The Tampa Bay Times ran another story on 11/28/15 claiming that sea levels are rising faster than in the past. The Sunbeam Times Truth Check has determined the claim to be false and has classified it as “Under a Rock”. Data was analyzed from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) dating back to 1947 from the St. Petersburg tide and current Station. The exclusive Sunbeam Times analysis shows that sea levels have been naturally rising at about the same rate since 1947 when compared between years and decades. In addition, the actual sea level is reading 2 cm below the most likely predicted level for 2015. The lack of accelerated sea level increase is critical for citizens to recognize now. Currently, the TB Times, President Obama, Pope Francis and numerous members of the global elite are pushing for a global tax and a global regulatory structure to impose unnecessary and draconian control over energy use, economics and freedom itself. The continued false claims of the Times on sea level changes call in to question their credibility on climate change and many other political matters. The repeated false claims of the Tampa Bay Times on accelerated Sea Level changes and global warming demonstrate that their reporting is driven by an extreme agenda rather than the facts.
| Tampa Bay Times Claim:
“The sea level is rising faster than the natural rate.
Rating by Sun Beam Times Truth Check: “Under a Rock”!
| FACTS determined from Sunbeam Times Truth Check
Tampa Bay Times False Claims on Sea Level and Climate Change
The Tampa Bay Times (TB Times) routinely and frequently runs stories stating that the sea levels are rising at faster rates than in the past. The Stories usually describe and extoll government and other action to prepare for sea levels rising faster than anticipated.The latest story from reporter Craig Pittman was on the history of sea level rises in the past. The story describe how Florida Indians had to move burial mounds that were being flooded by rising seas. The story actually acknowledges, as do all parties in the debate, that sea levels have been rising for thousands of years. However the Times story gave a false claims on how quickly the sea level rise is changing.
“Sea level rise driven by climate change poses a major threat to Florida’s coast. While the sea level fluctuates naturally, it’s been rising faster than the natural rate. The change has been blamed on the warming of the world’s oceans — heating water makes it expand — as well as melting glaciers. The sea has already risen by about 8 inches since reliable recordkeeping began in 1880. It’s projected to rise another 1 to 4 feet by 2100”
The TB Times claim that sea levels are rising “faster than the natural rate” is patently false. However it is consistent with many stories run by the Times on this topic for several years. A search for “sea level” at Tampa Bay Times reveals at least 60 stories matching this criteria, most of them lopsided toward the inaccurate claim that sea levels are rising faster than the “natural rate”. No data is given in the 11/28/15 story to support the claim of more rapidly rising sea levels, nor is any other party interviewed that disagrees with the claim. In addition, the Times does not indicate what the “natural rate” is.
For this Truth Check, St. Petersburg data from NOAA was evaluated by, Dr. McKalip, founder of the Sunbeam Times. Dr. McKalip is a neurosurgeon and an experienced researcher who routinely uses high level statistics and mathematical analysis since his time as a researcher at the University of California, San Francisco and the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill where he was awarded NIH and other grants. The full data set and analysis is available for independent review upon request. The NOAA data looked at the actual sea levels in St. Petersburg, a common benchmark for the Tampa Bay area. The rate of change of St. Petersburg sea level was evaluated to test the claims of a “faster” rise in sea levels. The rates of change were calculated in an Excel spread sheets using standard statistical formulas and methods. Since 1947, the difference in sea level from year to year was determined as was the difference from decade to decade. Rates of annual change were evaluated between ten-year periods and as a ten-year moving average of trans-decade changes. The rates were compared to historical norms established in 1988 in a classic sea level study published by the US Department of Commerce (Lyles) that looked at sea levels back to 1855 (1947 for St. Petersburg). That historical norm for St. Petersburg was a 2.3 mm/year natural rise in seal level. The Lyles and a 1995 EPA study (Titus) were used by the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council (TBRPC) in their sea level predictions of 2006. The current average height of the sea level was also compared sea levels predicted to occur in 2006 by the TBPRC.
Local Sea levels are rising at the same rate now as they have since 1947
Sea level changes were compared between decades by calculating the difference in sea level heights between ten year periods. These differences were then averaged over the entire 67 year period. In addition, the rate of sea level change was average over ten years in a rolling, year by year fashion (moving average). The smoothing of data with moving averages and interannual and inter-epoch variation is similar to methods used by NOAA itself in describing changes in Sea Level in St. Petersburg.
The average rate of sea level rise was no greater over a 67 year period (1947-2014) than historic rates of sea level rises. When evaluated between decades, the average annual rise in sea level was 23 mm per decade or 2.3 mm/year since 1947. 2.3 mm/year is the same rate as was present in 1988 study by the US Department of Commerce (Lyles). The rate varied over time, as is normal with sea level measurement. There were times when the sea level fell by up to – 4cm per decade and rose by 11 cm per decade. When ten year average sea level changes were compared, the lowest rise was 5 mm/decade (0.5mm/yr) and the highest 40 mm/decade (4 mm/yr). The inter-decade evaluation smoothes out the variability in sea level increases and decreases that occur naturally over time.
|Conclusion 1: When compared over ten year periods, the average annual sea level rise was 2.3 mm/yr. This is no different than rate increases from the past in St. Petersburg.|
Annual rise in sea level mirrors past decades.
The change in sea levels were also compared from one year to the next. The differences between years were calculated and these differences were averaged over time. The average annual changes over ten year periods were compared.
The last ten years of sea level data (2005-2014) shows that the average rate of change over a decade is similar to that in past decades. Over the last ten full years of data, the average annual rise was 6.78 mm. In all ten year periods, the annual increase ranged between 0.68-8.36 mm/yr. Thus the most recent ten years has only the second highest rate of change, with the highest occurring from 1965-1974 (8.36 mm/yr). From 1947 to 1964 the sea level was recorded to be falling from 1.79-2.18 mm per year.
|Conclusion 2: There is little difference in the variability of sea level changes between decades in St. Petersburg from 1947-2014. The amount of change is no faster than in prior decades and can’t be said to be occurring “faster than natural rates”.|
Current Sea levels lower than Predicted by Tampa Bay Planning Council
The TBRPC prepared a report in 2006 entitled “Sea Level Rise in the Tampa Bay Region”. The TBRPC used the report to plan for a rise in sea level of five feet over the next “few hundred years”. However, they then arbitrarily chose to map out the effect of a 5 year rise over a few hundred years at a level of 10 feet above current sea level. TBPRC based its predictions on data from the Titus and Lyles studies of 1995 and 1988. The TBRPC predicted sea levels rises based on a probability of occurrence. In common weather terms, it described the “Percent chance” of certain sea level increases. The predictions were based on a probability curve in a bell shape, like grading on a curve for school exams. Thus the planners are indicating that the most likely predicted increase would be at the 50% probability level (in the middle of the curve). The TBRPC made predictions for the years 2025, 2050, 2075, 2100 and 2200. To determine the prediction for 2015, the probabilities of additional rise in sea level were extrapolated mathematecally by Dr. Mckalip.
Based on this, the TBRPC predicted that by now the St. Petersburg seal level would be 9.75 cm higher. However, the sea level is now only 7.75 cm higher. This is at the lower end of the predictions by the TBRPC, with only a 28.5% chance of occurring. The amount of rise calculated by the Sunbeam Times is based on the five year average from 1986-1990 ( 1.38875 meters) vs the five year sea level average from 2000-2014 (1.466233), a difference of 77.5 mm. Thus the predicted rise is 2 cm less than the TBRPC predicted to occur by now.
|Conclusion 3. Sea levels are rising at rates slower than predicted by global warming models. They are also rising at levels similar to previous rises over 25 years. In fact, the difference in the prior 25 year period from 1964-1989 was 89.9, which is actually more than that last 25 year period rise of 77.5 mm speaking to the variability built in due to nature from factors like the sun and its solar cycle. The Times continued claim that the sea levels are rising “faster than the natural rate” is false.|
Sea Level Rises are Natural and Not Man Made
Global warming alarmists and those that want to implement their agenda continue to claim that sea levels are rising faster than predicted due to manmade global warming. They insist that unelected, unaccountable global authorities must be created to control the use of energy – limiting the freedom of individuals and imposing austerity on the world. This will inevitably result in lower life expectancy, more suffering, less productivity and less happiness. Swedish geologist and physicist Nils-Axel Mörner, formerly chairman of the INQUA International Commission on Sea Level Change, has described the predicted rapid sea level rise as “the greatest lie ever told“.
The global warming alarmists also like to advocate for massive government spending for public works “infrastructure” projects to prepare for rising sea level. For instance the Times recently extolled the project in Miami to spend $500 million over 5 years to install pumps and raise roads and seawalls (which may have been required for other reasons or not at all). The TBRPC and local governments in Tampa Bay are contemplating similar spending.
The fact is that the seal level is rising as part of a natural rise in the water since the end of the last glacial period which was 20,000 years ago (figure 22.214.171.124.2 from NIPCC report on climate change). The USGS has published figures showing rising seas over 18,000 years. The figures show sea levels falling below current levels for about 2 million years and over current levels for 100 million years before that. 20,000 years ago, the Florida coastline extended out twice as far as the current coastline now and Florida was flooded over more than half its serface 5 million years ago (see last figure below).
That is nature and all of these changes occurred before the invention of the incandescent lightbulb, SUV’s, coal-fired power or modern agriculture. Man is not causing any appreciable change in the natural rise and fall of the sea. Likewise, the President Obama, the UN and global authorities can’t “stop the rise of the seas” because they say so. That is called hubris. The Tampa Bay Times assertions that man is causing a more rapid sea level rise are not based in fact and indicate they are biased purveyors of stories and opinion. The Tampa Bay Times has demonstrated that on Climate change they are advocates for an extreme agenda and an agent of propaganda of an elite ruling class. If the Tampa Bay Times wants to continue to make assertions on sea level changes and climate change, they should perform the work themselves, verify it and then release their data and work publicly for all to see. Just as has been done here by the Sunbeam Times Truth Check.