Watts has promoted himself as the only person who really cares about siting issues, and that he basically introduced the issue in 2009 ("until I came along ..."). In fact, back at least as far as 1999, a program was created to develop stations specifically for climate research, and to site them very, very carefully. They exceed the Leroy 2010 siting criteria. This is the US CRN http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/crn/. These stations were set up beginning in '04. Even Watts could tell you that 2004 occurred before 2009. The Menne 2010 paper makes an explicit comparison between the USHCN "good" and "poor" sites, and vs the CRN sites. See Menne's figure 7. There is no significant difference. The idea that Watts is the lone ranger who has brought siting issues to the fore is false, although Watts would like you to believe it. This was a very well-known issue in the research community for a couple decades, at least (see Karl et al, 1995 for example). Watts has relentlessly blogged on the issue, but that doesn't mean he was a) original, or b) right. It is emphatically not Watts who brought this up. It's just that Watts has refused to accept answers he doesn't like. His latest draft is a scientific mess, and is far more illuminating about how tightly held preconceived notions can drive a "result" than it is about climate.
Wednesday, August 01, 2012
Watts down with that
There's quite an effective takedown of Anthony Watts and his claim to be the one who started the ball rolling with concern about weather station siting issues at Revkin's blog. I think I have read something similar before, but this explanation is nice and pithy: