In a previous post Pained Earth’s summer to forget: the rest of the story, I criticized an AP story printed in the Arizona Daily Star as inaccurate and alarmist.
Within that story I had written: The story states: “The melting of land ice into the oceans is causing about 60 percent of the accelerating rise in sea levels worldwide, with thermal expansion from warming waters causing the rest. The WMO’S World Climate Research Program says seas are rising by 1.34 inches per decade, about twice the 20th century’s average.” The pretended “acceleration” is the result of cherry-picking starting and ending points. The rate of sea level rise is cyclic, but the overall trend is downward. For a detailed analysis of sea level rise, and to see why the WMO statement is dissembling, see my article, Sea Level Rising? Also, a new paper in the Journal of Geophysical Research, says “The global mean sea level for the period January 1900 to December 2006 is estimated to rise at a rate of 1.56 ± 0.25 mm/yr which is reasonably consistent with earlier estimates, but we do not find significant acceleration.”
One of the commenters complained that “New Zealand has already accepted climate change refugees from Tuvalu, an island that has seen the ocean rise around it more than eight inches over the last twenty years or so.” He took this as evidence of anthropogenic global warming. (The fact that the globe has been recently warming does not speak to the cause.)
The Australian government has been monitoring sea level on Pacific islands with modern instruments since 1992. In the case of Tuvalu, they state, “If the depression of the 1998 cyclone is ignored, there was no change is sea level at Tuvalu between 1994 and 2009: 14 years. The recent slight fall would probably be related to the recent earthquake.”
Sea level at other South Pacific islands is similar. There are seasonal oscillations and variations due to cyclones and earthquakes, but the overall trend is flat.
For more detail on the Australian study, see here.