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Mann, Virginia and the Suggestio Falsi

Virginia court rejects sceptic's bid for climate science emails | Environment | guardian.co.uk

Mann said in an email that he was pleased that the legal campaign was over. But he added: "It's sad that so much money and resources had to be wasted on Cuccinelli's witch hunt against me and the University of Virginia, when it could have been invested, for example, in measures to protect Virginia's coastline from the damaging effects of sea-level rise it is already seeing."

As the author of the iconic "hockey stick graph" showing a sharp rise in warming in the 20th century, Mann has long been a target of those who deny the existence of climate change, who accuse him of manipulating data.


So the sea level in Virginia is rising.

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The mean sea level trend is 4.44 millimeters/year with a 95% confidence interval of /- 0.27 mm/yr based on monthly mean sea level data from 1927 to 2006 which is equivalent to a change of 1.46 feet in 100 years.

Mann is correct and I wouldn't accuse him of manipulating the data, but the suggestio falsi is that this is a new and urgent problem caused by AGW.

Comments

There's a lot more going on here than MM chooses to discuss. The Virginia coastline is sinking from a mixture of:

* isostatic rebound. N USA is rising after being loaded by ice while S USA is sinking. Imagine a polystyrene tile floating on water and a weight being removed from one side (ice melting). The lighter side will bob up and the other side will sink correspondingly.

* water extraction. Take water out of the ground and the ground sinks into the space.

* seafloor warping. Chesapeake Bay is being distorted by heavy sediment loads.

All this is well known. A minute or less on Google will give an overview. The extent of these effects varies locally.


On top of this there is sealevel rise caused largely (but not exclusively) by the increase in volume caused by the oceans warming.

It seems that a general figure of 3 mm pa is accepted for mean global sealevel rise (although this is disputed and varies substantially over the surface of the globe. Taking it as correct, about 1.4 mm pa of the sealevel rise is not explained by this global mean rate. Thus, about one third of the increase in sealevel is due to factors other than global warming.

Much of this is discussed on WUWT:

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/11/26/nyts-sort-of-clarity-on-norfolk-sinking-aka-sea-level-rise-and-an-inconvenient-map/

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