Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Special Muriel Neuman Sea Level Bonus

In her online opinion piece on climate change Muriel Newman states with some confidence that:

Predictions of dramatic sea level rises were categorically discredited. The sea has been rising by a constant 18cm a century (1.8mm a year) and is thought to be driven by the melting of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. The fact that this started an estimated 18,000 years ago and is expected to continue for another7000 years shows that humans are not to blame!
Compare this with someone who has the unfair advantage of actually knowing what they are talking about:
But around 18,000 years ago earth began to deglaciate, bringing us to the present interglacial. As a result, sea level rose about 120 m over a span of about 10,000 years, albeit irregularly...The situation began to stabilize around 8,000 years ago, with a much slower rate of change, and about 2,000 years ago even greater stability became the order of the day. Sea level is believed to have been remarkably constant from the 1st century until the 19th; studies from a number of geographically diverse regions provide convincing evidence that the rate of change was no greater than 0.2 mm/yr. This situation remained in effect until the middle of the 19th century, when sea level began to rise; since then it’s risen at an average rate of around 1.5 mm/yr, although the rate has been variable.


Edward said...

Did you see Monbiot on Saturday Terence? A man in the audience made much the same point. George's response was animated to say the least. People who pass judgement on things like this tend to have never approached climatology, or even, in some cases read a single peer reviewed article on the subject. Where does Muriel fit on the spectrum?

Terence said...

Hi Edward,

I missed Monbiot, alas. But I did get to see Stiglitz. As for Ms Newman, I don't know her, so can't be certain what motivates her. One thing is certain though - she really doesn't understand climatology. Yet she still feels confident enough to opine on it. Were I to speculate on her motivations I would imagine that they have much more to do with vindicating her own ideology than furthering truth and knowledge.