Taiwan sinking: Subsidence or Global Warming Induced Sea Level Rise?

Taiwan sinking: Subsidence or Global Warming Induced Sea Level Rise?“. Anthony Watts wants you to think that rising sea-levels anywhere on Earth are due to¬†subsidence and subsidence alone. Especially in Taiwan. And if anyone, such as in this AFP news report¬†Rising sea levels threaten Taiwan, suggests that it could be sea-level rise due to Global Warming, they should be flooded with hostile correspondence.

It’s certainly true that uncontrolled groundwater (or oil) extraction can produce significant local subsidence. The problem with Anthony’s attempt at misdirection is that this kind of subsidence is highly variable, even within the affected locality. So it’s kind of hard to use as an excuse to wave away regional sea-level changes.

Come to think of it, this is exactly like Anthony’s discredited obsession with surface station temperature records. Cherry-picked instances invoked in the hope of discrediting the wider trend. We’ll be hearing more mutterings on this topic, I think.

2 thoughts on “Taiwan sinking: Subsidence or Global Warming Induced Sea Level Rise?

  1. Anthony asks too much, given this writer’s commonly used technique. An introductory specific example (here, the temple) that is traditionally used by writers to start a more general article (rising sea levels, subsidence, and global warming):

    “The temple of Matsu, ironically often described as the ‘Goddess of the Sea’ is only one example of how global warming is slowly, almost imperceptibly, piling pressure on Taiwan.”

    “The East Asia tide-gauge stations around Taiwan show an average trend of +2.4mm/yr from 1961-2003, which is larger than the reported global rate of +1.8mm/yr for the same period. These stations also show significantly larger sea level rise rates (+5.7mm/yr) than global values (+3.1mm/yr) during the period from 1993-2003.” Tseng et al 2009

    The article author obviously fails to distinguish between past sea level rise (only 10 inches in the past 100 years), and future sea level rise (up to 2 meters by 2100), that Taiwanese scientists, planners and politicians are worried about.

    Subsidence due to ground water pumping is mentioned. To be fair, in such a short article, it would be difficult to discuss its spatial extent.

    Anthony omits other global warming issues, i.e.:

    “Apart from rising sea levels, scientists at Academia Sinica warned late last year that global warming would cause the amount of heavy rain dumped on Taiwan to triple over the next 20 years.
    The projection was based on statistics showing the incidence of heavy rainfall has doubled in the last 45 years, which the scientists say has coincided with a global rise in temperature.”

    Will Anthony and his Commentators be contributing to Taiwan’s first climate change whitepaper, which is now in draft form?

  2. I wonder if climate change deniers don’t accept that there were ever ice ages?

    It boggles that folk can’t understand that there’s such thing as change.

    But then, they do tend to be deeply religious, and that’s all about a bronze age mentality.

    [The denialists usually prefer to point to the fact the ice ages have come and gone and were both large changes and natural. Therefore any current large climate changes must be the same natural source, but happening virtually instantaneously for some reason… – Ben]

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