Study now says global warming slows sea-level rise

sea levelA prominent global-warming skeptic is marveling at a new NASA report that concludes the purported human-caused changes in the climate now, after years of being blamed for raising the sea level, is slowing down the rise.

“Is there anything global warming can’t do?” Marc Morano asked on his Climate Depot site in response to the NASA assessment.

“Now it seems that there is so much global warming that it is slowing the rise of sea levels.”

He noted that 30 years ago, scientists blamed global warming for sea level decreases.

The new theory behind the slowdown is that as the Earth becomes more parched as a result of humans pumping more water out of the ground, water that otherwise would cause oceans to rise is “being absorbed” by lakes, rivers and underground aquifers, much as a sponge absorbs water.

The estimate is that 3.2 trillion gallons of water “has thus been soaked up and stored and is not pouring into the streets of coastal cities.”

The London Daily Mail said it means islands and cities such as Venice and Miami might be spared from flooding in the near future

NASA looked at satellite measurements collected over recent years to estimate the rate of sea level rise has slowed by 22 percent.

The author of the study is JT Reager of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, California.

“We always assumed that people’s increased reliance on groundwater for irrigation and consumption was resulting in a net transfer of water from the land to the ocean,” he said.

“What we didn’t realize until now is that over the past decade, changes in the global water cycle more than offset the losses that occurred from groundwater pumping, causing the land to act like a sponge – at least temporarily.”

NASA launched a couple of satellites in 2002, Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment, that provided the data.

The government agency said that from 2002 to 2014, it looked at changes in gravity as well as estimates of glacier melt.

The Daily Mail reported the analysis suggests climate variability resulted in an increase of about 3.2 trillion tons of water being stored in land.

The report said the gain partially offset water losses from ice sheets, glaciers and groundwater pumping.  The rate of sea level rise, consequently slowed by between 0.7 and 0.2 millimeters annually.

The results were published in the journal Science.

The authors cautioned that much more data is needed to “fully understand.”

At the Climate Depot, Morano pointed out the widely divergent predictions about the effect of global warming on sea level in the scientific community.

He noted that in 1987, Florida State University geology professor William Tanner said climate change would cause the sea level to fall. Tanner plotted 4,000 years of sea-level data on 5,000 years of climatological data, Morano said, and every time the climate cooled a couple of degrees, the sea level went up.

Even further back, the National Science Foundation estimated that a large part of the Antarctic ice mass appeared to be collapsing, which could cause oceans to rise by “almost 20 feet.”

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Comments (6)

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    Mike Haseler


    A few weeks ago I was called a “denier” for pointing out that the rate of sea level rise and not increased as predicted. I was told I was wrong there had been massive increases and it was all due to humans and if I didn’t stop quoting evidence they’d throw their toys out the pram.

    I must go back and point out this new study to them.

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    David Lewis


    There is something wrong here. Water that was pumped out of underground aquifers was not injected into space. It would have added to the water in the oceans. Replacing it would not have a net impact. As far as absorbing water, one of the largest aquifers in the world, that in the US Midwest, is still losing water. The amount of water that lakes and rivers can hold is determined by geometry and it appears they are not suggesting this has changed.

    A better explanation is the greening of earth caused primarily by higher levels of carbon dioxide. Plants retain water. The more plants on land the more water that will be retained on land.

    I’m not asserting this as the answer but rather a possible explanation. This is one area that needs more research but it needs to be done by legitimate scientists rather than political activists whose only goal is to support their political agenda.

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    I returned to my hometown on the NE coast of England last year to attend to family business. While there I purposely investigated the sea level to see how much it had risen since I lived there over 50 years ago. From what I actually saw and the answer I got from local “experts” was that It hadn’t gone up at all
    Some opinioned that it had actually dropped slightly and I had to agree .

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    I thought Obama was the only one who could stop the seas from rising .

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    @ Amber

    In re : The Gospel according to O’Bama :

    ” Only the Lord G-D O’Bama can perform miracles and only HE is worthy of thy devotion “

    I don’t recognize the other pretenders ( false g-ds ).

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