Florida Sea Level Rise Rates Are Half What They Used To Be

From 1925 To 1950, sea level at Key West, Florida rose at 5 mm/year. Since 1950, it has been rising at half that rate, 2.5 mm/year.

ScreenHunter_3356 Sep. 30 12.04

Data and Station Information for KEY WEST

Sea level in Florida rose much faster when CO2 was lower, so Barack Obama logically believes that he can reduce sea level rise by choking off the US economy in a token gesture which has almost no impact on global emissions.

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10 Responses to Florida Sea Level Rise Rates Are Half What They Used To Be

  1. daveburton says:

    NOAA has sea-level data for Key West back to 1913:
    Larger version:

    The trend has been essentially linear for over a century. There’s no sign of any acceleration in rate of sea-level rise associated with the increase of CO2 from about 300 ppmv to 400 ppmv since the 1940s.

    • Gail Combs says:

      Compare to the real CO2 chart:


      Note the 1930s/40s spike that corresponds to the hot weather in the USA (and presumably warmer oceans.)

      The sea level does not reflect either.

      • daveburton says:

        I wonder about the trustworthiness of those pre-Mauna Loa CO2 measurements, and I wonder about the trustworthiness of all sea-surface temperatures.

        • Gail Combs says:

          Actually Dave, it is the other way round. The pre-Mauna Loa CO2 measurements are done with validated wet chemistry methods many of the reading are from chemists who won Nobel prizes.

          The present “generally accepted” chart of CO2 measurements is cherry picked numbers all the way down.

          What is really really interesting is Barrow 1947-1948 data at 420 ppm! (average of 330 samples) It is noted that the Keeling samples (1972 to 2004) are transported from Barrow Alaska to California before they are analysed. (wwwDOT)biokurs.de/eike/daten/leiden26607/leiden6e.htm

          The Mauna Loa CO2 measurements are cherry picked. NOAA even says so:

          4. In keeping with the requirement that CO2 in background air should be steady, we apply a general “outlier rejection” step, in which we fit a curve to the preliminary daily means for each day calculated from the hours surviving step 1 and 2, and not including times with upslope winds. All hourly averages that are further than two standard deviations, calculated for every day, away from the fitted curve (“outliers”) are rejected. This step is iterated until no more rejections occur.

          anna v says @ WUWT in June 5, 2010 at 12:56 pm

          Hi Willis:
          I am amazed with the 1,2,3 ,4 statements you are quoting.
          Are they making a dress from a pattern? Talk about cherry picking data.

          4. In keeping with the requirement that CO2 in background air should be steady, we apply a general “outlier rejection” step,…deviations, calculated for every day, away from the fitted curve (“outliers”) are rejected. This step is iterated until no more rejections occur.

          On the lines:” you will obey me, or else”
          They have a preconceived notion of what the curve should be and they impose it, is my conclusion from this series.
          You say there are independent measurements. Once I had managed to find a link and publications for those measurements. The were all Keeling and another fellow,possibly the graduate student going through the loops. I do not call that independent.
          Here are the locations I find:
          something like 14, and practically all the publications are Keeling et al
          There is a map too
          Do you believe that these 14 or so stations are representative enough so that the measurements could produce the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere?

          Worse the method used by the Mauna Loa Observatory has never been validated.

          At the Mauna Loa Observatory the measurements were taken with a new infra-red (IR) absorbing instrumental method, never validated versus the accurate wet chemical techniques. Critique has also been directed to the analytical methodology and sampling error problems (Jaworowski et al., 1992 a; and Segalstad, 1996, for further references), and the fact that the results of the measurements were “edited” (Bacastow et al., 1985); large portions of raw data were rejected, leaving just a small fraction of the raw data subjected to averaging techniques (Pales & Keeling, 1965).

          The acknowledgement in the paper by Pales & Keeling (1965) describes how the Mauna Loa CO2 monitoring program started: “The Scripps program to monitor CO2 in the atmosphere and oceans was conceived and initiated by Dr. Roger Revelle who was director of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography while the present work was in progress. Revelle foresaw the geochemical implications of the rise in atmospheric CO2 resulting from fossil fuel combustion, and he sought means to ensure that this ‘large scale geophysical experiment’, as he termed it, would be adequately documented as it occurred. During all stages of the present work Revelle was mentor, consultant, antagonist. He shared with us his broad knowledge of earth science and appreciation for the oceans and atmosphere as they really exist, and he inspired us to keep in sight the objectives which he had originally persuaded us to accept.” Is this the description of true, unbiased research?
          The annual mean CO2 level as reported from Mauna Loa for 1959….“ (wwwDOT)co2web.info/ESEF3VO2.pdf

          Pay attention to the statement: new infra-red (IR) absorbing instrumental method, never validated versus the accurate wet chemical techniques.

          This is WHY the IR was not validated against the wet chemical techniques and why Keeling and later his son have kept tight control of the inter-station calibrations.

          In 1973 the company I worked for was sold a new infra-red (IR) absorbing instrument based on the Keeling claim it was good for accurate analytical work. I was the one assigned to come up with and validate the new test methods because the IR method was so much faster. While the IR was great for identifying organic compounds it was rotten as an analytical instrument. There was no repeatability. I could never get the same sample to give me the same reading. Repeated readings were all over the place even when I ‘spiked’ the sample with a carefully measured known amount of internal standard for comparison purposes. (I was working with solids and liquids not gases BTW)

        • Gail Combs says:

          … Craig (1957) pointed out from the natural (by cosmic rays) radiocarbon (14-C) production rate that atmospheric CO2 is in active exchange with very large CO2 reservoirs in the ocean and biosphere. However, Callendar (1958) had apparently more faith in his carefully selected CO2 data, because he commented Craig’s conclusion by writing: “Thus, if the increase shown by the measurements discussed here is even approximately representative of the whole atmosphere, it means that the oceans have not been accepting additional CO2 on anything like the expected scale.”

          The stir around the atmospheric CO2 data selected by Callendar made it necessary to start compiling analytical data of contemporary atmospheric CO2.

          The circled data points are Callendar’s carefully selected CO2 data. Note how he ignores the values from around 330 ppm up to 500 ppm.


          Fig 1. Average atmospheric CO2 concentrations measured in the 19th and 20th centuries. Encircled are the values used by Callendar. Redrawn after Fonselius et al. 1956. Bottom area enlarged, detail RHS.


          North-European stations measured atmospheric CO2 over a 5 year period from 1955 to 1959. Measuring with a wet-chemical technique the atmospheric CO2 level was found to vary between approximately 270 and 380 ppmv, with annual means of 315 – 331 ppmv, and there was no tendency of rising or falling atmospheric CO2 level at any of the 19 stations during this 5 year period (Bischof, 1960). The data are particularly important because they are unselected and therefore free of potential biases from selection procedures, unlike the CO2 measurements based on the procedures at Mauna Loa (see below). Note that these measurements were taken in an industrial region, and would indeed have shown an increase in CO2 levels if increasing amounts of anthropogenic CO2 were accumulating in the atmosphere during this period….

          The annual mean CO2 level as reported from Mauna Loa for 1959 was 315.83 ppmv (15 ppmv lower than the contemporaneous North-European average level), reportedly rising steadily to 351.45 in January 1989 (Keeling et al., 1989), by averaging large daily and seasonal variations (the significance of all their digits not justified), but still within the range of the North European measurements 30-35 years earlier. Hence a rise in global atmospheric CO2 level has not yet been significantly justified by validated methods and sound statistics….

          …Wigley (1983) claimed that “the most compelling support for a (low) 270 ppm pre-industrial CO2 level comes from direct measurements of CO2 in the ice cores”, and cited Neftel et al (1982) in support of this statement. But no such evidence was presented by Neftel et al (1982). Their data indicate rather a decreasing trend during the last 2000 years. They found that CO2 concentrations in air bubbles from 150-year-old ice ranged from 300 to 2350 ppm.

          Ironically, those who found CO2 concentrations of between 270 and 390 ppm in 280-year-old ice also preferred values close to the lower end of the range, because these were “within the range of the estimated (by Callendar) pre-industrial atmospheric content of 290 ppm” (Berner et al 1978; for similar statements see also Raynaud and Barnola 1985, and Pearman et al 1986)….

          In the first Antarctic study of Matsuo and Miyake (1966) an elegant method of 13C isotopic dilution was used for CO2 determinations. The precision of these determinations, with an analytical error of +/- 0.002%, was never matched in later studies, which reported errors usually ranging between +/- 0.2 and 3%.

          Read the rest about how the ice core analytical technique went from using the crushed whole sample, giving high values up to 7400 ppm to analysis of just the CO2 starved ‘air bubbles’ and the data reported to the public was the cherry picked low values.
          at http://www.greenworldtrust.org.uk/Science/Scientific/CO2-ice-HS.htm

          (A table of the earlier ice core values is shown)

        • Gail Combs says:

          See what the plants had to say about the CO2 levels in the past.
          CO2: Ice Cores vs. Plant Stomata

          Although the ClimAstrologists have re-written science to say plants could live in an atmosphere of only 180 ppm to match their revised ice core data, earlier work, now gone from the internet, had a lower limit of 200 – 220 ppm. All the new estimates of the lower limit for C3 plants are based on the cherry picked Ice Core data from the look see I did five years ago.
          Carbon starvation in glacial trees recovered from the La Brea tar pits, southern California. The elevation of the La Brea tar pits is 164′ (50 m)) and the study uses ice core CO2 measurements from Taylor Dome and Vostok.

          A more realistic lower limit can be deduced from this field study of wheat (C3).
          “The CO2 concentration at 2 m above the crop was found to be fairly constant during the daylight hours on single days or from day-to-day throughout the growing season ranging from about 310 to 320 p.p.m. Nocturnal values were more variable and were between 10 and 200 p.p.m. higher than the daytime values.” (wwwDOT)sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0002157173900034

          The extreme lower limit of 200 ppm can also be found in green house studies:

          CO2 depletion
          Plant photosynthetic activity can reduce the CO2 within the plant canopy to between 200 and 250 ppm… I observed a 50 ppm drop in within a tomato plant [C3] canopy just a few minutes after direct sunlight at dawn entered a green house (Harper et al 1979) … photosynthesis can be halted when CO2 concentration aproaches 200 ppm… (Morgan 2003) Carbon dioxide is heavier than air and does not easily mix into the greenhouse atmosphere by diffusionSource

          From an official Ontaria Canada brochure on greenhouses.

          …. the carbon dioxide levels can easily drop below 340 ppm which has a significant negative effect on the crop. Ventilation during the day can raise the CO2 levels closer to ambient but never back to ambient levels of 340 ppm. Supplementation of CO2 is seen as the only method to overcome this deficiency and increasing the level above 340 ppm is beneficial for most crops. The level to which the CO2 concentration should be raised depends on the crop, light intensity, temperature, ventilation, stage of the crop growth and the economics of the crop. For most crops the saturation point will be reached at about 1,000–1,300 ppm under ideal circumstances….

          It is important to have an adequate distribution system. The distribution of CO2 depends mainly on air movement within the greenhouse(s), as CO2 does not travel very far through diffusion.….


          Figure 1. The effect of carbon dioxide on net photosynthesis.


        • Gail Combs says:

          Correct Timing is Everything – Also for CO2 in the Air This is a very critical point.

          Essenhigh (2009) points out that the IPCC(Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) in their first report (Houghton et al., 1990) gives an atmospheric CO2 residence time (lifetime) of 50-200 years [as a “rough estimate”]. This estimate is confusingly given as an adjustment time for a scenario with a given anthropogenic CO2 input, and ignores natural (sea and vegetation) CO2 flux rates. Such estimates are analytically invalid….

          [several others find CO2 residence time of ~5 years.]

          Some 99% of the atmospheric CO2 molecules are 12CO2 molecules containing the stable isotope 12C (Segalstad, 1982). To calculate the RT of the bulk atmospheric CO2 molecule 12CO2, Essenhigh (2009) uses the IPCC data of 1990 with a total mass of carbon of 750 gigatons in the atmospheric CO2 and a natural input/output exchange rate of 150 gigatons of carbon per year (Houghton et al., 1990). The characteristic decay time (denoted by the Greek letter tau) is simply the former value divided by the latter value: 750 / 150 = 5 years. This is a similar value to the ~5 years found from 13C/12C carbon isotope mass balance calculations of measured atmospheric CO2 13C/12C carbon isotope data by Segalstad (1992); the ~5 years obtained from CO2 solubility data by Murray (1992); and the ~5 years derived from CO2 chemical kinetic data by Stumm & Morgan (1970)….

          With such short residence times for atmospheric CO2, Essenhigh (2009) correctly points out that it is impossible for the anthropogenic combustion supply of CO2 to cause the given rise in atmospheric CO2. Consequently, a rising atmospheric CO2 concentration must be natural. This conclusion accords with measurements of 13C/12C carbon isotopes in atmospheric CO2, which show a maximum of 4% anthropogenic CO2 in the atmosphere (including any biogenic CO2), with 96% of the atmospheric CO2 being isotopically indistinguishable from “natural” inorganic CO2 exchanged with and degassed from the ocean, and degassed from volcanoes and the Earth’s interior (Segalstad, 1992)….

          ON WHY CO2 IS KNOWN NOT TO HAVE ACCUMULATED IN THE ATMOSPHERE & WHAT IS HAPPENING WITH CO2 IN THE MODERN ERA by Dr. Jeffrey A. Glassman (Well mixed conjecture also invalidated)
          Others in the series by Dr. Glassman:




          With the exception of Dr. Jaworowski, Dr. Segalstad, Dr Jeff Glassman, Ernest Beck and Richard Courtney @ WUWT very very few people bother to even question the validity of the ClimAstrologists CO2 data.

          Over at WUWT Ferdinand Engelbeen has diligently guarded the CO2 data fighting off all comers. He says “As a responsible climate skeptic, I have given a lot of comments in different discussion groups like sci.environment and UK weatherworld…” yet in all the years I hung out at WUWT I NEVER saw a comment from Englebeen unless it was to defend the cherry picked CO2 record. Whenever the CO2 record is discussed he immediately shows up to defend the ‘Official Record’ like a genii conjured from a bottle or as a Leif Svalgaard conjured to defend the IPC ‘the sun is constant’ position. Never once have I seen him defend a skeptic position. Indeed we even have this:

          Engelbeen on why he thinks the CO2 increase is man made (part 4).

          Dr. Glassman says of Englebeen: Another observer of current climatology examined Vostok data in a similar coordinate system. He is Ferdinand Engelbeen, a gadfly and regular commenter to RealClimate.org, a major public outlet for IPCC climatologists.

        • Gail Combs says:

          And finally back to the question of the error in the wet chemistry CO2 measurements. Ernest Beck very carefully included the error in his work on the historical data.

          His Graph:


        • Jason Calley says:

          Hey Gail! It always impresses me how you can come up with so much good information. If I am ever being tried in court, I hope you are available as council for the defense.

  2. Latitude says:

    ..and the nasty truth of this is……Key West is moving NW faster than the claimed 10 inchs of SLR

    As you go further up the Keys….you have less and less SLR

    So what is it?……SLR is faster in Key West??

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