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The Lockean Project

One view of sea-level rise

One view of sea-level rise — Monterey Herald, Dec. 20, 2020

“Sea-level rise to impact city” the Herald’s headline announces about vulnerable Monterey.  Hundreds of millions of dollars will be necessary to thwart the advancing sea, the byline adds.  By the end of the decade the sea level is projected to rise by 8 inches, and by 2060 a whopping 2.4 feet.  I am a professional meteorologist who believes the study, prepared for the Monterey County Planning Department, is flawed.

These draconian projections indicate that the sea level should already be skyrocketing upward. But no, the actual trend upward is slow and linear.  The overall rise over a number of years (measured by the local NOAA tidal gauge) is a rate of 0.56 feet per 100 years.  This means that as the present tidal gauge trend continues, the rise by the end of decade should be 0.7 inches, not 8 inches.  To see these data for Monterey and rest of coastal California, go to

The authors of the study should explain why similar projections of suddenly accelerating coastal sea levels have not materialized over the last 10 years. The City of Monterey is already broke.  Let’s not pay for more studies like this.

–Thomas F. Lee, Monterey