Should the public be worried about an accelerating sea level rise from global warming?
- The best evidence on [whether there is an acceleration in sea level rise] is tide gauge data from stations in tectonically stable areas with more than eighty years of uninterrupted recording. . Such data show a steady linear sea level rise of about 18 cm [about 7 inches] per century and no acceleration in the past century (Singer, p. 148).
- If the greenhouse theory is correct, rising levels of CO2 should have caused a measurable acceleration in the sea level trend during the thirty-year period from 1915 to 1945, when a genuine, independently confirmed warming of approximately 0.5oC occurred. Yet the data … clearly show that the rate of sea level rise was not affected by the warming during that period (Singer, p. 149).
- It is virtually impossible to predict (purely from theory) whether sea level will rise or fall as climate warms. On the one hand, melting glaciers and thermal expansion of ocean water will lead naturally to a rise in sea level…. On the other hand, increased evaporation from the oceans and subsequent precipitation and accumulation of ice on Greenland and especially Antarctica would lower sea level…. The only way to settle this issue is by examination of data (Singer, p.147). The data do not support the alarmist claims.