Home > AGW, Catastrophism, Data, Omniclimate, Science, Skepticism > BBC’s Unbound Climate Zeal: Again!

BBC’s Unbound Climate Zeal: Again!

After a few days of rest, aimed perhaps at calming down the furore around the Harrabin-Abbess story, the BBC Climate Change Propaganda Committee is running at full steam once again. Now is the turn of Richard Black to be on-message with a new scary piece about sea levels in fabled year 2100.

There are several interesting points to consider.

(1) Mr Black mentions how the new “scientific analysis” by Svetlana Jevrejeva and others “from the Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory (POL), near Liverpool, UK”, provides results of the same order of magnitude as other efforts in the past, for example by “German researcher Stefan Rahmstorf”.

Unfortunately there is no mention of the fact that the pages of Science magazine are hosting a peer-to-peer debate among Rahmstorf, the POL group and others, about the very significance of Rahmstorf’s linear-modelling methods.

(2) For some reason (more about this later), Mr Black leaves unchallenged the notion that “for the past 2,000 years, the [global average] sea level was very stable, it only varied by about 20cm” adding that according to POL’s Simon Holgate “There is some limited archaeological evidence [based on] the sill heights of fish enclosures that the Romans used, that’s probably the strongest evidence that there hasn’t been any significant change in sea level over the last 2,000 years”. Some major news would that indeed be: compare it to the POL’s much nuanced FAQ (e.g. “Changes in ocean level due to climate change can be greater in some places than others because the ocean circulation will adapt to accommodate the new climate regime”).

And go look for Roman sills and sea levels in the POL website, if you can.

(3) Mr Black doesn’t involve himself that much in numbers. Too bad. Here some results. If the current rise rate of 3-mm per year is true, by the year 2100 the sea level will have risen by 28 centimeters. For that level to reach “between 0.8m and 1.5m”, the yearly rate must go up to 9-16 millimeters per year (3 to 5 times more than today), or more. One would hope that measurement systems able to “see” 3 millimeters with any significance, will be able to measure a three- to five-fold increase. By when that is going to happen, we are not told.

(4) Funnily enough, it’s at the end of the article that we are told that “Dr Jevrejeva’s projections have been submitted for publication in the scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences”. So the whole the piece was about a poster presentation at the EGU conference? So much for a major breakthrough deserving front-page space in the BBC News website.

If anybody asks me, that’s the strongest evidence for climate-change zeal…

There is more…looking around Google News, it becomes evident that the news story originated with a Reuters reported at the EGU conference in Vienna. Apart from the BBC, most if not all news media are now reporting the Reuters piece verbatim. On the BBC site, Mr Black does not mention Reuters, and is reported as actually physically being in Vienna himself.

The whole BBC article looks like original research: perhaps it is. Suspiciously, though, the same people are mentioned by Mr Black and by Reuters…

  1. 2008/06/06 at 10:42

    thank you Andrew Shields. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could discuss the specific issues I have raised in my blog?

  2. Andrew Shields
    2008/06/06 at 10:35

    If the BBC has an agenda, you certainly seem to have one too. And yours would be to minimise the extent and the projections for climate change, and the contributions made to it by GHGs. It’s clear that climate change is in the pipeline, and that GHGs do contribute to it. Yet, there has been almost no cultural change in terms of energy use in the West, other, perhaps, that to buy smaller cars due to the current cost of petrol. That’s the real agenda, guys! Get real.

  3. Robert Wood
    2008/04/18 at 11:51

    The BBC article is replete with a South Asian woman and child, waist deep in water. Wonderful.

  4. Douglas Hoyt
    2008/04/16 at 12:39

    Interesting recent study by Kolker and Hameed (2007, Meteorologically driven trends in sea level rise. Geophysical Research Letters, 34, L23616, doi:10.1029/2007GL031814). They look at the Atlantic basin and correct for long-term changes in wind driven changes in sea due to “Centers of Action” (COA). The results are summarized at the http://www.worldclimatereport.com/index.php/2008/01/04/lowering-sea-level-rise/ as follows:

    “Kolker and Hameed used these relationships to statistically control for variations and trends in atmospheric circulation. They find that the “residual” sea level rise (that not explained by COA variability) in the North Atlantic lies somewhere between 0.49±0.25mm/yr and 0.93±0.39mm/yr depending on the assumptions they employ, which is substantially less than the 1.40 to 2.15 mm per year rise found in the data corrected for the glacial isostatic adjustment. This “residual” sea level rise includes both local processes such as sedimentation changes, as well as larger-scale processes such as rising global temperatures.”

    That gives an average of 0.71 mm/yr, or a lot less than the 3 mm/yr claimed by the IPCC and usually seen in the press. It is less than 3 inches over a hundred years.

    Concerning archaelogy, the docks for ancient Athens were recently uncovered and they are a half mile inland.

  1. 2008/04/21 at 22:18

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