McClaughry: Is there a sea level rise problem?

By John McClaughry

One of the most serious coming effects of climate change as declared by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, will be rising sea levels. Global Mean Sea Level has risen steadily by  around eleven inches since 1940 and the IPCC projects an acceleration as higher global temperatures cause the oceans to expand. Let’s say it might rise by two feet by the year 2100.

I got to thinking, the level of Lake Champlain varies by six feet over the course of each year, and that’s been going on since Champlain first visited here in 1609.

Then last month my daughter bought a house on an inlet in coastal Maine. She remarked to me that twice a day her pretty little inlet is a broad stretch of mud with a tiny stream down the middle, as the tide comes in and out. She said “if I’m out in the middle of the inlet in our kayak, and lose track of time, I can’t get out of the boat and walk to shore because the mud is deep and impassable.”

So it occurred to me that if people living along Lake Champlain can cope with a six foot change in the high water mark every year, and the folks on the Maine coast can deal with a six foot change in the high water mark every twelve hours, why are we worrying about a 2 foot rise sea level in eighty years?

The author, a Kirby resident, is founder and vice-president of the Ethan Allen Institute. To read all EAI news and commentary, go to

Categories: Commentary

7 replies »

  1. There is no logic, as this agenda is fueled by political and corporate powers seeking control, which is why when you challenge these people with real data and logic you are attacked as a science denier or threat.

  2. Very interesting! Plus there is the scientific fact of isostatic rebound. The weight of the two miles of ice pressing down on this part of North America pushed down our mantle which pushed up the land mass south. After all that ice melted about 15,000 years ago, the land slowly began to resettle. The northern landmass is still rising back to its original positioning and the formerly pushed up southern landmass is still sinking (kind of like pushing down on a see-saw) This could overestimate any water level rise in southeastern states.

    • Right, so New England is rising, but where there was no glaciation (say, from the Mason-Dixon line south and extended westwards) the land levels are falling. This is independent of sea rise level, so the effect is neutralized for us but waterfront property in the southern coastal Atlantic and GoM states is likely to be gone sooner.

    • Oh Thanks for the info Timothy! The Obama’s will be glad to hear this great news, as I am sure they were concerned about the rising sea levels after their water front property purchases in Maine and Hawaii.

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