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Claims of rising sea levels fall

It's Monday morning, start of a new work week and time for another global warming scandal. The Guardian UK reports on how studies claiming a drastic rise in sea levels have been retracted. Last year, a study published in Nature Geoscience gave dire warnings regarding rising sea levels.

The study, published in 2009 in Nature Geoscience, one of the top journals in its field, confirmed the conclusions of the 2007 report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). It used data over the last 22,000 years to predict that sea level would rise by between 7cm and 82cm by the end of the century.

At the time, Mark Siddall, from the Earth Sciences Department at the University of Bristol, said the study "strengthens the confidence with which one may interpret the IPCC results". The IPCC said that sea level would probably rise by 18cm-59cm by 2100, though stressed this was based on incomplete information about ice sheet melting and that the true rise could be higher.

Many scientists criticised the IPCC approach as too conservative, and several papers since have suggested that sea level could rise more. Martin Vermeer of the Helsinki University of Technology, Finland and Stefan Rahmstorf of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany published a study in December that projected a rise of 0.75m to 1.9m by 2100.

Estimates were mixed but there was a definite trend to suggest rises near a meter or more. Now it turns out the science behind at least one of these estimates was flawed.
In a statement the authors of the paper said: "Since publication of our paper we have become aware of two mistakes which impact the detailed estimation of future sea level rise. This means that we can no longer draw firm conclusions regarding 21st century sea level rise from this study without further work.

"One mistake was a miscalculation; the other was not to allow fully for temperature change over the past 2,000 years. Because of these issues we have retracted the paper and will now invest in the further work needed to correct these mistakes."

I'll leave the "science is not settled!" told-you-so's to others this time. But this retraction is actually good news. This is a rare occurrence of scientists going on record and retracting a global warming claim. And this isn't a minor phenomenon that is being discussed. Rising seal levels of this magnitude can cause devastation to coastal settlements. It is much different to have people question the predictions only to be labeled deniers and skeptics than to have the original authors retract the assertion.

In truth, I misspoke at the beginning of this post. This isn't a scandal. This is scientists taking responsibility and admitting past mistakes. That, too, is part of the scientific process.


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Comments (13)

It's funny though that desp... (Below threshold)
Patrick:

It's funny though that despite all this flawed science those who support the AGW theory still claim the science is settled! I am waiting for these people to point to specific studies that make these claims because it seems almost everyday these allegations (disappearing glaciers, rising temperatures and sea levels) that support the theory that climate change is man-made are being debunked. Have you ever noticed that the arguments of AGW proponents rarely get beyond the "science is settled" and the "evidence is overwhelming" but they pretty much never go into any of the specifics? When you point this out to them they usually hurl some kind of personal insult at you and compare you to Holocaust denier or something. And then it gets even worse from there...

AGW isn't science. It's a ... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

AGW isn't science. It's a cult.

Al Gore is a wealthy lair a... (Below threshold)
Flu-Bird:

Al Gore is a wealthy lair and hypotcrit as well and the eco-freak groups putting these false and misleading ads on TV as well as SLIME and NEWSREEK lying big time

It's the old "tell one lie ... (Below threshold)
recovered liberal democrat:

It's the old "tell one lie and you have to tell ten more to cover up that lie". 10x10x10x10x10 and so on is a lot of lies. It finally just became such a large number that it could not be supported.

Hey, they did tell us that ... (Below threshold)
LR Geek:

Hey, they did tell us that if B.O. was elected the seas would stop raising... what more do you want? /s

I knew the rising sea level... (Below threshold)
f1guyus:

I knew the rising sea level story was a hustle when AlGore bought a luxury condo in the SOMA area of San Francisco.

Here's another stake in the... (Below threshold)
914:

Here's another stake in the heart of Your liberal socialist utopia Green.. Deal with it!

The AGW collapse is startin... (Below threshold)
cirby:

The AGW collapse is starting to get traction in the non-skeptic world. One of my young friends (a green/alt/hippie girl) actually mentioned it to me the other day - and she had the beginnings of an "I've been scammed" look on her face.

This is someone who has been aggressively (though nicely) "green" as long as I've known her. Won't use plastic shopping bags, walks to work - the whole lifestyle. And she's starting to catch on...

Unfortunately, this retract... (Below threshold)

Unfortunately, this retraction is in British newspapers (Hey! What would the Brits know about the oceans? ;), and simply doesn't count in the grand scheme of things.

There will probably be ice-skating in Hell before you ever see this in the New York Times.

(I wish to God I was being sarcastic.)
-

RE: "There will probably be... (Below threshold)
kevino:

RE: "There will probably be ice-skating in Hell before you ever see this in the New York Times."

I'm sure there's been ice skating in Washington D.C. this winter.

The Guardian is a total lef... (Below threshold)
Son of a Pig and a Monkey:

The Guardian is a total lefty bird-cage liner. But even they seem,to some extent, to have twigged onto the fact that AGW is a fraud.

"Al Gore is a wealthy lair ... (Below threshold)
tau-lepton:

"Al Gore is a wealthy lair and hypotcrit as well and the eco-freak groups putting these false and misleading ads on TV as well as SLIME and NEWSREEK lying big time"

But he likely knows how to spell and compose a sentence

According to the green wank... (Below threshold)
Flu-Bird:

According to the green wanks GLOBAL WARMING will melt all the ice caps and earth will look like it did in KEVIN KOSNERS stinkeroo WATERWORLD




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