Wednesday, April 21, 2010

In which it is shown how the NIPCC and Fred Singer omit, distort, and yes, flat out lie about sea level rise estimates.

Martin Stolpe from the Klimakrise, brings news of how the quote mine over at Heartland is flooding out. He came across a graphic being flogged by EIKE (the German version of Heartland) purporting to show how IPCC estimates of sea level rise by 2100 have changed over the years.

Eli has been lead to believe that the title reads "The IPCC's estimates of sea level rise in the 21st century. The IPCC estimates are more and more converging to the actual value of 20 cm/century. (compare to Fig.s 4-5)". Martin tracks this graphic down to the NIPCC report, the bunnies know the one where Singer got $100K+ from Heartland for editing, where we find the same graphic

Figure 19: Estimates of sea-level rise to Year 2100 from IPCC reports of 1990, 1995, 2001, and 2007. Note the strong reduction in estimated maximum rise, presumably based on better data and understanding. Also shown are the published seal level rise values of Hansen (H) [2006], Rahmstorf (R) [2007], and Singer (S) [1997]. Both H and R are well outside of the maximum IPCC values. The ongoing rate of rise in recent centuries has been 18 cm per century; therefore, the incremental rate of rise for IPCC 2007 would be 0 to 41 cm, and about 0 to 2 cm for Singer.
FWIW, Eli did not make that up about how the seals are rising, that's how it appeared on page. Problem is that the estimates shown for the FAR, the SAR and the TAR and the AR4 are (the first, second, third and fourth IPCC assessment reports), hmm, how can Eli say this nicely.......Oh yes, stone lie, probably a lie, closer, and a major quote mine.

Following Martin, what did FAR say about sea level rise
This present assessment does not foresee a sea level rise of ≥ 1 metre during the next century.
They show a figure for a range of scenarios with a maximum rise by 2100 of 110 cm and a minimum of 15. Where did the 367 cm come from. Oh yes, again as Martin points out they mention a 1986 study which predicted a rise of 367 cm.

Now a good quote miner would point out that when Fred and Co. said
"Estimates of sea-level rise to Year 2100 from IPCC reports of 1990"
well yes, there is an estimate of 367 cm from the 1986 study which was cited in the FAR and this would simply be excused as an example of a quote mine expert at work. But Eli reads a bit further in the NIPCC and finds in the text
Successive IPCC reports have reduced their estimates of projected sea-level rise, as shown in Figure 19, and are coming closer to a value of 18 cm per century.
which clearly attributes the estimate to the IPCC. Game, set, match, lie.

We also can look at what the 1995 SAR WGI report said about sea level rise (BTW, if you go to Amazon, you can read, the SAR in great part)
Average sea level is expected to rise as a result of thermal expansion of the oceans and melting of glaciers and ics-sheets. For the IS92a scenario, assuming the "best estimate" values of climate sensitivity and of ice melt sensitivity to warming, and including the effects of future changes in aerosol, models project and increase in sea level of about 50 cm from the present to 2100. This estimate is approximately 25% lower than the "best estimate" in 1990 due to the lower temperature projection but also reflecting improvements in the climate and ice melt models. Combining the lowest emission scenario (IS92c) with the "low" climate and ice melt sensitivities gives a projected sea level rise of about 15 cm from the present to 2100. The corresponding projection for the highest emission scenario (IS92e) combined with "high" climate and ice melt sensitivities gives a sea level rise of about 95 cm from the present to 2100.
The SAR does list an estimate of 3-124 cm from a paper by a 1993 paper by Wigley and Raper which is mentioned in table 7.8. Is that what the quote miners dug out?

How about the 2000 TAR, in the summary for policy makers one reads
Global mean sea level is projected to rise by 0.09 to 0.88 m between the years 1990 and 2100, for the full range of SRES scenarios, but with significant regional variations. This rise is due primarily to thermal expansion of the oceans and melting of glaciers and ice caps. For the periods 1990 to 2025 and 1990 to 2050, the projected rises are 0.03 to 0.14 m and 0.05 to 0.32 m, respectively.
And the AR4, well Fred gets the 18-59 cm projection right, but, of course, swallows the caveat
Because understanding of some important effects driving sea level rise is too limited, this report does not assess the likelihood, nor provide a best estimate or an upper bound for sea level rise. Table SPM.1 shows model-based projections of global average sea level rise for 2090-2099.[10] The projections do not include uncertainties in climate-carbon cycle feedbacks nor the full effects of changes in ice sheet flow, therefore the upper values of the ranges are not to be considered upper bounds for sea level rise. They include a contribution from increased Greenland and Antarctic ice flow at the rates observed for 1993-2003, but this could increase or decrease in the future.[11] {3.2.1}
More coming. Eli let this one out before it was finished. Apologies.


Steve Bloom said...

It is a cruel bunny who makes so free with the clicks of others.

willard said...

Talking about Singer always reminds me of this exchance between Lancaster and Singer:

[Singer] I would not like to be shouted at.

[Lancaster] I apologize.

[Singer] I hope you'll keep your voice down.

[Lancaster] I don't like being sued.

The transcript has lots of other jewels like that, btw. Details can be found on Sourcewatch.

Horatio Algeranon said...

The "how much" is not nearly as important as the fact that seal levels are indeed rising.

...and it's well documented eg, by NOAA

Bunnies are not the only animals that follow CO2, you know.

Anonymous said...

Snow Bunny says:

the Lancaster suit is described in "Climate Cover-Up" Hoggan and Littlemore.

Way off topic but fun for those bunnies who like cats was an article by Justin Lancaster on a tool-using cat:

Anonymous said...

Speaking of predictions, Singer suggested the U.S. send a manned mission to Phoebus, a moon of Mars to check if it was built by aliens. A helpful suggestion for national security.

I'm not making this up. Check the Washington Post archive, circa 1960.

Anonymous said...

Snow Bunny says:

Speaking of suits, Andrew Weaver of the U of Victoria is going after a newspaper for erroneous articles.
also posted on DeSmogblog --
James Hoggan is apparently going to sue also.

I've no feel for how Canadian law handles defamation. In the U.S. you can get away with

Anonymous said...

Snow Bunny continuing the above:
throwing a lot of garbage, imo.

EliRabett said...

Having read the complaint, Eli thinks this is more an effort to smoke the defendants out than to get a judgement. It will be amusing if this ever gets to the discovery stage.

Antiquated Tory said...

On the lighter side of sea rise, here's a cartoon for the rabbits.


If any bipartisan bunnies wish to hop to Jim Manzi's defense , he is being gnawed on by zombies over at Planet Gore's brain dead parent publication:

David B. Benson said...

As General Montgomery once said "Attack them like a vicious rabbit!

Anonymous said...

High Eli, I am not a seagull, but after you all informed me that I had better start nesting in the top of a Redwood tree... the question about all the crap man has dumped into the oceans; you know, the lighters, oil, battle ships, plastic fishing nets, fiberglass fishing boats, jeeps, rock fill & lets not forget the 'dead zones', becalmed over vast stretches of the worlds oceans... how much water has been displaced over the last few hundred years do you think? I know it has to be greater than zero. Hazard a guess, or do we just get another trick with that lucky foot of yours? Gotta fly---

Anonymous said...

Just a quick note about the question dealing with displacement... Has anyone modeled shoreline erosion and sediment movement into the depths, yet? It seems to me that erosion as a natural process is always filling the sea bottom of the worlds oceans. As the bottom fills, how much of the seas raising is due to sediment 'lifting'? Anyone?... As we enlarge our cities, where does our discharge end up? As the surface area of the seas continually increases, so does the erosion rate of increased shoreline, don't you agree? What is it please, I don't have that number at hand just now...

EliRabett said...

A good place to start might be James Titus, he mostly does shoreline erosion but should know if what you are looking for has been done

Anonymous said...

Typo in the title - "In which in is shown..."


Anonymous said...

After reading some, I have to admit Eli, the guy knows, that he don't know all... I wonder what time-frame Giai uses, when making 'decisions' about mother nature? Oceans that are no more... wow, who wooda thunk it? This old bird has seen many a swale, silt in over the years, has something to do with gravity... Move'n on, buck, I'm going fishin...

Horatio Algeranon said...

You can get a "ballpark" estimate for sea level rise due to eroded sediment discharge by the world's rivers into the ocean by simply estimating how much water is displaced by the sediment and then assuming that this displaced water covers the ocean surface "evenly" (to a uniform depth).

If you do that, you get an estimate of about 0.03mm per year, or only about 1% of the current measured yearly rise of 3.1 ± 0.7 mm per year.

Of course, this involves simplifying assumptions, but it is very unlikely that they make any substantive difference to the conclusion: sediment discharge makes a relatively insignificant contribution to the measured yearly sea level rise.

Global sediment discharge into world's oceans: ~19.7 billion metric tons per year (the larger of the two values referenced below)

Total surface area of world's oceans: 360 million square km

Average Density of "packed mud" (sediment): 1906 kg per cubic meter (about 1.9 times the density of water)

Mass of 1 cubic meter of water = 1 metric ton (1000kg)

Using the above information, we find that 19.7 billion metric tons of sediment discharged into the ocean (yearly) "displaces" about 10.4 billion cubic meters (10.4 cubic km) of water.

If we assume that the surface area of the world's oceans is essentially unchanged* by the sea level rise and that the displaced water distributes itself evenly over the ocean surface (to uniform depth), that means that the sea level increases by

10.4 km^3 / 360,000,000 km^2 ~= 0.03 mm per year

Since measured sea level rise is currently 3.1 ± 0.7 mm per year (1993-2003), the yearly rise due to sediment discharge is just 1/100 [1% ] of the yearly rise (just 4% of the quoted UNCERTAINTY in the yearly rise)

For the 20th century as a whole, the range for average yearly sea level rise is between 0.8 and 3.3 mm/yr . So estimated rise due to sediment discharge would have been about 4% of the yearly rise over the twentieth century if one assumes the lower value.

In other words, the sediment discharge really does not make a significant contribution to the measured yearly rise.

This is undoubtedly why it is sometimes not even listed as a contribution.

**Note: sea level rise actually increases the surface area a bit, but it makes mo real difference to the calculation here. And the fact that surface area actually increases means sea level rise due to sediment discharge is even smaller than was estimated above.

"Current sea level rise has occurred at a mean rate of 1.8 mm per year for the past century, and more recently, during the satellite era of sea level measurement, at rates estimated near 2.8 ± 0.4 to 3.1 ± 0.7 mm per year (1993-2003). Current sea level rise is due significantly to global warming, which will increase sea level over the coming century and longer periods."

"for the global earth surface the suspended sediment discharge after
G. V. Lopatin (6) is evaluated as 19700 million t per year."

Prof. O.A. ALEKIN and Dr. L.V. BRAZHNJKOVA Leningrad, USSR,
Hydrometeorological Institute"

"Asian rivers account for nearly 50 per cent of the total sediment load (13.5 billion tonnes per year) transported by the world’s rivers (UNEP, 1992)."
from "Marine and Coastal Environments"

Density of materials
pure water: 1000kg per cubic meter
Mud, packed 1906 kg per cubic meter

from Ocean (wikipedia)
The area of the World Ocean is 361×10^6 km^2

Area Man said...

The ongoing rate of rise in recent centuries has been 18 cm per century...

Current sea level rise is 32 cm per century.

I guess it was too much for them to let that little fact slip in, given that it makes Singer's estimates look stupid.

Anonymous said...

Another windy day here, saw this blowing across the road & thought a scientist might want to give it a quick read:)

Makes sense to me, but then I am juat a stupid bird sittin on a mission. Flap on...

Antiquated Tory said...

Does dear birdy note that the research he/she refers to is on floating ice? And that the quoted press release mentions the obvious fact that floating ice is already part of the volume of the oceans? That the minor surprise of the paper is that melting ocean ice contributes to sea level at all, albeit by a far from significant amount? And that the publications referred to in this post are concerned with:
*Thermal expansion of ocean water
*Greenland and Antarctic ice cap melt--i.e. land ice
*Glacial melt--again, land ice
More to the point, what are the odds that the source from which little birdy got this link--because I doubt birds monitor university press releases--consciously misinterpreted this press release for the purpose of misleading our feathered friends? Insert your own "fowl" pun here.