Friday, September 6, 2013

Anthony Watts' Inertia, Incompetence, Malice and Gross Forgetfulness

Sou | 4:26 AM Go to the first of 13 comments. Add a comment

Today brings a lot more signs that Anthony Watts is fast losing his tenuous grip on reality.  He's posted a press release about a new review paper in Science (without any direct link to either the press release or the paper on which the news item is based, as usual), and then goes bananas (archived here).

Our inertia may cause largest global changes in the past 65 million years but orders of magnitude more rapid

Here is the abstract of the paper by Diffenbaugh and Field in Science (my bold italics):
Terrestrial ecosystems have encountered substantial warming over the past century, with temperatures increasing about twice as rapidly over land as over the oceans. Here, we review the likelihood of continued changes in terrestrial climate, including analyses of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project global climate model ensemble.
Inertia toward continued emissions creates potential 21st-century global warming that is comparable in magnitude to that of the largest global changes in the past 65 million years but is orders of magnitude more rapid. The rate of warming implies a velocity of climate change and required range shifts of up to several kilometers per year, raising the prospect of daunting challenges for ecosystems, especially in the context of extensive land use and degradation, changes in frequency and severity of extreme events, and interactions with other stresses.
This, I believe, is what Anthony most objects to, where paper itself states (my bold italics):
Some changes in extremes already have been observed (64). For example, the fraction of land area experiencing extreme seasonal heat has increased over the past three decades, both globally and over most tropical and some mid-latitude land regions (Fig. 2) (77). The intensity, occurrence, and duration of heat waves have likewise increased globally (78), whereas the occurrence of daily-scale cold extremes has decreased globally and over most extra-tropical land areas (79). The occurrence of extreme wet events has also increased globally (80), although not all regions exhibit uniformly increasing trends (81). Last, droughts have increased in length or intensity in some regions (64), and the hydrologic intensity has increased over many land areas (although the observed signal is less uniform than the simulated response to further global warming) (68).
Anthony posts the press release, which has the following headline:
Global warming has increased risk of record heat, say Stanford scientists
Anthony loses it, and writes his own headline and lead in:
The ‘Diffenbaugh Delusion’ – refuted with a single graph of temperature
From Stanford University,  a claim easily refuted with a single graph of Tmax. See below.
So what is this "single graph of temperature" that Anthony reckons "refutes" the fact that global warming has increased the risk of record heat?  Well let's see.  He writes:
Diffenbaugh is looking at the average temperature, which is sensitive to the effects of heat sinks/UHI in the overnight low temperature (Tmin). A better way to judge if it really is getting hotter is to look at the daily high temperature (Tmax).
Aah - he doesn't like it that average temperature is going up.  He says that it's not fair that overnight lows are rising and it's all down to UHI!  What a dill is Anthony.  I seem to recall him making similarly loopy claims in the past.  He doesn't know what a "heat sink" is (he's finally learnt how to spell it so I guess that's something).

Someone tell Anthony Watts that the USA is not the whole world

He continues and sez, let's forget about the world as a whole - only look at temperatures in the USA:
Even with all the flaws and adjustments of the data, Tmax for the USA (bias corrected by Menne) according to NCDC shows the cyclical 60-70 year ocean/solar wave. The positive trend since 1895 is because we start at a minimum of the cycle and ended up at a maximum, the same as if we started in 1970 or even 1950 as some have done.
Huh?  What's this about the USA?  What happened to global?

And what cyclical 60-70 year ocean/solar wave is he talking about?  Is he trying to say that temperatures now are what they were 60 or 70 years ago?  Oh, he's referring to temperatures in the USA only.  Talk about ethnocentrism.  Anthony leaves off the hottest year ever in the USA, 2012 and writes:
Note that 2010 is not hotter than 1934, though we are often given graphs of Tmean that say 2010 was hotter that 1934.
Yes, global warming means night time temperatures rise more quickly than daytime temperatures.  That's the real reason Anthony wants to use the maximum instead of the minimum or the average.  And hiding 98% of the world and only showing the USA is pretty dumb when the paper was about the entire world, not about the USA.

Then Anthony writes:
Note the pattern of up/down in Tmax, now look at this graph of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, there is a rough correlation:
Well, I don't really think a "rough correlation" with temperatures in the USA is good enough.  Bear in mind that the PDO was down last year when the USA had its hottest year on record.

Let's get away from Anthony's weak attempt to deceive his readers and look at the PDO and global surface temperature on the one chart:

Nope, nothing doing Anthony Watts!

Finally he ends up by saying that there were more heat waves in the USA in previous decades than recently therefore that proves that globally, heat records aren't on the increase.

Yeah, right! How does that work?  The global average surface temperature has been rising rapidly.  Therefore there has to have been more heat records than cold records.  The USA last year had its hottest year on record.  Australia has just had its hottest summer on record and the hottest 12 months on record.  And what about the incredible and deadly heat waves in Russia and Europe in recent years.  Why does Anthony Watts ignore them?

Pacific Decadal Oscillation

Since Anthony raised the subject, here is a description of the PDO and the PDO index, from Jason Amundson
The Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) is a term coined by fisheries scientist Steven Hare in 1996. It describes recurring climate variability seen in the north Pacific that is similar to climate patterns resulting from El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) (Mantua, 2001).
The PDO is often quantified by the use of an index, referred to as the PDO Index. The PDO Index is calculated by spatially averaging the monthly sea surface temperature (SST) of the Pacific Ocean north of 20°N. The global average anomaly is then subtracted to account for global warming (Mantua, 2000). Normally only October to March values are used in calculating the PDO index because year-to-year fluctuations are most apparent during the winter months (Mantua, 2001).
When the PDO Index is positive, waters in the north central Pacific Ocean tend to be cool, and waters along the west coast of North America tend to be warm. The opposite is true when the PDO Index is negative (Null, 2002).

From the WUWT comments

The WUWT comments are archived here with the main article.

Juraj V picks Anthony up on his PDO comparison and says:
September 5, 2013 at 8:58 am
PDO is NOT North Pacific SST. It is a patial pattern of warmer/colder surface waters there.
The US record follows AMO, not PDO. PDO started to go down in 1990, AMO peaked around 2006.
Is Pamela Gray's comment pure coincidence?:
September 5, 2013 at 9:07 am
That larger report sounds like a room full of elephants being made to wriggle their trunks.
Justthinkin's irony meter is broken:
September 5, 2013 at 9:20 am
Yeah well. Ignorance can be taught different with a few facts. You can’t fix stupid, or greedy, narsissitic, pschyo, so-called scientists.

richard telford says something that Anthony objects to so much he deletes it:
September 5, 2013 at 9:27 am
[snip , ah, the ever negative TELFORD - I'm not interested in your labeling of me - Anthony]

hunter says:
September 5, 2013 at 9:35 am
This is the most worrisome symptom of AGW: The fact free drivel that alleged academics push, and seem to get away with. Gleick, Lewandowsky, Hansen, Romm, “Eli Rabbet”, Schmidt, Diffenbaugh, etc. etc. etc. All of them push non-fact based claims, or commit outright fraud, or calls for fraud, and get away with it. And politicians echo their falsities and they get away with it.
REPLY: never attribute malice to what can be explained by simple incompetence. – Anthony
Well, Anthony is simple and incompetent but he is frequently full of malice as well.

Someone at Science mag or Stanford might be copping some very silly emails.  bit chilly says:
September 5, 2013 at 9:37 am
“then using climate models they quantified”
no they didnt,they came up with another alarming headline to grab the attention of the media,then backtracked through the rest of the statement.
Anthony,please tell me you forwarded your rebuttal ? if not,may i ?
REPLY: I had planned to, but go ahead – Anthony

What did I say about Anthony Watts and Elephants?

richard telford tries again and says:
September 5, 2013 at 10:02 am
Do you ever wonder why someone might be negative about the junk you promote here: diatoms from space; insects causing CO2 increase; Greenland ice sheet being 650 years old; no isostasy?  You can censor my comments all you like – you are still wrong.
This time Anthony posts a lengthy reply.  What did I say earlier today about his bad memory?  See if you can pick it:
REPLY: Do you listen to yourself? You must read that liar, Greg Laden, to get your opinions of me. “insects causing CO2 increase” Where? http://www.google.com/search?as_qdr=all&q=insects%20causing%20CO2%20increase+site:wattsupwiththat.com
Don’t make up stuff. The isotasy article was posted to show how ridiculous it was, but apparently all that matters to you is for you to use it as a tool to bash me. Some scientist you are.
See here’s the thing Mr. Telford, I don’t care about your opinion/fabrications, as you’ve got no basis for factual criticism, only hate zingers, like Mr. Laden. And yes, Tmax does refute the issue. Feel free to be as upset as you wish, but do kindly shut the hell up when it comes to hateful zingers in my own home on the Internet.
- Anthony
Anthony tells a fib about his "isostasy" article.  He only decided for sure that it was ridiculous after everyone told him it was.  Until then he wasn't quite sure.

As for the OMG it's insects - Anthony Watts posted not one, not two but three articles about insects causing the CO2 increase.  And it wasn't that long ago either.  Just goes to prove my last article!  Or maybe it demonstrates that he doesn't read or doesn't understand the articles he puts up on his blog.

Regarding his reference to Greg Laden - that was hilarious.  Anthony got so upset at Greg for pointing out his ignorance that Anthony threatened to do a Monckton!

I think that's a very appropriate note to finish up on.  Don't you?

Forgive me, just one more (archived here) - another censored comment from richard telford:
September 5, 2013 at 10:37 am
[Snip. Instead of promoting a blog that is constantly filled with derogatory comments about the intelligent readers here, I suggest you go there and add to the noise. Both their regular readers will welcome your complaints. ~mod]

Hmmm.... "mod" can't be referring to yours truly.  Any comment I might make about a rare appearance of an intelligent reader at WUWT would be most complimentary.

Oh, goody - more WUWT traffic

Ha ha ha - now Anthony has realised that he did post THREE articles about "OMG it's insects" - arguing that we should kill off the insects to save the world from global warming, and failing that we should kill off mammals.  (Don't believe me?  It's true!)

So now he's retrieved Richard's comment and link so he can "name and shame me". (New visitors from WUWT can click here for the back story.) He probably figures it's worth him being seen as a goose and worth sending traffic to HotWhopper!  Welcome WUWT visitors - very little censorship here and the comment policy is short and sweet.

richard telford says (newer archive here):
September 5, 2013 at 10:37 am
I’m surprised you forgot about the insects – it’s a classic WUWT post. If you need reminding about it, head over to Sou’s blog (http://blog.hotwhopper.com/2013/06/omg-its-insects-and-more-farce-from-wuwt.html#Example4) and don’t accuse me of making it up.
Regarding Tmax, there is a high likelihood that you don’t understand what likelihood means.
Poor old Anthony gets it very wrong again - for example in his reply to Richard he first up tries valiantly to justify his "OMG It's Insects" and "kill off insects and mammals" articles waffling on about how termites produce methane so there (Voisin was talking about CO2 but Anthony shifts to CH4)!  Then he writes nonsense like:
REPLY: ...But see, here’s the thing, none of this hateful opinion about how wrong/stupid etc the WUWT article might be matters much, because as we’ve seen, climate sensitivity is lower than predicted, the models and reality diverge, ENSO seems to have a bigger role than CO2, and in terms of maximum temperatures, it isn’t hotter now than in 1934 in the USA.
Not looking good for Telfords of the world.
Glad to know that WUWT being wrong/stupid doesn't matter to Anthony. Explains a lot.

But what's that about climate sensitivity being lower than predicted?  Where does that come from?  How can it be?  Assuming Anthony's referring to a doubling of CO2 then we haven't got there yet so we don't even know the transient response for certain, let alone the long term climate sensitivity!

And ENSO has a "bigger role than CO2" - that's plain nuts!  When, in the past ten thousand years or more has ENSO caused a sustained or any rise of 0.8 degrees Celsius?  Come on Anthony - tell us please. (Even the super event in 1997-98 resulted in a transient spike of only about 0.2 degrees.)

And he really, really wants us to believe that global warming isn't happening because 1934 was hot in the USA?  Really, Anthony!

The heat is getting to Anthony Watts!

Noah S. Diffenbaugh and Christopher B. Field, Changes in Ecologically Critical Terrestrial Climate Conditions, Science 2 August 2013: Vol. 341 no. 6145 pp. 486-492 DOI: 10.1126/science.1237123


  1. Watt's has now edited his response to my 10:37 comment, and allowed my comment.

    He now tries to defend the insect posts. Tragic. Really tragic.

    1. That whole article of his is truly weird.

      I've realised that Anthony knows less about climate than even Bob Tisdale and Willis Eschenbach and that's saying something. I reckon he's every bit as ignorant about climate as Darko Butina and Richard Voisin - who are quite nutty.

      I congratulate you for sticking it out in that thread, by the way. It looks as if it might be the last chance you have. Anthony can't abide people who correct his mistakes or who understand anything about climate science.

      As for research scientists like yourself ...

  2. "The global average surface temperature has been rising rapidly."

    Only in your mind and some computer models. In the real world, it's flatlined.

  3. Funnily, in the graph for TMAX that Willard shows the last decade clearly was the warmest.

    1. Lars, you're right there.

      I've seen people put up more extreme charts than that and tell their readers "look - not warming" - and their readers believe them. It happens often with Bob Tisdale's charts for example.

      A lot of people, not just Anthony Watts, don't know how to read a chart.

  4. Isn't dbstealy a charmer.

    "Telford’s M.O. is consists of a series of baseless, personal attacks."

    Apparently pointing out that St Anthony has erred is a blasphemy, so I get threatened with being banned (a badge of honour) and dbstealy's projection.

    1. dbstealey is rich. He jumps on anyone who posts anything vaguely scientific when he wouldn't know science if it "bit him in the bum". He doesn't even accept the greenhouse effect, although I've noticed lately he occasionally gives lip service to it so he stays on Anthony's good side. But he makes sure to qualify it with "but CO2 doesn't have a positive effect, it might even be negative." He's witless.

      Love his double standards. He thinks pointing out where Anthony is wrong is a "personal attack" but is quite comfortable for Anthony and all the other commenters to make grossly personal attacks.

      Here's a personal attack for him - Smokey/dbstealey is Tony's brainless pet hound, whose sole purpose is to growl and grunt when he suspects (but wouldn't have the wit to know for sure) if his master is threatened.

  5. I kind of feel bad for Anthony. His blog regularly posts things that are far out of his own depth and he doesn't really have a solution. He has to keep the post coming, but he doesn't have time(or the expertise) to proof read or write enough of them. The insects was so damn retarded that even his own readers raised an eyebrow. I'd probably "forget" such a post if it had my name around it too lol.

    1. I would sometimes feel bad for Anthony in the past on account of that he's stupid. Then, his banning and snipping started to annoy me because that made him more than just stupid. The clincher for me was his recent video for the doctors where he shows declining relative humidity as proof that AGW is false when in fact he should have shown increasing specific humidity to prove AGW. As a former weatherman, he simply can't be ignorant of the difference between those two metrics. So stupidity is not his way out of everything - he is also dishonest. At that point, I can't feel bad for him.

    2. Anthony doesn't deserve sympathy even when he's at his most vulnerable and idiotic. He has demonstrated that he has a nasty streak and is a bully (of the cowardly kind).

      One thing I've noticed - not so many articles by Anthony attacking Prof Mann lately. Or ad homming any scientist if it comes to that. At least I don't recall any. Not since the latest decision re Mann's defamation case a week or so back. I wonder why?

    3. His stupidity is part of the reason why his blog is so popular. Stupidity is what his stupid audience wants!

  6. "Anthony doesn't deserve sympathy even when he's at his most vulnerable and idiotic. He has demonstrated that he has a nasty streak and is a bully (of the cowardly kind)."

    Amen, agree in full.
    Watts is, by the way, the first 'weatherman' who didn't know wat a Polar Low is. That is no weatherman at all, ex nor actual. Political lobbying numbskull with no skills at all but attracting retards galore. Better offers, anybody?

  7. Watts was a TV weather presenter, not in any real sense a "weatherman". The only skill necessary is the ability to follow a teleprompter (and not even the tricky bit of reading without moving one's lips).

    Good point, Sou, about the attacks on Mann tailing off recently. That bears watching.


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