The Miami Beach problem has nothing whatever to do with sea level rise. It is a civil engineering problem of almost unimaginable magnitude

What Scary Sea Level Rise?

By —— Bio and Archives--January 22, 2021

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What Scary Sea Level Rise?Professor Axel Mormer, renowned Swedish sea level expert, reports that there is a total absence of data supporting the notion of a present sea level rise; on the contrary all available facts indicate present sea level stability. 1

A recent analysis of global sea level rise rates concludes the rising trend was 1.56 mm per year from 1900-2018. This is the same rate as for 1958-2014 (1.5 mm per year), indicating there has not been a long-term distinctive change in sea level rise rates in the last 120 years. 2

These are a sampling of many reports that show sea level is not rising at an alarming rate. Here are some others:

A policy brief from The Heartland Institute shows there is no evidence of acceleration in the rise of global sea levels since the 1920s and concludes the IPCC concerns over the issue are ‘without merit.’  3

A paper from Judith Curry, found that the current rising sea levels are not abnormal, nor can they be pinned on human caused climate change, arguing that the oceans have been on a ‘slow creep’ for the last 150 years, before the post 1950 climb in carbon dioxide emissions. Dr. Curry found that sea levels were actually higher in some regions during the Holocene Climate Optimum, about 5,000 to 7,000 years ago. 4

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) updated its coastal sea level rise tide gauge data, including actual measurements through year 2016 which continues to show no evidence of coastal sea level rise acceleration. These measurements include tide gauge data coastal locations for 22 West Coast, Gulf Coast and East Coast states, Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean, 7 Pacific Island groups and 6 Atlantic island groups comprising more than 200 measurement stations—meanwhile California sea level rise ‘model study’ claims 10 foot by 2100. 5

Before the advent of the industrial revolution in the late 18th to early 19th centuries, carbon dioxide concentrations hovered around 280 ppm. Within the last century, atmospheric CO2 concentrations have risen dramatically to above 400 ppm. Yet sea levels were 1-6 meters higher while CO2 levels were below 300 ppm. 6
Areas Growing in Size

Research by the University of Auckland found atolls in the Marshall Islands, Kiribati and the Maldives archipelago have grown up to eight per cent in size over the past six decades.  7

A paper assessing the area of 15 Florida Bay islands between 1953 and 2014 finds 12 of the 15 grew in size during this time span, which is consistent with the global trend.

Sinking Cities and Lands

Between 1985 and 2015, satellite observations indicated the world’s coasts gained 13,565 km2 more land area that they had lost to the seas. This surprised scientists, as they expected the coast would start to retreat due to sea level rise, but instead they observed coasts are growing all over the world. 8

Local sea levels appear to rise when ocean volumes increase, but also when the land sinks. Scientists increasingly warn that coastal cities are sinking much faster than ocean volumes are rising. Pumping out groundwater not only causes lands to sink, it increases the oceans’ volume. China’s Huanghe Delta is sinking 10 inches a year. Southeast Asian cities battle sinking rates of 1.2 to 2.4 inches per yer. Regions around Houston, Texas had sunk 10 feet by 1979; a disaster waiting to happen where hurricanes commonly generate 15 foot storm surges. Likewise, New Orleans was doomed by sinking 1.4 inches per yer. Built on marshland, San Francisco’s airport sinks 0.4 inches per year. 9

Judith Curry reported, “If you look at Galveston and New Orleans, much more than half is caused by sinking. And this comes from geologic processes, it comes from landfills and wetlands.” She cited groundwater withdrawal in the Chesapeake Bay area, which has also caused sinking. 10

The New York Times and the LA Times have been running story after story about Miami flooding, Miami king tides, Miami sea level rise threatening billions of dollars of infrastructure, etc. The Miami Beach problem has nothing whatever to do with sea level rise. It is a civil engineering problem of almost unimaginable magnitude. This city has been built for all intents and purposes almost precisely at predictable, recurring sea levels. It is already inescapably flooding from normal predicted tides and it will continue to flood unless sea level drops a foot or two, which is not going to happen during this millennium. 11

Contrary to the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) statement that it is very likely sea level is accelerating, the highest coastal tide gauges from around the world show no evidence of acceleration since the 1920s. Local and regional sea levels continue to exhibit typical natural variability, unrelated to changes in the global average sea level.


  1. P. Gosselin, “Renowned sea level expert: no traces of a present rise in sea level; on the contrary: full stability,” notrickszone.com, Nov. 14, 2017
  2. Thomas Frederikse et al., “The causes of sea-level rise since 1900,”  Nature, 594, 393, 2020
  3. Craig D. Idso et al., “Global sea level rise: an evaluation of the data,” The Heartland Institute, May 2019
  4. Judith Curry, “Sea level and climate change,” Climate Forecast Applications Network, Feb. 11, 2019
  5. Larry Hamlin, “Dialing back the 10 foot hype- NOAA tide gauge data shows no coastal sea level rise acceleration,” wattsupwiththat.com, May 2, 2017
  6. Kenneth Richard, “10 new papers: sea level 1-6 meters higher 4,000-6,000 years ago,” notrickszone.com, May 8, 2017
  7. Marian Faa, “Hundreds of Pacific islands are getting bigger despite global warming,” abc.net.au, Jan. 12, 2021
  8. Kenneth Richard, “New study finds 12 of 15 islands in Florida Bay have grown in size since 1953, continuing a global trend,” notrickszone.com, June 3, 2019
  9. Jim Steele, “Changing sea levels- part 1,” landscapesandcycles.net, Feb. 13, 2019
  10. Valerie Richardson, “Climatologist counters climate disaster predictions with sea-level report,” The Washington Times, Dec. 27, 2018
  11. Kip Hansen, “Miami’s vice,” wattsupwiththat.com, Dec. 7, 2016


Jack Dini -- Bio and Archives

Jack Dini is author of Challenging Environmental Mythology.  He has also written for American Council on Science and Health, Environment & Climate News, and Hawaii Reporter.

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