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Monday, February 16, 2015

WUWT claims (again) that global warming is a giant conspiracy of mammoth proportions

Sou | 4:08 PM Go to the first of 16 comments. Add a comment

Anthony Watts, who runs a wacky conspiracy theory blog, WUWT, has another article (archived here) claiming that global warming isn't happening and it's all a giant conspiracy. Anthony posted a "guest essay" by someone called Ralph Park, who is a conspiracy nutter.

Ralph reckons that:

Those of us in the skeptic / non-official science community always thought the adjustments were misguided and scientifically inappropriate. But we never suspected a purposeful effort to manufacture global warming by adroit use of adjustment algorithms. Nevertheless, we now know that global warming is, indeed, human caused by carbon based pencil lead – figuratively speaking, of course. It is based on sophisticated algorithms that artfully sculpt the datasets to fit the theory. As demonstrated, now, global warming confirmation in US HCN data is purely an artifact of the adjustment algorithms. 

Call me sceptical. I don't believe Ralph. Oh I believe that many fake sceptics do not want inaccurate records corrected. I believe that some of them don't understand the homogenisation process. Some of them don't even understand why the global surface temperature is reported as anomalies from a baseline.

When I say I don't believe Ralph, I'm not talking about his conspiracy theory - no sane person would subscribe to that. What I'm talking about is his claim of "never suspected". A person doesn't just adopt conspiracy theories by accident. They are prone to them. I'd be curious to know what Ralph thinks about the moon landing, Agenda 21, FEMA camps, lizard men and Roswell.

Ralph claims that "global warming is not in evidence for the US continent". He's wrong. Not just that the US is a continent (it isn't - that would be North America). Nor just that the US is global (it isn't). He's also wrong in implying that the USA hasn't warmed. It has. Below is an illustration of this from a comment by Zeke Hausfather. Global is on the left and the USA on the right. Click to enlarge it:

Source: Zeke Hausfather at WUWT

There is a lot of information in the charts provided by Zeke. For one thing, they show that adjustments to global surface temperatures make the trend smaller, not larger. The adjustments to US temperatures make the trend larger. The USA stands out because raw records require adjustments to allow for the bias from changes in the time of observation (TOB). The net effect is an upwards correction to the data. This TOB adjustment applies in very few other places in the world. Victor Venema explains it in his classic article on the subject.

Having developed his paranoid "theory", Ralph finishes up his article by diving head first into conspiracy ideation of massive proportions, writing:
The problem with the adjustment trick is that a real global warming trend might not happen. That means the removal of the artificial adjustments leads to a future dilemma. If raw Tmax data continues to be unremarkably flat, then discontinuing the biasing results in a global warming pause. Continuing the biasing, on the other hand, would lead to a widening gap over reality that risks penetrating into public awareness.

What "adjustment trick"? What "unremarkably flat"? Does he really not know that sea levels are rising, that ice is melting - that there are many, many signs of strong global warming even if he doesn't like the temperature records from ground weather stations and satellites.

This raises a question. Why, when WUWT and deniers are so willing to embrace fantastical conspiracy theories, do they so object to it being pointed out on blogs and in the academic literature. If Anthony Watts doesn't want his blog to be viewed as conspiracy heaven, why does he publish so many wacky conspiracy theories?

From the WUWT comments

While the hard core deniers applaud Ralph, mostly without having a clue about what he has written, there were a number of people commenting who agreed the article is nonsense.

cnxtim is the first to comment, and it's on the utter nuttery of the article:
February 15, 2015 at 4:11 pm
This makes all other historical beliefs in insane theories pale into comparison – goodnight.

Lance Wallace sees a lot of inconsistencies in the article and calls for it to be withdrawn:
February 15, 2015 at 4:21 pm
This post needs to be withdrawn until you can provide details on the dataset you used (preferably with the data attached) and can remove the major inconsistencies. For example, Figure 1 shows positive adjustments on the order of +4 to +5 degrees C. Figure 2 shows negative adjustments of a degree or so.

Then reconsiders a little bit, but calls for data. Lance Wallace
February 15, 2015 at 4:46 pm
OK, I see that Figure 1 is just a displacement by 4 degrees F (not C) of the adjusted data. Unfortunately, one cannot easily see what the effect is.
You should still show your work. Provide a link to the data. Provide your code that shows how you eliminated “ghost” stations. It should be easy for you to give us a list of the number of real and ghost stations per year. If we can reproduce your results, you will have a stronger argument. 

Oh, we've got a wunnerful new set of "theories" from Wendy_Thompson. I just have to post her comment in full. It would qualify for the HotWhoppery.
February 15, 2015 at 4:26 pm
The pause is due to the fact that the superimposed 60-year natural cycle is declining for 30 years, whereas the long-term (934-year) cycle is still increasing until about the year 2059, after which nearly 500 years of cooling will lead to another “Little Ice Age” no warmer than the last. These cycles are seen quite clearly in the inverted plot of the scalar sum of the angular momentum of the Sun and all the planets. Glacial cycles are regulated by the roughly 100,000 year cycles in Earth’s eccentricity, due primarily to the gravitational pull from Jupiter. Variations in eccentricity affect the annual mean distance from the Sun, and thus the intensity of insolation. Meanwhile magnetic fields from the planets also affect Sun spot activity and cosmic rays intensity, this affecting the Earth’s albedo due to variations in cloud cover.
So there you have it in a nutshell and carbon dioxide has nothing to do with it.
Greenhouse gases like water vapor do not warm the surface by 33 degrees and rain forests are thus not 30 degrees hotter than much drier regions. Instead, gravity induces a temperature gradient (as per the Second Law propensity towards maximum entropy) which enables diffusive and convective heat transfers into the surface that raise its temperature above the effective radiating temperature of Earth, and likewise for other planets and moons with significant atmospheres. 

Gary Pearse is convinced that global warming is a giant hoax. He's a hard core conspiracy nutjob, typical of the WUWT audience.
February 15, 2015 at 5:19 pm
Ralph, one of the dilemmas for the adjusters is that satellite temperatures for the present take away a ‘degree of freedom’ from the adjusters. To continue, they only have the past to adjust down. This of course makes the pause even more stark.
Climate gravy boaters fall into three categories: old ones that are near retirement – are any of them gutsy enough to make an about face? It would be a brave thing personally to do but they wouldn’t have to worry about the funding issue – they are secure now. Then there are those in the middle of their careers who have to be waffling and looking for ways to shade away from the strident CAGW meme but have to keep their eyes on the funding and advancement factors. Then the young. They will ultimately get out of the muck and safely on the shores of reality but few will take the big initiative. Interesting to see how it shakes out. If one of the big guys opts out (with a paper critical of the tattered theory), the end could come with a rapid collapse. 

The deluded congregate at WUWT. They are the core consumers in Anthony Watts business model. Julian Williams in Wales
February 15, 2015 at 5:36 pm
being on the losing side of the debate must be tiresome, being on the same side as Michael Mann must be soul destroying. 

Mike M. is one of several people who accuses the OP, Ralph Park of shonkiness.
February 15, 2015 at 6:31 pm
I believe this article to be dishonest. Park writes: “While a distinct warming effect is clearly evident after 1975, no such trend is present in the raw field data.” But the unadjusted data on the NOAA web site show an upward trend, and the corrections shows there amount to 0.5 F, much less than claimed by Park. You can look at the data yourself at If Park wants to challenge this, let him show us where he got his data.
Park lies when he says the data are “flagrantly falsified” There is nothing falsified in the data. All the corrections are there for you to look at. The main one (more than half) is the correction for change in time of day for the observations. If you have a problem with that, or with the other corrections, specify the problem and provide the data to justify your claim.
The U.S. is not the globe, in fact, it is less than 2% of the earth’s surface. Most of the planet is water. I am told that the corrections for the oceans reduce the temperature trend, but I have not confirmed that myself. If you have evidence that corrections make any big change for the globe, I would be very interested in seeing it.

Zeke Hausfather makes several comments, for example:
February 15, 2015 at 7:36 pm
This post talks about global warming but is all about U.S. temperature adjustments. While some of my compatriots may at times think otherwise, the U.S. is not in fact the entire world, and not even that large a portion of global land area.
I’d suggest taking a look at the impact of homogenization on global land temperatures. You will it to be much smaller (in fact, the net effect of adjustments on land/ocean temperatures is actually to reduce the century-scale warming trend).
[Replaced Zeke's link with link to archived article here - Sou] 


  1. Of course there's global warming, 0.8C over the last 100yrs according to IPCC 2013 report. That's an annual increase of about 0.003%

    1. The numbers get even better if you calculate it as a daily increase instead of annual - and why not make it hourly?

    2. It always seems odd to me when people talk of temperature changes in percentage terms. Percentage of what? What are they trying to convey?

      As I was reminded earlier today, Gavin Schmidt summed it up well when he said:

      [Response: Changing a unit to have a small sounding number doesn’t actually change anything; neither the significance nor the accuracy. But if you want to play rhetorical games, go right ahead – though perhaps not here. – gavin]

      What will deniers say if they manage to achieve this?

    3. Muzz is just trolling - it has done the same on SkS. It briefly worked.

    4. It could be considered an annual increase of the anomaly in the average temperature of course, if we were to take Muzz seriously.

    5. %age of what you ask Sou? As a percentage of average temperature which seems to be about 15C and that %age I quoted is an annual increase. Is there a problem with that? You'd all be happy with an annual pay increase of 0.003%? Marco seems to think I'm trolling. I was simply stating a basic fact preceded with the statement that of course there's global warming. I don't dispute the underlying science but the warming does not appear to be significant. Harry Twinotter the %age I quoted is as you described (I think)

    6. Muzz, you have miscalculated the actual % increase by using Celsius (a relative scale) rather than Kelvin (an absolute scale). Your number is meaningless.

      Beyond that, you also miss the point that in terms of a Holocene ecosphere (to which humans are tightly and irrevocably adapted) at 2-4 C increase over several centuries would be for the planet what it would be for you to develop a non-breaking 2-4 C (or more...) fever over several weeks.

      Do let us know if you think that you could happily adapt to that.

    7. Muzz, a pay rise of 0.003% is only small relative to the rate of inflation. The rise in global temperatures looks small but the important things to remember are these: the rate of change is very high and the effects that change causes are geologically very rapid.

      We don't own this planet. We are tenants. Our great grandchildren may not thank us for standing by, knowing something could be done but not doing it. Where I live, solar panels are being put on the roofs of social housing. Two benefits accrue - cheaper electricity bills for the tenants and less need to burn fossil fuels. Win, win.

    8. I had another look. Muzz appears to be sloganeering as they pointed out on the SkS website.

      You make a claim that the annual increase "does not appear to be significant", yet you present no evidence for this claim.

      So how about it Muzz, care to clarify how a percentage of an arbitrary index (degrees Celsius) means anything?

      You might get away with expressing the increase in the anomaly in degrees Celsius per year which is 0.008C - not particularly useful because of the low signal to noise ratio, but at least it means something.

  2. "Those of us in the skeptic / non-official science community always thought the adjustments were misguided and scientifically inappropriate." drones Ralph Park.

    You 'always' thought that because you remain ignorant, incorrigible, ineducable fools. Ears stopped up, eyes averted.

    Watt's Cult of Idiocy is North Korean in style. The citizens chant the great leaders thought of the day [recycled as ever], to the indifference of the rest of the planet, and in sad, stark contrast with reality. The only difference is that NKs citizens are forced participants in their leader's narcissistic fantasy.

    "Let us build a fairyland for the people by dint of agnotology!" they exhort as one, willing victims of the cult of stupid.

    1. Yes, the expresion "skeptics have always thought..." rather gives the game away. A true skeptic does not hold an opinion from the word go, but rather starts out agnostic until he/she has researched the subject sufficiently to be able to make the judgement. What Park is admitting is that the first time he heard about adjustments to the raw temperature he immediately decided on the basis of no investigation whatsoever that they were "misguided" and "inappropriate".

  3. So many species of flora and fauna have been fooled by 'adjusted' temperature data. They should really read the 'right' blogs like our denialist geniuses.

  4. Going back to Booker, I can't find a retraction at the Telegraph or a dissenting reply to rectify Booker's lies. Was it a bad search on my part is the Telegraph really standing by this deceptive reporting?

    1. Did the Telegraph ever publish a retraction or rebuttal of any of Delingpole's nonsense? Judge it by its actions rather than any unmerited reputation for 'quality'.

  5. Someone needs to build a WattWidget that reflects article by article whether WUWT is saying it is warming, staying stable, or cooling. Have it in graph form so people can look back and see all the changes back and forth over a year or more.

  6. Hang on a sec... wasn't there talk of a pause in global warming? Were they basing that claim on this "fiddled" data?


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