This article discusses these two components, but then combines and comingles them to confuse the readers and sensationalize the “globally extraordinary rate” of sea level rise. The Climate Central graph shown in the article is ‘Exhibit A’. The first six columns show the rate of subsidence for different areas along the east coast, but then the last column shows the Regional (relative) Sea Level Rise. But notice the word ‘relative’ is left out. This is no mistake. The word ‘relative’ is intentionally left out of a data column that conflates actual sea level rise with land subsidence. This is how climate ‘scientists’ intentionally obfuscate the issue of sea level rise to scare people. It’s a deliberate lie that climate ‘scientists’ always tell whenever they discuss sea level rise. And in this article, Scientific American and Climate Central have colluded to intentionally mislead the general public about sea level rise.

          • scott allen says:

            Louis, you are correct and that was the point I was attempting to make (and failed spectacularly) by including the SA paper.
            NOAA et al, note the rise in sea level gages but fails to mention the land subsidence.

            I also put the wrong link for the +/- error in satellite sea level readings. I don’t understand how NOAA can claim greater accuracy in sea level measurements than the error rate of their instrument.


  12. dennisambler says:

    “95% confidence level” is the result of “expert opinion”. Guess who the “experts” are…

    • Louis Hooffstetter says:

      And that’s why the very top of the page of ‘The Deplorable Climate Science Blog’ quotes Dr. Richard P. Feynman, Nobel Prize Laureate in Physics, 1965:

      “Science is the belief in the ignorance of the experts.”

  13. Gordy Thomas says:

    [from the article]

    “Even worse, they add in 0.3 mm/year for a global isostatic adjustment (GIA) to the satellite record. This is done because the sea floor is sinking in response to glacial rebound after the end of the last ice age.”


    Who says the last ice age has ended?

    Granted, it has essentially retreated, but a phrase such as “after the end of the last ice age” obscures the truth which explains the changes we cannot deny: that the earth is still warming from the most recent ice age, with no reason to assume it won’t continue to get warmer on its own, without any assistance needed or possible from humanity.

  14. paul courtney says:

    What an excellent post! I recall WUWT posted an article showing a Time Mag cover about the “coming ice age” within the past year (I don’t do links). Nick Stokes jumped in with a “this was all media, no scientists said this.” He also showed that the mag cover had been changed along the way, and effectively hijacked the discussion for that post. I remember the 70s, and knew it was false. It took a few days for others to find “scientists” who published the ice age scare in the 70s, but I don’t recall anyone producing this 1972 smoking gun from Brown U. Nick never did come back to deal with the truth (think Jack Nicholson).

  15. nfw says:

    I’ve been away for a while, has Manhattan disappeared under water? It is now 30 years since NASA experts predicted it.

    To paraphrase a Twitter moron: NASA experts versus a bloke named Tony. I’m with Tony.

  16. George Reeves says:

    Climate alarmists exaggerate low land flooding due to gradual sea level rise. Most low land is a little above sea level because natural processes set the land level based on the sea level. Darwin described how atolls stay a few meters above sea level with storm overwash of coral reef sand. River Delta’s stay a few meters above sea level with flood delivered sediment. Coastal wetlands are organic soils which build up to the water table and then bacterial decay stops height growth. Even coastal cities get a few millimeters higher each year with road and parking lot repavings. Most future flooding will come from human interference with natural adaptive processes. The Mississippi delta is in trouble because it’s flood silt supply has been cut off. Sand barrier islands suffer when overwash sand is bulldozed back into the ocean. The Maldives capital is in trouble because they destroyed their protective coral reef and built a city intolerant of storm overwash.

  17. David Bunney says:

    Hey Tony…. watch Thomas Wysmuller explain the 1.1 mm / year rate of rise from GPS corrected tide gauges around the world… and also look at his theory as to why the satellite data is a little over double… very interesting.

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