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Major Math Error Puts Widely-Cited Global Warming Study On Ice

Major Math Error Puts Widely-Cited Global Warming Study On Ice thumbnail

An widely-circulated study which concluded that global warming is far worse than previously thought has been called into question by a math error, reports the Daily Caller‘s Michael Bastasch.

Princeton scientist Laure Resplandy and researchers at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography concluded in October that the Earth’s oceans have retained 60% more heat than previously thought over the last 25 years, suggesting global warming was much worse than previously believed.

The report was covered or referenced by MSM outlets worldwide, including the Washington Post, New York Times, BBC, Reuters and others.

The Washington Post, for example, reported: “The higher-than-expected amount of heat in the oceans means more heat is being retained within Earth’s climate system each year, rather than escaping into space. In essence, more heat in the oceans signals that global warming is more advanced than scientists thought.”

The New York Times at least hedged their reporting, claiming that the estimates, “if proven accurate, could be another indication that the global warming of the past few decades has exceeded conservative estimates and has been more closely in line with scientists’ worst-case scenarios.

Unfortunately for the Princeton-Scripps team, it appears that their report has been proven inaccurate

Independent scientist Nic Lewis found the study had “apparently serious (but surely inadvertent) errors in the underlying calculations.” Lewis’ findings were quickly corroborated by another researcher. –Daily Caller

“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,” wrote Lewis in a blog post published on climate scientist Judith Curry’s Climate Etc. website.

After correcting the math error, Lewis found that the paper’s rate of oceanic warming “is about average compared with the other estimates they showed, and below the average for 1993–2016.”

Lewis’s conclusion was replicated and supported by University of Colorado professor, Roger Pike, Jr., who tweeted his work.

Lewis found the study’s authors, led by Princeton University scientist Laure Resplandy, erred in calculating the linear trend of estimated ocean warming between 1991 and 2016. Lewis has also criticized climate model predictions, which generally over-predict warming.

Resplandy and her colleagues estimated ocean heat by measuring the volume of carbon dioxide and oxygen in the atmosphere. The results: the oceans took up 60 percent more heat than previously thought. The study only sent alarm bells ringing, especially in the wake of the United Nations’ latest climate assessment. –Daily Caller

Resplandy has yet to respond to Lewis regarding the errors her found in her math, writing on Tuesday “To date I have had no substantive response from her, despite subsequently sending a further email containing the key analysis sections from a draft of this article.”

Similarly, niether Resplandy nor co-author Ralph Keeling responded to the Daily Caller‘s request for comment.


55 Comments on "Major Math Error Puts Widely-Cited Global Warming Study On Ice"

  1. Duncan Idaho on Thu, 8th Nov 2018 7:20 pm 

    The planet isn’t going anywhere, we are

  2. Outcast_Searcher on Fri, 9th Nov 2018 11:21 am 

    Unlike the endless parade of wrong predictions by the Cassandras, which are almost never corrected or admitted to, science has a peer review process.

    So such errors occur, but at some point are corrected. So overall, science gradually moves toward being more correct re its power to make meaningful corrections. So science carries the day by miles, warts and all.

    For the Cassandras, this isn’t so, as they often just repeat the same false predictions, or modify them a bit, and then spew them again.

    And I’m sure the denialists will try to use this as another way to claim climate change isn’t real. Their track record is very much like the Cassandras, along with their ability/willingness to change or adapt, via learning.

  3. woodlice on Fri, 9th Nov 2018 2:47 pm 

    Another failed species an evolutionary dead end

  4. green_achers on Fri, 9th Nov 2018 6:55 pm 

    Whew.I’m so glad to hear that it’s not much, much worse than we thought, merely as bad as we thought.

  5. I AM THE MOB on Fri, 9th Nov 2018 8:14 pm 

    Saudi Arabia launches study of possible post-OPEC future

    It also shows that Saudi Arabia is considering the eventuality that the world will one day experience the phenomenon of “peak oil”, which would see shrinking demand for the resource.

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