Science should be unbiased and supported by the evidence alone, devoid of all politics. The source of Nils-Axel Mörner’s latest self-published “paper” is the “Centre for Democracy and Independence“. The aim is clear; a politically motived piece attempting to discredit sea level rise.
For sea level NOT to be rising would require that the ocean is NOT warming, that glaciers are NOT melting, that subsequent data from Jason1 & Jason2 satellites are also being tampered with, gravity data from Grace is also being modified, along with hundreds of tidal gauges all in a concerted effort to fool people. This is either a conspiracy bigger than anythig this planet has seen before, or it’s complete utter bullshit.
Jibber & Jabber but Zero Evidence
Mörner’s argument begins with an accusation of conspiracy “One of the keepers of the satellite record told Professor Mörner that the record had been interfered with to show sea level rising, because the raw data from the satellites showed no increase in global sea level at all.” And he goes on to show how the TOPEX/POSEIDON (T/P) data might have changed over time by comparing two papers from 200 and 2003.
Mörner believes the data has been manipulated since it was used in Menard, 2000. Mörner’s citation is poor and I couldn’t locate the original source of the graphs. Reading further into Mörner’s paper we find a possible reason …
Christopher Monckton sensitively extracted the introductory main points, redrew several graphs and asked for additional observational material.
Mörner’s friend Monckton, already renowned for faking data in graphs, was helping by “redrawing” the new graphs, whatever that means. But let’s assume for the moment, that the data Monckton has plotted is correct.
Deceptively and possible intentionally, they (Monckton) has used different scales for the Y axis making the first graph seem as if there is less warming. The second graph only labels T/P through to ~cycle 235 which doesn’t match up with the first graph. The truth is that there was overlap which enabled scientists to study the different biases.
Mörner seems astonished to find that a change in rate occurs between the two studies. I’m not sure why since the studies are use different data. Do the studies also use different methods? We are left to only wonder since Mörner’s citation is poor and the original source difficult to locate.
Supporting Evidence or Supporting Colusion?
But if the authors of the second study DID change the data, how did they also influence the Jason-1 and Jason-2 datasets which also show large amounts of sea level rise?
And since thermal expansion of the oceans is also known to cause an increase in sea level, how then does Mörner explain the contradiction? Ocean Heat Content has been increasing, which leads to increasing sea levels (and that’s what real scientists find) but what is Mörner’s explanation for thermal expansion? We know the oceans have warmer, so where is the water expanding to? Or is he claiming the scientists reporting ocean heat are also corrupt?
The polar regions are also warming and glaciers shrinking in size. Where is the melt-water going if not into the oceans? Numerous organisations around the world are documenting glacial retreat. Is Mörner suggesting they are doctoring the photographs?
More likely Mörner is wrong in his accusation of serious global secretive fraud, and instead the data showing glacial melt, thermal expansion of the oceans, change in gravity (Grace) all matching well with the amount of sea level rise measured by satellites and tidal gauges, is actually correct.
Local vs Global
Seriously. Why is it so difficult for climate denialists to tell the difference between GLOBAL data and LOCAL data.
Nils-Axel Mörner’s track record is not good. His claim that the Maldives sea level had dropped by 30cms was rebutted and in this self-published paper Mörner provides a few hand-selected examples of sites that show little or no sea level rise. Even if he is correct about those sites, BIG freekin deal! We already expected sea level rise to be uneven and negative in some areas and that’s exactly what we’re finding.
All Mörner is demonstrating at this point is his own ignorance, or a deceptive effort to fool the unwary.
ENSO Did It
Mörner goes on to blame ENSO for the increase in sea level rise during the T/P era, specifically 1997. Whilst there may well be a relationship between ENSO and sea level’s it can only be a fluctuation and not the cause.
The ENSO system has cycled many times since 1992, yet sea level rise continues unabated.
The data from the Grace satellite can be used to show the change in gravity caused by the moment of water & ice around the planet.
Mörner believes the analysis is incorrect but rather than address this in the peer-reviewed science (for which he has already published much material) he simply reports it here in his own self-published paper.
The peer-reviewed science disagrees with him, but let’s entertain the idea for a moment that Grace did in fact show less sea level rise for a short while. This is also nothing new, the satellite altimetry record also shows periods of no sea level rise. And using the data recently scientists showed how the increased rainfall in some areas had temporarily relocated the water inland. But it eventually found its way back into the ocean and the sea level rise continued.
The Last Interglacial
Mörner now says one of the dumbest things I’ve heard in a long time. His exact words …
During the last interglacial, ~125,000 years ago, mean surface temperature was 4 C° warmer than today and sea level was generally higher than today. … No catastrophic sea level rise at the end of the last interglacial can be substantiated. Consequently, there is no reason to hypothesize that any similar event would be likely to occur in our near future.
He argues that because sea levels didn’t cause a catastrophe 125,000 years ago, that today we should be ok today.
125,000 years ago, there was no one to record whether or not the sea level rise was catastrophic or not. Humans are estimated to be less than a million in number and were only just beginning to leave Africa. It’s little wonder a sea level rise of several meters back then had less impact than it will today. We did not populate the vast low lying areas of the globe in the hundreds of millions as we do today.
But Mörner’s argument, dumb as it is, does server to demonstrate the calibre of his thinking.
YACT vs FACT
YACT = Yet Another Conspiracy Theory
FACT = Multiple independent agencies around the world using different methods all come up with very similar estimates for the rates of sea level rise.
FACT = Sea level rise data fits in with observations of the change in gravity, with observations of melting land-based ice and with the observed warming of the ocean.
The only option left for the “skeptic’ is to claim a conspiracy on a global scale involving great coordination between international agencies. It takes a certain kind of lunatic to propose this, fortunately the climate denialists have just the man. Co-author Christopher Monckton.