The IPCC report asks whether the observed rise - however much it is - can be tied to the estimated average global temperature increase of 0.5 to 1.1 degrees Fahrenheit during the century. The IPCC examined five possible sources of sea level rise: thermal expansion of water as temperature rises, melting of inland glaciers, melting of Greenland's ice sheet, melting of Antarctica's ice sheets and changes in surface and ground water levels.
The IPCC concluded that, except for data from inland glaciers, there were insufficient data to demonstrate a temperature effect on sea level rise for the past 100 years.
The available data indicated that, based on models, the temperature increase could have caused anything from a 7 1/2-inch decline to a 14-inch rise in sea levels - amounting to a 22-inch range of uncertainty.
Since the 22-inch range of uncertainty in the IPCC's estimates of past sea level change is four times greater than the six-inch range of measured sea level rise, one could argue that our ability to forecast the effects of temperature on sea level rise is so limited as to be virtually worthless.