Assessment of the Rate of Rise of Sea Levels Along the East Coast of Florida

Author(s): Parker A

Some papers build alarmistic claims of unbelievably high relative rates of rise of sea levels by focusing on only a few years of data in selected locations, ignoring long term oscillations. An example is the paper “Increasing flooding hazard in coastal communities due to rising sea level: Case study of Miami Beach, Florida”. According to the authors, “the average rate of sea level rise in Southeast Florida increased from 3 ± 2 mm/yr prior to 2006 to 9 ± 4 mm/yr after 2006”. This statement is incorrect, and it is based on a short time window of 10 years that magnifies the positive phasing of the inter-annual, decadal and multi-decadal oscillations along the East Coast of the United States. It is shown in the present paper that even higher short term relative rates of sea level rise that were measured in the past were followed by much smaller values. A long term assessment of the relative rates of rise of the sea levels for the area suggests the sea levels are rising much less and only oscillating about this trend.

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