Saturday, July 28, 2018

Some bloke called Marcel Crok plays a cruel climate joke on Anthony Watts at WUWT

Sou | 3:24 PM Go to the first of 26 comments. Add a comment
This is sad. A ratbag from Europe, Marcel Crok, who is considered by Anthony Watts to be a "good friend" (enough said), has written to Anthony asking him to consult his network of "experts" (cached version).

What a horrid and cruel trick Marcel is playing on his supposed "good" friend.

Of course, it might be Marcel is unfamiliar with WUWT and is not a very close friend of Anthony's. He may not know that Anthony has no "network of experts". On the other hand, Marcel could have been wondering what the dregs of climate conspiracy land will say about the wave of extreme events happening around the world. (As far as I can make out, Marcel is a freelance writer who could be considered the equivalent of David Rose, who in turn has a well-earned reputation as a climate disinformer from the UK.)

Marcel wanted Anthony's network to help him out with his "bullshit detector". He wrote:

It was hot in lots of places this summer, not just Western Europe

The thing Marcel wanted to consult climate conspiracy "experts" about was the map of June temperature anomalies from NASA's GISTemp. In particular, the maps from June 1976 and June 2018. My guess is that he couldn't credit that the heat waves this summer in Europe were different from those in 1976, when the world's climate was vastly different to what it is now. (I can't say if that's because he's dumb or if he's knowledgeable and is seeking world annihilation.)

Have a look for yourself. Slide the arrow in the image below to the right to compare the two months. Look at western Europe, Ireland and the UK and you'll see that in June 1976 they experienced some rather hot weather. It wasn't so hot in most of the rest of the world.

May 18
April 18

Figure 1 | Maps showing mean surface temperature, anomalies for May and April, from the 1951-1980 mean. Data source: GISS NASA

Last month Western Europe, Ireland and the UK experienced some very hot weather as well. Unlike 1976, that wasn't an isolated event. It's been hotter than the 1951-1980 average all over the place.

Has UHI disease struck Antarctica again?

Anthony took the opportunity from Marcel's comment about crazy Antarctica to hint he thinks there was an outbreak of UHI disease at the south pole. He wrote:

What he was referring to was the scarcity of measurements in Antarctica for the June 2018 map. He found that because he looked at the GISTemp map using a 250 km smoothing radius rather than the 1200 km (default) smoothing radius.

Anthony might have observed that there are other places in the world with grey patches at 250 km smoothing, but if so he didn't mention it.

Here is a comparison of smoothing radii for June 2018 and June 2017.

May 18
April 18

Figure 2 | Maps showing mean surface temperature, anomalies from the 1951-1980 mean for June 2017 and June 2018, using 250 km smoothing. Data source: GISS NASA

I've shown this comparison to illustrate a point. You'll see that there is a bit more grey shading around the world in the June 2018 map. As more records come in, GISTemp is updated. For June 2017 there is more data for parts of Australia, Africa and some other areas. The additional data makes some, but very little difference to the end result. (I notice that occasionally, as more data comes in, the order of "hottest ever month" might change between months when the anomalies are very close.)

I doubt Anthony Watts knows that. He doesn't even understand what is meant by temperature anomaly, which is the difference in temperature between one period (eg average for 2017) and a baseline period (usually an average of a 30-year period).

One of the things Anthony complains about is that there are not more weather stations throughout Antarctica. (Perhaps he could use his blog to raise some money and send a few expeditions down there to set up and maintain more of them instead of cyber-begging for himself. Can you imagine Anthony getting out from behind his computer and facing the perils of Antarctica, like a real scientist? The mind rebels.)

Anthony has probably never figured out that Antarctica is very large. At 14 million sq km it is almost twice as big as the area of the contiguous United States (8.08 million sq km). He might not realise that not only is Antarctica largely uninhabited, it is also largely unexplored, at least on foot. (There is now a lot of information about Antarctica from satellite data and other means.)

Some of you will no doubt remember the time Anthony Watts accused two lone visitors to a temporary camp in the North Prince Charles Mountains somewhere vaguely near the coast of East Antarctica of contaminating a weather station sited more than 3000 km from where they were camped out (as Antarctic crows fly). He based his claim on a postage stamp and his imagining "waste heat from little pockets of humanity" spreading thousands of kilometers over the mountains and canyons in the vast Antarctic wilderness from one side of East Antarctica to the peninsula above West Antarctica.

Figure 3 | Anthony Watts' and his "little pockets of humanity" in Antarctica. Source: HotWhopper.

Anthony seems to be ashamed of his blog these days

You might notice that Anthony seems to have become ashamed of his blog. He no longer wants it preserved for posterity in the usual internet archives. I can't say I blame him. Who in their right mind would want to be associated with WUWT long term, or have historians discover the idiocy of his articles and particularly the wackiness of his target audience?

From the WUWT comments

I know you're all waiting with bated breath to find out what Anthony's network of "experts" think about Marcel Crok's question. You'll be disappointed. Most of them didn't consider Marcel's question, which was to help him out with his broken bullshit detector.

Bruce Cobb was no help at all. His own bullshit detector was busted years ago.
July 27, 2018 1:07 pm
If it looks like bullshit, smells like bullshit, and tastes like bullshit,
It’s most likely bullshit.

Stephen Richards is proud to be a conspiracy theorist, who probably thinks that NASA faked the moon landing going by this comment:
July 27, 2018 1:12 pm
Or if it’s NASA GISS it’s definitely BS 

A special mention has to go to this comment from msun1313. She or he is aware that the world has been warming, but thinks it's "deceptive" to show it. If only these scientists had removed the trend (Chris de Frietas, Bob Carter and John McLean tried that and just looked stupid), then dim deniers could happy claim that the world is not really heating up.
July 27, 2018 1:14 pm
An additional issue is the scale, is it not? They are using a 1951-1980 baseline. Like many other skeptics, I acknowledge that the earth has been slowly warming since the 1850s. By using a baseline that puts almost all of 2018 natural variability above the zero, you get an entire globe that is “warmer” and orange/red. It’s actually surprising that any of the map on the right is blue. This is the deception of comparing historical data (especially data that compares data 40 years apart) without taking into consideration any natural trend. The result is a graphic that implies man made CO2 is overheating the planet. 
Thing is, of course, that it's not just June 2018 that's "above the zero". Every single year from 1977 onwards has been "above the zero" compared to the average temperature from 1951 to 1980. Now that's saying something!
Figure 4 | Annual global mean surface temperature anomaly. The base period is 1951-1980. Data source: GISS NASA

Latitude refers to some "ice age scare" that was apparently circulating in some countries up north of here. (I'd never heard of it before coming across deniers and their wacky claims, probably because there was no "scare" in Australia, nor in scientific circles to any extent.) If you want to see how chilly it was in the 1970s globally, look at the chart above and compare 1970s temperature anomalies with those of the first part of last century.
July 27, 2018 1:41 pm
They are using a 1951-1980 baseline……guess that was the perfect temp
….and conveniently includes the 70’s ice age scare

I hope Marcel's bullshit detector gets fixed eventually. I don't hold out much hope. It was never any good as far as I know.


  1. Looks like a bait-and-switch to me. Ask for "help" with the global anomaly map, only get an hand-waving answer about Antarctica.

    If a researcher was being even the slightest bit intellectually honest, they would compare the result with or without Antarctica and see if there was a significant difference to the global result.

    1. Has anyone ever dared accuse Marcel Crok or Anthony Watts of being intellectual? Or of being honest?


  2. It is such a relief to know that the current heatwave, the drought, the wildfires, are all due to a thermometer in Antarctica.

    1. I was waiting to see an article about the horrible conflagration in Redding, then I remembered that Anthony doesn't like to write about what is happening in his own backyard.

      Too much climate change in California. Too many extreme events.

  3. Comparing current temps with older temps (51-80 baseline) *is* a pretty tricky/sneaky way to make it look like the world has warmed in the intervening period, you have to admit.

    Those fraudster scientists would have gotten away with it too, if it wasn't for those meddling kids at WUWT!! (Do you grok Scooby Doo references down there? :-)

    1. Ha ha. I'm not the best on popular culture but I have heard of Scooby Doo (a dog detective IIRC) :)

  4. "You might notice that Anthony seems to have become ashamed of his blog. He no longer wants it preserved for posterity in the usual internet archives."

    I had been wondering about this as I could no longer find a way to archive one of his recent blogs to avoid having to share the actual link. Does he perhaps need the clicks to be able to brag how often WUWT gets accessed?

    1. It could be, Baerbel; however, Anthony would be mistaken if he thinks clicks from pro-science blogs will make a discernible difference to his income. I don't expect too many sane people are sufficiently masochistic to click through.

      It won't help raise his reputation from the gutter either. Few climate scientists have ever heard of Anthony Watts, and those that have would probably be surprised he's still fighting science given what's happening these days with the changing climate. (They are too busy doing science to bother reading conspiracy blogs.)

      (Someone kindly alerted me to the fact that HotWhopper articles appear to upset Anthony a tad. He didn't say what in particular bothers him so much. Interestingly, that garbled, wrong, and conspiracy-laden comment from Anthony was under an article by one of Anthony's most conspiratorial of conspiracy nutters. It's catching, apparently. It could have something to do with him preventing archiving given Anthony's odd thought processes, if you can call that meandering mire a "process".)

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. Even if web pages are blocked to archivers there is still the capacity to save pages, or take screen shots, and archive these elsewhere in the name of fair use...

    4. Yes, that's true. I wonder who could sleep at night knowing their computer was harbouring the brain-killing drivel at WUWT?

      Here's a thought: Maybe it's the archivists who are refusing to waste good space on WUWT :D

    5. With the new Firefox you can not only capture a screen, but also a complete page. That would be something to save as evidence in case he makes a change and then claims you cited him wrongly.

    6. "Anthony would be mistaken if he thinks clicks from pro-science blogs will make a discernible difference to his income. I don't expect too many sane people are sufficiently masochistic to click through."

      The links are likely to change the google ranking of the target site. Even if no one clicks through.

    7. For what it's worth, here's an archive of the WUWT article: https://web.archive.org/web/20180729121253/https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/07/27/how-to-lie-with-maps-and-smoothing-nasa-giss-in-antarctica/

  5. Sou, you may have missed MSNBC anchor Chris Hayes' admission that climate change is a “ratings killer”.

    Pro global warming sites are struggling to attract readers at the best of times.... and your constant vitriol only serves to make your site less attractive than the other alarmist sites.

    You really need to take a chill-pill.

    1. Hi Ms Anonymous, bet you read that at WUWT, the home of "constant vitriol" - lol.

      (I find it hard to imagine many climate conspiracy theorists follow @chrislhayes on Twitter. They are more likely to follow Alex Jones on Facebook.)

      Have you suggested slowing down and taking a chill pill to any climate conspiracy bloggers. (I know, unlikely. Consistency is not a strong suit of deniers).

      Perhaps you're just saying that because you love HotWhopper the very best out of all the climate blogs and are just watching out for its long term wellbeing :D

    2. Ahhh, a brave "Anonymous" and their tone-trolling. Good grief.

    3. "Pro global warming sites are struggling to attract readers at the best of times"

      Didn't you get the memo? - the science is settled. Anthro CO2 is causing warming.
      I'd suggest that unlike the anti-science lot, there are no conspiracy riddled, badge-wearing ignorants answering dog-whistles in an echo-chamber of hatred reading "Pro-global warming sites"- instead just those informed by the science and wishing to discuss something achievable, instead of raving at the unfairness of the world via imminent take-over of a UN-lead world government intent on taking "Their tax dollars".
      Bizarre that you think the likes of WUWT has anything to do with science.

    4. Personally, I think global warming is not a popular topic among people whose lifestyles are destroying their own children's futures.

    5. If you want vitriol, just read the comments on any WUWT post that mentions James Hansen or especially Michael Mann.

      You will find disgusting and unmoderated accusations of fraud and malpractice, juxtaposed with irrelevant ad hominem insults ranging from their physical appearance to their mental health.

      No actual evidence of any wrongdoing by either distinguished scientist, naturally, because none exists.

  6. The whole article seems to be trying to deflect from the original point of the 1976 to 2018 graphs. they started with a tweet by Simon Lee showing that although the current heatwave in the UK was not as hot as in 1976, the background of global temperatures was very different.


    This in turn was because so many ususal suspects were saying that the current hot summer in the UK couldn't be caused by global warming as it had been hotter in 76.

    1. Thanks for the link, Bellman. That was a thoughtful (and thought-provoking) article, wasn't it.

  7. Thank you for the proto-limeric of the headline. We need things that can make us laugh. Other than WUWT.

    1. With a bit more thought it could have been better :)

    2. Crook bloke Croc with writer's block goes to Phony Tony for some Watts Thoughts?


  8. Marcel Crok of the Week



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