In September 2022, the French Press Agency reported concerns among well-known climate scientists about the study published months earlier by 4 Italian scientists in the “European Physical Journal Plus”, a journal belonging to the “Springer Nature” group whose publications are subject to review by a committee of scientists.
The study found a positive echo in the media skeptical about the reality of climate change.
The authors of the study, “A Critical Assessment of Trends in Extreme Events in the Global Warming Phase,” claimed to have reviewed data on potential changes in the frequency or intensity of precipitation, cyclones and droughts.
And 4 prominent climate scientists agreed that the study manipulated the data, picked out some facts and ignored those that contradicted its hypothesis.
The journal that publishes the abstracts has launched an internal review. “The editorial board and the editors have concluded that they no longer trust the findings and conclusions of the article,” said Springer Nature, according to AFP.
The journal’s directors posted a letter online, saying the article had been withdrawn due to concerns about “the selection and analysis of the data and the conclusions drawn from it”.
The authors of the study were invited to submit an addendum to the article to respond to criticisms of experts commissioned by the Group Ethics Committee. But this answer “did not meet the requirements for publication”.
The article in question was written by nuclear physicist Gianluca Alimonte and agrometeorologist Luigi Mariani, and physicists Franco Prodi and Renato Angelo Ricci.
The latter two are signatories to the Global Climate Declaration, a text that contains many discredited claims about climate change.
Stefan Ramstorff, one of the heads of the Institute for Research on Climate Impact in Potsdam, said the study “has not been published in a climate journal, which is a common path that climate change skeptics take to avoid facing the scrutiny of real experts in the field.”
An AFP investigation in April showed that authors opposed to the scientific consensus on human-induced climate change managed to publish other misleading studies in peer-reviewed journals.
The blog Retraction Watch, which tracks academic article retractions, counted 5,000 such cases in 2022, or about 0.1% of the total number of studies published, according to co-founder Ivan Oransky.
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