Since he prefers a Kim Jong Il-style commenter policy –“only those who flatter the Premier need comment” — Anthony Watts‘s site doesn’t get the pleasure of my visits much, anymore. Consequently I missed the announcement he made last week that he was “suspending” his blog, at least temporarily, until some great news came out.
Now the great news is out. I think. Watts may have been right to suspend blogging. He should have kept the suspension longer.
Watts says NOAA‘s temperature measurement in the U.S. is way off, and that if we ignore all the cities, and if we ignore sites that show the greatest increases in temperature over the past century or so, global warming doesn’t look so bad.
This pre-publication draft paper, titled An area and distance weighted analysis of the impacts of station exposure on the U.S. Historical Climatology Network temperatures and temperature trends, is co-authored by Anthony Watts of California, Evan Jones of New York, Stephen McIntyre of Toronto, Canada, and Dr. John R. Christy from the Department of Atmospheric Science, University of Alabama, Huntsville, is to be submitted for publication.
Wait a minute. “Prepublication draft paper?” ” . . . to be submitted for publication?”
Yes, Dear Reader, that claxon you hear is your and my Hemingway III Solid Gold [Excrement] Detectors™ going off. It may be a false alarm, but still — isn’t this how bogus science is done, isn’t this what Robert Park warns us about? Indeed, in the Seven Warning Signs of Bogus Science, Park says to pay attention to key indicators: “1. The discoverer pitches the claim directly to the media.” It is, indeed, a press release from Watts, about a paper he hopes to get through the peer review process at some point in the future — but it has not yet been pitched to the science journals. (Yes, that’s also one of the Seven Warning Signs of Bogus History . . . one discipline at a time, please.)
What’s the rush? Oh: Tuesday, July 31, is the deadline for peer reviewed papers to be submitted to the international agency studying climate change, the Internatioinal (IPCC), for consideration and inclusion in the next report.
Same old stuff, new day. Watts has been arguing for years that NOAA’s temperature measurements err, but after the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperatures (BEST) Project determined that warming exists, even using Watts’s modified measurements and accounting for his claimed errors, some of us hoped Watts might turn to blogging about science, instead.
No, Watts turned to finding a hint of a methodology that might support his preconceived notions. He found one.
So, Watts’s big announcement is that he’s found a methdology which favors his criticisms of NOAA; so we should ignore temperature readings from cities, because cities are hot, and we should ignore temperature readings from suburbs of cities, because suburbs are warm; and if we do that, then warming in the U.S. doesn’t look so bad.
Were I allowed to ask questions at Watts’s blog, I’d ask why we should ignore warming in cities, because are they not part of the planet? Oh, well.
The Twitter version:
Watts: Ignore city temps (hot!) and ‘burbs (warm!), temps on farms don’t show so much global warming! Oops – did we say that before?
Anthony, how about you suspend your blog until you get the paper accepted at a good journal? Make sure you got the numbers right . . .
- Stoat at ScienceBlog: “Watts disappoints”
- Climate Denial Crock of the Week: Warming caused by man
- Denier Denier Denier … (tamino.wordpress.com)
- Where’s the Skepticism? (tamino.wordpress.com)
- Anthony Watts Is Right Because He’s Older Than Me (desmogblog.com)
- Is the United States Actually Getting Warmer? (powerlineblog.com)
- UPDATE: (Koch-funded) Scientist changes opinion, finds warming due to humans (including Kochs)
- Shortened even more: See discussion at Rabett Run
- Stoat says the paper will likely be unpublished forever
- MediaMatters notes the rather political, unsciency nature of Watts’s paper, and reactions in its favor