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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Request for Assistance In Assessing an Important Sea Level Study

I’ve moved to WordPress.  This post can now be found at Request for Assistance In Assessing an Important Sea Level Study
Guest Post by John Droz, Jr.


I am asking for help from oceanographers and/or others who have experience with sea level measurements.

I am a physicist (energy expert) who has been involved with several environmental issues over the last thirty years.

I am a traditional scientist in that I am a strong advocate of subjecting hypothesis for solutions to our environmental issues to the Scientific Method. In other words, I would expect that proposed solutions have a comprehensive, independent, transparent and empirical based assessment. (Unfortunately, this now seems to be the minority view among scientists.)

I have written extensively on energy issues, and have given free presentations in some ten states. This is online at EnergyPresentation.Info. There are also several slides about AGW.
Anyway, the case at hand is that I was recently asked by my local representatives for some scientific assistance.

The brief story is that North Carolina is attempting to be the first state in the nation to impose rather comprehensive and consequential (i.e. expensive) rules and regulations on its coastal communities. This is based on projected substantially increased sea levels, due to the assumed effects of AGW.

But it’s worse than that. The basis for these changes is a 2010 NC Sea Level Assessment Report (http://tinyurl.com/69nzem8).

I have been told that the US federal government funded this study. The stated intention was that they would like that this study be used by the rest of the coastal states (plus the federal government) as a basis for new rules and regulations. If this came about as planned, there would clearly be worldwide implications to this simple report.

As such, it is my view, that it is imperative to get it right.

In my reading of the report, the key assumptions are that:
1 - the IPCC sea level rise projections (15± inches by 2100) are the minimum expected, and
2 - that Rahmstorf (2007: http://tinyurl.com/3bhuzd), is a credible source to use as a high end (55± inches by 2100).

To give the appearance of being reasonable, the report authors (13 esteemed scientists) selected a value near the middle of these numbers: 39± inches by 2100.

Figure 2 (page 11) and the accompanying text in the report shows and explains this.

This is not my area of expertise, so I can not make a technical critique of Rahmstorf's work, or the referenced Church & White (2006) report. If anyone can provide some scientific evidence, pro or con, regarding these documents, it would be greatly appreciated.

Again, what happens about this in NC will likely be a precursor to other coastal states (and countries), so this is an international big deal.

Feel free to email me directly at "aaprjohn@northnet.org".


john droz, jr.
physicist & environmental advocate
Morehead City, NC


John said...

Climate Sanity has a bunch of great posts on sea level analyses. Often highly technical.


p.s. Sorry long time no post, Bob. Been transitioning cities and jobs.

Bob Tisdale said...

John: Good to hear from you. Enjoy your new home and job.

magellan said...

Maybe Briggs would be interested in this.


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