Published May 19, 2010
CHICAGO -- Global warming advocates say rising sea levels will soon drown Venice. But a top scientist says they're full of hot air -- and he says he’s got the data to prove it.
In a new scientific paper, Nils-Axel Morner, former emeritus head of the paleogeophysics and geodynamics department at Stockholm University in Sweden, says that observational records from around the world -- locations like the Maldives, Bangladesh, India, Tuvalu and Vanuatu -- show the sea level isn't rising at all.
Morner's research, revealed Monday at the fourth International Conference on Climate Change, demonstrates that there is no “alarming sea level rise” across the globe, and it says a U.N. report warning of coastal cities being deluged by rising waters from melting polar ice caps “is utterly wrong.”
The conference is presented annually in Chicago by the Heartland Institute, a conservative nonprofit think tank that actively questions the theory of man's role in global warming. Last year the Institute published Climate Change Reconsidered, a comprehensive reply to the United Nations' latest report on climate change.
“The tiger of global warming has lost its teeth. Maybe it’s not even a real tiger any more. Maybe it is a blown-up dummy,” Morner said at the conference.
For his paper, Morner looked at the sea-level changes in major metropolitan cities around the globe -- including Venice, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Mumbai, as well as islands such as the Maldives. A total of 159 stations were used for the research. His study showed that there was a maximum of 3 millimeters of sea level rise in some locales around the world, and many coastal cities showed no rise at all.
This is contrary to the Nobel Prize-winning fourth report of the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which indicated in 2007 that Bangladesh was “doomed” because of rising tide levels prompted by man-made global warming.
“The sea is not rising there,” Morner said. “It is stable.”
The difference, he said, is one of theory vs. reality.
“Models versus real observations -- there’s a big difference,” Morner told the scientists and policy advocates at the conference. “With models, you only select what you want.”
Locations like Mubai have “certainly been stable for the last 40 years,” Morner said. And in the famed oceanic city of Venice, in Italy, the water level is “slowly subsiding,” he said. “Any increase would be easily picked up. The sea level there has not risen for 40 years. There is no record sea level.”
Morner also utilized satellite data in his study, obtained from the Topex environmental satellite. In physics, he noted, there is a postulate called the “law of angular momentum.” Basically, if the shape of an object changes, it creates more friction, as when an ice skater spins and then raises her arms to change her speed. He said the same phenomenon would hold true for the Earth if the tides were rising. There would be more friction on the surface of the earth.
“But satellites show only a very small rise in sea levels,” said Morner. “If the sea levels were rising, the Earth should experience a deceleration.”
Representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency would not comment immediately on Morner's study, instead citing a PDF on the agency website that compiles indicators of climate change. That document points out that, "while absolute sea level has increased steadily overall, particularly in recent decades, regional trends vary, and absolute sea level has decreased in some places. Relative sea level also has not risen uniformly because of regional and local changes in land movement and long-term changes in coastal circulation patterns."
With 40 years of climate science under his belt, Professor Bob Carter of James Cook University, presented complementary data indicating that over the last 10,000 years, sea levels have increased. But Carter believes averages are not useful in making climate policy. “You need to plan based on the local relative rise of sea levels along your particular piece of coast,” Carter said.
But environmental attorney Catriona MacGregor told FoxNews.com she does not buy the idea that environmental catastrophes aren’t in the offing due to global climate change.
“The insurance industry, an industry that has significant expertise in measuring and calculating risk, was one of the first to link manmade emissions with mounting warming and catastrophes,” she said.
“This industry is not considered a pro-environment industry -- it is purely in the business of risk management and calculation. Nationally and internationally, this industry is unanimously adopting the view that global warming is manmade."