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King Tide Not So High

Jen, Here is a photograph of the King Tide yesterday, 12th January 2013, at Cleveland Point, Moreton Bay.

The King Tides here, where I used to live from 1946 until the early 1950s, used to cover the lawn on this land by about an inch (25mm) or so. Today’s King Tide was 2.68 m at the Brisbane Bar (about as high as they get) and the barometer reading at high tide was 1012.5 hPa (normal).

There were no enhancing or diminishing factors influencing sea levels that I am aware of. The remaining decking on the ruined jetty (click on photograph to see more of jetty) is at the height of the top of the sea wall (lawn height) so it can be seen that the King Tide height is about 300 mm below the lawn height.

So, according to my observations, sea levels in Moreton Bay have gone down about 300 mm over the last 67 years.

Cheers, Spangled Drongo


467 Responses to “King Tide Not So High”

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  1. Comment from: spangled drongo

    If you click on the picture you can see how the base of the old jetty is level with the wall and lawn.

  2. Comment from: spangled drongo

    Sorry, Jen just said that.

  3. Comment from: cohenite

    Good on you SD; now that is real science!

    And it looks a real nice spot too.

  4. Comment from: gavin

    SD; who says the that sea wall and lawn are at their original levels and when was the last landscape implemented? My guess is under ten years ago and that’s when all were topped up following canal type residential development

  5. Comment from: Johnathan Wilkes

    “who says the that sea wall and lawn are at their original levels”

    Crafty buggers, lifted the lawn surface but somehow the jetty moved with it?

    “My guess is under ten years ago and “

    Or lifted the jetty as well but used very poor materials, if it deteriorated to the extent shown
    in less than 10 years.

  6. Comment from: gavin

    Did I mention the jetty JW? Those piles are probably 100 y/o but they don’t serve well as a tide mark in the pic unless they could have been submerged on occasions long ago. Doubtfull realy.

    Otherwise it’s a darn good photo alongside all the latest on flickr

  7. Comment from: spangled drongo

    Here is a comment posted at Deltoid by Neil White:

    Neil White

    January 13, 2013 Spangled Drongo

    It’s because I’m careful that I’m very sceptical of anecdotal evidence. In most cases (especially in an area like this where a lot of people have agendas) it turns out to be WRONG when it is possible to check it. As an example, a year or two ago I had a guy tell me that sea level was going down at Busselton (WA) because he’d found an old map of Busselton (before they built the jetty) where the coastline was further inland than it is today. And therefore blah blah blah. It took about 20 seconds of googling to fnd the real reason – the large volume of alongshore sand transport which was blocked by the jetty (or something like that – I’m not a coastal engineer). Bizarrely this guy (who lived in Margaret River!) had never bothered to go and look – there are signs all over the Busselton foreshore about this.As well as the numerous state government and coastal engineering reports the google will find for you.

    The Cleveland light house is certainly not an unchanged site – there has been a lot of work there and I wonder if they didn’t build up the lawns to stop them being flooded at King Tides. Can you prove they didn’t? Do you have any levelling history at all?

    But let’s accept your 300mm drop over 67 years for the moment. That is an average drop of nearly 5mm/year. This doesn’t show up in any of the nearby tide gauges. Did all of this drop happen before the tide gauges started, or are the tide gauges wrong?

    Are you now saying that global SL has gone down by 300mm in the last 67 years? Does the BTP apply to Cleveland as well, or only to Chevron Island? And if it applies to Cleveland, why doesn’t it apply to all of the high quality tide gauge records around the world?

    And all of what Bernard J said too!

    Have you presented us with a single relevant, verifiable fact?

  8. Comment from: spangled drongo

    And my reply:

    spangled drongo

    January 13, 2013 Neil White, that is the old jetty we built ~ 1946. That is the old wall. Someone since has put some part of a newer block fence on top of the old wall as you can see and you can guess the possible reason. The neighbouring properties’ lawn levels are still the same as this one, as they always were.

    The old well is still there. Only the internal boarding is rotting and collapsing as would be expected after 67 years and the well is severely silted up. This has had the effect of actually lowering the surrounding lawn but still it doesn’t flood.

    All the old Oleanders are still there. the decaying slipways and general landscaping are still in place.

    IOW, the site is completely intact and original.

    And as I said upthread, those old lawn floodings can be verified by talking to old timer locals. When a king tide covers your property it is not something you forget and we are not discussing the depth of the coverage, just any coverage.

    On top of that, this benchmark agrees with all my other benchmarks for the Moreton Bay region ranging from the last 40 to 70 years most of which I also verified on Saturday.

    They all show very obvious falls in SLs. Just as you can see the very obvious fall in this photo between the lawn level which is the same as the wall height level and the jetty deck level, and what is now the current king tide level.


    This doesn’t need to be measured by me to the last millimeter when it is so obvious that the SLs are only going one way. DOWN.

    Have you ever carried out any enquiry by talking to people who are very connected to the sea and its levels?

    Like talk to people who have run a slipway business for a few generations. I’m sure there would be plenty around the country in suitable situations.

    If you did you might discover that there are many similar verifiable facts just waiting to be discovered.

    And I am not necessarily claiming that that is the true amount of fall but when ALL my benchmarks show FALLING SLs, your accelerating SLR claim is very hard to reconcile.

    You have to admit you are not doing your job very well when you ignore the real world and make most of your claims based on not what you see but what a computer tells you.

  9. Comment from: Ian Thomson

    Sorry that this it O/T, but such a grave situation necessitates urgency.

    Here we have a seeming mass extinction of a species possibly taking place ( at times ), under our very noses.
    It is going on totally ignored by the MSM .
    Worse than that, it seems that the Green stronghold of Sydney Australia may be at the very forefront of the destruction of Natural Habitat.
    Urgent political action needs to be taken to save yet another species from man made destruction.
    I for one will volunteer to make random habitat inspections of the gender who are most likely to be causing destruction.
    - 100K , car, laptop, should cover it for now.

  10. Comment from: Debbie

    It might be O/T but it’s very amusing.
    Great photo SD.

  11. Comment from: handjive

    The Green Cross, who just received further financing from the QLD Newman government
    (read tax payers) of over $300k might welcome your photos on their fraudulent website, “Witnessing King Tides”:

    If those photos at ” (The Witless) Witness King Tides” are anything to go by, we have nothing to worry about.

    “King tides” have been around since man started noticing tides.

    Now they are proof of global warming?

  12. Comment from: John Turner

    Anyone who doesn’t accept that sea level has increased over the last 20 years needs to study the BOM annual reports on the results of the 16 carefully monitored sea level measuring station around the Australian Coast
    Along the east coast the sea level has risen an average of about 3mm per year for each of the last twenty years. From The Gulf of Carpentaria to southern WA the increase has been greater.
    If in doubt study the data.

  13. Comment from: handjive

    @Comment from: John Turner January 14th, 2013 at 8:57 am

    Is the The Lempriere-Ross mark one of those “16 carefully monitored sea level measuring stations”?

    Can you provide a link to your claims?

    This Ordnance Survey Bench Mark engraved into a rock face on a little island near Port Arthur, Tasmania out there in 1841 by the famous Antarctic explorer Captain Sir James Clark Ross and amateur meteorologist Thomas Lempriere to mark mean sea level is still there today.

    CSIRO promised a report out by 2000 – nothing to date in 2012 and still waiting – because this mark is still only 350mm above mean sea level.

  14. Comment from: spangled drongo

    Handjive, it was Caitlin from “witness” who reminded me of last Sat’s big tide so I also sent her the above photo and comments to set her mind at ease.

    No reply.

  15. Comment from: Ian Thomson

    Hi John Turne
    “Along the east coast the sea level has risen an average of about 3mm per year for each of the last twenty years. From The Gulf of Carpentaria to southern WA the increase has been greater.
    If in doubt study the data.”
    The water is rising more, on one side of the boat, than it is on the other ?
    The Mining Boom – all the people are rushing over to the West.

    Sorry too many unknowns to call it sea level rise. A recent study in Alaska, of platelets, even calls into doubt what we know about Plate Tec.
    What we do know is that we know very little . If we admit it.
    We do know more about features on Mars’ surface, than about those on the floors of our own Oceans

    Or to return to the above is it all the minerals going to China ? I wonder if China is sinking 3mm a year.

  16. Comment from: handjive

    The “Witness King Tides” site is a spin off from a Green Cross site “Harden Up.”

    Green Cross is initiative of Mikhail Gorbachev.

    Stumbled upon this comment & link at Judith Curry’s ‘Climate etc’ blog:

    -Mikhail Gorbachev, speech to the Soviet Politburo, November 1987

    “Gentlemen, comrades, do not be concerned about all you hear about Glasnost and Perestroika and democracy in the coming years. They are primarily for outward consumption. There will be no significant internal changes in the Soviet Union, other than for cosmetic purposes. Our purpose is to disarm the Americans and let them fall asleep.”

    “As the Soviet collapse became imminent in the final years, the Communist strategy became to infiltrate global environmental organizations. Gorbachev was active in this effort as eary as 1990.”

    “In 1992, the year following the Soviet collapse, the framework was already underway following the UN’s Earth Summit, after which he founded Green Cross International (GCI) officially in 1993.

    That same year, Gorbachev’s GCI was the fountainhead of the infamous Kyoto summit, during which he sat as the president of the proceedings.”

    read on:

  17. Comment from: jennifer

    John Turner

    If you consider the technical literature for the east coast of Australia based on paleo-liminological and geo-morphical studies that consider the last 2,000 years it is well documented that sea levels have, on average, fallen by about 2 metres. That is correct FALLEN by about 2 metres over the last 2,000 years.

    The longest tidal gauge measurements are only about 150 years and I gather for Fort Denison in Sydney Harbour. My understanding is that these show no change.

  18. Comment from: spangled drongo

    “Sorry that this it O/T, but such a grave situation necessitates urgency.”


    I’m rushing a letter off to the Wildlife Preservation Society as we speak.

    And sorry to undercut your offer, but I’m so worried I have offered to do inspections on a purely voluntary basis.

  19. Comment from: cohenite

    The history of sea level around Austrlaia is looked at in these papers: this one looks at the last interglacial 125 BYA:

    This one supports Jennifer’s point and was posted here some time ago:

    And this one clarifies the one above:

  20. Comment from: Neville

    Thanks for this post and the photo SD. It has certainly encouraged some fairly lame and silly replies.
    Jen is correct and so is Cohenite about the Eemian SLs etc.

  21. Comment from: ianl8888


    Please be careful to distinguish between isostasy (tectonic lithosphere movements) and eustasy (global fluctuations in sea water quantities)

    The 2nd reference you listed discusses isostasy, while the last reference discusses eustasy

  22. Comment from: cohenite

    I stand corrected Ian; isostasy: did the Earth move for you darling? Eustasy: we’re sinking not swimming.

  23. Comment from: gavin

    I listen to our SL expersts. John Church was interviewed on radio national this morning re the UN Hobart conference

    “More than 250 scientists from the UN’s chief science body are in Hobart this week to discuss the science of global warming before the release of their fifth paper later this year”

    Expect more from our trusty ABC

  24. Comment from: John Sayers

    Yes Gavin – your ABC was spouting sea level rise of 80cm – 1.2m on this morning’s AM program.
    I just fell about laughing as I do when ever I turn on the ABC these days.

    I’m with SD on this one – was recently at The Pass at Byron Bay where the sea level was the same as it was back in 79 when I first used to swim there.

  25. Comment from: Ian Thomson

    OK I’ll match that and add habitat care and silviculture.
    Seriously. sometimes,
    where does the ABC find this obscure stuff ?

  26. Comment from: spangled drongo

    John, I rang the ABC this am when I got that story on gavin’s link to tell the guy on air who had just announced it, my side of the story as a first hand witness.

    They wouldn’t take my call.

    Can’t spoil a bullshit story like that with a spray of truth. Sarah Clark has even stopped taking comments on it.

  27. Comment from: Robert

    The ABC is shifty, manipulative and trashy. The typical program these days will start with a cheap visual grab, supported by solemn voice-over and cheesy mock-classical music. This introductory drek will be followed by in-shallow analysis by plummy sounding airheads whose main attributes are their smugness and their conformity to the flimsy values of the posh urban left.

    SD, we should never be surprised when the ABC resorts to censorship and authoritarian practices. That’s what weak, conceited elitists have always done. It’s all they can do, in order to stay safe in their cocoons of privilege.

    Anyway, SD…love your work!

  28. Comment from: gavin

    Tut, tut Rob, our ABC censors all alike, even me. Oh, herself as well who commented recently on obesity during one chummy chat.

    Tip, quietly express your views to program managers off air. They are usually keen on developing public interest topics and fair play for all audiences. I had a reasonable run when Chris Ulman was local breakfast radio host after the Jan 2003 bushfires but I would not expect the same access on our national 7.30 Report.

  29. Comment from: Neville

    Monckton asks the question, has the MET office lied and committed fraud? I would say a definite YES.

  30. Comment from: Neville

    Their ABC has been trumpeting the newspoll finding for hours. So I thought I’d have a look at the latest Essential research polling. This is up to 14th of January 2013.

    Just about unchanged with the coalition leading 54% to 46% 2PP.

  31. Comment from: gavin

    Nev, same old fringe need feeding hey. In our interest on fairness, let the public be warned

    “Lord Monckton Heads Down Under to Remind Australians there is No Global Warming”

  32. Comment from: ianl8888


    “isostasy: did the Earth move for you darling? Eustasy: we’re sinking not swimming.”

    Good enough :)

    The point is important, however, since the warmista happily, indiscriminately, treacherously mix the two with gay abandon to suit themselves

  33. Comment from: gavin

    Putdown rhetoric is just another form of eliteism, It may amuse legal bods but it is not science.

    I8; “warmista”? Can you be precise?”-

    ” treacherously”? by what authority do you usurp our integrity watchdog, the broarder public or narrower, peer review?

    Meer opinion is not science either

  34. Comment from: spangled drongo

    Yeah, those were the days! I eustasy SLR 67 years ago but not these days so much. ☺

    And gav, so PURPLE is the new colour for hysterical?

    How hot was it out there when birds and bats were dropping dead at 20,000 per mile at Parramatta, 222 years ago?

    And what conclusions did you come to on “unpreventable” bushfires?

  35. Comment from: spangled drongo

    “Meer opinion is not science either”


  36. Comment from: Robert

    No doubt John McTernan will propose a name for our new weather map colour. “Misogyny” perhaps? Since the Macquarie Dictionary’s adjustment of the word’s definition, and the BOM’s adjustment of just about anything, I’m sure nobody will be surprised. If Sue Butler or David Jones are having any problems with spin, Mr. McTernan is only a phone call away.

    These days, it’s like changing the colour of your hair or getting a fake tan. Another day, another adjustment.

  37. Comment from: spangled drongo

    And Robert, one of the tricks you have to learn in the CSIRO and BoM is how to manipulate that GRACE Gravy Meter.

    Pays off big time.

  38. Comment from: spangled drongo

    “Meer opinion is not science either”


  39. Comment from: Debbie

    Gee whiz Gavin,
    Have you ever heard of the expression “flogging a dead horse”.
    ? ? ? ? ?
    Far too many at the ABC are self important, elitist snobs who are far more interested in character assassination than anything much else.
    Most of them wouldn’t last more than a day in the REAL (bold) environment.
    They are hopeless sooks who want everybody else to fix it up but haven’t got a clue what is really wrong or how to fix it.
    Most of them would struggle changing a flat tyre!
    They would be some of the last people in Australia whom I would ask for practical advice!

  40. Comment from: cohenite

    Interesting new paper on sea rise being natural and showing no acceleration:

  41. Comment from: Debbie

    Some interesting names and organisations on that paper Cohenite.
    Maybe Graeme or SD could put that one up at deltoid if they’re still engaging on SLR over there?
    I wonder how they would summarily dismiss such people as J Church and orgainisations like CSIRO?

  42. Comment from: gavin

    Although this paper could end up a bombshell in the polotics of climate science, it is just a breakthrough in formal recognition of factors affecting modern SL measurement.

    From the abstract

    “The reconstructions account for the approximate constancy of the rate of GMSLR during the 20th century, which shows small or no acceleration, despite the increasing anthropogenic forcing”

    SD; note, SLR is on not off.

    Today I completed a new series of photos on Coogee beach despite numerous beach goers I’m not allowed to oggle or engage in any way. We did meet an older girl who has been bathing in the ladies sea pool for 50 years and is very clear that king tides are up. Being quite short I guess made her particularly aware.

    These “sea pools” date back to the beginning of last centuary and I suggest their maintenance can be easily documented as many old photos still exist. A mature SLS on duty outside the Coogee club today, said on bad days waves sweep that pool so fiercly they can’t use it. With high tide at 11.45 am on a very mild day compared to yesterday, I can now show it.

  43. Comment from: spangled drongo

    Remember this gav?

    “Meer opinion is not science either”

    So what’s your measured HAT obs over what period?

  44. Comment from: Robert

    Gav, you’re taking snaps of Wylie’s and McIver’s Baths? Nice spot. I’ve spent more of my life in the east than anywhere else, though I remain a St. George boy at heart. (Wouldn’t support those Roosters if they climbed into my lap.)

    It’s always been a bit dicey in those pools when the seas get big; but it’s worth remembering that, when the other beaches are closed, Coogee can go from mill-pond to surfable.

    At 5’11″ I have not been able to perceive any change in sea levels at Coogee. Your short new lady friend has the advantage of me.

    I could tell you that all is well at Coogee…but somehow I don’t think you want to hear it.

  45. Comment from: Debbie

    What can you show Gavin?
    What’s IT?
    I went to Uni at UNSW in the late 1970s and lived at Sth Coogee on the cliff area overlooking the beach for 3 years.
    You have not explained anything different to what I saw VERY REGULARLY in those years.
    BTW, according to THE DATA and the MODELLING you shouldn’t be able to see those particular pools you’re referring to.

  46. Comment from: ianl8888

    Ah Gav, you do natter on … but I know you need a place to come for a chat, so on the few occasions I log in here I leave you to do just that. And in truth your posts are quite incomprehensible anyway

    However, knowing what isostasy and eustasy are is not elitist (note the spelling, Gav); rather not knowing is simply ignorance of basic geological science. These concepts are grounded in hard geological evidence, not mere opinion (again, note the spelling, Gav)

    Warmistas are those who abuse the public with unrestrained alarmism by manipulating the general scientific illiteracy and mathematical innumeracy of most of said public. Like Wobyn Williams of 100m surge fame, or Flannery recently ascribing the most recent La Nina episode to atmospheric CO2 levels, or Karoly claiming that a large, temporally stationary, heated bubble of air over the Aus desert in January, an almost annual occurrence, is evidence of CAGW … well, until the winds changed, he did

    You’re not a warmista, your audience is way too small. And no-one believes you are measuring accelerated SLR by paddling in seaside rock pools in summer, although they may envy you your luck

    Are you aware that when Billy the Kid (William the Conqueror, 1066 and all that) landed his invasion fleet on then Celtic shoreline, his actual location was about 5km or so inland of the current marshy shoreline and over 10m higher in sea level (I’ve actually examined his marked maps in the UK London museum) ? 10+m vertical and 5km horizontal in under 950 years, with no intervening glacial epoch to transform sea water into ice sheets and lower the SL

    Isostasy in action. Wobyn, eat your heart out

  47. Comment from: cohenite

    gav says:

    ““The reconstructions account for the approximate constancy of the rate of GMSLR during the 20th century, which shows small or no acceleration, despite the increasing anthropogenic forcing”

    SD; note, SLR is on not off.”

    And continues to flog not only a dead horse but one which has been cremated.

    The paper shows that AGW has no input into sea level rise; so once again we see a theory with no consequences; and a theory with no consequences is just ideology.

  48. Comment from: gavin

    “It” Deb is a wealth of SL information that can be gained by simply studying rocks, historic tide pools, walls etc around our most popular beaches.

    Coogee Beach represents a problem for tide line shooters like me, with it’s unusually steep tide zone gradient. Any dumper can deliver a good foamy wash right to the top of the slope.

    Regardless, a dedicated researcher should find enough suitable high and low water bench marks in close combinations to provide an alternative to tide gauges then and now.

  49. Comment from: Debbie

    I’m sorry.
    But if you ‘simply study’ Coogee as well as most of the other nearby beaches there like Maroubra, it is not showing anything alarming re SLR.
    The changes are simply ordinary changes due to ordinary coastal erosion and heavy urbanisation.
    Did you read what Jen said above?
    At Coogee where I lived there is plenty of evidence that SL must have been much higher at some stage than it is now.
    We actually studied the geological features there as part of my course at UNSW.

  50. Comment from: John Sayers

    I always find it interesting that the man who has spent all his life studying SLR – Nils-Axel Mörner, and says that there has been no seal level rise is always attacked because he once said something about dowsing yet has never had his science proven wrong.

    It’s so typical of the warmist religion – if you disagree with their science you are personally attacked and ridiculed, not scientifically proven wrong.

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