A Brief Window into How the IPCC Does Science

I thought I had blogged on this topic of seal level measurement previously, but after reading this from Q&O and looking back, I see that I never posted anything.

As a brief background:

Dr. Nils-Axel Mörner is the head of the Paleogeophysics and Geodynamics department at Stockholm University in Sweden. He is past president (1999-2003) of the INQUA Commission on Sea Level Changes and Coastal Evolution, and leader of the Maldives Sea Level Project. Dr. Mörner has been studying the sea level and its effects on coastal areas for some 35 years. He was interviewed by Gregory Murphy on June 6 for EIR

Climate scientists are notoriously touchy about non-climate folks "meddling" in their profession, but they have no such qualms when they venture off into statistics or geology or even astrophysics without much knowlege of what they are doing.  This story is telling, as told by Dr. Mörner:

Another way of looking at what is going on is the tide gauge. Tide gauging is very complicated, because it gives different answers for wherever you are in the world. But we have to rely on geology when we interpret it. So, for example, those people in the IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change], choose Hong Kong, which has six tide gauges, and they choose the record of one, which gives 2.3 mm per year rise of sea level. Every geologist knows that that is a subsiding area. It’s the compaction of sediment; it is the only record which you shouldn’t use. And if that figure is correct, then Holland would not be subsiding, it would be uplifting.

And that is just ridiculous. Not even ignorance could be responsible for a thing like that. So tide gauges, you have to treat very, very carefully. Now, back to satellite altimetry, which shows the water, not just the coasts, but in the whole of the ocean. And you measure it by satellite. From 1992 to 2002, [the graph of the sea level] was a straight line, variability along a straight line, but absolutely no trend whatsoever. We could see those spikes: a very rapid rise, but then in half a year, they fall back again. But absolutely no trend, and to have a sea-level rise, you need a trend.

Then, in 2003, the same data set, which in their [IPCC’s] publications, in their website, was a strai-ght line—suddenly it changed, and showed a very strong line of uplift, 2.3 mm per year, the same as from the tide gauge. And that didn’t look so nice. It looked as though they had recorded something; but they hadn’t recorded anything. It was the original one which they had suddenly twisted up, because they entered a “correction factor,” which they took from the tide gauge. So it was not a measured thing, but a figure introduced from outside. I accused them of this at the Academy of Sciences in Moscow —I said you have introduced factors from outside; it’s not a measurement. It looks like it is measured from the satellite, but you don’t say what really happened. And they ans-wered, that we had to do it, because otherwise we would not have gotten any trend!

That is terrible! As a matter of fact, it is a falsification of the data set. Why? Because they know the answer. And there you come to the point: They “know” the answer; the rest of us, we are searching for the answer. Because we are field geologists; they are computer scientists. So all this talk that sea level is rising, this stems from the computer modeling, not from observations. The observations don’t find it!

  • Very interesting. “Correction factors” have come in very handy over the years in making bad data behave for the climate science community. Remember: If it’s for a good cause, it’s not really cheating.

  • MM

    That’s how settled science works: observation must be corrected to have continued…um…settledness.

  • MM

    That’s how settled science works: observation must be corrected to have continued…um…settledness.

  • dearieme

    Flat lines, eh? May I be the first to dub it “Global Tepiding”?

  • WP

    Great blog! More proof of how biased some scientists are when their ideas are at stake.

    By the way, possibly you meant “sea level” in the first sentence rather than “seal level”?

  • Peter

    Dearieme: Nope, it’s seal levels.. don’t you know that the seals are drowning too, just like the polar bears.. 😉

  • Had to blog this, it’s too important to pass-up.