Drowning The Sea Level/Global Warming Relationship Myth

One of the most often stated pieces of drivel from the climate science community, is that sea level rise is an indication of warming temperatures. In fact, there is no such correlation.

The graph below overlays global temperatures with global sea level. For the last 8,000 years, sea level has been rising while temperatures have been falling.


How can this be?

Simple. As long as there are glaciers, and temperatures are warm enough to cause more glacial melt than new ice formation, sea level will rise. The fact that sea level is rising tells you nothing about whether the climate is warming or cooling.


About stevengoddard

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21 Responses to Drowning The Sea Level/Global Warming Relationship Myth

  1. Marcia, Marcia says:

    They’ll have to make a Hockey Stick that goes back 8000 years.

  2. Brendon says:

    So it’s either melting land ice or thermal expansion. Take your pick Steve.

    • The water contracts (not expands) when the temperature drops. How many times are we going to have this conversation?

      • Brendon says:

        So when we have rising temps and melting land ice we get a rising sea level.

        It’s not difficult to understand.

      • You are blowing me away with your dissonance.

      • Brendon says:

        Hardly dissonance Steve.

        As I sais last time you tried to obscure the truth of warming, of the last 8,000 years the melting ice accounts for more sea water than does the cooling ocean.

        Over the past 150 years, the ocean is still rising. This means that the ice is still melting (which you seem at pains to tell us that it’s not) or the oceans are warming (which you also seem at pains to tell us that it’s not).

        The dissonance is yours Steve. 😉

      • Did you actually read this article before you started posting? Do you have any idea what it is about?

      • Brendon says:

        Took me all of one minute to read this article. Yes I understand that sea level rise alone is not proof of warming.

        Proof of warming comes mostly from the thermometer and satellite measurement.

        What I also pointed out was that is the sea level rise is not from thermal expansion, then it must be from land ice melt.

        Either way Steve you lose. 😉 You can only avoid the implications of the data for so long.

  3. Biobob says:

    There is an alternative explanation:

    The sea level data is crap and the temperature data is crap. Both are proxies of reality not the actual reality. Ignoramus et ignorabimus

    I vote for the above interpretation.

  4. Lazarus says:

    “One of the most often stated pieces of drivel from the climate science community, is that sea level rise is an indication of warming temperatures.”

    Isn’t that the ‘Drivel’ you have used here when you stated; “Lets do the math. The two things which affect global sea level are glacial melt and water temperature.”

    Remember, “There is no other option.”

    • Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

      But Antarctica has 70% of the world’s freshwater, and it’s not melting

      3mm a year rises. Whats the margin of error on the measurement, I didn’t know you could work out that the sea rose 3mm in a year, do they use an electron microscope to detect this change?

  5. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    http://www.cmar.csiro.au/sealevel/sl_hist_few_hundred.html I Can’t see anything special about the sea changes.

    * The 2007 IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) report suggested that sea levels would rise by between 190 mm (7.5 inches) and 590 mm by the end of this century.[17]
    * Sea-level rise estimates from satellite altimetry since 1992 (about 2.8 mm/yr) exceed those from tide gauges. It is unclear whether this represents an increase over the last decades, variability, or problems with satellite calibration.
    * Church and White (2006) report an acceleration of SLR since 1870.[2] This is a revision since 2001, when the TAR stated that measurements have detected no significant acceleration in the recent rate of sea level rise.
    * Based on tide gauge data, the rate of global average sea level rise during the 20th century lies in the range 0.8 to 3.3 mm/yr, with an average rate of 1.8 mm/yr.[18]
    * Recent studies of Roman wells in Caesarea and of Roman piscinae in Italy indicate that sea level stayed fairly constant from a few hundred years AD to a few hundred years ago.
    * Based on geological data, global average sea level may have risen at an average rate of about 0.5 mm/yr over the last 6,000 years and at an average rate of 0.1 to 0.2 mm/yr over the last 3,000 years.
    * Since the Last Glacial Maximum about 20,000 years ago, sea level has risen by over 120 m (averaging 6 mm/yr) as a result of melting of major ice sheets. A rapid rise took place between 15,000 and 6,000 years ago at an average rate of 10 mm/yr which accounted for 90 m of the rise; thus in the period since 20,000 years BP (excluding the rapid rise from 15-6 kyr BP) the average rate was 3 mm/yr.
    * A significant event was Meltwater pulse 1A (mwp-1A), when sea level rose approximately 20 m over a 500 year period about 14,200 years ago. This is a rate of about 40 mm/yr. Recent studies suggest the primary source was meltwater from the Antarctic, perhaps causing the south-to-north cold pulse marked by the Southern Hemisphere Huelmo/Mascardi Cold Reversal, which preceded the Northern Hemisphere Younger Dryas
    * Relative sea level rise at specific locations is often 1–2 mm/yr greater or less than the global average. Along the US mid-Atlantic and Gulf Coasts, for example, sea level is rising approximately 3 mm/yr

    • ChrisD says:

      an average rate of 0.1 to 0.2 mm/yr over the last 3,000 years.

      That’s the key number, isn’t it? So how is it that you “can’t see anything special” about the current rate being 15-30 times the average rate over the last 3K years?

      • Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

        Yeah its a travesty that the satellite data from 3000 years ago shows such changes.

        Tomorrow, do you expect the day to be the same as today, the earth is not Ground hog day. It seems like the earth’s history is 3000 years old, are you one of those believers who think god made the earth 3000 years ago and there was a big flood with a man in a wooden boat and everything has stayed the same since then?

      • ChrisD says:

        Yeah its a travesty that the satellite data from 3000 years ago shows such changes.

        You posted this data, not me, and tried to use it to say that “nothing special” is happening. Suddenly it’s no good? It’s good when you think it supports your view but no good when it’s pointed out that it doesn’t?

      • Robb says:


        I’ll try to make this easier on you since Scarlet’s informative post is obviously too much for you to comprehend.

        Let’s just say SL was rising at 5mm/yr for 1,000 years. It then falls @ 2.5mm/yr for the next 1,000 years. Leaving you with a 2,000 year average SLR of 2.5mm/yr.

        If the SL goes back to rising 5mm/yr over the next 150 years, it’s nothing exceptional that the rise is DOUBLE the 2,000 yr average.

        But based on your previous comments, I fear even this may be beyond your grasp

    • Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

      I’m trying to educate you that it’s nothing significant. Maybe the waves are higher every year 1mm. Will you stop watching TV to help?

      • ChrisD says:

        And I’m trying to educate you that a SLR that is already 15-30 times the average for the last 3,000 years is not “nothing special,” as you stated.

  6. Biobob says:

    the proof is in the pudding, as they say. If sea level is rising so rapidly, why has satellite photo measurement shown 23 of the 27 Pacific islands pacific islands INCREASING in area or at least not decreasing ?


    Who would care about purported rising sea level if the effects of such rise are NIL?
    Obviously some pedantic dimwit.

    I still say the data is trash.

    • ChrisD says:

      I haven’t read the Discover piece, but the deal with those islands was that they are living islands, i.e., they are made of coral debris and such. The islands themselves are actually growing, so they’re keeping pace (for now) with rising sea levels. This doesn’t mean that they’ll always be able to do so—plus drowning isn’t the only bad thing that can happen to low-lying islands. For example, rising seas can invade the fresh water table, making the island essentially uninhabitable.

      And of course, most of the world’s coasts aren’t growing like these islands, so there’s nothing to save them from rising seas.

      I’d be surprised if all or most of this isn’t in your Discover article.

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