Rising credulity

The truth about sea levels? They’re always fluctuating

3 December 2011

The truth about sea levels? They’re always fluctuating

It has now become traditional for climate change summits to open with a new, dazzling prediction of impending catastrophe. The UN Climate Conference under way in the South African coastal town of Durban is no exception. This year’s focus is on a familiar and certainly arresting argument: that sea levels are rising at a catastrophic and unprecedented rate mainly due to man-made global warming.

No one makes this point with quite so much panache as Mohamed Nasheed, president of the Maldives. In the run-up to the summit, he declared that he leads ‘an island nation that may slip beneath the waves if all this talk on climate does not lead to action soon’.

Since chairing a meeting of his Cabinet underwater, Nasheed has been busy rallying other low-lying countries to make similar points. He chaired a summit of them in Bangladesh, to compare notes ahead of the Durban summit, and they agree to limit their own carbon emissions. Ban Ki-moon, the head of the United Nations, was delighted — saying that it was unfair to ask ‘the poorest and most vulnerable to bear the brunt of the impact of climate change alone’ and called for them to be given subsidies by richer countries to adapt. Such funds do not seem to be forthcoming. It seems the summit in Durban will, like so many climate summits, be disappointing.

I may be able to help. As someone with some expertise in the field, I can assure the low-lying countries that this is a false alarm. The sea is not rising precipitously. I have studied many of the low-lying regions in my 45-year career recording and interpreting sea level data. I have conducted six field trips to the Maldives; I have been to Bangladesh, whose environment minister was claiming that flooding due to climate change threatened to create in her country 20 million ‘ecological refugees’. I have carefully examined the data of ‘drowning’ Tuvalu. And I can report that, while such regions do have problems, they need not fear rising sea levels.

My latest project was a field expedition to India, to the coast of Goa, combining observations with archeological information. Our findings are straightforward: there is no ongoing sea level rise. The sea level there has been stable for the last 50 years or so, after falling some 20cm in around 1960; it was well below the present level in the 18th century and some 50 to 60cm above the present in the 17th century. So it is clear that sea levels rise and fall entirely independently of so-called ‘climate change’.

Explaining this to the public can be very hard. There are so many misconceptions about sea levels, not least that they are constant throughout the world. In fact, there are big variations — by as much as two metres. You need to think not of a constant, level surface, but of an agitated bath where the water is slopping back and forth. This is a dynamic process. In 900 ad, for example, the high level was in Tanzania and the low was in Peru; a century later this had reversed. It is also often forgotten that while sea levels may rise and fall (‘eustasy’), so too may the land mass itself (‘isostasy’).

Today, all people talk about is the sea level — because it coincides with the IPCC’s (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) narrative about melting icesheets, diminishing glaciers and man-made global warming. This leads to confusion over cases such as Bangladesh, whose plight is the exact opposite of the one claimed by environmental lobbyists and the IPCC.

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Bangladesh is cursed because of rain over the Himalayas. This has nothing to do with the sea. It is also cursed because of the cyclones which push water inland. Again, this has nothing to do with the sea. Bangladesh is cursed because about half of its land mass lies less than eight metres above sea level — making it highly vulnerable to coastal flooding. But this has always been the fate of delta regions: it has little if anything to do with ‘climate change’.

Two years ago, I visited the Sundarban delta area in Bangladesh and was able to observe clear evidence of coastal erosion, but no rise in sea level. In fact it has been stable there for 40 to 50 years. One way to tell this is by examining the mangrove trees, whose horizontal root systems now hang some 80cm above the mudflats as a result of erosion.

But the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report (2007) tells a different story about sea levels worldwide and is worth quoting in some detail: ‘Even under the most conservative scenario, sea level will be about 40cm higher than today by the end of 21st century and this is projected to increase the annual number of people flooded in coastal populations from 13 million to 94 million. Almost 60 per cent of this increase will occur in South Asia.’

This is nonsense. The world’s true experts on sea level are to be found at the INQUA (International Union for Quaternary Reseach) commission on Sea Level Changes and Coastal Evolution (of which I am a former president), not at the IPCC. Our research is what the climate lobby might call an ‘inconvenient truth’: it shows that sea levels have been oscillating close to the present level for the last three centuries. This is not due to melting glaciers: sea levels are affected by a great many factors, such as the speed at which the earth rotates. They rose in the order of 10 to 11cm between 1850 and 1940, stopped rising or maybe even fell a little until 1970, and have remained roughly flat ever since.

So any of the trouble attributed to ‘rising sea levels’ must instead be the result of other, local factors and basic misinterpretation. In Bangladesh, for example, increased salinity in the rivers (which has affected drinking water) has in fact been caused by dams in the Ganges, which have decreased the outflow of fresh water.

Even more damaging has been the chopping down of mangrove trees to clear space for shrimp farms. In one area, 19 square miles of mangrove vegetation in 1988 had by 2005 decreased to barely half a square mile. Mangrove forests offer excellent protection against the damage of cyclones and storms, so inevitably their systematic destruction has drastically increased local vulnerability to these problems.

At Tuvalu in the Pacific, I found no evidence of flooding — despite claims in Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth that it was one of those ‘low-lying Pacific nations’ whose residents have had to ‘evacuate their homes because of rising seas’. In fact the tide gauge of the past 25 years clearly shows there has been no rise.

But the best-known ‘victim’ of rising sea levels is, without doubt, the Maldives. This myth has been boosted by the opportunism of Mohamed Nasheed, who stars in a new documentary called The Island President. The film’s tagline is ‘To save his country, he has to save our planet’. It is a depressing example of how Hollywood-style melodrama has corrupted climate science. Nasheed has been rehearsing his lines since being elected in 2009. ‘We are drowning, our nation will disappear, we have to relocate the people,’ he repeatedly claims.

If this is what President Nasheed believes, it seems strange that he has authorised the building of many large waterside hotels and 11 new airports. Or could it perhaps be that he wants to take a cut of the $30 billion fund agreed at an accord in Copenhagen for the poorest nations hit by ‘global warming’? Within two weeks of Copenhagen, the Maldives foreign minister Ahmed Shaheed wrote to the US secretary of state Hillary Clinton to express support for the accord.

The IPCC’s Fourth Assessment claimed that ‘there is strong evidence’ of sea level rising over the last few decades. It goes as far as to claim: ‘Satellite observations available since the early 1990s provide more
accurate sea level data with nearly global coverage. This decade-long satellite altimetry data set shows that since 1993, sea level has been rising at a rate of around 3mm yr–1, significantly higher than the average during the previous half century. Coastal tide gauge measurements confirm this observation, and indicate that similar rates have occurred in some earlier decades.’

Almost every word of this is untrue. Satellite altimetry is a wonderful and vital new technique that offers the reconstruction of sea level changes all over the ocean surface. But it has been hijacked and distorted by the IPCC for political ends.

In 2003 the satellite altimetry record was mysteriously tilted upwards to imply a sudden sea level rise rate of 2.3mm per year. When I criticised this dishonest adjustment at a global warming conference in Moscow, a British member of the IPCC delegation admitted in public the reason for this new calibration: ‘We had to do so, otherwise there would be no trend.’

This is a scandal that should be called Sealevelgate. As with the Hockey Stick, there is little real-world data to support the upward tilt. It seems that the 2.3mm rise rate has been based on just one tide gauge in Hong Kong (whose record is contradicted by four other nearby tide gauges). Why does it show such a rise? Because like many of the 159 tide gauge stations used by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, it is sited on an unstable harbour construction or landing pier prone to uplift or subsidence. When you exclude these unreliable stations, the 68 remaining ones give a present rate of sea level rise in the order of 1mm a year.

If the ice caps are melting, it is at such a small rate globally that we can hardly see its effects on sea level. I certainly have not been able to find any evidence for it. The sea level rise today is at most 0.7mm a year — though, probably, much smaller.

We must learn to take the environmentalists’ predictions with a huge pinch of salt. In 2005, the United Nations Environment Programme predicted that climate change would create 50 million climate refugees by 2010. That was last year: where are those refugees? And where are those sea level rises? The true facts are found by observing and measuring nature itself, not in the IPCC’s computer-generated projections. There are many urgent natural problems to consider on Planet Earth — tsunamis, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions not least among them. But the threat of rising sea levels is an artificial crisis.

Nils-Axel Mörner was head of paleogeophysics and geodynamics at Stockholm University (1991-2005), president of the INQUA Commission on Sea Level Changes and Coastal Evolution (1999-2003), leader of the Maldives sea level project (2000-11), chairman of the INTAS project on geomagnetism and climate (1997-2003). 

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  • exile on euro street

    Would anyone of equivalent scientific seniority connected with the UN Climate Conference, UN Environment Programme and/or the IPCC care to respond to this? It would make fascinating reading.

  • CarrieGC

    Can I tweet this?

  • Laughing

    IPCC climate experts don’t conduct scientific debate in public.

    They have to do so behind closed doors, figure out how to hide inappropriate science, get science journal editors fired for publishing articles that disagee, destroy all of the raw data and delete the email trail, and only then can they enter the debate by declaring what the settled unquestionable scientific consensus is on the topic.

  • Sundance

    Peer reviewed sea level rise studies in Australia are being prevented from being published and available to the public because the evidence does not fit the political narrative.


    The Climategate 2.0 emails confirm that the WMO/IPCC should be viewed as organized crime using fraudulent pseudoscience as the means of extorting money from the USA. We need to thank Dr. Morner as he and other scientists have been made political targets for speaking the truth and exposing a fradulent political narrative.

  • Marje Hecht
  • James Moloney

    Just a few points. Firstly, Morner makes lots of assertions, and provides no evidence. secondly, his work in the Maldives has been since followed up, and results have contradicted his own.

    Thirdly, Morner is a known believer of water divining. That’s right. Water divining!

    Finally, the INQUA, whom Morner considers to be the real experts on sea level, actually do not agree with Morner, but rather agree with the IPCC.

    Nils-Axel Morner sound like a fraud to me.

  • Pete H

    Thank you yet again Nils-Axel Mörner, one of the few who really know about and talk the truth about sea levels. One wonders why the Guardian attacks the editor of the Spectator for publishing this article. I guess it hurts to have ones faith and “Cause” put to the sword by a non consensus type!

  • Dr. Reesh

    James, please. I’m afraid there’s plenty of data that agrees with the author. Logic first, then arguement. Otherwise you make yourself out to be a helpless fool.

  • Jane

    I guess we can only wait for the campaign to get rid of the Spectator editor….

  • Mike Pope

    It is all very well to assert that sea level is not rising while dismissing the effects of loss of land based ice and increased sea surface temperatures – or does he contend that these are not occurring? If they are occurring, does he claim that they have no effect on sea level? Not much that is credulous about this article.

  • Warwick Wakefield

    It is interesting that the global warming fear-mongers constantly refer to Morner’s acceptance of the effectiveness of water-divining, as if this discredited him. I know of many people who believe that dogs are able to predict earthquakes, even though the best scientific equipment known to mankind can give no warning at all.

    There are many processes in the world of nature that are can be observed without being understood, even things like the ability of a flock of starlings to wheel in flight simultaneously, and the ability of pelicans to know that inland lakes, thousands of miles away, have filled for the first time in years. This crude ad hominem attack on Morner just demonstrates the ignorance of its author.

  • John Hunter

    If Nils-Axel Mörner wants a “Sealevelgate”, here is my contribution:


    – this is a series of emails between me and Mörner from 2004.

    You will have to draw your own conclusion of Mörner from these, but I don’t see a “true expert on sea level” – I see a prevaricating duffer who, after a year of obfuscation, provided nothing to substantiate his wild claims.

  • Lars Jonsson

    John and James who do not consider Morners statements as valid. In the AR4 you could watch the maps of sealevel change and it totally agree with Morners stement regarding the Maldives, there is no sea level change in the western Indian Ocean. There is also the South Pacific Sea Level and Climate Monitoring Project prepared by the Australian Bureau of Meterology (IDO60102.2009_1-7)that show that the sea level in the western Pacific ( where Tuvalu is found) show NO longtime trend, although great variation. In order to claim Morners statements false you have to deny all current published scientific data of real world measurments, and only rely on unverified modelprediction. Argue against the facts an stop the ad hominem attacks on Morner.

  • Lars Jonsson

    Adding the following link to AR4 sealevel change 1992-2004. The map show no trend for the Maldives.http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/figure-5-15.html

  • John Hunter

    Lars Jonsson: You are illustrating the same problem I have with Morner. As you will read from the emails at:


    Morner said that there was “a total absence of any rising secular trend” in the Maldive tide gauge records, when in fact the trends were 3-7 mm/year. To a non-scientist, this could possibly mean “a total absence of ….. trend”, but to a scientist it would not. In fact a scientist wouldn’t use language like it.

    You use the words “no sea level change”, “NO longtime trend” and “no trend”. These words are meaningless – even if you said the trends were “small” you would need to define what you meant by “small”.

    I have done a couple of analyses of the sea-level data from Tuvalu, most recently reported in Church et al., 2006, Global and Planetary Change, 53, 155-168. We found a rate of sea-level rise for the period 1950-2001 of 2 1 mm/year.

    Now you may choose to define rates of rise of 2-7 mm/year as “small”. However, sea-level scientists wouldn’t.

  • Richard Rider

    A postscript to the “50 million refugees in 2010” prognostication. The websites that used to headline this assertion have dropped it.

    Well, not exactly. They made one teeny, tiny change. 2010 have been changed to 2020.

    And this new prediction is based on the same “established science” as before.

    Almost every such website retains another feature — a plea for donations. Now I know that correlation doesn’t prove causation, but I think that logic calls for these dots to be connected.

  • floydd

    Say goodbye to Nils-Axcel. You wont be seeing him in the media anymore.
    Anybody seen David Bellamy since 2008?
    In Australia, it is now against the law to say anything negative about climate change (or the current government) without including a positive comment about climate change (or the government).
    I would like to see Nils try to get entry into Australia. If Bob or Christine see this article then no way would he get in. Pity. A man who knows there are 159 tidal gauges must bloody well know what he’s talking about!

  • John Hunter

    floydd: you say “A man who knows there are 159 tidal gauges must bloody well know what he’s talking about”.

    You would think that wouldn’t you? Unfortunately there are many more tide gauges than that. The NOAA ones at:

    number around 2890.

    One thing that you can be certain about Morner is that almost everything he says can quite easily and demonstrably be shown to be false. He lives in a strange parallel universe where he decides what he wants others to believe and then just makes up the supporting “facts”.

  • Graphite

    Mike Pope
    December 4th, 2011 6:42am

    “Not much that is credulous about this article.”


    What? The article doesn’t believe itself?

    That’s incredible!

  • Graphite

    Tell me John Hunter, would you use language like “the science is settled”?

    I keep hearing this from the warmists, yet a nuclear physicist friend (a denier, incidentally, on the basis that he believes Mann and his mates to be crooks) tells me that science is never settled. NEVER. It just doesn’t work that way.

    Also, as I live in New Zealand, when can I expect the “sea-rise refugees” predicted by Al Gore? Actually, Gore reckoned they were already here . . . although no-one’s yet to spot one. Plenty of Tongans and Samoans, but they’re just your basic immigrants, looking for a better life.

    Is it too much to ask that “climate scientists” produce some hard evidence to back up their claims?

    And not those dodgy computer programs . . . something that can be pointed to with certainty. And don’t pull the disappearing Antarctic ice stunt again. Nobody’s falling for that.

    Either put up or shut up.

  • Kerry McCauley

    Great perspective…it is awe producing to contemplate our beautiful planet’s oceans as “an agitated bath.” What a sensible post…many thanks.

  • Alexander Hall

    At Graphite;

    “tells me that science is never settled. NEVER. It just doesn’t work that way.”

    then end your post asking for some proof, “something that can be pointed to with certainty.”

    Hilarious. I think several climate deniers and alarmists (both sides of the camp) should read up on uncertainty, risk, and the precautionary principle.

  • Russell Seitz

    As less than an eon has passed since rising seas severed Britain from France , the Spectator can ill afford to become a crank magnet for fringe scientists who float theories that ignore the reality of global data gathering by geophysicists.

    I called Fraser three years ago to exhort him to vigilance, but it evidently without effect-

    Here is the warning Taki ran after The Spectator declined it:


  • J Calvert N

    To John Foster (re 159 tidale stations) Copied and pasted 1 minute ago from NOAA’s website “NOAA/CO-OPS operates and maintains 45 of these stations and presents routinely-updated analyses of the long-term trends and variability. In support of NOAA’s Climate Program Office, the sea level trend analysis has been extended to 114 non-CO-OPS GLOSS-LTT water level stations.”

    Simple arithmetic 114 + 45 = ?

  • Graphite


    Here, just so you can read it again, is what I wrote:

    “Is it too much to ask that “climate scientists” produce some hard evidence to back up their claims?

    “And not those dodgy computer programs . . . something that can be pointed to with certainty.”

    Now, where do I ask for “proof”?

    I don’t.

    I ask for EVIDENCE that can be pointed to with certainty.

    Now, was that too hard to understand?

  • John Hunter

    Graphite: I tend not to use phrases like “the science is settled” – mainly because people like you do not seem to understand what it means. In any branch of science some things are more settled than others. Newtonian mechanics (on which much of climate science is based) was probably thought of as “pretty settled” until quantum mechanics and relativity came along. But even then, Newtonian mechanics is quite settled enough for us to satisfactorily base an awful lot of our lives upon it. As Alexander Hall indicated, this is all to do with risk and uncertainty. The problem is that the climate contrarians seem to want to have it both ways – they claim that the science of AGW is not settled, but they also seem to assert that their claim that there is nothing to worry about is well and truly settled.

    It comes down to the old and well-worn analogy of the time when you doctor thinks that there is some likelihood of you having cancer – do you tell him that you won’t do anything until he is certain?

  • John Hunter

    And Graphite:

    (a) why do you say those “computer programs” are “dodgy”?

    (b) do you understand anything about them?

    (c) can you think of any other way of predicting changes to the climate system other than using computer programs? – a crystal ball or the Bible perhaps?

  • Graphite

    John Hunter
    December 11th, 2011 11:11am

    ‘Graphite: I tend not to use phrases like “the science is settled” – mainly because people like you . . .’


    Thanks for the condescending tone. A true Englishman.

    You may not use the phrase “the science is settled”, but plenty of the promoters of AGW do. About the time they stick their hands out for more taxpayer funding.

    As for your cancer analogy, how’s this . . .

    When my father died of stomach cancer, his oncologist asked me a bit about my family medical history. When I told him that my grandfather had died of pernicious anaemia back before WW1, the oncologist said, “Well, that would have developed into stomach cancer too. It’s a fair bet you’re in the direct line of fire.”

    I believe this guy. He’s a specialist in his field. So over the intervening 16 years, during which time stomach cancer also got my mother, I’ve been regularly monitored.

    What I haven’t done is insisted that the rest of the population also have tubes stuck down their throats. And nor have I asked them to put their jobs at risk so that my treatment can be funded.

    Now, I monitor my risk because the options are stark — on the one hand I live, on the other I die.

    Where’s that juxtaposition with AGW?

    And please, don’t give me the line about this being the greatest threat ever faced by mankind or the planet.

    A one degree rise in temperature over a hundred years? Get real.

  • Graphite

    John Hunter
    December 11th, 2011 11:16am


    (a) Because from my following of the debate, they are. They were designed by the guys who use them; designed to produce the results they wanted.

    (b) They’re computer programs. You feed data in, you get a result out. And if you’re careful, actually just semi-careful, they’ll give you whatever result you want.

    (c) A bit of empirical evidence would be nice.

  • Graphite

    More for Lord John, seeing as you brought up the Bible . . .

    A Christian guy lies dying; he dies. Hallelujah say his family, he is with Christ, which is better.

    A Christian guy lies dying; he recovers. Hallelujah say his family, the Lord has delivered him back to us.

    The atheists among us, and I am strongly atheist, look at this nonsense and smile. These Christians have a gilt-edged each-way bet. They win whatever happens.

    And, funnily enough, it’s the same with the AGW panickers.

    A heat wave arrives. Here’s our proof of climate change they cry. Give us more funding.

    A snow storm arrives. Here’s our proof of climate change they cry. Give us more funding.

    Wet weather? Proof.

    Dry weather? Proof.

    Any sort of weather at all.

    Absolute stone-cold, cast-iron, gold-plated, take-it-to-the-bank, lay-down-misere proof.

    And can we have more funding?

  • Colin Reynolds
  • Graphite

    Colin Reynolds



    Yep, good stuff Colin.

    Apparently, until man started burning coal in industrial quantities, driving cars, flying aeroplanes, leaving the lights on and so forth, there were no floods or storms or hurricanes or blizzards or droughts . . . or anything nasty at all really.

    The joint was, truly, Paradise.

    And now, if the IPCC has its way and the productive workers of the world have their knackers taxed off, we’ll all live in a land of milk and honey again.

  • Davey Jones

    Of course there are fluctuationa and anomalies in SLR, Look what just happened to coast of Japan! But author forgets that as water warms, it expands. Oceans on average are warming rapidly in geological terms, and thus expanding, regardless of what the crust is up to, or how much of Greenland slides into the sea.

  • John White

    It would be nice to participate in this discussion, but I find the comments by those that disagree with Mr Morner, instead of arguing scientifically, seem to be rather messianic in their dislike of his point of view. True scientific discussion relies on calm appreciation of other views and reasoned argument to disprove them. Instead we get viperish name calling which makes me very suspicious that something is not right in their arguments.

  • Marc Welsh

    @ John White – there is understandable frustration about falsity of the argument that there is an argument. For the vast majority of those scientists working in the field the debate continues, but about the scale and mechanisms and effects of AGW and a changing climate, not about whether human activities are having an effect upon the climate system. The few, like Prof. Morner, with rather more ‘unique’ views but little by way of peer reviewed evidence to back them up make big waves in very political outlets like the Spectator and Telegraph with casual commentary and misrepresentation (the “its a conspiracy” argument being a common trope). Personally I’d be suspicious of someone who implies he represents a body of “true experts” who are actively publishing material that disagrees with the IPCC reports. In fact the INQUA have a clear statement about climate change on their home page tal(yup – they concur with IPCC) yet Prof Morner taks about “Our research” and writes as though this is a body that dissents from that position. Such subtleties of false support and pretence of wide but conspirified dissent from the scientific consensus play to a discourse that actively constrains actual proper scientific discussion of the sort you expect, not least because any hint of a discussion is jumped on by the Moncktons and Delingpoles as evidence that the entire edifice of evidence is about to come crumbling down…

  • Graphite

    @Marc Welsh

    So, Marc, you reckon the arguments on the sceptics’ side have no backing from “true” scientists; in your words, “little by way of peer reviewed evidence”.

    And yet, what is the peer-reviewed backing for the warmists’ opinions?

    As has been comprehensively demonstrated by the leaked emails, these “peer reviews” are actually “pal reviews” or “you scratch my back and I’ll scratch your back reviews”.

    As fake as a three dollar bill, as the Yanks used to say.

  • Marc Welsh

    @ Graphite. You need to read what people say more carefully. Suggest you read Anderegg et al 2010 (‘Expert credibility…’).

    I am clearly suggesting that there is consensus – consensus does not mean no dissent or disagreement but that for the vast vast vast majority of active scientists working in the field the working thesis is climate is being affected by human activity. There are differing theories over mechanisms, effects, time scales, local and global climate systems etc. – and those competing theories are refined and reviewed as evidence comes in supporting or refuting them. In the same vein the vast majority of peer reviewed research dealing with the subject supports the anthropogenic climate change thesis.

    From your prose I suspect you are not an active researcher in the field and clearly have no understanding of how peer review works. If you are foolish enough to be suckered into the hype and hyperbole surrounding the so called “climategate” emails then that further reinforces that impression.

  • Graphite

    @Marc Welsh

    A scientist is being polled; the pollster is a Greenpeace-T-shirt-wearing university student — someone who’s never worked for wages in his life and thinks that money is created by governments.

    Q: Do you believe the Earth is warming?

    Scientist: Uh, yes. It warms and it cools and it warms and if your base point is some time that was demonstrably cooler than today we’d have to say it’s warming.

    Q: Is modern man’s industrial practice responsible for the warming.

    Scientist: Well, perhaps a tiny, tiny, tiny fraction of any increase would have to be put down to man’s . . .

    Pollster: Thank you. That’s all. (Moves away to log his results, leaving the scientist’s remaining remarks hanging in the wind.)

    Scientist: . . . but the Earth will cope quite well and there’s absolutely no need to panic. At 380 ppm, the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is historically low. And the claims about rising seas levels swamping coastal cities are completely off target. The IPCC is virtually a gang of standover thugs and as most politicians love playing the saviour this whole debate has got completely out of hand . . .

    Meanwhile, Greenpeace’s pollster has added this guy to the vast majority of scientists who believe in AGW.

  • Andy Welshman

    Nils-Axel Mörner is a dowser. Nuff said.

  • Marc Welsh

    @ Graphite – yeah yeah yeah very witty. But we both know consensus is nothing to do with “polls” of scientists but the publication of solid research that either directly or indirectly sustains a hypothesis. The more evidence that supports a hypothesis the more confidence one can have in its validity. Again, that is how the practice of science operates, incrementally.

    Now there are a few people, like yourself in your comments above, that seek to muddy the waters by pretending that there is a conspiracy orchestrated by work-shy hippies and grant seeking pseudo-scientists that hides the “truth” and fools that masses and,.. oh, if only some enlightened special person who can see past all the hyperbole and politics and apply some simple common sense and libertarian logic to the situation point out where that diverse collectivity of self-serving and lying sciency types have gone wrong in their calculations and theorising then a ‘eureka’ moment will arise and the consensus will be shattered.

    Hurrah for wit, and ‘common sense’. Hallelujah we have been saved from our own gullibility…

  • Graphite

    Marc Welsh
    January 3rd, 2012 1:34pm

    @ Graphite

    “,.. oh, if only some enlightened special person who can see past all the hyperbole and politics and apply some simple common sense and libertarian logic to the situation point out where that diverse collectivity of self-serving and lying sciency types have gone wrong in their calculations and theorising then a ‘eureka’ moment will arise and the consensus will be shattered.”


    Not really.

    What I’d like to see is all those “sciency types” tone down the hyperbole.

    All that talk about coastlines being swamped, about Pacific islands disappearing, about hurricanes and tornadoes increasing ten-fold, about floods wiping out cities, about farmland becoming desert, about the seas becoming lifeless, about glaciers disappearing, about the Antarctic melting . . . all that talk, and more, has given the politicians, both elected and unelected, an excuse to levy taxes and restrict citizens’ rights.

    What say the “sciency types” tell the politicians, “Look. This climate thing could be bad or it could be harmless. We’re working on it. At the moment all we’ve got is computer models. Sit tight and we’ll get back to you when we know more.”

    Instead, James Hansen and his ilk have run around screaming “the sky is falling, the sky is falling” for a couple of decades now with not a shred of credible evidence that anything more than a rise of one degree C in a century may occur.

    And who knows, that one degree may be a boon to mankind. It certainly would be of more benefit than using perfectly good arable land to grow biofuel crops.

  • Computer Geek

    John Hunter, I would point out that with computer modelling the mnemonic GIGO is always worth considering. (Garbage in, garbage out.) I would also take with a very large pich of salt the opinion of anyone, scientist or not, who is employed to research the rise in sea-levels as an unbiased view. I am sure that you are an honourable professional, but if you were to say that there is no global rise in sea-level, what would happen to your employment prospects? A fully open discussion is what is required, and not the derision of anyone who dares to question what YOU believe.

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