Sea level isMörner Nils-Axel not rising

Sea level is not rising
Professor Nils-Axel Mörner
Copyright © Nils-Axel Mörner MMXI

The author
Nils-Axel Mörner took his Ph.D. in 1969, becoming associate professor in Quaternary Geology at Stockholm University that year. He conducted his postdoctoral research in Canada and was then employed by the Swedish Research Council. He was awarded a personal associate professorship at the Institute for Palaeogeophysics & Geodynamics, which from 1991 became a special research institute at Stockholm University. As head of the unit, he addressed a variety of geological and geophysical problems. He organized two major international conferences: Earth Rheology, Isostasy and Eustasy in 1977, and Climatic Changes on a Yearly to Millennial Basis in 1983. Professor Mörner has led several international field excursions throughout Sweden. Overseas, he was President of the INQUA Commission on Neotectonics (1981-1989) and President of the INQUA Commission on Sea Level Changes and Coastal Evolution (1999-2003). He headed the INTAS Project on Geomagnetism and Climate from 1997-2003. In 2000, he launched an international research project on sea level in the Maldives. Among his numerous publications (this paper is his 547th in a 42-year career) are studies on the following –
 

the interaction between isostasy and eustasy;

the oscillating regional eustatic curve of NW Europe;
  

the changing concept of the geoid; the redefinition of the concept of eustasy;

the dynamic-rotational redistribution of oceanic water masses; the interchange of angular momentum between the Earth’s hydrosphere and lithosphere;

a new sea-level curve in the Maldives (showing no sea-level rise);

a new sea-level study in the Sundarban delta of Bangladesh.

In 2008, at an international meeting on sea level in Portugal, Professor Mörner was awarded the Golden Chondrite of Merit from the University of the Algarve “for his irreverence and his contribution to our understanding of sea-level change”.

Sea level is not rising
Professor Nils-Axel Mörner

Main points
 At most, global average sea level is rising at a rate equivalent to 2-3 inches per

century. It is probably not rising at all.

 Sea level is measured both by tide gauges and, since 1992, by satellite

altimetry. One of the keepers of the satellite record told Professor Mörner that the record had been interfered with to show sea level rising, because the raw data from the satellites showed no increase in global sea level at all. from 1993-2000, shows a slight uptrend in sea level. However, after exclusion of the distorting effects of the Great El Niño Southern Oscillation of 1997/1998, a naturally-occurring event, the sea-level trend is zero.

 The raw data from the TOPEX/POSEIDON sea-level satellites, which operated

 The GRACE gravitational-anomaly satellites are able to measure ocean mass, from which sea-level change can be directly calculated. The GRACE data show

that sea level fell slightly from 2002-2007.
 These two distinct satellite systems, using very different measurement

methods, produced raw data reaching identical conclusions: sea level is barely rising, if at all.
 Sea level is not rising at all in the Maldives, the Laccadives, Tuvalu, India,

Bangladesh, French Guyana, Venice, Cuxhaven, Korsør, Saint Paul Island, Qatar, etc.

unethical “sea-level-gate”. a group of Australian environmental scientists uprooted a 50- year-old tree by the shoreline. . The true facts are to be found in nature itself.  We are facing a very grave. This is a further indication of political tampering with scientific evidence about sea level. In the Maldives. aiming to conceal the fact that its location indicated that sea level had not been rising.  Modelling is not a suitable method of determining global sea-level changes. the chief ground of concern at the potential effects of anthropogenic “global warming” – that millions of shore-dwellers the world over may be displaced as the oceans expand – is baseless.  Since sea level is not rising. since a proper evaluation depends upon detailed research in multiple locations with widely-differing characteristics.

proclaiming – that they had tilted the sea-level record for the entire satellite era to make it show a rate of increase. fuel prices and energy bills that the European Union and its satraps in the Department of Climate Change are ruthlessly imposing. concise and yet comprehensive paper. He found that sea level in Bangladesh had fallen somewhat. the Professor has heard the keepers of the global satellite altimetry record of sea-level rise admitting – nay. as this revealing paper shows. On the other stand the scientists old-fashioned enough and careful enough to observe. The implications of this fabricated scare for the future of democracy are already evident in the hikes in taxes. originally published in 21st-Century Science and Technology. The sea-level scare is the big one: and. who. On a recent visit to Bangladesh with others who called themselves experts. if there is little or no sea-level rise there is little or nothing to worry about even if the world warms as fast as the profiteers of doom would have us believe. Above all. As Professor Mörner often points out in his lectures. As King Charles I said on the scaffold. Professor Mörner is in the latter category. Professor Mörner alone took the trouble to climb up and down 100 feet to calibrate his GPS altimeter accurately.Foreword By The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley I T IS with particular pleasure that I commend to the reader this revised and updated version of Professor Niklas Mörner’s recent paper on sea level. On the one hand lurk the computer modellers. it is just that – a big scare. to measure and then to think. there are two schools of thought. and a baseless one. relying upon their X-Box 360s and Playstations. He has caught out Australian environmentalists uprooting a tree on the Maldivian shoreline whose location had demonstrated no sea level rise for half a century.” . “Liberty and freedom consists in having of government those laws by which the people’s life and goods may be most their own. In the dialogue des sourds about the climate. He has clambered over the glaciers that others merely model. for the raw data from the satellites show no sea-level rise at all. as the Professor demonstrates in this admirably clear. luridly and profitably predict anthropogenic apocalypse. Most of these do not subscribe to the Doomsters’ Union.

conspire to take away the people’s goods. his answer won us the debate: “Madame President. It was not difficult to see why the citation for the award to him of the Gold Chondrite of Merit the previous year at an international sea-level conference at the University of the Algarve had spoken not only of his “contribution to understanding of sea level” but also of his “irreverence”. I do apologize that in a 40-year career I have only published 530 papers [now 547] in the peer-reviewed literature.Predatory pricing mandated by the State. if at all. combined with confiscatory taxation. When a true-believer in the New Religion of “global warming” got up and sneeringly advised the Professor to see if he could get his ideas about sea level published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. and the St. “are to be found in nature itself. It demonstrates the growing disparity between results obtained the old.” The House collapsed in helpless laughter.” . Gentleman’s strictures I will undertake to try harder in future. Professor Mörner has been as good as his word: as the extensive references in this paper show. without which there would be no “global warming” panic pandemic. the Professor concludes. His paper demands no prior scientific knowledge. most of them about sea level. Andrews University Union – the oldest undergraduate debating union in Britain – in the spring of 2009. but in the light of the Hon. hard way – by going out into the field and taking careful observations and measurements – and the mere silly computer games of the modellers. eclectic and relentlessly charming speech captivated the House. Professor Mörner writes as charmingly and as accessibly as he speaks. I first met Professor Mörner at a debate on the climate at the St. The undergraduates loved it. The Professor’s witty. his recent publication record would be envied by a younger man. When the climate scare is over – and it is already well on its way out – the Professor will be remembered as one of a tiny handful of scientists who had the courage. and hence to diminish their economic democracy – their right to decide for themselves how to spend what is theirs. Andrews University Union was the first student audience in Britain to vote “global warming” down. integrity and independence of mind to stand against the prevailing political tide and to demonstrate that the real tide is not rising dangerously. “The true facts”.

Rannoch. Scotland February 2011 .Carie.

New data with respect to general sea level changes were published in a further paper (Mörner. Also. 2010b). Figure 1. 1840-2010. 2010a).Introduction I N an interview and paper published in 21st Century Science and Technology in 2007. 2007b. the two curves start to diverge. If sea level is not rising at a high rate. In Mörner. my short sea-level booklet The Greatest Lie Ever Told (Mörner. Which of these views is tenable? . The curve marked “Observations” represents the observed eustatic sea level changes in the field up to 1960 according to Mörner (1973) and (in this paper) thereafter. In subsequent papers. separated by the area with the question mark. This paper will highlight the differences and examine the question what data we should trust and what we should discard. presenting two totally different views. Modelled and observed sea-level changes. A new study in Bangladesh was published in 2010 (Mörner. Yet a rapid and perhaps dangerous sea-level rise is the main threat in the scenario offered by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). our field observational database from the Maldive Islands was described in detail. 2007c) was updated in new editions in 2009 and 2010. the two curves start to diverge significantly (the area marked with a question mark). The curve marked “Models” represents the IPCC’s combination of selected tide-gauge records and corrected satellite altimetry data. After 1965. I continued to present new data demonstrating that sea level is stable. I showed that global sea level is not rising alarmingly. 1 illustrates the differences between the IPCC models and the observational facts. Fig. Here I will investigate the rates of sea level changes projected by the IPCC and others. After 1965. there is no serious threat and no real problem.

0 mm yr–1. 2010ab). 2007abc. Bangladesh. 1 by undertaking a critical examination of the rates given in Fig. and French Guyana (Mörner. 2. Vanuatu.0 to 3. it has been claimed that sea level is rapidly rising. according to calibrated satellite altimetry. Obviously. I will try to straighten out the question mark in Fig. Figure 2: Projected and observed rates of sea-level change (mm yr–1). Tuvalu. As if this were not bad enough. The projected rates of sea-level rise range from 0. All these are key sites in the sea level debate. not all these rates are correct. where sea level has remained stable for the last 40-50 years (Mörner 2010a). however. The erroneously-inferred sea-level rise is the basis for wild claims that tens to hundreds of thousands of people may be drowned and “millions of individuals will be displaced from their homes over the course of the century due to sea-level rise” . Observation and measurement in the field Clear observational measurements in the field indicate that sea level is not rising in the Maldives. In an open letter to the President of the Maldives (Mörner. The IPCC group and the Presidents of the Maldives and Tuvalu continue to claim that the flooding is in progress. The spectrum of proposed rates of present-day sea level changes ranges from 0. to 3. 2009).2 mm per year. where the IPCC and its ideological associates have predicted terrible flooding. according to observational facts from a number of key sites all over the world. The reality is different from what the IPCC claims. I addressed the divergence between his claim and our field observations. and will soon swamp these island nations and wipe them off the surface of the globe (or rather ocean). 2 shows the spectrum of present-day sea level estimates. Bangladesh is a nation cursed by disasters—heavy precipitation in the Himalayas and coastal cyclones.2 mm yr–1. No reply has come.Fig. This claim has been discredited by my study in the Sundarban area.

gives a straight line of subsidence with a rate of 1. This casts clear doubt on the satellite altimetry value.6-year tidal cycles (Gratiot et al.000 years. Subtracting the subsidence factor. It exhibits variations around a stable zero level over the last 50 years (Mörner. the Venetian record reveals no rise of eustatic origin.0 mm/year. Adding the eustatic component of Mörner (1973) for the period 1840-1970. refuses to print a comment from me “that focuses on empirical data. Yet the tide-gauge data provide clear indications of stability over the last 30 years (Mörner.. we must ask: What is the meaning of raising moral concerns. 2007ac). 2007). it shows a sea level falling around 1970 (Mörner. The north-west European coasts are interesting because here we have sites that are experiencing both uplift and subsidence. if the entire empirical basis for those concerns is absent? The President of Tuvalu continues to claim that his islands are being flooded. no acceleration whatsoever in the last decades. 2010b). The sea-level record from Venice may be used as a test area for global eustasy. The gray area gives the actual tide-gauge reading for the German North Sea port of Cuxhaven for 1843-2003—that is. is located at the hinge between uplift and subsidence for the last 8. In Vanuatu. the tide gauge indicates a stable sea level over the last 14 years (Mörner.(Byravana and Raja 2010).4 mm/year. satellite altimetry gives a sea level rise of 3. 2007c). 2008). 2007ac. 2010b. that is. The tide gauge at Korsør in the Great Belt (the strait between the main Danish islands of Zeeland and Funen). 1. Cuxhaven tide-gauge record (cm). and it shows a halt in the sea-level rise at around 1960. This is a serious exaggeration: yet the journal that published it. Murphy. for example. The eustatic component (the difference between the polynomial curve and the linear trend) can now be extended up to 2003. instead. Ethics and International Affairs. This tide gauge shows no sea-level rise in the last 50-60 years. followed by a continuous fall until 2003. Figure 3. for 160 years.” With surprise. as discussed further below. a trend totally different from that proposed by the IPCC models but in full agreement with the observational facts recorded in Fig. A polynomial curve was fitted by Jörn Herold to this tide-gauge record. 1843-2003. . From the coasts of French Guyana and Surinam there is a very excellent sea-level record covering multiple 18. For the same area.

Mörner.g. . we are left with 68 sites (central dark zone) where the rise in sea level ranges between 0.0 and 2. Tide gauges Figure 4. there is the opposite trend: a slow decline. 1. If the uplifting and subsiding sites are excluded. 3 shows the annual mean values for 160 years. These data are combined in the “Observations” curve in Fig. In that 100-year period. and falls from 1970 up to the present. 1973).. and partly the eustatic component. showing a centennial rise of 11 cm from 1830-1840 to 1930-1940. This polynomial curve gives a slightly sinusoidal rising trend that represents the mean relative sea level changes in the area. Fig. Consequently. Superimposing the subsidence record here on the uplift record from the Stockholm tide gauge. extended up to the present and double-checked for the pre-1970 section (the difference between the polynomial curve and the straight line). e. 1973).The tide gauge in Amsterdam. I was able to isolate a eustatic factor for 1680-1970 (Mörner. Some further field observations that I have recently made are given later in this paper. there is a very good fit between sea-level rise and rotational deceleration. Spectrum of rates of sea-level rise (mm/year) reported by NOAA’s 159 tidegauge stations. This is well below the rate estimated by the IPCC and satellite altimetry (as discussed below). Adding to this the eustatic component of the northwestern European region (Mörner. personal communication). with a long-term trend polynomial fitted to it (Herold. becomes flat around 1950-1970. has a tide gauge dating back to 1843. on the German coast. which seems to provide a measure of a global sea-level factor (the polynomial curve with respect to the linear trend-line in Fig.0 mm/year. is the oldest in the world. installed in 1682. in an area that represents the subsiding segment of the North Sea coasts. we get partly the local rate of subsidence (the straight line). The regional eustatic sea level change decelerates after 1930-1940. This provides firm evidence that sea level is not rising at all rapidly today: rather. Cuxhaven. The values of NOAA’s 159 tide gauge stations indicate that they range from uplifted areas (bottom left zone) to subsiding areas (top right zone). 3). the Earth’s rate of rotation decelerated at a value which corresponds to a 10cm sea-level rise (see. 1996).

This graph . The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) tide-gauge database has 159 stations (Fig. installed in 1768. 2007c. (2006) selected 6 tide gauges and obtained a rate of 1. Mörner. This implies that their personal view—that is. 5 trend of 1. Problems remain with respect to the zero level chosen and to the long-term trend. It is also clearly shown in the satellite record from 1992-2010 (see e. however (Mörner. records from tide gauges are bound to exaggerate sea-level rise.5-0. The Amsterdam tide gauge is the oldest. 2004. This is far below the rates given by satellite altimetry. Douglas (1991) chose 25 tide gauges and obtained a rate of sea level rise of 1. 2008). Having applied all technical correction needed. Church et al. Casenave & Llovel. new technique for reconstructing sea-level changes all over the ocean surface.Tide gauges were installed at harbor constructions to measure changes in tidal level and long-term sea-level changes.4 mm/ year. 2010. 2010).g. The horizontal redistribution of water masses was first observed for centennial-to-decadal sea-level changes in the late Holocene (see e.0 (± 1. Most tide gauges are installed on unstable harbor constructions or landing piers. 4). 2004). This leaves 68 sites of reasonable stability (still with the possibility of an exaggeration of the rate of change.45 mm/year (Fig. Menard (2000) and also Aviso (2000) presented a first sea-level graph for 1992-2000 (Fig. is to exclude those sites that represent uplifted and subsiding locations (the bottom left and top right zones in Fig. however. 1996). Nicholls & Casenave.6 mm/year (Burton 2010). Satellite altimetry Satellite altimetry is a wonderful.0 mm/year is established by taking the linear trend.g. the IPCC story-line prescribed from the beginning of the project—is imposed in the selection and identification of their “representative” records. 1995. installed in 1724/1774. A much more realistic approach is to treat that ENSO signal as a separate event superimposed on the long-term trend. the Stockholm tide gauge is the second-oldest. A better approach. and Holgate (2007) selected 9 tide gauges and got a rate of 1. These sites give a present rate of sea level rise of ~1. 6 (Mörner. followed by the JASON mission. 6 shows a variability (of ±10 mm) around a stable zero level to end 1996 and a strong ENSO-driven peak in 1997.8 mm/year. a naturallyoccurring. 2). The mean of all the 159 NOAA sites is 0. as discussed above). 5). and the Liverpool tide gauge is the third-oldest. for sea level not only changes vertically but also horizontally. With this selection methodology. The IPCC authors take the liberty to select what they call “representative” records for their reconstruction of the centennial sea level trend. quasi-periodic climate pattern that occurs across the tropical Pacific Ocean every few years.0) mm/year. 4). This is vital. a method which overlooks the fact that substantial high point in tidal cycles 175-200 was caused by an exceptional El Niño/La Niña-Southern Oscillation (ENSO). The Fig. recorded variations in the altitude of the ocean surface with high resolution. The trend thereafter is less clear. as shown in Fig. Therefore. Fig. The TOPEX/POSEIDON mission. installed in 1682.

5 are presented here with a more realistic trend analysis that treats the 1997 ENSO peak as a separate event superimposed on the long-term trend.3 mm/year (later 3. The fact of this “reinterpretation”. 5. but this linear trend may have been largely an artefact of the naturally-occurring El Niño Southern Oscillation event in cycles 175-200. Annual mean sea-level changes observed by TOPEX/POSEIDON in 2000. long-term rising trend of 1. after technical “corrections” were applied (from Menard.2). 2007c. When the satellite altimetry group realized that the 1997 rise was an ENSO signal. A slow. was orally confirmed by a member of the satellite altimetry team in 2005 when I attended a meeting on global warming held by the . Figure 6. 2007ac). The sea-level changes as recorded in Fig. Source: Mörner 2004. they faced a problem they had not expected: there was no discernible sea-level rise visible. This shows stability over the first 5 years (to end 1996) and possibly over the whole time period covered. Sea-level changes from Fig. so that a “reinterpretation” of the raw data needed to be carried out in order to obtain the desired result. Figure 5. which turned a near-zero trend in sea-level rise to a trend of 2. 2000).provides no indication of any rise in sea level over the time-period covered (Mörner 2004.0 mm/year was identified. allowing for the El Niño Southern Oscillation of 1997/1998. and they extended the trend up to 2003.

the zero isobase. it is not even stated that the graphs do not represent trends taken from the raw data as read by the satellites.3 mm/year.” Figure 7. must have been tilted to show a rise of as much as 2. for example. 7 of Aviso (2003): see also Aviso (2000). As presented by Aviso (2003). 2003) suddenly took a new tilt. but the “correction” has not been disclosed so as to permit independent verification (see Mörner 2007c. From where does the new tilt come? The data that lie flat in Fig. This is exactly the same as the apparent trend in sea-level rise over the decade 1992-2003 in Fig. The satellite altimetry record from the TOPEX/POSEIDON satellites. given as 2. the record suddenly has a new trend representing an inferred sea-level rise of 2. At the Moscow global warming meeting in . 5-6. this single tide gauge record is an outlier: it is contradicted by the four other records existing in Hong Kong. 7 . 7).3 (±0. some sort of “correction” has been made. a fact well known to local geologists.1 mm/year. Obviously. on the Internet and in journal papers.3 mm/year relative to the isobase. In 2003. Sea-level changes after “calibration” in 2003. This means that the original records presented in Figs. Nevertheless. In most reproductions of the graph representing the satellite-altimetry sea-level record. where a single tide gauge gives a sea level rise of 2. which showed little or no sea-level rise. followed by the JASON satellites. However. 2008). as the satellite altimetry groups do not specify the “corrections” they carry out. which is the reference point for calculating the global isostatic adjustment. seen in Figs.8 mm/year (IPCC 2001) The isostatic adjustment is intended to allow for the deformation of the Earth’s crust by tectonic influences. but trends only after “corrections. the satellite altimetry record (Aviso. which show no real uptrend in sea level. Fig.Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow. suddenly there was an uptrend of 2. 7 shows that the keepers of the satellite altimetry record have introduced a new calibration factor – an upward tilt compared with the raw data. unspecified “correction” referred to the global isostatic adjustment. According to Peltier (1998).3 ±0.1) mm/year (Fig. passed through Hong Kong. 5 of 2000 are tilted sharply upward in Fig. and obviously represents a site-specific subsidence. 5-6. it seemed that this extra.4 mm/year (see. Instead of the near-horizontal trend of 1992-2000. We must now ask: what is the justification for this tilting of the record? Originally. Peltier 1998) or 1. Exactly what was done remains unclear.

and so on) are a prime . “the tide gauges were assumed to be vertically stable”. discussed by Mörner. Mitchum (2000) provided the following relations. 2010b). Local sedimentary ground changes (such as compaction. 2010a). it is a matter of personal opinion. Mitchum (2000) states that. water withdrawal.8 mm/yr rate is not well established. in part. Numerous different variables affect and interfere with the long-term trend. sea-level rise. 1995) of 1. which certainly has not been done by the groups dealing with the satellite altimetry records and the IPCC community. To establish a local tide-gauge trend (box B) is far from straightforward. 2). 5).” one of the persons in the British IPCC delegation said. The “global sea level factor” (box A) is never clear and trustworthy. Cyclical trends. The tide-gauge records. Other important factors are the global isostatic adjustment and vertical movements of the tide-gauge sites. since it is based on a probably unrepresentative subset of the tide-gauge stations (see Fig.8 ± 0. “we adopted the rate given by Douglas (1991. 6 and shown for the Tuvalu record by Mörner (2007c.8 mm/yr is surely an overestimate that is strongly affected by subsidence at the tide gauges selected (Fig. rather. and segments must be identified and subtracted. implying some sort of circular reasoning. in part. I replied: “Did you hear what you were saying? This is just what I am accusing you of doing.2005. 2). otherwise there would not be any trend.” In other words. a better value would be at or a little above 0. just segments that need individual treatment (as in the case of the Bombay tide-gauge record. El Niño Southern Oscillation events (and especially super-ENSO events such as that of 1997-8) must be subtracted. The 1. as expressed in the boxed equation below: Each of the three boxes (A. if any.1 mm/yr. The calibrations applied to the satellite altimetry readings were discussed in Mitchum (2000. C) encompasses multiple variables that need painstaking and skillful handling. in my 2007 booklet (Mörner 2007c).” Therefore. 2 & 4. and see Casenave and Nerem 2004. In my opinion.” and that. as seen in the wide range of global sea-level change estimates set out in Figs. in answer to my criticisms about this “correction.0 mm/yr – little. Very often there is no long-term trend. but rather the opposite (this applies for the 6 sites used by Church et al. especially those selected. “We had to adjust the record. The rate of 1. as illustrated in Fig. B. event signals. Both of these assumptions are wrong. Leuliette and Scharroo 2010). The tide-gauge records play a central role in this calibration. as well as the 25 sites used by Douglas). the actual data did not show sea level rising at all. are far from vertically stable. 7 was tilted back to its original position as indicated by the unaltered data from the satellites (Fig. The local land motion at the tide-gauge sites (box C) is another intricate issue that calls for geological understanding of the specific site in question. the graph reproduced here as Fig.

Casenave et al. One thing is for sure. Instead.g. to sea level records. many tide gauges are installed on harbor constructions and landing piers that are far from stable. 2009).factor in the assessment (Mörner 2004. Inferring a global isostatic adjustment correction. Peltier. (2009) presented a corrected rate of 1. Global isostatic adjustment corrections have been applied to tide gauges. It appears that without these corrections there is little or no room for any global sea level rise. Satellite altimetry is not providing what is often claimed: a measure of sea level changes truly independent of tide gauges and global isostatic adjustments.9) mm/year (upper curve). to satellite altimetry data. 2010b). For instance. 2003-2007. .g. 8). Ocean mass changes obtained from G RACE satellite data. The raw data show a slight fall in sea level over the period by –0. the island is so heavily overloaded by building that the harbor constructions fracture. and now to ocean mass changes.06) mm/year (lower curve). 2005). The question is whether or not this “correction” is justifiable. The concept of the global isostatic adjustment is a model supported by some data (see e. In the harbor in the Maldives capital of Malé. The difference is significant. causing distortions that invalidate any tide-gauge reading there. Crustal movements and seismotectonics are other factors. which given an approximation of changes in mean global sea level (Fig. Satellite measurements cannot help here. With the space gravimetry observations from the GRACE satellites it has become possible to record changes in the ocean water mass (Casenave et al. it is profoundly dependent on those variables. which is to be questioned. 2009). Site-specific knowledge is key.12 (±0. The space gravimetry readings from the GRACE satellites record changes in ocean mass which are approximately equal to changes in mean global sea level (Casenave et al. Mörner.9 (±0. Figure 8.. 1998) but contradicted by other data (e.

Correcting tide gauges for global isostatic adjustment or regional crustal movement is not the correct way of treating records of this type. it is a dangerous shortcut applied by scientists who are not sea-level specialists by training and hence lack the skill to undertake careful site-specific stability analyses themselves. Instead. This gives an un”corrected” satellite altimetry graph. showing no signs of any sea-level rise.4) mm/year. sedimentation. 8) for 2003-2007 (arrowed line) agrees with the JASON data. 9 is back-tilted to fit the original trend in Figs. each site must be evaluated individually with respect to stability. this satellite altimetry graph has a long-term trend which is significantly greater than that which actual instrumental measurements provide: it is created by inferred “corrections. compaction. Satellite altimetry as given by NOAA. which suggest a sea-level rise of 3. The (GRACE) GIA-corrected trend (Fig. The original record . A blind global isostatic adjustment model correction may provide quite wrong results. Figure 9. The TOPEX-JASON satellite data provide a record suggesting a mean sea-level rise of 3.” Consequently.” In Fig. 5-6 for 1992-2000 and the raw data from the G RACE satellites in Fig.2 (±0. 8 for 2003-2007. unaltered data. the TOPEX/POSEIDON satellite altimetry record of Fig. This suggests that the satellite record is strongly affected by “corrections. 9 shows the satellite altimetry records as presented by NOAA (2008). waves. Fig. 10. wind.2 mm/year over the period 1993-2007. and tectonics. loading. from two independent sources of actual.

provide that they are clearly declared and described. 5. NOAA. . altogether eliminating the apparent 3.g. 8) show a gently falling trend for 2002-2007. Figs. these two untampered datasets indicate that global mean sea level trend has remained stable over the entire period 1992-2007. 6) and the GRACE raw data fit the record perfectly well: Figure 10.for 1992-2000 is restored (cf.2 mm/year rate of sea-level rise arising from the “adjusted” data (Fig. The “calibrated” satellite altimetry record tilted back to match the original. The G RACE raw data (Fig. 9). This implies that the Fig. 9 satellite altimetry record is significantly altered by nontechnical “corrections” (whatever they may be). France’s space agency. un“corrected” data. The original TOPEX/POSEIDON raw data for 1992-2000 showed variability around a stable horizontal zero line (Figs. 5. 2003. Together. 2008). Aviso. The “corrections” applied are not specified by the responsible groups at NOAA and the Centre National des Etudes Spatiales. 6). This is not the case with the presently-circulated trends in sea-level rise from satellite altimetry (see e. Various types of corrections may be applied.

an IPCC member discussing subjective adjustments to the instrumental record told me: “We had to do so.g. Fig. 11 illustrates the difference between the instrumental record (in this case from the TOPEX/POSEIDON and GRACE satellites: Figs. The “instrumental record” gives a sea level trend on the order of 0. It may be mere disinformation. 8) and the interpretational record from the University of Colorado (Fig. unethical. As reported above. In Stage 2. Aviso. 2000). Our examination of the satellite data seems to confirm that this is indeed the case. If so. 6. 2008) that imply sea-level rise in the order of 3 mm/year (Fig. then the resulting corrected data cannot be objectively evaluated. 2000. interpretational graphs were produced (see e. and is not a true “instrumental record” (Mörner. 9). to yield the correct sealevel rise. Aviso. 2003. 5-6. otherwise there would not be any trend.” No trend means no sea-level rise. appropriate technical adjustments are applied to the satellite instrument readings. 2008). the raw data read by the satellites. How “corrections” change sea level rise of ~0 mm/year to ~3 mm/year. after additional subjective “personal calibrations”. the “interpretational record” after the application of what I have called “personal calibrations”. 2008) that the satellite altimetry recording consists of three steps: first. we are facing a very grave. which is actually little more than zero. 5-6: Menard. 10) gives a true sea-level rise of around 0. the “instrumental record” after appropriate technical correction. 10).0 mm/year (Figs. 9): Figure 11. in Stage 3. These corrections were applied to the original altimetry graph (Figs. and thirdly. Stage 1 is the collection of readings from the satellite by altimetry. I have previously asserted (Mörner. This fits the observational . NOAA.0 mm/year. un“corrected” instrumental satellite-altimetry record (Fig. 2. “sea-level-gate”. Therefore. the “interpretational record” represents disinformation. perhaps disseminated with the intention of supporting the IPCC’s wild claims about sea-level rise.If the “corrections” applied are not clearly specified (and discussed and argued for). secondly. However. For the actual.

2011a). As a geologist. All this talk is sheer nonsense. The Maldives The IPCC and its supporters have frequently claimed that the Maldives are doomed to become submerged well before 2100. the International Commission on Sea-Level Changes and Coastal Evolution. I find it natural to turn to observational facts in nature itself.R. 2004. high-tide level and storm level. A group of sea-level experts was formed and the work commenced in 2000 with a month-long expedition in the field. Several additional field expeditions were to follow. It has been stable for the last 30-40 years. 12a and 12b. 2007bc.. and further discussed in a number of papers (Mörner et al. however. Shoreline profile of most islands in the Maldives (from Mörner et al. Here. by contrast.facts much better. “B.” indicates a beach rock-platform. The facts found in site after site and in all types of coastal environment were quite straightforward: in the Maldives. sea level is not rising. and to form interpretations and theories based on those facts.. In the 1970s sea level even fell by some 20 cm. together with an indication of what my observations mean for the IPCC’s projected future changes in climate. Personal observations in the field The IPCC bases all its argumentation on computer models and scenarios. equivalent to 2 inches per century) over the last 50 years. In recent years President Nasheed has taken the lead in maintaining that his own nation has no future and will soon rest beneath the waves. 2009. As president of INQUA. I will give a brief summary of some of my recent fieldwork on sealevel changes. Mörner. The present sea level is recorded as mean sea level. a decade ago I launched a special sea level research project in the Maldives. there is an older beach with storm level. 2004). We visited several islands. providing a coherent picture of no sea-level rise (or at most a harmless ~0.5 mm/yr. Some 20-30 cm above storm level. now abandoned and overgrown. Figure 12a. . This is illustrated in Figs.

Figure 12b. it recently fell. The new land is now starting to become overgrown and has been settled by terrestrial snails (Mörner. for they are. unfortunately. 13. The ultimate nonsense was a recent claim that 25 million to 1 billion people will have to be relocated by 2050. Mörner. On the contrary. It is recorded all over the Maldives and in different shoreline environments. The cyclones and flooding caused by heavy rain in the mountains are another factor that we cannot do anything about. Minicoy is the southernmost island. according to local fishermen. The reality is totally different. They took a scientific colleague to the shore and presented the clear observational fact that sea level is not rising. so that new land was formed. An actual field section from the Guidhoo Atoll. The locals are quite aware the sea level is not at all rising. however. 12a. demonstrating the shoreline zonation illustrated diagrammatically in Fig. an archipelago belonging to India. Again we are facing observational facts revealing no rise at all in sea level despite severe coastal erosion attributable to cyclones (Fig. however. . Bangladesh There are no limits to the terrible scenarios that have been proposed for the future of Bangladesh as a consequence of an imagined global sea level rise. The people of Bangladesh are not about to be flooded by rising sea level. They say they are amused to hear what President Nasheed of the Maldives has been saying. Maldives. The Laccadives Just north of the Maldives lie the Laccadive Islands. natural phenomena. 2011a). 2010a). The lowering of sea level occurred in the 1970s. They also say they understand that it is “all a matter of money”.

we often see pictures of partially-flooded areas in Tuvalu. which spread their roots just below the mud-flats (right above). 2010b).6-year tidal cycles (Fig. that the photographs were taken at extreme high tide. Mörner. French Guyana and Surinam From this region.Figure 13. The map of satellite-altimetry changes from 1992-2009 give a general rise over the whole region in the order of 3 mm/year or even more. This implies the same level of mud-flats as the delta surface behind. However. There is no basis for this suggestion.6-year tidal cycle. which swings up and down around a long-term zero trend (the arrowed line). Changes in mean high-water level (cm: left axis) measured by tide gauges at the coast of French Guyana and Surinam (Gratiot et al. there is a very good tide-gauge record covering three 18. Facts and fiction seem to clash. satellite altimetry in the same region gives a rise of 3. Murphy. Accordingly. Tuvalu and Vanuatu A continuing sea-level rise is said to threaten to flood both Tuvalu and Vanuatu. Instead. 2007). . The record is dominated by the 18. Additional information indicates. there has been no change in sea level (Mörner. On the internet and in the news media. Some people take tree-trunks on the exposed beach as evidence of a sea-level rise. The horizontal roots reveal that the trunks are from mangrove trees. 2008. 14). the tide gauges in both regions show no rise at all. 2007c. The cycles vary symmetrically around a stable. and do not indicate rising sea level. Erosion is not sea-level rise: The outermost edge of the Sundarban delta in Bangladesh was severely eroded by the 2007 cyclone (left above). 2010b. However. Satellite altimetry gives a rise of 3 mm/year in the same area. however. 2010a). horizontal zerolevel. however. Figure 14.. indicating that sea level has been quite stable over the last 50 years.0 mm/year – another revealing example of the difference between recorded facts and “reprocessed” satellite data. the tide gauges indicate stability for 14 years in Vanuatu and 32 years in Tuvalu (Mörner.

. to have an upper bound on sea-level rise as a yardstick allowing us to discriminate between realistic estimates and much-publicized extreme values that can be discarded as physically impossible. The map of sea level changes inferred from satellite altimetry in the period 19922009. It even seems to have fallen somewhat in recent decades. 2011b).000 years. above the maximum rate that can arise today from melting ice and other causes combined (Mörner. the tidegauge records we have mentioned above are all long-term records and are. It is very useful. gives a large high over most of the western Pacific and a low over the equatorial region west of the Americas. time and a substantial input of energy are required. North-western Europe The north-west European region. The Last Ice Age ended with an extensive melting of the continental ice caps under extreme climatic forcing. 2007c). therefore.g. the main 18. satellite altimetry Most tide-gauge records are far too short to provide meaningful information about real trends. yet sea level rose by little more than 1 cm per year or 1 m per century.000-12. This picture fits very badly with available tide-gauge records in both areas. In the short term. however. Ice melt For large bodies of ice to melt. with uplift over Fennoscandia and subsidence over the North Sea coasts. Today. This suggests that there is much still to do in calibrating the satellite altimeters to ensure that they monitor sea-level changes correctly. during which time sea level rose 130 m. as illustrated by the sea-level record from Cuxhaven (Fig.Venice The sea-level record from the tide gauges in Venice shows that there has been no acceleration in the rate of sea-level rise in recent decades (Mörner. sea-level rise caused by ice-melt must be significantly below 1 cm a year. The process of melting took 10. offers another test region where the global sea-level component can be isolated and identified. Discussion Tide gauges vs. useful indications of the trend in sea level.6-year tidal cycle) or large spikes caused by the naturallyoccurring El Niño Southern Oscillations every four years or so. when it stopped rising. both before and after the data have been “reprocessed” or distorted to take account of purely subjective adjustments as discussed earlier. they are often dominated by segments of cyclic variations (e. 3). Sea level rose 11 cm from 1850-1950. A sea-level rise of 1 cm per year is. in effect. However.

000 years ago. ~125.5-2 m above the present sea level. 6000-8000 years ago. The elevation is only 1. . however. this rock-cut platform is likely to mark the maximum sea level of the last interglacial. mean surface temperature was 4 C° warmer than today and sea level was generally higher than today. At the shore. Figure 15. there is less and less water to expand. Rock-cut platform from the Last Interglacial in Hong Kong. This has raised new interest in the actual sea level of the last interglacial. hardly more (Mörner. Hidden in the adjacent forest is the foot of a steep fossil sea cliff. Therefore. the effect is zero. Thermosteric expansion of seawater The water column will expand when heated. During the last interglacial.000 years ago. There have even been claims that sea level was 7-10 m higher. The amount of expansion is in the order of centimetres up to a decimetre per century. It was once generally believed that sea level was some 2-4 m higher than today. mean global surface temperature was about 2. A fact often ignored is that as the water depth becomes shallower towards a coast. It has sometimes been suggested that if temperature were to rise as the IPCC has projected the Earth might return to the climatic conditions of the last interglacial period. owing to the strict stratification of the oceanic water masses. including the IPCC’s current maximum of 2 m per century) must be dismissed as impossible. ~125. 1996. 2011b). The last interglacial During the mid-Holocene. Only the upper part of the ocean may be heated.All claims of a sea-level rise by year 2100 exceeding 1 m (and there are several.5 C° warmer than today.

Two peaks in sea level are well recorded. At all the previous solar minima (e. Full stability over the last 30-50 years is indicated in sites like Tuvalu. Reported trends in the order of 3 mm/year represent “interpretational records. Tide gauges tend to exaggerate rising trends because of subsidence and compaction. however. Here.” after the application of subjective “personal calibrations” which cannot be substantiated by observational facts. Mörner. Saint Paul Island. with stability over the last 40 years. It is quite stable. and Korsør (a stable hinge for the last 8 . and northwest Europe. 2011b). . India. When Hansen & Sato (2011) propose a 4 m sea-level rise between 2080 and 2100. No catastrophic sea level rise at the end of the last interglacial can be substantiated. empirical geology and scientific ethics (Mörner. 1 and claim that the “models” (upper curve) provide an illusory picture of a strong sea-level rise and that the “observations” (lower curve) provide a good reconstruction of the actual changes in sea level over the last 170 years. Bangladesh. Whatever the next Solar Minimum will bring. the Maldives (and also the Laccadives to the north of the Maldives). they violate the laws of physics. there is no reason to hypothesize that any similar event would be likely to occur in our near future. The next solar minimum The next solar minimum is due in 2040-2050. there is a quite clear rock-cut platform (Fig. 1440-1460. Qatar. 2010c). Cuxhaven (after subtracting the subsidence factor). French Guyana. 2011c). Venice (after subtracting the subsidence factor). Early in 2011 I visited Hong Kong. This is the case in key sites like the Maldives. The same result is evident from the passive continental margins of east South America and Tanzania. the climatic conditions generated “little Ice Ages” (Mörner. It is a serious mistake to look for horror scenarios in the behaviour of sea level during the last interglacial. Tuvalu. varying in elevation between +2 and +4 m. Conclusions Observational facts indicate that sea level is by no means rapidly rising.000 years). 1687-1703. Venice. 1809-1821). Therefore. it will be likely to invalidate all the linear and exponential extrapolations of temperature change in the IPCC’s models. Its elevation is only ~2 m above today’s sea level.g. Satellite altimetry is shown to record variations around a stable zero level for the entire period 1992-2010. Consequently.The western Mediterranean is widely taken as a reference point for changes in sea level during the last interglacial. 15) from the last interglacial. Vanuatu. where we have worked extensively. we can now return to Fig. 2010. In 2010 an international excursion was therefore devoted to field evidence from Sardinia (Carboni & Lecca.

3 to 3. however.We can now return to the spectrum of present-day sea level rates (Fig. uprooted it and left it. then the greatest threat imagined by the IPCC disappears. There will be no extensive or disastrous global sea-level rise in the near future. Reliability of different proposed rates of sea-level rise. The idea of an ever-rising sea drowning tens of thousands of people and forcing hundreds of thousands or even millions of people to become sea-level refugees is simply a grave error./century). lying on the strand. Values close to 1 mm/year represent minor centennial rises and falls. Only rates in the order of 0. 2010a). If sea level is not rising fast. A group of Australian environmental “scientists”. indicating significant coastal erosion (caused in part by the clearance of mangroves to make way for shrimp-farms) but no sea level rise at all (Mörner. In that paper. I described the significance of the lonely tree by the shore in the Maldives which indicated that sea level had been stable for 50-60 years. still in leaf. Other evidence. 2007). Values >1. Mörner. hereby revealed as an illusion.g. The validity of the spectrum of rates of sea-level rise shown in Fig. Some data depend heavily on interpretation. I have often said that “trees don’t lie”: see e.0 mm/year to at most 0. and now it is gone. 2007c. realizing that the location of the tree was fatal to their notion of ever-rising sea level. 2 can now be assessed. Observational facts suggest 0. but differs significantly from the values proposed by the IPCC (2001. There are also the trees on the beach in Sundarban.4 mm/year are untenable overestimates. 2007c. I hope that by this research we can free the world from the artificial crisis to which the IPCC has condemned it. 2) and evaluate the various values proposed.7 mm/year (<3 in. The true facts are to be found in nature itself. This result agrees with estimates of a possible sea level rise of 5 ±15 cm by 2100 (Mörner.0 mm/year to maximum 0.7 mm/year seem realistic. but is well below the 37 ±19 cm projected by IPCC (2007). This fits well with the values proposed for year 2100 by INQUA (2000) and Mörner (2004). That was the main threat in the IPCC’s arsenal of bugaboos. Figure 16. and is not going to rise fast. 2004) and 10 ±10 cm (INQUA. 16. Consider trees. is clear and straightforward. 2000). . They are certainly not to be found at the modelling consoles. This is illustrated in Fig.

A. S. Analysis of global linear mean sea level (MSL)-trends. Sea Level Changes and Coastal Evolution. W. Casenave. 12-22). Geophys. Ann. 6981-6992. Gratiot.columbia. Nature Geoscience 1. Proisy. Ablain. 155-168. Sea-level rise at tropical Pacific and Indian Ocean islands. www. Guinehut. doi:10.1038/ngeo127.nu). S. White & J. Hansen.E. Rev. Rev. Out of this work the present paper emerged. 2010. Casenave.oceanobs. Sato. Geophys. 1425-1432. Christopher Monckton sensitively extracted the introductory main points.pog. The ethical implications of sea-level rise due to climate changes. 239-260.html Byravana. Madrid. Climate Change: the Physical Science Basis (J.6 year tidal cycle to regional coastal changes. J.se (from 2005: www. 1991.cnes.fr Aviso. and G.T.aviso. Sea level budget over 2003-2008: A re-evaluation from GRACE space gravimetry. Present-day sea level changes: Observations and causes.cnes. Its origin lay in a paper published in 21st Century Science & Technology (winter 2010/2011. S. IPCC.. Douglas. Rev. London & New York. Significant contribution of the 18. B. doi: 10. Global and Planetary Change 53. LO1602. 2001. www. Rammien. and J. Geophys. 48 pp.T. pp. 83-88. Larnicol. Lecca. A. N. 34. A. Llovel. Hunter. eds. Without the vision and input of my friend Christopher Monckton. 2003. . C. Res. Res. & M. Field Trip Guide. 96.Acknowledgements With deep gratitude. & W. Douglas.cis. Berthier. 2010. & L. D. C. Marine Sci.. Anthony. INQUA. E. References Aviso. Press. N. Geophysics 42. ETS. Dominh.fr Aviso. Llovel. and especially not in this elegant and expressive form. Rajan. 33.... M. satellite altimetry and Argo. Nerem. this paper stands out as a Mörner & Monckton contribution. 169-172. Cambridge Univ.. Paleoclimate implications for human-made climate change.S. 2007. www. For me.com Burton. J. www.J. Global sea-level rise. www. 2.. Gardel.C. 145-173..edu/~jeh1/mailings/2011/20110118_MilankovicPaper. Workshop on “Decoding the Last Interglacial in Western Mediterranean”. E. 2010. including distanceweighted averaging.com/global_msl_trend_analysis. Global sea level changes: determination and interpretation. Global and Planetary Change 65. 2008. 1-20. 2011.aviso. My sincere thanks.pog. Wells.). A. INQUA Project 0911–CMP Commission. Observing the oceans by altimetry. Mean Sea Level as seen by altimeters. & S. & R... redrew several graphs and asked for additional observational material.J. Observing the oceans by altimetry. Lett.1029/2006GL028492.aviso. Carboni.. I acknowledge the skilful input into this paper of Christopher Monckton as editor-in-charge. 2009.cis. the paper would never have appeared.J. Church. 2006. 1995. www. Houghton et al. G. Contemporary sea level rise.. 2000. On the decadal rates of sea level change during the twentieth century. 2004. 2000. 2010.pdf Holgate.C.A. Casenave.R. Ethics and International Affairs 24:3. B.C.. J. K.su. Gaucherel. 2008.burtonsys. A. S.

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