The news article reported by MSNBC (click here) draws attention to a global warming activist website releasing an alarming study (click here) claiming that sea levels will rise 2 to 7 feet this century and that the odds of century or worse floods by 2030 are double.
The article refers to 2 papers in Environmental Research Letters. The first paper, used the following approach described in the abstract:
“We use model output for global temperature changes, a semi-empirical model of global sea level rise, and long-term records from 55 nationally distributed tidal gauges to develop sea level rise projections at each gauge location. We employ more detailed records over the period 1979–2008 from the same gauges to elicit historic patterns of extreme high water events, and combine these statistics with anticipated relative sea level rise to project changing local extremes through 2050.” (Click here)
The paper (click here) explains how the sea level rise was projected:
“2.2. Sea level rise projections”
“We proceed now to incorporate the component of near- (2030) and mid-term (2050) future SLR. We begin by considering global SLR projections. Many variables will influence and contribute to uncertainty around global mean sea level this century, including the future trajectory of greenhouse gas emissions; the response of atmospheric and oceanic temperatures to these; and the melting and dynamic collapse of glaciers and ice sheets in response to changing temperatures (Meehl et al 2007). Numerical models’ simulations of sea level rise, however, especially at regional scales, are not mature enough, yet, to justify their direct use, showing inconsistencies with observed patterns and large differences in the projected ones (Gregory et al 2001, Meehl et al 2007). They are also limited to the thermal expansion component of the rise, as they do not represent the processes leading to ice sheet melting and collapse.”
“Here we instead adopt the semi-empirical approach of Vermeer and Rahmstorf (2009), VR09 from now on.”
The second paper used the following approach, described in the abstract:
“Employing a recent high-resolution edition of the National Elevation Dataset and using VDatum, a newly available tidal model covering the contiguous US, together with data from the 2010 Census, we quantify low-lying coastal land, housing and population relative to local mean high tide levels, which range from ~0 to 3 m in elevation (North American Vertical Datum of 1988). ” (click here)
The authors of the second paper (click here for the paper) state:
“More broadly, our main goal is to indicate levels of potential concern, and inspire more detailed local work; not to generate precise flood or risk maps.”
There has been no sea level rise detected in California, and several tide gauges have been going down. (For more discussion, click here, click here, click here.) Given the other peer-reviewed work that has shown little or no actual sea level rise, as well as the problems of using unverified models to project into the future and make general predictions which could not be objectively tested…..the MSNBC story (click here) on this issue is in the category of journalistic malpractice…..no attempt was apparently made to assess the validity of the claims made, or even consider other relevant scientific research that would challenge the claims of climatecentral.org, clearly a political lobby.
I attempted to download the data from the link on the climatecentral.org to take a look at it, but the link was not active. It gives the appearance of being available, but is not.