It’s been over two years since John V, used the surfacestations.org data to show that the warming trends were the same for “good” and “bad” weather stations. Since then they’ve collected data on more stations, but still have not published their own comparison. It would be cynical of me to suggest that the reason is that the data doesn’t show what they want, but now Menne et al have published a peer reviewed paper analysing a more extensive set of stations, and surprise, surprise the “bad” stations have a cooling bias. John Cook has the details.

Comments

  1. #1 lord_sidcup
    January 25, 2010

    Typo tim – “cycnical”.

    The denialists are keeping very quiet on this one. I’ve tried prodding the loonies on a couple of the sites they infest, but they just aren’t biting.

  2. #2 Lars Karlsson
    January 25, 2010

    From the conclusions:

    However, our analysis and the earlier study by Peterson [2006] illustrate the need for data analysis in establishing the role of station exposure characteristics on temperature trends no matter how compelling the circumstantial evidence of bias may be. In other words, photos and site surveys do not preclude the need for data analysis, and concerns over exposure must be evaluated in light of other changes in observation practice such as new instrumentation.

    Touché!

  3. #3 Lars Karlsson
    January 25, 2010

    From a recent WUWT thread:

    Crust (10:08:46)

    Any comments on Menne 2010? They use the surfacestations.org data and create series showing temperature trend separately for highly rated and poorly rated stations. Surprisingly, the trends don’t look that different: Minimum temperatures show a slightly greater warming trend for poorly rated, but on the other hand maximum temperatures show the opposite; the main story I think is they’re just pretty similar.

    REPLY: There will be a detailed post on this soon

    This will be fun!

  4. #4 MarkB
    January 25, 2010

    “REPLY: There will be a detailed post on this soon ”

    …but no academic peer-reviewed study of course. Expect some further weak attempts at damage control. Perhaps Watts is waiting for his buddy Pielke Sr. to provide some clever red herrings. I suspect the personal email exchanges between the two of them might be pretty interesting.

  5. #5 Lars Karlsson
    January 25, 2010

    MarkB, it’s Blog Science™!

  6. #6 Brian D
    January 25, 2010

    Here’s a question for those who follow Watts closer than I do: how many promised-publication-milestones has SurfaceStations passed? (i.e. didn’t he say he’d publish once they hit a certain coverage percentage, then moved the publication goalposts when it did?)

  7. #7 b_nichol
    January 25, 2010

    I remember seeing the promise of publication when 75% of the stations had been surveyed. Surfacestations.org hit 82% in July, and have not changed their webpage since: still no analysis or comment for 6 months.

  8. #8 carrot eater
    January 25, 2010

    As discussed at Eli’s, Pielke’s response has been to whine about the timing of the paper, as well as noting that Menne et al only used ~40% of the surveyed stations (which is all that they’ve made publicly available so far), and that the surfacestations people aren’t done verifying the ratings. None of which will matter in the end. The whine is just a whine. The NWS has been confirming the station ratings. And given what we already know about urban/rural, MMTS/liquid-in-glass, USHCN/USCRN, surface/satellite, it is rather unlikely that adding the remaining stations will much change the results.

    I’m curious to see if Watts can manage any sort of substantive reply, or just some whining and continued cherry-picking.

  9. #9 Lee
    January 25, 2010

    b_nichol,

    Anthony Watts has a long, long history of making such promises and then ignoring them.

    I was permanently banned from WattSoup almost 2 years ago, because I had the temerity to keep asking when he was going to keep some of the promises he had made, especially in regard to the promised followups to the stunning series of posts where Anthony realized that the different temp series used different baselines.

    In fact, he not only banned me permanently, he went back and retroactively deleted every response I had ever made at WattSoup. The man is simply fundamentally unable to be honesty.

  10. #10 carrot eater
    January 25, 2010

    As for publication milestones, Watts clearly felt that he had enough analysis and verified data in hand last year to publish this scholarly masterpiece:

    http://www.heartland.org/books/PDFs/SurfaceStations.pdf

    in which he’s able to conclude that ‘The conclusion is inescapable: The U.S. temperature record is unreliable.’

    Well, then.

  11. #11 carrot eater
    January 25, 2010

    Lee: Watts didn’t realise the different temperature series use different baselines? I’d like to see those posts; can you link?

    I don’t know if it’s amusing or alarming, but I continually see that many deniers just don’t understand the concept of temperature anomalies.

    Perhaps we should collect a greatest hits collection of WUWT posts. My favorite is the CO2-condensation one. You’d think a weatherman would know what a dew point was.

  12. #12 Lee
    January 25, 2010

    carrot eater,

    Watts posted 2 of a promised series of 3 ‘analyses’ of the temperature distributions of the 4 major temperature series, GISS, CRU, and the 2 satellite analyses. He did histograms of the anomalies and arrived at the stunning conclusion that GISS has way more positive anomalies than the other 3 series, and therefore it was obvious that GISS was cooking the books somehow.

    It took a lot of convincing for him to realize that GISS used an earlier base period, in a rising temperature trend, and that was the entire reason for his result.

    Anthony continued to argue that the choice of base period somehow matters, and promised a third post to explain why. It was when I asked a couple months later about when he was going to get around to that third post, that I was banned from WattSoup.

    This would have been January/February 2 years ago, if memory serves. Last time I looked for those posts they had been removed, and the time before that, edited to make them look less damning – they may or may not have been put back. As I said, Anthony is nothing if not dishonest.

  13. #13 dhogaza
    January 25, 2010

    I’m curious to see if Watts can manage any sort of substantive reply, or just some whining and continued cherry-picking.

    He’s getting professional help (not the psychiatrical kind that he needs, unfortunately).

    I suspect RPsr, especially given his claim that Menne et al are guilty of “professional discourtesy” or whatever by publishing before the piece in the works comes out. RPsr is obviously in the loop. Of course the charge is stupid, Watts has published his classification of 40% of the stations, has made a pretty booklet claiming the full set proves the “unreliability” of the data (with no analysis to support the claim), etc. If you put it out there, it’s fair game.

  14. #14 caerbannog
    January 25, 2010


    Lee: Watts didn’t realise the different temperature series use different baselines? I’d like to see those posts; can you link?

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/02/28/a-look-at-4-globaltemperature-anomalies/

    Enjoy!

  15. #15 Derecho64
    January 25, 2010

    I attended Menne’s talk at AMS 2010, and he noted that WTFWT/Watts is no longer talking to the NCDC. Menne went the extra mile and even credited surfacestations.org and Watts.

    As is typical of Watts, despite having real scientists play nice with him, he runs off and sulks when he doesn’t get his way. I wonder how long before he has his choir continue their trashing of Menne et.al. over at WTFWT.

  16. #16 carrot eater
    January 25, 2010

    [caerbannog](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/01/so_thats_why_surfacestationsor.php#comment-2226509)

    Oh wow. He’s even stupider than I thought. You’d think just a glance at his own first figure would have given him a hint.

    How can somebody make such elementary errors, and still have a following? How can you spend so much time claiming to study the temperature record, and not have a clue what you’re looking at?

    In his defense, when Atmoz pointed out the obvious, Watts accepted that the difference in baseline was an issue. I can’t find Part 2, though.

    I’ve come across deniers who think that somehow the warming trend will disappear if only you change the baseline. Maybe this is the source of that confusion.

  17. #17 D
    January 25, 2010

    Lee,

    Weren’t you given the option of publishing a thread at WUWT and didn’t you bottle it?

  18. #18 JasonW
    January 25, 2010

    Funny, part 2 of the promised post doesn’t exist anymore over at WTFWT (nice acronym btw).

  19. #20 Brian D
    January 25, 2010

    Carrot Eater: There’s a long list of threads over at Tamino’s from around the same time detailing hilariously bad analyses published at WUWT (admittedly not all of them were written by Watts, but he endorsed all of them). My favorite among them is a tie between the one that correlated time with time and proved climate was all a hoax and the other that flipped the temperature data upside down in a convoluted way to prove it was cooling.

    I’ve come across deniers who think that somehow the warming trend will disappear if only you change the baseline. Maybe this is the source of that confusion.

    It’s Blog Science™!

  20. #21 MarkB
    January 25, 2010

    dhogaza: “I suspect RPsr, especially given his claim that Menne et al are guilty of “professional discourtesy” or whatever by publishing before the piece in the works comes out.”

    This implies that RPsr and I are in good agreement on something. The documents on Watts’ blog and the Heartland Institute aren’t legitimate publications. Shame on Menne et al. for refuting something that isn’t even published, and no one has seen!

  21. #22 lee
    January 25, 2010

    D, I told watts that I could say everything I needed to say in the comments, and that I had no desire to associate my name and reputAtion with his site as a contributor. Watts somehow saw that as a victory. Bully for him.

  22. #23 JasonW
    January 25, 2010

    Slightly OT here, but Brian D has once again highlighted that gem of blogs, DenialDepot. Inferno really is a master; check out his quest for getting the source code to the UAH – his e-mail to Roy Spencer:

    —————–

    Dear Roy,

    I was very interested to read your latest article about how the satellite records are adjusted.

    I am a blog scientist. Me and my commenters are interested in determining why the satellite records show too much warming over the last 30 years. You mention you adjust the raw data using some FORTRAN programs. Is this source code available online so we might replicate this process?

    Thanks,
    Inferno

    ——————

    Classic.

  23. #24 dexitroboper
    January 25, 2010

    If the data are not proprietary, there’s no shame in publishing. If that refutes someone’s favourite hypothesis, too bad.

  24. #25 Boris
    January 25, 2010

    lol, I think I pointed out at Lucia’s not too long ago that no skeptic had ever asked for code from UAH. Skeptics are busy and can’t possibly be expected to be skeptical of everything. Imagine the repercussions.

  25. #26 barry
    January 25, 2010

    b_nichol @9, here’s the post you’re thinking of.

    Anthony, many of us are waiting for the analysis of climate (temperature) trend by station rating.

    Any idea when?

    REPLY: I’m waiting to get at least 75% of the stations surveyed, plus some significant infill in Texas, OK, KS, NE, AR, AL, and MS.

    I want to ensure a majority sample plus broad distribution. Still a few months out before we get there. – Anthony

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/11/16/nevada-ushcn-station-surveys-are-done/

    Every now and then I ask the same question at WUWT, to see if he’ll admit the post and to see if an answer is forthcoming. I did so the other day and Watts admitted it. No one replied.

    I understand surfacestations.org has surveyed all, or nearly all US stations, and am aware that Anthony Watts promised to do a comparative analysis based on the best stations when 75% of stations had been surveyed. This is the final step, the necessary finishing touch to this excellent project, to see whether adjustments have introduced a spurious warming trend for the contiguous US (and is applicable to the topic of this and many previous threads).

    Can anyone direct me to this final important step? It didn’t appear in the Heartland Institute booklet written by Mr Watts. Is there a dedicated thread or something, like the one at climateaudit a couple of years ago, where John V and steve mosher were doing the analysis?

    A quantitative analysis and comparison is an absolute must to finalise the project. Has someone crunched the numbers, or will someone advise when this may happen?

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/01/23/sanity-check-2008-2009-were-the-coolest-years-since-1998-in-the-usa/

    John V put the question to Watts last year, I believe, but got no joy.

    Watts in reply to another poster in 2008:

    The work that John V did was terribly premature. Only 17 CRN1,2 stations with poor geographic distribution in the USA was used to arrive at that “good agreement”. The effort was rushed, mostly to quickly find some baton to beat up the surfacestations.org effort with. Since then JohnV has not done anything else in analysis, and that rumor you circulate still stands. Meanwhile my volunteers and I continue to collect more stations so that a complete analysis can be done.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/06/24/a-new-view-on-giss-data-per-lucia/

    He has not, to my knowledge, ever done that analysis. It’s just been anecdotes on data and photographs.

    Thanks for flagging John Cook’s post at skeptikalscience, Tim. I’d read Menne et al and was keeping an eye on WUWT to see if a response came up. If there is a post on it, I should like to see Watts agree to and then actually deliver his promised analysis of the ‘good’ stations.

    I think I can guess the criticism forthcoming – Menne et al only go back to the 70s. Most of the fiddling occurred at the early part of the temperature record etc etc.

  26. #27 carrot eater
    January 25, 2010

    Watch him go effortlessly from being the cherry-picker supremo to saying there aren’t enough stations to say anything. And then back again.

    I highly doubt he has any appreciation for the degrees of freedom here. Which, I’ll admit, are much different from what you’d intuitively think.

  27. #28 John
    January 25, 2010

    It always seemed pretty obvious to me that this would be the verdict from the beginning. What were they expecting to find? That the data from a few “bad” stations was the cause of global warming and we’re actually in the middle of an ice age?

  28. #29 bluegrue
    January 25, 2010

    WUWT’s [a-look-at-temperature-anomalies-for-all-4-global-metrics-part-2/](http://web.archive.org/web/20080310000340/http://wattsupwiththat.wordpress.com/2008/03/06/a-look-at-temperature-anomalies-for-all-4-global-metrics-part-2/) (snapshot of March 10) is still available by courtesy of [archive.org](http://www.archive.org/index.php).

  29. #30 carrot eater
    January 25, 2010

    Thanks for finding that, bluegrue. At least he got sorted in the end. Though if he truly appreciated that he was the blind leading the blind, he’d behave in a very different way.

    Though even to the end, he didn’t think to compare the trends across the 4 sets, or the correlation between them.

  30. #31 Connor
    January 25, 2010

    dhogaza – According to Jnr. Menne et. al. are being VERY impolite because they didn’t ask poor, little Anthony to referee their paper! Those meanies!

  31. #32 Connor
    January 25, 2010

    I mean, Senior, oops :D

  32. #33 Hank Roberts
    January 25, 2010

    You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the trend goes.

  33. #34 dhogaza
    January 25, 2010

    That the data from a few “bad” stations was the cause of global warming and we’re actually in the middle of an ice age?

    Uh, err, John, umm … close … the claim is that we’re *entering* a new ice age, not actually in the middle.

    Connor:

    they didn’t ask poor, little Anthony to referee their paper!

    Yeah, like it’s standard practice to farm out science papers to people with nothing beyond a high school education to referee them.

  34. #35 Bernard J.
    January 25, 2010

    [Lord Sidcup](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/01/so_thats_why_surfacestationsor.php#comment-2226119).

    ‘Cycnical’ is the condition of being repeatedly, and at regular intervals, jaded by those who deliberately misrepresent the data.

    Tim has cause to be very cycnical… as indeed do all competently-thinking folk.

  35. #36 Former Skeptic
    January 26, 2010

    While it may be fun to shoot fish in this barrel, lets see beyond the clown to the guy pulling the strings – Pielke Sr.

    Roger’s actions post-Menne et al. has been have been nothing short of embarrassing. “Professional discourtesy”?? What’s up with that? You can smell the red herring from a frickin’ mile away.

    It’s clear that he’s been Watt’s BFF – from shifting his “weblog” to wordpress with Watts’ help, to working with Watts and getting Watts “published” in a 40-author paper in BAMS.

    The question is why? What’s in it for Pielke Sr.?

  36. #37 Bernard J.
    January 26, 2010

    Over at Eli’s I suggested that a name change to “What’s the Point of That?” might be in order, in response to which Cymraeg llygoden suggested that “What’s the Point of Watts” would be more apposite. I guess another possibility is “What’s Up With Watts Up With That?”

    Wattsever permutation one might like to joke about, the hypocrisy underpinning Watts and his cohort of obfuscators is profound. After many strident calls to “release the data”, he is sitting very much on his hands with his own ‘data’. After braying that anyone should have the right to access, and to work with, and to publish from, all of the data of climatologists, they bray that Watts should have first dibs on publishing about a matter that has been in the public domain for years, and about which he has criticised scientists repeatedly for their not having previously provided (at least, in his own opinion) adequate response.

    After many clamorous exhortations to be open in correspondence, Watts and others like him regularly censor from existence the calm and reasoned voices of rational scientific objection to their many mistakes.

    Hypocrisy indeed, and incompetence, and unscientific amateurishness. And downright mendaciousness, if not flagrant dishonesty…

    Consider for example the [thread about the contiguous US temperatures since 1900](http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/01/23/sanity-check-2008-2009-were-the-coolest-years-since-1998-in-the-usa/), posted three days ago. Watts’ [first graph in the post](http://i47.tinypic.com/2hd38ur.jpg) shows the US annual temperatures without the linear trend for the period displayed, but with the horizontal line located at the ‘averge’ temperature value left in place. This creates in the unsuspecting mind the impression that there is no warming trend occurring.

    However, if one follows [the link in Watts’ post](http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/research/cag3/na.html) to the NOAA Satellite and Information Service, one can observe that the graph generator there requires one to actively deselect the trendline option. Now why would Watts validly want to have done that? After all, the default settings [give a plot](http://i49.tinypic.com/1o1yc9.jpg) that is no more difficult to interpret, but that shows the temperature trajectory in a much more revealing light – with a warming trend of 0.12 degF per decade…

    But then, it’s really all about obscuring the warming trends, isn’t it? This would explain too why, in [the very next graph](http://i47.tinypic.com/4g0kg0.jpg), which spans only the time since 1998, Watts does include a trendline. Pertaining as it does only to the contiguous states, it does of course display a negative slope (-1.03 degF per decade), and it serves Watts’ purpose to say:

    Since 1998, according to NCDC’s own figures, temperatures in the US have been dropping at a rate of more than 10 degrees F per century.

    Nasty little blighter, isn’t he? Omit a trend spanning 110 years, but pop one in to cover 12 years, and oops, just by chance, starting from an extreme El Niño event.

    It’s a little more surreptitious than that though, because the NOAA graphs by default construct their trend lines such that they exactly bisect the ‘average’ line. These average lines are based on baseline periods set by the visitor to the site: Watts altered the baseline from the default so that his trendline would not be displaced from the temperature points, but in so doing he also constructed a new baseline, and there is no commentary in his posting to explain this.

    So, yet again, the unsuspecting suckers reading his blather would form an incorrect opinion of the position of the last 12 years of temperature data, relative to the baseline of the previous graph. A graph constructed to show the same baseline ‘average’, derived from the same data as the ‘average’ of the previous graph, would look [like this](http://i49.tinypic.com/2rxz6hj.jpg)…

    … tells a somewhat different story, doesn’t it?

    Then there’s an earlier post where William M. Briggs, “professional statistician”, [claims that “weather is climate”](http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/01/22/statistics-expert-briggs-actually-weather-is-climate/), and thus that the recent cold snap in parts of the Northern Hemisphere should be taken to mean that:

    …it is appropriate to point to this year’s frigidity as evidence that the theory of man-made global warming is suspect. If “climate” is defined as the decadal mean temperature, then this year’s cold winter will push the decadal mean lower. And it is still acceptable to point to this year’s winter as evidence against the man-made global warming theory.

    Biggs is serious. Yes, really, and he is supposed to be a statistician!

    He presents the appearance of balanced commentary with these continuing paragraphs:

    Just as it was appropriate when the media trumpeted each and every “record setting high!” as evidence for that theory.

    The difference is that one day’s temperature has little influence on a yearly mean — it is just one out of 365 other numbers that make up the average. One day’s temperature is thus weak evidence for or against any theory of climate.

    But a slew of months with higher- or lower-than-average temperatures will push that yearly mean higher or lower. A season’s mean temperature is stronger evidence for or against any climate theory than is a day’s.

    To say that Biggs has misrepresented the proportion of extreme cold events compared with extreme hot events is an understatement indeed.

    On another note, Bluegrue pre-empted my attempts to use Wayback to trawl through Watts’ material pre-editing. It seems though that Lee’s presence was erased before archive.org [commenced work on WUWT](http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://wattsupwiththat.com/) – at least, I couldn’t find any of his posts in the threads that I checked. And I’m a bit puzzled about the reason for the lack of archiving after August 2008. Is there a reason for this beyond the delay factor?

    Watts’ site could have usefully been one of those that could have done with some careful scrutiny and independent backing up. I wonder if he would respond to requests for information, including correspendence? After all, Watts Good For The Goose…

    And in answer to [Former Skeptic’s question](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/01/so_thats_why_surfacestationsor.php#comment-22277420), I would offer one possibility probability amongst several – plausible deniability.

  37. #38 Marco
    January 26, 2010

    @Former Skeptic:
    It’s interesting to see Pielke Sr. claim “professional discourtesy”, considering that:
    a) Watts repeatedly claimed the US record was unreliable, that Sr used that claim himself, despite never doing the actual number crunching. How’s that NOT professional discourtesy? False claims based on no data analysis!

    b) Pielke Sr, in that trainwreck Klotzbach et al, used faulty data analysis by Ross McKittrick, and left that in even after Gavin Schmidt pointed out that it was faulty. How’s that NOT professional discourtesy?

    c) his continuous self-referencing resulted in the not-acknowledged Pielke&Matsui being contradicted by Lin et al being contradicted by Klotzbach et al, with the latter not noting Lin et al contradicted both. OK, not professional discourtesy, plain wrong. Mann got chastised for less!

  38. #39 pough
    January 26, 2010

    The question is why? What’s in it for Pielke Sr.?

    Readers. The primary message of the Pielkes is: “everyone needs to shut up and listen to me.”

  39. #40 Connor
    January 26, 2010

    Hank Roberts – That was GOLD! I just got me a new sig!

  40. #41 Lars Karlsson
    January 26, 2010

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/02/28/a-look-at-4-globaltemperature-anomalies/

    Caerbannog’s link is to be considered mandatory reading. Watts is simply too incompetent to perform an analysis. One must be surprised that he and his followers manage to use a camera! (But maybe they had friends helping them).

  41. #42 Deech56
    January 26, 2010

    Bernard J:

    Omit a trend spanning 110 years, but pop one in to cover 12 years, and oops, just by chance, starting from an extreme El Niño event…So, yet again, the unsuspecting suckers reading his blather would form an incorrect opinion of the position of the last 12 years of temperature data, relative to the baseline of the previous graph.

    Yeah, I tried to point that out in my comments in that thread. Low hanging fruit. Fish in a barrel.

  42. #43 guthrie
    January 26, 2010

    Bernard J #36 – Watts and his crowd are still using degrees F? I’ve got chemistry books from the 1920’s and 30’s UK which use degrees C, from the days when imperial measurements still ruled elsewhere. Why is anyone still using F?

  43. #44 carrot eater
    January 26, 2010

    Bernard J:

    I didn’t look that carefully at that WUWT post; I just noted with mirth that Watts felt the need to add context to the global numbers by showing US-only numbers.

    Is there any wonder that readers of those pages routinely get confused between US and global stats? It’s what they’re routinely fed.

  44. #45 JasonW
    January 26, 2010

    guthrie, my understanding is that in public use degrees F is far more entrenched in the US than in the UK. Not in scientific publications of course, but since when has WUWT ever been scientific?

  45. #46 TrueSceptic
    January 26, 2010

    45 JasonW,

    There are many older Brits who still “think” in °F. Despite Celsius being introduced here in the 1960s or 70s, the weather forecasters *still* give temps in both. One weird thing is that some people use both: C when it’s colder (say below 10 °C or 50 °F), but F when it’s much warmer. I don’t know where they switch but while zero makes sense for freezing, 20+ does not for “warm”.

  46. #47 barry
    January 26, 2010

    Came across this November 08 post at WUWT by chance just now.

    Some folks have commented that becuase I’ve posted my “How not to measure temperature…” series, that I’m only focused on finding the badly sited stations. While they are a dime a dozen and often visually entertaining, actually what we want to find are the BEST stations. Those are the CRN1 and 2 rated stations. Having a large and well distributed sample size of the best stations will help definitively answer the question about how much bias may exist as a result of the contribution of badly sited stations. Since the majorty of sttaions surveyed so far seem to be CRN 3,4,5 with CRN1,2 making up only 12% of the total surveyed stations thus far, it is important to increase the sample size.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/11/24/a-note-to-wuwt-readers/

  47. #48 carrot eater
    January 26, 2010

    barry: I see it coming there, too. They’re going to want to say that there aren’t enough good stations to do any quantitative analysis comparing good and bad, so they can just go back to their old games.

    They’re going to have to fight the concept of degrees of freedom here. Too bad for them, Menne already found that the good stations are well enough distributed to build the spatial grid and compute a meaningful US average. That’s the last thing Watts wants to do, so he’ll have to come up with BS reason why you can’t do it. His innumerate readers won’t know the difference.

  48. #49 Eli Rabett
    January 26, 2010

    Eli has been pointing out for years that there are essentially an equal number of stations with a cold bias due to shading and being near to stands of trees, as with a possible warm bias, and that the whole thing about air conditioners was just hot air, unless you carefully considered which way the wind blew.

    Brian Angliss has a good analysis of the Menne paper, and Giorgio Gliestro pretty much finishes off the warm bias nonsense.

  49. #50 Eli Rabett
    January 26, 2010

    In going back to check old stuff, Eli came across his original take on Watts photo studio from 2007

    Now Ho Chi Pielke Sr. is providing reinforcements by getting his irregulars to go out there and take pictures of stations in the Global Historic Climate Network (GHCN). Anthony Watts is setting up a web site for such pictures. The goal, of course is to falsify GISSTEMP

  50. #51 Steve Bloom
    January 26, 2010

    When Watts talks about quality controlling the bias ratings for the stations that Menne et al analyzed, I’m confident he means that he and his helpers are seeing if there’s a way to adjust the ratings to give the results he wants. That’s probably not possible, but expect to see some ratings stretched well beyond the point of credibility by the time Watts is done.

    That said, let’s not forget that the entire concept of using these ratings to determine data quality is completely wrong.

  51. #52 carrot eater
    January 26, 2010

    Steve,
    The ratings are however useful to have; the ratings scale exists for a reason. The exercise has mainly served to confirm what was already known – a poorly placed site is likely to be a MMTS site, but homogenisation looks to be largely successful at cleaning that up.

    Even if they’re tempted, they’ll have trouble fiddling the ratings. The NWS is doing their own separate assessment. The only way they can find an out is to reduce the number of good stations to the point where they can try to say that an analysis is impossible.

  52. #53 carrot eater
    January 26, 2010

    Pure comedy.

    This page is suggested as a related link, if you go to Part 1 of Watt’s adventures with anomalies. [More fun with anomalies from Watts](http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/07/14/giss-for-june-way-out-there/)

    It was posted a year after Watts received his education in what a baseline was.

    What do we see? Watts is comparing the absolute values of anomalies at a single isolated month (weird enough in itself), without even mentioning the difference in baseline between GISS and UAH/RSS.

    He’s a brilliant one.

  53. #54 bluegrue
    January 26, 2010

    guthrie, JasonW,

    as for using Fahrenheit rather than Celsius, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Watts pull such a trick; however, [NOAA is to blame](http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/research/cag3/na.html) in this instance, as they supply the plots, which Watts used, in Fahrenheit and in Fahrenheit only. The use of Fahrenheit/pounds/inches seems to be much more deeply entrenched inside the US, than it was/is inside the UK with all its metric neighbors in the EU.

  54. #55 dhogaza
    January 26, 2010

    And I’m a bit puzzled about the reason for the lack of archiving after August 2008. Is there a reason for this beyond the delay factor?

    Hmm, his robots.txt file doesn’t block the archiver, that was my first guess …

  55. #56 dhogaza
    January 26, 2010

    They’re going to have to fight the concept of degrees of freedom here. Too bad for them, Menne already found that the good stations are well enough distributed to build the spatial grid and compute a meaningful US average. That’s the last thing Watts wants to do, so he’ll have to come up with BS reason why you can’t do it. His innumerate readers won’t know the difference.

    Menne has also shown that the recently deployed US Climate Reference Network temperature product very closely matches their calculations based on the historical network for the few years in which they overlap.

    The denialsphere has been full of screams that the USCRN is necessary because the historical network is “unreliable”, what are they going to do now?

  56. #57 luminous beauty
    January 26, 2010

    >The denialsphere has been full of screams that the USCRN is necessary because the historical network is “unreliable”, what are they going to do now?

    Continue to dip into their [bottomless pit of stupid](http://www.vancouversun.com/technology/Scientists+using+selective+temperature+data+skeptics/2468634/story.html).

  57. #58 Marco
    January 26, 2010

    @lb: “stupid”? I’d call it outright falsehoods. That journalists give these liars an outlet is beyond me. In all honesty, they’ve let Gavin react later (the Vancouver Sun site is giving me trouble, so no link, sorry). Investigative reporting, however, is clearly a dying art. Why didn’t the journalist go back to D’Aleo & Smith and ask them to explain themselves? Apparently the IPCC is to be attacked for one error, while others get away with lies…

  58. #59 BillD
    January 26, 2010

    My impression from reading some posts on WUWT was that a peer-reviewed manuscript was being assembled and posting an analysis on the web would need to wait until after reviews and an editor’s decision.

    On the other hand, Watts and his followers might learn that its best to not list one’s data in public until it is published in a peer reviewed journal. Although data should generally be made public, there is some justification for not making public all of ones raw data if those data were collected with much hard work. I often use long term data sets in publicatons, but making the person who collected the data over 10-30 years a co-author seems like a reasonable plan. I think that the person who planned a study and collected the data should get some credit when the data are analyzed in new and often unforeseen ways.

  59. #60 Paul H
    January 26, 2010

    I see that Connor has been poking Watts only to incur the wrath of Bob Tisdale. Seems like Tisdale can’t even tell the difference between the Menne et al paper and the NCDC ‘Talking Points Memo’. Also, for extra laughs try and spot the variation on “Al Gore is fat….”. Apparently it’s now “Al Gore has a beard…” so “he looks like a Yeti!”.

  60. #61 guthrie
    January 26, 2010

    Paul H – that would explain it then – Gore is a Yeti taking part in a secret undercover operation to make us think the world is warming when it is in fact cooling, thus making it more suitable for Yeti’s. By the time we really notice, it will be too late and the Yeti’s will take over after civilisation collapses.

  61. #62 carrot eater
    January 26, 2010

    dhogaza:

    I wasn’t under the impression that the denier world was much aware of the US CRN, even though they were using CRN ratings for the surface stations project.

    Paul H:

    I’m a little surprised those comments from Connor got through. Seems like a poor approach by him. Anyway, I don’t see Tisdale interacting with him; just one of the other illustrious denizens there.

  62. #63 dhogaza
    January 26, 2010

    I wasn’t under the impression that the denier world was much aware of the US CRN, even though they were using CRN ratings for the surface stations project.

    Well, Watts didn’t exactly use neon lights to announce the fact that he’s using CRN ratings for pre-USCRN stations … so it’s no surprise that the denialsphere screams “the old stations are sited in violation of the guidelines!”.

  63. #64 Lars Karlsson
    January 26, 2010

    Pielke claims that he and Watts are preparing a paper:

    We will discuss the science of the analysis in a subsequent post and a paper which is being prepared for submission. However, this post is about the process of compromising the standard scientific method, similar to what was revealed in several of the CRU e-mails. This same culture exists at NCDC under the direction of Tom Karl.

    By the way, it is funny that Pielke in a post about “Professional Courtesy” makes a reference to hacked emails belonging to his colleagues. (Ht ErikS).

  64. #65 carrot eater
    January 26, 2010

    It’s funnier that a post about ‘professional courtesy’ has anything to do with Watts.

    And then, for good measure, he weirdly tries to invoke the memory of the email hack to take a shot at Karl.

    Professional courtesy indeed.

  65. #66 Steve Bloom
    January 26, 2010

    carrot eater, Watts was told every which way about the various reasons why his project would fail. It’s been clear from the start that he (and RP Sr.) will make a claim of success notwithstanding the evidence.

    One of the points that got made early on was that there were already enough CRN stations in place to cross-check some of the supposedly bad USHCN stations. At one point Watts got terribly excited about the Tucson station (located in a parking lot near tall buildings), and this is what happened. Oops. Watts could have repeated that exercise with other stations around the country, but that would have been too much like doing science.

  66. #67 Lee
    January 26, 2010

    I just read that piece of Peilke bilge, and I can only say, what complete bullcrap.

    His raving about the NIH guidelines requires that he be either stupid beyond belief, or dishonest. He isn’t stupid. Those guidelines lay out when it is no longer acceptable to withhold data, and say nothing at all, not one damn thing, about when it is acceptable to use public data.

    The data that Menne used are publicly available, and have been for a long, long time now. Watts has had more than ample time to analyze and publish. He promised that a paper would be submitted and released by the end of last year. Before that, he promised that he would do the analysis and share it when he reached 75% He has not done so, in close to a year now. He has, however, made repeated, public and very strong statements that his data shows that the network is hopelessly flawed that was the point of the Heartland white paper.

    I’ve known for a long time that Watts is hopelessly dishonest – I wish I had an old copy of that ‘part 1′ thread we were discussing above, so that people could see just how heavily the thread has been edited to clean up how bad it made Watts look. Pielke is not only defending that kind of self-serving dishonesty,he is actively engaging in the dishonesty when he does crap like this.

  67. #68 dhogaza
    January 26, 2010

    It’s funnier that a post about ‘professional courtesy’ has anything to do with Watts

    In Watts’ case, “professional courtesy” amounts to nothing more than letting him make himself up *before* the weather portion of the evening tv news is broadcast.

  68. #69 dhogaza
    January 26, 2010

    Oh, and you wanna bet that the RPsr/Watts paper appears in E&E?

  69. #70 carrot eater
    January 26, 2010

    68: I’ll take that bet. If it were Watts alone, it’d be E&E. But Pielke will find some better place for it. He might well find some publishable material about specific site influences. He’ll probably find a few individual stations where the homogenisation method didn’t do a great job. The question is what he’ll get away with, in terms of avoiding the big picture. I’m guessing they’ll claim there are too few good stations to even examine the big picture, or they’ll try to claim that a spatially averaged temperature anomaly has no useful meaning.

    66 Lee: As far as I care, the Heartland publication was them using up their ammo, so to speak. After that, the NOAA workers are free to use all the publicly available data to respond. As for Part 1 of that post, you say it’s been sanitised? Even as it is, Watts looks like an idiot in there, but he doesn’t look unreasonable in the comments.

    65 Steve: The results of the project were predictable, but I still think it’s useful to have more information on each station available. It just provides another way to look at it. So I absolutely would not dismiss the volunteer effort as a waste of time. It’s good of people to put their own time in, to add more information. It’s the premature and unwarranted conclusions that Watts put out there that’s the waste, and among the many reasons why the grownups in the room won’t take him seriously.

  70. #71 MapleLeaf
    January 26, 2010

    Luminous beauty re #56. We Canadians are very proud of our world class journalists working for the CanWest conglomerate (the same group who own the National Post, Financial Post– both raving ant-science libertarian rags)– read with sarcasm. Well, no, most CanWest papers have gone downhill in recent years in terms of practicing sound journalism. The level of misinformation, especially on the AGW file is astounding and even eclipses the misinformation we were fed by the government owned media in S. Africa during the dark days of apartheid. It really is just that bad right now in Canada.

    Richard Foot (author of the piece which you linked us to) a little while ago was fawning over McI, now D’Aleo and Smith. Questioning minds are asking who is feeding these “journalists” the material for their stream of diatribes. Canada’s Tom Harris and Fiends, sorry, I mean “enemies” of Science are the most likely culprits, who have somehow secured the unquestioning ear of CanWest. CanWest is obliging and doing a sterling job of attacking the science, not with facts or good science, but crap.

    If you think Foot’s article is bad, you have to read diatribes by Lorne Gunter and Gary Lamphier, Terrence Corcoran and Solomon. Sigh.

  71. #72 Steve Bloom
    January 26, 2010

    carrot eater, it was a scientific waste because of the (entirely predictable CRN) match. No useful information has been added. I know you disagree, but can you actually point to anything specific? All that’s been accomplished that means anything is blogosphere blathering that’s become one more zombie lie for the denialists. There’s no silver lining to this cloud.

  72. #73 Stephen Wilde
    January 26, 2010

    All they have done is introduce a complicating factor namely the change in instrumentation. If one properly adjusts for that change in instrumentation then the warming bias from the microclimate issues returns so I don’t think the paper is as helpful as it might seem.

    It it were not for the microclimate effect then presumably the cooling bias from the instrument change would be even bigger.

    And UHI still remains as a separate issue

    I don’t think this has been properly thought through yet

  73. #74 caerbannog
    January 26, 2010

    (Content-free diversion)

    This video-clip contains a humorous portrayal of a “tv meteorologist” with an Anthony-Watts level of intellect: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=32YKaPxAxwA

    The young, blonde version of Anthony Watts appears at about 1:30 into the video.

  74. #75 Eamon
    January 26, 2010

    Bit of an aside, but the latest denialist salvo has beed fired: claims that NOAA eliminated 4500 weather stations from its reports in order to use the 1500 ‘warmest ones’.

    [The stupid is here](http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100022474/climategate-goes-american-noaa-giss-and-the-mystery-of-the-vanishing-weather-stations/)

  75. #76 carrot eater
    January 26, 2010

    Steve: It’s more station metadata, which is good to have around, even if you don’t explicitly use it on a regular basis. In 2010 constraints on data storage are less of a concern, so more metadata are never a bad thing.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Pielke comes up with a decent description of some micro-level site influences. You can do an adequate job of homogenisation without knowing all those details (or indeed, any details at all), but that would still be a contribution.

  76. #77 Paul H
    January 26, 2010

    You’re right, Carrot Eater, that was probably not an effective approach. Though it’s not clear to me that it’s possible to engage Watts substantively in his blog comments. In my experience, he edits things that are specifically critical of himself or his blog out of the comments and carried out a deliberate act of intimidation against me that is difficult for me to discuss. Also, I don’t see how you could engage Watts substantively in any forum and get him to acknowledge your points. It seems to me that he simply has no interest in the truth as he or his fellow commentators frequently write total nonsense. Anyone remember this and the great submarine warming period?

    Btw, no doubt Menne et al is being lined up for a good audit as we discuss this. And, to borrow some of Tim’s words, no doubt Watts and Pielke’s article will receive a similarly thorough audit when it appears next decade, no doubt at all. IMO, “the bigger fish to fry” argument doesn’t work in this case as Watts was given a loud fanfare of approval way back when.

  77. #78 caerbannog
    January 26, 2010

    Bit of an aside, but the latest denialist salvo has beed fired: claims that NOAA eliminated 4500 weather stations from its reports in order to use the 1500 ‘warmest ones’.

    The stupid is here.

    And the response to the stupid is here.

    Relevant excerpt:


    When glancing at the chart showing the number of temperature stations used over time, it does appear rather odd to see the number of stations used in the GHCN network drop dramatically between the 1970s and present. D’Aleo and Smith point to purposeful elimination of those stations.


    However, as Thomas Peterson and Russell Vose, the researchers who assembled much of GHCN, have explained:


    The reasons why the number of stations in GHCN drop off in recent years are because some of GHCN’s source datasets are retroactive data compilations (e.g., World Weather Records) and other data sources were created or exchanged years ago. Only three data sources are available in near-real time.


    It’s common to think of temperature stations as modern Internet-linked operations that instantly report temperature readings to readily accessible databases, but that is not particularly accurate for stations outside of the United States and Western Europe. For many of the world’s stations, observations are still taken and recorded by hand, and assembling and digitizing records from thousands of stations worldwide is burdensome.


    During that spike in station counts in the 1970s, those stations were not actively reporting to some central repository. Rather, those records were collected years and decades later through painstaking work by researchers. It is quite likely that, a decade or two from now, the number of stations available for the 1990s and 2000s will exceed the 6,000-station peak reached in the 1970s.

  78. #79 caerbannog
    January 26, 2010

    Gack! If the formatting of my previous post looks all screwy, all I can say is that it looked fine when I previewed it!

  79. #80 Eamon
    January 26, 2010

    Who cares about the formatting – cheers for the info! It can be so hard to find the good stuff when most of the search results are conspiracy theorist’s wet dreams…

  80. #81 Hank Roberts
    January 26, 2010
  81. #82 Eli Rabett
    January 26, 2010

    Carrot Eater, they have to do more than show that there are some stations where homogenization didn’t do a good job, they have to show that it imposes a bias on the record and that they will NOT be able to do. There are essentially as many stations with a colder bias than a warmer one.

    The one thing they may try, is to look for stations in areas which are not well served and try and show that that biases the global record because of area weighting, but even that is going to be VERY hard, and it just may come out on the other side of what they wish for.

  82. #83 carrot eater
    January 26, 2010

    Eli: Of course that’s what they [i]should[/i] do if they’re doing a proper job of assessing the impact on the big picture; I’m just guessing what they will try to do instead, and see if they can’t get it published.

    As for looking for wonky stations with a heavy influence in the area weighting due to sparseness: I’d not start in the US if that’s what I was looking for.

  83. #84 Deech56
    January 26, 2010

    RE Paul H

    And, to borrow some of Tim’s words, no doubt Watts and Pielke’s article will receive a similarly thorough audit when it appears next decade, no doubt at all.

    Paul, you owe me a new monitor and a fresh bottle of Saranac Rye IPA.

  84. #85 Chris O'Neill
    January 26, 2010

    http://www.vancouversun.com/technology/Incomplete+data+mean+warming+worse/2475762/story.html

    Of course, the irony is that the greater incompleteness at later times could create a cooling trend bias at more recent times. By the time the incompleteness is overcome and potential bias removed, attention has shifted to more recent observations and the past forgotten and ignored.

  85. #86 Anna Haynes
    January 26, 2010

    > the guy pulling the strings – Pielke Sr.

    I’m curious about the speculated Watts-Pielke-Sr. link. (And since I’ve only been paying attention for a couple years, and read neither blog, there’s much I don’t know.)

    > “It’s clear that he’s been Watt’s BFF – from shifting his “weblog” to wordpress with Watts’ help, to working with Watts and getting Watts “published” in a 40-author paper in BAMS.”

    > “Pielke claims that he and Watts are preparing a paper:
    ‘We will discuss the science of the analysis in a subsequent post and a paper which is being prepared for submission.'”

    Is there more than this, in the way of connections? any sort of timeline? etc…

    All info would be most gratefully received (and, if referenced, likely added to SourceWatch)

  86. #87 Boris
    January 26, 2010

    “Of course, the irony is that the greater incompleteness at later times could create a cooling trend bias at more recent times.”

    Of course. But this moron E. M Smith thinks that poor Canadian coverage means that the average global temp will go up in analysis because, duh, Canada is cold, guys! He doesn’t seem to understand that undersampling the fasting warming part of the globe would have the opposite effect (if any effect at all).

    It’s the anomalies, stupid.

  87. #88 Steve Bloom
    January 26, 2010

    Re #73: A Wattoid weighs in! Let’s see:

    “It it were not for the microclimate effect then presumably the cooling bias from the instrument change would be even bigger.”

    Because we know a microsite bias must be there even though the data don’t show it? Sorry, you’ve got Occam tripping over his beard on that one.

    “And UHI still remains as a separate issue”

    Sorry, fully corrected for via documented methods.

    And hey, in all the excitement you completely forgot to explain away the agreement with the CRN record.

    Now go away or I shall taunt you again.

  88. #89 llewelly
    January 27, 2010

    carrot eater | January 26, 2010 8:10 PM:

    As for looking for wonky stations with a heavy influence in the area weighting due to sparseness: I’d not start in the US if that’s what I was looking for.

    In other words, they should get serious, and head for the Arctic. (The Antarctic stations are extrapolated over even larger regions, but there’s reason to suspect most of Antarctica (except the peninsula) is not changing much. Yet.)

  89. #90 sod
    January 27, 2010

    68: I’ll take that bet. If it were Watts alone, it’d be E&E. But Pielke will find some better place for it. He might well find some publishable material about specific site influences. He’ll probably find a few individual stations where the homogenisation method didn’t do a great job. The question is what he’ll get away with, in terms of avoiding the big picture. I’m guessing they’ll claim there are too few good stations to even examine the big picture, or they’ll try to claim that a spatially averaged temperature anomaly has no useful meaning.

    i agree with carrot.

    the “sceptics” will chose an approach that will provide their preferred outcome. and they have plenty of options to generate it.

    looking at a region, that shows more warming in bad stations than in the good ones is a obvious way to do science for them.

    also choosing the right dataset (raw?) among a lot of possibilities will give them their result all over the USA.

    and at the end there always is the option of picking out single stations, the perfect timespan (1998 anyone?) or something similar.

    it will be obviously false stuff, but will require next to immediate response.

  90. #91 papertiger
    January 27, 2010

    49 Eli has been pointing out for years that there are essentially an equal number of stations with a cold bias due to shading and being near to stands of trees, as with a possible warm bias, … blah, blah, and blah.

    This is interesting. Josh contends that thermometers that are housed in aerated boxes, painted with reflective white latex, specificly to give them an absolute perpetual shade, are somehow cooled by surrounding trees.

    Now how is that supposed to work? You think the paint and wood don’t properly insulate the thermometer from the direct sun? Wouldn’t that mean the vast majority of thermometer housing units, toiling in the blazing sun, are defective, creating a heat bias?

    On the off chance Josh is full of shit, and the box works fine measuring ambient temp (the position I’m leaning toward), how would trees affect it, except through their inate, temperature regulating, transpiration?

    But wait, if trees regulate their temp, what of Yamal, bristlecones, decline hiding, and such?

    Oops, you’re going to have to give something up, Halprin. One way or the other.

  91. #92 BillD
    January 27, 2010

    My understanding is that Watts does not have the equivalent of a first undergraduate course in statistics. Thus, I don’t see how he could write any paper, even for E&E alone.

  92. #93 Boris
    January 27, 2010

    “On the off chance Josh is full of shit, and the box works fine measuring ambient temp (the position I’m leaning toward), how would trees affect it, except through their inate, temperature regulating, transpiration?”

    Let me give you a few hints:

    1. slang term for sunglasses.
    2. A window covering.
    3. the degree to which a color is mixed with black or white.
    4. A small amount; a trace
    5. A 2003 Sly Stallone film about grifters.

  93. #94 TrueSceptic
    January 27, 2010

    92 BillD,

    Watts has no higher education qualifications, but it does not follow that he cannot write a paper with or without co-author(s). Any paper should be reviewed and judged on its merits, not on the author’s qualifications.

  94. #95 TrueSceptic
    January 27, 2010

    86 Anna,

    Watts runs Pielke’s blog (he set it up and I assume he moderates it). Pielke, in return, has given Watts blanket approval to “publish” any of Pielke’s articles at WattsAFxxxWit. Somewhere you’ll find a post by Watts saying this.

  95. #96 carrot eater
    January 27, 2010

    86 Anna:
    The Pielke-Watts link isn’t just speculated. The surfacestations project was inspired by a previous smaller-scale version of the same thing in Colorado; discussion on Pielke’s website led to Watt’s involvement. Look up Davey and Pielke, BAMS 2005, “Microclimate exposures of surface-based weather stations” (BAMS articles don’t generally seem paywalled, so everybody go get it). This paper looks pretty the same as anything surfacestations does – a bunch of pretty pictures, and zero quantitative analysis to see if any of it matters.

    You’ll see mentions of this on the surfacestations page itself, under ‘about’, as well as the Heartland pamphlet I think. Pielke’s recent whine also makes it clear that he’s co-authoring a paper with Watts.

    So Pielke and Watts are collaborators here in a very real sense; it isn’t hidden at all. There’s nothing wrong with that, mind, though one could imagine better choices of somebody to work with.

    By the way, this has all played out before; Peterson took a closer look at Pielke’s Colorado findings in BAMS 2006, “Examination of potential biases in air temperature caused by poor station locations”. I think Pielke responded to that as well. The current story is a repeat on a wider scale, with Watts adding that extra flavor that only he can add.

    Basically, Pielke has spent years going on about the importance of microclimate issues, and when something is your baby, it can be hard to admit that it isn’t nearly as important as you thought it was. Yes, these factors can affect the readings at an individual station. But after you homogenise and especially when you look at large-scale averages, those influences are washed out.

  96. #97 carrot eater
    January 27, 2010

    87, Boris: You see this all the time. It really seems that most sceptics just don’t understand the point of anomalies. They think adding in December will make some average colder because December is a winter month (NH), or that adding in a snowy place will make it colder. And the idea that anomalies correlate over distance just blows their minds.

    94: TrueSceptic: It isn’t Watts’s education, but his public performance on his website that would lead me to question his competence.

  97. #98 J
    January 27, 2010

    Zeke Hausfeather writes:

    Tamino had a field day at the time:

    http://tamino.wordpress.com/2008/03/02/whats-up-with-that/

    Some similar gems:

    http://tamino.wordpress.com/2008/03/27/how-not-to-analyze-data-part-1/ http://tamino.wordpress.com/2008/03/30/how-not-to-analyze-data-part-deux/ http://tamino.wordpress.com/2008/04/01/how-not-to-analyze-data-part-3/ http://tamino.wordpress.com/2009/09/04/arctic-non-analysis/

    I can’t remember which one it was, but my favorite of those was where one of Watts’s guest posters tried to demonstrate that sunspots cause global warming … but if you actually looked at the graph, the (weirdly manipulated) temperature curve actually led the sunspots curve rather than lagged it.

    In other words, as I commented at Tamino’s place, WUWT had just proven that global warming causes sunspots.

    Watts is a fool, no question. I would have thought that Pielke Sr. could have found a better sock-puppet long ago.

  98. #99 Michael Ralston
    January 27, 2010

    To clarify Boris’s point, shading a thermometer permanently will help reduce variations, but if it’s shaded by trees they will still reduce the temperature further, as they will reduce the temperatures immediately outside the box, too.

  99. #100 Boris
    January 27, 2010

    Reading some more on this chiefo (E. M. Smith) guy who is slinging fraud allegations and partnering up with J D’Aleo and Watts, I notice that he is yet another person who thinks the lag in the ice core records disproves AGW.

    I hereby submit that we call these individuals “laggers” to illustrate their belief in such nonsense as well as the fact that they are just a tad behind the rest of us.

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