Tuvalu sunk by pineapples

TuvaluThe NZCSC has been trumpeting the arrival in New Zealand of professor (emeritus) Nils-Axel Mörner, “a leading world authority on sea levels and coastal erosion”. Prof Mörner’s mission? To reassure us that sea level rise is not happening. Mörner first takes the ritual swipe at An Inconvenient Truth:

I can assure you there have been no rises in sea levels, so you should ask yourselves how much else of what Gore says is similarly false?

That’s all right then. We can ignore all the current work on sea level rise and just take his word for it. He then explains why Tuvalu is increasingly being flooded by king tides:

There have been some problems with erosion from recent cyclones and salt water intrusion on Tuvalu. It seems that Japanese owned pineapple plantations have extracted too much freshwater from the ground, causing an inflow of sea water and destruction of the underground freshwater reservoirs.

Pineapple plantations? I thought the problem was with “borrow pits”, holes created by the US armed forces when they built the runway during WW2 (and sea level rise). Prof Mörner likes his pineapple theory enough to have used it a fewtimes, but the only other source I can find is on über-crank Ken Ring’s web site, which — to be candid — doesn’t fill me with hope. Anyone know where this particular delusion came from?

Meanwhile, someone who does know something about sea level rise — and who, like Hansen, is concerned that the IPCC AR4 view is a little conservative is Stefan Rahmstorf, who’s visiting CSIRO in Australia:

“This isn’t just my concern: there’s a number of scientists who were not very happy with the impression given in the summary of the report that sea-level rise projections had dropped compared to the previous report,” Professor Rahmstorf told the Heraldwhen he arrived in Sydney.

A recent paper [PDF] by Rahmstorf suggested that sea level rise could be up to 1.4m by 2100. He discusses the issue in detail at RealClimate.

3 thoughts on “Tuvalu sunk by pineapples”

  1. Morner’s work on sea level rise, which appears to rest on a paper published in Global and Planetary Change is also viewed with scepticism (remember when that word used to mean something) by scientists. See:

    Nerem, R.S., Cazenave, A., Chambers, D.P., Fu, L.L., Leuliette, E.W. and Mitchum, G.T., 2007. Comment on “Estimating future sea level change from past records” by Nils-Axel Mörner. Global and Planetary Change, 55(4): 358-360.

    where Cazenave et al say:

    We feel compelled to respond to the recent article by Mörner (2004) because he makes several major errors in his analysis, and as a result completely misinterprets the record of sea level change from the TOPEX/Poseidon (T/P) satellite altimeter mission. One major criticism we have with the paper is that Mörner does not include a single reference to any altimeter study, all of which refute his claim that there is no apparent change in global mean sea level (GMSL).

    P.S. I got this from this thread at Not PC:


    P.P.S. Any chance of a “preview” function for your comments section?

  2. Can’t help you with the pineapples, I’m afraid. Maybe it’s tied up with Morner’s claim to be an expert in dowsing (http://www.desmogblog.com/nils-axel-morner). Did he visit Tuvalu and try to dowse for fresh water?

    Didn’t he give a talk in Wellington recently? I was going to go along just to see how many denialists there were in the city, but got the date wrong.

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