Greatest Misses

Practically every post on Anthony Watts’ blog Watts Up With That is a dud of one sort or another. When both the historical record and the physical principles of Anthropogenic (i.e. caused by man) Global Warming are against you and you’re determined to shout that “There is no Global Warming! And if there is, it’s natural! And anyway it’s being used to impose a communist world government!”, you’re frankly not playing with a full deck of cards.

But there are some posts on Watts Up that deserve special recognition for stubbornness, delusion, or just plain gullibility. This page is where we will collect the gems, like butterflies under glass, for the amusement of passersby. Some are authored Anthony himself, some are uncritically pasted in by Anthony or are “guest posts”. Regardless of origin, if they are on Watts Up With That then they have Anthony’s approval and reflect his position.

Often we will have noted the flaws or entertainment value of a nominated Watts Up post in our own coverage and those specific posts will be the place to make your own comments. Do you have a nomination? Drop it into the moderated comments at the bottom for our private consideration. Ongoing.

(Still writing this up, but there’s no way to leave this off!) Anthony Watts spent years promising to reveal the underlying errors and fraud behind USA weather station data. When he finally finished his dance of the seven veils there was no case to be made. In fact, selecting only stations that he approved of actually increased the rising temperature trend! He still pretends that his obsession proves something.

Monckton Skewers Steketee. January 9th, 2011. (Not yet covered here)

Lord Monckton, the self-described curer of AIDS, multiple sclerosis and the common cold and famous denialist megaphone, guest-posted a critique of journalist Michael Steketee’s report in The Australian that 2010 was the warmest year on record. Monckton declared that the article contained “two dozen questionable assertions, which either require heavy qualification or are downright false.” Therefore there is no Global Warming! As is invariably the case with Monckton it is his scattergun counter-claims that are false and usually laughably so. Steketee refuted Monckton in admirably measured fashion, but the scientific entertainment continues at (first article here, find the rest with this search string).

Commentary- Hansen Draft Paper: Paleoclimate Implications for Human-Made Climate Change. January 24th, 2011. (Not yet covered here)

Anthony Watts unquestioningly published an article from a discredited source (is the Moon really warmer than it “should be”?). Dr. Martin Hertzberg, retired explosives and combustion scientist and a contributor to the farcical Slaying the Sky Dragon – Death of the Greenhouse Gas Theory (yes, the authors think their market is dumb enough to take a book with “Sky Dragon” in the title seriously), pontificates about Milankovitch cycles as the real and self-correcting source of global warming. Dr. Hansen got it wrong because of his rigid biases therefore there is no Global Warming.  Too bad Hertzberg’s math is weak and his argument is weapons-grade stupid. Tamino, who knows his math, his physics, and his statistics sets him right in a definitive manner.

2010 – where does it fit in the warmest year list? December 28, 2010. Our coverage here.

Anthony Watts unquestioningly published an article from a discredited source (Hot Topic, Deltoid). Don Easterbrook tries to claim that the warming trend… isn’t. Here are a few smack-downs on his latest chart-cheating: Garbled Reasoning at WUWTWas Easterbrook talking science?Don Easterbrook’s Academic Dishonesty. Anthony offers no retraction or even correction. Instead the “mistake” is repeated on January 24th, 2011.

More to come…

5 thoughts on “Greatest Misses

  1. Andrew Bolt regularly cites Watts as a source. Over the last month I have collected the following for posting after our summer break which was a no comment period on Mr Bolt’s site.

    I posted this and updates 1 and 2 here:

    What’s Watts Up To?
    Prior to the break I pointed out that Anthony Watts site Watts Up With That? had joined a raft of “skeptics” in misrepresenting an Royal Society publication “Climate Change: a summary of the science” as a backdown from a much shorter ”Climate Change controversies: a simple guide” published three years earlier, following a “revolt” by 40 (of the 1400) Royal Society fellows. It was no such thing.

    For a start Watts claimed:

    “The Royal Society now also agrees with the GWPF that the warming trend of the 1980s and 90s has come to a halt in the last 10 years,” said Dr Benny Peiser, the Director of the GWPF.” [The Global Warming Policy Foundation rents office space from the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining]

    Bollocks. Here is what para 22 of the detailed Royal Society report actually says:

    “When these surface temperatures are averaged over periods of a decade, to remove some of the year-to-year variability, each decade since the 1970s has been clearly warmer (given known uncertainties) than the one immediately preceding it. The decade 2000-2009 was, globally, around 0.15oC warmer than the decade 1990-1999.”

    What’s Watts Up To? Update 1
    I refer to the January 4 section headed 1998 still the record.

    The Watts Up With That? link cited is actually a cut and paste job of Roy Spencer’s site.

    Spencer begins by announcing that he is changing his baseline data set from a 20 year period (1979-1988) to a 30 year period (1981-2010). He states:

    “because the most recent decade averaged somewhat warmer than the previous two decades, the anomaly values will be about 0.1 deg. C lower than they used to be. This does NOT affect the long-term trend of the data…it only reflects a change in the zero-level, which is somewhat arbitrary.”

    The Zero point is not somewhat arbitrary and it certainly effects the data. As he admits, shifting the goal posts to include the warmest decade on record moves “normal” to the warm end reducing the warming signal.

    And the best part is you can keep doing this decade by decade as temperatures increase, continually shifting the goal posts to mask the true global temperature increase. Brilliant!

    But as for Watts and Mr Bolts headline “1998 still the warmest on record” Even Spencer does not buy that:

    As far as the race for warmest year goes, 1998 (+0.424 deg. C) barely edged out 2010 (+0.411 deg. C), but the difference (0.01 deg. C) is nowhere near statistically significant.”

    On January 25 in his section “What’s over heated are the hottest year claims” with Mr Bolt rediscovers statistical significance, noting that the temperature differences between 1998, 2005 and 2010 were statistically insignificant. Fair enough.

    The real point is of course that the three hottest years on record are 1998, 2005 and 2010 and the past decade was the hottest on record.

    What’s Watts Up To? Update 2

    Regarding the January 7 section on Ocean temperatures, Watts Up With That? link claims: “Four out of 5 Argo studies Now show ocean heat declining.”

    Except that they show no such thing. The authors of the paper summarise the results of four smoothing calculations using one limited data set – the years 2003-2008 (and Mr Bolt reproduces this section):

    “Using only 2003–2008 data from Argo floats, we find by four different algorithms that the recent trend ranges from –0.010 to –0.160 W/m2 with a typical error bar of ±0.2 W/m2.”

    In other words people, the largest calculated “drop” is smaller than the error, the smallest is one twentieth the error – statistically no drop at all. The same applies to the 3 other studies quoted as showing a drop.

    In contrast, the fifth study (to 2000 rather than 700 metres) shows an increase of 0.77 ± 0.11 – a statistically significant increase. Yet Knox and Douglass claim that this figure is an “outlier”, requiring explanation.

    But in the text (reproduced by Mr Bolt) they note: “A recently published estimate of Earth’s global warming trend is 0.63 ± 0.28 W/m2” A statistically significant result in full agreement with the “outlier”. And the ARGO website notes five other studies showing significant warming.

    These results are also at varience with Watts’ headline “Trenberth’s Ocean heat still missing.”

    [Quite a collection of smug ignoramuses over there! = Ben]

  2. All you could find on the whole of Anthony Watt’s site was 4 articles?
    That’s a drop in the ocean for a site that provides a welter of fascinating information.
    You’ll have to try harder than that Ben.

    BTW I’ve seen a few comments floating around on the ‘net having a chuckle at your amateurish attempts at discrediting WUWT. Be careful, you’re starting to become a figure of fun…

    [Oooh, scary. I’ll stop immediately. If even half of Anthony’s posts had a valid point behind them, I wouldn’t bother with this website. I just haven’t got around to filling this out. Pretty much everything he posts could make this list. – Ben]

  3. Pingback: Climategate--The Final Chapter - Page 29 - Airline Pilot Central Forums

  4. This has got to be one of the dumbest things Watts has ever written:

    “If they had any supporting science, they wouldn’t use the word “may”.”

    And it was a reply to a comment in which Watts complains that since he is too lazy to go to university library to read an article it is not fair that the commenter had actually read the article under discussion. Here’s the link:

    See: Rattus Norvegicus says:
    September 7, 2012 at 8:21 am

  5. I think the admin of this web page is in fact working hard for his web site, because here every stuff is quality based data.

    [OK, this is just spam but it made me laugh. Everyone likes an occasional pat on the back. – Ben]

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