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Benjamin Horton

Professor, Earth Observatory of Singapore

Expertise: Past and Future sea level changes

Breitbart article baselessly claims a study of past climate invalidates human-caused climate change

“By the reasoning of this article, if a rock rolled down a hill three million years ago, no human can be responsible for rolling a rock down a hill today. The fallaciousness of this reasoning is astounding.
It is hard to imagine that a well-intentioned person can so profoundly misunderstand the science. Assuming the author is acting in good faith, this article provides evidence that motivated reasoning can produce results that appear delusional to well-informed people.”

Story on congressman's incorrect claims about sea level rise could have corrected them more explicitly

“The comments from the members of the Committee suffer from severe inaccuracies and misconceptions, and citations of the invited climate scientist mostly address those issues.
In general, the views that go against our understanding of the climate change process are underlined and presented as such by the author, but rarely supported by statements or explanations that go beyond the immediate replies from the invited climate scientist. Some of the inaccurate statements quoted in the text are thus left with an incomplete challenge.”

Wall Street Journal commentary grossly misleads readers about science of sea level rise

“The article has almost nothing to do with the modern state of sea-level science. The author tries to call into question that global warming causes sea-level rise, and does so by cherry-picking a short segment of data from 1915-1945, a time when data quality is poor and the warming signal small—a bizarre approach that could never pass scientific peer review and is apparently aimed at misleading a lay audience.”

IFLScience story on Florida sea level rise somewhat unclear but generally correct

“While the information in this article is essentially correct, the links lead to loosely related articles published on the same website, rather than articles that directly support the statements made in the article. The explanation of the acceleration of sea level rise in Florida is oversimplified, probably because it is difficult to summarize concisely.”

Scientists explain what New York Magazine article on “The Uninhabitable Earth” gets wrong

“While it is clear that ongoing warming of the global climate would eventually have very severe consequences, the concept of the Earth becoming uninhabitable within anywhere near the timescales suggested in the article is pure hyperbole. The author has clearly done very extensive research and addresses a number of climate threats that are indeed major issues, but generally the narrative ramps up the threat to go beyond the level that is supported by science.”

Analysis of "Flooding of Coast, Caused by Global Warming, Has Already Begun"

“The theory of sea-level rise and flood problems is pretty well understood — this makes the point that this theory is also happening now and can only be expected to get worse — sea levels have been rising on the US east coast for the last 150 years or more and even if current trends simply continue, impacts will continue to grow. As the article states, we actually expect a significant acceleration of sea-level rise in the coming decades meaning the impacts will grow more rapidly.”