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Study That Found Earth’s Oceans Trapping More Heat Had Errors

Scientists behind a study that previously declared the Earth’s oceans “absorbed 60 percent more heat than previously thought” acknowledged there were some errors in how they dealt with the “uncertainty” of measurements in their calculations, The Washington Post reports. The Scripps Institution of Oceanography noted errors in the scientists' work and corrected the study on its website, which now features a “much larger margin of error.” “Unfortunately, we made mistakes here,” Ralph Keeling, a climate scientist and a co-author of the study, told the newspaper. “I think the main lesson is that you work as fast as you can to fix mistakes when you find them.” The main conclusion of the study, which states the oceans are retaining more energy as heat is being trapped, reportedly echoes other studies and does not change when the errors are corrected. However, the larger margin of error means the study holds less certainty than previously thought. The original study was published on Oct. 31 in the journal Nature, which told the Post it was “carefully” looking into the errors that were published. “I accept responsibility for what happened because it’s my role to make sure that those kind of details got conveyed,” Keeling said.