Sorry, Alarmist Media, Sea Level Won’t Rise 4 Feet by 2100

The news media today is breathlessly promoting a ridiculous “study” claiming sea level will rise up to four feet by the year 2100. The study and the many fawning media reports on the study are completely ridiculous. With sea level currently rising at a pace of approximately 1 foot per century, sea level rise would have to – immediately, starting today – quadruple its pace and sustain that quadrupled pace without interruption for all of the next 80 years. That is simply preposterous.

To begin, here is how EcoWatch reports the study:

If nations fail to act, and current emissions lead to warming of 4.5 degrees, then sea levels are predicted to rise between 0.6 and 1.3 meters by 2100 and between 1.7 and 5.6 meters by 2300.

The predictions are based on a survey of 106 of the world’s leading sea level researchers, carried out by scientists from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and co-authored by researchers from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and published in the Nature Partner Journal Climate and Atmospheric Science.

Key to the prediction is the assertion that many massive Antarctic ice sheets will imminently collapse into the sea. Just last year, however, scientists published research showing such a scenario is not likely to happen anytime soon.

As pointed out by climate realists, and summarized by The Atlantic, “[collapse of] ice cliffs might simply be a product of running a computer model of ice physics at a too-low resolution.”

Then there’s real-world data, reported in Climate at a Glance: Sea Level Rise:

  • Global sea level has been rising since at least the mid-1800s, and data show there has been only minor recent acceleration.
  • NASA satellite instruments, with readings dating back to 1993, show global sea level recently rising at a pace of merely 1.2 inches per decade (1 foot per century).
  • Human civilization successfully dealt with sea level rise utilizing nineteenth and twentieth century technologies, and it will be able to adapt to rising sea levels even more successfully in the coming decades by utilizing twenty-first century technologies.

Global sea level has been rising at a relatively steady pace of approximately one foot per century since at least the mid-1800s. There has been no significant recent acceleration. Yet the media-hyped study claims sea-level rise will immediately quadruple and sustain that pace for the rest of the century.

Not likely.

Anthony Watts
Anthony Watts
Anthony Watts is a senior fellow for environment and climate at The Heartland Institute. Watts has been in the weather business both in front of, and behind the camera as an on-air television meteorologist since 1978, and currently does daily radio forecasts. He has created weather graphics presentation systems for television, specialized weather instrumentation, as well as co-authored peer-reviewed papers on climate issues. He operates the most viewed website in the world on climate, the award-winning website

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  1. Inevitably, though, sea-level rise should accelerate as the rate of Greenland ice melt increases (its quadrupled since 1990).


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