Resplandy et al. Part 5: Final outcome

By Nic Lewis

The editors of Nature have retracted the Resplandy et al. paper.

Readers may recall that last autumn I wrote several article critiquing the Resplandy et al. (2018) ocean heat uptake study in Nature, which was based on measured changes in the O2/N2 ratio (δO2/N2) and CO2 atmospheric concentration. These were combined to produce an estimate (ΔAPOObs) of changes in atmospheric potential oxygen since 1991, from which they isolated a component (ΔAPOClimate) that can be used to estimate the change in ocean heat content. In four articles, here and here, here, and here, I set out why I thought the trend in ΔAPOClimate – and hence their ocean heat uptake estimate – was overstated, and its uncertainty greatly understated, essentially because of errors in their statistical methodology.  The bulk of my criticisms were largely accepted by the authors of the study. However, it was evident from their related Realclimate article that in their submitted correction they had also made a change in an unconnected assumption, with the effect of offsetting much of the reduction in their ocean heat uptake estimate that correcting their statistical errors would have caused.

Nearly ten months have passed since then, without Nature publishing the authors’ correction.

However, Ruth Dixon has just spotted that the Resplandy et al. paper has today been retracted, at Nature’s request. This article at Retraction Watch covers the story. The Retraction Notice by the authors at Nature reads:

Shortly after publication, arising from comments from Nicholas Lewis, we realized that our reported uncertainties were underestimated owing to our treatment of certain systematic errors as random errors. In addition, we became aware of several smaller issues in our analysis of uncertainty. Although correcting these issues did not substantially change the central estimate of ocean warming, it led to a roughly fourfold increase in uncertainties, significantly weakening implications for an upward revision of ocean warming and climate sensitivity. Because of these weaker implications, the Nature editors asked for a Retraction, which we accept. Despite the revised uncertainties, our method remains valid and provides an estimate of ocean warming that is independent of the ocean data underpinning other approaches. The revised paper, with corrected uncertainties, will be submitted to another journal. The Retraction will contain a link to the new publication, if and when it is published.

I believe that this saga, as well as showing how ineffective journal peer review tends to be in spotting problematic issues in papers, illustrates the need for a much closer involvement of statisticians in climate science research. That was a point also made in one of the articles highlighted in Judith’s latest Week in Review post: Climate science needs professional statisticians [link].

Nicholas Lewis                                                                                               25 September 2019

152 responses to “Resplandy et al. Part 5: Final outcome

  1. Congrats to Nic on his very nice analysis. I appreciate the response that Nic received from co-author Ralph Keeling, and also the editors of Nature who finally addressed this issue.

    As an interesting ‘aside’, when Nic published his critique I received my second ever email death threat (linked to the contents of Nic’s post). First threat was following Climategate. This particular moron used his own easily identifiable email address, and he also sent a threat subsequently to Marc Morano. Looks like correcting a paper that receives lots of pro CAGW media coverage can be hazardous to your health.

    • Yes, well done to all concerned including of course Nic, keeling and Nature.

      It looks as if the research will reappear elsewhere or perhaps the article has too much back story now to be accepted elsewhere?

      Tonyb

    • Re: “As an interesting ‘aside’, when Nic published his critique I received my second ever email death threat (linked to the contents of Nic’s post). First threat was following Climategate. This particular moron used his own easily identifiable email address, and he also sent a threat subsequently to Marc Morano. Looks like correcting a paper that receives lots of pro CAGW media coverage can be hazardous to your health.”

      That sucks. People don’t deserve death threats, and such insinuations shouldn’t be really used in climate science discussions. Sorry you had to deal with that. Also, you should apologize to the IPCC, and drop the “CAGW” straw man:

      “Kill the IPCC: After decades and billions spent, the climate body still fails to prove humans behind warming
      […]
      The diagnosis of paradigm paralysis seems fatal in the case of the IPCC, given the widespread nature of the infection and intrinsic motivated reasoning. We need to put down the IPCC as soon as possible – not to protect the patient who seems to be thriving in its own little cocoon, but for the sake of the rest of us whom it is trying to infect with its disease.”

      https://web.archive.org/save/https://business.financialpost.com/opinion/ipcc-climate-global-warming

      “Another claim advanced by those who reject the mainstream scientific agreement on climate is that the consensus position consists of a claim of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming or the frequently used acronym CAGW […]. However, CAGW is rarely, if ever, defined or sourced to a mainstream scientific organization or study. Any scientific study’s result, or statement by a researcher, that does not fit a contrarian’s personal, flexible definition of CAGW can therefore be adopted as ostensibly supporting their view and refuting the mainstream, even when such results are actually consistent with the mainstream position on climate […].
      […]
      Additionally, we find that *catastrophic anthropogenic global warming* [CAGW] is essentially a term that is never used in the relevant scientific literature by mainstream sources. Furthermore, in the press it appears to be used exclusively by climate contrarians. The term is typically neither defined nor attributed to a mainstream scientific source. Our conclusion is therefore that CAGW is simply a straw man used by climate contrarians to criticize the mainstream position (50).”

      https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-20161-0_3

      • You’re right, CAGW is so 2010. Now its ‘existential crisis’, ‘extinction’, etc.

      • Atomsk’s Sanakan: Also, you should apologize to the IPCC, and drop the “CAGW” straw man:

        Whyever do you persist in calling it a “straw man” when there have been so many examples of the use of the words “catastrophe” and “catastrophic” from the IPCC publications and other writings advocating the reduction of anthropogenic CO2?

      • It is AGW which has will have catastrophic consequences: climate crisis; existential threat to human existence; mass extinction ….

        Obviously anyone labelling this CAGW is just misrepresenting what alarmists are saying and has an agenda.

      • Science advances one acronym funeral at a time.

      • We are mildly moved by Atompski Sanitation’s criticism: “climate contrarians” (aka “deniers”) are not entitled to be skeptical of the “mainstream position”, or to use unapproved acronyms. Meanwhile, Trump
        rules and Paris drools.

      • nobodysknowledge

        Atomsk`s politicization of the debate is illustrating. And something is triggering this. I don`t think the “kill ippc”- headline is useful or smart. It takes the attention away from meaning and content. And CAGW is not a straw man. It is to the point to present a certain position. There is no need to have it as a scientific term, and I don`t know if it is used as such. But the “mainstream position” is a straw man.

      • nobodysknowledge

        IPPC: International Plant Protection Convention.
        Let it survive.

    • Fallout from prominent alarmist scientists turning up the heat. Write and talk extreme and you breed extremists – who would have thought?!
      Similar to effects of spreading Wahhabism the last few decades: the mass of alarmists didn’t notice? Are they ever culpable like certain mullahs?

    • Judith…”As an interesting ‘aside’, when Nic published his critique I received my second ever email death threat (linked to the contents of Nic’s post). First threat was following Climategate. This particular moron used his own easily identifiable email address, and he also sent a threat subsequently to Marc Morano. Looks like correcting a paper that receives lots of pro CAGW media coverage can be hazardous to your health”.

      ****

      Sorry to hear that you have to endure such cretins. Your revelation adds to my theory that CAGW alarmists are cultists. With regard to Climategate, I include some of the IPCC crowd, caught in Climategate, interfering with peer review, promoting tricks to hide declining temperatures, advising cronies not to cooperate with McIntyre’s FOI request to the UK government to get access to Had-crut data, etc.

      Heck, they even applauded the death of skeptic John Daly.

      • “Hide the decline ” was NOT about hiding declining temperatures. It was Briffa’s tree ring proxy with decline from 1960 when AGW was supposed to be taking off. This showed that tree rings were totally unreliable as a proxy for temperature. To avoid making this important fact public and to continue using tree-rings as one of their main metrics of what temperatures were before we started “destroying the climate” , Mann conveniently cropped off the offending part of Briffa’s proxy for no other reason than to hide this fact: trees are not thermometers, other factors affect growth.

      • Gordon, you can’t generalise from two death threats.

    • Geoff Sherrington

      Judith,
      Death threats are worse by phone. We had one repeat offender who would deduce from news items that I was in another city, then call my wife. Another left a bomb-like device on our outdoor BBQ table. Another, in the middle of the night, released our car to roll down a slope to hit a son’s bedroom. AFAIK, threats have seldom led to actual harm so we simply dismissed them as symbolic and got on with life and work. Geoff S

    • I trust you reported the threat to the FBI.

  2. Yes nick, it’s one of the most obvious issues with climate science as practiced and goes back to Mann and the failure of the field to resolve that issue with integrity. It is odd how there is reluctance to endorse lower estimates of heat uptake. An indication of bias?

    In any case thanks for your excellent work on this issue.

    • It is odd how there is reluctance to endorse lower estimates of heat uptake.

      It is odd how the theory of climate does not recognize internal cycles with heat uptake and heat dissipation. There are internal natural cycles. Climate has internal capacitance storage of heat and cold. These internal cycles are never discussed, debated, studied, understood or even tolerated.

      To actually understand climate you must understand internal response to external forcing. That has never been acknowledged or studied!

      How dumb is that?!

    • dpy…”It is odd how there is reluctance to endorse lower estimates of heat uptake. An indication of bias?”

      The mandate of the IPCC is to find evidence of anthropogenic warming. They have no interest whatsoever in finding anything that compromises that mandate.

      Furthermore, as revealed by Ricchard Lindzen and Ross McKitrick, the IPCC produces a Summary for Policymakers written by 50 politically-appointed lead authors and a main report written by 2500 reviewers. The IPCC has provisions for the authors of the Summary to amend the main report to fall in line with the Summary.

      For example, Lindzen reported that the iconic IPCC statement, “It is 90% likely humans are causing global warming”, did not come from the main report. It was an amendment produced by the 50 lead authors who wrote the Summary.

      This is true ‘political’ science.

  3. Energy is stored in oceans and that happens while cold oceans get warmer. Energy is stored in sequestered ice and that happens while warm oceans get colder. IR out in warm times comes from evaporation of warm oceans and change of water vapor to ice snowfall and sequestering of ice. In cold times the sequestered ice cools by thawing and reflecting of the extended ice shelves and glaciers and sea ice. These natural internal cycles are not studied and understood.

  4. Did you ever consider to use a linear mixed model for the trend estimation? As I have understood it, it should be the correct method to use when one are dealing with auto-correlated data, such as is inherent in studies where one measures the same variable over time, which is the case here. I guess that this will also have a great impact on the uncertainties?
    What I remember from following this thread about a year ago was this but I never asked you. It should be interesting to hear what you think about it.

  5. Nic, thanks. I always wondered how the IPCC arrive at their probability estimates, since they clearly do not play a “sigma” game. Now we can suspect a good reason: They just don’t know how to play it.

  6. Pingback: IPCC breaks its own rules | Climate Scepticism

  7. Judith, I very rarely see eye to eye with you on climate issues, but it’s very sad to hear of the personal threats you’ve received.

    I hope it doesn’t happen again and doesn’t affect you too badly. Stress or anxiety from these sorts of things can creep up on you, often without really realising.

    • The problem here is that all the fake news about “an extinction event” and worsening weather gets people anxious and fearful and encourages people who are mentally on the edge to go over the edge and turn into witch hunters. Activist climate scientists bear some responsibility for this as a few are active witch hunters themselves. Just read Judith’s recent post about the latest Nature travesty consensus enforcement paper. Did you decry that paper? Or is it all OK ads long as the narrative causes people to do the “right thing?”

      Hypocrisy and exaggeration does not help us establish a civil tone or encourage effective action.

      • dpy, thank you for your sage advice on the avoidance of intemperate language. I’m sure you’ll be reflecting this in your own future exchanges.

      • So then you think the latest nature smear paper is fine? To me it’s a perfect instantiation of how corrupt science has become.

      • dpy, I’m confused. One minute you’re complaining about intemperate language, the next you’re accusing other people of smears and corruption.

        Yet you also claim to be against hypocrisy. Curiouser and curiouser.

        Doubtless you’ll be back to explain in a “civil tone”

      • “Smear” and “hypocracy” are perfectly civil terms if used truthfully as I have done. You didn’t dispute the truth of my statements. The Nature paper is really very out of line because it misrepresents the views of its targets.

        False civility is a tool for shaping narratives without being challenged.

      • Ah, so your strictures apply only to other people. Whoda thunk.

  8. Involvement of statisticians is one of the paths toward gaining greater credibility of climate science. This should have been self evident long ago.

    • Ditto! Seems too obvious to be true. Climate science seems to be barely science at this point. Imagine economics without statisticians?

    • It’s almost as if, the Climastrologists know this & don’t use them for some, strange, unknown reason. The Cynics amongst us, would suggest it’s because their output of headline grabbing, grant harvesting, IPCC lead author, type papers, would be reduced to, well, zero?

  9. The upper ocean (2000 m) warms and cools – even since 2004.

    I hope they publish more. The methodology is interesting – even if precision sucks. We can say the same about climate sensitivity. If it is assumed that anthropogenic changes are from a static climate state – where the state is of a complex dynamical system that is intensely and abruptly varying from second to eons over the vast surface of the blue-green planet?

    • Geoff Sherrington

      RIE,
      The accuracy sucks. That is the bigger problem. They treated certain systematic errors as random errors. There should not be another paper unless they find ways to combat the inaccuracy. Conventionally, that is done by structured parallel experiments, an option they might find impossible here.
      Sincere thanks again to Nice Lewis.
      How neat it would be if the current crop of climate workers learned from him about objectivity and contributed to better statistics and better science. Geoff S

      Geoff S

    • Robert, IMO you should once again rethink some arguments of you. In the 2nd part of Nic’s posts you made this comment: https://judithcurry.com/2018/11/07/resplandy-et-al-part-2-regression-in-the-presence-of-trend-and-scale-systematic-errors/#comment-883222 defending the outcome of Resplandy et al (2018). You started with: “There is an inconvenient question for Nic and other skeptics..”
      IMO it’s shown that the position of a “skeptic” is very helpful in science. If you confine you from the “skeptics” you also confine you from the progress of science? In the end your defence of this retracted study was a mistake as we know it after all. Please stop repeating those mistakes time after time with very similiar arguments. I can’t say it more politely. :-)

  10. In the article, Nature’s retraction statement should have been indented or enclosed in quotation marks. It’s not clear now where it ends.

  11. We may be on the way to an extinction crisis.

    Some of the 1000’s of species counted are endangered. Extinction happens when populations dip below a critical threshold.

    • We may be on the way to an extinction crisis

      Absolutely, but it has nothing to do with climate. And people are no longer fighting to save the environment, they are fighting to change climate, and some of the measures are very damaging to the environment, like wind turbines. So we have a real problem but we chose to focus on an imaginary one. That ought to help.

      • I have been saying that for 30 years. But good part of a holistic response to emissions of greenhouse gases and damaging aerosols – is to tip the balance in the carbon bank back to soil and ecosystem carbon stores and away from atmospheric. Food security – biodiversity – development. Only if there is cheap and abundant energy.

      • The first step to put the carbon into plants and soils is to put it in the atmosphere.

      • The problem is loss of carbon from terrestrial systems. Instead of a source of carbon – agriculture and forest sectors sinking carbon into land. Dryland and wetland. Holding more carbon in land systems is an unmitigated good for many reasons – means less stored in the atmosphere.

    • SFAIK, species population decline and extinction has little to do with climate change. It is more a matter of human incursion on habitat, hunting/fishing, (non greenhouse gas) pollution etc., which is linked to human population growth and economic development.

      • The two are related and cannot be easily untnagled.

        1. You have a landscape that is much more fragmented due to human
        development. ( the package is fragstats in R for looking at patches,
        and corridors for animal movement)
        2. This restricts animals ability to change their location when the climate changes. regardless of the cause of the climate change.

        I dont know how you even begin to argue that is due “much more” to one rather than the other.

      • Steve: IMO your aspect is possible, however it’s a minor part of the whole story. The most endangered species are insects, not due to warming but due to other reasons, mentioned by Nic.
        Presently there is some kind of overselling of CC in all the media. One of this is the attribution of extinction to CC as the main reason. This is not true.

      • Mosher
        Both your points 1 & 2 have to do with humans limiting animals freedom of movement as a result of humanities growth. Animals seek to move as conditions change an become less favorable. A bunch of humans in a location generally makes said location less favorable.

      • The two are related …
        2. This restricts animals ability to change their location when the climate changes. regardless of the cause of the climate change.

        Where is the evidence for that?
        When the world gets warmer biodiversity increases, precipitation increases, deserts reduce and the great majority of species do much better as the increased flux of energy through the ecosystems allows more individuals and more species. It is hard winters and cold conditions that kill most animals, exactly the same as they kill more humans.

        The natural law that biodiversity increases as latitude decreases was discovered in the 19th century. But climatologues are so ignorant. Even during an interglacial the planet is too cold to have as much life as it had before the late Cenozoic Ice Age started. Global warming and the increase in CO2 are our best allies to recover what is left of wilderness.

      • Mosh’s 1 and 2 are both about human encroachment, so he apparently agrees with Nic, while doing his best to disagree.

      • Herbivory increases diversification across insect 🐜 clades:

        https://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms9370

        Now we know that CO2 increase has caused the leaf surface area on earth to increase by 5-10% in the last 30 years. That must be good for insects and propel further diversification. N’est pas?

      • “Mosh’s 1 and 2 are both about human encroachment, so he apparently agrees with Nic, while doing his best to disagree.”

        err no.

        When the landscape is fragmented and migration corridors are impacted, by development, then when a change in climate comes the ability to adapt by migration is impacted.

        If you think you you can untangle the two causes your are welcome to try
        but you cant

    • How reliable are data for that graph, and where are they? Is it just a coincidence that it resembles famous IPCC spaghetti graphs?

    • As far as I can tell the data has reputable sources, And even the WWF is not saying it is all climate change. But even 7% CC contemporaneously sounds much too high for me.

    • No, I really don’t think so. Life is threatened by cold not warmth. In the depths of the last glaciation, the area of tropical forest on earth was 10% of today’s. Larger areas of earth were desertified. Precipitation was less. Paleo-climatologists call warm periods “climate optima”. Because the fossil record shows warmth is better for life.

      It is 3°C COLDER Today Than Nearly All Of The Last 9000 Years

      2 New Studies Show Species, Biodiversity Harmed More By Cooling Than Warming

  12. This issue of statistician involvement continues to really puzzle me as it simply doesn’t make sense in any honest evaluation. In medicine it is routine to involve a professional statistician in study design and subsequently in analysis of results. Papers and studies that don’t do this lose credibility. The worst possible outcome for a climate scientists might be that his results would be more robust and accurate. So then why not do it? The possible answers are not comforting.

    Funding agencies could insist on this when they fund climate scientists. Government agencies like NOAA could do the same. It’s not that hard or complicated.

    • Here is what I think the issue is. Climate scientists may have taken one course in data analysis, and then use canned software (e.g. Matlab, SAS). So they think they can do statistics. When the whole field thinks this way, then everyone gets away with sloppy statistics. Until outsiders (e.g. McIntyre, Lewis) do an audit.

      • “So they think they can do statistics.”

        I beg to differ. From my perspective, climate scientists who espouse the consensus and don’t usually engage statisticians are politically active to enforce a catastrophic view of an impending climate crisis, are fearful of: the large uncertainty regarding their projections; the imprecision of their data and its assembly; methodologies unsuited to the questions they ask. Statisticians tend to call out methodological errors that invalidate stated conclusions. Two years and one million dollars all up in smoke.

        There is another issue involved in engaging statisticians in this whole climate science process, namely, any result questioning the orthodoxy, that disputes the confidence in the narrative that statisticians might reveal, then a public would question the climate catastrophe narrative and the political agendas that are attached to such an impending climate catastrophe. Also, there are too many catastrophe stake holders currently engaged in the dialogue to allow for any questioning of the primary narrative; humans are all going to he## in a hand basket and it is all their fault. Anti-Capitalism. Anti-Democray; Anti-Free Speech etc have become the prime narrative, in which revelations about serious questions about the “consensus” and in particular dyer future events would be catastrophic for climate scientists and the political and media types who promote the catastrophe narrative. The analogy: Crying wolf. Repetitive soundings of alarm that soon are disregarded by the public at large.

        The operative word is: FEAR. Another Easop fable (a fiction that points to the truth) the emperor (climate scientist), in a parade with no clothes.

      • Alas, I am in moderation, yet again likely for my profane comment.

      • So many different issues.
        Emotionally compromised objectivity,
        Lack of understanding of physical principle like equilibrium thermodynamic laws, Henry’s law, ect.
        Lack of understanding of the scientific discipline resulting in failure to employ the scientific method and and adhere to Mertonian norms.
        All resulting in confirmation bias, group think, siege mentality and and a “cause justifies the means” willingness to push the boundaries.

      • One of my favorite blogs is
        https://statmodeling.stat.columbia.edu/

        It often discusses problems in research papers that appear to stem from researchers (or RAs) who “may have taken one course in data analysis and then used canned software.” See, for example, this post
        https://statmodeling.stat.columbia.edu/2019/09/07/a-world-of-wansinks-in-medical-research-so-i-guess-what-im-trying-to-get-at-is-i-wonder-how-common-it-is-for-clinicians-to-rely-on-med-students-to-do-their-data-analysis-for-them-and-how-often/

        One consequence of reading the above blog is that I have become far less trusting of any report of a new scientific finding outside of physics, chemistry, and electrical engineering. The flaws in climate science that are discussed here have many counterparts in other areas of modern science.

        Bob

      • Wrong citation name:
        “Emperor has no clothes” is from Hans Christian Anderson “The Little Mermaid” 1837.

      • Systematic v. random error? Big deal. I was thinking more numerical modelling – but it’s all canned software contemporaneously. You might need a supercomputer to run it on.

      • then use canned software (e.g. Matlab, SAS). So they think they can do statistics.

        That is certainly a lot of the problem. They seem to think the because there is “fit trend” on the menu in Excel it must be applicable to any data and the answer is always the “right” answer because a computer did it.

        The obsession with OLS “trends” on everything avoids having to match variations in both directions to establish a meaningful correlation and allows a false argument of causation. Everything has either +ve or -ve “trend”, therefore everything correlates to CO2. QED.

      • Gordon Robertson

        bob…”One consequence of reading the above blog is that I have become far less trusting of any report of a new scientific finding outside of physics, chemistry, and electrical engineering. The flaws in climate science that are discussed here have many counterparts in other areas of modern science”.

        Sadly, you can’t even count on those sources.

        My background is in electrical engineering and in EE courses they are still teaching that electrical current flows from positive to negative. Obviously they are not talking about the negative charges carried by electrons but some other mysterious particle that some have claimed to have measured as having mass.

        With regard to heat, in some mechanical engineering textbooks, they are teaching that heat can be transferred in both directions via radiation between bodies of different temperatures. It is never explained how that contravention of the 2nd law can occur and the examples do not include real world applications. In other parts of said texts, when radiative transfer is included with conductive and convective transfer, the heat transfer is always from the hotter body to the cooler body.

        With regard to physics, James Hansen, former head of NASA GISS, has preached a positive feedback type of tipping point otherwise known as the runaway greenhouse effect. He bases that on the atmosphere of Venus which has never been proved to have occurred from such a cause. Astronomer Andrew Ingersoll claimed in an abstract that if the surface of Venus is the 450C+ measured by probes is correct, it would be a contravention of the 2nd law to have that heat come from solar energy or the atmosphere.

        In chemistry, Eli Rabbett, the nym allegedly used by Richard Halpern, a physicist who teaches chemistry, has made controversial claims about the 2nd law. In his rebuttal to a paper by Gerlich and Tscheuschner, two experts in thermodynamics, which claims to disprove the GHE and AGW. Halpern et al pounced on a statement by G&T that the 2nd law prevents heat being transferred both ways between bodies of different temperatures.

        Halpern at al replied that if that was the case, one of the bodies would not be radiating. This notion is supported in a way by physicist Stefan Rahmstorf, who claims that a two-way heat transfer via radiation does not contradict the 2nd law if there exists a positive net balance of energy between the bodies.

        I fear that pseudo-science is alive and well in EE, mech, eng., physics and chemistry. There is no reason to think that statistical methods employed by the same are not equally faulty.

        In fact, the house physicist at realclimate, Pierrehumbert, is a physicist who surely learned his physics in a different universe.

        The message is clear: don’t trust any source unless you can verify it independently. A lot easier said than done.

    • Hi david.

      I can tell you that even when statisticians from outside
      climate science work on a climate problem what happens.
      They too get slimed.

      • Well Steve, it works all ways in a controversial field I guess. Medicine is pretty controversial too but they have had the courage to at least try to change and it is working. Most climate scientists have not even tried so far as I can tell. There are exceptions like the authors of Otto et al who included Nic. Mann and his ilk are unrepentant. That’s why I think funding agencies should step in.

  13. The need is not only for climatologists to take courses in statistics but also in the required use of the “Scientific Method” that in this discipline is sorely absent.

  14. From Retraction Watch:
    “What about the 10-month lag? Lisa Boucher, the press manager for Nature Research, told us:

    In general, when concerns are raised about papers we have published, whether by the original authors or by other researchers and readers, we look into them carefully, following an established process, consulting the authors and, where appropriate, seeking advice from peer reviewers and other external experts. These issues are often complex and as a result, it can take time for editors and authors to fully unravel them.”

    When is Nature going to be more careful publishing elements of the Climate Change deluge?

  15. Good work– going back to 2006 and earlier, the criticisms of statisticians Wegman, McIntyre and McKitrick also were valid and compelling but the ‘hockey stick’ was not withdrawn so, It is tempting to hope that academia is becoming more skeptical.

    ________________________________________

    • I always hated statistics. Statisticians too come to think of it. It changes scarcely a butterfly’s flutter of Earth system science. The oceans are warming – cloud is dissipating – the wildlife is disappearing. Fast surprises seem ubiquitous.

    • Wagathon

      Keeling has got a proud heritage and seems capable of accepting criticism.

      Dr Mann was a newly minted phd when his hockey stick achieved its global fame. I don’t think he was ever a humble man or had the same heritage as keeling and was reluctant to accept flaws in his work that would have made it better

      Tonyb

      • What we see in the latter part of his life is that Keeling’s response become very nuanced – essentially, Trenberthian –e.g., “Oh well, we at least did our saintly job of trying to save the world by raising this abstract issue now known as AGW Theory, about humanity heating up the globe with their release of CO2 — the so called ‘greenhouse effect’– and, now its up to those who don’t share our concerns (and who would put the future of the Earth at risk by continuing to live as I sure as hell will continue to live) to prove our beliefs are wrong.”

      • Gordon Robertson

        tonyb…”…Mann was a newly minted phd when his hockey stick achieved its global fame”.

        A PhD in geology.

      • His PhD is in Geology and Geophysics.

  16. Thank you Nic Lewis for your work. And congratulations on a success in this difficult arena.

  17. ashleys9@bigpond.com

    Please note my change of address

    Old e-mail address ashleys9@bigppond.com

    New e-mail address ashleysaies320@gmail.com

    Thank you and kind regards

    Ashley Saies

  18. Pingback: Resplandy et al. Section five: Ultimate consequence – Daily News

  19. Pingback: Major Climate Paper Withdrawn By Nature - The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF)

    • The IPCC oceans report does indeed cite this Resplandy et al 2018, Nature, paper, on page 5-27 (section 5.2.2.3.1). However, it apears to do so in error. The citation is: “Once new estimates of the outgassing flux stemming from river derived carbon of 0.8 Pg C yr-1 (Resplandy et al., 2018) are accounted for”. But this Resplandy et al paper contains no estimates of the outgassing carbon flux. So this is an error in the IPCC oceans report, but not one that relates to the ocean heat uptake estimate in Resplandy et al 2018, Nature.

  20. Speaking of climate sensitivity, ocean heat uptake and circulation…have there been any studies been done or consideration given on the hundreds of underwater and atmospheric nuclear tests/explosions carried out over the years? It seems like a lot of energy added to ‘the system’.

  21. Rob Johnson-taylor

    I sometimes wonder if the IPCC uses the software from those wags at MIT that produced peer reviewed papers that were bogus and gobbledygook.

  22. Someone from RealClimate overstating the case for catastrophic climate change? Impossible. That has never happened before.

  23. Great job! What?? Actually bring reason to the issues! How dare you. Thanks for being there for the rest of us whom don’t have the time!!

  24. Congratulations Nic on a job very well done! I admire your intellect and ability to detect the errors in the original paper. We need more scientists like you!

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  26. Geoff Sherrington

    While agreeing with the suggestion for more expert statistician input to climate reasearch, the problem is probably wider.
    I no longer own an analytical chemistry laboratory, so I am not up to date with the latest whiz-bang techniques. However, at the times I was current, I would have had terminal reservations about the oxygen analysis mentioned in the paper. So, I can but pose the speculation that modern authors might benefit from closer work with people from other specialities as well as statistics. Geoff S

    • Geoff S…”So, I can but pose the speculation that modern authors might benefit from closer work with people from other specialities as well as statistics”.

      An expert in radiation from gases, R. W. Wood, who was also an avid experimenter, took one look at the greenhouse theory and opined that radiation could not cause the warming claimed. Wood was no lightweight, his expertise on gases was sought by the likes of Neils Bohr.

      https://ilovemycarbondioxide.com/pdf/Note_on_the_Theory_of_the_Greenhouse.pdf

      • he didnt even document his “experiment” adequately.
        rotten wood

      • “The solar rays penetrate the atmosphere, warm the ground which in turn warms the atmosphere by contact and by convection currents. The heat received is thus stored up in the atmosphere, remaining there on account of the very low radiating power of a gas. It seems to me very doubtful if the atmosphere is warmed to any great extent by absorbing the radiation from the ground, even under the most favourable conditions.”

        Exactly! Very well described. A greenhouse is the experiment.

      • Only ~5% of the incoming solar radiation is transferred from the surface to the atmosphere by thermal infrared radiation (it is much less for the clear sky budget). Evaporation and convection transfer ~30%.

      • I do not pretend to have gone very deeply into the matter, and publish this note merely to draw attention to the fact that trapped radiation appears to play but a very small part in the actual cases with which we are familiar. – RW Wood

      • JCH, he is “drawing attention to the fact that trapped radiation appears to play but a very small part in the actual cases with which we are familiar.” Even without going deeply into the matter, his understanding is better than the consensus one. The consensus is blinded by the paradigm. I am also drawing attention to this. The (multi-modal) heat transfer through the atmosphere is not understood/solved properly. We need better understanding and experiments.

      • Maybe by 2026 we will have more accurate measurements.

        European space mission aims to fill missing piece of climate jigsaw
        https://www.euronews.com/2019/09/27/forum-a-european-satellite-mission-to-understand-the-blind-spots-of-climate-science
        “Approximately half of Earth’s emission to space occurs within the far-infrared region of the spectrum. It will improve our understanding of the climate system by enabling quantification of the far-infrared contribution to the Earth radiation budget (particularly focusing on the impact of water vapor contribution, cirrus cloud properties, and ice/snow surface emissivity).

        “FORUM will measure the Earth’s top-of-atmosphere emission spectrum using a single satellite carrying two optical instruments: the FORUM Sounding Instrument, and the FORUM Embedded Imager. Its instruments will measure spectrally resolved radiance.

        “Presently, observations only cover the mid-infrared region, and there are currently no measurements in the far-infrared. The satellite is planned to fly in a loose formation with MetOp-SG (A1) satellite, to exploit synergy with the observations from the next generation of the Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer (IASI) instrument onboard of this meteorological satellite.

        “The temperature of the Earth’s surface is determined by the balance of radiation in the upper atmosphere, but this balance has been disturbed by the emission of greenhouse gases trapping heat that would otherwise escape into space in the atmosphere.

      • “greenhouse gases trapping heat that would otherwise escape into space in the atmosphere.”

        This is exactly what I mean. The bulk of the atmosphere (N2, O2) is ‘trapping heat’ too (by heat convection) that would otherwise escape into space. This should be obvious.

      • No, it’s not.

      • edimbukvarevic,
        What sensors or direct observational instruments are available to test your hypothesis about (N2 and O2) and heat convection?
        Are you following the Aeolus doppler wind lidar satellite?
        https://earth.esa.int/web/guest/missions/esa-operational-eo-missions/aeolus

      • Jacksmith,
        I am not sure what you mean – it’s not my hypothesis and it’s not even controversial.
        https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/features/EnergyBalance
        “Where does the atmosphere get its energy? The atmosphere directly absorbs about 23% of incoming sunlight, and the remaining energy is transferred from the Earth’s surface by evaporation (25%), convection (5%), and thermal infrared radiation (a net of 5-6%). The remaining thermal infrared energy from the surface (12%) passes through the atmosphere and escapes to space.”

      • Gordon Robertson

        steve…”he didnt even document his “experiment” adequately.
        rotten wood”

        Why would he, it was done in 1909 when no one took anthropogenic warming seriously? Did Arrhenius document his experiment? Or did he even offer an experiment?

        As I said, R. W. Wood was no lightweight. He was consulted by Neils Bohr, who, at the time, was working on the relationship between gases and their radiated energy. That ultimately lead to quantum theory.

      • Gordon Robertson

        jack…”What sensors or direct observational instruments are available to test your hypothesis about (N2 and O2) and heat convection?”

        All the surface stations measure it. The thermometers in a surface station are measuring heat in the atmosphere due to N2/O2 and that heat came mainly from conduction from the surface and spread by convection.

      • André van Delft

        The Wikipedia pages on Arrhenius and the Greenhouse effect do not mention any experiment by Arrhenius; apparently he only did calculations on the CO2 driven greenhouse effect.

        Neither do I see a reference to an experiment that would conclusively show the Greenhouse effect in a system that for this purpose could represent the earth, i.e. with a surface and an air layer, and proper temperature and radiation measurements.

        Al Gore’s Climate 101 video experiment showed “science guy” Bill Nye pretending to do such an experiment, but Anthony Watts disproved it.

        If any proper experiments have been conducted, then they possibly remained unpublished because the results would not have supported the AWG narrative.

        Or am I missing something?

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Svante_Arrhenius
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenhouse_effect
        https://wattsupwiththat.com/gore-and-bill-nye-fail-at-doing-a-simple-co2-experiment/

  27. thanks for your unpaid hard work Nic, much appreciated.

    reminds off your times with SM,Roman etc

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  29. “Just the facts …” From the GWPF:

    London, 27 September: The UK’s key climate indicators have barely changed for 20 years. That’s according to a new paper from the Global Warming Policy Foundation, which rebuts claims that the weather is getting worse. According to author Paul Homewood, the Met Office’s Central England Temperature Record shows that temperatures have barely changed in 20 years and that there has been no increase in extremely hot days either:

    “The summer of 2018 had just one day over 30 degrees, while 1976 had six. The Met Office’s data show that hot days are just not becoming more common.”

    And there seems to be little to worry about on bad weather front either. There has been a gentle decline in storminess, and in most of the UK, there has been no change in either average rainfall or rainfall extremes:

    “Only in Scotland has there been a noticeable increase”, says Homewood. “Climate hysteria is entirely overdone.”

    Paul Homewood: Plus Ça Change: The UK Climate in 2018 (pdf)
    Contact Paul Homewood phomewooduk1951@outlook.com

    – I remember the long dry summer of 1976, months of clear skies. The usually staid relevant government department advised people to “Bath with a friend” to save water.

    • Faustinio

      I report the CET every year, either here or on WUWT. Ironically no one born this century and living here will have known a warming trend (not that you would know that from the hysteria) .

      The trend is marginally downwards this century, but statistically more accurate to say it is static.(so not a 30 year climate period) It is interesting though how over the long record that seasons often change their character.

      This change from warm to cold and back again can be seen throughout the record.

      There are several instances where three seasons can warm (or cool) but they are outweighed in their impact by the other season doing the opposite

      The met office are supposed to be adjusting the uhi factor for CET -last calculated from 1974- but it seems to have taken a long time to do the calculations.

      tonyb

      • Faustino

        Oops sorry I seem to have changed your name, but you might like to keep it as it sounds rather good

      • Gordon Robertson

        tonyb…”The met office are supposed to be adjusting the uhi factor for CET -last calculated from 1974- but it seems to have taken a long time to do the calculations”.

        It will take them a while to recover from the mess inherited from Phil Jones. Provided that is the aim.

      • Tony, just seeing if this sneaks through as I’ve had several posts blocked – apparently sent to Spam – mainly on the Castles-Henderson critique which demolished the IPCC’s national income modelling.

    • Faustino…”“Only in Scotland has there been a noticeable increase”, says Homewood. “Climate hysteria is entirely overdone.””

      That would be an increase in hot air from the Scottish independent movement or from followers of the national Scottish soccer team fuming over the the loss of soccer skill in a wee country that once excelled in soccer skills.

      I’m allowed to say that, I’m Scottish. ☺

      • Gordon

        That would be the parliament that so overshot budget that it must have had sollid gold roof tiles? Served by a tram system obviously running on sold gold tracks?

        It would be very interesting, before labour stitches up an indyref2 with Sturgeon, if the English could have their own referendum on our independence from Scotland?

        I would vote remain, but I suspect the antics of the SNP have alienated many of the inhabitants of the largest part of the UK- the most successful political, monetary, single market and customs union in the world.

        tonyb

      • Gordon Robertson

        tonyb…”It would be very interesting, before labour stitches up an indyref2 with Sturgeon, if the English could have their own referendum on our independence from Scotland?”

        Good point.

        The Romans tried something similar, building Hadrian’s Wall to keep out the Picts, my ancestors. Had they left it at that, they might have been fine, however, they insisted on sending legions north of the Wall only to never hear of them again.

        When I was training in England with a pro soccer team, away back, we had a five aside match following practice. Some of the guys stayed behind to kick the ball some more. We named one team England and the other team was called Rest of the World. Me, being Scottish, but from Canada, had to play on the latter but so was a Cockney.

        It appears some Englishmen are not regarded as Englishmen and some have similarities to Scotsmen.

  30. From November last year. The science is the APO method.

    “I, with the other co-authors of Resplandy et al (2018), want to address two problems that came to our attention since publication of our paper in Nature last week. These problems do not invalidate the methodology or the new insights into ocean biogeochemistry on which it is based, but they do influence the mean rate of warming we infer, and more importantly, the uncertainties of that calculation…

    The revised uncertainties preclude drawing any strong conclusions with respect to climate sensitivity or carbon budgets based on the APO method alone, but they still lend support for the implications of the recent upwards revisions in OHC relative to IPCC AR5 based on hydrographic and Argo measurements.”

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2018/11/resplandy-et-al-correction-and-response/

  31. OHC in recent years – as always happens – is less low level marine strato-cumulus over a warm Pacific surface.

    https://www.mdpi.com/2225-1154/6/3/62

  32. OT.
    Can someone explain to me why declining humidity in the upper troposphere doesn’t immediately falsify the enhanced ghg theory. You cannot have water vapor positve feedback if upper tropospheric H20 is declining. https://www.google.com/search?q=climate4you+water+vapour&oq=climate4you+water+va&aqs=chrome.1.69i57j33l2.12477j0j4&client=ms-android-optus-au&sourceid=chrome-mobile&ie=UTF-8#imgrc=kq2OpXFfppLKxM:

  33. I tried to post on a related topic hours ago; Judith later said my comments had gone to spam, but had since been released. No sign of the one about the Castles-Henderson critique, which blew apart the IPCC’s modelling of future GDP per country with various scenarios. Here’s a relevant document, the drift of which is known in the trade as the Castles-Henderson technique. I’ll repost the earlier, missing, post, which has some background.

    The IPCC Emission Scenarios: An Economic-Statistical Critique:
    Ian Castles, David Henderson Published 2003
    DOI:10.1260/095830503765184583
    This set of papers chiefly presents a critique of the IPCC’s Special Report on Emissions Scenarios (SRES), which claims to provide the basis for future assessments of climate change and possible response strategies. The 40 scenarios are technically unsound in that, contrary to accepted international practice, they convert national GDP data to a common measure using market exchange rates. Because of this procedure and built-in assumptions about the extent to which the gap between rich and poor countries will be closed, the scenarios yield projections of GDP for developing regions which are improbably high: this includes the scenarios which give the lowest figures for projected cumulative emissions in the course of the century. Hence the SRES projections do not, as is claimed for them, encompass the full range of uncertainties about the future. Because of these and some other defects that we have noted, the SRES should not be taken as the accepted basis for the IPPC’s coming Fourth Assessment Review. More broadly, the IPCC should try to ensure a more balanced, informed and professional treatment of the economic and statistical aspects of its work. In particular, there should be a greater involvement of economic ministries and statistical agencies.

  34. Off topic but you need to look at CanadaData.ca they are replacing 100 years of temperature data (1850-1950) with model data wtf

  35. The APO method uses preserved air samples in tanks – systematic error include diffusion rates of gases through tank walls. That SCRIPPS keep. I presume they are still preserving air samples.

    I would put decadal water vapor variability down to decadal factors. More to the point is wtf happens now as the equatorial warm band moves south.


    https://www.climate4you.com/GreenhouseGasses.htm

    And it is largely not about government or philanthropy – but economic growth in free markets, In the classic liberal form.

    https://www.heritage.org/index/

    And in objectives and priorities.

    https://www.copenhagenconsensus.com/

    And they should stay out of climate and environments leave it to stakeholders.

  36. This was a big effort by Nic – not 1 but 4 posted articles, exposing the error. It’s good to see that Nature took it seriously – with the retraction.

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  40. Thanks Nicholas. “Nearly ten months have passed since then, without Nature publishing the authors’ correction”. That says a lot!

  41. Well done Nick. So now we just need Nature Communications to retract the Petersen et al. 2019 article with the list of climate contrarians and climate skeptics will be the biggest cause of climate papers retractions. I hope they do take notice.

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  43. A rare outbreak of integrity in the climate science fraternity ?
    Or just too egregious even for them ?

  44. “Because of these weaker implications, the Nature editors asked for a Retraction, which we accept. Despite the revised uncertainties, our method remains valid and provides an estimate of ocean warming that is independent of the ocean data underpinning other approaches. The revised paper, with corrected uncertainties, will be submitted to another journal. ”

    Is Repsplandy stating that the paper is still has the correct answer (the correct “the Team” answer)

    Is this another “Gergis trended/detrended no foul error”?

  45. Reblogged this on Quaerere Propter Vērum.

  46. Thiagarajan Jayaraman

    Dear Dr. Curry, Dr. Lewis, Have you noticed that the retracted Resplandy et al paper from Nature is cited in the IPCC’s latest SROCC report. One of the headline statements in the SPM on ocean heat uptake appears to refer to the paper, but I have to check that out fully.

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