Tuesday, August 20, 2013

An hour of Anthony Watts on video - too boring, too long and too wrong! (Not even any insects)

Sou | 2:29 AM Go to the first of 11 comments. Add a comment

Update: For a more complete rundown and rebuttal to Anthony's video, visit citizenschallenge at What's Up With That Watts.

As if Matt Ridley isn't enough, Anthony Watts has to memorialise his disinformation in a talk to doctors.  Anthony said he got paid $250 dollars plus travel and accommodation.  I wonder what they paid the audience who had to sit through it?

Anthony said he got his ideas from Matt Ridley and provides a link, so I went and checked it out.  Matt Ridley is "yet to be convinced" that cities don't yet cover the entire planet.  He seems to think the surface temperature is inflated and that satellites tell the true story.  Okay - let's compare GISTemp and UAH:

Data Sources: GISTemp and UAH

Now you can see why Ridley is all talk and no show.  If he compared the two data sets he'd be forced to admit there is barely any difference between the two.  UAH is slightly higher in the early 1980s which makes the slope very slightly different.  GISTemp gets its data from thermometers on the earth's surface.  UAH infers the temperature above the surface, in the case of the above, from the lower troposphere.  I'm not sure how far above the surface this is on average - maybe a reader will tell us.  The other thing is that UAH stops short of the poles AFAIK.  They both have deficiencies but they are in fairly close agreement just the same.

Since Matt can't even get his first point right I'm not going to bother with his other nine points.  I'll move onto Anthony's presentation.

I skipped through the first 13 minutes of the video.  I think they were mostly Anthony introducing himself.  He's a bit longwinded.  Finally he gets to what he called the ten tests.  He starts by saying "the global temperature trend is fairly modest" about 0.1 degrees (Celsius) a decade and puts up this chart:

Notice that he starts the chart in 1979 and deliberately shows monthly data to hide the signal in among the noise of the monthly and seasonal fluctuations.

It gets better.  Anthony does explain that the temperature has risen by about 0.8 degrees Celsius.  It's what he does next that takes the cake and shows him up as a snake oil salesman.

See - it's not alarming at all.  He expands the scale of the temperature axis so he can say that the global temperature is flat!

Anthony goes on to say: "But when you look at it over a period of thirty years, which by the way is the choice of the researcher.  There's no standard for choosing a base period, you can choose any base period you want, you can make things look pretty alarming."

Anthony puts up a chart by Steve Goreham, who Anthony said "had this graph in one of his Republications (sic)!"  That's the chart where he compared seasonal fluctuations in Chicago with global temperatures.  Nothing to worry about sez Tony because it's warmer in summer than winter!

What a nutter.  I animated the Goreham chart when I wrote about it a few weeks back.  Figured I'd make Chicago mean temperature look flat.  Anyone can do that trick, Anthony!

I'm trying to imagine the doctors in the audience saying to the parents of a child with a fever. There's nothing to worry about.  Your child will feel a temperature difference of twenty degrees Celsius in the one day on occasion.  A measly rise of four degrees in body temperature isn't alarming by comparison.

Okay - now I'm bored.  I can't watch any more of the video.  It's mainly WUWT garbage and extremely dull and not clever at all.

I don't think Anthony put up "it's insects" or anything fun like that to liven things up.  So not clever, not right and not funny.

ROTFL - The Ultimate Insult - Easily On Par with Monckton! 

The illiterati loved it.  Here is the epitomy of accolades or insults, depending on whether you are a science denying illiterati or a science lover.  Phil Ford says:
August 20, 2013 at 12:44 am Thanks for posting the video presentation, Anthony – as a non scientist/engineer/climatologist (i.e. just an ordinary ‘bloke’) I appreciated your clear delivery, your understandable explanations and your humour. It’s great to be invited to watch and listen to a level-headed, informed talk such as this. One of the best I’ve seen in a long while – and easily on a par with Monckton for sheer viewing pleasure.


  1. At least the bears in a previous post were shorter, and had such wonderful computer generated voices to match.

    1. The bears were very funny, sort of like my style over at Zerohedge...

      I will add the narcoleptic hamster to my repetoire of snappy comebacks...

  2. I don't know how much you know about Doctors for Disaster Preparedness but their beliefs and the organisation they are conjoined with, the American Association of Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) are the sorts of bedfellows that make Lewandowsky think he didn't emphasise the wackiness quotient enough. The AAPS publishes a "peer reviewed" journal that is light on evidence based medicine but replete with AIDS denial, antivaccination and even outright racism, apparently. See http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2009/02/18/the-journal-of-american-physicians-and-s/

    1. DDP actually has Arthur D. Robinson listed as a key person on the Wiki page devoted to them. Of course looking at their web page and finding this bit of wackjob thinking. Lewandowsky was right, it only took this guy about 6 minutes to get to "the CIA killed JFK" or some such stuff.

  3. You did better than me. I started watching and stopped at minute 1.

  4. Speaking of "it's insects", Tony's 'science' is of the 'the whale is not a fish, ... it's an insect' variety. Say no more!

  5. BTW, Tony has another Tony with a doosey today. The problem appears to be the legends attached to a key in a map in the now 18 year old SAR. Quick, throw everything the IPCC has ever said out, even though, as an employee at the secretariat said, "this is really too old to fix", paraphrased, of course, "the groups who made this error have all disbursed".

  6. "UAH infers the temperature above the surface, in the case of the above, from the lower troposphere. I'm not sure how far above the surface this is on average - maybe a reader will tell us."

    Its not really at a specific altitude, but an average of a band - it uses a weighting curve which is fattest below 5 kms, but has a long tail reaching up to 15 kms. That curve peaks at 1600 metres or so, while the weighted midpoint of the curve (which might be regarded as the best single figure) is about 3300 metres. Surface temperature contributes about 10% to the total.

    The above is based on figure 2.2 of Karl et als 2006 report to Congress on "Temperature Trends in the Lower Atmosphere"


    1. Thanks, FrankD.

      I find it odd that science deniers say they 'trust' the satellite record but not the surface thermometers. The former is a less direct measure of temperature, requiring not just interpretation of the radiation signals, but adjustments to account for changes in the satellite. And satellites are not measuring the temperature at the surface, either.

      The other thing is the satellite temperature data sets seem differ from each other, perhaps more than the surface temperature data sets differ from each other.

  7. Did you stay to the humidity chart? Watts is either stupid/ignorant or purposely misinforming. He says that humidity should go up because of AGW, but it's declining. What? Well, instead of showing specific humidity, which is increasing ( http://www.climate.gov/news-features/understanding-climate/2012-state-climate-humidity ), he shows relative humidity. The audience obviously does not know the difference nor do they get that the chart by Watts actually indicates global temperature increases are true.

    I guess most people were too bored by the video to Tweet about that obvious error/misinformation. It's at 17:48 so you don't have to watch any more than you have to :)

  8. Watts is either stupid/ignorant or purposely misinforming.

    They are not mutually exclusive. There is more than ample evidence of all these traits.


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