I have read and heard with great interest statements about future rise in sea level. Much less frequently, I have read or heard about recent rise or rises in sea level or sea levels. I am a little puzzled by what I read and by what I hear. Some of it sounds downright absurd.
Two main observations. First, if global warming resulting from human activity must, in the future, cause the sea to rise, then, the sea should have risen already to some extent since the Industrial Revolution is at least 150 years old. It seems to me that no evidence of sea rise in that period would come close to dooming predictions of the sea rising in the future as a result of human activity. (We all know that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, except when it is – Think of El Dorado, for example. Everyone has stopped looking.)
Second, it also seems to me that there cannot be a durable sea rise in one part of the globe but not in another. I think the water in the ocean is like the water in my bathtub: Pour it at one end, it’s soon at the other end. But, what do I know? The only reason I did not fail high-school Physics is that I was not present when they gave the test.
To help dissipate my puzzlement, I consulted an expert chosen along well-established rational lines. He is an intellectually serious high-school teacher of good students. He teaches in the general area of science. He is well educated. He has not told me so exactly but I would bet good money that he is a firm believer in climate change in general ( I don’t know about any particulars.) The man knows me well enough to avoid giving me guidance that would go over my head. He knows me well enough also to limit himself to one assignment. Here is a link to the assignment he gave me.
It seems to me that it says that the ocean has risen 4 centimeters on the average over the last twenty years. I think that’s a lot. It seems to say also that it has risen more in some places than in others. I am surprised.
I would welcome anyone, especially my better, to help me interpret these findings