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Resplandy et al. correction and response

Filed under: — group @ 14 November 2018

Guest commentary from Ralph Keeling (UCSD)

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.

We would like to thank Nicholas Lewis for first bringing an apparent anomaly in the trend calculation to our attention. We quickly realized that our calculations incorrectly treated systematic errors in the O2 measurements as if they were random errors in the error propagation. This led to under-reporting of the overall uncertainty and also caused the ocean heat uptake to be shifted high through the application of a weighted least squares fit. In addition, we realized that the uncertainties in the assumption of a constant land O2:C exchange ratio of 1.1 in the calculation of the “atmospheric potential oxygen” (APO) trend had not been propagated through to the final trend.

As the researcher in charge of the O2 measurements, I accept responsibility for these oversights, because it was my role to ensure that details of the measurements were correctly understood and taken up by coauthors.

We have now reworked our calculations and have submitted a correction to the journal.

Details

In our definition ΔAPO, we used a default value of 1.1 for O2:C oxidative ratio (OR) of land carbon. However, a lower ratio is probably more appropriate. Specifically, Randerson et al. (2006) argued for a ratio of around 1.05, based on the composition of stems and wood, given that woody biomass dominates long­term carbon sources and sinks on land. Other recent studies have suggested similar ratios e.g. Clay and Worrall (2015). Our previous calculations did, in fact, allow for a range from 1.05 ± 0.05, consistent with above estimates and typical uncertainty ranges. However, we applied this range only for the ΔAPOClimate­ to­ ΔOHC ratio but neglected the impact on the APO budget itself, which used a fixed ratio of 1.1. If the actual OR were lower than 1.1, the observed APO decrease (ΔAPOOBS) would include a contribution from the global land carbon sink, because the ΔO2 term then imperfectly cancels the 1.1 ΔCO2 term.

In the updated calculations we now also allow apply the OR range (1.05 ± 0.05) to the APO calculation which by itself increases the APOClimate trend by 0.15 ± 0.15 per meg/y­r relative to an estimate using 1.1.

Bottom Line

We recomputed the ΔAPOClimate trend and its uncertainty based on the distribution of the unweighted least square fits to each of the 106 ensemble realizations of ΔAPOClimate generated by combining all sources of uncertainty, with correlated errors now treated as systematic contributions to the trend. The resulting trend in ΔAPOClimate is 1.05 ± 0.62 per meg/y­r (previously 1.16 ± 0.18 per meg/yr) which yields a ΔOHC trend of 1.21 ± 0.72 x 1022 J/yr (previously 1.33 ± 0.20 x 1022 J/yr), as summarized in the updated Figure 1:



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.

References

  1. L. Resplandy, R.F. Keeling, Y. Eddebbar, M.K. Brooks, R. Wang, L. Bopp, M.C. Long, J.P. Dunne, W. Koeve, and A. Oschlies, "Quantification of ocean heat uptake from changes in atmospheric O2 and CO2 composition", Nature, vol. 563, pp. 105-108, 2018. http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41586-018-0651-8
  2. J.T. RANDERSON, C.A. MASIELLO, C.J. STILL, T. RAHN, H. POORTER, and C.B. FIELD, "Is carbon within the global terrestrial biosphere becoming more oxidized? Implications for trends in atmospheric O2", Global Change Biology, vol. 12, pp. 260-271, 2006. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2486.2006.01099.x
  3. G.D. Clay, and F. Worrall, "Oxidative ratio (OR) of Southern African soils and vegetation: Updating the global OR estimate", CATENA, vol. 126, pp. 126-133, 2015. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.catena.2014.10.029

48 Responses to “Resplandy et al. correction and response”

  1. 1
  2. 2

    I would have hoped that the authors had learned their lesson and released the code with the data.

    It does not make immediate sense that, if you change the correlation structure of the errors, the central estimate changes too, from 1.33 to 1.21, not if N=1,000,000.

  3. 3
    David L. Hagen says:

    The referenced comments Nic Lewis are posted at Climate Etc:

    A major problem with the Resplandy et al. ocean heat uptake paper
    Posted on November 6, 2018 by niclewis | 233 Comments
    by Nic Lewis
    https://judithcurry.com/2018/11/06/a-major-problem-with-the-resplandy-et-al-ocean-heat-uptake-paper/

    Resplandy et al. Part 2: Regression in the presence of trend and scale systematic errors
    Posted on November 7, 2018 by niclewis | 125 Comments
    by Nic Lewis
    https://judithcurry.com/2018/11/07/resplandy-et-al-part-2-regression-in-the-presence-of-trend-and-scale-systematic-errors/
    PS Note that Lewis identifies multiple errors.

  4. 4
    Russell Seitz says:

    We owe the authors thanls for both exemplary candor and their prompt corrigendum.

    Their result remains an important one

  5. 5
    Prasad Kasibhatla says:

    Thanks for clarifying, Ralph. I am still confused by the remaining discrepancy between the best-estimate of the corrected trend you now report for ΔAPOClimate (i.e. 1.05 per meg/yr) vs the Lewis best estimate of this same quantity (i.e. 0.88 per meg/yr). What is the reason for this?

    [Response: Ralph can jump in if he wants, but the two differences are clearly outlined – first the change in the treatment of the OR adds 0.15 per meg/yr to the mean. Second the way they are estimating the trend is from the average trend from the ensemble (as opposed to the trend of the ensemble average). – gavin ]

  6. 6
    Bill Tigner says:

    By my calculation, 1.21 J/yr will increase the temperature of the oceans by .002 C/yr. That’s a 2 C increase per millennia. I’m underwhelmed.

    [Response: First off, it’s not evenly distributed. Most of it is in the uppermost ocean where you are already seeing temperature changes of more than 0.5°C over this period. Secondly, the main importance of OHC trends are that they give us insight into the current radiative imbalance and so inform us about climate sensitivity and forcings (and therefore the future change on land. – gavin ]

  7. 7
    rhymeswithgoalie says:

    “We would like to thank Nicholas Lewis for first bringing an apparent anomaly in the trend calculation to our attention.”

    God, I love real scientists.

  8. 8

    Nic Lewis has yet to respond to my criticism of his online comment to the paper where he states unequivocally “that all of the paper’s findings are wrong.

    Lewis neglects to consider that this paper is describing an independent and perhaps novel means of estimating ocean heat uptake, and which largely substantiates previous estimates. It’s the case that being less aggressive with the uncertainty propagation brings the estimates inline with published results, which is the only aspect that can be considered “wrong”.

    It seems only fair that Lewis needs to retract his assertion, since it’s important to bring independent and novel analyses to the forefront, and so to speak, not throw out the baby with the bathwater.

    Much worse errors are being committed by Lewis’ colleagues. See for example, the WUWT post on the California wildfires by Willis Eschenbach a few days ago, who plotted the historical warming trend of California as being 10x less than that has been reported and peer-reviewed! We reported this egregious error and the post was modified, but by that time, the damage was done as the blog readers interested in reading about the California wildfires had moved on to another post, unaware of his mistake but further convinced that no warming is occurring in California.

  9. 9
    Prasad Kasibhatla says:

    Gavin, thank for addressing my earlier comment (#5). I understand the first point related to treatment of OR. But am still confused by your second point.
    My interpretation of the Lewis analysis (https://judithcurry.com/2018/11/06/a-major-problem-with-the-resplandy-et-al-ocean-heat-uptake-paper/) is that his estimate of the ΔAPOClimate trend is 0.88 ± 0.56 per meg/yr. So am I correct in interpreting the second part of your comment as meaning that the way Lewis calculated the trend (least square fit to values in Extended Data Table 4 of paper) is incorrect and therefore his central estimate of 0.88 per meg/yr is incorrect?

    [Response: Pretty much. The data table has the spread in the ensemble but as I understand it, conflates some systematic and some random errors in complicated ways. Thus the authors have instead calculated all the trends for each member of the ensemble and averaged them – more of a Monte Carlo methodology. I don’t really know much more than that, but I do know that you wouldn’t expect the same result as doing OLS on the ensemble mean. The new methodology seems more sensible to me. – gavin ]

  10. 10
    Dan says:

    Peer-review/the scientific method works again. The Victors of the world hate that especially when they can not understand it. :-)

  11. 11
    David Appell says:

    What is this “meg” unit. The paper says it will define it in the Methods, but it actually doesn’t.

    [Response: I assume it’s like permil but 3 orders of magnitude smaller ie 10^6*(R/Rstandard – 1). Here’s a better explanation. – gavin ]

  12. 12
    David Young says:

    While this episode turned out well, it does raise again many uncomfortable questions about peer review, how press releases are constructed and whether they are a good idea or not, and the role of outsiders in science. It also brings into focus the recent critique of science as it currently functions that may finally be gaining some traction behind the scenes even though most scientists religiously avoid mentioning it or discussing it in public. Many scientific errors or skewed papers continue to wrongly influence public policy for decades with perhaps the dietary fat issue being one of the most visible and egregious.

    In this case, the errors were quite easy to spot on even a cursory examination of the data for an outsider. Did any of the reviewers actually read the paper? My guess is that none attempted to independently replicate the statistical analysis. My experience is that peer review is usually quite cursory and if the paper is “part of the scientific consensus” or the author is known to the reviewers no one ever checks any of the work. Should peer review be compensated? Should outsiders be included in the review process?

    The press release with this paper contained obvious errors for example the idea about ECS estimates being effected. Who writes these things and what purpose do they serve for advancing knowledge?

    Finally, this episode demonstrates as many others over the last 30 years the role of “gentleman” scientists. In the 18th century most scientists were of this type. As science got bigger, Universities became the preferred profession of those aspiring to be scientists. After WWII science became big business and scientists were often a blend of entrepreneur, public relations flak, and managers of large teams of postdocs and students, with little time left over for actual technical work. The most prolific publishers can not even have read all the papers on which they are authors much less checked any of the results.

    Perhaps the scientific community needs to more wisely use the often free services of “gentlemen” scientists, those who are in retirement, and particularly professional statisticians. It continues to amaze me that most science outside medicine seems to avoid placing a professional statistician on the team and listening to him.

  13. 13
    David Young says:

    Paul P, It appears to me that the issues Lewis identified were both more or less correct. The rate was much too high and the uncertainty much too low. Nic of course also said that the paper should have been published because its a novel method for estimating ocean heat content changes and that once corrected it substantiated other estimates.

    Why are you trying to smear Nic by referring to errors made by someone else whose relationship to Nic is unknown to you? Guilt by association is not a valuable contribution to the discussion of anything.

  14. 14
    David Young says:

    It seems to me based on limited understanding that the updated rate for APOclimate is in fact quite consistent with Nic Lewis’s estimate. To see that note that

    “In the updated calculations we now also allow apply the OR range (1.05 ± 0.05) to the APO calculation which by itself increases the APOClimate trend by 0.15 ± 0.15 per meg/y­r relative to an estimate using 1.1.” Thus if they had used to original value of 1.1 (as in the original paper) their rate would go down to roughly 0.90 per meg/yr. I guess Nic got 0.88.

    I am a bit puzzled as to why they would change the OR range at this late data. Perhaps one of the authors would comment on this. [edit]

    [Response: They did. – gavin ]

  15. 15
    FR says:

    Lewis, according to Paul Pukite, #8:

    “he states unequivocally ‘that all of the paper’s findings are wrong’“.

    My take, correct me if I’ve misunderstood.

    While Lewis is technically correct, still “wrong” here sounds like a weasel word, meant to sound worse than it is. Substitute “off” for wrong. Example, if one makes an error toward the beginning of a long, complicated calculation, everything after that error will also be off. It’s an innocent mistake but the net result is that the entire calculation is thrown off.

    Unfortunately, however, in the minds of an already skeptical conservative public, egged on by right-wing media (which reliably will always ascribe the very worst of motives to that they hate) and paid for by dirty energy, ALL studies that support AGW are now suspect.

    Going forward, perfection is required, though I suspect that’s always the goal.

  16. 16
  17. 17
    Russell says:

    David Young deserves a Mark Twain ward for eliding:

    “gentlemen” scientists…and…professional statisticians.”

  18. 18
    Olof R says:

    I would expect this novel proxy method to underestimate the true change in OHC. The large uncertainties are in the deep ocean, prior to Argo below 700 m, and below 2000 m until the Deep Argo project has delivered enough data.
    I don’t think that these deep ocean waters reach oxygen equilibrium with the atmosphere in a few decades (the Resplandy et al study started in 1991). So, there should be a significant lag between this method and direct temperature measurements in the ocean.

    The real stuff is always the best. Since 2007 when Argo reached its target deployment, we have good data and relatively little disagreement between different OHC datasets.
    Since 2007 the NOAA-Levitus 0-2000 m OHC has a trend of 1.14 * 10^22 J per year. Assuming that 10-15 % of the ocean warming goes below 2000 raises the total ocean warming to 1.26-1.34 * 10^22 J per year. If the ocean warming represents 93% of the global energy imbalance, this suggests 0.84-0.89 W/m2 as an average for the period.
    But the energy imbalance is increasing. Based on the CERES EBAF ed4 trend, the current imbalance (2018) should be slightly above 1 W/m2

  19. 19
    Nic Lewis says:

    Prasad Kasibhatla wrote ” So am I correct in interpreting the second part of your comment as meaning that the way Lewis calculated the trend (least square fit to values in Extended Data Table 4 of paper) is incorrect and therefore his central estimate of 0.88 per meg/yr is incorrect?

    To which Gavin responded: “Pretty much. The data table has the spread in the ensemble but as I understand it, conflates some systematic and some random errors in complicated ways. Thus the authors have instead calculated all the trends for each member of the ensemble and averaged them – more of a Monte Carlo methodology. I don’t really know much more than that, but I do know that you wouldn’t expect the same result as doing OLS on the ensemble mean. The new methodology seems more sensible to me.”

    You are both mistaken as to what I did. I calculated the OLS trends for all the members of a very large ensemble and took their mean and standard deviation, as stated in the article to which Prasad Kasibhatla refers (note 13), which I, like Gavin, think is what the paper’s authors did. incorrectly treating systematic errors in the O2 measurements However, unlike the paper’s authors (see https://scripps.ucsd.edu/news/study-ocean-warming-detected-atmospheric-gas-measurements), I did treat systematic errors in the O2 measurements correctly.

    Contrary to Gavin’s speculation, the mean of the trends for all members of the ensemble is essentially identical to that of the ensemble mean, as I would expect to be the case here.

  20. 20
    David L. Hagen says:

    Paul Pukite #8 Please address Nic Lewis’ full comment: “Nicholas Lewis • 9 days ago
    I have analysed the APO data in Extended Data Table 4 and checked the paper’s results. I found that the linear trend in the dAPO_Climate data was 0.88 per meg per year, not 1.16 per meg per year as claimed. Moreover the claimed uncertainty in this trend was far smaller than what I calculate using the data error distributions. As the paper’s ocean heat uptake rate is derived by applying a conversion factor to its dAPO_Climate trend, this means that all of the paper’s findings are wrong.
    I raised these issues with Laure Resplandy on 1 November, but to date I have received no response other than that they are looking into the issues I raised. In order to correct without further delay mistaken impressions arising from erroneous claims made in the Resplandy et al. paper, I have now published a detailed article explaining the nature of the errors in the Resplandy et al paper, at”
    https://judithcurry.com/2018/11/06/a-major-problem-with-the-resplandy-et-al-ocean-heat-uptake-paper/
    See also Lewis’ second post:
    https://judithcurry.com/2018/11/07/resplandy-et-al-part-2-regression-in-the-presence-of-trend-and-scale-systematic-errors/
    Note FR’s comment above: “While Lewis is technically correct, still “wrong” here sounds like a weasel word, meant to sound worse than it is. Substitute “off” for wrong….”
    What findings in Resplandy et al. still stand that are NOT affected by the errors detailed by Lewis in his two posts? Yes you mention identifying an independent method of detecting ocean warming. That is commendable. However, is not the quantitative significance of that method entirely changed by the corrections Lewis identified?
    PS your comment on Esschenbach is a Ad Hominem logical fallacy (Red Herring and Genetic). Please follow the scientific method and raise that in a new post.

  21. 21

    Young said:
    “Nic of course also said that the paper should have been published because its a novel method for estimating ocean heat content changes and that once corrected it substantiated other estimates.”
    If that’s the case, why did Lewis say (on the record) “that all of the paper’s findings are wrong” ? That’s a savage criticism for someone to state that wants to be considered an honest peer-reviewer. So it appears Lewis said that only to hype his own standing?

    Young said:
    “Why are you trying to smear Nic by referring to errors made by someone else whose relationship to Nic is unknown to you? Guilt by association is not a valuable contribution to the discussion of anything.”

    You are the one that brought up the idea of “gentleman scientists”. Here we have Lewis’ colleague Eschenbach, who a few days ago said the modern-day warming in California was equivalent to the change in lapse rate from a person’s head-to-toe, yesterday changed that to being the 4th floor of a building, and then it was pointed out that since 1895 it’s equivalent to 150 meters in altitude!

    And Resplandy was off by 1.21 ± 0.72 x 10^22 J/yr vs. previously 1.33 ± 0.20 x 10^22 J/yr according to the corrections, with a widening of uncertainty due to noise in the earliest measurements.

    The bottom-line is that the hype concerning this issue is totally out of proportion to the amount of fake science that is permeating the social media.

  22. 22
    Prasad Kasibhatla says:

    Nic Lewis, thanks for clarifying. But I continue to be puzzled. My reading of your blog post https://judithcurry.com/2018/11/06/a-major-problem-with-the-resplandy-et-al-ocean-heat-uptake-paper/ is that your estimate of the ΔAPOClimate trend is 0.88 ± 0.56 per meg/yr. Is that correct?

    If so, it seems to me that the latest estimate by Ralph Keeling (1.05 ± 0.62 per meg/y­r) is still inconsistent with your estimate, in terms of the central estimate. And your estimate does not even include the OR correction that led to the decrease in Ralph’s central estimate from what was published. I am puzzled by this discrepancy in the central estimates.

  23. 23
    Prasad Kasibhatla says:

    David Young, re you comment #14 – it then leads to the question as to why the central estimate in the published paper was not 0.90 per meg/yr.

  24. 24
    David Young says:

    Well Paul, You dodged the issue. Willis Eschenbach is not a “colleague” of Nic Lewis in any meaningful sense.

    The APO climate trend went from 1.16 per meg year to 0.90 (almost identical to Nic’s value) using a consistent method to compute the quantity. Only by changing the OR range input does this become 1.05. What this shows is that there is a further source of uncertainty here that requires “choices.” In my book, that’s not an insignificant change in the result and certainly brings it into better agreement with past results.

  25. 25
    David Young says:

    Prasad, This is explained in the main post.

    “In our definition ΔAPO, we used a default value of 1.1 for O2:C oxidative ratio (OR) of land carbon. However, a lower ratio is probably more appropriate. Specifically, Randerson et al. (2006) argued for a ratio of around 1.05, based on the composition of stems and wood, given that woody biomass dominates long­term carbon sources and sinks on land. Other recent studies have suggested similar ratios e.g. Clay and Worrall (2015). Our previous calculations did, in fact, allow for a range from 1.05 ± 0.05, consistent with above estimates and typical uncertainty ranges. However, we applied this range only for the ΔAPOClimate­ to­ ΔOHC ratio but neglected the impact on the APO budget itself, which used a fixed ratio of 1.1. If the actual OR were lower than 1.1, the observed APO decrease (ΔAPOOBS) would include a contribution from the global land carbon sink, because the ΔO2 term then imperfectly cancels the 1.1 ΔCO2 term.

    In the updated calculations we now also allow apply the OR range (1.05 ± 0.05) to the APO calculation which by itself increases the APOClimate trend by 0.15 ± 0.15 per meg/y­r relative to an estimate using 1.1.”

  26. 26
    Sven says:

    @Paul Pukite
    What is the basis for you calling Eschenbach « Lewis’ colleague »?? He clearly isn’t.

  27. 27

    Sven, They are of similar rank in the blogosphere and interact, therefore by definition they are colleagues. Suppose could call them fellow bloggers, but you may not be happy with that either.

    https://judithcurry.com/2018/11/06/a-major-problem-with-the-resplandy-et-al-ocean-heat-uptake-paper/#comment-882992

    Willis Eschenbach | November 6, 2018 at 12:52 pm
    Clean, clear, well written, well cited, all homework completed.

    Well done, that man!!

    w.

    elsewhere

    Nic Lewis December 2, 2013 at 4:21 am
    Willis
    Many thanks for putting in the time to produce this and your previous post – both very informative.

  28. 28
    Prasad Kasibhatla says:

    David Young, I understand the OR issue but what has that to do with the issue that Nic Lewis brought up re the central estimate? The OR issue seems to be an additional issue that is now been thrown into the mix – but it appears to be unrelated to the discrepancy in the central estimate that Nic Lewis brought up. Nic Lewis suggests in his blog that the reason between his central estimate and what the authors reported in the paper might be because the authors mistakenly reported the trend for ΔAPOClimate + ΔAPOAtmD instead of the trend for just ΔAPOClimate. Is that what happened? I have not seen that question directly addressed.

  29. 29
    Hank Roberts says:

    similar rank in the blogosphere and interact, therefore by definition they are colleagues.

    Well, that’s a novel use of the word. As though accumulating blog followers amounted to peer-review and as though blog rank equated to journal publication rather than advertising success.

    Why, you could hire a CEO consultant to increase yours any time you wanted more colleagues!

    But, no: https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-1-ab&q=blog+rank

  30. 30
    Scott Simmons says:

    In comment #6 – By my calculation, 1.21 J/yr will increase the temperature of the oceans by .002 C/yr. That’s a 2 C increase per millennia. I’m underwhelmed.
    [Response: First off, it’s not evenly distributed. Most of it is in the uppermost ocean where you are already seeing temperature changes of more than 0.5°C over this period. Secondly, the main importance of OHC trends are that they give us insight into the current radiative imbalance and so inform us about climate sensitivity and forcings (and therefore the future change on land. – gavin

    Gavin did not challenge the assertion that the heating was only 2 thousandths of a degree per year. Is this correct?

  31. 31
    Piotr says:

    Re: Russell Seitz (4): “We owe the authors thanks for both exemplary candor and their prompt corrigendum.”

    Now, let us for a moment imagine the response of the blogosphere, if the correction were to go the OTHER way… ;-).

    “Caught in the act – scientists ALTER their original findings to fit the warmist propaganda!”

  32. 32

    Hank, I didn’t mean rank in that sense, but rank in the sense that Lewis and Eschenbach are both lieutenants in the blogging medium.

    Colleague (def): an associate or coworker and often of similar rank or state : a fellow worker or professional.

    I do agree with you that the rank popularity of the blog, such as with WUWT’s Alexa rank, has nothing to do with the quality of the science practiced there.

  33. 33
    MA Rodger says:

    Prasad Kasibhatla @28,
    Lewis only suggests the failure to strip-out ΔAPO(AtmD) from the ΔAPO(Climate) regression as “one possibility” although if that were the cause of the ΔAPO(Climate) trend being calculated as +1.16 per meg/yr it would also have seemingly required the result to be incorrectly rounded up from +1.153 per meg/yr.
    Mind, the Lewis result of +0.88 per meg/yr creates a linear trend result which passes above the 1991 datum value at a rather-impossible infinite s.d. as the 1991 datum is presented with zero uncertainty.

  34. 34
    John Bradley says:

    I agree with the idea above that “wrong” can be an overinclusive peer characterization. Still, it calls to mind a professor who used to say “If that, what else?”. Also, while “Wrong” can indeed be a harsh characterization, it is not as severe as that used (perhaps correctly) by physicists who are critical of string theory: “Not even wrong.”

  35. 35
    lucia says:

    Nic Lewis

    Contrary to Gavin’s speculation, the mean of the trends for all members of the ensemble is essentially identical to that of the ensemble mean, as I would expect to be the case here.

    Thanks. I was trying to figure out how they could be difficult.

    I hadn’t read your response. So I was driven to scrawling some equations on a white board, and then running monte-carlo at least for OLS for different sorts of errors and the two just can’t be very much different when there are many realizations. (For the cases I looked at with math, they must be very close as the number of realizations tends toward infinite. Taking the limit got me around pesky algebra to see if the two were always exact. The cases I ran on Montecarlo weren’t different *at all*. I’m not going to say the mean trend found with different orders of operation must be exactly equal, but I puzzled about what cases permit them to be different. )

  36. 36
    Nic Lewis says:

    Prasad Kasibhatla wrote ” Nic Lewis suggests in his blog that the reason between his central estimate and what the authors reported in the paper might be because the authors mistakenly reported the trend for ΔAPOClimate + ΔAPOAtmD instead of the trend for just ΔAPOClimate. Is that what happened?”

    No. At the time I wrote my original article it seemed one possible explanation for the difference in our calculated trends, the reason for which was unclear. It subsequently became clear that the reason was actually that Resplandy et al had used weighted least squares regression, which they now agree caused the trend estimate to be shifted high, rather than the usual ordinary least squares regression.

  37. 37
    Hank Roberts says:

    both lieutenants in the blogging medium

    The quality of the science isn’t determined by blogging. It’s whether scientists cite the work approvingly as useful for a starting point to further work.

    You can look this stuff up. E.g.:

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2013/10/citizen-scientist-willis-and-the-cloud-radiative-effect/

  38. 38
    Richard Hamil says:

    Could someone please explain this in layman terms. I have seen people posting this correction and using it to say climate change is a lie made up by scientists and this proves it.

    [Response: That’s very strange. No issue associated with this paper or these authors has anything to do with our understanding of climate change as a whole. do you have a link to this argument? – gavin]

  39. 39
    David Young says:

    Richard, I think you can find any dubious conclusion about anything on the internet. Someone can correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems to me the original paper said pretty explicitly “its worse than we thought because ECS is probably higher than we thought” and this message was dutifully hyped in a press release and by the media who always exaggerate how serious things are. The corrected paper does not really have any significant implications for climate science so far as I can tell and has no implications for any calculation of carbon budgets for a given temp increase, etc.

  40. 40
    Piotr says:

    Re: Scott Simmons (30) “Gavin did not challenge the assertion that the heating was only 2 thousandths of a degree per year. Is this correct”

    No, Gavin indicated that your applying the heating to the entire volume of the ocean in order to smugly dismiss it as: “That’s a 2 C increase per millennia. I’m underwhelmed” – misses the point.

    It misses the point, because the heating is not uniformly applied to the entire volume of the ocean, but concentrated in the upper layer – and it is this layer that counts – as it directly affected by the atmosphere and has a direct effect on the temperature of the atmosphere (and atm. water vapour) and therefore the climate. And in this layer that – the warming has ALREADY been 0.5C.

    It is as if somebody in New Orleans when informed about the coming 8.5 metre storm surge – dismissed it by saying “that’s only a 0.2% of the average ocean depth. I’m underwhelmed”.

  41. 41
    MA Rodger says:

    Response @38,
    Look no further than the planet Wattsupia where guest blogger Dr Tim Ball writes of “In the Climate Deception Game Where The End Justifies the Means, the Objective is the Headline.” While the piece does not overtly say Resplandy et al (2018) shows “climate change is a lie made up by scientists and this [paper with its errors] proves it,” Ball does make many allusions that the paper is dishonest, and this includes the following:-

    This is similar to the discovery of the MBH98 misuse of statistics by Steve McIntyre, who though at the time unfamiliar with climatology, recognized the errors inherent in the plot of the ‘hockey stick’ graph.

    Ball is less constrained about the science of AGW itself, happily quoting Lewis (a different one) to make his point:-

    “…the global warming scam, with the (literally) trillions of dollars driving it, that has corrupted so many scientists, and has carried APS before it like a rogue wave. It is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist.” [APS = American Physical Society]

  42. 42

    I do not know if this “comment” is within the policies of this website.

    We need to jumpstart the world’s migration from fossil fuels to GREEN energy. At my website, MAGiKool.org, there is a plan to do exactly raise and spend $2 trillion in the next 10 years migrating to assist renewable/sustainable energy resources. Please take a moment to download both the word document and the excel workbook to read my proposal and review the first two years operating budget in the workbook.

    I welcome your comments, suggestions and criticisms please tell me what they are.

    I am not like Donald Trump I can take criticism gracefully and accept it graciously!

  43. 43
    Prasad Kasibhatla says:

    Nic Lewis, re Comment 36, thanks for clarifying!

  44. 44
    Hank Roberts says:

    PS for Paul Pukite. If you didn’t read the article, at least look at
    the illustration

  45. 45
    Russell says:

    Piotr says:
    let us for a moment imagine the response of the blogosphere, if the correction were to go the OTHER way… ;-).

    “Caught in the act – scientists ALTER their original findings to fit the warmist propaganda!”

    No Piotr, I also clapped softly when Christy & Spencer came clean about UAH’s inverted radiometric temperature trend.

    Students here are still taught that when you are wrong, you shoud publish a correction.

  46. 46
    Piotr says:

    Re: Russel (45)

    Russel, when I said: “Let us for a moment imagine the response of the blogosphere, if the correction were to go the OTHER way… ;-): “Caught in the act – scientists ALTER their original findings to fit the warmist propaganda!””

    I didn’t direct it at you, but at the skeptics blogosphere. If not for any other reason – I don’t know your posts, but I remember their reaction, when NOAA adjusted NOAA NCEI data – instead of rejoicing that now we have a better data set, the denialists were shouting from the rooftops: NOAA conspiracy and propaganda.

  47. 47
    shub says:

    Re: Paul Puki’s comments:
    So, Paul, you have an error in an important scientific publication pointed out and your contribution is to drag down the person who pointed out the error in status and rank but making as lowly (in your mind) a comparison as possible?

    More broadly, the article by Ralph Keeling does not include
    1) a reference to the blog post by Nic Lewis, or
    2) a link to the post by Lewis

    Why the cheapness? It doesn’t cost you anything to include a link, does it? How are readers supposed to know what the paper is about, what the errors pointed out where, and then understand the response above?

  48. 48

    Thanks MA Rodger and Mr KIA.

    I can see now that the centrifugal part of the gravity effect at the equator would not operate on a satellite, but if their altitude is 700km, they are only 11% further away from the centre of the planet than we are. So, in contradiction to what I first thought, every time they go over the equator, they will experience an added gravitational pull from the equatorial bulge that will reduce their altitude, and therefore speed them up, followed by a gain in altitude and a slowing down as they leave the equator.

    I am too uneducated to work out the magnitude of these changes, but they are calculable, and it is still possible, to my mind at least, that even a tiny bias in the calculations, repeated every time the satellite passes over the tropics, might be having an effect on our knowledge of tropospheric temperatures in that part of the world.

    I do take your point, MAR, about the measurement of anomalies, but the thought lingers.

    Apologies if I have posted twice. I did a longer reply, but it suddenly vanished while I was proof reading it.

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