Wattergate: Tamino debunks “just plain wrong” Anthony Watts

The leading anti-science blogger in the country, Anthony Watts, owes NOAA scientists an apology. So far, he’s passing the buck.

The former TV weatherman coauthored a “report” with Joe D’Aleo, “Surface Temperature Record: Policy Driven Deception?” accusing top U.S. scientists of various kinds of misfeasance and malfeasance in the global temperature record. I’m not linking to it because most of the report’s claims had already been long debunked (see Must-read NOAA paper smacks down Anthony Watts — Q: “Is there any question that surface temperatures in the United States have been rising rapidly during the last 50 years?” A: “None at all.”)

The blogger Tamino of “Open Mind,” has been dismantling one of Watts’ few new claims and wrote last week:


It has now been independently confirmed, by multiple persons, that my results regarding the impact of station dropout on global temperature are correct. Your claims, in your document with Joe D’Aleo for the SPPI, are just plain wrong.

You can read about station dropout here. It refers to “the reduction in reporting stations included in the GHCN (global historical climate network) data on which some global temperature estimates are partly based,” starting around 1990. NOAA explains the GHCN here. The links to the independent confirmations are here and here.

You’ve avoided answering this criticism, claiming that you can’t replicate my results without my code. Yet several others managed to do just that. It’s not that difficult, and you were irresponsible not to investigate this issue before publishing your claims….

Furthermore, your use of false claims to accuse NOAA scientists of deliberate deception was not just mistaken, it was unethical.

If you have any honor at all, you’ll set the record straight. You owe it to everyone, and especially to NOAA, to admit that you were wrong. And you certainly owe it to NOAA to apologize. You need to make a highly visible, highly public admission of error, and apology, for using falsehoods to accuse others of fraud.

Anthony Watts is one of the hard-core disinformers (see FoxNews, WattsUpWithThat push falsehood-filled Daily Mail article on global cooling that utterly misquotes, misrepresents work of Mojib Latif and NSIDC). He reprints utter bunk (see “here”).


Not content to simply dispute the science with disinformation, he attacks climate scientists. Watts said last year that NASA’s James Hansen is “no longer a scientist.” Watts routinely smears all climate scientists, approvingly reprinting anti-science manifestos that claim global warming “is the biggest whopper ever sold to the public in the history of humankind” “” see here. He also smeared NSIDC director Mark Serreze.

He rejects the opportunity to do actual science even when it is offered to him — and once real peer-reviewed science is done that utterly debunks his primary argument (that U.S. temperature stations have a bias toward recent warming), he simply continues to ignore it (see “Watts not to love: New study finds the poor weather stations tend to have a slight COOL bias, not a warm one”).

And when Tamino and others thoroughly debunk a core accusation he makes in a new report, what does he do? He claims that the key analysis in the report that he signed his name to as coauthor was in fact the work of someone else. Seriously.

Sorry, Mr. Watts. Maybe you think it’s okay for you to repost other people’s disinformation on your blog and then not defend it when it is thoroughly debunked. But when you publish your own analysis under your own name in a big report — and that is debunked by multiple analysts — you either explain in detail yourself why they are wrong or retract it.

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