From Powerline on November 14th
by Steven Hayward
About ten days back Nature magazine generated a lot of media attention for a study it published that purported to prove that the oceans were warming considerably faster than previously thought–up to 60 percent more. Naturally this set off the climatistas (“The study drew considerable media attention, including from The Post,” as the Washington Post laconically put it), as though they need additional confirmation of their eschatology.
There’s just one problem—one big problem. The study is riddled with errors. In a long blog post at Judith Curry’s website, Nic Lewis blew big holes in the paper. Here’s the key bit from Lewis’s conclusion:
The findings of the Resplandy et al paper were peer reviewed and published in the world’s premier scientific journal and were given wide coverage in the English-speaking media. Despite this, a quick review of the first page of the paper was sufficient to raise doubts as to the accuracy of its results. Just a few hours of analysis and calculations, based only on published information, was sufficient to uncover apparently serious (but surely inadvertent) errors in the underlying calculations.
Moreover, even if the paper’s results had been correct, they would not have justified its findings regarding an increase to 2.0°C in the lower bound of the equilibrium climate sensitivity range and a 25% reduction in the carbon budget for 2°C global warming.
Because of the wide dissemination of the paper’s results, it is extremely important that these errors are acknowledged by the authors without delay and then corrected.
Of course, it is also very important that the media outlets that unquestioningly trumpeted the paper’s findings now correct the record too. But perhaps that is too much to hope for.
Well, the Washington Post and other outlets have, so we should give them credit for it. And the authors of the study has fessed up to their mistakes:
“Unfortunately, we made mistakes here,” said Ralph Keeling, a climate scientist at Scripps, who was a co-author of the study. “I think the main lesson is that you work as fast as you can to fix mistakes when you find them.”
It had to kill the Post‘s Chris Mooney (author of the tendentious Republican War on Science) to write this story, and it does everything it can to minimize the damage of this correction to the “certainty” of the climate catastrophist narrative. The San Diego Union-Tribune account is more revealing:
Co-author Ralph Keeling, climate scientist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, took full blame and thanked Lewis for alerting him to the mistake.
“When we were confronted with his insight it became immediately clear there was an issue there,” he said. “We’re grateful to have it be pointed out quickly so that we could correct it quickly.”
Keeling said they have since redone the calculations, finding the ocean is still likely warmer than the estimate used by the IPCC. However, that increase in heat has a larger range of probability than initially thought — between 10 percent and 70 percent, as other studies have already found.
“Our error margins are too big now to really weigh in on the precise amount of warming that’s going on in the ocean,” Keeling said. “We really muffed the error margins.”
A correction has been submitted to the journal Nature.
Perhaps the climatisas will pause for a day or two from their relentless attacks on people like Nic Lewis and Judith Curry, but that’s probably too much to hope for.
Chaser, from The Guardian today:
And I’ll bet The Guardian has just the radicals we need to get the job done! They really just can’t help themselves.