Climate contrarian uncovers scientific error, upends major ocean warming study
Researchers with UC San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography and Princeton University have walked back scientific findings published last month that showed oceans have been heating up dramatically faster than previously thought as a result of climate change.
In a paper published Oct. 31 in the journal Nature, researchers found that ocean temperatures had warmed 60% more than outlined by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
However, the conclusion came under scrutiny after mathematician Nic Lewis, a critic of the scientific consensus around human-induced warming, posted a critique of the paper on the blog of Judith Curry, another well-known critic.
“The findings of the ... paper were peer reviewed and published in the world’s premier scientific journal and were given wide coverage in the English-speaking media,” Lewis wrote. “Despite this, a quick review of the first page of the paper was sufficient to raise doubts as to the accuracy of its results.”
Coauthor Ralph Keeling, a climate scientist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, took full blame and thanked Lewis for alerting him to the mistake.