A week ago, we were told that climate change was worse than we thought. But the underlying science contains a major error.
Independent climate scientist Nicholas Lewis has uncovered a major error in a recent scientific paper that was given blanket coverage in the English-speaking media. The paper, written by a team led by Princeton oceanographer Laure Resplandy, claimed that the oceans have been warming faster than previously thought. It was announced, in news outlets including the BBC, the New York Times, the Washington Post and Scientific American that this meant that the Earth may warm even faster than currently estimated.
However Lewis, who has authored several peer-reviewed papers on the question of climate sensitivity and has worked with some of the world’s leading climate scientists, has found that the warming trend in the Resplandy paper differs from that calculated from the underlying data included with the paper.
“If you calculate the trend correctly, the warming rate is not worse than we thought – it’s very much in line with previous estimates,” says Lewis.
In fact, says Lewis, some of the other claims made in the paper and reported by the media, are wrong too.
“Their claims about the effect of faster ocean warming on estimates of climate sensitivity (and hence future global warming) and carbon budgets are just incorrect anyway, but that’s a moot point now we know that about their calculation error”.
And now that the errors have been uncovered, Lewis points out that it is important that the record is corrected.
“The original findings of the Resplandy paper were given blanket coverage by the media, who rarely question hyped-up findings of this kind. Let’s hope some of them are willing to correct the record”.