Number of the Week: 55.5 mm or 2.2 inches per century. The international research group of polar scientists, IMBIE, announced that melting glacial ice on Greenland and Antarctica has increased sea levels by 11.1 mm over 20 years, from 1992 to 2011, which can be extrapolated to the numbers above. However, one must not rely on long run extrapolations from short run data.
Yet, IMBIE did so. It stated that sea level rise increased in the second decade over the first decade. What is particularly interesting is the early data shows a decline in sea levels from an accumulation of ice, which indicates a cooling. Yet the 1980s and 1990s were decades of warming.
Further, there has been no surface warming for about 15 years. This indicates that the ice melt does reflect current temperatures, and other factors must be involved. If ice melt constitutes 30% of the sea level rise as the article suggests, then the 21 st century increase will be at the low end of the range suggested by the IPCC, which is consistent with Fred Singer’s suggestions, and far from Jim Hansen’s predictions.
It is also interesting that news reports, such as in the Washington Post, excitedly reported the polar melt and sea level rise, but failed to provide information on how tiny the rise is. Please see Article # 1 (for a graph), links under Communicating Better to the Public – Exaggerate, or be Vague?, Changing Seas, and http://imbie.org/