27 Jun 07 – Dr. Nils-Axel Mörner, head of the Paleogeophysics and Geodynamics department at Stockholm University in Sweden, was interviewed by Gregory Murphy on June 6 for EIR.
Dr. Mörner, past president of the INQUA Commission on Sea Level Changes and Coastal Evolution and leader of the Maldives Sea Level Project, has been studying the sea level and its effects on coastal areas for some 35 years.
EIR: I would like to start with a little bit about your background, and some of the commissions and research groups you’ve worked on.
Mörner: I am a sea-level specialist. There are many good sea-level people in the world, but let’s put it this way: There’s no one who’s beaten me. I took my thesis in 1969, devoted to a large extent to the sea-level problem. From then on, I have launched most of the new theories, in the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s.
Working in this field, I don’t think there’s a spot on the Earth I haven’t been in! In the northmost, Greenland; and in Antarctica; and all around the Earth, and very much at the coasts. So I have primary data from so many places, that when I’m speaking, I don’t do it out of ignorance, but on the contrary, I know what I’m talking about.
EIR: What is the real state of the sea-level rising?
Mörner: You have to look at that in a lot of different ways. … we can see that the sea level was indeed rising, from, let us say, 1850 to 1930-40. And that rise had a rate in the order of 1 millimeter per year. Not more. 1.1 is the exact figure.
Absolutely no trend
That ended in 1940, and there had been no rise until 1970 … There’s no trend, absolutely no trend…. and then we go to satellite altimetry, and I will return to that.
Another way of looking at what is going on is the tide gauge. Tide gauging is very complicated, because it gives different answers for wherever you are in the world. But we have to rely on geology when we interpret it. So, for example, those people in the IPCC choose Hong Kong, which has six tide gauges, and they choose the record of one, which gives 2.3 mm per year rise of sea level. Every geologist knows that that is a subsiding area. It’s the compaction of sediment; it is the only record which you shouldn’t use.
… Not even ignorance could be responsible for a thing like that. …So tide gauges, you have to treat very, very carefully. Now, back to satellite altimetry. From 1992 to 2002, [the graph of the sea level] was a straight line, variability along a straight line, but absolutely no trend whatsoever. We could see those spikes: a very rapid rise, but then in half a year, they fall back again. But absolutely no trend, and to have a sea-level rise, you need a trend.
They hadn’t recorded anything
Then, in 2003, the same data set, which in [the IPCC’s] publications, in their website, was a straight line—suddenly it changed, and showed a very strong line of uplift, 2.3 mm per year, the same as from the tide gauge. And that didn’t look so nice. It looked as though they had recorded something; but they hadn’t recorded anything. It was the original one which they had suddenly twisted up, because they entered a “correction factor,” which they took from the tide gauge. So it was not a measured thing, but a figure introduced from outside. I accused them of this at the Academy of Sciences in Moscow —I said you have introduced factors from outside; it’s not a measurement. It looks like it is measured from the satellite, but you don’t say what really happened. And they answered, that we had to do it, because otherwise we would not have gotten any trend!
Falsification of the data
That is terrible! As a matter of fact, it is a falsification of the data set. Why? Because they know the answer….
I have been the expert reviewer for the IPCC, both in 2000 and last year. The first time I read it, I was exceptionally surprised. First of all, it had 22 authors, but none of them—none—were sea-level specialists. They were given this mission, because they promised to answer the right thing….Three of them were from Austria, where there is not even a coast! The others were not specialists.
So that’s why, when I became president of the INQUA Commission on Sea-Level Change and Coastal Evolution, we made a research project, and we had this up for discussion at five international meetings. And all the true sea level specialists agreed on this figure, that in 100 years, we might have a rise of 10 cm (3.9 inches), with an uncertainty of plus or minus 10 cm—that’s not very much.
Four inches of sea level rise in 100 years – plus or minus four inches. Not exactly earth shattering.
Then we went to the Maldives. I traced a drop in sea level in the 1970s, and the fishermen told me, “Yes, you are correct, because we remember”—things in their sailing routes have changed, things in their harbor have changed. I worked in the lagoon, I drilled in the sea, I drilled in lakes, I looked at the shore morphology—so many different environments.
Always the same thing: In about 1970, the sea fell about 20 cm, for reasons involving probably evaporation or something.
Tuvalu … Absolutely no trend, no rise.
Another famous place is the Tuvalu Islands, which are supposed to soon disappear … There we have a tide gauge record, a variograph record, from 1978, so it’s 30 years. And again … absolutely no trend, no rise.
You have Vanuatu, and also in the Pacific, north of New Zealand and Fiji— there is the island Tegua. They said they had to evacuate it, because the sea level was rising. But again, you look at the tide-gauge record: There is absolutely no signal that the sea level is rising. If anything, you could say that maybe the tide is lowering a little bit, but absolutely no rising.
If you go around the globe, you find no rise anywhere.
I have paraphrased and shortened this a lot. Please see entire interview here:
For other scientists who disagree with the idea of human-caused global warming, see Climatologists Who Disagree