Sea level changes as documented in nature
instead of horror scenarios
Paleogeophysics & Geodynamics, Stockholm, Sweden
Statement of the Problem: In geology we have a long-term tradition to base our statements
and conclusions on observational facts in nature itself and physical laws documented in
actual processes in our terrestrial system. This is especially important when it comes to
predictions and mitigation of different hazards (seismic, volcanic, climatic, coastal, etc). In
recent decades, climate modeling – ignoring observational facts, basic scientific knowledge
accumulated over time, and even physical laws – have drastically changed this modus
operandi providing a number of horror scenarios for the near future. One of those model
scenarios is a rapidly rising sea level threatening to flood low-lying coasts and islands
around the world. Already by 2100, sea level is claimed to rise by about 0.5 m up to a couple
of meters, which indeed would be disastrous, had it been correct. By analyzing available
geological facts with respect to observed and measured changes in sea level, and the
boundary conditions of changes of different sea level parameters, a quite different picture
emerge, however. This is evident from the following 5 points (Figure 1, points 5 to 1).
• +1.14 mm/yr, the mean of 184 tide gauge records scattered all over the globe selected by for their
global sea level analyses. This value is too high, however, because many sites used represent
subsiding delta sites .
• +1.0 ±0.1 mm/yr, the eustatic component the North Sea, Kattegatt and Baltic region [4, 5].
• +0.55 ±0.10 mm/yr, the revised satellite altimetry values of .
• +0.25 ±0.19 mm/yr, the mean of 170 tide gauge stations having a length of more than 60 years .
• ±0.0 mm/yr, the value obtained from many global test sites [1, 3, 5]; the Maldives, Bangladesh, Goa
in the Indian Ocean, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Kiribati, Majuro in the Pacific, Surinam-Guyana in NE South
America, Venice in the Mediterranean.
In conclusion, this implies variations between 0.0 & 1.0 mm/yr or +0.5 ±0.5 mm/yr (Figure 1).
Findings: Global sea level is not at all in a rapidly rising mode, only changing by about 0.5
±0.5 mm/yr. By year 2100 sea level is likely only to change by +5 cm ±15 cm, which poses
Figure 1: The new spectrum of sea level [from 2]. The five points, further discussed in the text,
provide a congruent picture: sea level is globally varying between ±0.0 and +1.0 mm/yr (0.5 ±0.5
mm/yr). Only the estimate by the IPCC is above “hanging in the air”.
1. N.-A. Mörner, 2016. Coastal morphology and sea level changes in Goa, India, during
the last 500 years. Journal of Coastal Research, 21, in press.
2. N.-A. Mörner, 2016. Rates of sea level changes – a clarifying note. International Journal
of Geosciences, 7, 1318-13-22. http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/ijg.2016.711096
3. N.-A. Mörner, 2016. Sea level changes as observed in nature. In: Evidence-based
Climate Changes, Sec. Rev. Ed., D.J. Easterbrook, ed., Chapter 12, p. 219-131.
4. N.-A. Mörner, 2015. Glacial isostasy: regional – not global. International Journal of
Geosciences, 6, 577-592.
5. N.-A. Mörner, 2015. Sea level changes in the 19-20th and 21st centuries. Coordinates
Magazine, X (10), 15-21.
6. N.-A. Mörner, 2013. Sea level changes: facts and fictions. Energy and Environment, 24
Nils-Axel (”Niklas”) Mörner took his Ph.D. in Quaternary Geology at Stockholm University in
1969. He was head of the institute of Paleogeophysics & Geodynamics (P&G) at Stockholm
University from 1991 up to his retirement in 2005. He has written many hundreds of research
papers and several books. He has presented more than 500 papers at major international
conferences. He is a global traveller and has undertaking field studies in 59 different
countries. Several students have taken their doctoral degree at the P&G institute, which
became an international center for global sea level change, paleoclimate, paleoseismics,
neotectonics, paleomagnetism, Earth rotation, planetary-solar-terrestrial interaction, etc. He
was president of the INQUA Neotectonics Commission (1981-1989) and president of the
INQUA Commission on Sea Level Changes and Coastal Dynamics (1999-2003). In 2008, he
was awarded the Golden Condrite of Merit (from Algarve University) “for his irreverence and
contribution to our understanding of sea level change”. Among his books one may note;
Earth Rheology, Isostasy and Eustasy (Wiley, 1984), Climate Change on a Yearly to
Millennial Basis (Reidel, 1984), Paleoseismicity of Sweden: a novel paradigm (P&G- print,
2003), The Greatest Lie Ever Told (P&G-print, 2007), The Tsunami Threat: Research &
Technology (InTech, 2011), Geochronology: Methods and Case Studies (InTech, 2014),
Planetary Influence on the Sun and the Earth, and a Modern Book-Burning (Nova, 2015),
New Dawn of Truth (Climate Change: Science & Geoethics, ResearchGate, 2016).
6th International Conference on Earth Science and Climate Change,
Uploaded on ResearchGate, January 20, 2017