A recent study discusses the various problems of using specular reflectometry as a method for remotely detecting liquid water 'oceanworlds' ...
A False Positive for Ocean Glint on Exoplanets: The Latitude Albedo Effect.
(N. Cowan, D. Abbot, A. Voigt, May 2012).
The main issues are summarised in the initial Abstract section of the document.
The conclusions point out the limitations of the technology:
Whilst this issue is a function of the exo-planet orientation from Earth's frame of reference, it might also be in part, a technology limitation. ('Twill be interesting to see how the JWST goes in performing such measurements).Originally Posted by Cowan etal
Even so, even if an 'ocean-world' is detected, what then ?
More exo-life inferences and more speculation ?
How reliable would that speculation then be ?