Memo to Bad Astronomer Phil Plait — So where is the sea level rise?

The Bad Astronomer is happy to go on and on about melting Arctic ice, but when it comes to supporting his claim that it’s increasing sea level, we get crickets.

Plait’s Slate.com column “The Arctic Ice ‘Death Spiral’” offers this penultimate paragraph, presented with Plait’s links:

And, no doubt, the deniers will make lots of noise about this, calling me an alarmist and pointing to ever more cherry-picked data and misleadingly plotted numbers. But the fact is the Earth is warming up. That’s melting the ice at both poles, increasing sea levels. We’re still dumping gigatons of carbon dioxide in the air every year, and the amount increases at a steady and measurable level. That CO2 is warming us up.

Note that Plait offers no link (i.e., support) for his money line about the effect of Arctic ice melting — i.e., “increasing sea levels.”

2 thoughts on “Memo to Bad Astronomer Phil Plait — So where is the sea level rise?”

  1. Sea level rates of rising appear to be flat or decreasing (I read almost everything that comes out here). Most Arctic ice is sea ice, so melting it all would change sea level almost not at all.
    If the great glaciers every melt, I’m sure there would be some influence on the oceans. But as I understand, the great glaciers represent a pretty small volume compared to the great planet ocean and I can’t imagine the climate shift that would melt them rapidly.
    A lot of what’s been called “sea level rise” appears to be changes in shore terrain rather than in the sea itself.
    So why would we worry about this?

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