Sunday, October 20, 2013

Anthony Watts and his pseudo-science from the Heartland Institute

Sou | 4:23 PM Go to the first of 4 comments. Add a comment

I've already commented on the ridiculous "Not the IPCC" report with it's "CO2 is plant food" and other tired denier memes.  Anthony Watts is pushing it again today in an article on his denier blog, WUWT, written by four of the more vocal science rejectors: Fred Singer, Bob Carter, Willie Soon and Craig Idso.

Remember those names if you've never heard them before and triple check anything they say before accepting it.  They are all science disinformers.  It's what they do.

I don't have time to go through all their long article and it's too long for HotWhopper in any case.  Suffice to say that despite the title Anthony Watts gave it, it's neither scientific nor a logical critique.  If you put on your critical thinking cap you can see for yourself just how dumb this foursome thinks WUWT readers are. (Archived here.)

Here are a couple of examples under their heading of "IPCC retreats".  The IPCC extracts are in italics, the science deniers' words are not.  Bolding and italics is mine.

The Medieval Climate Anomaly was regional not global

2. “Continental-scale surface temperature reconstructions show, with high confidence, multi-decadal intervals during the Medieval Climate Anomaly (950-1250) that were in some regions as warm as in the late 20th century” (SPM-4).
What the Heartland Institute science deniers wrote: IPCC-related scientists have previously argued that the magnitude of the late twentieth century global warming exceeded that of the Medieval Warm Period (MWP). The notorious “hockey stick” featured in the IPCC’s Third Assessment Report, and still visible in the Fourth Assessment Report, appeared to erase the MWP from the historical temperature record by showing little temperature change for thousands of years followed by a sharp rise in the twentieth century.
Climate scientists know that the Medieval Climate Anomaly was regional in nature.  The IPCC statement is not in any way a contradiction of previous work.  Science rejectors are assuming that their readers will miss the words "in some regions".  Since the only people who take any notice of these ratbags are other people who reject science, they are probably correct in their assumption.   BTW I've discussed the Medieval Climate Anomaly a few times, for example here.

"It's the sun" is wrong, but the sun can affect climate

6. “The reduced trend in radiative forcing (between 1998 and 2012) is primarily due to volcanic eruptions and the timing of the downward phase of the 11-year solar cycle” (SPM-10).
What the Heartland Institute science deniers wrote: This statement marks the first time the IPCC has acknowledged that solar factors may play a determinative role in short-term climate variability.
This is a critically important concession to the views of the many independent scientists who have concluded that solar effects play a bigger role in controlling climate than does CO2 (NIPCC, Chapter 3).
The claim of the disinformers that the IPCC hasn't discussed solar radiation before is ridiculously wrong and so easy to check.  Just do a word search for the word "solar" in any of the past reports and you'll see that these disinformers are telling a bald-faced lie when they write:  This statement marks the first time the IPCC has acknowledged that solar factors may play a determinative role in short-term climate variability.

There is no "concession".  These disinformers are making up stuff.  All IPCC reports discuss the role of solar radiation on climate.  How do these so-called scientists think the greenhouse effect works? Magic?

There's a good article on realclimate.org about attribution, which includes charts from previous reports so you can see for yourself about what is attributed to solar radiation.  Here's an animation of charts from the 1995 SAR and the 2001 TAR reports:

Source: RealClimate.org / IPCC

Below is just one example of what these pseudo-science quacks have described as "misleading or untrue" statements from the IPCC.

Many observed changes since the 1950s are unprecedented in decades to millenia

2. “Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, and since the 1950s many of the observed changes are unprecedented” (SPM-3).
What the Heartland Institute science deniers wrote: This statement is doubly untrue. The post-1950 warming shown by the Hadley record is of about the same magnitude and rate as the known natural warming between 1910 and 1940, and is therefore not unprecedented.
Here's the full statement in the Summary for Policy Makers (page SPM-3).
Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, and since the 1950s, many of the observed changes are unprecedented over decades to millennia. The atmosphere and ocean have warmed, the amounts of snow and ice have diminished, sea level has risen, and the concentrations of greenhouse gases have increased (see Figures SPM.1, SPM.2, SPM.3 and SPM.4). {2.2, 2.4, 3.2, 3.7, 4.2–4.7, 5.2, 5.3, 5.5–5.6, 6.2, 13.2}
The IPCC report states that many of the observed changes are unprecedented - and note what the Heartland Institute employees left out.  The lying foursome say that's a lie because they reckon that they've found one thing that isn't unprecedented.  A prime example of a logical fallacy, which I'm sure HotWhopper readers, even some of the science deniers among you, will recognise.

The IPCC listed some specific observed changes that are unprecedented over decades to millenia.  And they've provided some figures to illustrate this as well as referred readers to the relevant sections of the reports. Here's just one example: it's hotter than ever in the modern record:

Data source: NASA

The denier foursome have cherry picked some changes that they argue are not unprecedented as if that negates the observed changes that are unprecedented.  They reckon there were some parts of the world that didn't warm as much as others.  Well, whoopy doo.  That doesn't mean that GLOBAL warming isn't happening.  I wouldn't mind betting they got a lot wrong even with their examples, but I can't be bothered checking because it's irrelevant.

Enough is enough

I've wasted enough time on these nincompoops.  If you want to see how much more idiotic twaddle they write, check out my take down of their ridiculous Executive Summary of their latest effort for the Heartland Institute's Not the IPCC report, or read this archived WUWT article and check their silly claims for yourself.


  1. Further reading for those interested:

    Tamino looks at some of the statistical methodology of the Not the IPCC report here...


  2. Ah, the Lying Clown Circus has set up the tent at Wattsville again, on their last tour in a dying town.

    Imagine busting your guts discarding mountains of research to produce such a pathetic 'report'. They really are shameless degenerates.

  3. These last two posts have just shown how pathetic WUWT has become. While we all accept that Watts is an idiot, please don't let that be his excuse for everythin. As dumb as he is, he knows who Legates is and he also knows the IPCC reports well enough to recognize at least some of the obvious BS in this "Intentional Cherry-Picking" report as Tamino calls it. IOW, Watts may a bit slow, but he's also a lying ass.

    1. Watts is not an idiot. He is more frightening than that.


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