Thursday, August 4, 2016

Anthony Watts: Loopy and out of the loop. It's been noticed.

Sou | 8:37 AM Go to the first of 7 comments. Add a comment
Tom Karl has retired from NOAA after more than 40 years of dedicated service. At HotWhopper, let's wish him well in his retirement and thank him for his valuable contribution, helping everyone understand better how we are changing climates around the world.

I woke up to see an article by Anthony Watts at WUWT (archived here). That's still a rare occurrence. It wasn't so much an article by Anthony as a misleading headline on top of a copied and pasted press release, with Anthony Watts' conspiracy theorising added underneath. At around the same time I got some messages from people who noticed that Anthony is very much out of the science loop.

The press release was to let people know that Tom Karl of NOAA has retired. Anthony's headline was "resigned", probably so that his obedient fans would make up some conspiracy theory about nefarious goings on. Or it could just be another example of Anthony Watts' ignorance. (So far most of his dim deniers have just stuck with Anthony's own conspiracy theory.)

The loopy conspiracy theorist is out of the (NOAA) loop

At the bottom of the article Anthony wrote about what this means - except he's wrong - and Anthony doesn't know what it means. He's out of the loop (and loopy). As one person said to me after reading it, Anthony is "a year behind the times". Anthony managed to squeeze quite a few wrongs into his latest conspiracy theorising. He wrote:
What this means is that Tom Peterson will likely succeed Karl as director, and Peterson is a rabid warmist, and holds the keys to the entire GHCN dataset and the WMO climate program. He was also a co-author (likely the one who did all the work since Karl is a policy wonk and not much of a scientist) in that sleight of hand that they pulled last year in adjusting past sea-surface temperatures in a  highly criticized paper that made the slope of warmer higher. These two are so smug, they refused a congressional subpoena last year looking into the issue

If Peterson gets the nod, you can expect NCDC/NCEI to become even more alarmist and data adjusting than they are now.

It would be hard for Anthony to write two paragraphs that were more chock full of wrong.

First of all, Thomas Peterson himself retired a year ago. It is most unlikely that NOAA will call back a retiree to take on the role (Tom hasn't been asked to quit his retirement. He's busy enough enjoying his retirement as well as continuing in his role as President, of the WMO Commission for Climatology.)

Second of all, Tom Peterson is not rabid. He understands science and has devoted his life to it, unlike Anthony Watts. It is Anthony Watts who is a rabid denier and who makes false accusations of fraud.

Thirdly, the entire GHCN data set is available to everyone as far as I know.

Fourthly, the paper that Anthony is talking about isn't the one that "adjusted past sea-surface temperatures". It mentioned the new version of ERSST, however the details of ERSST v4 was reported in detail in two other papers earlier in 2015 - here and here.

Fifthly - NOAA did respond to Lamar Smith subpoena. It was difficult to respond to all his requests. Poor old Lamar Smith doesn't know what he wants from them (see here for more).

Finally, Anthony Watts turns a normal process into an accusation. NOAA scientists do make adjustments to raw data as a necessary part of the process for estimating global and regional trends in climate. What Anthony neglects to mention is that he also adjusts data. Anthony adjusted temperature data when he put together his as yet unpublished work (or should I say the work of others) about US temperatures.

From the WUWT comments

There are not a lot of them so far. Most of them bought Anthony's conspiracy theory and don't "believe" that the world has warmed. There is a small number of people who are a wake-up to Anthony Watts.

Nigel in Santa Barbara
August 3, 2016 at 12:18 pm
Resigns =/= Retires. A little bit too close to clickbait headline.

M Courtney is another climate deceiver and a wilful denier, spreading lies about scientists:

August 3, 2016 at 12:32 pm
It’s hard to say.
Karl will be forever associated with fiddling the use of temperature samples sets from ships in order to adjust the temperature record.
When a person as tarnished as him goes, it doesn’t matter if he is as honoured by the State as Lysenko was.
He will be remembered. 

Zeke Hausfather tried to set Anthony straight. I'm surprised this was let through by the mods:
August 3, 2016 at 12:40 pm
You do know Tom Peterson retired last July (2015), right? Somehow I don’t think he will be replacing Karl.
Also, changes to ERSST (v3b to v4) were done in Huang et al 2015; Karl et al did no new adjustments to SST data. They did use the ISTI databank for land stations (which includes many more stations than GHCN v3), which was novel but had little impact on land trends.

Most of the rest were like Mark - Helsinki, who when reality isn't to his liking, repeats Anthony Watts' false accusations of fraud:
August 3, 2016 at 12:43 pm
What’s the bets even Tom is not willing to do what NCEI NOAA are about to embark on at the end of his career, as in total all out f r a u d but this Patterson will no questions asked.
Because I reckon they have to cook up completely imaginary warming at this point, this year, absolutely no way it was he “hottest evah”

No time for more from me. I'll just add that the people involved in this work noticed Anthony's blooper, and think Anthony Watts is silly and sad. I think he's a pathetic, nasty old has-been whose fleeting "glory" passed long ago. He deserves every one of his dismal fans, none of whom are decent scientists.

From the HotWhopper archives

Here is an article that illustrates the type of person Anthony Watts is, with some references to articles on the NOAA temperature record and the protests from deniers.


  1. The Monckton post may also make a beautiful story. He complains that the University of London does not want to endorse his "conference"/clown car, people in the comments cry out about this terrible injustice, after which others finally point out how extreme some speakers are and then in the end Anthony Watts puts up a disclaimer that WUWT does not endorse this clown car.

    The comments were this slowly enfolds are hilarious. A slow motion train wreck.

    I wonder if there will be a part two. Because the University did not want to host them, they moved to Conway Hall (a Humanist society in London). If there is any group more allergic to woo-woo than a University it would be actually sceptical Humanists. What could possibly go wrong? :-)

    1. You're right, Victor!

      This is a lot like Sou's last post's drawing attention to WUWT deploying a variant of Easterbrook's Greenland graphic when even their own website lists it as debunked- and pretty-well nobody notices!

      Surely that PDF of the conference 'abstracts and commentary' might just as well be titled 'Welcome to the Festival of Woo!'?

      (Though, really; 'The New Dawn of Truth' with a hyper-kitsch emblazoned Crusader sword? Pretty-well says the same thing!)

      Some of them do actually notice it leads off with Monckton's 'Speedometer', which they've already conceded is just plain, um, wrong, but mostly the donkeys just nod along and bray!

      The psychology is interesting. The 'arguments' are not.

    2. Excellent spot. The comments are a joy. I love it when Monckton gets all sneery.

  2. Anthony let Zeke Hausfather's comment through because the veracity of Anthony's elevation of Tom Peterson from retirement is inconsequential to his faithful fools. He is beyond caring about science or even common or garden facts and just craves the reassuring comfort of uninformed vitriol that has nurtured his spirit for the last 20 years or so.

    In any case the identity of any particular climate scientist is inconsequential because his silly readers know that they are all the bloody same.

  3. I had subscribed to WUWT to see what climate risk deniers are writing about Arctic sea ice, but this blog is dead in the water. And Watts hardly ever writes any analysis (just copypaste).

    Has WUWT traffic been going down lately? It wouldn't surprise me in the least. It shows all the signs of decline.

    1. His last post was 100% copy/paste without any attribution to the source. The only original material was the headline, which was the opposite to what the plagiarized text stated.
      I understand why he is reluctant to post an ice thread, it often leads to disaster (Aug 4 2012). Speaking of disasters,the WUWT Sea Ice Page is mostly broken links and months old charts.

    2. Climate change denial has declined in other blogs that I subscribe to. Just the small hardcore who repeat the same things over and over again are left. I expect a bit of a resurgence due to One Nation in Australia, but not much.


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