Anthony Watts Breaks the Record

After a week of quite funny jokes, Anthony Watts has shown his real talent. In my opinion, what he’s best at is proving what an utter fake he is as a “skeptic.”

The gist is that Anthony is really, really, really upset at the crash-dive of Arctic sea ice this year. He’ll make any excuse whatever, disparage the records, disparage the scientists who work so hard to monitor sea ice, and blame it on anything — except global warming.

It’s really hilarious. It’s also pathetic. And, it’s downright ugly. I almost feel sorry for the guy.

The most interesting comment comes from Steven Mosher, who suggests how fake skeptics will respond to the record-smashing loss of Arctic sea ice:

you will know you’re a fake skeptic if you try to struggle with the fact of their being less ice in the arctic. You will know your are struggling with that fact if you.

1. start to question every metric you’ve relied on in the past.
2. change the topic to the south pole.
3. Blame things that cant melt ice (like wind). heat melts ice.
4. search around feverishly for one chart that supports your position.
5. Forget your own mistakes and focus on others.

Anthony should have paid attention. Almost as if by order, he adds a second post in which he says

So I’d tend to take NSIDC’s number with a grain of salt, particularly since they have not actively embraced the new IMS system when it comes to reporting totals. Clearly NSDIC knows the value of the media attention when they announce new lows, and director Serreze clearly knows how to make hay from it.

No matter what though, its all just quibbling over just a little more than 30 years of satellite data, and it is important to remember that.

Number 1. Check. But this is really just a repeat, Anthony already did this in his first post.

Of course Watts includes this:

Oh, and then there’s Antarctica, that other neglected ice child nobody talks about, with its above normal ice amounts right now:

Number 2. Check.

Of course what Anthony so desperately wants to believe is that the ice loss isn’t due to global warming. It’s anything but global warming!

You can thank the big Arctic storm of August 4th-8th for that dispersal.

“The Great Arctic Cyclone of 2012” effect on Arctic sea ice is seen in this before and after image:

Number 3. Check. But this is just a repeat. Anthony already did that in his first post.

Then there’s this:

But, here’s a curiosity, another NSIDC product, the new and improved “multi-sensor” MASIE product …

Another product, NOAA’s National Ice Center Interactive Multisensor Snow and Ice Mapping System (IMS) plot …

Number 4. Check.

Walt Meier tries to tell Anthony that these products aren’t consistent from one year to the next (or even from day to day!) so they can’t be used for trend analysis or even year-to-year comparison. Anthony doesn’t believe him. What does Walt Meier know? He just used to work at the National Ice Center.

Funny that Watts is so critical of surface temperature data, insisting on the utmost quality control … but he won’t let go of sea ice products that are known to be invalid for comparison purposes. What a hypocrite!

Meier also tries to tell Watts that MASIE and IMS are the same product, just packaged differently. Watts doesn’t believe it. What the hell does Walt Meier know — he just used to work there! Reader MMM does what Anthony didn’t do: check the dates.

Anthony Watts outdoes himself yet again! When Walt Meier shows up to try and be helpful, Watts rejects him by saying, ” Walt, respectfully, MASIE says 4.7, IMS says 5.1. If MASIE and IMS are the same product, how can they show different numbers?” What Mr. low-Watt-bulb missed was that MASIE was reporting data for August 26th, and IMS was reporting for August 22nd. It would have been hard to miss – “Current ice extent (8/22): 5.096?. Given that IMS noted a 750,000 km2 loss per week, 4 days would be… about 400,000… or just about right to make IMS and MASIE equal again.

As for #5 … if I listed all the blunders Anthony Watts has tried to sweep under the rug, this post would take up the entire internet.

Anthony Watts has descended to a new low — which for him, is a record-shattering low to rival what’s happened to Arctic sea ice this year. His latest isn’t just delusional, it’s record-breaking delusional.


91 responses to “Anthony Watts Breaks the Record

  1. Hard to know if it’s delusional or worse. It was painful reading Tony arguing the toss with someone who knows arctic ice measurements inside and out.

    The comments indicate the ‘quality’ of the denialists. In among the ‘warming is good’, ‘it’s not warming’, ‘it’s happened before’, ‘we don’t know anything’, ‘who cares’ posts – DavidMHoffer, recent protester of temperature anomalies, wrote a real doozy in relation to the loss of ice (in Tony’s part 1):

    “I know one thing it is NOT good for, and that is warming. Yup, all that ice is part of the thermostat mechanism. Ice gone, what happens? Well a major albedo change for one. Instead of ice that reflects incoming SW back out to space we have water that incoming SW slices right through and gets absorbed at depth. Then there’s the now exposed surface of the water that radiates more LW to space than the snow and ice that no longer cover it did.
    So…. the cooling trend begins….”

    Indeed? Melting ice and warming ocean is going to cause global cooling?

    I’m amazed that people like Watts, Hoffer and others on WUWT can post such utter nonsense without any apparent shame or embarrassment. It’s as if they think ignorance and stupidity is a virtue and something to boast about. (Dunning-Kruger effect? But there’s more to it than that.)

  2. Never mind him breaking the record; for the last couple years, especially since the Richard Muller betrayal, he’s been sounding more and more like a broken record and he’s been contradicting and compromising himself so often while touting his objectivity, he’s developing tone-deafness.

  3. …and Anthony won’t show any seasonal recovery from his personal low. He fails to recognise his long and tortuous public education for what it is.

  4. Give him a break!
    His (former) professional institution just just posted a document trashing all his GW beliefs:

    Climate Change An Information Statement of the American Meteorological Society
    (Adopted by AMS Council 20 August 2012)

    Click to access 2012climatechange.pdf

    • I’m sure somewhere in his vast archive there’s a lamentation of how a once great scientific institution has been corrupted and co-opted by the hordes of the Goracle and his unholy archdemon, the Hansen.

      The nice thing about that piece is that he can write it once and trot it out again and again, with slight mods to reflect the fall of the AMS, the NAS, all of the USA, etc.

  5. Horatio Algeranon

    “Watts falls to Pieces”
    — Horatio’s perversification of “I fall to Pieces” (Patsy Cline)

    Watts falls to pieces,
    Each time ice sees lows again.
    Watts falls to pieces.
    How can this not mean the end?

    He wants us to act like he’s never wrong
    He wants us to forget, pretend he’s ne’r upset
    And he’s tried and he’s tried, but he hasn’t yet.
    Summer goes by and Watts falls to pieces.

    Watts falls to pieces,
    Each time someone blogs his name.
    Watts falls to pieces.
    Tamino only adds to the flame

    He tries hard to find something else to graph
    Something that’ll boost hits too, like photos used to do.
    But each time he comes out with something new,
    Summer goes by and Watts fall to pieces.

  6. Rattus Norvegicus

    Let’s just say that I’ve been waiting to see what Willard would say about this since last Friday. Needless to say, he didn’t disappoint!

  7. Its worth noting that Watts and his crew forecast a September sea ice minimum of 4.9 million square kilometers back in June (

    Their failures are almost as impressive as their denial.

    • Rattus Norvegicus

      Even in August they were at around 4.5. I have to confess I always thought it would be close to a record and so boinked 4.3, but I never thought we would see less than 4.

    • This is not the important point. The important point is that back in 2007 Watts et al predicted 5.5M sq km on Search. Spent the last 5 years talking about recovery and posts 4.9 in 2012…..

      Epic fail. At honesty.

  8. We should give credit where credit is due. Gareth from Hot Topic saw much of this coming back in August 12 (except he underestimated the timing of the record setting, faster than even he realised):
    When Arctic sea ice extent sets a new record low in September, the following arguments will be run in parallel:

    There will be a frantic search for a definition of extent in which a new record was not set
    There will be a complaint that the satellite record has been blighted by the failure of a sensor and the calibrations needed to get a new sensor in operation have corrupted the record2
    It will be claimed that it was all caused by the major Arctic storm that hit in August, and thus can’t be attributed to global warming3
    It’s cyclical — it’s all happened before, in the 1930s4, and is therefore nothing unusual
    That it’s irrelevant, because it’s not global and not happening where anyone lives so can’t possibly matter.
    When the sea ice extent and area anomalies blow out to record levels in early October because of the delayed freeze-up, there will be silence.

  9. I thought the following post is pretty instructive as to Watts’ integrity.

    In dissembling about Arctic sea ice melt – Anthony changes a statement from a scientist that the Arctic “could” be, contingent on a continued trend from 2007, nearly ice free by the end of the 2012 summer, to “will” be nearly ice free with the contingency conveniently lopped off.

    And Judith – with no follow-up explanation to provide examples (even though I asked for examples repeatedly), talked of how “there are predictions” (note the plural) for an ice-free Arctic by September. Looks like Judith is fast following Anthony down into his rabbit hole.

    • “And Judith – with no follow-up explanation to provide examples (even though I asked for examples repeatedly), talked of how “there are predictions” (note the plural) for an ice-free Arctic by September. ”

      And then proceeded to explain how such predictions couldn’t possibly be right.

      Yes that was very strange. If we look at the SEARCH predictions none of the contributors at any point this year have predicted zero sea ice. Neither have I seen any commentators at Neven’s predicting zero or mentioning any predictions of zero. So odd was this that I wondered if a recent media article in the popular press had perhaps made such a prediction, but I could find nothing.

      I am afraid the only explanation is that Dr Curry is getting her information on the subject from blogs like WUWT and taking their claims at face value. This would also tie in with the lack of response to your query as I am sure when she looked more closely she realized the reported predictions didn’t exist. I don’t think I would admit to being fooled by WUWT, so yes I can imagine this being the reason for the lack of response.

      The real news of course this year is that by and large the ice has fallen below, not above, the bulk of predictions made.

      • “And Judith – with no follow-up explanation to provide examples (even though I asked for examples repeatedly), talked of how “there are predictions” (note the plural) for an ice-free Arctic by September. ”

        And that’s particularly sad since she has done a lot of research related to Arctic climate.

      • back in 2007, National Geographic pearoasted [1] an AP interview with Jay Zwally from NASA. he said that “At this rate, the Arctic Ocean could be nearly ice-free at the end of summer by 2012, much faster than previous predictions.”

        at some point since then, this morphed into “[…] the Arctic Ocean [will definitely] be [completely ice-free] at the end of summer by 2012, [or global warming is a giant hoax]”.


      • as for predictions plural, she’s obviously referring to the version as reported by Watts, the version as reported by Goddard, the version as reported by Morano, and so on.

  10. All that missing ice has to go somewhere.

  11. Watt’s are not merely factually incorrect, there campaigns of misinformation highlights the danger to public understanding.

  12. The most interesting comment comes from Steven Mosher

    Of “Piltdown Mann” fame … let’s not forget it. While it’s great that he tries to educate his former fellow travelers, it’s unforgiveable that he was once one of their fellow travelers.

    It wouldn’t take much for him to flip his flop once again … the man does not have a deep keel.

    • Was not a true Scotsman anyway

    • Steven strikes me as an opportunist needing the limelight. He derived much notoriety early with his denier chum-feeding. Now, sensing the end of the tide nearing, he seeks to rehabilitate his image. If I thought his “conversion” was authentic rather than mere expediency I would applaud it.

      • As long as Mosher is arguing with the “skeptics” at WUWT, kudos to him. I’m a reformed skeptic myself.

        Honestly, the only reason that the denialsphere has lasted so long is because Watts et al are so effective at misinformation.
        To win this argument, the scientists don’t need more data, although it does help. What we need, more than anything else, is good arguing. We need arguments that are convincing, catchy and maybe even mildly insulting, arguments we reinforce over and over again through repetition and or re-tell in different ways through analogies. This isn’t a logical battle – those with logic have long since picked their side – it’s an idealogical battle; an emotional battle.

        WUWT is slowly getting better. There are more, and better, arguments from the scientists or the educated at the site, and the tone is *just* starting to shift. People run in packs, and they reinforced their biases through selective reading and the emotional support of their peers. With better commenters over at WUWT, it’s harder for the “skeptics” to get that self-reinforcement and feel-good confidence in their beliefs, and it leaves them open to doubt and critical thinking (omg!).
        Mosher’s cutting, insightful comments are part of what is slowly taking down the emotional and logical shields that people at WUWT have put up, so he’s A-OK with me, no matter what his past.

      • I don’t read WUWT but I do read Curry’s blog and I can confidently say two things about Mosher.

        1. In recent weeks (or months) he has certainly posted a lot of perfectly sensible well informed comments comprehensively rebutting the “skeptics” nonsense.

        2. Tomorrow he will doubtless indulge in the kind of behaviour which will make me regret being nice about him.

    • Horatio Algeranon

      Horatio wrote “Go Down Mosher” to address Mosher’s “transformation.”

    • Horatio Algeranon

      you will know you’re a fake skeptic if you

      1. change the topic to Climate Gate.
      2. blame things that have no relevance to the reality of the science (emails).
      3. search around feverishly for one email that supports your position.
      4. Forget your own mistakes and focus on others.

      and you will know you’re a fake nonskeptic if you

      start to feverishly post comments like this (at WUWT and elsewhere) to belatedly bolster your own “credibility” among the science crowd when it becomes clear (to everyone who is not a complete idiot) that the public has lost interest in Climate Gate and — as a result of the spate of recent extreme weather events — is starting to think that “maybe scientists like Jim Hansen know what they are talking about after all”

      • Robert,

        The Climategate book was slander of innocent people by a political fanatic. There is no excuse for that kind of behavior. None.

      • Horatio Algeranon

        “The Climategate book was slander of innocent people…”

        …was and still is, since the book is still being sold — and Mosher is still profiting at scientists’ expense (quite literally)

        Even the description on Amazon being used to sell the book fits the bill

        The Climategate scandal covered from beginning to end–from ‘Hide the Decline’ to the current day. Written by two authors who were on the scene–Steven Mosher and Tom Fuller–Climategate takes you behind that scene and shows what happened and why. For those who have heard that the emails were taken out of context–we provide that context and show it is worse when context is provided. For those who have heard that this is a tempest in a teacup– we show why it will swamp the conventional wisdom on climate change. And for those who have heard that this scandal is just ‘boys being boys’–well, boy. It’s as seamy as what happened on Wall Street.

        Yes, indeed, some of those climate scientists are just as seamy as convicted Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff and some other wall Street folks (eg, at Goldman Sachs) who defrauded the public of billions.

        In Horatio’s humble opinion, Mosher is worthy of an Hackademy Award for his current performance and for his starring role (unwitting, of course) as the Water Boy for the CRU hacker.

        “Now that’s what I call high quality Hacked-CRU-Oh”

      • Horatio Algeranon

        Horatio neglected the link to The Water Boy


      • it’s amazing, it’s like he’s a modern-day Milton (Waddams). let no-one say that Adam Sandler doesn’t put in the extra mile.

    • hmm I tend to find Steven Mosher’s perception on things quite informative actually. Just my opinion, I only note that because I unusually seem to be in disagreement.

      • Agreed with lolwot

        Disagree with the others bashing on Mosher, if you wanna continue to bash a guy for writing a book on climategate despite all he has done since to improve the field of climate science and to combat some forms misinformation – then I think you’re allowing personal bias’ to dictate your life.

        Truthfully I know some climate scientists who have said harsher things about climategate then Mosher… holding a grudge is counterproductive.

      • Robert.

        Mosher’s not saying anything now that thousands of professional climatologists haven’t been saying for decades. Considering his contribution to the campaign that has for years prevented effective action, he hardly deserves credit for finding his way to admitting at the eleventh hour and 59th minute to what is really trivially straightforward and scientifically-obvious fact.

      • “despite all he has done since to improve the field of climate science”

        Oh, gosh, Robert, and what are all those things he’s done?

        Sticking the label “Piltdown Mann” on Mike Mann helped a lot, I’m sure. Anything else he’s done that’s notable? Accuse CRU scientists and Mann of criminal offenses and sticking to that even when government committies and courts disagree? (he’s still pushing that over at Keith Kloor’s). Organizing a flood of frivolous FOIA requests to overwhelm CRU and paralyzing the scientific efforts of the office while they dealt with a constant flood of attacks that followed?

        By obstructing justice? He claims to have information as to who “leaked” the CRU mails, but has refused to cooperate with the UK authorities. They can’t touch him, of course, but if it were the FBI investigating I personally would relish the DoJ indicting him if he refused to divulge what he does (or, my guess, does not) know.

        His constant harping that code and data must be free, when most of it has been for a long time and the climate science community has, like other branches of science, been plodding forward to do so since long before they ever heard of Mosher or McIntyre. Oh! But not everything was made available instantaneously! Just like some of the data used by the BEST project, where Mosher’s been deeply involved in organizing data and software … hypocrite.

        I’ll be interested in seeing the list of “improvements to climate science” you attribute to Mosher …

    • Horatio Algeranon

      Like Moses before him, Mosher obviously has a following.

      The only question remaining (in Horatio’s mind, at least) is “When does he plan to part the Red Sea-ice?”

      Or perhaps that’s what he is doing now so that the Wattsrealites may all follow him on the Exodus from WUWT to the Promised Land (his blog)

    • Where is that dad-blamed “Like” button, for comments such as this??….;)

  13. Are we close, yet, to being able to ignore Watts altogether?

  14. I can’t wait for Watts’ new paper on how the Arctic sea ice isn’t declining over time, due for release immediately after his paper on how the contiguous USA isn’t warming…

    If it wasn’t all so tragic, it would be funny. Sadly too many lay people, corporate executives, and politicians use Watts as proof of the debate or even of the non-existence of global warming.

    • Kevin MacDonald

      If you ignore some of the Time of Year Biases you can probably make this case and I wouldn’t be surprised if someone tries.

  15. hey at least Anthony “the ice is not melting” WattsABaseline?
    is better than Steve “the ice is recovering” GodGiveItArestTradd

  16. Climate blogging really kicked off about 05-07. Since it was all new and shiney they did not have a lot of predictions behind them and could blather away when the 07 sea ice record hit. Because 07 was so extreme it was not really clearly broken so they could all hide behind their recovery rhetoric and this just gave them confidence to plow onwards.

    This is really the first time they have had to take a hit from something close to their hearts (they could ignore global temperature records from GISS so long as their beloved UAH was not showing a clear record).

    Its going to be hurting a few of them.

    • Exactly, their ignorance has only worked to date for lack of time of proving them wrong.

      The real bang will come when the cooling predictions from the archibald’s, bastrdi’s etc slowly fall apart in the coming decade.

  17. Look, I’ve pointed this out before, and you guys blew right by it. Anthony Watts is formally associated with the Republican Party. Analyzing his state of mind is irrelevant. The man is doing the job he’s been assigned. He’s well aware that his arguments make no sense. They don’t have to. If they convince idiots, they’ve done their job.

    Woman voter, 1956: Mr. Stevenson, you’re the choice of all thinking people.

    Adlai Stevenson: That’s not enough, ma’am; we need a majority.

    • climatehawk1

      Agreed, if there is a formal association, that would pretty much explain the conduct.

    • You call that a Republican?

      Tony Watts political trajectory gravitates more towards Monckton and LaRouche than Teddy Roosevelt and Robert Taft

  18. that’s Steve “the ice is recovering” GodGiveItArestTardd

  19. With great thanks, reposted link to this blog entry with supporting graphics in another forum thread of Toninô Watts adorers.

  20. They are his children, he helped create them. Now, he disowns them.

  21. It is lucky for Muller he jettisoned the sinking ship when he did.
    This probably for me is the clearest indication of denial that I have ever witnessed.

    Whilst it will mean nothing for the diehard denier folk (wouldn’t it be good to see the trends of WUWT site statistics) I hope some good comes of it. At least the media as far as I can tell is reporting it as significant. It will be the fence sitters and the uninformed that I hope will pay more attention to this.

  22. Gavin's Pussycat

    Such a little man.

  23. I don’t comment much as others do a better job, especially from an ipad! However this commeter also has a quite cogent comment

  24. David Hodge provided a link to a wonderful comment posted to WUWT. The half-life of comments of that quality over there is generally pretty short, so here it is, reproduced in its entirety:

    NeilT says:
    August 27, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    Dear me, predictions come in all sizes and types. In fact 4 out of the 5 key objections here were predicted back on August 12 and like pavlovs dogs, WUWT gladly ranted their hearts out.

    The only prediciton which did not get fulfilled was sensor failure…. I must admit I’m a little surpised as WUWT always claims that DMI sensors have failed every time it drops like a stone. Funny satellites those which fail and then start working perfectly when eggshell thin ice re-forms very rapidly very late in the season….

    However Anthony you are bending the truth, yet again. NSIDC is almost the LAST record to fall. Not the first or the only. But, of course, you had to wait until the situation settled enough before you could start spreading your poison so it would be believable.

    I see a trend here. People on the board keep saying we’re recovering from the little ice age and so there should be a melt. Yet there is a second and almost constant thread which says that ice is recovering. These two opinions are diametrically opposed yet everyone here seems to think they make the case in two different ways.

    WUWT has been making constant noise about how the ice is NOT melting yet the WUWT submissions for SEARCH have dropped by 1msqkm between 2007 and now.

    Pinnoccio methinks your nose is growing.

    As the weeks go on and the ice does not recover, you will, again, say absolutely nothing. You will only perk up again when the temperature drops to -100 for a week and generates 6 inches of flash frozen ice in a sudden spurt. Then again it’ll be a sudden and “unprecedented” re-freeze of the ice. Never mind the fact that the ice will not reach the 2006/9 low ice winter levels. The fact that the average winter temperatures around Greenland will be 30C – 40C higher than normal over a period of weeks, no let’s ignore all that.

    Only on WUWT could the arctic sea loose heat all winter but not gain heat in the summer, creating a net effect of cooling which will then melt even MORE ce the following year.

    Escher had nothing on the logic of WUWT. But of course it’s not logic is it. It is simply making any claim which could possibly be believed by anyone so that an incredible and impossible claim can be upheld.

    True to form and true to type. Eeven more so as the whole site lacks logic so badly that nobody can see the basic inconsistency of the position. One key message I use to make people wake up and understand the position is the basic inconsistency of the denailosphere arguments. Argue one thing one day and another the day after. Never cross check to see if you are making sense, what good would that do? Belive me you make my case much more focibly than I could. All I have to do is point out the basic inconsistency of sites like this and I have people convinced.

    What thousands of graphs and billions of lines of data will not do for the common person, WUWT does for me perfectly.

    Keep it up. It helps me enourmously.

  25. Is Watts a neighbor? Did he shoot your dog? Or is he far more influential than I’m aware of? This is the only site I read that regularly mentions Watt. (Maybe I’m out of touch.)

    He sounds like a jackass and a clown, not Prof. Moriarty.

    • Watts acts like a jackass and a clown. He also acts like Prof Moriarty in the sense that he frequently stoops to maligning climate scientists – and backstabs some people who might reach out (in a friendly and polite manner) to try to engage with him and his crowd.

      In terms of influence, he has on occasion been quoted even in the New York Times (only on Revkins blog AFAIK, not in the main paper. Revkin is a lukewarmer clown more than a denier clown).

      His influence is that of a disseminator for the backroom boys and lobbyists (eg a willing and useful tool for Morano, Heartland etc) and will hopefully wane as time goes by.

      Ridiculing his nonsense is one way to reduce his influence IMO.

      • Hopefully the day will come (very soon) when the most common reaction to any mention of Watts’ name is snickering and giggling — sorta like the “Biggus Dickus” scene in Life of Brian.

      • Steven Sullivan

        Actually Watts has been quoted and namechecked several times by the NY Times (the paper, not just Revkin’s blog) as a representative of the ‘skeptics’. Search their archive and see. His blog is also the most popular AGW-related blog on the web, by the standard metrics. So yes, Mr. Davis is out of touch. It’s important to address WUWT’s lies, as this and other blogs do.

    • Well, his “work” was cited in Congressional testimony by Christy a few weeks ago… and I believe Watts himself has testified (though that was a couple years ago?). That counts as influential enough to be worth ridiculing in my book. Now Goddard, on the other hand… probably not so much.

      • Christy was listed as co-author of that paper, too, with Watts as lead author. Though it appears to have disappeared down the memory hole, it did allow Christy to, with a straight face, cite it in testimony as MMM says, claiming that the paper shows it’s only warmed half as much in the US as scientists claim.

        So, yes, Jeffrey, Watts does have influence. He’s also been on Fox news many times …

    • Well, he is a jackass and a clown, IMO, but he used to get all kinds of views; WUWT was voted “Best Science Blog” at least once. (Though obviously it doesn’t really merit being included in the category, let alone winning.)

    • Yes…Unfortunately, Watts does seem to be quite influential. He claims to get more hits on his website than any other website on the subject, dwarfing ones that discuss real science, like RealClimate. His site has even won the “best science blog” popularity contest.

      So, I think it is worth pointing out that most of the posts on his site are anything but science.

      • I think his claim to WUWT being the most read climate “science” blog is probably the most accurate thing on the entire blog.

        Which doesn’t actually mean much other than it’s popular. Until last year the most read newspaper in the UK was the News of the World and that didn’t end too well.


    I’m not so clear about the “wind” thing. Wind doesn’t melt ice, but it can transport ice to warmer places where it does melt, right?

    • Yes Sir, it can transport ice horizontally and by churning it around, wave action and all,cause a constant replacement of cold melt water, by new saline sea water. It can also suck up more warm water from the depths. The Arctic Ocean once mostly covered was well stratified where warmer layers of water pushed in from e.g. the Atlantic or Bering, would just sit there. Such as the GAC’12 likely broke up the stratification badly [more], so warmer water again got in contact with ice, a vicious circle. Most do not appreciate there where open water is present, 90% of the solar / re-radiated energy goes into there… the famously Trenberth traverty of missing heat [stuck in the Ocean Heat Content]… it’s there, it never followed the Pielke poof route to space.

    • jasonpettitt

      It can indeed. But ice that is already well melted – the broken up and slushy stuff – will be much more vulnerable to the effects of wind.

      Weather will have an effect one year to the next. But not so much on the trend.

    • Yeah, but not without students of the Arctic ice noticing. That’s why there are, for instance, papers quantifying the role of ice transport out of the Arctic in the 2007 record melt season.

  27. He needs to study up on how the professionals do this kind of thing:
    Ten ironic rules for non-statistical reviewers
    As an expert reviewer, it is sometimes necessary to ensure a paper is rejected. This can sometimes be achieved by highlighting improper statistical practice. This technical note provides guidance on how to critique the statistical analysis of neuroimaging studies to maximise the chance that the paper will be declined. We will review a series of critiques that can be applied universally to any neuroimaging paper and consider responses to potential rebuttals that reviewers might encounter from authors or editors.

    Statistical testing;
    Effect size;
    Classical inference

  28. I was somewhat taken back by Anthony’s use of tweets from Michael Mann as a lead in to his posts on sea ice. I don’t get the obsession. With all due respect to Dr. Mann, he’s not the person we should turn to for quantifying or understanding recent changes in arctic sea ice.

    • Simple; if a paleoclimatologist is eager to see the record fall, that PROVES that cryosphere scholars must be cooking the books.

      Or, alternatively, any mention of Dr. Mann is red meat to the regulars over there–kind of analogous to mentioning “underwear” in the schoolyard.

    • I was somewhat taken back by Anthony’s use of tweets from Michael Mann as a lead in to his posts on sea ice. I don’t get the obsession.

      Wel,, that’s really what it is, isn’t it? It’s an obsession. It has nothing to do with the reality of the scientific discourse. Mann has become the unfortunate target of the obsessed-denier crowd, led by Watts, similar to how some crazed conservatives becomes obsessed with the President’s birth certificate, regardless of what the topic actually is or what actually happens. So, we’re not supposed to get it.

      • Anthony not only follows Mann’s twits (which is already creepy) : he stalks Mann’s facebook page, also – he posted the link to Mann’s announcement of legal actions.
        “Obsession” is a quite mild word.

  29. Bill, that’s because you are assuming that Watts is trying to make a scientific point.

    In fact he is not. He’s lining up targets for others to fire at. This is not about science or about proof. This is about plausible deniability and the plausibility becomes less as every year passes.

    So he needs targets.

    Mann is high profile and therefore a solid target.

  30. Barton has it right:

    “Anthony Watts is formally associated with the Republican Party…. mind is irrelevant. The man is doing the job he’s been assigned…. his arguments make no sense. They don’t have to. If they convince idiots, they’ve done their job.”

    Climate change is just one on the long list of persistently repeated lies.

    And why try to suck Mann into it? Because any scientist outside his own area of expertise isn’t an expert and ought to demur not comment. Starting with personal attacks is to suck him into getting involved. Suckering any scientist to comment an area of research he’s not personally expert in is a ploy to get him to say something eventually that goes beyond the facts.

    Watch for it.

  31. Watts’ growing and increasingly obvious separation from reality means that folks who hang out on his site and join his curious association will necessarily appear ever more bizarre and inexplicable to the rest of us.

    What’s really interesting is how with several billion persons able to participate there’s an essentially inexhaustible supply of people measuring up to the ever more exacting specifications of weirdness needed to be Wattsian. If he chose to do so, Watts could claim the sun is cooling the Earth and the very tiny fraction of the available audience able to wrap their minds around such an idea would provide a large and encouraging audience to cheer him on, in absolute numbers.

    The problem Watts has created for himself is that he can now promote any idea no matter how fantastic and still attract a crowd of groupies large enough to stroke his ego and deceive him into thinking he’s a legitimate player.

    A dangerous place to be self-oblivious, the Internet. Same deal applies to ATI, who’ve been calling Michael Mann the “Jerry Sandusky” of climate change. ATI has no idea how peculiar they make themselves appear to the rest of us because they’ve built their own custom-distilled crowd of cheerleaders to egg them on, listen only to that crowd and thus can’t get any cues as to when they’ve gone off deep into the weeds.

    • Doug has it in a nutshell.

      Watts is in the same pickle as an authoritarian political leader who surrounds him/herself with yes-men lackies eager to repeat what the leader wants to hear, and not what s/he should hear according to the best evidence. The result is an ever-accelerating descent into ridiculousness, and separation from reality.

      Watts might think that banning those who counter his silliness is in his best interest, but it is these people who most effectively keep him near some semblance of rationality. Without them he is free to sail toward complete delusion, and at some point a lot of his less-crazy audience will realise that they’ve been sucking on a dry tit; that they’ve been sold a very sick pup indeed.

      I suspect that the first have already reached that conclusion, and Mosher certainly is gathering his personal belongings in order to jump the ship.

    • ATI: David Schnare, who has carved out a post-govt career or FOIA-fishing Mann, Hansen, Andrew Dessler, Katharine Hayhoe, etc, has a new tax-free 501(c)(3) “public charity,” with ATI/CEI’s Chris Horner. Originally (and still legally) called the George Mason Environmental law Clinic, it is now the Free Market ELC, located at Schnare’s house.

      Schnare teaches a course to GMU law students by which they can learn his techniques. See Appendix A.6.2 in the PDF attached here. Meanwhile, GMU gets Federal research funding described there as well.

    • It’s a perfect example of epistemic closure. They only read science in order to try to rebut scientific arguments. A commenter on Bad Astronomy posted this Real Time discussion about realty vs. fantasy. BTW, this would have been the perfect time for a Marshall McLuhan moment (think Annie Hall) with a real climate scientist stepping onto the stage.

  32. Where is a Joe Welch we we need him to respond to the ATI: “Have you no decency?”

    (versions of the quote vary, I know).

  33. I’m surprised the correct explanation for the apparent anomaly has not yet (as far as I know) been put forward: 2012 is a leap year, so it doesn’t count. My paper explaining this will be published soon.

    (Dave123, you can see Joseph Welch deliver the line himself on numerous Youtube videos.)

  34. Glenn Tamblyn


    For Ants, it has nothing to do with Delusion. It is far more visceral – Desperation.His Surface Stations groupies didn’t find anything that mattered. UHI is a damp squib, His LANDMARK paper has more holes than swiss cheese, and Ants has always been one of the great pundits on the Arctic – even if he did have to give Steve Goddard the old heave-ho to reinforce that.

    Ants is looking down the barrel of something that, for someone like him with an ego the size of the great outdoors, is utterly soul destroying.
    Relevence Deprivation Syndrome.
    What if I wrote something and nobody noticed?? AAARRRGGGHHH….

  35. It was late, there wasn’t much to do, and Tony T Watt had already fueled me once (2007 – substituted IJARC-JAXA with with DMI’s chart to confuse the record-low issue). This time it was the sad swap to something with ‘new & improved’ on his label. … he didn’t like my comments. Yet for the snow-cap on mountain in Africa … it’s his comment, his bars, and his crowning glory:

    “And, yes, that means the end of the Modern Warm Period.”

    He certainly appeared to have skipped the FAQ for IMS and MASIE. The raison d’etre for those products is to give the best possible real-time warning to shipping in the Arctic Ocean.

    As for Tony T … with American CO2 emissions falling to 1990 levels in just a few short years, the money behind his mission may turn him into a different flavour of yuan-abee pdq.–finance.html

  36. It’s an election year. Watts is a Republican outlet.
    You know what comes out of Republican outlets, these days.

    “… Romney pollster Nell Newhouse dismissed the complaints of fact-checking organizations after a Romney ad executive said that an ad based on this [false] assertion was “our most effective ad.”
    “Fact checkers come to this with their own sets of thoughts and beliefs, and we’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact checkers,” he told BuzzFeed

  37. It is not only Watts. Christy did it too, according to Skeptical science comments by FrankD and Daniel Bailey (kudos to them).

  38. this is really good

    Look out for climate elves