AP Reports Another Data-Free South Florida Rising Sea Fable

SHOW ME THE DATA!!!

Have you noticed that whenever the mainstream media reports stories about rising sea levels in South Florida that one crucial item is always missing? Hard data. All the stories tell us how much the sea will rise in the future but pointedly ignore how much the sea level has risen in the past. Why? Could it be because there is absolutely NO DATA that indicates any sea level rise to be alarmed about? Despite this lack of data, all these stories assure us that somehow the sea level will rise to such an extent that most of eastern Palm Beach County will be underwater by the middle of this century. The latest such fable was conjured up by Michael J. Mishak of the Associated Press. So, boys and girls, check out his story and if you can guess what's missing, you win a kewpie doll:

There are few places in the nation more vulnerable to rising sea levels than low-lying South Florida, a tourist and retirement mecca built on drained swampland.

So the sea levels are rising? SHOW ME THE DATA!!!

Yet as other coastal states and the Obama administration take aggressive measures to battle the effects of global warming, Florida's top Republican politicians are challenging the science and balking at government fixes.

Yes, how foolish of those ignorant Republicans for not tossing money at a problem for which there is NO DATA to support its premise.

Democrats plan to place climate change, and the GOP's skepticism, front and center in a state where the issue is no longer an abstraction.

If its no longer an abstraction then...SHOW ME THE DATA!!!

So who is cited as the "voice of reason?" None other than Charlie Crist:

"They don't believe in science. That's ridiculous," Crist said at a recent campaign rally in Miami. "This is ground zero for climate change in America."

Good. So the next time Crist appears on the campaign trail folks can ask him for the data and he can cite just how much the sea has risen in, say, the past 40 years, right? Of course, that task might prove a bit difficult since the world's leading expert on sea levels, Dr. Nils-Axel Mörner, has pronounced all the scare stories about rising sea levels to be complete hokum:

And the uncompromising verdict of Dr Mörner, who for 35 years has been using every known scientific method to study sea levels all over the globe, is that all this talk about the sea rising is nothing but a colossal scare story.

Despite fluctuations down as well as up, "the sea is not rising," he says. "It hasn't risen in 50 years." If there is any rise this century it will "not be more than 10cm (four inches), with an uncertainty of plus or minus 10cm". And quite apart from examining the hard evidence, he says, the elementary laws of physics (latent heat needed to melt ice) tell us that the apocalypse conjured up by Al Gore and Co could not possibly come about.

The reason why Dr Mörner, formerly a Stockholm professor, is so certain that these claims about sea level rise are 100 per cent wrong is that they are all based on computer model predictions, whereas his findings are based on "going into the field to observe what is actually happening in the real world".

Hmmm... Who to believe? A science expert in the field of sea levels or Charlie "Flip-Flop" Crist? Of course, an "expert" is cited who again presents NO DATA:

"This is not a future problem. It's a current problem," said Leonard Berry, director of the Florida Center for Environmental Studies at Florida Atlantic University and a contributing author of the National Climate Assessment, which found that sea levels have risen about 8 inches in the past century.

On the subject of sea level rise, this is what the Journal of the American Meteorological Society reports:

...the rate of GMSLR [Global-Mean Sea Level Rise] was not much larger during the last 50 years than during the twentieth century as a whole, despite the increasing anthropogenic forcing. Semiempirical methods for projecting GMSLR depend on the existence of a relationship between global climate change and the rate of GMSLR, but the implication of the authors' closure of the budget is that such a relationship is weak or absent during the twentieth century.

Mishak gazes into his crystal ball to give us this scenario via computer projection:

By one regional assessment, the waters off South Florida could rise another 2 feet by 2060...

Key word: "could." This year is the 60th anniversary of the Fountainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach and if the sea had been steadily rising all that time, how is it that they still have beachfront left? Sand has been replenished from time to time but that is strictly due to erosion, not rising sea levels.

Finally, Mishak inadvertently gives away the game with this statement towards the end of his fable:

Meanwhile, Miami Beach is bracing for another season of punishing tides.

That's right. Tides. Not sea level rise. Tides. What next? Send an expedition to the moon to excavate enough of it to not gravitationally affect the tides so much?

In the meantime, if Mishak or anybody else wants to make the case for rising sea levels then...

SHOW ME THE DATA!!!

P.J. Gladnick
P.J. Gladnick
P.J. Gladnick is a freelance writer and creator of the DUmmie FUnnies blog.