Scientists have been forced to withdraw a study on projected sea level rise due to global warming after finding mistakes that undermined the findings.
Nature Publishing Group, which publishes Nature Geoscience, said this was the first paper retracted from the journal since it was launched in 2007.
The paper – entitled "Constraints on future sea-level rise from past sea-level change" – used fossil coral data and temperature records derived from ice-core measurements to reconstruct how sea level has fluctuated with temperature since the peak of the last ice age, and to project how it would rise with warming over the next few decades.
In a statement the authors of the paper said: "Since publication of our paper we have become aware of two mistakes which impact the detailed estimation of future sea level rise. This means that we can no longer draw firm conclusions regarding 21st century sea level rise from this study without further work.
"One mistake was a miscalculation; the other was not to allow fully for temperature change over the past 2,000 years. Because of these issues we have retracted the paper and will now invest in the further work needed to correct these mistakes."
This is good and what should happen in science. The prediction in question suggests that oceans could rise by anywhere from 7-82cm (3in. to nearly 3ft.) by the end of the century. That's not exactly precise, mind you, but a 3ft. rise in sea levels would be an issue. More later.