NOAA, Palm Beach Post Busted for Fake Sea-Level Claims

Among the top Google News search results today for “climate change,” the Palm Beach Post in Florida published an article claiming that local government will have to prepare for up to 1.4 feet of sea-level rise between the years 2000 and 2040, and up to 3.3 feet of sea-level rise between the years 2000 and 2070. Actual data, however, show such scenarios are simply impossible.

In its article, the Post asserts, “Under NOAA’s ‘intermediate low’ and ‘intermediate high’ projections, sea levels would rise 0.7 feet or 1.4 feet, respectively, by 2040 as compared with year 2000 levels. By 2070, that could increase to a sea level rise of 1.3 feet and 3.3 feet.”

Assuming the Post is accurately reporting what National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration bureaucrats predict, such predictions are self-serving on their face and deserving of scrutiny. After all, much of NOAA’s financial budget and intergovernmental influence is dependent on the notion of an ongoing climate crisis.

NASA satellites utilizing NOAA instruments to measure global sea-level rise report that global sea level is rising at a pace of 3.3 millimeters per year, or 1.3 inches per decade. (It should be noted that NOAA inflates what the satellite data actually say in order to report 3.3 millimeters of sea-level rise per year, but we will take the NOAA assertion at face value for the purpose of this article.)

Locally, a NOAA tidal gauge at Lake Worth Pier, just a few miles south of Palm Beach, reports slightly more sea-level rise, due largely to land subsidence in the region. The Lake Worth Pier tidal gauge reports sea-level rise at a pace of 3.8 millimeters per year, or 1.5 inches per decade.

Accordingly, global sea level has risen approximately 2.6 inches since the year 2000, while Palm Beach sea level has risen approximately 3 inches since the year 2000.

In order to reach even the very bottom range of rising between “0.7 feet (8.4 inches) or 1.4 feet (16.8 inches), respectively, by 2040 as compared with year 2000 levels,” the pace of sea-level rise needs to immediately double and then sustain that doubled pace for the next 20 years. There is absolutely no chance that will happen.

An objective, scientific organization – rather than a pork operation for bureaucrats looking to justify and expand their money and power – would never assert that the “intermediate low” projection for sea-level rise is 0.7 feet between the years 2000 and 2040. Similarly, an objective, credible newspaper would never take such a self-serving assertion at face value and then report on the preposterous assertion uncritically as fact. Finally, an objective, credible search engine would never take such a preposterous claim and then promote it at the top of its “News” results for climate change.

Fortunately, Climate Realism is here to provide the actual data that government bureaucrats and their media sock puppets seek to hide from the American public.

James Taylor
James Taylor
James Taylor is the President of the Heartland Institute. Taylor is also director of Heartland's Arthur B. Robinson Center for Climate and Environmental Policy. Taylor is the former managing editor (2001-2014) of Environment & Climate News, a national monthly publication devoted to sound science and free-market environmentalism.

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