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An example of important climate change research hidden, lest it spoil the media’s narrative

22 May 2009

 The big lie of the mainstream media narrative of climate science is that the issue is settled.  This is one in a series of articles showing the rest of the story, which is slowly seeping through the cracks into public view.  At the end are links to the FM reference pages about science, linking to a wide range of research, and other resources.

Rise of sea levels is ‘the greatest lie ever told’“, The Telegraph, 28 March 2009 — “The uncompromising verdict of Dr Mörner is that all this talk about the sea rising is nothing but a colossal scare story.” 

About the author (from Wikipedia):

Mörner is the former head of the Paleogeophysics and Geodynamics department at Stockholm University, having retired in 2005. He was president of the International Union for Quaternary ResearchCommission on Neotectonics (1981-1989). He headed the INTAS (International Association for the promotion of cooperation with scientists from the New Independent States of the former Soviet Union) Project on Geomagnetism and Climate (1997-2003).

For more information about this, see these articles by Anthony Watts at Watts Up with That, including links and pictures:

Links to some of Dr. Morner’s publications


Rise of sea levels is ‘the greatest lie ever told’“, The Telegraph, 28 March 2009 — “The uncompromising verdict of Dr Mörner is that all this talk about the sea rising is nothing but a colossal scare story.”  Excerpt:

If one thing more than any other is used to justify proposals that the world must spend tens of trillions of dollars on combating global warming, it is the belief that we face a disastrous rise in sea levels. The Antarctic and Greenland ice caps will melt, we are told, warming oceans will expand, and the result will be catastrophe.

Although the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) only predicts a sea level rise of 59cm (17 inches) by 2100, Al Gore in his Oscar-winning film An Inconvenient Truth went much further, talking of 20 feet, and showing computer graphics of cities such as Shanghai and San Francisco half under water. We all know the graphic showing central London in similar plight. As for tiny island nations such as the Maldives and Tuvalu, as Prince Charles likes to tell us and the Archbishop of Canterbury was again parroting last week, they are due to vanish.

But if there is one scientist who knows more about sea levels than anyone else in the world it is the Swedish geologist and physicist Nils-Axel Mörner, formerly chairman of the INQUA International Commission on Sea Level Change. And the uncompromising verdict of Dr Mörner, who for 35 years has been using every known scientific method to study sea levels all over the globe, is that all this talk about the sea rising is nothing but a colossal scare story.

Despite fluctuations down as well as up, “the sea is not rising,” he says. “It hasn’t risen in 50 years.” If there is any rise this century it will “not be more than 10cm (four inches), with an uncertainty of plus or minus 10cm”. And quite apart from examining the hard evidence, he says, the elementary laws of physics (latent heat needed to melt ice) tell us that the apocalypse conjured up by Al Gore and Co could not possibly come about.

The reason why Dr Mörner, formerly a Stockholm professor, is so certain that these claims about sea level rise are 100 per cent wrong is that they are all based on computer model predictions, whereas his findings are based on “going into the field to observe what is actually happening in the real world”.

When running the International Commission on Sea Level Change, he launched a special project on the Maldives, whose leaders have for 20 years been calling for vast sums of international aid to stave off disaster. Six times he and his expert team visited the islands, to confirm that the sea has not risen for half a century. Before announcing his findings, he offered to show the inhabitants a film explaining why they had nothing to worry about. The government refused to let it be shown.

Similarly in Tuvalu, where local leaders have been calling for the inhabitants to be evacuated for 20 years, the sea has if anything dropped in recent decades. The only evidence the scaremongers can cite is based on the fact that extracting groundwater for pineapple growing has allowed seawater to seep in to replace it. Meanwhile, Venice has been sinking rather than the Adriatic rising, says Dr Mörner.

One of his most shocking discoveries was why the IPCC has been able to show sea levels rising by 2.3mm a year. Until 2003, even its own satellite-based evidence showed no upward trend. But suddenly the graph tilted upwards because the IPCC’s favoured experts had drawn on the finding of a single tide-gauge in Hong Kong harbour showing a 2.3mm rise. The entire global sea-level projection was then adjusted upwards by a “corrective factor” of 2.3mm, because, as the IPCC scientists admitted, they “needed to show a trend”.

When I spoke to Dr Mörner last week, he expressed his continuing dismay at how the IPCC has fed the scare on this crucial issue. When asked to act as an “expert reviewer” on the IPCC’s last two reports, he was “astonished to find that not one of their 22 contributing authors on sea levels was a sea level specialist: not one”. Yet the results of all this “deliberate ignorance” and reliance on rigged computer models have become the most powerful single driver of the entire warmist hysteria.


Please share your comments by posting below.  Per the FM site’s Comment Policy, please make them civil and relevant to this post.  Or email me at fabmaximus at hotmail dot com (note the spam-protected spelling).  Posts over 250 words will have a fold inserted (putting a “more” button in the comment), so make the opening text an interesting summary of your comment.

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For more information

To read other articles about these things, see the FM reference page on the right side menu bar.  Of esp relevance to this topic:

Some of the posts on the FM site about climate change:

  1. An article giving strong evidence of global warming, 30 June 2008
  2. More forecasts of a global cooling cycle, 15 July 2008
  3. Two valuable perspectives on global warming, 4 August 2008
  4. Good news about global warming!, 21 October 2008 – More evidence of cooling.
  5. One of the most interesting sources of news about science and nature!, 27 October 2008
  6. Watching the world change before our eyes, 29 November 2008
  7. This week’s report on the news in climate science, 7 December 2008
  8. The Senate Minority report is out: “More Than 650 International Scientists Dissent Over Man-Made Global Warming Claims”, 12 December 2008
  9. Weekend reading recommenations about climate change, 13 December 2008
  10. An important new article about climate change, 29 December 2008
  11. My “wish list” for the climate sciences in 2009, 2 January 2009
  12. Important new climate science articles, 11 January 2009
  13. Climate science articles which you might enjoy reading!, 18 January 2009
  14. How warm is the Earth? How do we measure it?, 28 January 2009
  15. Science in action, a confused and often nasty debate among scientists, 5 February 2009
  16. Richard Feynmann, one of the 20th centuries greatest scientists, talks to us about climate science, 12 February 2009
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12 Comments leave one →
  1. erasmus permalink
    22 May 2009 11:40 am

    Claim That Sea Level Is Rising Is a Total Fraud – Interview with Dr. Nils-Axel Mörner“, Executive Intelligence Review (aka EIR, by Lyndon LaRouche Publications), 22 June 2007 — Excerpt:

    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.

    “EIR: Here, over the last few days, there was a grouping that sent out a power-point presentation on melting glaciers, and how this is going to raise sea level and create all kinds of problems.

    Mörner: The only place that has that potential is Greenland, and Greenland east is not melting; Greenland west, the Disco Bay is melting, but it has been melting for 200 years, at least, and the rate of melting decreased in the last 50-100 years. So, that’s another falsification.

    But more important, in 5,000 years, the whole of the Northern Hemisphere experienced warming, the Holocene Warm Optimum, and it was 2.5 degrees warmer than today. And still, no problem with Antarctica, or with Greenland; still, no higher sea level.
    EIR: These scare stories are being used for political purposes.

    Mörner: Yes. Again, this is for me, the line of demarcation between the meteorological community and us: They work with computers; we geologists work with observations, and the observations do not fit with these scenarios. So what should you change? We cannot change observations, so we have to change the scenarios!

    Instead of doing this, they give an endless amount of money to the side which agrees with the IPCC. The European Community, which has gone far in this thing: If you want a grant for a research pro-ject in climatology, it is written into the document that there must be a focus on global warming. All the rest of us, we can never get a coin there, because we are not fulfilling the basic obligations. That is really bad, because then you start asking for the answer you want to get. That’s what dictator-ships did, autocracies. They demanded that scientists produce what they wanted.

    EIR: Increasingly science is going in this direction, including in the nuclear industry—it’s like playing computer games. It’s like the design of the Audi, which was done by computer, but not tested in reality, and it flipped over. They didn’t care about physical principles.

    Mörner: You frighten a lot of scientists. If they say that climate is not changing, they lose their research grants. And some people cannot afford that; they become silent, or a few of us speak up, because we think that it’s for the honesty of science, that we have to do it.

    EIR: In one of your papers, you mentioned how the expansion of sea level changed the Earth’s rotation into different modes—that was quite an eye-opener.

    Mörner: Yes, but it is exceptionally hard to get these papers published also. The publishers compare it to IPCC’s modeling, and say, “Oh, this isn’t the IPCC.” Well, luckily it’s not! But you cannot say that.”

    Emphasis on the para. ending with: ‘They demanded that scientists produce what they wanted.’

  2. Mason88 permalink
    22 May 2009 5:27 pm

    This is upsetting. As a surfer I’ve been counting on global warming to produce more storms that would generate more waves that would give me more sweet rides. And now Moner’s telling me it ain’t so? That’s it’s all just been politics? Sheesh… Kinda’ destroys your faith in politicians doesn’t it?
    Fabius Maximus replies: If the sun enters a long slow period, I suggest taking up skiing and ice skating.

  3. phageghost permalink
    22 May 2009 6:05 pm

    A lot of cities, notably among them New York and London, are sinking as a result of “isostatic” rebound as the earth’s crust continues to bounce back from the weight of the ice sheets during the last glaciation. No doubt this will be upheld (perhaps already is) as more “evidence” of rising sea levels.

    The lack of scientific integrity revealed by the above sources is absolutely appalling. Given that researchers depend on outside funding for their lifeblood, this dependence is the most serious vulnerability to corruption of the scientific method, and it appears that the official “consensus” of IPCC types has it pretty well captured. This introduces a positive feedback loop as funding goes more and more exclusively to producing studies which reinforce the “consensus” which further drives out funding for heretical studies.

    You can’t fool nature, though, and incorrect hypotheses will eventually founder on the shoals of accumulated contradictory evidence, thus breaking the loop. This negative feedback can take quite a while, though, especially if a religious or pseudo-religious fervor is present. Witness the persistent “debate” about creationism and evolution some 150 years after On the Origin of Species.

    God help us all if that’s how long it takes in this case . . .

  4. anna nicholas permalink
    22 May 2009 9:46 pm

    Who pays the scientists’ research grants ?
    Fabius Maximus replies: One way or another, we do (mostly). After a long series of intermediate steps.

  5. Cole Nasnis permalink
    22 May 2009 11:35 pm

    Is it so shocking to learn that scientists are capable of milking a crisis for publications and research grants, to say nothing of notoriety w/ quotes in the media?

    If you are shocked by this, you will be absolutely dumbfounded to hear that politicians and bureaucrats will milk a crisis for political gain and power acquisition.

    The entire gang in control of US and UK energy policy and regulations are on board for the full monty climate and sea level crisis, for the duration. Watch them self-flagellate, and flagellate their economies, while the Chinese stand aside, laugh, and demand payment from Europe for not releasing more poison into the air and seas than they deign to do, on any given day.

  6. phageghost permalink
    22 May 2009 11:38 pm


    Grant funding is provided mostly by various federal agencies such as the National Science Foundation (NSF), National Institute of Health (NIH) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) for health-related science, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for climate-relate science as well as a host of agencies from the federal alphabet soup. Private foundations (such as the ones you hear mentioned at the end of NPR programs) and state governments contribute a lesser amount.

    This page from the George C. Marshall Institute (who are decidedly in the skeptic camp regarding anthropogenic climate change) provides a summary and link to the full text of a paper that examines the various sources of funding for climate change research specifically.
    Fabius Maximus replies: Thank you for the link to this detailed paper. Among the Federal agencies, NASA and NOAA are the big players, even after excluding the big bucks for NASA’s satellites. They have disproportionate influence for many reasons, including their ownership of the key data. For example, the surface temperature series:

    * GCHN: Global Historical Climatology Network— Meteorological data from a global network of land stations, NOAA.
    * USHCN: US Historical Climatology Network, data collected by NOAA — “A high quality, moderate-sized data set of daily and monthly records of basic meteorological variables for the 48 States.”
    * GISS: Goddard Institute for Space Studies, NASA

  7. 23 May 2009 3:45 am

    In olden times, England’s King, and Spain’s Queen would declare the end of war by arranging the marriage of their respective children. In this spirit, let me be first to congratulate Al Gore and Jeff Immelt on their newly announced Holy Union. Two sworn enemy clans, environmentalists and industrialists, at last drop their swords, and unite in peaceful harmony. Media troops, previously loyal to only one clan, are now united in a new message of Hope and “Change We Can Believe In”. “The Profiteer: Jeff Immelt“, Rolling Stone, 3 November 2005. Hat tip to Arms Merchant for the link.

  8. 23 May 2009 2:52 pm

    Here is the most interesting thing I read all week. (except for FM posts): An IPCC NOAA hurricane expert offering his resignation here. Even the email exchange at the bottom link between him and the IPCC bosses make a good read.

    This is an open letter to the community from Chris Landsea, 17 January 2005

    Dear colleagues,

    After some prolonged deliberation, I have decided to withdraw from participating in the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). I am withdrawing because I have come to view the part of the IPCC to which my expertise is relevant as having become politicized. In addition, when I have raised my concerns to the IPCC leadership, their response was simply to dismiss my concerns.

    Here is his NOAA hurricane report. We have to accept that the climate has been warmer for the past 30 years than it has been since about 1200 AD. We are still coming out of a Little Ice Age.

    Another suspicious occurrence this week for me. I’m from Pennsylvania and not too long ago I visited the Penn State Univ. climate site and was able to download Pa. historical data going back to 1880′s. It is no longer there and when I contacted the site and questioned them, I received a whole string of questions and then they would consider releasing it to me. Now I know PSU is a hotbed of the Union of Concerned Scientists here in Pa. (aka alarmists). But I did manage to find the data, it stops at 2006. If you want to look up the temp changes and other data for the US it is here/
    Fabius Maximus replies: Thank you for the link to Dr. Landsea’s letter. Here is his Wikipedia entry.

  9. 23 May 2009 6:39 pm

    If you look at mean temp. data for Towanda (Where I grew up), it looks compelling for warming. But look at Johnstown, and you have to conclude cooling. How in the world they aggregate this data worldwide, (Area weighting? simple mean?) is beyond me. I’ll bet the conclusion reached is strongly determined by these types of decisions in data analysis.

    Thanks for the post, very nostalgic. I could see those brutal winters I remember from my youth.

  10. anna nicholas permalink
    23 May 2009 9:24 pm

    Phageghost. So the theory is that just as there is a Military-Industrial complex , there is now a Warming-Research complex , both in self reinforcing closed cycles but needing to continually justify their existance and growth. Aha , there doesnt need to be Warming-Industrial complex for the wheel to spin .
    So can the idea of the cycle , wheel , or complex be applied to the ” credit crunch ” and ” illegal drugs ” or have you already done so and I missed the point ?
    Fabius Maximus replies: Institutional policies tend to become self-reenforcing in the US. The war on drugs and the military are among the largest examples of the interlocking public-private policy “systems” (aka vested interests) which dominate US public policy. Climate science does appear to be forming such a loop. Considering the stakes, why should this differ from our standard operating procedure?

    I think the financial sector operates by a related by dynamically more simple system: regulatory capture. Here the private component dominates the public-private dynamics.

  11. anna nicholas permalink
    24 May 2009 11:34 am

    If the X-Industrial cycle can be mimiced by X-Research , perhaps there is hope for Peace Studies , or Sustainable Agriculture .

  12. 25 May 2009 12:27 pm

    Here is a cool, The Sceptics Handbook, at a good site. JoNova. Where is the evidence? That’s the key question the AGW crowd doesn’t have a good answer to.

    Keep up the good work questioning the consensus B.S.

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