Munging The Sea Level Data

by W. Eschenbach, Feb 21, 2021 in WUWT

For more than a decade now, I’ve been wondering about a couple of questions.

First, why does the satellite-based sea-level data show that the sea level is rising so much faster than the rise measured at tidal stations on the coastlines around the world? Records from tidal stations show a rise on the order of a couple of mm per year, a rate which is little changed over the century or so for which we have adequate records. But the satellite record (Figure 1) shows a rise of 3.3 mm/year. Why the large difference?

Second, why does the satellite-based sea-level show such significant acceleration? As mentioned above, the sea-level records from tidal stations, which are much longer, show little or no acceleration. But the satellite record claims that the rate of sea-level rise is increasing by about a tenth of an mm per year. That amount of acceleration would double the rate of sea-level rise in about thirty years. Again, why the large difference?

To start with, here’s what the satellite data says, according to the University of Colorado Sea Level Research Group.