Anthony Watts

Anthony Watts



Anthony Watts is a former television weatherman best known as the founder and editor of the blog Watts Up With That (WUWT), which primarily publishes articles critical of mainstream climate change science. Watts joined the Heartland Institute, a think tank proudly at the forefront of promoting doubt about climate change, as a Senior Fellow in 2019. [1], [121]

Watts is the director and president of IntelliWeather Inc., a weather graphics company alternatively known as Innovative Tech Works (ITWorks), and Weathershop. Watts also founded, a project with the stated purpose of documenting the siting quality of weather stations in the United States. [1], [3]

Watts previously worked as an on-air weatherman for WLFITV in Lafayette, Indiana, and later joined KHSKTV in 1987. In 2002, Watts left his position as a television weatherman to devote time to his private business, ITWorks. He returned to work part-time at KHSL in 2004, and has also been the chief weatherman for KPAYAM (an affiliate of Fox News) since 2002. [5], [6]

Watts admits he is ”not a degreed climate scientist.” He formerly held an American Meteorological Society Seal of Approval. An important distinction: this is not the same as being ”AMS Certified,” as some sources have inaccurately claimed of Watts. Rather, the American Meteorological Society Seal of Approval is a discontinued credential that does not require a bachelor’s or higher degree in atmospheric science or meteorology. The American Meteorological Society reserves its separate “AMS Certified” designation for its Certified Broadcast Meteorologists and Certified Consulting Meteorologists, and Watts was neither. [1][7], [8], [9]

Watts’s “About” page mentions neither his Purdue attendance nor whether he graduated. Email correspondence between SourceWatch and Purdue University confirm he attended from August, 1975 to May, 1982, however registrar staff also confirm it is safe to assume that Watts attained no qualification from the university.  [1][2]

According to leaked documents released in 2012, Watts has received funding from the Heartland Institute. [4]

Comments Surrounding 2021 Capitol Insurrection

Anthony Watts was among dozens of the individuals and organizations profiled in DeSmog’s Disinformation Database who posted online or gave interviews about the events surrounding the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol insurrection. Some posted claims of election fraud, similar to those that drove the Stop the Steal rally on Jan. 6. Some circulated dubious information about the insurrection itself. DeSmog has preserved a selection of notable posts related to the events of Jan. 6, 2021, including some that were later deleted or removed.

On Jan. 6, 2021, Watts posted an article on Facebook claiming antifa had “infiltrated” the Capitol insurrection. On Jan. 7, 2021, BuzzFeed News investigated that article and found that the company cited by that article “says it’s ‘outright false.’” The Washington Post also reported on Jan. 7, 2021, in response to similar claims, “In fact, many of the Trump supporters who stormed into the Capitol openly boasted about their participation, live-streaming as they forced their way past police and bashed the building’s doors and windows.” [129], [130], [131], [132], [133]

The Washington Times since edited the story with a correction noting that the earlier version of the story “incorrectly stated that XRVision facial recognition software identified Antifa members among rioters who stormed the Capitol Wednesday. XRVision did not identify any Antifa members.” [134]

Stance on Climate Change

“While I have a skeptical view of certain climate issues, I consider myself ‘green’ in many ways,” Watts notes in the “About” section of WUWT[1]

September 2012

In an interview with PBS NewsHour, Watts said that he formerly believed in global warming but that his opinion changed over time: [115]

“I, at one time, was was very much embracing the whole concept that we had a real problem, we had to do something about it. Back in 1988, James Hansen actually was the impetus for that for me, in his presentation before congress.

But as I learned more and more about the issue, I discovered that maybe it’s not as bad as it’s made out to be. Some of it is hype. But there’s also some data that has not been explored, and there’s been some investigations that need to be done that haven’t been done. And so now I’m in the camp of we have some global warming, no doubt about it, but it may not be as bad as we originally thought because there are other contributing factors.”


“I would call myself what some people describe as a ‘lukewarmer’ in that the CO2 effect that people have done thousands of studies on is in fact real. However, it is not a crisis. The reason it is not a crisis is because most people do not understand the logarithmic nature of the CO2 response in our atmosphere,” Watts said in an interview[10]


Writing at WUWT, Watts said he was “at one time been fully engaged in the belief that CO2 was indeed the root cause of the global warming problem.” [11]

Key Quotes

December 2015

Describing the results of his study, Watts said:

“The majority of weather stations used by NOAA to detect climate change temperature signal have been compromised by encroachment of artificial surfaces like concrete, asphalt, and heat sources like air conditioner exhausts.” [12]

May 5, 2014

Anthony Watts publishes a post on his blog, Watts Up With That, entitled, “Houston, we have a dumbass problem,” following a February 24 Oval Office meeting, and subsequent Washington Post article, where two of President Obama’s top climate advisers presented “sharply-contrasting images of California’s snowpack on Jan. 13, 2013 and a year later, as a way to underscore how global warming is changing conditions on the ground in the United States.” [13], [14]

“So tell me, oh geniuses, what will you show the President after the looming El Niño kicks in later this year, and California has a wetter than normal year during the winter of 2014/15 and the snow pack goes up to something like 146% of normal? What then? Blame that on global warming and call it another “Houston we have a problem” moment when we get flooding in California like in 1997/1998 after that big EL Niño changed the weather pattern in a single year to drench the state? The lack of snowpack in 2014 is all about ENSO and resulting jet stream patterns, something well known for years.” [13]

August 20, 2013

“How is the IPCC 95% certain one side [of the graph] is caused by man and the other is not?” Watts wrote at WUWT. [15]


“The conclusion is inescapable: The U.S. temperature record is unreliable,” Watts wrote at WUWT. [16]

April 2009

“Antarctic ice is above normal. And the global total amount of sea ice is above normal. So it’s not disappearing any time soon,” Watts wrote at WUWT. [10]

December, 2007

“I believe that our [man-made] contribution [to climate change] may be far less than has been postulated. Our measurement network has been compromised—not intentionally, but accidentally and through carelessness,” Watts wrote at WUWT. [17]

Key Deeds

September 24, 2020

Watts appeared in Marc Morano’s 2020 film Climate Hustle 2: Rise of the Climate Monarchy, produced by the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT). During a discussion in which climate science denier Craig Richardson disputed the effectiveness of renewable energy, stating: [128]

You can’t even have 10 percent renewable energy without the prices going skyrocketing, which directly impacts everybody’s life.” Watts responded: “And so it [renewable energy] will never be an equivalent to what we have for fossil fuel, coal-based type power, or nuclear power or hydropower. All of which provide steady sources of electricity.”

August 18, 2020

Watts wrote at RedState, suggesting green energy mandates were the cause of recent blackouts in California. According to Watts, “California has traded energy security to kneel before the false prophet of green energy. Instead of using reliable and affordable nuclear and coal plants, they are using intermittent and unreliable wind and solar power. And the people of California, and perhaps the West in general, may pay the price for that homage if the power grid collapses during the ongoing heat wave.” [126]

At least one energy expert has suggested at least one of the recent blackouts could have been due to issues with natural gas generation: [127]

What’s weird about what happened is they were adequate until they weren’t,” Michael Wara, director of Stanford University’s climate and energy program and a member of the state’s Catastrophic Wildfire Cost and Recovery Commission told Politico. “It seems as if certain power plants for some reason were not able to deliver on the commitments to supply reserves and also supply energy.” [127]

Because the Friday outage started around 6:30 p.m., when solar is ramping down and gas-fired plants are ramping up, gas is the likely immediate culprit, Wara said. “The timing of all this strongly suggests problems with gas plants,” he said. [127]

September 17, 2019

Watts hosted an episode of the Heartland Daily Podcast with guest Ross McKitrick, who attempted to debunk mainstream scientific analyses of climate change caused by fossil fuel consumption. [125]

Watts asked McKitrick:

Do we have an existential threat or is it just something that might just be a mild change for us?” [125]

To which McKitrick responded:

We do put a lot of CO2 into the air. Using fossil fuels has led to a large amount of CO2 going into the atmosphere over a fairly short period of time. And I think in a sense we’ve dodged a bullet, because it turns out, from the evidence that I’ve seen and I think the evidence out there, that the effect of this extra CO2 is very much on the low end of the scale from what it could have been. […]

Even if the upper end of the global warming projections turned out to be valid, we still might, on economic grounds, just say it’s still too good a deal to pass up.

We’re going to live with the consequences and we’re going to keep using fossil fuels. But it’s even better than that. I think the best evidence says, no, we’ll probably get a bit of warming from CO2 but it’s going to be on the low end and it’s a mix of good and bad changes to the climate, and it’s also just stuff that we can adapt to over time.” [125]

Watts agreed with McKitrick’s perspective:

Humans are tremendously adaptable. We’ve adapted to every climate in the world. People live everywhere in the world, from the arctic to the tropics to the deserts. So, yeah, humans are very adaptable.” [125]

April 5, 2019

Watts joined the Heartland Institute as a senior fellow for environment on climate.  According to the Heartland press release: [122]

The people at Heartland are working from a reality-based viewpoint of the climate issue saying in effect, ‘Hey wait a minute, look at this,’ to the people that would follow the path of climate alarmism hook, line, and sinker,” Watts said. “Despite having a tiny fraction of the budget and social media outreach some green organizations have, they have done a fantastic job of countering climate alarmism.

Laughably, my critics have said for years that I have been ‘on the payroll’ of Heartland in some ‘nefarious capacity,’ even though I’ve never been on their payroll. I figure I might as well give these folks something factual to talk about now instead of just innuendo and smear campaigns,” Watts said.

I credit the efforts of Heartland in President Trump’s decision to exit from the Paris Climate Accord,” Watts added. “What reality-based climate skeptic wouldn’t want to be on that winning team? I look forward to being able to help Heartland dispel fear and overreaction to climate hysteria by providing factual essays and research that helps policy makers with climate related decisions.”

Heartland’s president Tim Huelskamp praised Watts as “truly a leader in the climate movement.” [122]

I am honored that he has chosen to join The Heartland Institute,” Huelskamp said. “His energy, experience and scientific expertise will make an enormous, immediate positive impact on the Heartland team.”

Heartland senior fellow James Taylor said: [122]

“I look forward to working with Anthony presenting the compelling scientific evidence on climate change issues that the environmental left and their media allies do their best to ignore and sweep under the rug.”

In 2012, DeSmog exposed the Heartland Institute’s history of funding climate change denial with the help of leaked internal documents. Those documents also revealed Heartland was funding a website for Anthony Watts to “track temperature station data” with a pledge to raise $90,000 in that year. Heartland has faced criticism for its extreme views on climate change, with a notable example being its billboard campaign comparing those who believe in established climate science to the Unabomber Ted Kaczynski. [123], [124]

October 22, 2018

On his blog, Watts speculated that Hurricane Willa “may stop migrant caravan as it slams into Mexico,” referring to the thousands of Honduran refugees attempting to seek asylum in the United States. Watts cited a NOAA/National Hurricane Center graphic that forecast the projected path of the storm. [119], [120]

Watts’ theory was quickly debunked by fellow climate change science denier Joe Bastardi, who pointed out that the migrants were far removed from the storm’s path. [119]

Watts attempted to clarify his remarks by claiming that the storm’s impacts on roads and bridges would impede the caravan, “even if Soros is busing them there.” [119]

October 2018

On October 10, 2018, several commenters posted on a Watts Up With That article that had criticized a recent piece by Bill McKibben (the original article was by David Middleton). The commenters, as McKibben later described in a October 20 opinion piece at the New York Times, had threatened violence against him while posting his home address in the WUWT comments section. [116], [117]

“[T]here was also this comment, from someone named ‘gnomish:’ ‘There is a protocol worth observing: S.S.S. It stands for shoot, shovel and S.T.F.U. Hope that saves you some trouble,” McKibben noted in his NYT article.

Watts later posted an article on WUWT in response, noting that he had banned the accounts of those who had made the comments targeting McKibben. [118]

“I was shocked these comments somehow slipped through moderation. Had I known about it, I would have immediately deleted them. All of the commenters, “gnomish”, “Gary Ashe”, and “Carbon Bigfoot,” are now banned for this unacceptable behavior,” Watts wrote.

While Watts deleted the comment that had given McKibben’s home address, he opted to leave the others while including inline comments given that “removing them would look like I’m trying to hide something in the face of broader exposure and criticism.” [118]

February 14, 2018

WUWT featured guest commentary by Tim Ball, who said that the recent dismissal of a lawsuit brought against him by climate scientist Andrew Weaver was “a victory for free speech and a blow against the use of the law to silence people.” [112]

As DeSmog reported, the judge had decided the throw out the case due to the article not being sufficiently credible to cause damage to a professional climate scientist. B.C. Supreme Court Justice Ronald Skolrood said in the judgement: [113]

”[…] despite Dr. Ball’s history as an academic and a scientist, the Article is rife with errors and inaccuracies, which suggests a lack of attention to detail on Dr. Ball’s part, if not an indifference to the truth,” Justice Skolrood wrote. [113]

He added later in the judgement: [113]

[T]he Article is poorly written and does not advance credible arguments in favour of Dr. Ball’s theory about the corruption of climate science. Simply put, a reasonably thoughtful and informed person who reads the Article is unlikely to place any stock in Dr. Ball’s views, including his views of Dr. Weaver as a supporter of conventional climate science.” [113]

While the judge agreed that Ball’s intention with the January 2011 Canada Free Press article (titled “Corruption of Climate Science Has Created 30 Lost Years,” since taken down after an apology from CFP for defamatory content). [114]

“These allegations are directed at Dr. Weaver’s professional competence and are clearly derogatory of him. Indeed, it is quite apparent that this was Dr. Ball’s intent,” the judge wrote, adding, however, that “It is very unlikely that the Article and the opinions expressed therein had an impact on the views of anyone who read it, including their views, if any, of Dr. Weaver as a climate scientist. Rather, the reasonably thoughtful and informed reader would have recognized the Article as simply presenting one side of a highly charged public debate.”

February 4, 2018

Watts signed and promoted an open letter to the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) fighting back against a push to remove climate change denier Rebekah Mercer from the board, DeSmog reported. In January, more than 200 scientists had endorsed an open letter calling on the museum to remove Rebekah Mercer from its board an to “end ties to anti-science propagandists and funders of climate science misinformation.” [108], [109], [110], [111] 

The New York Times reported that those among the initial AMNH letter calling for Mercer to step down were Michael E. Mann, director of the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University, and Katharine Hayhoe, director of the Climate Science Center at Texas Tech University. [111] 

The open letter calling for the AMNH to keep Mercer on the board was signed by many prominent climate change deniers such as Will Happer of the CO2 CoalitionRichard Lindzen, a fellow at the Cato InstituteCraig Idso, the chairman of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change. It calls on the museum “not to cave in to this pressure.” Many signatories are affiliated with groups funded by the Mercer Family Foundation[109], [110]

The letter reads: “The Earth has supported abundant life many times in the geological past when there were much higher levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. It is quite likely that future generations will benefit from the enrichment of Earth’s atmosphere with more carbon dioxide.” [109], [110]

July 25, 2017

Watts was listed as a contributor to Climate Change: The Facts 2017, a book released by the Institute for Public Affairs (IPA) and edited by Jennifer Marohasy. While investigating the authors, DeSmog noted that one of the IPA‘s listed “leading experts” involved in the book is New Zealand’s Ken Ring, who in addition to being a described “long range weather forecaster” has written “two, possibly three, books about cats” including Pawmistry: How to Read Your Cat’s Paws in 1998. [103], [107]

According to the book description[104]

Climate Change: The Facts 2017 brings together contributions on the latest climate science from some of the world’s leading experts in the field including John Abbot, Sallie Baliunas, Paul Driessen, Tony Heller, Craig Idso, Clive James, Pat Michaels, Jo Nova, Ian Plimer, Tom Quirk, Peter Ridd, Ken Ring, Nicola Scafetta, Willie Soon, Roy Spencer, and Anthony Watts.

There are also essays by Matt Ridley, and Bjørn Lomborg on the economics of climate change, and by Simon Breheny on how the freedom to discuss climate change science is under threat.”

Prior versions of the book featured contributions from a range of prominent climate change deniers, and describes mainstream climate change research as “pseudo-science.” [105]

June 14, 2017

Watts announced in a blog post at WUWT that he would be taking some time off after over 10 years of maintaining his blog. As part of his vacation, he solicits donations to help fund his time away: [106]

“Here is what I want to do: Take a month off. Disconnect. Then come back fresh. […] To do that though, and keep WUWT running, requires help. […] I’m asking for two things: help with content/moderating, and some donations, so that I can choose a place to go disconnect, and not worry. I don’t want a staycation, and if that darned Koch Brothers check that many Mann-like people seem to think I’m getting would just show up in the mailbox, I’d not have to ask.” [106]

Watts also lists a project for “a temperature data study” for which he would need funds to purchase equipment. In the post, Watts lists self-reported stats for Watts Up With That over the prior 10 year period: [106]

  • “16,496 stories posted
  • 49 reference pages (some of which sorely need work)” [106]

January 5, 2017

Anthony Watts was a signatory to a Cornwall Alliance open letter supporting Scott Pruitt for EPA Administrator under the Trump administration. [100]

Mr. Pruitt has also demonstrated understanding of and open-mindedness toward scientific insights crucial to the formulation and implementation of environmental regulation. He is prepared to hear all sides in debates over the risks and benefits of various activities that come under the purview of the EPA,” reads the letter.

On January 12, 2017, Senate Democrats raised conflict of interest concerns regarding Scott Prutt’s fossil fuel ties. Pruitt had spent years working to combat the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan. [101]

In an open letter to the Office of Government Ethics, members of the Senate’s environmental panel commented:

During his tenure as Attorney General of Oklahoma, Mr. Pruitt has blurred the distinction between official and political actions, often at the behest of corporations he will regulate if confirmed to lead EPA,” the letter said. “Public reporting based on documents produced by Freedom of Information Act requests illustrate how Mr. Pruitt and members of his staff have worked closely with fossil fuel lobbyists to craft his office’s official positions.”

Pruitt was further grilled on his fossil fuel ties at his confirmation hearing on January 18[102]

Some notable signatories of the Cornwall Alliance letter, as of January 5, 2017, included:

June 10, 2016

Anthony Watts was a signatory to a Cornwall Alliance open letter written by Calvin Beisner and addressed to U.S. attorneys general about climate change. [18]

The letter responds to recent investigations by U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch and members of Attorneys General United for Clean Power into what ExxonMobil knew about climate change and when, started by a coalition of attorneys general in the US. [19], [20]

Calvin Beisner writes that the attorneys generals’ actions are “a dead giveaway that you’re ignorant about climate science and related climate and energy policy.” [18]

“[U]nlike in the case of tobacco’s health risks, there are innumerable and enormous holes in the case (not for human contribution to global warming but) for manmade global warming dangerous enough to justify spending trillions of dollars reinventing the world’s energy system to mitigate it, particularly when competing use of those trillions might bring far greater benefit,” Beisner addresses the attorneys general. And you, intelligent and learned all, are ignorant of those enormous holes.” [18]

The Cornwall Alliance lists the following signatories to its open letter: [18]

June 2016

Reacting to recent research finding that Americans were more likely to follow advice on cutting fossil fuel energy use from climate scientists who had also taken personal steps to decarbonize, Anthony Watts carried out what he described as an “ariel survey” of climate scientists’ homes. [21][22]

DeSmogBlog checked with several of the scientists featured in the Watts Up With That blog post. Some of their responses are recorded below: [23]

Dr Overpeck, of the University of Arizona, whose home, according to Watts, “seems completely devoid of solar power.” Overpeck told DeSmog:

Watts is using an old image of our house perhaps? We have a good-sized array deployed on our roof. Yesterday we generated 59 kWh, which more than covered our own energy use, including air-conditioning on a hot day, and thus we fed the excess back into the utility grid.” [23]

Dr Trenberth, of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, whose Colorado home was also without solar panels, according to Watts’ “aerial survey” sent DeSmog pictures of his home to show panels on his roof (he later emailed Watts). He told DeSmog:

I have had solar since 1986: firstly as hot water heating, and then when we moved to our current address in 2004, we installed pv panels.” [23]

Professor Michal Mann’s home, while without solar panels on his home, still purchases all of his power from renewable energy sources. Mann told DeSmog:

Anthony Watts has shown himself to be a sad, creepy, desperate man, who has nothing better to with his life than this. He apparently doesn’t understand the whole exercise was irrelevant from the start, since — as I have pointed out many times in the past — we have a plan in which all of our power comes from wind energy. As one Twitter commenter noted, we’ll probably finding him reduced to searching through people’s trash soon enough. The episode does nothing other than to demonstrate both the man’s lack of integrity and dullness of mind.” [23]

Whilke Watts claimed to have been careful to avoid revealing the addresses of any of the scientists featured, earlier versions of his post and at least one image shared in social media did show street names. UK Journalist Mark Lynas was angered by this, and described Watts’s actions as “disgusting”:

May 2, 2016

Anthony Watts was listed among “Key Scientists” appearing in Marc Morano‘s movie, Climate Hustle. The full list included the following: [24] 

Marc Morano’s Climate Hustle was released in U.S. theatres on May 2, 2016. Bill Nye described it as “not in our national interest and the world’s interest.” [25]

The film was produced by the Committee for Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT) and CDR Communications. As noted at Desmog’s project,, CFACT has received funding from ExxonMobil, Chevron, as well as hundreds of thousands of dollars from foundations associated with Richard Mellon ScaifeCFACT has also received at least $7.8 million in “dark money” through DonorsTrust and Donors Capital Fund. [26][27]

CDR Communications was behind the 2010 video by the Cornwall Alliance titled Resisting the Green Dragon, which claimed environmentalism was a “false religion” and a “global government” power grab. Chris Rogers of CDR Communications is also chairman of The James Partnership, the umbrella arm that includes the Cornwall Alliance as one of its projects and pays the salary of Calvin Beisner, Cornwall’s founder and spokesperson. [28]

Climate Hustle initially premiered on December 7, 2015 in Paris, France during the COP21 United Nations summit on climate change[29][30]

We are putting together what I think is the most comprehensive, unique, entertaining and humorous climate documentary that has ever been done or attempted,” Morano had said before the film was released. [31]

The reason that this is a unique film,” Morano has said, “is that we are going for a pop culture-friendly… sarcastic approach and we actually give both sides in this movie.”

In an interview with Ezra Levant, Morano said:

I am not interviewing a lot of the main climate sceptical scientists because I feel like they have been interviewed by many other people and their stories have been told. I am trying to find another layer of scientist whose stories have not been out there yet. You will see a lot of new names in this.” [31]

See a preview of the film below:

At the Paris premier of the film, reporters from Desmog and the Irish Times were denied entrance after having their RSVPs accepted days earlier. [32]

December 2015

Anthony Watts co-published a study with Evan Jones, John Nielson-Gammon, and John R. Christy on temperature stations. James Delingpole at Breitbart news claimed that Watts’s study “shows that at least half of the ‘global warming’ in the US since 1979 has been fabricated by NOAA.” [33], [34]

November 13, 2015

After the terror attacks in Paris, Anthony Watts publicly tweeted a suggestion that maybe Obama should “rethink his priority on climate change being the biggest threat to the planet”:

Watts linked the tweet to a post on his blog Watts up With That where he also added a poll asking “In wake of terror attacks today, should the COP21 Paris Climate Conference be canceled?” [35]

June 11–12, 2015

Anthony Watts was a speaker on Panel 2: “Climate Science and Accurate Data,” at the Heartland Institute’s Tenth International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC10) in Washington, D.C., with Roy Spencer and J. Scott Armstrong. [36]

View Anthony Watts’ Panel 2 presentation at the Heartland Institute’s ICCC10, below: [37]

March 2015

Anthony Watts is one of several climate change skeptics cc’d on an email from S. Fred Singer in hopes of countering the documentary film “Merchants of Doubt,” which exposes the network of climate change skeptics and deniers hoping to delay legislative action on climate change. [38]

The October, 2014 email was leaked to journalists a few months before the documentary was released. “Can I sue for damages?” Singer asked in the email. “Can we get an injunction against the documentary?”

InsideClimate News reports in their article “Leaked Email Reveals Who’s Who List of Climate Denialists,” how “Many of those copied on the email thread, such as Singer and communications specialist Steven Milloy, have financial ties to the tobacco, chemical, and oil and gas industries and have worked to defend them since the 1990s.” [38]

InsideClimate News also documented all those who were cc’d on the email, including the following skeptics and groups:

DeSmogBlog covered the emails here: “Merchants of Doubt Film Debuts, Textbook Denial Attack Campaign Led By Fred Singer Ensues” and DeSmogBlog also archived a full copy of the Singer email thread (PDF).

December 2014

Anthony Watts is a contributor to the book Climate Change: The Facts published by the Institute of Public Affairs and featuring “22 essays on the science, politics and economics of the climate change debate.” [39]

The Institute of Public Affairs, while not revealing most of its funders, is known to have received funding from mining magnate Gina Rinehart and at least one major tobacco company. The book includes essays and articles from a range of climate change skeptics, with contributors including the following: [40], [41]

According to Editor Alan Moran in a post at Catallaxy Files blog, Anthony Watts’s contribution is to illustrate “the trivial level of temperature rise that has occurred over the past century (with no increase in the past eighteen years). He notes the change in language by alarmists from ‘warming’ to ‘climate change’ in an attempt to substitute extreme climate events for the now non-existent warming trend. His examination of these extreme events— snow, storms, rainfall—shows an absence of evidence to indicate marked change over recent decades.” [42]

The IPA also announced that Ian Plimer would be a contributor to their upcoming “Climate Change: The Facts 2017.” [91]

July 8, 2014

Anthony Watts was a speaker at the Heartland Institute’s Ninth International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC9) in Las Vegas, Nevada. [43] Watts spoke on “Panel 3,” and his talk was titled “Digging deep – beyond sciecne by press release”: [95]

DeSmogBlog has done in-depth research on the other speakers and sponsors from Heartland’s ICCC9. [44]

June 9, 2014

Anthony Watts registered the domain,, and subsequently announced on September 16, 2014 the launch of a new organization, The Open Atmospheric Society, which Watts said “takes a new approach to atmospheric science, becoming the first international society of its kind to be a cloud-based online organization.” [45], [46], [47], [48]

According to Watts’ announcement of the OAS: “The purpose of The OAS is to provide a paperless and entirely online professional organization that will represent individuals who have been unrepresented by existing professional organizations that have become more activist than science based in their outlook. It also aims to provide a professional peer reviewed publication platform to produce an online journal with a unique and important requirement placed up-front for any paper submitted; it must be replicable, with all data, software, formulas, and methods submitted with the paper. Without those elements, the paper will be rejected. This focus on replicability up front is not found in other similar organizations that publish scientific results.” [47]

June 6, 2014

Anthony Watts cross-posts a piece on his blog, Watts Up With That, written by Christopher Monckton for the Heartland Institute entitled, “End of an error,” regarding The Ninth International Heartland Conference on Climate Change in “the City of American Culture,” Las Vegas, from July 7-9. [49]

December 2012

WUWT covered a “Leak” of the Independent Panel on Climate Change’s AR5 report. Blogger Alec Rawls claims that the leak, for which he was the originator, contains a “game-changing admission of enhanced solar forcing,” while Anthony Watts called it a “bombshell.” Alec Rawls is a blogger with no scientific experience who had volunteered to review the report. [50], [51], [52]

IPCC author Dr. Richard Klein of the Stockholm Environment Institute commented that “It beggars belief to see how people, apparently without relevant knowledge, could make up such nonsense and get the blogosphere buzzing.” [53]

Media Matters also investigated, and talked to Dr. John Abraham of the Climate Science Rapid Response Team who said even if cosmic rays did have an effect on global temperatures that “they would currently be having a cooling effect.” [54]

July 2012

Anthony Watts released a pre-publication 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 which disputes previous findings that the position of surface stations had no effect on temperature readings with regards to global warming. According to Watts, “The new rating method employed finds that station siting does indeed have a significant effect on temperature trends.”

The press release, published at the Watts Up With That blog suggests that the study demonstrates that “half of the global warming in the USA is artificial” and that “U.S. Temperature trends show a spurious doubling due to NOAA station siting problems and post measurement adjustments.” [55]

This is a variation on the argument originally proposed by Anthony Watts after his implementation of the “Surface Stations” project, but which has been since refuted. Skeptical Science reviewed the paper and found that overall “the conclusion is not supported by the analysis of the paper itself.” [56]

May 21 – 23, 2012

Anthony Watts was a speaker at the Heartland Institute‘s 7th International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC7): [57], [96]

DeSmogBlog researched the co-sponsors behind Heartland’s ICCC7 and found that they had collectively received over $67 million from ExxonMobil, the Koch Brothers and the conservative Scaife family foundations. [58]

June 30-July 1, 2011

Anthony Watts was a keynote speaker at the Heartland Institute’s Sixth International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC6). [59]

Watts’s speech was titled “Assessing the Scientific Data”: [97]

March 2011

Anthony Watts praised the Berkeley Earth project, which was chaired by Richard Muller and set out to “resolve current criticism of the former temperature analyses, and to prepare an open record that will allow rapid response to further criticism or suggestions.” The study also evaluated Watt’s concerns about weather station locations.

Watts had declared he was “prepared to accept whatever result they produce, even if it proves my premise wrong.” Muller testified before congress on March 31, 2011 where he released preliminary results showing “a global warming trend that is very similar to that previously reported by the other groups [NOAA, NASA, and the Hadley Center Climate Research Unit (CRU)s].” [60], [61][62]

Muller addressed Watts’s concerns, mentioning how “Many US stations have low quality rankings according to a study led by Anthony Watts. However, we find that the warming seen in the ‘poor’ stations is virtually indistinguishable from that seen in the ‘good’ stations.” [62]

Instead of accepting the results as he promised, Watts dismissed the hearing as “post normal science political theater.” And one of the regular contributors on his site dismissed Professor Muller as “a man driven by a very serious agenda.” [60]


According to documents from the Heartland Institute, the think tank paid Watts $88,000 for his efforts on the “Weather Stations” project in 2011, with additional funding promised for 2012. [4]

The project would take data from the National Aeronautics and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and convert them “into easy-to-understand graphs that can be easily understood by weathermen and the general interested public.” [4]

June 2010

Anthony Watts flew to Australia for a round-the-country speaking tour organised by members of the minor political party, No Carbon Tax Climate Sceptics (now renamed the Freedom and Prosperity party). [63]

Watts spoke alongside climate science denier David Archibald, whom Watts thanked for helping to organise the schedule. [64], [65]

March 2010

Anthony Watts spoke at the Heartland Institute’s Fourth International Conference on Climate Change. His speech was titled “Preliminary Results of the Surface Stations Project: Does the Station Siting Matter?“ [66], [98]

October 2010

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 the excommunication of Martin Luther. [67]

The American Physical Society strongly 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.’” [68]

November 2009

Watts Up With That was one of the first blogs to receive the link to a set of illegally obtained files from the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit (CRU). These files would later be viewed as ‘Climategate’ or ‘Switfthack,’ after a group of climate change skeptics including Steven Mosher, Steve McIntyre, Ross McKitrick, Patrick Condon, Lucia Liljegren, Charles Rotter and Anthony Watts had gone through the stolen material and released information that they purported to suggest a controversy among climate scientists. [69]

The individual who obtained the e-mails hacked onto, a site maintained by climate scientists Gavin Schmidt, Michael Mann and others, and then proceeded to upload the file “” RealClimate’s Gavin Schmidt summarized the events, describing how the hacker created a draft post that was never actually posted on the RealClimate website. The hacker then commented on, listing his name as “RC” at 10:54 GMT on November 17 along with the comment “A miracle just happened.” [70][71]

Approximately 12 hours later, a comment that linked to the same file (this time located on a Russian FTP server) was posted at Charles Rotter, also known as Charles the Moderator or CTM did not initially approve the comment, but notified Anthony Watts. The hacker proceeded to comment on other, lesser-known climate change skeptic blogs including the Air Vent (run by Patrick Condon), as well as on a blog titled Climate Skeptic. [72], [73]

Charles Rotter, volunteer moderator at WUWT made a CD copy of the file and forwarded it to Steve Mosher at around 9:36 pm PST on November 17, while Watts was traveling in Europe at the time and said that he didn’t look at the file. At this time, Mosher began analyzing the emails for their validity and discussed them with Steve McIntyre. On the 19th, Mosher posted a comment on Lucia Liljegren’s blog, as well as one on Climate Audit (Steve McIntyre’s blog). Within the same hour, Rotter of WUWT made a comment on the Bishop Hill blog with the username “devilinthedetails.” Liljegren saw the comment and created a new post, saying that “Steve Mosher alerted us to an interesting development.” Mosher also e-mailed Tom Fuller, a blogger at and messaged Andy Revkin at the New York Times via Facebook. [74], [75], [76], [77]

An hour after the first comments by Steve Mosher and Charles Rotter, and the hacker made a new comment at WUWT asking why the story hadn’t gotten widespread attention. Rotter, in his role as moderator, replied to the comment with the following message:

“A lot is happening behind the scenes. It is not being ignored. Much is being coordinated among major players and the media. Thank you very much. You will notice the beginnings of activity on other sites now. Here soon to follow. ~ ctm

Mosher later posted four of the emails on Liljegren’s site. One of these new e-mails contained the now well-known “hide the decline” phrase that would soon become the primary message repeated by the conservative media. Anthony Watts posted on the story from the Dulles airport on his way back from Europe. [77][78]

According to Watts:

“I’ve seen the file, it appears to be genuine and from CRU. Others who have seen it concur- it appears genuine. There are so many files it appears unlikely that it is a hoax. The effort would be too great.”

It wasn’t long before the story spread to a wide range of other skeptic blogs and news sources.

July 2009

When Peter Sinclair posted a “Climate Crock of the Week” video featuring Anthony Watts, Watts complained under YouTube’s copyright infringement guidelines to have the video taken down. The video debunks Watts’ work discrediting the U.S. Temperature record. [79], [80]

You can download a copy of Sinclair’s Climate Crock: What’s Up With Watts here.

Watts responded to the video on his blog, describing it as “the worst job of fact-finding I had ever seen,” and how it reminded him of “really bad work from greenhorns out of reporters school.” He goes on to explain why he accused Sinclair of Copyright infringement, and additionally accuses the National Climactic Data Center (NCDC) of their their own copyright infringement for using his data that he explains was not yet in the public domain. [81]

The video was later reviewed by a number of US copyright experts who found that it contained nothing that could be construed as anything but fair use. [82]

Peter Sinclair also responded, stating that “In accordance with established YouTube guidelines 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.’” The video was subsequently restored. [83]

June 2009

Anthony Watts spoke at the Heartland Institute’s Third International Conference on Climate change, representing [84]

His speech was titled “A Hands-On Study Of The Reliability Of The U.S. Temperature Record”: [99]

March 8 – 10, 2009

Anthony Watts was a speaker at the Heartland Institute’s Second International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC2) in New York: [92]

DeSmog researched the funding behind Heartland’s Second International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC2) and found sponsor organizations had received over $47 million in funding from energy companies and right-wing foundations, with 78% of that total coming from Scaife Family Foundations. [93]

March 2008

Anthony Watts spoke at the Heartland Institute’s first 2008 International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC1). His presentation was titled “A Hands-On Study of Station Siting and Data Quality Issues for the United States Historical Climatology Network.” [85], [94]


Anthony Watts created in response to what Watts describes as “a massive failure of bureaucracy to perform something so simple as taking some photographs and making some measurements and notes of a few to a few dozen weather stations in each state.” [3] describes itself as a “grass roots organization” that uses volunteers to collect information on weather stations that are part of the United States Historical Climatological Network (USHCN) and Global Historical Climatological Network (GHCN). [3]

Watts believed that with information collected by the project he would be able to demonstrate that “some of the global warming increase is not from CO2 but from localized changes in the temperature-measurement environment.” [86]

The results were not as Watts expected. 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.” Watts’ claims were also thoroughly debunked in a “Climate Crock of the Week” video. [87][88]

August 2007

Registered Watts Up With That (WUWT), a blog which provides “News and commentary on puzzling things in life, nature, science, weather, climate change, technology, and recent news by Anthony Watts.” [89]

Watts is the editor and primary contributor to the blog, while other authors have included climate change skeptics such as Roger Pielke Senior and Pielke Jr.

There is a blog devoted to debunking Watts’s regular posts at WUWT. The blog, titled “Wott’s Up With That” is run by Canadian Geologist Ben Lawson.

Nov 1995

Anthony watts is listed as a signatory of the Leipzig Declaration which states that “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.” [90]


Social Media


Anthony Watts has published at least one article in a peer-reviewed journal, The Journal of Geophysical Research, on the findings of the Surface Stations Project:

His most notable publication appears to have been published by the Heartland Institute and Watts’ own

The report suggests that certain climate-monitoring stations may yield inaccurate data due to their proximity to buildings, air conditioners or concrete. Watts suggests that due to the improper placement of some of these stations, climate models based on this data may also be flawed.


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