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Satellite altimetry data showing rate of sea level rise  (Source: University of Colorado, Boulder)
World's oceans rise slower since 2005, fail to display predicted accelerating trend.

Satellite altimetry data indicates that the rate at which the world's oceans are rising has slowed significantly since 2005. Before the decrease, sea level had been rising by more than 3mm/year, which corresponds to an increase of about one foot per century. Since 2005, however, the rate has been closer to 2mm/year.

The decrease is significant as global climate models predict sea level rise to accelerate as atmospheric CO2 continues to increase. In the 1990s, when such acceleration appeared to be occurring, some scientists pointed to it as confirmation the models were operating correctly.

Sea level rise was calculated from altimetry data from the TOPEX/Poseidon and Jason-1 satellite missions, published by the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Dr. James Choe, a research associate with the University of Colorado, says the decrease is temporary. "Interannual variations often cause the rate to rise or fall", he says. Choe believes an accelerating trend will reappear within the next few years. Oceanographer Gary Mitchum of the University of South Florida, says making any judgement from the limited data available is "statistically so uncertain as to be meaningless".

Others disagree. Dr. Vincent Gray, a New Zealand based climatologist and expert reviewer for the IPCC, believes that the accelerated trends seen earlier were simply an artifact of poor measurements. "The satellite system has undoubtedly shown a rise since 1992, but it has leveled off", he tells DailyTech. "They had some bad calibration errors at the beginning."

Gray points to a study done by Flanders University using tide gauges which, he says, measured no perceptible increase in sea level over its entire 15 year period.

Sea level has been rising since the end of the last ice age, some 20,000 years ago. During an episode known as "Meltwater Pulse 1A", the world's oceans rose by more than 5 meters per century, a rate about 20 times faster than the current increase.

TOPEX/Poseidon was launched by NASA in 1992, and collected data until 2005. In 2001, NASA and France's Centre National d'Études Spatiales (CNES) launched its follow-up mission, Jason-1.

Jason-2 was launched in June of this year.

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RE: Talk about statistically insignificant...
By FITCamaro on 12/15/2008 10:10:36 AM , Rating: 5
Actually a lot of what Michael posts is because of the left constantly pointing out how any temperature increase, loss of ice, etc is evidence of global warming. So he points out a lot of things happening that go against it. To ultimately prove that what's going to happen with the climate cannot be predicted accurately. So it is an absurd proposition to set economic and social policy based on the idea that our climate is going to suddenly shift either way. Climate changes happen gradually over thousands of years with swings in both directions. Not a few decades.

RE: Talk about statistically insignificant...
By lukasbradley on 12/15/08, Rating: 0
By grenableu on 12/15/2008 11:09:29 AM , Rating: 4
Climate change has NOT been happening much more rapidly. There are plenty of times in history where temperatures changed by 5-8 degrees in just a couple hundred years. Our current "change" is very mild in comparison.

By onelittleindian on 12/15/2008 11:21:51 AM , Rating: 3
From the article:
During an episode known as "Meltwater Pulse 1A", the world's oceans rose by more than 5 meters per century, a rate about 20 times faster than the current increase .

RE: Talk about statistically insignificant...
By ThePooBurner on 12/15/2008 11:29:48 AM , Rating: 5
No it's not the point. We have only been able to measure and record accurate data for a little over 100 years. We have no way of telling that the change of the last 100 years wa much different than a different hundred year period prior to it. With no control data there can't be anything but half-assed guess work about the things we are observing now that we've started. With how little we know about how this planet works it's assinine to assume we could accurately predict how it is going to continue to work for any length of time. Every year all the predictions come to not and everyone is surprised by nature pulling a fast one. We should be spending the money on actual research into how the planet works, not on phoney crap to push a politican scare tactic adgenda to control the ignorant populous. Or on candy. Anything but what it is currently being spent on foolishly.

RE: Talk about statistically insignificant...
By lukasbradley on 12/15/2008 12:12:32 PM , Rating: 2
I'm assuming you don't include ice core samples going back 740k years as "accurate" data?

By masher2 on 12/15/2008 12:38:48 PM , Rating: 5
They're proxies, which is certainly data. How accurate they are remains to be seen. It is known that ice core proxies cannot capture short-term spikes, as entrainment, subsequent gas diffusion while frozen, and the coring process itself all result in a "smearing" process that will average out any readings below a certain minimum width.

In any case, many temperature proxies (ice cores or otherwise) have established undoubtably that climate often shifts at a much faster pace than that we are now experiencing. In the Younger Dryas event (just 12,000 years ago) temperatures changed by 5C in just a few decades.

By ebakke on 12/15/2008 12:42:51 PM , Rating: 3
The further back you go, the larger the range that that data covers. For example, if we go back 24 hours, we can find the minute by minute temperature, precipitation, pressure, dew point, etc etc. If we go back 100 years, we may find daily high/low temperatures, and precipitation. Go back 10,000 years and you have the deduced average rainfall/temp for a 1,000 year period. Go back 740k years, and you have an ice core sample that spans a 75k year period. We have NO idea if within that 75k year timeframe, there were 50 100-year spans that were identical to the past 100 years, or if there were 0. Or 75!

The point is that we just don't have the data.

RE: Talk about statistically insignificant...
By omnicronx on 12/15/2008 11:13:42 AM , Rating: 1
FT is there anything in the world that is not the fault of the left? Aside from this, your post is pretty much dead on..

RE: Talk about statistically insignificant...
By FITCamaro on 12/15/2008 12:01:13 PM , Rating: 5
Economic progress.

By mjitg on 12/15/2008 12:09:47 PM , Rating: 2
lol, good comeback

By mezman on 12/15/2008 2:59:03 PM , Rating: 2

By Headfoot on 12/15/2008 4:48:17 PM , Rating: 2
6 this!!!!

RE: Talk about statistically insignificant...
By foolsgambit11 on 12/15/2008 8:13:21 PM , Rating: 2
Haha. I get it, because to the left, economic progress is bad, so it's somebody's 'fault'.....

GDP grows more during Democratic administrations. It grows more when Democrats control Congress. Unemployment is lower. Productivity gains are greater. Which part of economic progress were you referring to?

RE: Talk about statistically insignificant...
By Goty on 12/15/2008 8:46:58 PM , Rating: 2
Probably the "progress" where the GDP goes up but the expendable income per capita goes down.

By foolsgambit11 on 12/15/2008 9:28:41 PM , Rating: 2
That's only tangentially related to 'economic progress'. Expendable income is a factor in economic development, but it isn't the only factor. Besides which, I can't find any historical data on expendable income. I can find data that the federal tax burden generally has gone up or remained stable under Democrats, and gone down or remained stable under Republicans, but federal taxes are only one component of expendable income, and the total sweep of tax changes in the last 50 years amounts to about 5% of the average family's income. Changes in housing prices are probably of greater variance, for instance.

Nor is especially economically responsible to run up debt when you have the ability to pay. The National Debt, as a percent of GDP, has decreased under every Democratic president since WWII, but it's gone up under every Republican, with the notable exception of Nixon's first term - during Vietnam, no less, so none of this 'of course we're running up a debt, we're at war.

By Ringold on 12/16/2008 1:31:37 AM , Rating: 4
Data points like that are cute little fillers for newspapers and blog posts. In reality, economic policies have different effects on the macroeconomy, each of which can have different lag periods. Monetary policy, for example, is often said to have six month time lag. This time, we might not see the inflation cost of our current monetary policy for 12-24 months. Another example might be the reforms Reagan pushed through; few would argue that many of the firms who laid the ground work for the productivity gains of the 90s got their start in the Reagan and Bush years. Instead, Reagan's economic data reflects his political support of Volcker, who had to create a deep recession in order to atone for the monetary (and other) sins of Carter.

A more recent example would be the last recession. It got started under Clinton, but came to full fruition under Bush. Nothing Bush could've done; a business cycle is a business cycle and the electoral calendar meant it was going to happen under his watch. And after all the chances Clinton had to kill and/or capture Bin Laden, it definitely wasn't Bush's fault that 9/11 accelerated the downturn.

Going back prior to Vietnam, it also loses relevance to compare economic performance under different parties. I can link to Youtube video's of Kennedy calling for tax cuts in what sounds like a very modern Republican way. The culture wars changed both parties sufficiently that comparisons prior to Vietnam I find are pretty useless.

Then there are things just entirely out of party control, in theory anyway, such as the aforementioned Fed policy. Inflation going on? The Fed should not care who it is in office; who ever it is may soon get a recession tossed at them as interest rates spike.

If you want to look at how Democrat party control does uninterrupted, why don't you look at Michigan? :P I think my neighbors dog is worth more money that some residential property in Detroit. But hey, they raised taxes on business last year, they'll be thriving in no time, right?

Go ahead and nod your head to an example of useless statistics though. Whatever makes you feel good.

RE: Talk about statistically insignificant...
By ebakke on 12/15/08, Rating: 0
RE: Talk about statistically insignificant...
By FITCamaro on 12/15/2008 12:48:35 PM , Rating: 5
Not all conservatives are religious.

RE: Talk about statistically insignificant...
By ebakke on 12/15/2008 1:04:33 PM , Rating: 3
Agreed. (Case in point: Me) Though, most with "strong" religious views tend to vote with the GOP.

RE: Talk about statistically insignificant...
By Headfoot on 12/15/2008 4:50:06 PM , Rating: 5
Most black people vote Democrat; but that doesn't mean that all Democrats are black, its the same logical premise.

By ebakke on 12/15/2008 6:36:55 PM , Rating: 2
And when did I say all conservatives are religious?

RE: Talk about statistically insignificant...
By foolsgambit11 on 12/15/2008 8:02:05 PM , Rating: 1
And not all liberals are Marxists. That doesn't keep us from being able to overgeneralize and paint huge swaths of the population with a single brush stroke.

By Reclaimer77 on 12/15/2008 8:21:32 PM , Rating: 4
And not all liberals are Marxists.


Liberalism is simply Americanized communism/socialism. Thats really all it is.

Politics at the point of a gun don't work here. Liberalism uses Government, not violent coupe's, to achieve its goals.

RE: Talk about statistically insignificant...
By Reclaimer77 on 12/15/2008 8:12:36 PM , Rating: 1
Religious (read Christian) fanaticism.

Define fanaticism ??

Its fine if your an athiest, or a democrat. But to call Conservatives Christian fanatics is just an absurd leftist smear. Human sacrifices ? Killing goats ? Thats fanaticism.

I love how its fine and hip and trendy when Democrats come out lately and admit they are Christians, like Obama claimed he is. But a Republican is portrayed as an old 14'th century veteran of the Crusades or something. Its just silly.

Conservative Christians, quite literally, founded this country and made it great. I'm not sure how thats fanaticism..

RE: Talk about statistically insignificant...
By ebakke on 12/16/2008 11:34:23 AM , Rating: 3
Examples of the fanaticism I'm thinking of: insisting that the 10 Commandments be placed in all courtrooms, insisting that prayer be mandated in schools, insisting that creationism or 'intelligent design' be taught in science classes, passing legislation supporting Christmas (after all, there I 'culture war' going on ::eyeroll::), claiming "the Muslims are brainwashing their children, so we have to do the same" (hit up YouTube for the movie Jesus Camp).

I'm not an athiest, and I'm not a Democrat. For that matter, I'm not a Republican. I believe in a higher being, and I have conservative views (on most things). I never once said all conservatives are Christian fanatics. I said I attribute religious fanaticism to the right over the left. Those who are incredibly passionate about their Christian faith are, for the most part, people who vote for conservative (or at least Republican) candidates. And those candidates seek to please their constituents.

I'm not claiming, by any stretch of the imagination, that Democrats are good, and that Republicans are bad. Or that Republicans are crazy, fanatical, off-the-wall Christian whackos and Democrats are sane, logical, steady minded atheists. I'm saying I don't like anyone who can't argue a point rationally, and who doesn't rely on logic, facts, and evidence. Many of those people include crazy Republicans, crazy Democrats, crazy Muslims, crazy Christians, crazy ________. In the the case of religion and politics in the US, the simple fact is that hard-line Christians vote with the Republican party.

Conservative Christians, quite literally, founded this country and made it great. I'm not sure how thats fanaticism..

I believe their conservatism, their faith in a free market economy, and a belief in the individual's rights and abilities are what made this country great. I'm not sure I'd agree that their Christian beliefs were really the driving factor. But regardless, I never said the founders were fanatics.

By RandomUsername3463 on 12/16/2008 2:18:01 PM , Rating: 2
If you care to look, you'll find fanaticism spread equally among sociopolitical groups. For example, "conservative christian fanatics" will bomb abortion clinic, attempting murder, to save unborn children / fetuses. "liberal environmental fanatics" will bomb research facilities, attempting murder, to save primates or other animals.

Us humans always want to think that the group (class, race, religion, political party, school, etc) we belong to is better than the other groups. While this is not true 100% of the time, I'd suggest that if you see the "other" guys as more fanatical, you should take a long look at the fringes of your "own" group before pointing a finger.

By ebakke on 12/16/2008 6:57:30 PM , Rating: 2
Have you read what I was posting at all? I didn't claim one group was any better than another. In fact, I said I dislike anyone who's fanatical, regardless of the issue. The original post to which I replied asked for something that is the right's "fault". So I provided one. If it had been "left" instead of "right", I probably would've provided an environmentalism example (much like you did).

But you're right, before I start pointing at the crazies, I should look at the fringes of my own group. People who like logic, facts, and evidence as means of making arguments. I guess the 'fringes' of that group would be people who are too logical and who lack emotion.

Ugh. I'm done with this.

RE: Talk about statistically insignificant...
By marsbound2024 on 12/15/2008 9:00:15 PM , Rating: 1
I choose to believe in the Prisoner's Dilemma. If we do something about it and climate change is indeed influenced heavily by man, then we will have spent billions of dollars but for a good reason--saving countless species from extinction as well as keeping the progress of the human race steady without catastrophe. If we do something about it and climate change is just cyclic and humans have little to no effect, then the tens or hundreds of billions of dollars we will have spent may very well seem like an outrageous waste, but alas the haze of pollution is nearly gone and our technology has progressed due to intensive research and development.

Now if we DON'T do something about it and climate change has little to nothing to do with human activities, then we are no worse than we are at the moment and everything is fine and dandy. We have gained nothing but we have also lost nothing. If we don't do anything about climate change and it is indeed heavily impacted by human activities, then we are in quite a lot of trouble my friend. Massive amounts of refugees from islands and low-lying areas, disease progression, dramatically different weather (droughts or floods), the loss of countless species and the overall hardship that will be incurred on civilization.

Personally, I think it is best to try to move ourselves toward cleaner, renewable and efficient technologies and reduce what impact humans might have on the atmosphere. Face it, we are still a young civilization and there are many things we don't know and many things we can't accurately predict. What if global cooling returns? Will we start to pump CO2 back into the atmosphere if that will help? What if global warming escalates faster later down the line and we didn't cut our greenhouse emissions fast enough? Will we deploy radical concepts such as sunshades or carbon capture?

Time will tell. For now, I choose to be on the side supporting the switch to renewable energy. If not for anthropogenic climate change then for the progress of science and technology and the energy independence of the United States of America.

RE: Talk about statistically insignificant...
By grenableu on 12/15/2008 9:56:16 PM , Rating: 2
if we DON'T do something about it and climate change has little to nothing to do with human activities, then we are no worse than we are at the moment
Wrong. We won't have spent "billions", we'll have spent hundreds of TRILLIONS of dollars. You know how many lives we could save with that money?

You think changing out your light bulbs and driving a hybrid is all these carbon-trading proposals are all about? They will make anything and everything that creates or uses energy much more expensive. That's every single product and service. I seem to remember a story here about the UN estimating it would cost $47T (that's a "T", not a "B") just to get the ball rolling. I've seen other estimates a lot higher.

RE: Talk about statistically insignificant...
By marsbound2024 on 12/15/2008 11:26:53 PM , Rating: 1
Hundreds of trillions of dollars? Very doubtful we'll spend that kind of money being as it is tens of times more than the entire yearly GDP of the United States. Also I said if we DON'T do something (as in we don't invest any money into trying to fix this apparent problem) then we are not in any worse shape because this whole climate change thing was just erroneous to begin with--meaning we overreacted to observed data.

Oh and I didn't mention specifics anywhere. If we don't do anything about it we may still switch from incandescent to compact fluorescent to increase energy efficiency. But I think you fail to understand that new technologies are almost always more expensive than the old technologies because we have to figure out the best ways to mass manufacture these technologies while minimizing the cost of materials needed for those products. Any sort of change requires upfront cost.

At the very least, our change from incandescent to fluorescent and internal combustion only to hybrid or alternative fuel engines comes from necessity in that the demand is exceeding available supplies and their are severe geopolitical strains placed around the world due to such limited and highly valuable resources (fossil fuels). By switching from fossil fuels to renewable fuels we effectively eliminate such geopolitical tensions caused by the need for energy. We are a growing civilization and will depend on high efficiency if we are to continue to stay here on the planet Earth while having somewhat limited off planet activities (i.e.: no major mining activities in the solar system). Heck, even if we have major operations in space, we will still demand efficiency in order to be cost-effective and prevent a possible stagnate in progression of our civilization.

By Ringold on 12/16/2008 1:48:53 AM , Rating: 3
Hundreds of trillions of dollars? Very doubtful we'll spend that kind of money being as it is tens of times more than the entire yearly GDP of the United States.

Opportunity costs, and not just in a single year, but compounded over a century or more. Using a number like 10%, it's extremely easy to compound in to numbers in the high trillions by 2100. Using a lower number, like 6%, isn't quite as easy, but lets just say we toss 100b down the global warming hole this year that ends up being completely wasted because it turns out we were wrong, but no more is spent in the future. By the year 2100, thats 21.29 trillion in foregone investment in productive areas of the global economy.

By FITCamaro on 12/16/2008 6:32:39 AM , Rating: 2
I put nothing past the stupidity of the UN and Obama. He already wants to spend the better part of a trillion dollars on giving money to the poor in other nations. Because we're somehow responsible for making other nations less poor.

Obama as president in a time where the UN is constantly trying to act like it has legislative and executive authority over the US is a scary thought. The problem is its not just a thought.

This past year has already put taxpayers on the line for $7-8 trillion dollars of NEW debt in the long term. Not even repealing the Bush tax cuts is going to pay for that. Plus Obama wants a MANDATORY 5% "savings plan" coming out of your check that is on top of Social Security. It would be your own private account but the government has access to it to borrow from. So in essence it will be badged as a way to make Americans save so they don't have to rely on Social Security. But ol' grandpa government will be able to borrow against it just like Social Security so the money will disappear. Expect your paychecks to go down in a big way. And with employers freezing salaries, you won't have a raise to offset it. We just found out yesterday at my company that we're not getting raises.

My only hope is that the Republicans will make the next 2 years hell for Democrats by filibustering every socialist policy they bring up. I don't care if that means the government gets effectively shut down. It's better than the alternative.

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