Frozen in Time
Oct 27, 2016
Hillary Clinton Is No Hurricane Expert - But I Am

Dr. Neil Frank

As former Director of the National Hurricane Center (1974-1987), I was appalled when, in a campaign rally at Miami-Dade College October 11, Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said, “Hurricane Matthew was likely more destructive because of climate change.” That is false.


We were extremely fortunate that Matthew - category 5 through much of the Caribbean - weakened to category 2 before landfall in South Carolina. It could have been much worse.

In 1893 a much stronger hurricane followed nearly the same track. When its eye reached the Georgia and South Carolina coasts, a 15-20 ft. storm surge inundated the coastal islands. Though population was a small fraction of today’s, between 2,000 and 3,000 died, making that the second deadliest hurricane in U.S. history. The same year another major hurricane killed 2,000 in Louisiana.

All together five hurricanes hit the U.S. in 1893, something that’s happened only 4 times in over 150 years (1886, 1893, 1916, 1933) - all long before CO2 levels rose enough to theoretically cause rapid global warming.

Clinton wants us to believe CO2, emitted when we burn fossil fuels for electricity and transportation vital to life, health, and prosperity, causes global warming that causes more and stronger hurricanes. She’s wrong.

There has been a worldwide 30-year lull in hurricanes, typhoons, and cyclones despite the simultaneous warming - manmade or natural. It has been 11 years since a major hurricane hit the U.S. Before that we expected, on average, 1 every 2 years. In the 7 years 1944-1950, well before the rapid rise of CO2, 6 hit Florida alone.

Clinton is ignorant about more than hurricanes. Based on computer climate models that fail test after test, predicting two to three times the observed warming, she claimed that because of rising sea level driven by manmade warming, “one in eight homes in Florida could be underwater by the end of the century.”

Empirical observation says otherwise. Since 1992 sea level in Miami has risen only a little over 1 inch - a rate of 4.2 inches per century, no faster than for millennia. Mrs. Clinton is wrong. It’s not time to move to the mountains.

Yes, Earth’s atmosphere is warming. It has been, off and on, for 150 years. What causes it? CO2, natural cycles, or some combination? Sun and ocean current cycles correlate better with global temperature than CO2.

If CO2 doesn’t control Earth’s temperature, why has our government spent some $150 billion on “green energy” alone - not to mention billions on research to bolster belief in man-made warming - over the last 15 years?

What do we have to show for it? We lost $500 million when solar panel maker Solyndra went bankrupt. In 2009 we subsidized 11 electric car companies for $2.5 billion. Six are bankrupt and 5 floundering. In 2015 Sun Edison, America’s largest “green energy” company, went bankrupt, costing us $3 billion. Abergeo, the largest international solar energy company, threatens bankruptcy costing us $2.5 billion. We’ve committed $3.5 billion toward a $100 billion climate fund for developing nations.

Projected future costs are staggering. Clinton wants to build and install 500 million new solar panels in the next four years. The Institute for Energy Research estimates this will cost $205 billion plus higher electric rates for consumers. She wants all residential energy to be “green” by 2025.

A peer-reviewed study concludes that full implementation of the Paris climate agreement, which Clinton supports, would cost $1-$2 trillion per year ($70-$144 trillion from 2030-2100). The payoff? An inconsequential 0.3F reduction in global average temperature.

If climate alarmists want to protect life, why aren’t they as concerned about the 1.5 billion people without electricity and the 2-3 billion without pure water? Millions die each year from these two factors. At a fraction of the cost of fighting global warming, electricity from abundant, affordable, reliable fossil fuels, not diffuse, expensive, intermittent wind and solar, could prevent those deaths.

Neil L. Frank, Ph.D. (Meteorology), the longest-serving Director of the National Hurricane Center (1974-1987) and retired Chief Meteorologist of KHOU-TV, Houston (1987-2008), is a Fellow of the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation.

Read more:

Oct 15, 2016
The Importance of the Tropical Hot Spot to EPA’s Endangerment Finding

See more on this by former EPA economist and Science analyst here and here.

Folks, I have been asked by members of a Pro Bono legal team, that has been involved for some time with CO2 regulation and the DC Circuit and Supreme Courts, to pass along to you their response to our Research Report commenters who have claimed that our proof of invalidity of the THS in real world has no bearing on the validity of EPA’s Endangerment Finding.

As the attached document makes clear, this argument is also falsified by the evidence, in this case EPA’s evidence given to the two highest courts of the land.

James P. Wallace III, Ph.D.

On September 21, 2016, a new Research Report by James P. Wallace, III, John R. Christy and Joseph S. D’Aleo, On the Existence of a “Tropical Hot Spot” & The Validity of EPA’s CO2 Endangerment Finding, Abridged Research Report, was published on ICECAP. Applying statistical and econometric methods to data from the principal atmospheric temperature data sets, the Research Report claims to demonstrate that the hypothesized “Tropical Hot Spot” in the tropical upper troposphere does not exist. For the details of the analysis, consult the Report.

This so-called Tropical Hot Spot is a signature pattern of greenhouse gas warming in the tropical upper troposphere according to what EPA, the USGCRP (formerly US CCSP), and the IPCC claim is their basic physical understanding of the climate. The Tropical Hot Spot is thus fundamental to the theory of potentially catastrophic human-caused global warming.

If the Research Report is correct, it would invalidate EPA’s “Endangerment Finding” ("EF") that Greenhouse Gases ("GHGs") endanger human health and welfare, a Finding that in turn is the basis for all of EPA’s efforts to regulate CO2 emissions and the energy sector of the economy. In the EF, EPA attributes global warming to human GHG emissions based on what it calls three “lines of evidence.” The first and most important “line of evidence” is stated by EPA to be “our basic physical understanding of the effects of changing concentrations of greenhouse gases, natural factors, and other human impacts on the climate system.” See 74 Fed. Reg. 66518:3 ("attribution of observed climate change to anthropogenic activities is based on multiple lines of evidence") and 74 Fed. Reg. 66,523:2. (Link. See also Endangerment Finding Technical Support Document ("TSD"), p. 47 (listing the three lines of evidence).

But the authors of the new Research Report conclude that their findings invalidate all EPA’s three lines of evidence, not just the physical understanding. This would in turn would invalidate EPA’s attribution of warming to human emissions, and would leave the EF without support.

One of the early internet responses to the new paper has been to deprecate the importance of the Tropical Hot Spot to both the EF and to the vitality of AGW theory and modeling. See, e.g., link). The argument is that neither EPA’s “physical understanding” line of evidence nor AGW theory generally rests upon the existence of the Hot Spot.

But examination of the Endangerment Finding itself, and of its supporting documents, as well as of the assessment literature on which EPA explicitly relies, makes crystal clear that the Hot Spot is in fact a critical and necessary component of the “physical understanding” of climate that EPA claims as the foundational line of evidence supporting the EF.

For example, the “physical understanding” of the atmospheric greenhouse mechanism set forth in U.S. Climate Change Science Program, Synthesis and Assessment Product 1.1, Temperature Trends in the Lower Atmosphere - Understanding and Reconciling Differences, ("SAP 1.1"), Chapter 1, 1.1, The Thermal Structure of the Atmosphere, p. 17-19: explicitly relies upon the Hot Spot:

The sense of the radiative-convective-dynamical balance above, together with the requirement of radiative balance at the top-of-the atmosphere (namely, equilibrium conditions wherein the net solar energy absorbed by the Earth’s climate system must be balanced by the infrared radiation emitted by the Earth), can help illustrate the significance of long-lived infrared absorbing gases in the global atmosphere. The presence of such greenhouse gases (e.g., carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, halocarbons) increases the radiative heating of the surface and troposphere. As specific humidity is strongly related to temperature, it is expected to rise with surface warming (IPCC, 1990), The increased moisture content of the atmosphere amplifies the initial radiative heating due to the greenhouse gas increases (Manabe and Wetherald, 1967; Ramanathan, 1981). The re-establishment of a new thermal equilibrium in the climate system involves the communication of the added heat input to the troposphere and surface, leading to surface warming (Goody and Yung, 1989; IPCC, 1990; Lindzen and Emanuel, 2002). From the preceding discussions, the lapse rate can be expected to decrease with the resultant increase in humidity, and also to depend on the resultant changes in atmospheric circulation. In general, the lapse rate can be expected to decrease with warming such that temperature changes aloft exceed those at the surface. As a consequence, the characteristic infrared emission level of the planet is shifted to a higher altitude in the atmosphere.

(Emphasis added). The bolded text precisely describes the Hot Spot phenomenon, and clearly demonstrates that it is fundamental to the orthodox physical understanding of the greenhouse warming mechanism. The CCSP SAP 1.1 report depicted the Hot Spot graphically in figure 1.3, p. 25, as follows:


Similarly, the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) also states unequivocally that the Hot Spot is an integral feature of the “physical understanding” of the climate’s hypothesized greenhouse warming mechanism. This is demonstrated by AR4 WG1, The Physical Science Basis, Chapter 9, Figure 9.1. Panel (c) shows the modeled effect of GHGs, and clearly depicts the hot spot:


The text accompanying this figure explains that “The major features shown in Figure 9.1 are robust to using different climate models.” IPCC AR4 WG1 9.2.2. link). “Greenhouse gas forcing is expected to produce warming in the troposphere,...” Id.
In connection with its adoption of the EF, EPA explicitly placed primary reliance on the US CCSP reports and the IPCC AR4. See TSD Box 1.1, p 4. These assessments are cited thousands of times in the full set of documentation for the EF. EPA has well and truly bound itself to these reports.

Whether the Hot Spot exists has been a white-hot point of controversy in the climate debate for many years. The history of the controversy through 2011 is recounted in Tropospheric Temperature Trends: History Of An Ongoing Controversy, January 1, 2011. No one would care if the Hot Spot were not critically important to AGW theory and modeling.

The arguments over the Hot Spot have all been about data quality or interpretation. At no point have any of the participants said it would not matter if there were no Hot Spot, or otherwise deprecated the importance of the Hot Spot to the physical understanding of how GHGs are claimed to warm the climate.

Thus, the CCSP report cited above said if the Hot Spot were missing it would be a “potentially serious inconsistency.” Yet it ultimately sided with those claiming the mismatch between observations and prediction was not fatal. SAP 1.1, p. 11. (Emphasis added).

Given the controversy over the Hot Spot, EPA could not ignore the issue. EPA’s team, including Tom Karl, followed the lead of the CCSP (led by the same Tom Karl) and concluded there was no dispositive conflict between prediction and observation:

However, an important inconsistency may have been identified in the tropics. In the tropics, most observational data sets show more warming at the surface than in the troposphere, while almost all model simulations have larger warming aloft than at the surface (Karl et al., 2006). Karl et al. (2009) state that when uncertainties in models and observations are properly accounted for, newer observational data sets are in agreement with climate model results.

TSD p. 50 (emphasis added). To say the least, this was itself a controversial conclusion.

The New Research Report deals with this EPA’s use of models to validate the Hot Spot as follows:

Section III. Research Design

Unlike some research in this area, this research does not attempt to evaluate the existence of the THS in the real world by using the climate models. This would constitute a well-known error in mathematics and econometrics in that such climate models obviously must include all relevant theories, possibly including some not even known today; many, if not all, of which could impact Tropical temperatures.

Thus, it is never mathematically proper to attempt to validate any theory embedded in a model using the model itself. Each such theory needs to be tested outside of the model construct.

Section IV. Tropical Hot Spot Hypothesis Testing

The proper test for the existence of the THS in the real world is very simple. Are the slopes of the three trend lines (upper & lower troposphere and surface) all positive, statistically significant and do they have the proper top down rank order?

Research Report, p. 14.
In summary, both EPA and the assessments on which it relies expressly recognize the importance of the Hot Spot and treat evidence that it does not exist as a “serious” or “important” “inconsistency” between theory and observation.

The Research Report is a powerful demonstration that the Hot Spot does not exist. The significance is obvious: definitive proof there is no Hot Spot would logically invalidate the physical understanding on which the EF, AGW theory and climate models are founded. This would, in turn, invalidate the entire edifice of U.S. and international climate policy.

Contact Info:


Here is what Alan Carlin thinks of the analysis and his response to questions about the methodology.

The Importance and Unique Aspects of the New Wallace et al. Report

Alan Carlin

Although the very new Wallace et al. report focuses on a new approach to showing the critical absence of a tropical hot spot, which indeed has an important inference of invalidity for USEPA’s principal “line of evidence” in their GHG Endangerment Finding, the report has even more interesting findings about other aspects of climate science. The absence of the tropical hot spot has been discussed for several years, and been ignored by climate alarmists despite the implication of this new finding that CAGW is invalid scientifically. I discussed some of these more interesting findings last week. The report provides considerable support to several of the new hypotheses highlighted here.

The importance of this new study is that the authors very carefully specified multiple simultaneous functional relationships between the most important climate science variables including the critical (in terms of alarmist science) possible dual relationships between CO2 and global temperatures and then allowed the available data to determine the importance of each variable. The report ends by asking why alarmists have apparently never used this approach to determine or assess their “science.” Most of their “science” is based on alleged relationships between the variables based on their interpretations of physical science and particularly various computer models of their creation using these interpretations (despite the inherent inability of such models to accurately portray future climate due to the chaotic nature of climate).

The Wallace et al. 2016 study represents a new and interesting approach to climate science research which should yield very interesting and much more valid results since the weight given to each likely variable is determined by available evidence rather than the guesses of carefully selected “experts” and incorporated into their largely arbitrary computer models. As Wallace et al. 2011 said:

The simplest model that can characterize the relationship between atmospheric CO2 concentration levels and temperature levels must contain at least two simultaneous equations, one for each of these two state variables. Therefore, the climate system must be analyzed using simultaneous equation estimation techniques. Otherwise the parameter estimates of any structural equations will be both biased and inconsistent, which implies they are useless for policy analysis purposes. The existence of a robust atmospheric CO2 equation has been amply demonstrated, thus guaranteeing that ANY modeling system designed to forecast temperature must include at least two equations.

The much more appropriate simultaneous equation approach used in the Wallace et al. 2016 report is notable by its apparent absence (to my knowledge) in alarmist climate science despite the contribution it could and must make if climate science is ever to have any validity.

Oct 14, 2016
Leonardo DiCaprio Urged to Step Down From UN Climate Change Role

by Alex Ritman

A rainforest charity calls on the star to either denounce his connection to individuals involved in a Malaysian corruption scandal and return laundered money he allegedly received or give up his role.

In perhaps the biggest attack on Leonardo DiCaprio’s environmental credibility, a rainforest charity on Friday called on the actor to give up his title as UN Messenger of Peace with a special focus on climate change.

At a press conference in London, the Bruno Manser Funds offered DiCaprio an ultimatum: either he renounce his connections to the “politically exposed persons” at the center of the multi-billion dollar 1MDB Malaysian corruption scandal now being investigated by the U.S. Justice Department and return corrupt money he allegedly received or resign from the position he was given by UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon in 2014.

“If DiCaprio is unwilling to come clean, we ask him to step down as UN Messenger for Peace for climate change, because he simply lacks the credibility for such an important role,” said Lukas Straumann, director of the Switzerland-based charity, which has a particular focus on deforestation in Malaysia.

DiCaprio is alleged to have received millions of dollars diverted from the 1MDB sovereign wealth fund for his role as star and producer of The Wolf of Wall Street, alleged by the DOJ to have been funded by stolen Malaysian money and produced by Red Granite, co-founded by Riza Aziz, the stepson of the Malaysian prime minister and a major figure in a DOJ filing. He is also alleged to have received laundered 1MDB money for his charity, the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, from his former close associate Jho Low, the controversial Malaysian businessman at the heart of the scandal.

Leonardo DiCaprio (left) with Low, the Malaysian businessman at the center of the 1MDB embezzlement scan

Leonardo DiCaprio, the Malaysian Money Scandal and His “Unusual” Foundation

At the press conference, entitled “Recovery of Stolen Malaysian Assets,” a direct link was made between the 1MDB corruption scandal and major environmental issues in Malaysia, such as deforestation, one of the main concerns of the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation.

Clare Rewcastle Brown, whose online Sawarak Report has been investigating corruption in Malaysia for several years, said that one of 1MDB’s first initiatives was to “pay off the chief minister of Sawarak,” the Malaysian state on the vast island of Borneo where the 30-year rule of controversial governor Abdul Taib Mahmud has seen deforestation on a grand scale. “When I saw what 1MDB money had been plowed into, this notoriously corrupt timber baron, I was immediately suspicious,” she said.

The press conference took place the morning DiCaprio was confirmed as attending the BFI London Film Festival for Saturday’s European premiere of his environmental documentary Before the Flood. DiCaprio had been invited to talk at the press conference via an open letter from the Bruno Manser Funds, but didn’t respond. A red chair and name plaque were present in his absence.

“We can’t save the environment if we fail to stop corruption,” said Straumann, who called DiCaprio’s criticism of deforestation in the Indonesia-controlled parts of Borneo, “cynical hypocrisy.”

“He needs to become part of the solution,” he added. “But today he is part of the problem.”

THR has reached out to DiCaprio’s reps for comment.

Sep 22, 2016
The “Science” Underlying Climate Alarmism Turns Up Missing

Francis Menton

In the list of President Obama’s favorite things to do, using government power to save the world from human-caused “climate change” has to rank at the top.  From the time of his nomination acceptance speech in June 2008 ("this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal..."), through all of his State of the Union addresses, and right up to the present, he has never missed an opportunity to lecture us on how atmospheric warming from our sinful “greenhouse gas” emissions is the greatest crisis facing humanity.  Just a couple of weeks ago, while on his way in Air Force One to China to “ratify” his new climate non-treaty treaty, he stopped off to make two speeches on the subject, one in Nevada and the other in Hawaii.  From the Guardian on September 1:

Obama embraced language that would not be out of place from an environmental group, calling on politicians “to be less concerned with special interests and more concerned about the judgment of future generations”. He lamented the “withering” crops in the Marshall Islands and the fact that the government of Kiribati, another low-lying Pacific nation, has purchased land in Fiji to relocate its people due to the rising seas.

And don’t forget, Air Force One is two 747s, not just one.  Hey, you wouldn’t want the President to go crossing the Pacific without a backup 747, now would you?  And while the President lectures us about our sins against the planet, his EPA and other agencies embark on the project to impose penance on us by forcing the closure of coal and other fossil fuel power plants, blocking pipelines, bankrupting the coal mining industry, subsidizing intermittent power sources that can’t possibly run a fully operational electrical grid at reasonable cost, and multiplying our cost of electricity by an order of magnitude or so.  To save the planet!

But is there actually any scientific basis for this?  Supposedly, it’s to be found in a document uttered by EPA back in December 2009, known as the “Endangerment Finding.” In said document, the geniuses at EPA purport to find that the emissions of “greenhouse gases” into the atmosphere are causing a danger to human health and welfare through the greenhouse warming mechanism.  But, you ask, is there any actual proof of that?  EPA’s answer (found in the Endangerment Finding) is the “Three Lines of Evidence”.  From page 47 of the Endangerment Finding’s Technical Support Document:

The attribution of observed climate change to anthropogenic activities is based on multiple lines of evidence. The first line of evidence arises from the basic physical understanding of the effects of changing concentrations of GHGs, natural factors, and other human impacts on the climate system. The second line of evidence arises from indirect, historical estimates of past climate changes that suggest that the changes in global surface temperature over the last several decades are unusual (Karl et al, 2009). The third line of evidence arises from the use of computer-based climate models to simulate the likely patterns of response of the climate system to different forcing mechanisms (both natural and anthropogenic). 

But, guys, have you actually checked the empirical data to see if your “lines of evidence” stand up?  Climate skeptics have been carping for years that the serious studies that should have been done to back up the “lines of evidence” seem to be completely lacking.  And now, this morning, we get this, first appearing at the ICECAP website: “The most important assumption in EPA’s CO2 Endangerment Finding has been conclusively invalidated.”

The news is that a major new work of research, from a large group of top scientists and mathematicians, asserts that EPA’s “lines of evidence,” and thus its Endangerment Finding, have been scientifically invalidated.  Here is a relatively long quote from the summary:

On December 15, 2009, EPA issued its Green House Gas (GHG) Endangerment Finding, which has driven very significant and costly regulations beginning with CO2. Focusing primarily on the time period since 1950, EPA’s Endangerment Finding predicated on Three Lines of Evidence, claims that Higher CO2 Emissions have led to dangerously Higher Global Average Surface Temperatures.

The assumption of the existence of a “Tropical Hot Spot (THS)” is critical to all Three Lines of Evidence in EPA’s GHG/CO2 Endangerment Finding.

Stated simply, first, the THS is claimed to be a fingerprint or signature of atmospheric and Global Average Surface Temperatures (GAST) warming caused by increasing GHG/CO2 concentrations[1]. The proper test for the existence of the THS in the real world is very simple. Are the slopes of the three temperature trend lines (upper & lower troposphere and surface) all positive, statistically significant and do they have the proper top down rank order?

Second, higher atmospheric CO2 and other GHGs concentrations are claimed to have been the primary cause of the claimed record setting GAST over the past 50 plus years.

Third, the THS assumption is imbedded in all of the climate models that EPA still relies upon in its policy analysis supporting, for example, its Clean Power Plan - recently put on hold by a Supreme Court Stay. These climate models are also critical to EPA’s Social Cost of Carbon estimates used to justify a multitude of regulations across many U.S. Government agencies…

These analysis results [in this Report] would appear to leave very, very little doubt but that EPA’s claim of a Tropical Hot Spot (THS), caused by rising atmospheric CO2 levels, simply does not exist in the real world. Also critically important, even on an all-other-things-equal basis, this analysis failed to find that the steadily rising Atmospheric CO2 Concentrations have had a statistically significant impact on any of the 13 critically important temperature time series data analyzed.

Thus, the analysis results invalidate each of the Three Lines of Evidence in its CO2 Endangerment Finding. Once EPA’s THS assumption is invalidated, it is obvious why the climate models they claim can be relied upon, are also invalid. And, these results clearly demonstrate - 13 times in fact - that once just the ENSO impacts on temperature data are accounted for, there is no “record setting” warming to be concerned about. In fact, there is no ENSO-Adjusted Warming at all. These natural ENSO impacts are shown in this research to involve both changes in solar activity and the well-known 1977 Pacific Climate Shift.

So the authors of this Report, operating without government or industry funding, compiled the best available atmospheric temperature time series from 13 independent sources (satellites, balloons, buoys, and surface records), and then backed out only ENSO (i.e., El Nino/La Nina) effects.  And with that data and that sole adjustment they found: no evidence of the so-called Tropical Hot Spot that is the key to EPA’s claimed “basic physical understanding” of the claimed atmospheric greenhouse warming model, plus no statistically significant atmospheric warming at all to be explained.

For those interested in all the gory technical details, here is a link to the full Executive Summary, and here is a link to the full 68 page Report, complete with zillions of charts and access to all the archived underlying data.  Note that, in great distinction to the tradition of climate “science,” where hiding data from adversaries is the norm, here the authors have made all data and methods fully available.  Try to prove them wrong!

Well, back to you EPA!  Do you mean that you’re trying to impose hundreds of billions of dollars of costs on the American economy and citizens and the so-called “scientific” basis for your project never existed? You’d better come up with something pretty good and quick!

Meanwhile, Hillary is saying that she supports Obama’s climate agenda because she “believes in science.” Does she even know that science is a process of testing hypotheses against data, and not a set of enforced orthodox beliefs?  Don’t count on it.


See an excellent write-up on the issues in the weekly SEPP newsletter

Sep 09, 2016
All Natural…Four New Scientific Publications Show No Detectable Sea Level Rise Signal!

No Tricks Zone

Richard Burton in Camelot foretells the UN, EPA, and the administration policy on climate change. Obama and Kerry and the rest of the scientifically illiterates in control think they can control climate cycles simply by executive actions that would eventually leave us in the dark and cold and heat.

Like the (disputed) stories about the proclamations of King Canute that he could simply use his power to command waves and tides to stop rising:



4 New Papers: Anthropogenic Signal Not Detectable in Sea Level Rise

By Kenneth Richard

It is widely assumed that sea levels have been rising in recent decades largely in response to anthropogenic global warming. However, due to the inherently large contribution of natural oscillatory influences on sea level fluctuations, this assumption lacks substantiation. Instead, natural factors or internal variability override the detection of an anthropogenic signal and may instead largely explain the patterns in sea level rise in large regions of the global oceans.

Scientists who have recently attempted to detect an anthropogenic signal in regional sea level rise trends have had to admit that there is “no observable sea-level effect of anthropogenic global warming,” or that the “sea level rise pattern does not correspond to externally forced anthropogenic sea level signal,” and that sea level “trends are still within the range of long-term internal decadal variability.”

Below are highlighted summaries from 4 peer-reviewed scientific papers published within the last few months.

1. Hansen et al., 2016

For the convenience of the readers, our basic results are shown in Figure 1. We identified five individual oscillations (upper panel), including a sea-level amplitude of 70 mm (top-bottom [t-b]) of the 18.6-year oscillation caused by the lunar nodal oscillation (LNO)… Together with a general sea-level rise of 1.18 mm/y, the sum of these five sea-level oscillations constitutes a reconstructed or theoretical sea-level curve of the eastern North Sea to the central Baltic Sea (Figure 1, lower panel), which correlates very well with the observed sea-level changes of the 160-year period (1849-2009), from which 26 long tide gauge time series are available from the eastern North Sea to the central Baltic Sea.  Such identification of oscillators and general trends over 160 years would be of great importance for distinguishing long-term, natural developments from possible, more recent anthropogenic sea-level changes. However, we found that a possible candidate for such anthropogenic development, i.e. the large sea-level rise after 1970, is completely contained by the found small residuals, long-term oscillators, and general trend. Thus, we found that there is (yet) no observable sea-level effect of anthropogenic global warming in the world’s best recorded region.

2. Palanisamy, 2016

Building up on the relationship between thermocline and sea level in the tropical region, we show that most of the observed sea level spatial trend pattern in the tropical Pacific can be explained by the wind driven vertical thermocline movement. By performing detection and attribution study on sea level spatial trend patterns in the tropical Pacific and attempting to eliminate signal corresponding to the main internal climate mode, we further show that the remaining residual sea level trend pattern does not correspond to externally forced anthropogenic sea level signal. In addition, we also suggest that satellite altimetry measurement may not still be accurate enough to detect the anthropogenic signal in the 20-year tropical Pacific sea level trends.

3. Hadi Bordbar et al., 2016

The tropical Pacific has featured some remarkable trends during the recent decades such as an unprecedented strengthening of the Trade Winds, a strong cooling of sea surface temperatures (SST) in the eastern and central part, thereby slowing global warming and strengthening the zonal SST gradient, and highly asymmetric sea level trends with an accelerated rise relative to the global average in the western and a drop in the eastern part. These trends have been linked to an anomalously strong Pacific Walker Circulation, the major zonal atmospheric overturning cell in the tropical Pacific sector, but the origin of the strengthening is controversial. Here we address the question as to whether the recent decadal trends in the tropical Pacific atmosphere-ocean system are within the range of internal variability, as simulated in long unforced integrations of global climate models. We show that the recent trends are still within the range of long-term internal decadal variability.

4. Dangendorf et al., 2016

The observed 20th century sea level rise represents one of the major consequences of anthropogenic climate change. However, superimposed on any anthropogenic trend there are also considerable decadal to centennial signals linked to intrinsic natural variability in the climate system.... Gravitational effects and ocean dynamics further lead to regionally varying imprints of low frequency variability. In the Arctic, for instance, the causal uncertainties are even up to 8 times larger than previously thought. This result is consistent with recent findings that beside the anthropogenic signature, a non-negligible fraction of the observed 20th century sea level rise still represents a response to pre-industrial natural climate variations such as the Little Ice Age.

Tom Wysmuller, formerly of NASA who is a member of coastal sea level committees in the northeast and lectures on sea-level commented on

Sea-Level Rise: There are parts of the world that are tectonically inert, i.e., where subsidence or uplift are not factors affecting coastal tide gauges.  In those areas with long-term time gauge placement, a steady linear and unchanging minimal (1mm/yr) rise in sea level has been observed, in the face of CO2’s relatively rapid acceleration (38% over the past 130 years).  There is no CO2 driven visible sea level acceleration signal, whatsoever, to be seen in tectonically inert coastal regions.

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