Science

Top science publisher retracts flawed climate study

Experts point to widespread concerns about peer review standards in the lucrative academic publishing industry.

Experts point to widespread concerns about peer review standards in the lucrative academic publishing industry.

Science publisher Springer Nature said it has withdrawn a study that made misleading conclusions about the effects of climate change after an AFP investigation.

AFP reported in September 2022 concerns about the peer-reviewed study conducted by four Italian scientists. appeared earlier that year In the European Physical Journal PlusPublished by Springer Nature.

The study received positive attention from the climate-sceptic media.

The paper, titled “A Critical Assessment of Trends in Extreme Events in Times of Global Warming,” aims to review data on potential changes in the frequency or intensity of precipitation, hurricanes, typhoons, droughts and other weather extremes.

Several climate scientists contacted by AFP said the study manipulated data, picked facts and ignored other facts that might contradict their assertions, prompting the publisher to launch an internal review.

“The editors and publishers have concluded that they no longer trust the article’s findings and conclusions,” Springer Nature told AFP in an email on Wednesday evening.

The journal’s editors posted a note online stating that the paper was withdrawn due to concerns about the “data selection, analysis, and resulting conclusions.”

Peer review standards

She said the research was subject to a new review by experts and the authors were invited to submit an appendix in response to the criticisms.

But the review found this “unsuitable for publication and the article’s conclusions were not supported by the available evidence or data provided by the authors.”

Springer Nature said in its email that the investigation was conducted by its Research Integrity Group in line with the guidelines of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).

The paper’s authors have been identified in order as Gianluca Alimonte, a physicist at the Institute for Nuclear Physics; Luigi Mariani, agrometeorologist, and physicists Franco Prodi and Renato Angelo Ricci.

The latter two were named as signatories to the Global Climate Declaration, a text that repeated many false claims about climate change, an AFP fact-check article found.

Stefan Ramstorff, head of Earth Systems at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, told AFP at the time that their study “has not been published in a climate journal.”

“This is a common route that ‘climate skeptics’ take to avoid peer review by real experts in the field.”

Recent studies have indicated that climate misinformation has thrived online as governments push reforms to reduce the use of fossil fuels that cause carbon emissions that lead to global warming.

Another investigation, published by AFP in April 2023, showed that skeptics opposed to the scientific consensus on human-caused climate change got hold of other misleading studies published in peer-reviewed journals.

Experts cited widespread concerns about peer review standards in the lucrative academic publishing industry.

Its co-founder Ivan Oransky told AFP that the Retraction Watch blog, which tracks academic paper retractions, counted 5,000 such cases in 2022, about a tenth of a percent of the total number of studies published.

more information:
Gianluca Alimonte et al., Retracted Article: A Critical Assessment of Trends in Extreme Events in Times of Global Warming, European Physical Journal Plus (2022). doi: 10.1140/epjp/s13360-021-02243-9

© 2023 AFP

the quote: Top Science Publisher Retracts Flawed Climate Study (2023, August 24) Retrieved August 25, 2023 from https://phys.org/news/2023-08-science-publisher-flawed-climate.html

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