Thursday, December 18, 2008

Rising sea levels have hot spots!

If global warming causes rises in sea levels, why aren't rising sea levels "global"?

Why, if global sea levels have been falling since 2005, are some areas experiencing sea level surges which are causing very real problems to very real people?

Refer today's Solomon Star news item Giant Waves Hit Atolls. A fellow I work with is from one of the villages named and is concerned about his community and what he will find when he arrives for a Christmas visit this Sunday. I repeat - very real people. And matters are even more dire in PNG islands as per Tidal waves displace 75,000 people.

The University of Colorado has some very interesting illustrations of sea level rises.

The most interesting thing to me is that the sea level rises are not uniform around the globe. Another point I found interesting is that the sea level hot spots do not align with the IPCC's surface temperature hot spots which clearly move from hotter in the Arctic region to cooling in areas close to the Antarctic.

I have been living in the middle of one of these sea level rise hot spots for three "wet seasons" and this year's December full moon tidal surge is higher than the previous two. I know this is very short term observational data, but it doesn't align with the published global trends. Why? (I think I have picked up the habit of this question in recent times from my young son.)

Maybe "global warming" and sea level rises are not causal. I don't need to run the sea level data and temperature rise data through a regression analysis to tell there simply is little or no geographic correlation from these graphical representations of the data.

There is, however, a geographic correlation between the sea level rise hot spots and areas of seismic activity. The US Geological Survey (USGS) site has maps which are updated with the locations of seismic activity in the past 30 days. This only records "significant" events. The huge bang that momentarily shook my house last night isn't among the ones shown of this map.

Are these areas of sea level rise hot spots due to under sea seismic activity, or heat coming from the earth's core where there are movements along the fault lines?

Jennifer Marohasy stated in her blog Dip in Global Sea Level Won't Save Tuvalu:
Of course even a drop in the global sea level may not save Tuvalu because the great majority of oceanic islands, including Tuvalu, were formed by volcanic activity. While the volcanoes are active, the islands rise relative to the global averaged sea-level. When volcanic activity stops, the islands will cool and eventually start to sink. So there are islands rising and sinking all the time – and Tuvalu should be sinking.
The end point? Why not just get over this CO2 thing as the sole cause of environmental catastrophe, and concentrate on working out what the REAL cause of each problem is. The people of Tuvalu, Ontong Java, Papua New Guinea's islands and many others need help NOW. If sea inundation is a geological fact of life, let's deal with helping the affected people relocate. That in itself will be a major task for the world governments just negotiating somewhere for them to relocate to.


Anonymous said...

This is an interesting blog Michelle. Because it looks like you are working through this racket for the first time. This is what I did about two years ago. I was always wondering when the other side was going to give me that one factoid to show that I was wrong. I kept thinking they were holding something back up their sleeve.

Michelle said...

Thanks for your comment. You are right, it is only the past few weeks I have spent time methodically going through the writings. I have been a sideliner thinking "that doesn't sound right" for a few years, and now I am really enjoying going through the information available and publicly voicing my own views.

I will start bugging the politicians in the new year and would appreciate any tips, information etc anyone would care to refer me to - on either side of the argument!