Sea Levels Have Been Rising Since End of Last Ice Age

Washington, D.C., February 29, 2000 – “The Pew Center on Global Climate Change continued their mythmaking campaign today with the release of their latest report on sea level rise and climate change. Sea levels have been rising since the end of the last ice age. All the evidence shows that the rate of sea level rise has not increased during this century, even though greenhouse gas emissions have increased substantially,” said Myron Ebell, director of global warming policy at CEI.

“The Pew Center report is a classic con job. It is designed to make people assume that there is a connection between the challenges posed by the sea level rise in some coastal regions and global warming. But there is no connection. The experts agree that seas will continue to rise at about their historic rate whether we reduce greenhouse gas emissions or not. The seas will stop rising when the next ice age begins,” Ebell continued.

“The Pew Center’s press release is headlined, ‘Increases in Global Temperature Could Accelerate Historical Rate of Sea-Level Rise.’ Yet none of the four authors of the report has any scientific competence on this issue. That’s why the report isn’t about any connection between global warming and sea level rise, but about the costs of dealing with sea level rise along our coastline,” concluded Ebell. “The real scientists have a different view:”

  • Dr. David Malmquist, a scientist at the Bermuda Biological Station for Research: “Sea level rise has been occurring for thousands of years and is explained by natural processes. Observations show that current accelerated levels of sea level rise date back to the early nineteenth century and preceded any substantial inputs of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere from the Industrial Revolution.” (May 1999 congressional briefing)

  • The Cooperative Research Center for Antarctica and the Southern Ocean, which is one of the world’s largest research organizations concerned with the polar regions and is attached to the University of Tasmania: “…[O]ver the next century or two, it is expected that there will be relatively little melting of the ice sheets…. The best estimate is a [sea level] rise at the rate of ‘several tens of centimeters per century’.” (Position Statement, February 10, 2000)

CEI, a non-profit, non-partisan public policy group founded in 1984, is dedicated to the principles of free enterprise and limited government. For more information, please contact Emily McGee, director of media relations, at 202-331-1010, ext. 209.