Rud Istvan, playing the arrogant physicist par excellance at Curry's Climate Stand and DotEarth sent his "devastating critique" on the new Hansen, et al paper off to Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussions stepping right into Dsquared's parlor on the nature of "devastating critiques"
@whinecough paradigmatically, it involves holding up something as a Fatal Flaw [tm] which was actually mentioned by the authors— Dan Davies (@dsquareddigest) July 31, 2015
Archer’s comment shows how lax the climate science community has become about it’s ’Facts’. Archer, a Hansen paper reviewer, says the Eemian showed abrupt SLR the way Hansen models for the Holocene with CAGW, which gives the paper strong support. And then goes on about further support from WAIS observations such as Hansen co-author Rignot’s recent findings.
Archer is sadly and quite provably mistaken on both counts.In particular Istvan does the rant on about a paper by Michal O'Leary, et al on "Ice sheet collapse following a prolonged period ofstable sea level during the last interglacial"
The two papers finding abrupt Eemian SLR are both geologically flawed. The Australian (O’Leary et.al.) paper that Archer refers to and which Hansen discusses extensively is so flawed it comprises a fairly clear case of academic misconduct. The flaws and the probable misconduct in the misrepresentation of its figure 3 are exposed in illustrated detail with references in essay By Land or By Sea in ebook Blowing Smoke. Incorporated herein by referenceAlong the Western Australian coast O'Leary, et al measure a sudden (like 100 yrs or less) ~5 m sea level rise roughly 118 kYr ago based on coral deposits. They attribute this to a collapse of the Western Antarctic Ice Sheet. The issue of rapid Eemian rise is of continuing interest not only for Hansen et al. but, for example, Pollard, deConto and Alley who model sea level rises of 5 m in 100 years from disappearance of Antarctic ice shelves alone. However, as the stormy night in Scotland, this is not what interests us
Some, not Eli to be sure, might ask the bunnies to invest $7.99 in Rud's self published book but he has provided the argument on a certain blog. After significant heavy breathing Istvan's Argument (IA below) is that tectonic activity could have pushed the land down to account for the apparent rise. Indeed there was one location where this appeared to have happened, although nothing like the rapid sea level rise of 5 m that O'Leary found, and a considerable part of the O'Leary paper is spent dealing with this issue
So what is the shorter IA?
A single New Madrid like ‘event’ in the vicinity sometime between then and now could sufficeNow some, not Eli to be sure, might think that this would leave some trace in the geological record, but wait, it is not that alone, as Richard Telford contemporaneously pointed out at Quantpaleo
The authors write that the higher late last-interglacial shoreline is found across the southwest coast, but it is best represented along the 150-km-long Miocene Quobba Ridge, and it is here that all their dated corals are from. Istvar argues that an intra-plate earthquake analogous to the the 1811 New Madrid event could have displaced the shoreline on the Quobba Ridge. Istvar forgets the obvious. Firstly, this shoreline can be found across the region, not just in this one area. Secondly, if we invoke a large earthquake to lower the land at Quobba Ridge in the middle of 5e by 6m, this will disrupt the early 5e shoreline by 6m. As this shoreline is now approximately level, we need to invoke a second earthquake after stage 5e to raise the land back up again by 6m.
What is Western Australia, a giant trampoline?and in same vein at the last (and unanswered) comment at Climate Etc.
If you argue that tectonic activity at 119ka BP displaced the land by 6m, you need a second bout of tectonic activity after stage 5e to raise the land again so that the early stage 5e shoreline is ~flat.
One massive intra-plate tectonic event is unlikely (it would need to be much larger than the New Madrid event). To have a second event that reverses the effects of the first event is implausible. The first event would have release all the stress, how could stress with the opposite sense have accumulated (and not overshot)?