Anthony Watts

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Blogger Anthony Watts

Willard Anthony Watts (Anthony Watts) is a blogger, weathercaster and non-scientist, paid AGW denier who runs the website He does not have a university qualification and has no climate credentials other than being a radio weather announcer. His website is parodied and debunked at the website Watts is on the payroll of the Heartland Institute, which itself is funded by polluting industries.[1]


Watts attended Purdue University from 1975 to 1982 but left without graduating.[2] A number of direct queries to Watts to find out if he graduated from college were rebuffed,[3] but a direct query to Purdue revealed that he did not obtain a degree from the university.[2]


Watts began his broadcasting career, in 1978 in Lafayette, Indiana.[4]

Watts still works as a weatherman at KPAY 1290 AM radio in Chico, California.

Political advocacy

Watts is involved with the Butte County Republican Party, providing technical assistance and maintaining the website and domain registration.[5],[6]


Credentials held

Watts held an American Meteorological Society Seal of Approval (a discontinued credential that does not require a bachelor's or higher degree in atmospheric science or meteorology from an accredited college/university)[7] with a status of "retired".[8]

Credentials not held

Some online lists incorrectly refer to Watts as "AMS Certified"[9], but this is incorrect; the American Meteorological Society reserves its "AMS Certified" designation for its Certified Broadcast Meteorologists and Certified Consulting Meteorologists[10], and Watts posesses neither certification.[11],[12]


About-face on BEST project results

The "BEST" (Berkeley Earth Surface Temperatures) study, under lead scientist (and former skeptic) Richard Muller, was sponsored by institutions that had previously supported the denial of the standard interpretation of the climate data. But when the BEST results came out, they confirmed the previous results that the Earth is warming.[13]

Watts had initially declared (about BEST) that "I’m prepared to accept whatever result they produce, even if it proves my premise wrong."[14] But when the results came out he changed his position and his site published numerous attacks[15] against Muller and the BEST study.

SurfaceStations project

Claims of a temp. trend bias

In 2007, Watts founded, to collect information on weather stations that are part of the United States Historical Climatological Network (USHCN) and Global Historical Climatological Network (GHCN). [16] Watts believed that, with the information collected via the website, "we will be able to demonstrate that some of the global warming increase is not from CO2 but from localized changes in the temperature-measurement environment."[17],[18].

Said Watts: "The vast majority of [the biases found] are warm biases, and even such things as people thinking a tree might in fact keep the temperature cooler doesn't really end up that way."[19]

Analyses in scientific papers: no temp. trend bias

Independent analysis, Menne et al 2010 show no temp. trend bias

Results of analyzing the SurfaceStations data did not match Watts's expectations; a NOAA analysis of the Surface Stations data showed "no indication from this analysis that poor station exposure has imparted a bias in the U.S. temperature trends."[20]

Watts paper 2011 shows no temp trend bias

A scientific paper on the SurfaceStations project, coauthored by Watts (who did statistical calculations), came to the same conclusion as the Menne et al. paper,[19][21][22] completely refuting one of Watts's main arguments.

Attempted takedown of YouTube video critique

In July 2009 Watts objected to a YouTube video critiquing his sceptic claims, claiming copyright infringement, and had it taken down.[23].

Video deemed fair use, restored

"The video has since been reviewed by a number of US copyright experts and ... there appears to be nothing that could be construed as anything but fair use", said Kevin Grandia shortly thereafter.[24]

"In accordance with established YouTube guidelines", Video creator Peter Sinclair reported[25], "I filed a "counternotice", affirming, "under penalty of perjury, that I have a good faith belief that the material was removed or disabled as a result of a mistake or misidentification of the material to be removed or disabled." "

YouTube subsequently restored the video.[25]

The video Watts tried to ban

Op-ed writing

In October 2010 the Christian Science Monitor published an op-ed by Watts likening climate contrarian Hal Lewis's resignation from the American Physical Society to Martin Luther.[26]. The American Physical Society strenuously disagreed, saying "In light of the significant settled aspects of the science, APS totally rejects Dr. Lewis’ claim that global warming is a “scam” and a “pseudoscientific fraud.”"[27],[28],[29]

"Leipzig Declaration" signatory

Anthony Watts is listed as a signatory on the "Leipzig Declaration", which said "there does not exist today a general scientific consensus about the importance of greenhouse warming from rising levels of carbon dioxide. In fact, most climate specialists now agree that actual observations from both weather satellites and balloon-borne radiosondes show no current warming whatsoever."

The signers of the Declaration are described as "climate scientists", although they include 25 weather presenters.[30] An attempt to contact the declaration's 33 European signers found that 4 of them could not be located, 12 denied ever having signed, and some had not even heard of the Leipzig Declaration. Those who verified signing included a medical doctor, a nuclear scientist, and an entomologist. After discounting the signers whose credentials were inflated, irrelevant, false, or unverifiable, only 20 of the names on the list had any scientific connection with the study of climate change, and some of those names were known to have obtained grants from the oil and fuel industry, including the German coal industry and the government of Kuwait (a major oil exporter).


Watts was a speaker at the International Conference on Climate Change (2009) organized by the Heartland Institute think tank. [31] Watts is also listed as a speaker for the Heartland Institute's June 2009 Third International Conference on Climate Change.[32]


In 1987, Watts founded ItWorks, which "supplies custom weather stations, Internet servers, weather graphics content, and broadcast video equipment." [33]; it is also known as IntelliWeather.

Watts is listed as the Managing Member of ZEV2Go, seller of an NEV-type electric car.[34]

Articles and resources

Related SourceWatch articles


  1. Cubby, Ben (2012 [last update]). Scientist denies he is mouthpiece of US climate-sceptic think tank. Retrieved on February 15, 2012.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Scribe↔Purdue U. Registrar (June 2011). Anthony Watts did not graduate from Purdue (PDF). Staff. SourceWatch. Retrieved on 2011-07-02.
  3. Does Anthony Watts have a college degree?. Retrieved on 2011-05-12.
  4. News Team. KHSL-TV 12. Retrieved on 2001-03-06. “Anthony began his broadcasting career, in 1978 in Lafayette, Indiana.”
  5. Steve Thompson (2008-09-27). Update from Steve Thompson. Butte County Republican Party. Retrieved on 2010-11-16. “As most of you know by now, both of our Republican Headquarters are fully up and running, along with our website thanks to Anthony Watts.”
  6. Author unknown (2008-10-06). Chico City Council debate tonight – support our candidates, live webcast available. Butte County Republican Party. Retrieved on 2010-11-16. “A live webcast is also available, courtesy a system provided by Anthony Watts.”
  7. "REQUIREMENTS FOR THE AMS SEAL OF APPROVAL PROGRAM". American Meteorological Society. Retrieved on 2009-11-08. “"Applications for the AMS Seal of Approval Program will be accepted until 31 December 2008. After that date, only applications for the AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist Program will be accepted."”
  8. "List of AMS Television Seal Holders". American Meteorological Society (2009-11-05). Retrieved on 2009-11-08.
  9. Warming Scare Tactics - Skeptical Scientists (2008). Retrieved on 2008-11-08. “"Anthony Watts, AMS Certified (sic), Chief Meteorologist KPAY-AM, USA"”
  10. "Guidelines for use of the AMS Name, Seal, and Logos". American Meteorological Society. Retrieved on 2009-11-08. “"Sealholders may not refer to themselves as 'certified by the AMS' because that designation is reserved for individuals with the CBM or CCM certification."”
  11. "List of AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologists (CBM)". American Meteorological Society (2009-11-05). Retrieved on 2009-11-08.
  12. "List of AMS Certified Consulting Meteorologists (CCM)". American Meteorological Society (2009-11-19). Retrieved on 2009-11-23.
  13. Bardi, Ugo (2011 [last update]). Cassandra's legacy: Narrative and science in the debate on climate change. Retrieved on November 7, 2011.
  14. Watts, A (2011 [last update]). Briggs on Berkeley’s forthcoming BEST surface temperature record, plus my thoughts from my visit there | Watts Up With That?. Retrieved on November 7, 2011. “prep”
  15. Watts, A (2011 [last update]). Pre-Prints and Pre-Data | Watts Up With That?. Retrieved on November 7, 2011.
  16. "About,", accessed March 2009.
  17. Bill Steigerwald, "Helping along global warming," The Tribune-Review (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania), June 17, 2007.
  18. Anthony Watts (2009-03-10). Weather Station Siting Issues within the USHCN Surface Station Network (.mp3). Heartland Institute Conference. Retrieved on 2009-12-26.
  19. 19.0 19.1 Tim Lambert (2011-05-13). Anthony Watts contradicted by Watts et al. Deltoid. Retrieved on 2011-07-16. “Now that Watts et al has been accepted for publication we find that his paper says the opposite [of Watts unofficially] and gets the same result as Menne at al: '[...] the overall mean temperature trends are nearly identical across site classifications.'"”
  20. Talking Points related to concerns about whether the U.S. temperature record is reliable (pdf). National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (2009-07-06). Retrieved on 2009-11-08. “"for detecting climate change, the concern is not the absolute temperature – whether a station is reading warmer or cooler than a nearby station over grass – but how that temperature changes over time."”
  21. Tim Lambert (2011-05-26). Counterpoint fails to make correction. Deltoid. Retrieved on 2011-07-16.
  22. Fall, S., A. Watts, J. Nielsen-Gammon, E. Jones, D. Niyogi, J. Christy, and R.A. Pielke Sr (2011). "Analysis of the impacts of station exposure on the U.S. Historical Climatology Network temperatures and temperature trends.". Journal of Geophysical Research 116 (D14120). doi:10.1029/2010JD015146. 
  23. Be sceptical of climate sceptics. The Climate Institute. Retrieved on 2011-07-16.
  24. Kevin Grandia (2009-07-28). Climate Crock of the Week: What's Up with Anthony Watts [take 2]. DeSmogBlog. Retrieved on 2011-07-16.
  25. 25.0 25.1 Peter Sinclair (2011-08-19). - "Banned" Video Reinstated by YouTube. DeSmogBlog. Retrieved on 2011-07-16.
  26. Anthony Watts (2010-10-19). Climate change 'fraud' letter: a Martin Luther moment in science history -. Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved on 2010-10-21. “Esteemed physicist Harold Lewis is calling global warming the 'most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen.' His resignation letter could mark the unraveling of one of the great scientific mistakes in history and the beginning of a needed reformation of the scientific community.”
  27. Eli Rabett (2010-10-20). The American Physical Society Calls Tony Watts a Clown. Rabett Run. Retrieved on 2010-10-21. “Mr. Watts,The American Physical Society (APS), a leading organization of physicists, takes great umbrage to your analogy likening Dr. Harold Lewis’ resignation from APS to that of the plight of Christian theologian Martin Luther. Global climate change concerns science, not religion, and Dr. Lewis’ resignation bears no likeness to the Great Reformation. Furthermore, on the matter of global climate change, APS notes that virtually all reputable scientists agree with the following observations:[...] In light of the significant settled aspects of the science, APS totally rejects Dr. Lewis’ claim that global warming is a “scam” and a “pseudoscientific fraud.””
  28. Tawanda W. Johnson, APS Press Secretary (2010-10-12). APS Comments on Harold Lewis’ Resignation of his Society Membership. American Physical Society. Retrieved on 2010-10-21.
  29. Eli Rabett (2010-10-20). Kerry Emanuel Nails Hal Lewis. Rabett Run. Retrieved on 2010-10-21. “In July of 2010, Emanuel published a comment on the state of climate science on the National Association of Scholars web site. Everyone should read it. RIGHT NOW, that means you.”
  30. How many climate researchers support the "Leipzig Declaration"?
  31. "Speakers," Heartland Institute website, accessed January 2009.
  32. Heartland Institute, "Speakers", Heartland Institute, accessed May 7, 2009.
  33. "Personnel details: Mr. Anthony Watts," Heartland Institute website, accessed March 2009.
  34. ZEV2Go LLC Entity Details. Nevada Secretary of State. Retrieved on 2009-11-08.

External resources

External articles