Rahmstorf (2011): Robust or just busted (Part 1)

June 30, 2012

This is part 1 of a multi-part series about Testing the robustness of semi-empirical sea level projections,” Rahmstorf, et. al., Climate Dynamics, 2011. You can see an index of all parts here. I frequently refer to this paper as R2011.

I don’t get many readers at my little blog, but it is nice to know that Stefan Rahmstorf has been keeping up with it. He has a great desire to prove that his claims of extreme sea level rise, and my comments (and equations, graphs, data, logic, etc.) have cast his conclusions into grave doubt. Besides showing in multiple ways that his models don’t make mathematical sense, I have also shown that when the best data is applied to his (bogus) model his sea level rise projections for the 21st century are cut down to size.

So, it seems his recent outing in Climate Dynamics (“Testing the robustness of semi-empirical sea level projections,” Climate Dynamics, November, 2011) is aimed squarely at that point, which he makes clear in the fourth sentence of the abstract.

“Lower projections are obtained only if the correction for reservoir storage is ignored and/or the sea level data set of Church and White (Surv Geophys, 2011) is used.”

You see, once upon a time (2007, 2009 ) Rahmstorf thought that the 2006 version of sea level data from Church and White was surely the finest data for figuring out the relationship between sea level rise rate and global temperature. When he used it in his silly 2007 and 2009 models to project 21st century sea level rise, the models gave alarmingly high results. Ergo, the models and input sea level data must certainly be correct. The problem was that Church and White were not as confident in their own sea level data as Rahmstorf was. By the time Vermeer and Rahmstorf were penning their widely quoted 2009 PNAS paper, Church and White had made serious corrections to their sea level data. But that corrected data never made it into the Vermeer’s and Rahmstorf’s paper. If it had, their sea level rise projections would have been way lower.

I raked Rahmstorf and company over the coals on this point. I ran their own model with the corrected data from their own source (Church and White) and published the results online. The result: vastly lower sea level projections for the 21st century. Their response: silence.

The above abstract sentence would have been more accurate if it had said…

Much higher projections are obtained if Church’s and White’s older, self-rejected, data is used than if Church’s and White’s newer, corrected data is used.”

The meaning of his chosen words was Rahmstorf’s way of telling his sycophants to close their eyes and stop thinking. Church’s and White’s out-dated data gives much higher 21st century predictions than their newer corrected data. That’s all you need to know to tell you that the old data is better than the corrected data. “These are not the droids you’re looking for. Move along.”

As is my custom, I will write a series of posts concerning “Testing the robustness of semi-empirical sea level projections.”  Stay tuned.


  1. Reblogged this on Climate Ponderings.

  2. It’s not the size of the blog that matters. Truth eventually wins out.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: