Global Warming Science Rules

Bob Ward Gets Stroppy

LSE’s Bob Ward has had his fill of Climate Change denial already this year, and it’s not even February yet.

I’m on some mailing list or other, to which he sent a copy of his strop directed at the poorly-equipped Global Warming Policy Foundation :-


Re: Global Warming Policy Foundation donor funding levels revealed…
From: Bob Ward

I am copying below the text of my e-mail, mentioned in […] Guardian article as a letter, to Benny Peiser and David Whitehouse of the Global Warming Policy Foundation. I have, as yet, not received any reply. Please feel free to pass on the e-mail message to anybody who might be interested.

Here is my message to Peiser and Whitehouse:


From: Bob Ward
Sent: 13 January 2011 11:13
To: ‘’; ‘’
Subject: Inaccurate and misleading information on GWPF website

Dear Dr Peiser and Dr Whitehouse,

I am writing to draw your attention to seriously misleading and inaccurate information about global temperature trends which riddles the website of the Global Warming Policy Foundation.

Your website features a page on ‘2010 – An Unexceptional El Nino [sic] Year’, dated 3 December and apparently written by Dr Whitehouse:

This webpage bears a number of significant errors, which I invite you to correct as soon as possible.

It states: “2010 will be remembered for just two warm months, attributable to the El Nino [sic] effect, with the rest of the year being nothing but average, or less than average temperature”. This is entirely false. Here is a link to the monthly HadCRUT3 dataset, compiled by the UK Met Office and the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit, which provides the global average temperature anomaly compared with the 1961-1990 average:

This shows clearly that every month of 2010 (with the data for December not yet published) has been well above average, and indeed each month of 2010 has been one of the ten warmest on record for that month. As you know, El Niño typically recurs every two to seven years, so it cannot be responsible wholly, or even mostly, for the temperature in 2010 being amongst the highest since records began in the 19th century.

[Your] webpage also states “the UK Met Office estimates the temperature anomaly (with respect to the end of the 19th century) for 2010 so far as 0.756 deg C”. This is also inaccurate. Firstly, the Met Office’s HadCRUT3 database expresses the temperature anomaly relative to the 1961-1990 average (not the “end of the 19th century”). Secondly the anomaly for the first 10 months of the year was 0.499°C, not 0.756ºC.

[Your] webpage then purports to provide a breakdown month by month of global average temperature (presumably based on HadCRUT3). However, this breakdown appears to be based on the CRUTEM3 dataset (to which you provide a link) compiled by the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit (which you do not acknowledge):

It seems that you are unaware that CRUTEM3 provides surface temperature land measurements only i.e. it contains no data about the 65.7% of the Earth’s surface which is covered by ocean. If you compare HadCRUT3 with CRUTEM3 you can see that the magnitude of the monthly anomalies are very different, although both still show that 2010 was an exceptionally warm year.

Your website then compounds these serious errors with another webpage, headed ‘2010: An Even More Unexceptional Year’, dated 8 December and also apparently written by Dr Whitehouse:

It too contains multiple serious errors which I invite you to correct.

This page begins by providing a link to the webpage on ‘2010 – An Unexceptional El Nino [sic] Year’ and describing it as an “analysis of 2010 based on Met Office temperature data”. I do not know whether these persistently inaccurate references to your source is the result of gross sloppiness or a deliberate attempt to avoid giving credit to the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit.

This webpage purports to compare your analysis of CRUTEM3 with “other global temperature data sets that are more comprehensive”. It then claims to present an analysis “from the UK Met Office”. But your analysis does not match the HadCRUT3 data and, incredibly, this page provides a link to the CRUTEM3 dataset again. It seems that you are thoroughly confused about the differences between the datasets compiled by the Met Office and the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit.

The webpage then presents a monthly breakdown of the global temperature data compiled by the National Climatic Data Center of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. However, your analysis contains numerous errors, for instance claiming that May 2010 was cooler than May 1998 when in fact the temperature was statistically tied as the warmest on record, and claiming that June 2010 was cooler than June 1998 when it was in fact warmer and tied with June 2005 for the warmest on record.

The webpage also states that for the NCDC database “it is possible that 2010 will tie with 1998, or possible [sic] exceed it”. This is misleading as it implies that 1998 was the warmest year, when in fact 2005 was according to this record. The webpage then makes the inaccurate statement that if 2010 is warmer than 1998 “it would be due to the warm months March-June due to El Nino [sic] and not the sign of AGW”. In fact, again, as El Niño recurs on average every 2 to 7 years, it cannot be wholly or even mostly responsible for the fact that 2010 tied with 2005 as the warmest year since the NCDC record began in 1880.

The webpage also presents a monthly breakdown of the global temperature data compiled by the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies. However, your analysis contains numerous errors, for instance claiming that June 2010 was cooler than June 2006 when it they recorded the same temperatures, and claiming that July 2010 was cooler than May 2003 when in fact it was warmer.

You also claim that the NASA-GISS record showed that the average temperature for the 11 months to the end of November 2010 was lower than for the comparable period in 2007 and 2005. This is also completely wrong, as this period in 2010 was the warmest on record according to NASA-GISS, as this media release makes clear:

Furthermore, the home page of your website features a graph with the title ’21st Century Global Mean Temperature’. As Dr Peiser confirmed in an e-mail to me on 1 December 2009, this graph is supposed to represent the HadCRUT3 dataset. As I have pointed out on many previous occasions, your graph does not correspond to the HadCRUT3 dataset on the Met Office’s website, particularly by wrongly showing 2009 as cooler than both 2006 and 2007:

Despite my requests you have so far refused to correct the graph. I expect that you will update your graph when the HadCRUT3 dataset is updated with the figure for 2010. I suggest you also use that as an opportunity to correct the other mistakes in the graph.

In addition, the choice of 2001 as the starting point for your graph, as I am sure you are aware, hides the significant and unequivocal rise in global average temperature that occurred during the 20th century. As you choose to ignore the temperature record prior to 2001, visitors to your website cannot appreciate that 9 of the 10 warmest years on record have all occurred since 2000. Perhaps when you update your graph you could also make it less misleading in this respect?

Given these multiple and systematic inaccuracies in your presentation of data relating to global average temperatures, it is surprising that some journalists have been citing your information in their reports as if it was reliable. I am also surprised that the Foundation continues to claim to be an educational charity when you are disseminating such inaccurate information through your website. Or perhaps your secret sponsors are funding you to mislead the public and the media?

Yours sincerely,

Bob Ward

Policy and Communications Director
Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment
London School of Economics and Political Science
Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE


3 replies on “Bob Ward Gets Stroppy”

Bob Ward huh!

Amazing – now we have a dummy spitting episode from a spin doctor (the only “Doctorate” he has apparently)

Bit like being savaged by the proverbial “dead sheep” – Bit of an own goal really. Like the “Voodoo Science” of Pachuri when the Himilayan glacier IPCC data was proved to be wrong.

Still – I still read your posts Jo.

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