Exposed: The climate deniers’ sea levels lies

The latest Spectator claims the sea level rise in the Maldives is a “lie”. And their source for this claim? Climate denier and pseudoscientist Nils-Axel Mörner.

The latest Spectator cover story claims the sea level rise in the Maldives is a “lie”. And their source for this claim? Known climate denier and pseudoscientist Nils-Axel Mörner, long-time critic of the IPCC and a dowsing believer.

Mörner’s ‘studies’ on sea levels have been trashed by real scientists, with the Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory concluding in 2005:

“The Maldive Islands are often used as case studies within research into the impacts of potential future sea level change. Therefore, if such studies are to be realistic, it is important that the past and future variations of sea level in the islands are understood as well as possible.

“That objective led a fieldwork team to the Maldives, and resulted in a conclusion that sea level in the islands fell by approximately 30 cm during the past few decades. In the present paper, the suggestion of such a fall has been examined from meteorological and oceanographic perspectives and found to be implausible.

“A number of met-ocean data sets and regional climate indices have been examined, at least one of which would have been expected to reflect a large sea level fall, without any supporting evidence being found. In particular, a suggestion that an increase in evaporation could have caused the fall has been demonstrated to be incorrect.

“Without any real evidence for a hitherto-unrecognised process which could lead to a sea level change as significant as that proposed by the fieldwork team, one concludes that a rise in sea level of approximately half a metre during the 21st century, as suggested by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Third Assessment Report, remains the most reliable scenario to employ in future studies of the islands.”

When confronted over the magazine’s story this afternoon, Speccie editor Fraser Nelson went to ground, unable or unwilling to reply to George Monbiot’s grilling of him over the fact-checking of their hysterical claims.

Here is the exchange in full:

GM: “@frasernels Hi Fraser, writing abt your spectacular ballsup this week. Any eds on Spec got a science degree? george at monbiot dot info Thks”

FN: “@GeorgeMonbiot I think the author of the piece had a qualification or two in science. I could be wrong…”

GM: “@frasernels Not the question I asked. Which eds on the Spec have one?”

FN: “@GeorgeMonbiot let me read your mind… A publication is not qualified to run a science piece if the editor doesn’t have a science degree?”

GM: “@frasernels You’re doing almost as good a job at evading difficult questions as Ian Plimer. It’s a simple matter: yes or no?”

FN: “@GeorgeMonbiot my MA is in History & Politics. But the piece was checked by an outsider with a science PhD. Apols for not running it past u”

GM: “@frasernels Still not answering the question. Have ANY editors at the Spec – or any senior staff – got a science degree?”

GM: “@frasernels And question 2: who was this mysterious “outsider” and what was their PhD in?”

GM: “@frasernels Still with us? These are really very easy questions.”

FN: “@GeorgeMonbiot still waiting for a sensible question. But pls do your thought crime piece, ur always on great form when hunting heretics!”

GM: “@frasernels Blimey, how hard is this? Qu 1: Do any editors or senior staff on the Spec have a science degree?”

GM: “@frasernels Qu 2: Who checked Morner’s article and what was their PhD in? These questions sensible enough for you?”

GM: “@frasernels Still waiting Fraser. Two simple questions, so far met with evasion and bluster.”

GM: “@frasernels Come on Fraser, this really isn’t difficult, and a lot of people are now waiting on your answers.”

GM: “While we’re all waiting for a response from @frasernels, here’s my latest blog post: http://bit.ly/rAA7DH How Osborne’s trashing environment”

GM: “OK, @frasernels, this is your last chance before I conclude that you can dish it out but you can’t take it. 2 simple Qs. 2 simple As please.”

Though Nelson remains in hiding, someone who claims to have checked Mörner’s article, Tufty Sylvestris, emerged online, saying “it looks ok to me” – but rather let the cat out of the bag by conceding that “[The] Speccy is not a peer-reviewed journal”. You don’t say!

What, then, gives the weird righty rag the authority to pontificate on all things science?!

Fraser, it’s over to you…

See also:

Fraser Nelson massages new figures to rehash old, discredited argumentWill Straw, August 17th 2011

Fraser Nelson is wrong on the 50p tax rateDuncan Weldon, February 24th 2011

One in the eye for NelsonShamik Das, August 2nd 2010

World on course for 3.5-degree riseGuy Shrubsole, February 1st 2010

Fraser Nelson is wrong on Britain’s AAA ratingDuncan Weldon, November 11th 2009

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24 Responses to “Exposed: The climate deniers’ sea levels lies”

  1. Selohesra

    I suspect he may be a sceptic on the man-made element of climate change but doubt he denies the existance of climate itself as your headline suggests (never heard of the chap though so could be wrong – its happened before)

  2. Reg Platt IPPR

    As @FraserNels goes awol, Speccie cover star's sea level lies are ripped apart by @ShamikDas http://t.co/1MeXPVJf @GeorgeMonbiot @mark_lynas

  3. Daniel Elton

    @GreenpeaceUK @wwwfoecouk "The Spectacular Balls Up" which is the Spectator's climate change denying cover story: http://t.co/FdgiO4BG

  4. Daniel Elton

    Well done @georgemonbiot for showing up "The Spectacular Balls Up" which is the Spectator's climate change denying: http://t.co/FdgiO4BG

  5. Daniel Elton

    @serauk "The Spectacular Balls Up" which is the Spectator's climate change denying cover story: http://t.co/FdgiO4BG on @leftfootfwd

  6. Political Planet

    Exposed: The climate deniers’ sea levels lies: The latest Spectator claims the sea level rise in the Maldives is… http://t.co/KDhOvxFs

  7. Daniel Elton

    @natandoron "The Spectacular Balls Up" which is the Spectator's climate change denying cover story: http://t.co/FdgiO4BG on @leftfootfwd

  8. Julian

    “What, then, gives the weird righty rag the authority to pontificate on all things science?”

    What, then, gives left blog LeftFootForward the right to pontificate on a scientific article?

  9. Shamik Das

    Exposed: The climate deniers’ sea levels lies: http://t.co/0DwPKZDE by @ShamikDas

  10. Shamik Das

    As @FraserNels goes awol, Speccie cover star's sea level lies are ripped apart by @ShamikDas http://t.co/1MeXPVJf @GeorgeMonbiot @mark_lynas

  11. Michael Simpson

    And so on and so forth.

  12. Chris

    So your objection, well not your objection – some random institute in 2005, is that actual measurements can be discounted as “implausible” because they don’t match up with the high level geographic data. So just ignore actual data and stick to what the models say.
    If they can’t find anything wrong with the way the numbers were gathered the correct solution isn’t to go “our other data set suggests otherwise” and pretend those numbers don’t exist.

    That isn’t scientific, and yes I do have a science degree 😉

  13. Mruse

    Did Charles Darwin have a science degree?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Darwin's_education

  14. ellispritchard

    Exposed: The climate deniers’ sea levels lies: http://t.co/0DwPKZDE by @ShamikDas

  15. Knut Cayce

    RT @leftfootfwd: Exposed: The climate deniers’ sea levels lies http://t.co/eZe4rlWZ

  16. Joerg Fingas

    Exposed: The climate deniers' sea levels lies – Left Foot Forward: Exposed: The climate deniers' sea levels lies… http://t.co/wHAbjuw2

  17. minburi_bkk

    Exposed: The climate deniers' <b>sea levels</b> lies: The latest Spectator cover story claims… http://t.co/8Shy1XY0

  18. H. O.

    RT @leftfootfwd: Exposed: The climate deniers’ sea levels lies http://t.co/aN0LDver

  19. Sea Level is not Rising

    Two peer reviewed scientific papers, by Dr Morner, showing that Maldives sea levels are not rising:

    http://stephenschneider.stanford.edu/Publications/PDF_Papers/MornerEtAl2004.pdf

    http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/routledg/ccsa/2004/00000013/00000002/art00004

    Evidence submitted to a Parliamentary Select Committee, by Dr Morner, showing that sea level is not rising:

    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200506/ldselect/ldeconaf/12/12we18.htm

    http://blog.heritage.org/2010/05/21/sea-level-rises-what-sea-level-rises/

    “Morner was a former reviewer on the IPCC report and when he was first made a reviewer he said he was “astonished to find that not one of their 22 contributing authors on sea levels was a sea level specialist: not one.”

  20. Sea Level is not Rising

    Video evidence from Dr Morner’s visit to the Maldives (in the Youtube engine type:The Maldives Are Not Sinking):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8jOENwyklg

    An article in the Spectator (June 2010) quoting Paul Kench of the University of Auckland and Arthur Webb of the South Pacific Applied Geoscience Commission, who’s research findings further supports Dr Morner’s evidence.

    http://www.spectator.co.uk/coffeehouse/6057668/pacific-islands-defy-apocalyptic-climate-change-scenarios.thtml

  21. Sea Level is not Rising

    It seems very strange that President Nasheed makes this claim about being “carbon neutral by 2020” when his Maldives Government is supporting a project to construct 11 new airports:

    http://www.maldivestourismupdate.com/2009/07/11-new-airports-to-be-constructed-in.html

    http://www.maldivestraveller.mv/news/1601/exclusive_designs_for_new_airport_unveiled

  22. Philip Burrows

    As @FraserNels goes awol, Speccie cover star's sea level lies are ripped apart by @ShamikDas http://t.co/1MeXPVJf @GeorgeMonbiot @mark_lynas

  23. RevezNexus

    Exposed: The climate deniers’ sea levels lies http://t.co/xDR8V76W

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