Tidalgate: Climate Alarmists Caught Faking Sea Level Rise

Landmarks of Karachi

Alarmist scientists have been caught red-handed tampering with raw data in order to exaggerate sea level rise.

The raw (unadjusted) data from three Indian Ocean gauges – Aden, Karachi, and Mumbai – showed that local sea level trends in the last 140 years had been very gently rising, neutral or negative (ie sea levels had fallen).

But after the evidence had been adjusted by tidal records gatekeepers at the global databank Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level (PSMSL) it suddenly showed a sharp and dramatic rise.

The whistle was blown by two Australian scientists Dr. Albert Parker and Dr. Clifford Ollier in a paper for Earth Systems and Environment.

The paper – Is the Sea Level Stable at Aden, Yemen? – examines the discrepancies between raw and adjusted sea level data in Aden, Karachi, and Mumbai.

Kenneth Richard at No Tricks Zone reports:

The authors expose how PSMSL  data-adjusters make it appear that stable sea levels can be rendered to look like they are nonetheless rising at an accelerated pace.

The data-adjusters take misaligned and incomplete sea level data from tide gauges that show no sea level rise (or even a falling trend).  Then, they subjectively and arbitrarily cobble them together or realign them.   In each case assessed, PSMSL data-adjusters lower the earlier misaligned rates and raise the more recent measurements.  By doing so, they concoct a new linearly-rising trend.

Here is a before/after from Karachi:

The authors do not mince their words. They refer to these adjustments as “highly questionable” and “suspicious.”

That’s because they can find no plausible scientific explanation for the adjustments.

As they explain at the beginning of their paper, it is hard to put together consistent sea level records covering a long time period. This is because tide gauges are often the result of multiple sets of data, taken over different time periods using different instruments, which are then spliced together.

What is proposed as a single record in databases such as the Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level (PSMSL) (PSMSL 2017a) is often the composition of data collected by different instruments, sometimes in different locations or over different time windows, with significant gaps in between one measurement and the others. This is the case of the Aden, Yemen tide gauge that is the only tidal location of the Arabian Peninsula spanning a time window long enough to infer a trend and acceleration of the relative sea level (assuming there was continuous measurement and no quality issue). In Aden, similar to Karachi and Mumbai and other tide gauges of the area, a single-tide gauge record is the result of multiple sets of data subjectively coupled together. While a new tide gauge is recording since about 2007, the alignment of the previous data is continuously changing.

So there is nothing per se wrong with PSMSL making adjustments in order to make the different datasets align.

What is wrong is the way that the scientists at PSMSL have adjusted them. In every case, they have revised them in order to make them produce a sharp upward trend in sea level rise – despite the fact that global records do not support this.

The truth, Parker and Ollier conclude in their paper, is that sea level has changed very little in the three sites examined:

The reconstructed tide gauge records of Aden, Mumbai, and Karachi are perfectly consistent with multiple lines of evidence from other key sites of the Indian Ocean including Qatar, Maldives, Bangladesh, and Visakhapatnam. The sea levels have been stable since the start of the twentieth century in Aden similar to Karachi and Mumbai.

But the official PSMSL data – as used by other global data-keeping bodies such as NOAA – claims that there has been a sharp increase.

In Aden, for example, the alarmists have turned a modest 1.21 mm/year rise into a 3.02 mm/year rise.

In Aden, with data 1880–1969, the trend was + 1.21 mm/year.

Per the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Centre for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services (NOAA 2017a), with data from an intermediate version of a single-tide gauge record by PSMSL we may call (n-1), the sea-level trend in Aden is + 3.02 mm/year based on the monthly average mean sea-level (MSL) results from 1879–2011, Fig. 6a (image from NOAA(2017b) downloaded on September 13, 2017).

Using the online analysis tool of Burton’s sealevel.info (Sealevel.info 2017a), with data from the latest update of the PSMSL database that we may call version n, with 2 more years of data, but also with some other corrections, see the data before the year 1900 shifted up, the sea-level trend in Aden is + 1.35 mm/year based on the MSL results from 1879–2013, Fig. 6b (image from Sealevel.info (2017b) downloaded on September 13, 2017). Worthy of note, the acceleration is now large and positive.

Again, there is no plausible scientific explanation for these adjustments.

As the authors put it:

“It is always highly questionable to shift data collected in the far past without any proven new supporting material.”

Indeed, but it is perfectly consistent with the behavior of alarmist scientists in other fields, notably those concerning surface temperature data records. As we have reported here before, there is copious evidence to suggest that the gatekeepers of global warming have consistently and shamelessly cooked the books and rigged the data in order to give the impression that “climate change” is a major and unprecedented phenomenon.

A major part of the global warming scare narrative is that melting ice caps will cause sea levels to rise at a dangerous and unprecedented rate, enveloping low-lying Pacific islands, flooding vulnerable countries like Bangladesh and perhaps one day drowning even places like Manhattan.

There is little if any scientific evidence that this is actually happening.

What’s extraordinary is the desperation of scientists at what ought to be impeccably neutral and trustworthy institutions such as NASA, NOAA, and PSMSL to pretend that it is.

When alarmists in charge of surface temperature datasets make dishonest adjustments to exaggerate the appearance of global warming, it looks like corruption.

When alarmists in the entirely separate field of sea level measurement make precisely the same sort of dishonest adjustments in order to accord with the same global warming narrative, it starts to look like a conspiracy.

Read more at Breitbart

Comments (6)

  • Avatar

    Spurwing Plover


    Proving to the fact that 99% of the news is fake and all this junk science we get from crooked researchers the daily lies from the New York Pravda(Times) and the Useless Nations as well as the various Eco-Wackos Al Bore,Leonardo DiCaprio Luarie David as well as those troublemakers from Greenpeace scaling buildings and national monuments and ruining the landscape with their idiotic messages,signs and banners while Greenpeace putters all over the world in their fossil fueled ships making total pests of themselves

  • Avatar



    Some one has to tell me HOW a controversy brews from just 3 sets of data in war zones, TIDAL GAUGES
    (the least accurate sea level measurement by ANY standard)
    in war zones,
    in areas where dry heat waves move massive amounts of sand and silt, notorious for filling tide pools, bays….where gauges are set…etc.
    “…. … the U.S. Geological Survey, the tides in a 1,000-kilometer stretch of coast from Cape Hatteras, N.C. to Boston have been rising at between 2 and 3.7 mm per year from 1950 to 2009…”
    You notice that this is nearly a doubling of sea level rise in 60 yrs.
    Around 1900 the rate was about 1.2mm/yr.
    “….World Climate Research Programme and the International Oceanographic Commission, among others.

    Nerem’s team calculated that the rate of sea-level rise increased from around 1.8 millimetres per year in 1993 to roughly 3.9 millimetres per year today as a result of global warming. In addition to the satellite calibration error, his analysis also takes into account other factors that have influenced sea-level rise in the last several decades, such as the eruption of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines in 1991 and the recent El Niño weather pattern.
    The view from above

    The results align with three recent studies that have raised questions about the earliest observations of sea-surface height, or altimetry, captured by the TOPEX/Poseidon spacecraft, a joint US–French mission that began collecting data in late 1992. Those measurements continued with the launch of three subsequent satellites….”

    • Avatar



      Can you ever just make a simple point without rambling like a lunatic and constantly contradicting yourself.

    • Avatar

      David Lewis


      Rakooi, you have posted criticisms of Climate Change Dispatch articles because they only were talking about one region. Now you make a post of an area that is only 1,000 kilometers long.

      The point of this article was mainly about the fraud. If a researcher sees the need to alter historical data to support the climate change movement, the only possible motivation is he thinks that the real data does not. This is very common of researchers supporting this movement and shows that there are many, many of them who believe that the raw doesn’t support the cause.

      I found an article that addresses your claims of accelerating sea level raise. Checkout


      Here are some quotes from the article.

      “Most fundamentally, satellite altimeters measure the wrong thing. Their measurements are distorted by “sea-level rise” caused by thermal expansion when the upper layer of the ocean warms. But that is a strictly local effect, which doesn’t affect the quantity of water in the oceans, and doesn’t affect sea-level elsewhere (e.g., at the coasts).
      Sea-level rise only matters at the coasts, but satellite altimeters are incapable of measuring sea-level at the coasts. Tide gauges measure sea-level at the coasts, where it matters, and their data is of much higher quality.”

      “There are about sixty good-quality, 100+ year records of sea-level around the world, and they all show the same thing: there has been no statistically significant acceleration (increase) in the rate of sea-level rise in the last 85 years or more.”

      And last, here is a quote from President Obama’s former Undersecretary for Science, Steven Koonin. “Even though the human influence on climate was much smaller in the past, the models do not account for the fact that the rate of global sea-level rise 70 years ago was as large as what we observe today.”

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    Why do they even adjust the data. I could understand removing background noise but when the raw data contradicts the hypothesis and the adjusted data doesn’t it looks way too suspicious. At least be upfront about the adjustments at least.

  • Avatar

    Spurwing Plover


    Rakooi save the Hot Air for later when it realy gets cold quit shooting off you mouth Windbag

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