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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: ianl8888


    “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”

    Just so

    All of the wave-cut platforms along the east coast have long been mapped in exhausting detail

    The most interesting in terms of the sheer volume of observable data is the extensive platform at Long Reef (north side). An absolute favourite for Geology/Biology 101 excursions

    And directly across Pittwater Road is the DY lagoon, with successive outcrops of peat showing everywhere across its’ edges

    If dear Gav was even faintly interested in organized observations and data, he’d buy any one of a dozen quite cheap texts on Sydney Basin geology and then really look at SL changes. Sydney Harbour is a drowned river valley (Paramatta River), but SLR slowed to almost nothing after the melt of the last glacial epoch

    Contemporaneous accelerated SLR is just another scarey-bear red herring, quite insignificant. CSIRO says so now as well (cohenite’s link above, even though the full paper is paywalled)

  2. Comment from: Neville

    Thanks for the link to that new study Cohenite. Just about says it all and some of those names have been at the fore over many years.

    Seems that Morner was correct all along. But where is the AGW signal to be found if it can’t be found in accelerating SLR?

    Poor Gav has been flogging a dead nag for ages , but best to leave him be. If they can’t explain the much warmer earlier holocene ( see Alley’s GISP2 graph) and much higher sea levels back then they haven’t got a leg to stand on, or a solitary clue.

    BTW why is the holocene IGlac the coolest of the last 5 IGlacs I wonder?

  3. Comment from: spangled drongo

    The brawling in Woodridge between taxpayer funded and housed Aboriginals and Pacific Islanders is not racist, just inter-ethnic according to our ABC.

  4. Comment from: Debbie

    Yes definitely John Sayers,
    The study we did compared those cliff faces north and south.
    The evidence was very easy to see, very easy to photograph and was very well documented in our texts.
    I’m sure if Gavin looked at his photos with an open mind, he would see it too.
    I’m also sure he could easily find the texts in the second hand university book shops for a few dollars.

  5. Comment from: Neville

    Matt Ridley replies to the liars , fraudsters and delusional dolts at Deltoid and using graphs he easily proves his case.

    Of course Lambert hasn’t got the guts to allow Ridley space on his site to show where he’s ( Lambert) wrong.
    Typical leftwing idiot.

  6. Comment from: Neville

    Interesting post from JoNova on the hot weather nonsense in the MSM.

    She also has a map of OZ showing all the hot weather records of the past.

  7. Comment from: Ian Thomson

    Planet saving progress powering on.

  8. Comment from: Neville

    A good post from an honest and logical aussie pollie at WUWT.

  9. Comment from: spangled drongo

    Ian, I just had to send that one to the local birdos who are mostly deep green.

  10. Comment from: spangled drongo

    Neville, that Watkin Tench report should be made compulsory reading in schools.

    And I had to put a comment on WUWT to Matt about his great contributions.

  11. Comment from: gavin

    I8 & Nev; thanks but I am not interested in Sydney basin geology, plate tectonics, holocene or interglacial temps, paleo studies etc, just SD’s king tide topic and SL in industrial times.

    Deb; if you haven’t followed UNSW on SL and climate change studies, google can help you.

    I chose Coodgee for constructed tide marks knowing it’s about the most popular ocean bathing spot in Aus with it’s natural breakwater Wedding Cake Isl giving max swimming days and heaps of potential for casual king tide wittnessesl.

    Another aspect is the vast ammount of commercial photography

    So all off topic critics can go jump

  12. Comment from: gavin

    Any doubt re Church & CSIRO?

  13. Comment from: Johnathan Wilkes

    I know it’s a waste, asking, but do these pics. prove, Gav?
    They look good I admit but so is my wedding photo, proves nothing but, no that’s not true, my wedding photo at least proves I was there.

  14. Comment from: el gordo

    Ridley takes on Lambert.

  15. Comment from: John Sayers

    That ABC link is a load of hogwash Gavin!

    How you can believe that stuff amazes me.

  16. Comment from: spangled drongo

    “Any doubt re Church & CSIRO?”

    Read what the abstract says in his paper gav, not the crap he spruiked to the ABC:


    “Confidence in projections of global-mean sea-level rise (GMSLR) depends on an ability to account for GMSLR during the 20th century. There are contributions from ocean thermal expansion, mass loss from glaciers and ice sheets, groundwater extraction and reservoir impoundment. We have made progress towards solving the “enigma” of 20th-century GMSLR—that is, the observed GMSLR has been found to exceed the sum of estimated contributions, especially for the earlier decades. We propose that: thermal expansion simulated by climate models may previously have been underestimated owing to their not including volcanic forcing in their control state; the rate of glacier mass loss was larger than previously estimated, and was not smaller in the first than in the second half of the century; the Greenland ice-sheet could have made a positive contribution throughout the century; groundwater depletion and reservoir impoundment, which are of opposite sign, may have been approximately equal in magnitude. We show that it is possible to reconstruct the timeseries of GMSLR from the quantified contributions, apart from a constant residual term which is small enough to be explained as a long-term contribution from the Antarctic ice-sheet. 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. Semi-empirical methods for projecting GMSLR depend on the existence of a relationship between global climate change and the rate of GMSLR, but the implication of our closure of the budget is that such a relationship is weak or absent during the 20th century.”

    Now that tells you that they know SLR is a load of garbage and they are trying to escape from some of the more hysterical predictions they have made in the past yet at the same time avoid getting lynched by the mob.

  17. Comment from: Robert

    It might be a 20cm rise, or it might be an 80cm rise. Does it matter? The ABC doesn’t sweat the small stuff. It’s too busy digging out stock footage of ice floes somewhere and some Aussie beachfronts somewhere else – and then kinda juxtaposing them for a dramatic message. But, hey, what happened to the ominous sound track? Is the whole cheesy music department of the ABC on stress leave? Did Tony Abbott walk past the cheesy music building?

    Our own ABC. Somewhere in the world there must be a crappier, snobbier, sorrier collection of conceited twits. But where? Where?

    Gav, can we have more nice pics of Coogee?

  18. Comment from: Johnathan Wilkes

    yes I read that, it may have been you who posted the link in the first place.
    I also listened to Mr Church on the link provided and the hypocrisy of the man is astounding.

    I can understand he cannot elaborate in detail on radio, but he could also just say “we don’t know” or “we are not sure what’s happening”, but they will never do that, protecting one’s next pay packet is paramount.

  19. Comment from: gavin

    SD; That paper is not all Church & White; but it struck me they had to be there like it or not and their colaboration was necessary for the next wave of ocean research. It also struck me there are quite few for something so important.

    It’s also back to base. What we have now is a greater emphasis on Geodesy in the search for SLR and it’s rate of change. I saw it first with the Port Arthur tide mark saga, we had no references for the re calibration of any instrument record related to SL over time.

    What you guys get from the abstract is sweet nothing because it’s all about not having enough info to settle the heat budget via ice loss, SLR etc for even the last 100y. Therefor the public should demand more research in geomorphology terms for that period

  20. Comment from: John Sayers

    But recent papers (2012) have shown three things

    1 – the Himalayan glaciers are not losing more ice than they gain.
    2 – the Greenland ice sheet is gaining more ice than it loses.
    3 – the antarctic ice extent hit a record size.

    so where is this supposed additional water coming from that causes supposed seal level rise??

  21. Comment from: John Sayers


  22. Comment from: spangled drongo

    “It also struck me there are quite few for something so important.”

    Wake up gav, why does a dog lick its privates? Because it can and it derives pleasure out of it.

    But at least it doesn’t generate wealth at the taxpayer’s expense like these doomscreamers do.

    Boosted by our darling ABC.

    Tomorrow’s dose of doom will be the GBR and all the agony that entails.

    When they’ve spent so much of our money just making the sandwich boards, this is only the start of their advertising campaign.

    You ain’t seen nuthin yet.

  23. Comment from: Ian Thomson

    The Dutch, who have much more to fear from SLR than some overrich Sydneysiders, say it is all rubbish, say there is no abnormal rise.
    I guess that it is one of the downers of living Downunder all that imaginary meltwater slides to the bottom. We should count ourselves lucky we don’t live down near Auckland Is. Must be hellishly flooded there already.

  24. Comment from: Debbie

    You’re not interested Gavin?
    Where is your historical perspective?
    How do you prove anything without it?
    You are moving into nonsense land with your Coogee pics.
    Look at the cliff face in your pics.

  25. Comment from: spangled drongo

    “I saw it first with the Port Arthur tide mark saga, we had no references for the re calibration of any instrument record related to SL over time.”

    That Ross/Lempriere mark is probably the most reliable long term SL change indicator we can devise.

    As someone who knows about the complexity of scientific instruments, you, gav should know that if you put an automatic tide recorder with all its electric, electronic and mechanical bits in an enclosed “stilling pond” it is going to need a lot of constant attention to keep it working.

    This enclosed, salty, humid, marine environment is possibly the most hostile you could get for this sort of equipment and it would need constant servicing possibly necessitating recalibration and resetting.

    This practically guarantees that you won’t get continuous, reliable, believable data.

    A mark like the one at PA is as reliable as possibly anything long term that we could build.

  26. Comment from: ianl8888

    “I8 & Nev; thanks but I am not interested in Sydney basin geology, plate tectonics, holocene or interglacial temps, paleo studies etc, just SD’s king tide topic and SL in industrial times”

    I already know that, dear Gav

    However, these data that you have no interest in are the hard evidential underpinnings of SLR studies … doesn’t mean you need to understand them, but without that understanding you are simply aimless

    But, believe it or not, I’m quite happy for you to paddle around. Just don’t insult those who do understand these data by calling them “elitist”

    Got it ?

  27. Comment from: Johnathan Wilkes


    here is bit of info, it appears that the mark is not mean sea level but high water

    Taken on its own, the reported time of the striking would suggest that the mark was originally near mean sea-level.

    Significant work has gone into determining which of the accounts is correct, including a current major study by a collaboration of international scientists, as knowing whether the mark was originally placed near mean sea-level or high water is crucial to being able to compare sea-levels of 1841 with today. This study has concluded that it is almost certain that the benchmark was originally placed near high water. The conclusion is based on other estimates of sea-level made later in the 19th century, and on the fact that, if the mark had originally been placed near mean sea-level, then the Penitentiary building would have suffered flooding every few years (there is no record of this having happened).
    Don’t know if it makes any difference?

  28. Comment from: Neville

    Jim “coal trains of death” Hansen starts to cover his backside, just in case.

  29. Comment from: Neville

    Prof Judith Curry also has a post on the Hansen numbskull and she thinks that our immediate future will see more la ninas and flat temps.

    Therefore more bad droughts for Texas etc and probably more rainfall for eastern OZ and MDB etc.
    Of course if we also see more cool phase IODs from Indian ocean as well we will definitely see higher rainfall for SE OZ.

  30. Comment from: Neville

    Another top post from Jo Nova and good to see a letter from William Kininmonth.

    Nothing different about the Alice airport or the old PO records. (except 0.2c UHIE) It just gets bloody hot there in January.

  31. Comment from: Neville

    More corruption , fraud and manufactured secret manipulation from the MET office.

    Now no one can replicate their secret manufacturing of the data and we all have to live with the GIGO produced by very doubtful CMs.

  32. Comment from: spangled drongo

    Thanks for that link JW. It does seem hard to believe that the Ross/ Lempriere mark would be put anywhere other than MSL because that is and always has been the level used to calculate SLs from. It is also the level Ross refers to.

    Placing it at some level “near high water” when high water is such a variable thing seems a very half-baked, unscientific thing for people like Ross/Lempriere to do.

    The Penitentiary was not built until 1843 and as a granary and flour mill, not a pen. It was converted to a pen dormitory in 1857 [because it flooded?] and was gutted by fire 40 years later never to be used again for anything.

    Quien sabe? On the one hand you have SLR of 13cm, on the other SL fall of about a foot.

    I know there has been an enormous effort made to claim that the benchmark was put in at “near high tide” which is very unconvincing and unscientific and just not the thing a couple of very ocean-savvy people to do.

  33. Comment from: gavin

    Nev; tiresome mate, so tiresom to have a stream of skeptic comment and no published science

    JW: so good to to see you following some of my links such as the Port Arthur SL mark review.

    i8; “these data? insult” ? sure, I see your attitude, but I’m not that engaged with off topic comment.

    SD; re your “automatic tide recorder with all its electric, electronic and mechanical bits in an enclosed “stilling pond” and maintenance etc, I doubt those early instruments were that sophisticated. Have you come across a cross section of instruments as used for tide monitoring and a comparison, one to another?

    Fivety years ago, I was fully engaged learning and calibrating all types of liguid level and flow instruments, so can verify the importance of routines for each device. Also I suggest the marine environment demands considerably more care than the industrial sites I was used to. However slime and caked froth can badly affect any float well.

    Without certification, any mark, measure or recording won’t stand up tothe rigouruos analysis we need today in tracking rate of change issues.

  34. Comment from: gavin


    “A report in the Australian on Tuesday (Sea rise ‘not linked to warming’, page 1) said a paper by JM Gregory with a contribution from John Church had “found no link to global warming and no increase in the rate of glacier melt over the past 100 years”. In fact, the paper found the effect of anthropogenic global warming on the rate of sea level rise would have been greater in the 20th century but for volcanic activity. It found that in the past two decades the rate of sea level rise had been larger than in the 20th century”

    Comment please

  35. Comment from: coehnite

    Someone trod on the Australian. A better analysis of the paper which has not changed is here:

    As to accelerating rate of increase this century; not according to Colorado, the satellite benchmark:

  36. Comment from: cohenite

    Someone trod on the Australian. A better analysis of the paper which has not changed is here:

    As to accelerating rate of increase this century; not according to Colorado, the satellite benchmark:

  37. Comment from: ianl8888

    Last time, Gav dear

    ““these data? insult” ? sure, I see your attitude”

    The word data is the PLURAL, Gav. I see your ignorance

    My attitude is informed by actual data over several thousand years. Without that, you cannot tell if SL is changing, or the land mass is moving, or both. That’s why the satellite data (PLURAL) is so critical for better analyses, albeit so far only from 1979. Your attitude is formed by the need for relevance, I suspect

    SD’s photo shows no significant change at all in the area recorded (the pier shows that). It surprised me in that there seems to be no evidence of the significant erosion/deposition processes so persistent along the east coast of Aus

    cohenite is linking sufficiently to papers to keep sanity alive here. If you don’t like his suggestions, then log onto the International Journal of Geology (Google Pro) and feast away. Most of the papers are not paywalled, plenty of SL papers WITH data (PLURAL)

    Stay paddling, Gav – but don’t leave your water wings at home

  38. Comment from: Robert

    Vulcanism is often raised as a “chance” event affecting “actual” climate. The truth is, vulcanism is the most likely source of a radical climate change, and a climate-changing eruption within each person’s lifetime is a likelihood. To be de-industrialisng and fiddling with flimsy alternative energies when a Laki or Tambora scale eruption occurs would certainly cost lives and bring untold suffering. Even a Krakatoa would be disastrous for harvests, transport etc. Novarupta, St. Helen’s and Pintatubo in the 20th century were bad enough…but volcanoes come much bigger than those three. Also, the way a volcano erupts and its real pollution effect can be more important than initial force.

    People truly interested in climate catastrophes would show a vital interest in vulcanism. In fact, the climate trillions barely leak a trickle in that direction. The Big Money and Big Show are elsewhere.

    But it never was about climate or humanity, was it?

  39. Comment from: gavin

    i8 “the satellite data (PLURAL) is so critical for better analyses”.

    Sure is, now I can leave you to SD on that point

  40. Comment from: gavin

    coh’s rag tag science v the elite?


    Scientists have rejected claims that the latest research on climate change finds no link between global warming and rising sea levels.

    CSIRO scientist Dr John Church, regarded as Australia’s leading authority on sea level and climate change, said they were clearly connected.

    “It is clearly linked to increases in greenhouse gases,” he said.

    and there is more!

  41. Comment from: John Sayers

    Gavin – these guys just spout whatever lie they think appropriate for the day:

    Dr Power said that didn’t mean there wouldn’t be very cold periods as the climate system wasn’t wholly determined by humans.

    “It is clear that these sorts of things do become more common under climate change and it is clear that Australia has warned up, the world has warmed up and coastal seal levels have warmed up, global sea levels have warmed up,” he said.

    global sea levels are slowing down! oceans are cooling, temperature remains constant despite increasing CO2! this all flies in the face of their BS.

    These guys just ignore the facts to support their own hobby horse which is usually tied to the name of the department they run with the support of government and corporate funding. They can’t afford to say anything else!

  42. Comment from: Neville

    Gav I think you’re on thin ice trying to argue for SLR that is any different than we’ve seen over the last century.
    Probably about another 8 inches for the next century or perhaps a foot. This won’t be a problem but then again all the latest research from tide gauges shows little rise.

    I also think that SD’s observations over may decades poses a problem for your enthusiastic urgings.

  43. Comment from: Debbie

    Why are you so intent on being alarmed?
    Updated data is indicating that the earlier TREND is decelerating and that the relationship with AGW is ‘weak or non existent’.
    Isn’t that a good thing?
    Of course that doesn’t change the fact that a significant percentage of humanity has chosen coastal areas and estuarine areas as permanent habitat.
    Unfortunately coastal areas are not interested in being static or stable.
    Isn’t that the real problem?

  44. Comment from: gavin

    Nev; given my coast watching began during the 1940′s, I don’t need your advice on SLR over the next half century or the problems I may have with SD’s own claims. This set of coastline / estuary pics also shows little current SLR but note the old sea bed inland, historic breakwaters etc

    This historic photo 1950′s shows the high tide at the Camp Creek – Inglis River junction. Unfortunatly local council foreshore improvements since have drasticly changed this couta boat port but the creek mouth weir is about to be reviewed. I hope engineering records give tide marks.!/photo.php?fbid=254851417959292&set=pb.181354685308966.-2207520000.1358457076&type=3&theater

    JS; “global sea levels are slowing down! oceans are cooling, temperature remains constant despite increasing CO2″

    Listen to the RN climate series including today, new speakers, new evidence.

  45. Comment from: Debbie

    I get it!
    You only listen to the ABC?
    No wonder you’re so concerned.
    If you only ever listen to the ABC you would definitely think humanity is going down the toilet, environmentally, politically, economically and every other “. . .ally’ I can think of.
    And they are such elitist snobs about it as well!

  46. Comment from: gavin

    Deb; explore my links. My point is I have no better place to observe SLR

    Here is a rare photo of a high tide before any major engineering round the Inglis R estuary where my aunt lived in one of the earliest homes built in the 1800′s. Most land LHS pic behind houses on main dune flooded at high tide during heavy rains, so SL became an issue for all living on the foreshore.

    Note, the first large house became a maternity hospital and I can remember it all, quite a throttling experience, rekindled through later childhood drama. btw, this pic is the first time sceen and I’m astounded by the narrow beach before river mouth breakwater work

  47. Comment from: cohente

    gav says:

    “coh’s rag tag science v the elite?”

    Well ok let’s see what the elite says; Hansen:

    Temps flat for at east 10 years, THEREFORE no steric input to SLR and a contadiction to Church who I’m afraid says one thing in his papers and another to the stupid gullible media.

    The elite have always been liars.

  48. Comment from: cohenite

    gav says:

    “coh’s rag tag science v the elite?”

    Well ok let’s see what the elite says; Hansen: [// removed]

    Temps flat for at east 10 years, THEREFORE no steric input to SLR and a contadiction to Church who I’m afraid says one thing in his papers and another to the stupid gullible media.

    The elite have always been liars.

  49. Comment from: Debbie

    Why are you ‘astounded’ Gavin?
    There are plenty of places world wide where humans have built that close to the ocean….some places even closer than in this pic.
    I’m astounded that they’re now complaining that storms etc are interfering with their infrastructure after they built it that close to the foreshore.
    What else do you think they should have expected?
    I’m further astounded that many are arguing it’s everyone else’s fault and everybody else’s responsibility that they chose to build there!
    Coastal infrastructure has always been vulnerable to the vagaries of the ocean Gavin.
    Coastlines ERODE (bold)….they always have!!!!
    AND (bold) we have always known that haven’t we?
    Natural environments are not interested in permanent human infrastructure, especially the coasts and estuarine environments…..haven’t you noticed?
    We are NOT (bold) going to solve that problem by ‘bed wetting’ about SLR. (I love that term SD! It is a highly amusing way to explain the prevailing attitude!)

  50. Comment from: John Sayers

    Gavin – the argo buoys are the latest evidence and they say the oceans are cooling. Forget what the ABC says and Church is a liar as Cohenite says. He talks of glacier melt acceleration when there is NONE!

    BTW – Here’s East Wynyard today

    care to tell me what is different??

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