Fred Singer writes at the American Thinker of the phenomenon of Sea Level Rise.
Driving the seemingly endless climate-treaty negotiations, the most widely feared consequence of Global Warming appears to be a catastrophic rise in sea level (SLR). Environmental advocacy groups are filling the airwaves with lurid images of flooding of Bangladesh and Pacific islands, and raising the specter of hundreds of millions of environmental refugees demanding care and compensation.
There is no overall theory of SLR, encompassing thermal expansion of the oceans, melting of mountain glaciers, and changes, both positive and negative, of Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. (One may ignore to first approximation the “mining” of fossil groundwater and accumulation of water in reservoirs. Of course, changes in floating sea ice do not affect SLR). A German oceanographer-activist, based in Potsdam, has proposed a “semi-empirical” theory under which SLR is related to sea surface temperature — and thus to atmospheric CO2 levels (if one accepts the existence of appreciable climate sensitivity). But his theory has no theoretical foundation whatsoever and also disagrees strongly with all observations.
By analogy, a future warming produced, putatively, by an increase in greenhouse gases would give the same result: i.e., reduce the rate of rise of sea level. This is not a recommendation to burn more coal in order to save Venice from drowning. It is a modest appeal to politicians to take note of new scientific developments and recognize that the drastic limits on energy use called for by climate-treaty negotiators will not stop the rising seas.
S. Fred Singer is professor emeritus at the University of Virginia and director of the Science & Environmental Policy Project. His specialty is atmospheric and space physics. An expert in remote sensing and satellites, he served as the founding director of the US Weather Satellite Service and, more recently, as vice chair of the US National Advisory Committee on Oceans & Atmosphere. He is a Senior Fellow of the Heartland Institute and the Independent Institute. He co-authored the NY Times best-seller “Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1500 years.”