Resplandy et al. Part 3: Findings regarding statistical issues and the authors’ planned correction

Climate Etc.

By Nic Lewis


The Resplandy et al. (2018) ocean heat uptake study (henceforth Resplandy18) is based on measured changes in the O2/N2 ratio of air sampled each year, compared to air stored in high pressure tanks originally sampled in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and in atmospheric CO2 concentration. These are combined to produce an estimate (ΔAPOObs) of changes in atmospheric potential oxygen since 1991 (ΔAPO). They break this series down into four components, including one attributable to ocean warming (ΔAPOClimate). By estimating the other three, they isolate the implied ΔAPOClimate and use it to estimate the change in ocean heat content. In two recent articles, here and here, I set out why I thought the trend in ΔAPOClimate – from which they derived their ocean heat uptake estimate – was overstated, and its uncertainty greatly understated.

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