Bad math ruins global warming alarmists’ latest claim

Elizabeth Harrington of the Washington Free Beacon explains how a mathematical error factors into the recent debate over global warming.

A highly circulated study claiming oceans are warming at a much higher rate due to global warming contains “key errors,” forcing researchers to issue a correction.

The study published by the journal Nature on Oct. 31 by researchers at Princeton University and UC San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography claimed the oceans were warming at a rate 60 percent higher than previously thought.

However, a mathematical error discovered by independent climate scientist Nic Lewis after he perused the study’s first page has led the journal to retract its key finding. The study has a much larger margin of error, making their findings of a 60 percent increase in ocean warming less precise, and actually between 10 percent and 70 percent.

The lead researcher now says its findings are practically meaningless, with a margin of error “too big now to really weigh in” on ocean temperatures.

When first published, the study led to “alarming” warnings in mainstream media outlets, claiming the “world has seriously underestimated the amount of heat soaked up by our oceans over the past 25 years.”

CNN initially reported the planet is “‘more sensitive’ than thought” based on the study and would lead to “more dire” predictions than the U.N.’s latest, which gave Earth only 12 more years.

CNN has since reported “errors were made” but is still defending the study claiming its scientific errors “do not invalidate the study’s methodology.”

The Washington Post is now reporting the scientists made “key errors.”

“A major study claimed the oceans were warming much faster than previously thought,” the paper reported. “But researchers now say they can’t necessarily make that claim.”

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...

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