Hot Dog Bites Skeptical Man: Koch-Funded Berkeley Temperature Study Does “Confirm the Reality of Global Warming”

dog bites manFour new papers confirm that “the world is warming fast,” as the Economist summed it up.  One paper finds that “the effect of urban heating on the global trends is nearly negligible.”  Another finds that the work of the scientist-smearing denier Anthony Watts is pure BS.

Okay, that’s all “dog bites man” stuff, which is to say, not news in the least.  The news is that this work was funded in part by Charles Koch, a leading funder of deniers, and two of the key authors are well-known smearers of climate scientists, Judith Curry and Richard Muller.  Hot dog!

Climate Progress actually broke this story back in March — see Exclusive: Berkeley temperature study results “confirm the reality of global warming and support in all essential respects the historical temperature analyses of the NOAA, NASA, and HadCRU.”  That was based on an email Climatologist Ken Caldeira sent me after seeing their preliminary results and a public talk by Muller confirming:

  • “We are seeing substantial global warming”
  • “None of the effects raised by the [skeptics] is going to have anything more than a marginal effect on the amount of global warming.”

But now the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature Study have completed their “independent” analysis of all of the temperature stations and found a rate of warming since the 1950s as high NOAA and NASA and faster than the (much maligned) UK Hadley/CRU data:

data analysis graph

The decadal land-surface average temperature using a 10-year moving average of surface temperatures over land. Anomalies are relative to the Jan 1950 – December 1979 mean. The grey band indicates 95% statistical and spatial uncertainty interval.

If there is any news here it is that Watts has been demonstrated once and for all to be an “anti-scientist” — not just someone who routinely smears scientists,  but someone who represents the negation of the scientific method.  No facts can change his conclusions.  He is a science rejectionist — and an uber-hypocritical one, as we’ll see.

Watts had famously promised “I’m prepared to accept whatever result they produce, even if it proves my premise wrong.”  He and other deniers even started working with BEST to influence the outcome, as I first reported here:  “Bombshell: Climate Science deniers claim to have full access to Berkeley temperature study work-product — and are now working with the Berkeley team!

But BEST just released a whole paper devoted to debunking Watts’ life work —  his effort to smear climate scientists by accusing them of knowingly using bad temperature stations to rig their results.  NOAA had debunked Watts 2 years ago (see here), of course.  But now it’s friendly fire trained on Watts.

Here’s what the BEST paper found:

An analysis team led by Anthony Watts has shown that 70% of the USHCN temperature stations are ranked in NOAA classification 4 or 5, indicating a temperature uncertainties greater than 2C or 5C, respectively…..  From this analysis we conclude that the difference in temperature rate of rise between poor stations and OK stations is –0.014 ± 0.028 C per century.  The absence of a statistically significant difference between the two sets suggests that networks of stations can reliably discern temperature trends even when individual stations have large absolute uncertainties.

This is precisely what NOAA had found:  “Clearly there is no indication from this analysis that poor station exposure has imparted a bias in the U.S. temperature trends.”

Needless to say, Watts has imploded on his blog,

His big strategy for attacking his fellow confusionists:  “There’s only one problem: Not one of the BEST papers have completed peer review.”

That wins the award for perhaps the most hypocritical statement ever made by a denier.  Watts has spent years attacking the integrity of scientists based on nothing but his un-peer-reviewed nonsense.

Watts is the person on the Internet most responsible for viciously smearing scientists and spreading disinformation on global warming, particularly disinformation on the surface temperature record.  He infamously coauthored a “report” accusing top U.S. scientists of various kinds of misfeasance and malfeasance in the global temperature record.  It was utterly debunked last March (see Wattergate: Tamino debunks “just plain wrong” Anthony Watts).  As Tamino wrote, “your use of false claims to accuse NOAA scientists of deliberate deception was not just mistaken, it was unethical.”

Watts never retracted the attacks.  Instead, on Memorial Day 2010, Watts directly questioned the patriotism of both Tamino and Rabett (see “Peak readership for anti-science blogs?“) leading Tamino to write, “This just might be the most loathsome thing Watts has yet done with his blog.”

But it wasn’t.  Just this March, Watts published this absurd statement:

many of the best AGW scientists are willing to lie, cheat, and steal to push their personal AGW agenda

Yet WattsUpWithThat offered not one single fact or link to back up that deplorable falsehood.

But now Watts has exploded because BEST has released its results before completing peer review!  Talk about the pot calling the kettle “unscientific.”  Why should peer review matter to Watts?  The peer-reviewed literature has disproved everything he has ever written.

Watts laughably titles his post, “The Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project puts PR before peer review” failing to get that this headline eviscerates his entire climate career.  He has always put PR before peer review.  Indeed, he has made a career out of attacking the peer review process, publishing numerous posts this year attacking it directly!

And then he can’t help but going after the centrist Economist magazine for running with this story:

One willing participant to this PR blitz, that I spent the last week corresponding with, is James Astill of The Economist, who presumably wrote the article below, but we can’t be sure since the Economist has not the integrity to put author names to articles:

… And, The Economist still doesn’t get it. The issue of “the world is warming” is not one that climate skeptics question, it is the magnitude and causes.

Oh, no, The Economist didn’t put a byline on its piece.  They must be part of the conspiracy.

And you see another falsehood.  Plenty of “skeptics” question warming.  Just this month, Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal published Koch-fueled disinformer Robert Bryce asserting, “Regardless of whether it’s getting hotter or colder—or both—we are going to need to…..”

Anyway, the magnitude is now pretty much settled, and Watts had agreed to “accept whatever result they produce, even if it proves my premise wrong.

As The Economist ends its piece:

At a time of exaggerated doubts about the instrumental temperature record, this should help promulgate its main conclusion: that the existing mean estimates are in the right ballpark. That means the world is warming fast.

I wonder who The Economist could possibly be talking about when they write “At a time of exaggerated doubts about the instrumental temperature record.”  Ah, but just like they didn’t byline the article, they didn’t identify the exaggerator-in-chief, Anthony Watts.

Finally, it always bears repeating that if BEST were just the work of Muller and Curry, it would have no credibility:

  1. Muller is the author of widely debunked books, blog posts andWall Street Journal op-eds.  He himself has actually worked to undermine credibility in well-established science and doesn’t have a great grasp of basic climate science (see here) or energy (see “here).  He makes up crap entirely (see “Muller makes up story about Al Gore, Ralph Cicerone, and polar bears“).  And he can’t help libeling real climate scientists, like Michael Mann (see here).  As Mann writes, “Anyone who thinks that Richard Muller has any credibility at all should see this recent video report by Peter Sinclair, which shows him clearly lying about the science and the scientists. There is no room for such dishonesty when it comes to discussions of science.”  Many other climate scientists have shared similar views with me.
  2. Judith Curry is one of the most debunked climate scientists in the country (see Schmidt and Annan and Steig andVerheggen, and CP for starters).

But the rest of the team — including lead scientist Robert Rohde and the incomparable Arthur Rosenfeld (Former California Energy Commissioner) — apparently kept them in line.

In any case, there’s no real need for anyone to cite their work because it just confirms what has been in the literature for many years — the planet is warming fast as we know through multiple lines of evidence, including the well-vetted surface temperature record.

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117 Responses to Hot Dog Bites Skeptical Man: Koch-Funded Berkeley Temperature Study Does “Confirm the Reality of Global Warming”

  1. John Hollenberg says:

    Last nail in the coffin for Watts. He has become pretty much irrelevant… which is probably what is upsetting him the most.

  2. As long as there’s money in kowtowing to deniers, there’ll be SOBs making money kowtowing to them.

  3. Leif says:

    I sure hope that Lame Stream Media get wind of this. There might be a story buried here.
    Attention Journalists.

  4. Lore says:

    Anthony is in a real tail spin over at his blog with this. All of his chickens have finally come home to roost. His faint at righteous indignation is to complain about the early release and circumnavigation of peer-review with the charge that the sampling of data was over 60 years, not 30 as in his study. Just too much information I guess?

    Maybe he can get his buddy Roger Pielke Sr. to help him out once again and put a positive spin on this figurative wedgie to his denial machine? It’s also interesting to see how he and his loyal followers have now turned on the once vaunted Muller like a pack of wild dogs.

  5. Greg Wellman says:

    Yet another hockey stick.

  6. Greg Wellman says:

    “His big strategy for attacking his fellow confusionists: “There’s only one problem: Not one of the BEST papers have completed peer review.””
    Ok, that’s just hilarious – for all the reasons you pointed out. How’s this playing over at Curry’s? Guess I’ll have to take a look.

  7. Greg Wellman says:

    Ok, back from Curry’s blog. Shorter Curry: “Everything’s preliminary because history began with this analysis, never mind that it confirms the massive preexisting body of literature. Hence, draw no conclusions.”

    The song remains the same.

  8. Watts gets taken down by none other than Koch, Curry, Mueller and the Economist. Priceless.

  9. dick smith says:

    Thanks for taking the time to take the next logical step. Between this and Sheldon Whitehouse’s speech, this has been a decent week.

  10. I commented on Watts’ WUWT and instantly attracted the attentions of a denier par excellence – a guy who INSISTED that to say gas molecules are anything other than “spherical” is pure stupidity. Problem is that at the same time this guy was saying he understood lots about infra red and that using infra red he can prove the greenhouse effect is fiction. Here’s the real kicker: the proof that CO2 gas is NOT a sphere comes from its infra red spectrum.

    The denialism on Watts’ blog – this being just one example – is absolutely astounding. It’s an amazing repository of nonsense, cognitive dissonance, denial, vitriol, self-aggrandisement, pseudoscience and many other psychological effects. It’s ready-made data for styding psychological problems, surely.

  11. Mike Roddy says:

    Muller and I have mutual friends at Berkeley-he is an opportunist, and was once Nobelist Louis Alvarez’ lap dog. He has become a little weird, but is still a smart scientist.

    I think Muller was gaming Koch and Watts the whole time. He knew about the NOAA study, of course, and all of the suspense about postponing the BEST results until “all the data are in” was just a way to milk the Kochs out of more money, which amounted to a lot compared to a professor’s salary.

    In this case, the charge that climate scientists were “after grant money” was correct, but the results verified what has become obvious. Only a complete idiot would claim otherwise.

    As for Watts, the whole notion that scientists were conspiring to use faulty temperature stations to exaggerate climate change was never anything more than a joke. Even Curry and Muller figured that one out.

    Watts is not going to be headlining any Heartland conferences for a while. I’ll miss the humor opportunities, but good riddance.

  12. Lore says:

    I also found it interesting that Watts gave a dog whistle call to his loyal followers just prior to his post on the study by doing another Al Gore bash and making it a sticky. He then followed it with a post commending Gavin Schmidt for winning the New Award from the American Geophysical Union recognizing excellence in Climate Communications. Making himself look ultra magnanimous, but knowing full well that such confirmed red meat would be chewed up by his devoted fans.

    Nice attempt at ginning up your base before you hit them with the bad news.

  13. Chuckarama says:

    It’s always worth seeing both sides. Watt’s veeeeery long response is worth reading as well:

    He has a decent point about the peer review being trumped by PR, I think.

  14. Lewis Cleverdon says:

    I’m reminded of a $2 million study commissioned by the fossil lobby’s now defunct ‘Global Climate Coalition’ into the Pacific Ocean’s cloud-cover response to global warming, using NASA’s entire images archive as its observation record. To the chagrin of the GCC, the scientific team did indeed find such a response, but it was of additional night-time cloud cover, thus trapping additional heat within the ocean and low altitude atmosphere, and thus constituted a positive feedback on global warming.

    Two conclusions seem worth noting. First, that study (to which I sadly cannot post the link) is further documentary evidence that the fossil lobby, from Peabody to Tillerson to the Koch bros, are fully informed of the reality and threat of global warming – and have been for at least fourteen years – and thus have been culpably irresponsible in commissioning, via fee laundries, the likes of the propagandist Watts et al to misinform the public. Their arraignment on charges including misuse of company funds, profiteering, endangering public safety, eroding national security, etc, can only be a matter of time.

    Second, very little was heard of that study after its delivery to the GCC, and it’s to be hoped that the Berkeley study that Charles Koch has part-funded will not now be allowed to fade from view behind the paywalls of academia’s publishers. To this end, an additional peer review process may be helpful, at best provided by the NAS as the supreme US scientific authority, to allow the team to publish their findings in full on the web, complete with language and graphics accessible to the general public. This is not to decry academic publishing itself, but to observe the evident need of additional communication measures if the public is to be fully informed of its predicament, and the profiteers are to face constraint.



  15. squidboy6 says:

    They will come up with some new complaint, a new angle to deny what is obvious to everybody else. It’s about money so they’ll run their air conditioners.

    I have relatives in Tennessee and the people who live next door start their AC units as soon as it gets to be 68 deg F. No insulation, and of course they’re obese as well. My relatives did much the same, 62 deg in Summer and 80 deg in Winter.

    Most people just don’t care. When the ice cube melts the temperature will really go up. The only thing they’ll notice is the bill and TVA isn’t cheap. It snowed more than it ever did when I lived there thirty years ago. This year’s supposed to be another La Nina so look for deep diving jet streams this Winter!

  16. David B. Benson says:

    I suppose yet another analysis of the records is worthwhile; BEST was able somehow to extend the graph back to 1800 CE.

  17. Colorado Bob says:

    Watts is a jello shaped weasel, we will never catch him , but in the real world tonight.
    There are over 1,000 factories in Thailand that have 39 inches of water in them.

    The amount of water moving across Thailand is the size of Conn. and one meter deep.

    “Observed Events ” kids observed events.

  18. caerbannog says:

    You are forgetting that the Black Knight always triumphs!

    From the WUWT comment thread:

    Jeff D says:
    October 20, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    Yep took his work and turned it into a hockey stick.

    That has got to sting. Sorry Anthony.

    REPLY: No worries, down maybe, but not out. I still have the upper hand, they just don’t know what I know at this point. – Anthony

    Have at you!

  19. Colorado Bob says:

    “Observed Events ” kids observed events.

  20. Colorado Bob says:

    “Observed Events ”
    I read models, I read the science, I know their forecasts . One of the forecasts …… One meter if rainfall moving across Thailand,
    In the future, not today.

  21. Colorado Bob says:

    “Observed Events” –
    4 years ago , I watched the largest fire in Alaska that year. This year , I learned it was the largest fire in the last 5,000 years there.

    None of this involved a forest, it was all tundra. I have the satellite images to prove it.
    I was attacked for watching it, by a Watts believer. He came on my thread about Antarctica, and all the ice it was making,
    “Observed Events” .

  22. Colorado Bob says:

    Joe –
    Everyday post this :
    “Observed Events”
    Me and others will take it from there.

  23. Colorado Bob says:

    “Observed Events”
    Why is Thailand under water ?

  24. Colorado Bob says:

    “Observed Events”
    Why is Thailand under water ?
    Because it has rained 25% more than average since July. But some it that came very fast, like Key West , they just caught 6.91 inches in 24 hours.

  25. Colorado Bob says:

    “Observed Events” – Since Oct. 1st, Key West, has received more than 16 inches of rain. All of it without a hurricane to help the totals.

  26. Colorado Bob says:

    And I quote from the NWS data set :


  27. Colorado Bob says:

    This daily record was run over like a cross town bus.

  28. Colorado Bob says:

    The old record was set in 1910 , the new record beat it by 2.83 inches.
    No hurricane to help these numbers.

    Cross town bus, please stand back from the curb.

  29. Colorado Bob says:

    If you live near an ocean , buckle your chin strap.
    I don’t, ……. Monday I just had to deal with this :

    It was 8,000 feet tall, and moving 50 mph, when it hit.

  30. Colorado Bob says:

    Buy 50 pound bags of wheat. Store it so water can’t touch it. When your 401K is junk , this 50 pound bag of flour will count.

  31. Colorado Bob says:

    The world is ripe for over throw.

    Buy wheat , and store it well.

    And batteries , double A .

    When the world ends I’ll have 3.000 pounds of double “A” batteries.

  32. Lewis Cleverdon says:

    Watts is a cornered [snip] – it’s best to stand back and use the appropriate response on such – I’d suggest something of the calibre of the Union of Concerned Scientists suing him on its members’ behalf down to his knickers for serial profiteering defamation.

    Re Thailand, official estimates see the floods cutting 1% off expected 4.5% growth of GDP – but some industry sources expect a 2% cut. Worse, the UK’s second consecutive extreme winter last year cut the Q4 Y-on-Y GDP officially by 0.5% to just 0.1% – and our camel’s back was already heavily laden.

    It appears that quantifiable climatic destabilization has begun – in both developing and industrialised nations – this early in the curve of global warming.



  33. Colorado Bob says:

    When the world ends I’ll have 3.000 pounds of double “A” batteries.
    And a solar panel from Harbor Freight.

  34. Colorado Bob says:

    Ten years later , I was war lord. because I had a Harbor Freight solar panel.

  35. JimmyB says:

    Comments by deniers in the articles about the BEST findings seem to have a common thread: That skeptics always knew the world is warming, but they disagreed about the cause.

    So…how often have we seen deniers using the manufactured climategate argument the past two years? What was that about?

    Then we have this priceless article (note the date):

  36. Colorado Bob says:

    Harbor Freight solar panels.
    Buy one , my friends gave some of them . I bought golf cart batteries. Lots of them.

    It runs like watch.

  37. Colorado Bob says:

    golf cart batteries

    Nothing cycles like a golf cart battery.

  38. Colorado Bob says:

    golf cart batteries

    Bang for buck , you can’t touch it .

  39. John Mason says:

    The only half-decent posting session I have ever had on WUWT was on peak oil – some of them can get their heads round that – but not all! In other cases it is more like attempting to debate with a blancmange!!!

    Cheers – John

  40. John Mason says:

    “His big strategy for attacking his fellow confusionists: “There’s only one problem: Not one of the BEST papers have completed peer review.”

    That is ABSOLUTELY priceless. It’d be worth digging out his nastiest statement WRT peer review, putting it above this one and framing them!

    Cheers – John

  41. Colorado Bob says:

    Now let us all debate the paraffin heat battery.
    Water has a number of 1 . Nothing in nature comes near this.

    Water holds more heat than any item on the scale . That’s why water is #1 .

    Paraffin will hold much more than this, (heat).
    paraffin goes through a phase change,
    That phase change is important.

    25 years ago I designed paraffin heat batteries.

  42. Colorado Bob says:

    the paraffin heat battery –
    This is the hail stone at 60,000 feet.
    Heat , what’s heat doing ?

    If we harness this heat, it will serve us , if we fail it beat our brains in.

  43. Colorado Bob says:

    Take a solar design to catch heat , you are only as good as your battery.
    Water is your cheapest design for the “battery” ……… But paraffin does something water can’t touch. At low temps . it makes a phase change. If you have a paraffin battery , at low temps you can capture the phase change.

  44. Colorado Bob says:

    “at low temps you can capture the phase change.”
    This is around 130F degrees . This a lot power these days. Every time the paraffin moves from one state to the next. Heat can be put to work.

  45. Colorado Bob says:

    the paraffin heat battery –

    I have solar panel , I made it to catch heat.
    Because I have all the money I’ll ever need , I have giant tank of paraffin . It will take weeks to melt this block of paraffin.

    If my solar system can do this , there is a whole winters of BTU’s in the deal.
    The change from a block to a pool has all the power one man will ever need.

  46. Colorado Bob says:

    the paraffin heat battery –
    Salts are the next thing on this scale, then water. Paraffin holds more heat than anything we can afford. And it does it by geometric scales. And it will do this for 100’s of years. And never change.

  47. Colorado Bob says:

    the paraffin heat battery –
    In your house , there is a tank with 1,000 gal. of paraffin. Over the summer, it’s 170F degrees. Even though we heat all your hot water , the tank only falls a few degrees. Why ? Because paraffin holds more heat than water.

  48. Colorado Bob says:

    None of this needs outside power ever again

  49. Colorado Bob says:

    In April , you begin running the system at night. By June the block of the paraffin in the heat battery is 70F degrees.

  50. Colorado Bob says:

    Thermal mass makes all this work .

  51. Colorado Bob says:

    That’s right , you put a 1,000 gallons of wax in house, and you’ll never need gas again.

  52. Colorado Bob says:

    Please. all you smart people shoot me down.

  53. Colorado Bob says:

    Storage ,is the problem, not catching the sun.

  54. Colorado Bob says:

    Google …… Thermal mass. I read all of this in book , years ago.

  55. Colorado Bob says:

    ” Google …… Thermal mass. I read all of this in a book , years ago ”

    And I bought 20 pounds paraffin, and tested it . Nearly 40 years ago.

  56. prokaryotes says:

    Comments like this remind me, that i’m missing a upvote feature :)

  57. prokaryotes says:


    The Hamster Wheel: Lord Monckton

    300.000 views within roughly 48hrs

  58. Colorado Bob says:

    Thermal mass

    A great deal of power in these words.

  59. Isaac says:

    Isaac Asimov Unabridged Collection, a must have for SF fans

    When you install utorrent, and after adding the above torrent, choose “Our Angry Earth” (or everything).

  60. prokaryotes says:

    New climate study deals blow to skeptics

    London (CNN) — An independent study of global temperature records has reaffirmed previous conclusions by climate scientists that global warming is real.
    The new analysis by the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project examined 1.6 billion temperature reports from 15 data archives stretching back over 200 years in an effort to address scientific concerns raised by climate skeptics about the data used to inform reports published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
    Researchers found “reliable evidence” of a rise in average world land temperatures of one degrees Celsius since the mid-1950s.
    “Our biggest surprise was that the new results agreed so closely with the warming values published previously by other teams in the United States and the UK,” professor Richard A. Muller, Berkeley Earth’s scientific director said in a statement.
    “This confirms that these studies were done carefully and that potential biases identified by climate change skeptics did not seriously affect their conclusions,” Muller added.

  61. anent PR and peer review

    It’s a non-issue. It’s the equivalent of a teacher complaining that you didn’t put your homework in the right color folder.

  62. John Mason says:

    Also, I seem to recall Watts holding the pre-publication McShane & Wyner paper as though it were a holy grail LOL!

    Cheers – John

  63. As others have noted, Watts complains that the BEST study looked at TOO MUCH DATA. That has to be the funniest criticism ever. Too much data. Roll it over in your mind for awhile. Imagine Watts’s rationalizations. The fatuity.

    What a vainglorious weasel.

  64. Neuroskeptic says:

    It’s almost enough to make you feel sorry for Watts.

    Not really though.

  65. BBHY says:

    When this study first started Watts talked about it a lot because he thought the results ere going to go the other way.

    It is more that a little disingenuous now for him to say that everyone should wait for peer review.

  66. And his deferral of comments isn’t really a deferral: he keeps commenting on it! (It must be some of those non-commenting comments.)

  67. Chris Winter says:

    Prospective headline: “Berkeley study BESTS Anthony Watts”

  68. Mike Roddy says:

    Let’s kick him while he’s down. He deserves it.

  69. Joan Savage says:

    Looks like it would be handy to buy a dust cover for that solar panel.

  70. prokaryotes says:

    Climate study raises ‘heated debate’

    The Berkeley Earth Project’s new analysis of the global temperature record, which I covered on Thursday, raises a number of questions concerning the science and the politics of climate change, and the ways in which science should be conducted.

    The headline conclusion – that the Earth’s surface is indeed getting warmer and that the 20th Century did indeed see a pattern of warming, slight cooling and warming again – is hardly a surprise.

    But in the febrile atmosphere of “the climate debate”, its significance lies not only in its conclusions, but in who’s done it and what they’ve found.

    At the heart of the “Climate Gate” issue lay the allegation that researchers at the University of East Anglia (UEA) and their peers elsewhere had basically cooked the books.

    They’d twisted, hidden, manipulated and otherwise distorted their record of the Earth’s temperature, it was said, for whatever reason – to save their careers, promote their green ideology or further the cause of world government.

    It was also said that the climate crowd were not “proper” scientists. Get physicists or geologists on the case, it was argued, and some proper conclusions might emerge.

    Into this arena rode the Berkeley group – seven of the 10 physicists, two of them statisticians, just one a climatologist – with a new approach.

    In the years leading up to 2009, climate researchers were subjected to an ever-increasing stream of critical bloggery, innuendo and Freedom of Information (FoI) requests.

    While some of the FoI requests may have been entirely legitimate, the cumulative impact was that researchers battened down the hatches against the storms raging outside – creating something of a bunker mentality that has been criticised by official enquiries, even though they found the wider concerns about manipulation were unfounded.

  71. prokaryotes says:

    he sceptical blogosphere has been unusually quiet – disappointingly quiet, you might say.

    James Delingpole, Jo Nova, ClimateAudit… nothing.

    One who has waded into the fray, inevitably, is Anthony Watts of Watts Up With That.

    I say “inevitably”, because his criticisms of weather station quality were among the factors that persuaded Prof Muller to get his project off the ground.

    The Berkeley group concluded that although a high proportion of weather stations in the US might not be high quality – for example, if they’re situated in the middle of an expanding city – it doesn’t matter.

    High-quality stations show the same warming trend as low-quality ones; so this issue can be taken off the table.

    Mr Watts, in his recent postings, isn’t impressed.

    He argues that the Berkeley team used too long a time period for its analysis. He says it made a few other basic errors.

    These things may or may not turn out to be true or important. But Mr Watts is on shaky ground, as he recognises, given that back in March he wrote a warm post on the Berkeley project’s methods, concluding: “I’m prepared to accept whatever result they produce, even if it proves my premise wrong”.
    Pressing the point

    He is on much, much, much shakier ground in his request that because the Berkeley papers have not gone through formal peer-review, the team should not be looking for any media coverage.

    Pots and kettles are everywhere.

    The entire modus operandi of blogging – and in the climate field, Watts Up With That is one of the most successful – is that stuff is chucked into the public domain for discussion with no review at all.

    All those posts on Climate Audit and Bishop Hill over the years finding “problems” with historical climate data – how many of them were peer-reviewed?

    Exactly. And Anthony Watts is in any case happy to put non-peer-reviewed science onto his pages.

    There’s a fair bit of revisionism going on too, some of it visible in the comments on my news story.

    “Sceptics don’t say the world isn’t warming,” this narrative goes – “we just debate how much of it is caused by greenhouse gases.”

    There are some “sceptics” who do take this line, it’s true. But if the Earth’s temperature record wasn’t an issue, why has so much energy been expended in attempting to discredit it and the scientists behind it?

    Over on the other side of the divide, Joe Romm of Climate Progress, who has on several occasions written critically of the Berkeley team (Richard Muller “doesn’t have a great grasp of basic climate science”, Judith Curry is “the most debunked person on the science blogosphere”), is now apparently happy with their conclusions, reserving his trademark bucket of vitriol for Anthony Watts.

  72. prokaryotes says:

    What will happen to the people who falsify data?

    When the mob realize that their livelihoods got washed away and relatives died, because of climate disruption.

    Two words “Lynch Mob”. But at that time it will be to late, to change the outcome.

  73. prokaryotes says:

    The findings, released by a group of scientists and statisticians at the University of California known as the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project, were welcomed by climate scientists and advocates of climate policy action, who had been hoping that skeptics would finally have to cry uncle.

    Not so fast.

    At least one of those skeptics, Anthony Watts, had written in March on his climate-themed blog, Watts Up With That, “I’m prepared to accept whatever result they produce, even if it proves my premise wrong.” But neither Mr. Watts nor other longtime critics of climate science reached by The Times seemed satisfied with the report.

    Mr. Watts, a former television meteorologist, contended that the study’s methodology was flawed because it examined data over a 60-year period instead of the 30-year-one that was the basis for his research and some other peer-reviewed studies. He also noted that the report had not yet been peer-reviewed and cited spelling errors as proof of sloppiness.

    He said he was not backing away from the pledge he made but that he wanted corrections made first. “I’m still happy to accept the results, whatever they might be,” Mr. Watts said. ”All I’m asking for is an apples-to-apples comparison of data.”

    Similarly, Steven Mosher, a co-author of “Climategate: The Crutape letters,” a book critical of climate scientists, was not inclined to give his seal of approval, saying that the study still lacked transparency. “I’m not happy until the code is released and released in a language that people can use freely,” he said.

    The Berkeley Earth project was created 18 months ago by a physicist, Richard A. Muller, who himself had faulted previous climate studies for not adequately considering the possibility that data readings are distorted by the urban heat island effect, for low-quality measurements at some weather stations and for the risk of a selection bias in data-gathering.

    Still, having corrected for all those factors, Dr. Muller’s team reached conclusions that were very much in line with those earlier studies.

    In fact, his work showed heat increases over land that were even a bit higher than those calculated by climate scientists at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

    The study was financed by a diverse range of donors, including a climate research foundation created by Bill Gates and a foundation financed by the conservative energy magnate Charles G. Koch.

    Joe Romm, who has frequently challenged climate skeptics as the editor of the blog Climate Progress, expressed indignation over the reaction from climate skeptics.

    “We were told these results would be accepted,” he said. “It goes to show there is nothing that will derail the deniers.”

  74. prokaryotes says:

    Chris Martin
    Alameda, CA
    October 21st, 2011
    7:40 pm
    The deniers are being very well paid to deny. Why should they accept the truth and endanger their jobs?

    The real question is why you folks insist on pretending that the deniers have a valid point of view.

    – Wonks anonymous

  75. Gail Zawacki says:

    Aw! And one of my proudest moments was getting a special Koch Kills climate zombie mention at WattsUpWithThat…

    (Watch for more zombie adventures in DC next month woot woot!)

  76. JohnR says:

    “Their arraignment on charges including misuse of company funds, profiteering, endangering public safety, eroding national security, etc, can only be a matter of time.”

    We’ll be seeing them in court immediately after the arraignments of the financial types who crashed the world and the Hague appearances of Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, et al.
    Even Guybrush Threepwood can’t hold his breath that long.

  77. thom says:


  78. addicted44 says:

    Tis but a flesh wound!

  79. Soto says:

    From the Guardian article:
    “Going public with results before they are peer-reviewed is not standard practice, but Muller said the decision to circulate the papers before publication was part a long-standing academic tradition of sanity-checking results with colleagues.”

    Scientists often go public with results before peer review publication. The most common method is to give talks about the results at conferences and institions, long before publication. The feedback is always useful, and in some fields where things are rapidly changing talks are a faster way to disseminate results.

    Furthermore, in physics and astronomy, scientists regularly release pre-peer-reviewed papers, primarily through the website. This adds a layer of critic and review outside of the traditional peer-review process at journals.

    Many of the articles about the Berkeley study have emphasized that the research group was mainly physicists with only one climate scientist. Thus, for the physicists the pre-publication release probably seemed like standard practice. My only surprise is that I can not find a copy of the paper on

    Decrying the public release before peer review is complete bunk.

  80. David B. Benson says:

    Did anyone actually expect any other behavior from the WUWT guy?

  81. Lewis Cleverdon says:

    The difference for the two classes of felon you remark is that neither generated anything remotely like the anger and culprit-seeking that is predictable as the populace awakens to the scale of damage and loss we’re committed to. In response, both parties, but particularly the GOP, will equally predictably be looking for a place to deflect the blame for their incompetent policies. Those who dishonestly funded the propagandas of denial will be the fall-guy in the dock.



  82. Lewis Cleverdon says:

    Watts is a cornered vainglorious weasel ?
    Not the small mammal with the whiskers and long scaly tail –
    that is responsible for the deaths of millions annually by destroying a significant part of the global food-supply ?



  83. JimmyB says:


    Sometimes I wonder if these nerds will get it. It’s not about facts. It’s a propaganda war. And trillions of dollars versus the future of our planet are at stake.

  84. a face in the clouds says:

    Mr. Watts knew the truth all along. It’s all in his inside suit pocket. I think he is suffering from the weight of this knowledge. It’s too terrible to share or keep to himself. The whole world is involved, every last one of us, environmentalists and deniers alike, except for one: Anthony Watts, the Omega Man.

  85. James says:

    So wheres the study that says CO2 CAUSES an increase in global avg temperature?

    I suppose you genuises fail to see the irony of a group of people who claim the unscrupability of the peer-review process touting a so-called study BEFORE it goes to peer-review.

    News flash geniuses : Its not science UNTIL it goes through the review process and its published.

  86. Anthony Watts says:

    You know what’s really king in science Joe?


    McIntyre can’t replicate BEST’s analysis using my data. And there’s a good reason for it.

    Of course maybe they’ll figure it out in peer review.

    Have a look at the section on siting quality. I gave both Muller and Curry fair warning.



  87. Joe Romm says:

    Neigh-ouch. Neigh-ouch. Neigh-ouch. You are hard on dead horses, Anthony.

  88. Al says:

    Can we please just get on with the lawsuit. Corporations (Exxon-Mobile especially) and individuals who have knowingly provided funds (KOCHS) for these claptrap deniers along with the deniers need to have their assets confiscated after they are found guilty. The funds can then be used to educate citizens, provide for new green energy infrastructure, and research on potential mitigation.

    These people are guilty of high crimes against humanity and the planet. As they have used the tobacco denialist propaganda strategy so we should find appropriate redress in the courts…..a trillion might just do it plus the nationalization of Exxon (proceeds to go into a special UN fund)for the benefit of all people globally. In good conscience this is the least we can do to begin to redress the problem.

  89. Lewis Cleverdon says:

    Al – well said.

  90. Charles says:

    “Have a look at the section on siting quality. I gave both Muller and Curry fair warning.”

    Great. We’ll be looking for your peer reviewed analysis, then. Same goes for Mr McIntyre.

  91. prokaryotes says:

    Test trial convicts fossil fuel bosses of ‘ecocide’
    Top lawyers put fossil fuel bosses on trial in the UK’s supreme court in a mock case to explore if ecocide – environmental destruction – could join genocide as a global crime

  92. prokaryotes says:

    Watts attended Purdue University from 1975 to 1982 but left without graduating.[1] A number of direct queries to Watts to find out if he graduated from college were rebuffed,[2] but a direct query to Purdue revealed that he did not obtain a degree from the university.

    Watts still works as a weatherman at KPAY 1290 AM radio in Chico, California.
    Watts is involved with the Butte County Republican Party, providing technical assistance and maintaining the website and domain registration.

    Watts held an American Meteorological Society Seal of Approval (a discontinued credential that does not require a bachelor’s or higher degree in atmospheric science or meteorology from an accredited college/university)[6] with a status of “retired”.[7]
    Credentials not held
    Some online lists incorrectly refer to Watts as “AMS Certified”[8], but this is incorrect; the American Meteorological Society reserves its “AMS Certified” designation for its Certified Broadcast Meteorologists and Certified Consulting Meteorologists[9], and Watts posesses neither certification.

    In 2007, Watts founded, to collect information on weather stations that are part of the United States Historical Climatological Network (USHCN) and Global Historical Climatological Network (GHCN). [12] Watts believed that, with the information collected via the website, “we will be able to demonstrate that some of the global warming increase is not from CO2 but from localized changes in the temperature-measurement environment.”

    Analyses in scientific papers: no temp. trend bias
    Independent analysis, Menne et al 2010 show no temp. trend bias
    Results of analyzing the SurfaceStations data did not match Watts’s expectations; a NOAA analysis of the Surface Stations data showed “no indication from this analysis that poor station exposure has imparted a bias in the U.S. temperature trends.”[16]
    Watts paper 2011 shows no temp trend bias
    A scientific paper on the SurfaceStations project, coauthored by Watts, came to the same conclusion as the Menne et al. paper.[15],[17]
    Attempted takedown of YouTube video critique
    In July 2009 Watts objected to a YouTube video critiquing his sceptic claims, claiming copyright infringement, and had it taken down

    In October 2010 the Christian Science Monitor published an op-ed by Watts likening climate contrarian Hal Lewis’s resignation from the American Physical Society to Martin Luther.[21]. The American Physical Society strenuously disagreed, saying “In light of the significant settled aspects of the science, APS totally rejects Dr. Lewis’ claim that global warming is a “scam” and a “pseudoscientific fraud.”

    In July 2009 Watts objected to a YouTube video critiquing his sceptic claims, claiming copyright infringement, and had it taken down.[18].
    Video deemed fair use, restored
    “The video has since been reviewed by a number of US copyright experts and … there appears to be nothing that could be construed as anything but fair use”, said Kevin Grandia shortly thereafter.[19]
    “In accordance with established YouTube guidelines”, Video creator Peter Sinclair reported[20], “I filed a “counternotice”, affirming, “under penalty of perjury, that I have a good faith belief that the material was removed or disabled as a result of a mistake or misidentification of the material to be removed or disabled.” ”
    YouTube subsequently restored the video.

    Anthony Watts is listed as a signatory on the “Leipzig Declaration”, which said “there does not exist today a general scientific consensus about the importance of greenhouse warming from rising levels of carbon dioxide. In fact, most climate specialists now agree that actual observations from both weather satellites and balloon-borne radiosondes show no current warming whatsoever.”
    The signers of the Declaration are described as “climate scientists”, although they include 25 weather presenters.[25] An attempt to contact the declaration’s 33 European signers found that 4 of them could not be located, 12 denied ever having signed, and some had not even heard of the Leipzig Declaration. Those who verified signing included a medical doctor, a nuclear scientist, and an entomologist. After discounting the signers whose credentials were inflated, irrelevant, false, or unverifiable, only 20 of the names on the list had any scientific connection with the study of climate change, and some of those names were known to have obtained grants from the oil and fuel industry, including the German coal industry and the government of Kuwait (a major oil exporter).

    I think it’s about time to put you in the hamster wheel

  93. caerbannog says:

    Watts attended Purdue University from 1975 to 1982 but left without graduating.

  94. Ziyu says:

    Read the article or the report why don’t you? It says that CO2 emissions from human activities are the main driver, not any strawman cause the deniers like to point to. It’s not solar activity. It’s not natural variation. It’s not the earth’s orbit. It’s not “something in the geologic eons of time”. Get over it. You lost.

  95. Russell says:

    Watts next revelation will be the names of the disloyal officers who hid his ball bearings and melted his strawberry ice cream.

  96. Joe Romm says:


  97. Still waiting for the headline “Climategate scientists hid the incline”

  98. Chuckarama says:

    Then there is nothing to fear in waiting. So he has hooked me a bit, wondering why the rush to publicize unfinished academic work. Working for academia myself, while this kind of thing is not unprecedented, building some interest over a coming paper, it does come off a bit strange and out of the ordinary here… While climate science isn’t my area of expertise, I’ve crunched data for our state climate center on more than a few occasions. I’ll wait to read it. There’s always plenty to critic, question and confirm whenever any new paper comes out, and that’s before all the politics get injected…

  99. Unfortunately the study doesn’t show that Humans are the main cause of GW.

  100. prokaryotes says:

    Apparently the EXTRA Co2 can only be accounted for, from artificial-manmade contribution to the natural CARBON CYLCE.

    PLUS YOU CAN exactly measure this from carbon isotopes, and find out that there is an considerable uptake in million old fossil Co2’s.

    The main culprit here is the speed of emission, which is unprecedented in earth history.

    Everybody who tries to spin this established scientific facts, is an enemy to the state, because the threaten the survival chances of the entire human race.

  101. Anne van der Bom says:

    And if my granma fails to replicate the GP-B results, I will proclaim that the theory of relativity is in jeopardy.

  102. Anne van der Bom says:

    Haha! D**n you’re funny.

  103. Barry says:

    And if ‘peer reviewed’ is the Watt-proclaimed
    gold standard, then Watt is a liar for citing non-peer reviewed work, and for denouncing peer reviewed work without very good reason.

  104. Barry says:

    A denier can’t replicate an analysis using another denier’s data. This is proof of what?

  105. caroline says:

    even if we can’t prove pollution as the cause of global warming, we can prove that it is the cause of harm to our health and the environment. we need to reduce pollution for a multitude of reasons, not just global warming. the aging mentally unstable money hounds like the koch brothers need to be stopped in their attack on all of us. the era of unbridled greed needs to stop, before its too late for all of us.

  106. Repeat Anthony Watts’s brave (non-)promise after me:

    I [Anthony Watts a]m prepared to accept whatever result they [BEST] produce, even if it proves my premise wrong.


    I [Anthony Watts a]m prepared to accept whatever result they [BEST] produce, even if it proves my premise wrong.

    Yet again:

    I [Anthony Watts a]m prepared to accept whatever result they [BEST] produce, even if it proves my premise wrong.

    Keep repeating it in every discussion mentioning the BEST study, for maximum embarrassment to Watts.

    I [Anthony Watts a]m prepared to accept whatever result they [BEST] produce, even if it proves my premise wrong.

    — frank

  107. al says:

    The longer we wait the more technologically difficult and more expensive it will be to mitigate. Unfortunately, with our inaction now we may just be forcing future generations to put in place Draconian emission & energy standards which may then lead to greater political instability and future resource wars. If full scale war should break out then we are lost.

    I’m worried that we are beginning to witness an ever increasing cycle of climate change-> food insecurity -> political instability->
    inc. fuel prices -> inc cost of food production…now, and this inc. the probability of war. I think our situation is becoming perilous. Am I an alarmist? I work at a school and talk to other teachers daily but few are concerned. How to motivate them and others has to be a primary concern.

  108. W Scott Lincoln says:

    “McIntyre can’t replicate BEST’s analysis using my data. And there’s a good reason for it.”

    Perhaps so. I’d imagine that the “good reason” is that your data isnt the BEST data, and that the bluff has been called on your data more than once, yielding the opposite of what both you and McIntyre contrive.

  109. W Scott Lincoln says:

    It’s the same scientific method that has demonstrated BOTH. Greenhouse gases from humans are causing climate change and pollution is causing harm to human health.

  110. kickbass says:

    “What you gonna do, bleed on me”

  111. Kuni says:

    I find that Conservatives/TeaBaggers are cherry picking when it comes to Antarctic ice. They ignore most of the continent and only use only a small portion of it now that the Eastern Antarctic (their old fallback) ice sheet has joined the Western Antarctic ice sheet in losing mass.

  112. Jay Alt says:

    The best headline was the first one put on the 10/22 CSM article:
    ‘Koch brothers accidentally fund study that proves global warming’

    This was latter changed by the paper to be more accurate, but their first choice was truer.

  113. mynet sohbet says:

    The longer we wait the more technologically difficult and more expensive it will be to mitigate. Or like this is make go to the.

  114. Michael Glass says:

    So it looks like all the temperature instruments are badly sited. They are on planet Earth.

    Watts was more right than he knew: that “urban heat island” effect extends over pretty near the whole world!

  115. Joe Romm says:

    Good one!