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Sea Level Rise Has Decelerated 44% Since 2004 To Only 7 Inches Per Century, New Paper

The Hockey Schtick

A paper published today in Global and Planetary Change finds global sea level rise has decelerated by 44% since 2004 to a rate equivalent to only 7 inches per century. According to the authors, global mean sea level rise from 1993-2003 was at the rate of 3.2 mm/yr, but sea level rise “started decelerating since 2004 to a rate of 1.8 ± 0.9 mm/yr in 2012.”


The authors also find “This deceleration is mainly due to the slowdown of ocean thermal expansion in the Pacific during last decade,” which is in direct opposition to claims that the oceans “ate the global warming.” This finding debunks alarmist claims that ocean heat uptake has increased over the past decade, demonstrating instead that ocean heat uptake has decreased during the global warming pause since 2004, and has gone negative since 2007, as shown by fig. 4b indicating steric sea level rise from thermal expansion has been negative since 2007.
The paper adds to several other peer-reviewed publications finding either no acceleration or a deceleration of sea level rise during the 20th and 21st century, and thus no evidence of any human influence on sea level rise:

JM Gregory et al Journal of Climate 2012
M Beenstock et al 2013
NOAA 2005-2012 Sea Level Budget
Dean & Houston 2011 & 2013
Scafetta 2013
Holgate 2007
Boretti 2012
Morner 2004
Jevrejeva et al., 2006 & 2008
Wöppelmann et al., 2009
Roemmich et al 2013


IPCC 2007:
“no long-term acceleration of sea level has been identified using 20th-century data alone.”

IPCC 2013:
“It is likely that GMSL [Global Mean Sea Level] rose between 1920 and 1950 at a rate comparable to that observed between 1993 and 2010”



Global Sea Level Trend during 1993-2012

  • a Key Laboratory of Data Analysis and Applications, State Oceanic Administration, China
  • b The First Institute of Oceanography, State Oceanic Administration, China


The global mean sea level started decelerated rising since 2004 with the rising rate 1.8 ± 0.9 mm/yr in 2012.
Deceleration is due to slowdown of ocean thermal expansion during last decade.
Recent ENSO events introduce large uncertainty of long-term trend estimation.


Projection of future sea level change relies on the understanding of present sea-level trend and how it has varied in the past. Here we investigate the global-mean sea level (GMSL) change during 1993-2012 using Empirical Mode Decomposition, in an attempt to distinguish the trend over this period from the internannual variability. It is found that the GMSL [Global Mean Sea Level] rises with the rate of 3.2 ± 0.4 mm/yr during 1993-2003 and started decelerating since 2004 to a rate of 1.8 ± 0.9 mm/yr in 2012. This deceleration is mainly due to the slowdown of ocean thermal expansion in the Pacific during last decade, as a part of the Pacific decadal-scale variability, while the land-ice melting is accelerating the rise of the global ocean mass-equivalent sea level. Recent rapid recovery of the rising GMSL from its dramatic drop during the 2011 La Niña introduced a large uncertainty in the estimation of the sea level trend, but the decelerated rise of the GMSL [Global Mean Sea Level]  appears to be intact.

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