Dr. Roger Pielke Sr. on two recent “game changing” climate papers

“Dr. Roger Pielke Sr. on two recent “game changing” climate papers” (2012-07-31). “In case you missed it”, Anthony Watts wants you to know that someone important is singing the praises of his submitted paper manuscript final draft “discussion paper”. Occasional collaborator Dr. Roger Pielke Sr., who has spent years declaring with a straight face that Anthony “is devoted to the highest level of scientific robustness”, still thinks that every time Anthony flaps his trap he educates the world.

It’s a game changer! Yes, but what’s the game?

Pielke Sr. started backing away within a day: “To be very specific, I did not play a role in their data analysis. [Anthony] sent me the near final version of the discussion paper and I recommended added text and references.” He tries hard to maintain BFF status though: “Anthony Watts clearly understands the research process in climate science.” This like telling someone they’re not fat, just “big-boned”.

But surely co-author and obsessive skeptic Steve McIntyre will back Anthony unequivocally? Nope:

Anthony sent me his draft paper. In his cover email, he said that the people who had offered to do statistical analysis hadn’t done so (each for valid reasons). So I did some analysis very quickly, which Anthony incorporated in the paper and made me a coauthor though my contribution was very last minute and limited. I haven’t parsed the rest of the paper.

New study shows half of the global warming in the USA is artificial

“New study shows half of the global warming in the USA is artificial” (2012-07-29. Originally titled “PRESS RELEASE”). Here it is! The game-changing scientific announcement from Anthony Watts that the entire world will want to know about!

“U.S. Temperature trends show a spurious doubling due to NOAA station siting problems and post measurement adjustments.”

So… Anthony Watts’ science revelation is that his inkjet has finished printing a typo-ridden do-over of his attack on US surface station weather data, “to be submitted for publication”, with his usual denialist pals (McIntyre, Christie, Jones).

Strange that Anthony’s promoting his sciencey-ness before publication (let alone acceptance). Didn’t he rail against the practice when he didn’t like former pal Dr. Muller’s temperature analysis? I guess that was then and this is… now.

Let’s see who he tries to submit this too (Journal of Geophysics, anyone? Oops, all the planted editors have decamped) and how the peer-review turns out. Should be funny to watch him squirm and sputter.

Wait, I just got it!

Anthony knows the evil conspiracy of competent climate scientists will never allow  a threat to the secret communist world government. Like every denialist proclamation yet, Anthony’s moment of shining triumph will last no longer than the delay between clicking “post” and being read by tamino or RealClimate.org (that will be some good readin’).

Make hay while the sun shines, Anthony.

P.S. Looks like Anthony’s barrage was timed to deflect attention from his former denialist buddy Dr. Muller. Muller’s Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature publication confirmed the conventional scientific conclusions. His op-ed today in the New York Times is “The Conversion of a Climate-Change Skeptic”:

Call me a converted skeptic. Three years ago I identified problems in previous climate studies that, in my mind, threw doubt on the very existence of global warming. Last year, following an intensive research effort involving a dozen scientists, I concluded that global warming was real and that the prior estimates of the rate of warming were correct. I’m now going a step further: Humans are almost entirely the cause.

Anthony’s been hiding behind a fence, nursing his snowball-with-a-stone-in-it waiting for Muller to walk past. Hell hath no fury like a betrayed denialist.

2012-07-31 Update: Victor Venema (commenting here too) has some good first-pass comments on Anthony’s mediocrity. Eli Rabett has also gathered some entertaining insights into Anthony’s latest self-congratulatory own goal.

But this lack [of perspective] makes amateurs prone to get caught in the traps that entangled the professionals’ grandfathers, and it can be difficult to disabuse them of their discoveries. Especially problematical are those who want science to validate preconceived political notions, and those willing to believe they are Einstein and the professionals are fools. Put these two types together and you get a witches brew of ignorance and attitude.

Unfortunately climate science is as sugar to flies for those types.

Pielke Sr. on the quality of global surface stations

Pielke Sr. on the quality of global surface stations” (2011-08-14). The Stupid that won’t die! Dr. Roger Pielke Sr., an actual denialist climate scientist, reminds us of Anthony Watts’ “outstanding report” on the siting quality surface temperature stations used in the US Historical Climate Network, Is the U.S. Surface Temperature Record Reliable?. (Oops, “Page Not Found”. Are the Heartland Institute lobbyists shuffling that embarrassment off to the side?) The “scientific” follow-up was Analysis of the impacts of station exposure on the U.S. Historical Climatology Network temperatures and temperature trends in the Journal of Geophysical Research.

You remember the “outstanding report” that Anthony kept promising would prove how dishonest conventional climate scientists were except… it didn’t? And the ground-breaking paper that… confirmed the conventional scientific conclusions about global warming. But he sure did a good job collecting amateur photos of weather stations.

So Dr. Pielke is going to do a home slide show too! Prepare for an onslaught of “random” photos of weather stations. Maybe he and Anthony can obscure the failure of their shared project with a new flood of irrelevant amateur photos? Sounds like a great way to keep heads bobbing in time.

The surfacestations paper – statistics primer

The surfacestations paper – statistics primer (May 12, 2011). Was Anthony Watts hiding his light under a bushel when he announced the surfacestations paper was in press? Is this post the meaty one, and the announcement mis-fire just rope-a-dope? Heres comes co-author Dr. John Nielsen-Gammon’s science! (Apparently John, a meteorologist who is the politically-appointed “Texas State Climatologist”, came on-board after Anthony’s own statistical efforts were tossed.) [Update: apologies for following Anthony’s misspelling of his co-author’s name.]

First of all John admits a “subtle point”. It turns out they “didn’t assess the differences in individual station measurements”, which unfortunately was what Anthony had been shouting about for years. Oh really?

John also admits that “NCDC’s preliminary analysis of siting quality used a gridded analysis, but we checked and our numbers weren’t very different.” (emphasis mine). Oh really?

Another curious admission from John is that “you have to work with anomalies or changes over time (first differences) rather than the raw temperatures themselves.” This seems strange, because the denialist howling has always been that only the raw temperatures can be trusted.

Fourth, John tells us that “a station should matter more in the overall average if it is far from other stations, and matter less if lots of other stations are nearby.” Isn’t weighting stations how the mainstream climate scientists rigged the numbers? Oh dear, there’s a pattern emerging. Regular science.

What was the ingenious analysis that pulled all this together into the final nail in the coffin of global warming? The “Monte Carlo approach”.

In fact, it’s so simple you don’t need to know statistics to understand it.  Given two classes of stations whose trends needed comparing, I randomly assigned stations to each class, while making sure that the total number of stations in each class stayed the same and that each climate region had at least two stations of each class.  I then computed and stored the difference in trends.  I then repeated this process a total of 10,000 times.

Then of course you cherry-pick the few comparisons that randomly show the trend you want to claim is real and ignore the other 9,990. This is what denialist statistician-to-the-stars Steve McIntyre did in his attacks on Dr. Mann’s temperature reconstructions, and was so ham-handedly reproduced by Dr. Edward Wegman.

So what’s left? Weak mutterings about how “many stations underwent simultaneous instrumentation and siting changes” in the 1980’s. Apparently no-one knew this (not).

This paper is sounding more and more like an ass-covering way to justify several years of wasted and misguided effort. The demonized scientific process has pinned Anthony and his team like bugs under a magnifying glass, holding them accountable for every squeak. The result? Laryngitis.

The long[-]awaited surfacestations paper

The long awaited surfacestations paper (May 11, 2011). Hosannah! The great day has arrive-ened! Anthony Watts’ paper, Analysis of the impacts of station exposure on the U.S. Historical Climatology Network temperatures and temperature trends, is in press at the Journal of Geophysical Research. The global warming house of cards has fallen-ed!

Just look at some of these definitely-no-global-warming quotes in what Anthony has pasted in from co-author lead-author Dr. Roger Pielke Sr.’s blog (emphasis mine):

Q: So is the United States getting warmer?
A: Yes

Q: Has the warming rate been overestimated?
A: The minimum temperature rise appears to have been overestimated, but the maximum temperature rise appears to have been underestimated.

Q: What about mean temperature trends?
A: In the United States the biases in maximum and minimum temperature trends are about the same size, so they cancel each other and the mean trends are not much different from siting class to siting class.

Yowza! Game over? Oops.

What a lame exercise in irrelevant nit-picking. After years of just you wait squawking, even Anthony and company’s best spin boils down to whining about bluntly negligible data quality issues. This isn’t even backyard fireworks level excitement. Shame on you, Anthony.

Still, you have to feel a bit sorry for him. He’s not lead author on ‘his’ paper because he doesn’t have the statistical chops for even this damp squib. Dr. Pielke tries to give him a libertarian head-pat though:

The Surface Stations project is truly an outstanding citizen scientist project under the leadership of Anthony Watts!  The project did not involve federal funding. Indeed, these citizen scientists paid for the page charges for our article.

Of course we have to remember what the big picture is here. After all this scientific-paper-of-the-century is just about US temperature data and global warming is, um, global. Dr. Pielke has to come clean (emphasis mine):

Does this uncertainty extend to the worldwide surface temperature record? In our paper… …we found that the global average surface temperature may be higher than what has been reported by NCDC and others as a result in the bias in the landscape area where the observing sites are situated. However, we were not able to look at the local siting issue that we have been able to study for the USA in our new paper.

Anthony seems quite pleased with himself, but frankly this own-goal would be embarrassing even as a high school science fair poster. Why Dr. Pielke’s name is attached to this says something about the power of conviction over that of intellect. Sad, because sometimes he has something relevant to offer.

I guess those page charges were just too juicy for the JGR to let slip away.

Update: Anthony’s wounded howls of mistreatment pepper the comment editing. Wait until the scientists respond!

The surfacestations.org paper – accepted

The surfacestations.org paper – accepted. (May 8, 2011)  Holy moly, Anthony Watts are a scientist! Well, “Corresponding Author” Dr. Roger Pielke Sr. is a scientist. Anthony announces that Roger and he will have a paper in an upcoming American Geophysical Union publication. I guess the AGU forgot Al Gore’s instructions about maintaining “the consensus.”

Anthony’s even managed to avoid the taint of public funding by getting fellow citizen-scientists (aka blog readers) to cover the page charges. Anthony and Roger have used the color crayons for this one and that’s expensive.

I have to shake my head at the hate-on Anthony has for government grants and the real scientific community. Of course he’s still on the watch for double-crossin’ warmist sneaks:

If you are wondering why I blurred the [DOI] number, it is simply that given what has transpired, with preemptive strikes by NCDC, and the recent BEST ambush before Congress, I’m simply being cautious.

Gosh, I thought it was hard to get papers confirming previous analyses published these days. Another myth demolished.

Will this paper be laced with accusations and faulty logic like his Science and Public Policy Institute pamphlets? Maybe it will just be, well, boring when he has to stay factual and reality-based.

Expect the denialosphere to kick into high gear over this regardless. I’m looking forward to it.

3% of Earth’s landmass is now urbanized

3% of Earth’s landmass is now urbanized. Anthony Watts goes back in time to 2005 for some fresh insight: 3% of the Earth’s landmass is urbanized. This means about 1% of the Earth’s surface. For Anthony, this is proof that all temperature readings are corrupted by the dreaded Urban Heat Island effect, and thus there is no Global Warming.

People! In places! Source: Earth Institute

But what do the satellite readings say Anthony? Oh, not so useful. Too bad your surface-stations project blew up in your face too.

Step one: copy and paste (in this case a 2005 report from Columbia University’s Earth Institute).
Step two: insinuate (in this case about the temperature record quality).
Step three: profit!