Tag Archive: Pacific sea level


Kirbati is going to drown! Or maybe not.

Kiribati, just like many other small islands, is frequently used to illustrate the “devastation” that sea level rise is causing (or will cause) from climate change. The only problem is that the data doesn’t support the rhetoric.

I’ve  been tracking Kiribati sea level for a while now, but this time when updating my data, I thought I would check  all stations available from Bom and from PSMSL for Kiribati. I down loaded the mean sea level data from 5 separate stations with good overlap stretching back to 1949. Using the most consistent data, I have adjusted each data set for differing locations using 1804 station as my base, and using the average difference on the overlaps to recalculate a long record.

Here are the five original data sets from Kiribati

Kiribati Sea Level 5 stations 1949 to 2013

The trends of each tide gauge is interesting too. Some going up, some going down, and the longest two of the five, are as flat as the Hay Plain.

Kiribati Sea Level 5 stations 1949 to 2013 with trend

Once the other stations are normalised to the 1804 station, we get a better picture of what has happened over the entire record.  Although there are many variables in comparing different locations, this at least gives a decent indication of what is going on over a longer time frame.

Kiribati Sea Level 5 stations 1949 to 2013 normalised to 1804

So here it is. A composite reconstruction from the various tide gauges around the Kiribati Island group with the indicated trend.

Kiribati Sea Level 5 stations 1949 to 2013 final with trend

So we get a positive trend over this period, and yes, the ocean level has risen, but not by very much. Less than 1mm per year (0.8mm). This is a much reduced rate compared to what I calculated a year ago (1.52mm).  So the long term rate has reduced dramatically, and will continue to fall if the current 12 year negative trend continues. It will be interesting to watch as a possible El Nino develops this year.  They tend to produce very low sea levels around the west Pacific Islands.

kiribati sea level 2001 to 2014 10 mm neg trend v2

Of course no one really knows where it will head next, however one thing is for sure, there is absolutely no correlation to atmospheric carbon dioxide, and particularly the human contribution.

JTF62

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IMG_9748.CR2Kiribati has tide gauge data going back to the 1940’s.  Compliments from PSMSL (Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level) based in Hawaii.  The two Canton Island gauges in Kiribati run from 1949 to 2007. They also overlap for 2 years, giving a decent comparison, and that difference is fairly consistent over the overlapping time period to produce a single record.

Tide Gauge 575 = 1949 to 1974

Tide Gauge 1329 = 1972 to 2007

I have spliced the two records, adjusting one by the average monthly difference, to produce a long record.

Kiribati Canton Island Sea Level 1949 to 2007

Now, there are not many tide gauges in the world that do not have some spurious readings, but over a long enough record you should be able to see a decent trend, if there is one.  In this case, the less than half a mm per year is hardly anything to panic over.

Splicing in Kiribati’s other tide gauge data to complete the record for gaps and to bring it up to date, results in a 1.52mm per year sea level rise over Kiribati’s recorded tide gauge history (1949 to 2012).

Kiribati Spliced Sea Level 1949 to 2012

This is also consistent with the 1371 and 1804 Kiribati combined tide gauges (1974 to 2012). The 1804 gauge is still in use.

This rate of sea level rise is almost exactly what we have seen in tide gauge records for 200 years, long before any C02 influence, and certainly the coral Islands can cope exceptionally well with this rate of rise.

Probably the most knowledgeable person on the planet regarding ocean level would have to be Dr Nils-Axel Morner. So, what does he have to say?

The sun is starting to set on the doomsayers of “climate change”.

JTF62