Anthony Watts has published another defamatory article on his blog (archived here). I use the term without it being proven in the courts, but if one of the retired scientists mentioned wanted to take him and Tim Ball to court, he'd surely be able to make a case to be heard. Tim Ball started his false claims in the very first sentence.
Some key points about the NOAA temperature reconstruction paper, Karl15
Before going into the despicable actions of Tim Ball and his publisher Anthony Watts, let me remind you about the NOAA work that they don't understand, but dislike so much they'll risk being sued (yet again, in the case of Tim Ball).
The work was built from two main pieces of research. One was an updating of a sea surface temperature record, which was in turn built from zillions of records from different sources, carefully analysed in great detail. The scientists re-aligned the data from different sources so that it provided a more accurate account of how the temperature of the sea surface has changed over time. As an example of this, the authors of Karl15 wrote:
...there was a large change in ship observations (i.e., from buckets to engine intake thermometers) that peaked immediately prior to World War II. The previous version of ERSST assumed that no ship corrections were necessary after this time, but recently improved metadata (18) reveal that some ships continued to take bucket observations even up to the present day. Therefore, one of the improvements to ERSST version 4 is extending the ship-bias correction to the present, based on information derived from comparisons with night marine air temperatures.The scientists who did this sea surface temperature research published papers about it prior to the paper, Karl15, that deniers love to trash. (I expect most deniers haven't heard of these papers, let alone read them.)
The other part of the research was an expansion of the land surface temperature data to include much more data made available by the release of the International Surface Temperature Initiative (ISTI) databank. As the authors of Karl15 reported:
The ISTI databank integrates the Global Historical Climatology Network (GHCN)–Daily dataset (20) with over 40 other historical data sources, more than doubling the number of stations available. The resulting integration improves spatial coverage over many areas, including the Arctic, where temperatures have increased rapidly in recent decades (1).One more thing, as I've written before, the new analysis of global land and sea surface temperature merely brought NOAA more in line with the temperature reconstructions from other independent teams. It was not a huge change. Although many, many scientist hours were clearly spent on the research and it was very valuable, the end result was a refinement not a huge change (in degree Celsius) from the previous reconstructions.
Tim Ball's defamatory and false allegations
Getting back to what Tim Ball wrote about this. He falsely claimed that the scientists were involved in "malfeasance". He falsely stated that they were engaged in "corrupted, unquestioning, naïve, limited, political science". He perfidiously wrote that they "used cherry picked, inadequate data". Remember, the researchers at NOAA used double the number of land temperature records, and improved the analysis of sea surface temperature records, using the same source data. How on earth could anyone in their right mind regard more data as cherry picking, or better analysis as "malfeasance"?
In other words, Tim Ball and Anthony Watts are wantonly and recklessly defaming the scientists at NOAA.
More nonsensical generalisations from Tim Ball
Tim went further. For example, Tim, who's never been a bureaucrat as far as I know (thank goodness), claimed that "It is impossible to be a scientist and a bureaucrat because by the definition of a bureaucrat you must do what you are told." What utter nonsense. Government employees are public servants who work for the good of the public. As in any organisations, the people who put their heads above the mob, and are prepared to say what they think, are the ones who'll get ahead. (Yes, I've worked in government and in the private sector.) Scientists who are employed by government have much greater responsibility to do diligent work and report their findings without any interference than those who work for most private corporations, where they must meet different needs of a much smaller subset of people (owners and shareholders).
Tim Ball on the other hand, who fakes a concern for honesty, can barely write a sentence without telling lies.
While not worried in the slightest about trashing the reputation of leading scientists, by telling lies about them, he is sensitive to modern norms. Tim wrote:
Some portions of the following are from my earlier writings. I say this to illustrate how insane, inane, and illogical the world of research has become when quoting yourself without citation is considered plagiarism.
Tim Ball has a very strange view of the world. His main point, if he had one, apart from trying to trash the reputation of honest scientists, was to decry the fact that scientists tend to know an awful lot about a particular subject area. He thinks that's detrimental. Apparently they should, like him, know almost nothing about everything. Tim wrote about how there are no rules today and generalisations are condemned. Perhaps he sees his wacky conspiratorial world as the last bastion of upright, honest, decent "know-nothing but steal snippets of everything" generalisation. He wrote (I dare you to understand it):
In the twentieth century, the western world went from the dictum that there are general rules with exceptions, to there are no rules, and everything is an exception. This manifests itself in society as condemning generalizations and promoting that everything is an exception – the basis of political correctness.
From the WUWT comments
No. I won't bother repeating them. Apart from two or three people who pointed out that what Tim falsely alleged was arrant nonsense, others extrapolated from the worst false claims made by John Bates (at Curry's place) and made up more lies, which were laughable if you know anything about how science is conducted in government research centres. Then the discussion (if you could call it that) devolved into the usual outright denial of climate science and the greenhouse effect.
How Anthony Watts justifies publishing this sort of thing to himself, let alone how he could possibly justify it in a court of law, is impossible to imagine.
References and further reading
Karl, Thomas R., Anthony Arguez, Boyin Huang, Jay H. Lawrimore, James R. McMahon, Matthew J. Menne, Thomas C. Peterson, Russell S. Vose, and Huai-Min Zhang. "Possible artifacts of data biases in the recent global surface warming hiatus." Science 348, no. 6242 (2015): 1469-1472. DOI: 10.1126/science.aaa5632 (pdf here)
Huang, Boyin, Viva F. Banzon, Eric Freeman, Jay Lawrimore, Wei Liu, Thomas C. Peterson, Thomas M. Smith, Peter W. Thorne, Scott D. Woodruff, and Huai-Min Zhang. "Extended Reconstructed Sea Surface Temperature version 4 (ERSST. v4), Part I. Upgrades and Intercomparisons." Journal of Climate 2014 (2014). doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-14-00006.1 (pdf here)
Liu, Wei, Boyin Huang, Peter W. Thorne, Viva F. Banzon, Huai-Min Zhang, Eric Freeman, Jay Lawrimore, Thomas C. Peterson, Thomas M. Smith, and Scott D. Woodruff. "Extended reconstructed sea surface temperature version 4 (ERSST. v4): part II. Parametric and structural uncertainty estimations." Journal of Climate 28, no. 3 (2015): 931-951. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-14-00007.1 (pdf here)
Peter W. Thorne, Kate M. Willett, Rob J. Allan, Stephan Bojinski, John R. Christy, Nigel Fox, Simon Gilbert, Ian Jolliffe, John J. Kennedy, Elizabeth Kent, Albert Klein Tank, Jay Lawrimore, David E. Parker, Nick Rayner, Adrian Simmons, Lianchun Song, Peter A. Stott, and Blair Trewin, 2011: "Guiding the Creation of A Comprehensive Surface Temperature Resource for Twenty-First-Century Climate Science." Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 92, ES40–ES47. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/2011BAMS3124.1 (open access)
NEW: How an Interoffice Spat Erupted Into a Climate-Change Furor - A few weeks ago, on an obscure climate-change blog, a retired government scientist named John Bates blasted his former boss on an esoteric point having to do with archiving temperature data. - Article by Hiroko Tibuchi at the New York Times, 20 February 2017
From the HotWhopper archives
- NOAA: No pause in the global surface temperature - June 2015, with references
- David Rose doubles down on #climate disinformation about NOAA. Let's get some perspective - February 2017
- The perversity of deniers - and the "pause" that never was with Tom Peterson - June 2015 - about Anthony Watts falsely accusing NOAA of fraud
- More perversity from Anthony Watts @wattsupwiththat - June 2015, about Anthony Watts after "sliming" NOAA people accused those people (and me) of doing the same, merely because they defended themselves against his false accusations
- Many more of Tim Balls' antics are written about here.