Depend on real science, not propaganda (Greer)

September 30, 2014
The News Journal

Depend on real science, not propaganda

The News Journal misinforms readers by gross exaggerations regarding sea level rise and not saying what sea level rise has actually been. The paper has relied on misinformation from environmental groups instead of information from scientific journals.

A recent article, “Dire Flood Warning” [9/16/14] shows a map of Wilmington with areas flooded by a 9-foot sea level rise in 20 years based on a report by Climate Central, a rate rise of 45 feet per 100 years. Climate Central’s website claims they do “data driven research,” that sea level rise has risen 8 inches since 1880 “because of global warming,” and that “the rate of rise is accelerating.”

But the actual data show that sea level rise at Lewes, Delaware, has only been about 1 foot per 100 years and is not accelerating. At this rate, sea level would rise less than 3 inches in 20 years, not 9 feet.

A report, “Tide gauge location and the measurement of global sea level rise,” in the May 2014 issue of the journal Environmental and Ecological Statistics, statistically examined data from over 1,000 tide gauges worldwide, with data from 1807 to 2010. They found that the average sea level rose only about 4 inches per 100 years over this time and found no evidence of sea level rise acceleration.

The authors also found that sea level rise is local rather than global, and concentrated in a few areas including the Atlantic coast of the US. Sea levels were not changing in 61 percent of tide gauge locations, rising in 35 percent of locations, and even falling in 4 percent of locations.

The local nature and lack of acceleration indicates that relative sea level change is primarily the result of land height changes, not global warming which would result in more universal sea level rise. In the Atlantic coast area, the land is thought to be sinking slowly due to post-glacial rebound – look it up.

Before deciding on policy, we should better understand the real science of sea level change and not be misled by grossly false information.

John E. Greer Jr., P.E.
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