Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Proof of Concept - 6

Fig. 1 Sea level fall near Greenland
When you ask the question "why is sea level falling" you hear crickets from sites that parrot the mistaken notion that "thermal expansion" has been the major cause of sea level rise (SLR) for 200 years.

Even very good sites have been led astray by that false dogma (The Warming Science Commentariat).

Today, I want to mention a scientist who has not been fooled, because he has a concept of sea level change (SLC) that is the antithesis of thermal expansion.

Furthermore, since water expands both when it gets colder, and when it gets warmer, that has been pointed out to high school students since the dark ages:.
Most of us, when we take our first science classes, learn that when things cool down, they shrink. (When they heat up, we learn, they usually expand.) However, water seems to be the exception to the rule. Instead of shrinking as it cools, this common liquid actually expands.
(Why Does Water Expand When it Cools?). The same high school students are taught that water also expands when it is warmed (ibid).

The dogma about thermal expansion of ocean water being a major cause of sea level rise (SLR) for 200 years is in error (Questionable Scientific Papers - 4).

There is no doubt at all that the ocean is warming, and has been for a long time, however, there is insufficient data to conclude that thermal expansion of ocean water is a major cause of SLC.

The major causes are ice sheet and glacier disintegration (The Gravity of Sea Level Change, 2, 3, 4), and ghost-water (The Ghost-Water Constant, 2, 3, 4).

Anyway, there are scientists who know that the ocean is both rising and falling as a result of global warming, and that it is induced by our burning of fossil fuels.

One such scientist, William Colgan, gives us an inkling of SLF speed in the vicinity of the Greenland ice sheet:
Colgan said this change will have implications for places close to Greenland like Nunavut [a recently created Canadian province].

"Actually close to Greenland, sea level rise is negative, or sea level is dropping, in part because the gravitational field is weakening so quickly that the water in the ocean is migrating to more gravitationally massive places on Earth."

Colgan said the sea level has been decreasing in Frobisher Bay at around one centimetre per year [10 mm], an effect that can be as damaging as sea level rise.

"Iqaluit will not be flooded out by rising sea level but to have the harbour in Iqaluit, which is already really shallow, get shallower at one centimetre per year going forward, that can also be a very damaging sequence of sea level change," he said.

The melting of Greenland ice also produces more icebergs which are being discharged from the glaciers on land.

"There's actually more icebergs now being spat out into Baffin Bay and floating around as potential navigation hazards than there were 50 or even 10 years ago," said Colgan.
(Melting Greenland Ice, emphasis added). The sea level falling there is exactly what is to be expected (Proof of Concept - 3, Proof of Concept - 5).

Regular readers will remember that I did a post about this, the impact it has, and will continue to have on seaports (Peak Sea Level - 2, The Extinction of Robust Sea Ports - 2).

If you want more information concerning these issues go to the Series Tab page and scroll down to "SEA LEVEL CHANGE" sections.

The next post in this series is here, the previous post in this series is here.


  1. Great Post Dredd!

    "When they break-up, it is like pulling the plug in the bathtub for the adjacent tributary glaciers,”
    "The collapse of Larsen C, which is roughly the size of Scotland, is “going to be a really big event,”


    Seems to me all the focus on the 'steric' increase(volume increase in sea level due to increasing H20 temp) draws important focus away from the 'mass' increase ( melting of land and sea based ice, shelves, caps etc.) which is the giant of the two 'contributors' where both are propelled by the increased temps that are responsible for both sea rise AND fall.

    1. Mark,

      "Seems to me all the focus on the 'steric' increase (volume increase in sea level due to increasing H20 temp) draws important focus away from ..."

      Yes, it is the most likely suspect algorithm component in the SLC computer models which have incessantly underestimated SLC.

      At the same time, models have been sufficiently accurate at temperature and carbon dioxide calculations that project future increases of those two issues.

      The "thermal expansion is a major factor of SLC" canard has become the "go to" or "fall back to" conversation in several recent bad science papers.

      "Thermal expansion has doubled" is the conclusion of lazy scientists who are "majoring in the minors" ("the kind of mistake that takes the minor thing and inappropriately treats it as a major thing").

      The mistake is not to note that water expands when it is warmed (or when it is made colder for that matter), rather, the mistake is calling it "a major factor."

      Why isn't "cold expansion" a major factor ("as ice bergs calve into the warmer ocean water the ocean water is cooled and therefore expands") ?

      Displacement and relocation are the major factors as you indicate, so let's get busy understanding those dynamics very well.