As the Copenhagen climate summit gets underway, the fever pitch talk about the impending climate doom reaches a crescendo. And once again we're reminded that the ice will all melt, and - as the data irrefutably states - we will be submerged below the seas, a Waterworld as apocalyptic as any ever imagined. A truly sobering reality except for one little thing - the data does not support the conclusion.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) operates a wonderful website that documents actual tidal measurements over the last 50 plus years. At first blush, the opening image is frightening - all those green up arrows indicating the rising sea levels and our watery graves in the future.
So I started digging. And in particular, I dug into the Washington State records, as that is my home State, and I am quite familiar with the geography and waterways around our fair State. In particular, let's look at a relatively small area: the triangle between Neah Bay, Port Townsend, and Vancouver British Columbia:
This is a relatively confined area, measuring less than 140 km between the corners (Neah Bay, Vancouver BC, and Port Townsend). Additionally, there are three more measurement stations within that area. And best of all, the 6 total stations are located in the same geologic formation on the same waterway. If any sea level changes are happening, it should be consistent and clear across all positions (one would surmise).
So what do we see? Well, pardon the images (but thanks to NOAA for creating them) we see the following for each site:
Hmmm... Neah Bay - with a good 75 year history of data - shows a definite downward trend of the sea levels! In fact, we should see the oceans retreat half a foot over the next century, quite different from the predictions of massive coastal flooding the Copenhagen Clan want us to believe! Well, how about another corner?
Huh? What's this? We'll see a half a foot increase in the sea levels over the next 100 years? Wait a minute... Those two stations are just 85 miles apart - 140 km. Yet not only do they have opposite polarities (falling and rising), but the level of change is about the same! Meaning they are nearly the exact opposite of each other. Well, what happens about half-way between them:
Well, now this IS perplexing! We see nearly ZERO change over the next 100 years - basically flat. So to recap what we have:
Neah Bay, at the Western end of the Straits of Juan de Fuca (right on the Pacific Ocean) says the oceans are falling by half a foot a century. Port Townsend, at the Eastern end of the Strait says the oceans are rising by half a foot a century. And Port Angeles in the middle says things aren't changing at all.
Well, now I'm not a geologist, but I am an engineer with a strong background in physics, and to me it looks like the Olympic Peninsula (upon which all three cities are situated) is tilting! That is, it is listing to the East. Something is upswelling the West, and submerging the East, and Port Angeles is right about where the fulcrum is located.
In fact, if you look at the three other sites in that region, you'll see quite variable levels of sea change predicted. Now again, realize these are all on the same waterway, all located within a few hours boat-ride of each other. And they're all showing different measurements (sometimes as much as 4 inches over the next century across a distance of just 30 miles).
I submit what we are seeing is not evidence of ocean levels increasing (Neah Bay is a strong contra-indicator of that), but geologic motion - the land is still rebounding and "reflowing" after the retreat of the glaciers from the last ice age. You see, all that land you see on that first map was covered by a mile of ice approximately 20,000 years ago. And it was there for the better part of 100,000 years. That's a lot of pressure, and the Earth is bouncing back.
Furthermore, the entire Western Coast of the US is essentially colliding with the Pacific Ocean floor; this is the source for our great earthquakes and volcanos - two great plates of the Earth grinding against each other with the occasional release of tension in a terrible and destructive act. But those same forces will - and do - shape the Earth, either with massive and sudden changes (such as surface faults or volcanic flows or explosion) or long-term buckling or subtending.
Perhaps what is being measured is not sea levels changing but the Earth showing it is ever-changing and moving. Nah, can't be - that doesn't support the forgone conclusion that man is ruining the Earth and causing all the ice to melt, thereby bringing on our aquatic doom.