Watts Up With That?
|Slogan||Commentary on puzzling things in life, nature, science, weather, climate change, technology, and recent news by Anthony Watts|
|Type of site||Blog|
|Created by||Anthony Watts|
|Launched||November 17, 2006|
|Alexa rank||25,798 (on 2013-05-17)|
Watts Up With That? (WUWT for short) is a weather and climate commentary site (blog), created in 2006 by California meteorologist Anthony Watts, that reports on anthropogenic global warming-related issues from a skeptical point of view. The tagline of the blog is "News and commentary on puzzling things in life, nature, science, weather, climate change, technology, and recent news." The blog features a regular list of contributors, including Indur Goklany, and guest authors, such as Judith Curry, Christopher Monckton and S. Fred Singer.
Watts Up With That? often features content related to Watts' climate and temperature data projects, including his Surface Stations temperature data research project, his urban heat island transect project, and his Stevenson screen paint experiment.
In November 2009, the blog was one of the first websites to publish emails and documents from the Climatic Research Unit controversy. Because of its high traffic numbers, the blog played a key role in the resulting controversy.
The site receives more than two million visits per month and has been described as the "world's most viewed climate website." Observers and critics have noted the blog's influence and role in the debate over global warming science on the Internet.
WUWT won the Bloggies in 2011, 2012 and 2013 for best science blog, and in 2013 for best weblog overall. It was recognized by The Times as one of the top 30 science blogs of 2009. It was voted the "Best Science Blog" in the 2008 Weblog Awards.
Watts's Surface Stations project, an analysis of terrestrial US weather stations, is often discussed on WUWT. Occasional mention is made of Watts's urban heat island transect project, which is dedicated to measuring the actual urban heat island effect in major cities as well as his Stevenson screen paint experiment, which is testing whether a little noted changeover from whitewash to latex paints could have caused a heretofore unrecognized warming bias during the 20th century as whitewashed screens were replaced with latex painted ones.
According to journalist Christopher Booker, in 2007 WUWT readers, along with Stephen McIntyre, found that selected temperature records published by the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) based on data from United States Historical Climate Network were in error, causing GISS to mistakenly label 1998 as the hottest year on record for the United States. In August 2007, McIntyre alerted GISS to the problematic numbers, which GISS acknowledged and corrected. As a result, the hottest year on record for the United States was changed to 1934, rather than the 1998 it had been earlier. In response, GISS stated that the temperature differences were slight and of little significance globally as the United States represents only a small fraction of the Earth's surface.
Involvement in the Climatic Research Unit email controversy
In late 2009, an archive containing emails and other documents from the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia was leaked to the public. The Guardian reported that WUWT was one of three blogs "sent links to the cache of CRU leaked material, via anonymous servers, on the same day, Tuesday 17 November". On the morning of 17 November 2009 (California time), a link was posted anonymously on WUWT to a Russian server containing the CRU emails and documents. Charles Rotter, a moderator for WUWT, noticed the link and notified Watts. Rotter made a CD copy of the files which he gave to Steve Mosher to analyze. Mosher called some of the individuals named in the emails and confirmed that the emails were genuine. Mosher began posting the contents of the emails on other blogs, including Climate Audit. Shortly thereafter, still on 17 November, Watts gave Rotter permission to post the emails and files on WUWT. Because of WUWT's high traffic count, according to Fred Pearce of the Guardian, this was the catalyst which broke the story to the media.
In an interview with the Financial Times, Watts reported that his blog had become "busier than ever" after the incident and that traffic to the site had tripled. According to the same article, the total number of hits on the site since its launch had topped 37 million.  In his blog for the Daily Telegraph, James Delingpole wrote that "Climategate", a term often used in the popular press to describe the controversy, was originally coined by a commenter in a post on WUWT.
According to Alexa internet statistical analysis, What's Up With That? is ranked No. 9,282 in the U.S. and No. 24,144 world-wide. WUWT receives more than two million visits per month. Fred Pearce, environmental writer and author, described WUWT as the "world's most viewed climate website" in his 2010 publication of The Climate Files: The Battle for the Truth about Global Warming. Matt Ridley of The Spectator described WUWT as having "metamorphosed from a gathering place for lonely nutters to a three-million-hits-per-month online newspaper on climate full of fascinating articles by physicists, geologists, economists and statisticians".
Patrick J. Michaels, climatologist and contributor to the IPCC First Assessment Report, described WUWT as part of a new "parallel universe" of emerging online publications, manned by serious scientists critical of world governments approach to climate change: "A parallel universe is assembling itself parallel to the IPCC. This universe has become very technical – very proficient at taking apart the U.N.'s findings."
Watts's blog has been criticized for inaccuracy. The Guardian columnist George Monbiot described WUWT as "highly partisan and untrustworthy". Leo Hickman, at The Guardian's Environment Blog, also criticized Watts's blog, stating that Watts "risks polluting his legitimate scepticism about the scientific processes and methodologies underpinning climate science with his accompanying politicised commentary.""There are many credible sources of information, and they aren't blog sites run by weathermen like Anthony Watts", wrote David Suzuki.
The Times named Watts Up With That? as one of the 30 best science blogs and described it as: "One of the more entertainingly sceptic blogs, written by a former TV weatherman. The ecofriendly blogger offers commentary on science, nature, climate change and technology, as well as 'puzzling things in life.'" WUWT won the "Best Science Blog" award in the 2008 Weblog Awards, an internet organization that tallied 933,022 votes in 48 different categories for the 2008 awards.
In February 2010, climatologist Judith Curry, as a guest contributor, published an open letter on WUWT and other climate-related blogs, "On the Credibility of Climate Change, Towards Rebuilding Trust," in which Curry commented on the benefits of blog-led debate and called for greater transparency in scientists' work. Also in 2010, Christopher Monckton published on WUWT his account of his "influence on Lady Thatcher's views about climate change during the 1980s". Monckton, a skeptic towards the theory of anthropogenic global warming, also published a detailed rebuttal on WUWT in response to criticism directed at him by John Abraham, associate professor of mechanical engineering at University of St. Thomas.
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Watts Up With That?|
- Fiona Harvey. "Politicising and scare tactics cloud the issue". The Financial Express of Bangladesh 18 (89). Retrieved 6 September 2010.
- Watts, Anthony. "About – Watts Up With That?". Retrieved 27 July 2010.
- Amy Turner (February 28, 2010). "Richard Dawkins' pro-am clash in the boffins' blogosphere". The Times (London). Retrieved Apr 4, 2010.
- Pearce, Fred (2010). "The Climate Files: The Battle for the Truth about Global Warming". Guardian Books. ISBN 978-0-85265-229-9. page XVI
- Watts, Anthony. "WUWT – Voted Best Science Blog in the 2011 Bloggies". WHUT.
- "The 2012 Bloggies". Retrieved 10 April 2013.
- "The 2013 Bloggies". Retrieved 10 April 2013.
- Montford, A.W. (2010). The Hockey Stick Illusion. London: Stacey International. p. 363. ISBN 978-1-906768-35-5.
- Booker, Christopher (2009). The Real Global Warming Disaster. Continuum International Publishing Group Ltd. ISBN 1-4411-1052-6. pp. 198–199
- Gramling, Carolyn (August 16, 2007). "Error in NASA climate data sparks debate". Geotimes. American Geological Institute. Retrieved 10 September 2010.
- "Global temperature trends: 2007 summation". Goddard Institute for Space Studies. NASA. Retrieved 15 September 2010.
- David Leigh, Charles Arthur and Rob Evans (4 February 2010). "Detectives question climate change scientist over email leaks". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 March 2010.
- Fred Pearce, "Search for hacker may lead police back to East Anglia's climate research unit", The Guardian, 9 February 2010.
- Harvey, Fiona (8 March 2010). "E-mail leaks that clouded climate issue". Financial Times. Retrieved 15 September 2010.
- "Climategate: how the 'greatest scientific scandal of our generation' got its name". The Daily Telegraph (London). November 29, 2009."The person who really coined it was a commenter called "Bulldust" on the Watts Up With That site."
- "Alexa Site Information: Watts Up With That?". Alexa. Retrieved 31 January 2013. "Wattsupwiththat.com has a three-month global Alexa traffic rank of 24,144"
- Turner, Amy, "Richard Dawkins' pro-am clash in the boffins’ blogosphere," The Sunday Times, 28 February 2010. (full text of essay)
- Pearce, Fred, The Climate Files: The Battle for the Truth about Global Warming, (2010) Guardian Books, ISBN 978-0-85265-229-9, p. XVI. On page XIX Pearce states that the site is "perhaps" the most visited climate website in the world.
- Matt Ridley (3 February 2010). "The global warming guerrillas". The Spectator. Retrieved 11 March 2010.
- Koprowski, Gene J (April 28, 2010). "EXCLUSIVE: Citizen’s Group Plans Extensive Audit of U.N. Climate Report". Fox News. Retrieved 3 May 2010.
- George Monbiot (15 May 2009). "How to disprove Christopher Booker in 26 seconds". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 April 2010.
- Leo Hickman (24 February 2010). Academic attempts to take the hot air out of climate science debate "Academic attempts to take the hot air out of climate science debate". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 April 2010.
- Suzuki, David. Climate change denial isn’t about science, or even skepticism, Carman Valley Leader. March 8, 2012.
- Michael Moran (February 3, 2010). "Eureka's Top 30 Science Blogs". The Times Online. Retrieved 16 September 2010.
- "The 2008 Weblog Awards Winners". The Weblog Awards. January 15, 2009. Retrieved 16 September 2010.
- Bob Ward (22 June 2010). "Thatcher becomes latest recruit in Monckton's climate sceptic campaign". The Guardian. Retrieved 31 July April 2010.
- "A detailed rebuttal to Abraham from Monckton". Watts Up With That?. Retrieved 31 July 2010.
- "The DeepWater Explosion: How the Gulf Oil Spill Began". FoxNews.com. May 4, 2010.