US East Coast Sea Level Rise: An Adjustocene Hockey Stick

Climate Audit

josh_hockeysticksIn 2011, Andy Revkin wrote an article (archive) entitled “Straight Talk on Rising Seas in a Warming World” (among other articles on the topic), in which he optimistically sought guidance on the topic from a then recent study of U.S. East Coast sea level coauthored by Mann (Kemp et al, 2011).  Joshua Willis told Revkin “that, using patterns in layered salt marsh sediment, [they] found a sharp recent uptick in the rate of sea-level rise after 2,000 years of fairly stable conditions — 2011_kemp_comparea pattern Willis refers to as a “sea-level hockey stick” — an allusion to the suite of studies finding a similar pattern for global surface temperatures (albeit a hockey stick with a warped shaft)”.

However, as so often, the supposed “hockey stick” appeared only after the data had been severely adjusted. The difference is shown at the figure at right.  Unadjusted (raw) relative sea level…

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