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Sea level rise? Global warming? I don't think so...

I created this website to explore options for peace, so why do I find myself writing so much about global warming? Well, if there's disharmony in the home and you want the family to talk it through, if you find the house is on fire, you have to do something about the fire first. And the loss of truth in science to push a very bad political 'solution' to a non-problem is a worldwide fire threatening civilisation itself.

Case in point: the lost island in the Bay of Bengal. Here's the BBC, covering itself in inglory pushing political antiscience instead of truth:

Map showing location of "disappeared island" in Bay of BengalA tiny island claimed for years by India and Bangladesh in the Bay of Bengal has disappeared beneath the rising seas, scientists in India say.

The uninhabited territory south of the Hariabhanga river was known as New Moore Island to the Indians and South Talpatti Island to the Bangladeshis.

Recent satellites images show the whole island under water, says the School of Oceanographic Studies in Calcutta.

Its scientists say other nearby islands could also vanish as sea levels rise.

Beneath the waves

The BBC's Chris Morris in Delhi says there has never been a permanent settlement on the now-vanished island, which even in its heyday was never more than two metres (about six feet) above sea level.

In the past, however, the territorial dispute led to visits by Indian naval vessels and the temporary deployment of a contingent from the country's Border Security Force.

"What these two countries could not achieve from years of talking, has been resolved by global warming," said Professor Sugata Hazra of the School of Oceanographic Studies at Jadavpur University in Calcutta.

Anyone wishing to visit now, he observed, would have to think of travelling by submarine.

Very tragic, the loss of that island. Let's see, the sea rose, how much? They were two metres above sea level and now require a visit by submarine? Would that be at the very least, say, three metres, would you think? And in how long a time? India didn't have a navy until after independence in 1947, which is 62 years, or a rise of about five metres per century, which is drivel pure and simple. So much for sea level rise, and so much for the BBC's journalistic skills and/or integrity in reprinting the drivel. But we can actually do much better then this. Here's The Independent's almost as uncritical take on the same story:

Silt island in Ganges deltaA low-lying island in a sprawling mangrove delta which has been disputed by India and Bangladesh for almost 30 years will be squabbled over no more. It has disappeared beneath the waves.

In what experts say is an alarming indication of the danger posed by rising sea levels brought about by global warming, New Moore Island has become totally submerged. "It is definitely because of global warming," said Professor Sugata Hazra of Jadavpur University in Kolkata. "The sea level has been rising at twice the previous rate in the years between 2002 and 2009. The sea level is rising in accordance with rising temperatures."

Known as New Moore Island in India, and South Talpatti in Bangladesh, the uninhabited outcrop in the Sundarbans delta region measured barely two miles in length and one-and-a-half miles in width. Yet the island had been angrily disputed by the two countries, almost ever since Bangladesh secured independence from Pakistan in 1971.

In 1981, with high-level meetings failing to resolve the matter, Delhi dispatched the armed frigate INS Sandhayak and a small military team to erect an aerial mast and the Indian flag. Bangladesh lodged a high-level protest, saying that the island was an integral part of its territory.

The problem in resolving the issue was that the flashpoint island was situated directly beneath the mouth of the river Hariabhanga, which marked the agreed international boundary between the two countries. Technically, possession of the island depends on which side of the island the main channel of the river flows. That has never been agreed by the two countries.

Yet such vagaries of ocean flow no longer matter. Mr Hazra said the island, first noticed in 1974 and possibly created by a massive cyclone that tore across Bangladesh, was no longer visible on satellite imagery.

Hang about: what's that? First noticed in 1974?? Created by a cyclone?? It's a silt island! The Ganges, one of the most powerful rivers in the world, brings millions of tonnes of silt downstream every year, and it drops, of course, in the river delta and in Bay of Bengal because the water flow slows when it hits the sea. That's what created the delta in the first place. That's why there's silt, silt, everywhere, ready and available to be piled up and to make an island. It is also why the Ganges delta will never be underwater: If sea levels do rise, then the river will hit the sea earlier and drop its silt earlier and build up the delta once again. The delta is at the level it is because that is the sea level, not because of some gobsmacking cosmic coincidence that sea levels are 'just right' (not to high, not too low, said Goldilocks). Any tenth-decent scientist would know this, and any half-decent journalist should have checked it out before quoting such bilge.

But, hang on, 1974? What does that make their putative sea rise? Now it's only 35 years for the three-metre rise, or around nine metres per century! Boy, the crackheads of the world would sure like to know what these guys are smoking!

But it gets worse.

Here's another story just last year from the indefatigable BBC:

India extracts Bay of Bengal gas

The Indian company Reliance Industries has started pumping natural gas from a massive deep-sea field in the Bay of Bengal off India's eastern coast.

Eventually it will almost double the country's natural gas output.

Just over six years after the deep-sea field known as D-six was discovered under the Bay of Bengal, the first gas has been pumped ashore.

Within a few days supplies will reach Indian fertiliser companies which have first call on this new source of gas.

It is a big moment for Reliance Industries, which is owned by one of the world's richest men, Mukesh Ambani.

The company says the gas field will reach peak production by the end of this year.

It's not the first time someone has drilled or otherwise fiddled with the sea floor. From this official press release, "oil and gas production from GS-15 field in KG basin in Bay of Bengal started from July, 2006." Did this contribute to the island's sinking? Don't know, but for sure the journalists at the BBC and The Independent don't know either, and their sea level rise explanation is pure moonshine.

What do I see in all of this? A few things:

Firstly, the scare stories that get spread about the evil effects of global warming are written up pretty persuasively, but in almost every case, when examined, they fall apart at the seams.

Secondly, we can all pull these things apart for ourselves; it took no specialist knowledge for me to discover that the supposed sea level rise necessary to submerge an island in this time scale falls in the realm of fantasy. All these stories fall apart just as easily, if one wishes to spend just a little time thinking about them.

Thirdly, this is a critical issue for us all. For one thing, energy prices (electricity and fuel) will go through the roof in the coming years, to the point that many of us will have to go without heat in winter or cooling in summer. In winters and cold climates especially, people are already dying from expensive power. Secondly, the political implications of a socialist bureaucratic and undemocratic world government, such as was schemed to emerge from the Copenhagen talks, would drive us into penury and slavery all on its own. And the loss of good science is a far-reaching tragedy, but an invisible one. The average person won't appreciate what they are losing when ideological political religion replaces sound science and free public speech and debate, just as no one in the dark ages understood why things were so bad: they knew they were bad, but lacked the understanding to pull themselves out of it, century after century. Is a repeat of that what we want for our descendants?

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Re: Sea level rise? Global warming? I don't think so...

There is some pretty good info on sea level just from its wikipedia entry. Right now this is the least of my worries in the middle east. I think we may be on the brink of civil war in Libya and you know Iran is trouble. I don't like the way this is setting up. conditioning/Current_sea_level_rise

sea level rising

As CO2 emissions and climate change continue, risks to the health of the ocean will become a more prominent concern. With accelerated melting back of glaciers and ice sheets and the subsequent rise in sea level, with further decreases in oceanic pH, and with deceleration of the thermohaline circulation, there are many ways in which the delicate balance of ocean dynamics and ecosystems are being put at risk. These factors, combined with the uncertainty in predicting exactly how these impacts will interact, are causing changes in the ocean: an increasingly problematic issue for future generations.

Re: Sea level rise? Global warming? I don't think so...

I have watched many documentaries on the subject of global warming and I am convinced that there is evidence to support global warming. There are bigger problems like peak oil and the state of the world economy we have to worry about long before the effects of global warming are more apparent. I have heard that once oil production is past it's peak, food shortages will begin to happen. If you think this is all conspiracy theory, I suggest you look at the facts. seed bank

Re: Sea level rise? Global warming? I don't think so...

Hi David, thanks for your comment. Firstly, documentaries on GW are useless. Probably you have watched Al Gore's Inconvenient Truth. That was the subject of a legal case in the UK in which the judge ruled that the program contained numerous scientific errors and ruled that a warning had to be given before it could be shown in schools. One prominent error is where Gore shows temperature and CO2 concentrations as measured in ice cores marching up and down in lock step. He failed to mention that if you look closely, the CO2 follows the temperature by 800 years, and so cannot be the cause of the temp. changes.

The most stark proof of the fallacy of the theory, to my mind, is the fact that all the models predict a developing atmospheric hotspot in the troposphere. It is simply absent, completely. If the mechanism for warming isn't there, then either the warming isn't happening or it is happening by magic. Take your pick which you choose to believe. I have documented this here.

Add to that the fact that CO2 is plant food. Pure and simple, as literally thousands of experiments have shown, more CO2 makes plants grow bigger and faster. The world is greening at a rate of about 1.3% per decade according to one study based on satellite observations. You want to feed people, drive your car as often as possible.

Nextly, so-called "green" power stations that bury the life-giving CO2 use 30-40% more fuel to power the burial process, so if you are concerned about peak oil or peak coal, wasting 30% more is very bad way to help.

Finally, you tell me to look at the facts but don't give me any. I invite you to investigate the issue for yourself until you personally understand the issues, and then post a solid piece of evidence indicating that there is any problem at all with global warming (anything at all, except flaky nonsense like "97% of scientists agree..." "the IPCC says..". That isn't evidence, if I want that I can get it from toothpaste ads. I hope this doesn't sound dismissive, but my experience, as a scientists who fully understands the greenhouse theory and has concluded it is rubbish, is that no one at all, ever, will take up this simple challenge. Why might that be, do you think?

Re: sea level rising

Kyle, The climate always changes. That's a fact, we all need to get used to it. The question is, which is the more dangerous, warmth or cold? All the evidence of history and prehistory is that cold is deadly, warmth is beneficial. Human civilisation has flourished in the warm times and died back in the cold ones. At the depth of the last ice age, CO2 concentrations fell to within a whisker of the value at which photosynthesis stops and all green plants die. Guess what happens to animals shortly after?

Sea level: Ask Al Gore why he purchased a multimillion dollar seafront property if he believes his own story. Sea levels have been going up ever since the end of the last ice age (very much faster at times in the past than now). And there is absolutely no evidence of a slowing of any oceanic circulation.

As for pH. The oceans are at 8.1. 7 is neutral, pure water. You need (roughly) 11 times more CO2 in the oceans to make them neutral. The oceans contain 70 times more CO2 than the atmosphere. When CO2 is added to the atmosphere, only a third of it dissolves in the oceans. So to merely double the current oceanic CO2 content, you would have to put about 210 times the current amount of atmospheric CO2 into the atmosphere. So far we have put about 0.3 times the atmospheric CO2 into the atmosphere. All the fossil fuel in all the world could be burned tomorrow without making a dent on that equation. This is a spurious issue invented for alarm and fearmongering. The facts are so stark that I cannot believe any real scientist could seriously believe it. The fact that some of the "experiments on coral" used, not CO2, but hydrochloric acid, as a test to lower pH, just tells me twice over what a bunch of shysters they truly are.

Lastly, coral not only survived, but evolved in the first place when atmospheric CO2 was ten or twenty times today's figure, which gives us solid proof that coral has no problem with more CO2. We don't need experiments to know this. The mere existence of vast coral reefs dating from Jurassic times tells us the truth without any room for doubt.