Measuring Sea Level Is a Suspect Art

A catastrophic rise in sea level is one of the calamities anticipated by those who believe in climate change.  The believers and the skeptics can carry on a scientific discussion about this matter only if they actually know what the current sea level is and how it has been behaving.  Both sides tend to accept that data published by NASA and NOAA regarding measured year-to-year changes in sea level fit the bill.  But are those numbers accurate and scientifically credible?  Conceptual problems associated with identifying sea level combined with the technological limitations on how we go about taking measurements make that unlikely. NOAA and NASA claim that sea level is currently rising about an eighth of an inch per year.  This is more or less equivalent to the stack height of just two quarters.  However, neither of the two measurement systems upon which estimates of sea level rely can measure so precisely.  The two measurement systems are tide...(Read Full Article)