Understand the human contribution to sea level rise

Post: 22 May 2018

True but not acceptable if Prof. Fred Singer asserts: The sea is rising, but not because of Climate Change, and there is nothing we can do about it, except to build dikes and sea walls a little bit higher. In his recent WSJ essay (15 May 2018), also HERE and HERE, he writes:

Of all known and imagined consequences of climate change, many people fear sea-level rise most. But efforts to determine what causes seas to rise are marred by poor data and disagreements about methodology. The noted oceanographer Walter Munk referred to sea-level rise as an “enigma”; it has also been called a riddle and a puzzle.

The message is: Whatever cause any ocean rise man has to except that as he has little chance to stop or reverse the trend. So far so good. The oceans are huge, too big to control, or to manage. Therefor it is easy to agree with Prof. Singer that presumable nothing can be done about a rising sea. But while is it unacceptable? We do not know the oceanic warming mechanism in detail. It is too much a “riddle and a puzzle” to be sure that human activities at seas do not contribute, and whether that can be minimized or avoided.

Singer is a trained atmospheric physicist. Born 1924 he is known for his work in space research, atmospheric pollution, rocket and satellite technology. Most significantly he argues there is neither  evidence that global warming is attributable to human-caused increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide, and that climate models are neither based on reality nor evidence. His booklet “Hot Talk Cold Science – Global Warming’s unfinished Debate” ; Oakland 1998,  explains his view in details. It is worth reading and his stance made him to one of the most eminent so-called: climate skeptics. He deserves it.

But what is wrong about his notion: ”there is nothing we can do about rising sea”? Throughout his long research career and extensive publication, the oceans have received little attention, although they may have provided an answer to questions he and others raised. Here is one example Singer raised frequently (e.g. HERE) that long overdue to be explained:

For example, the data show that the climate warmed between 1900 and 1940, long before humanity used much energy. But then the climate cooled between 1940 and 1975.

Indeed at about 1918 started an extreme warming trend, and very surprising cooling trend in 1940. The first date is closely related to the First World War, and the later date to the commencement of the 2. World War on 1st September 1939. In both cases huge activities at sea took place. During the 1st WW naval warfare was close to Europe and a sudden shift in the Atlantic sector of the Arctic Sea started a warming of the Northern Hemisphere until 1939. During the 2nd WW naval activities at first close to Europe’ shores became eventually a global matter. In both cases the ocean relevance to climatic shifts was eminent.  This blog offers a number of posts for more information, and access to the PDF version of the ‘Booklet on Naval War changes Climate’

For more than 150 years merchant ships and fishing vessels change the structure of sea surface water temperatures down to 10 meter depth. All told that may result in 100’000’000 kilometer across the oceans every day. That moves more heat in than out. Ignoring this aspect when discussing sea level rise is little convincing.
                            MORE at OCEANS-GOVERN-CLIMATE.

Regarding the sea as enigma is of little help, and completely unacceptable to render to sea level rise, at least not so long as any human contribution can be defiantly be excluded.

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