[The I.P.C.C. also issued a report last year that described a climate crisis as soon as 2040.]
That method was subject to uncertainties, especially around measurement depth, that hamper today’s scientists as they stitch together temperature records into a global picture.
In the new analysis, Mr. Hausfather and his colleagues assessed three recent studies that better accounted for instrument biases in the historical record. The results converged at an estimate of ocean warming that was higher than the I.P.C.C. predicted and more in line with the climate models.
The researchers also reviewed a fourth study that had used a novel method to estimate ocean temperatures over time and had also found that the world’s oceans were heating faster than the I.P.C.C. prediction. But that study contained an error that caused its authors to revise their estimates downward, suggesting that ocean warming was less of a problem than they originally reported.
As it turned out, the downward revision brought that study’s estimates much closer to the new consensus. “The correction made it agree a lot better with the other new observational records,” Mr. Hausfather said. “Previously it showed significantly more warming than anyone, and that was potentially worrisome because it meant our observational estimates might be problematic. Now their best estimate is pretty much dead-on with the other three recent studies.”
The scientists who published the four studies were not trying to make their results align, Mr. Hausfather said. “The groups who were working on ocean heat observations, they’re not climate modelers,” he said. “They’re not particularly concerned with whether or not their observations agree or disagree with climate models.”
This content was originally published here.