A recent post by Stefan Rahmstorf at RealClimate discusses a new paper on sea level projections by Grinsted, Moore and Jevrejeva. This paper comes at an interesting time, because we’ve just been discussing sea level projections in the context of our ongoing science review of the C-ROADS model. In C-ROADS, we used Rahmstorf’s earlier semi-empirical model, which yields higher sea level rise than AR4 WG1 (the latter leaves out ice sheet dynamics). To get a better handle on the two papers, I compared a replication of the Rahmstorf model (from John Sterman, implemented in C-ROADS) with an extension to capture Grinsted et al. This post (in a few parts) serves as both an assessment of the models and a bit of a tutorial on data analysis with Vensim.
My primary goal here is to develop an opinion on four questions:
- Can the conclusions be rejected, given the data?
- Is the Grinsted et al. argument from first principles, that the current sea level response is dominated by short time constants, reasonable?
- Is Rahmstorf right to assert that Grinsted et al.’s determination of the sea level rise time constant is shaky?
- What happens if you impose the long-horizon paleo constraint to equilibrium sea level rise in Rahmstorf’s RC figure on the Grinsted et al. model?