Doubts have been raised about the accuracy of a scientific paper published earlier this month, which claims that the Earth's oceans have soaked up more heat than previously thought.
Researchers from Princeton University and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California-San Diego carried out the study and published their results on 1st November.
It suggested that a higher-than-anticipated amount of heat energy in the oceans means the issue of global warming is at a more advanced stage than believed, and that the Earth is warming at a faster rate than predicted.
The paper estimated that the world's oceans absorbed nearly 13 zettajoules of heat each year between 1991 and 2016, which is about 60 per cent higher than the estimates mentioned in the Fifth Assessment Report prepared by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 2014.
However, while the paper was widely reported across the world, the research has raised doubts after a few hours of analysis and calculations, based only on published information, was sufficient to uncover apparently serious errors in the underlying calculations.
That's according to Nicholas Lewis, an independent climate science researcher based in the UK, on the blog Climate Etc.
"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 per cent reduction in the carbon budget for 2°C global warming," Lewis said in the post.
"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."
Lewis also calls for media outlets who covered the news and "unquestioningly trumpeted the paper's findings" now correct the record, too. Which we are doing.
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