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Every three or four years Anthony Watts (who owns a conspiracy blog called Watts Up with That, or WUWT) claims steam pipes in vast empty spaces in remote and largely unpopulated areas of Russia are what’s causing global warming. This year he’s at it again (archived here).

I don’t need to write much about this, you can see it in pictures. In fact, Anthony himself put up a photo of steam pipes in a small town called Omyakon (population ~500), one of the coldest permanently inhabited places on earth.

The map below shows where the tiny settlement of Omyakon is located on the GISTEMP January temperature map . It’s not in the middle of where the highest temperature anomalies were recorded.

Figure 1 | Temperature anomalies for January 2020 from the 1951-1980 mean, showing the location of Omyakon and its steampipes that conspiracy nutters blame for global warming. Data source: NASA GISTEMP

In fact, most of the huge hot area over Russia and parts of Europe has very low population density as you can see when you move the arrow to the right over the images below. (I’ve lined up the maps but it’s a bit rough.)

May 18
April 18

Anthony Watts decided there’s a Russian conspiracy at NOAA, and wrote:

In a report generating substantial media attention this month, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) claimed January 2020 was the hottest January on record. In reality, the claim relies on substantial speculation, dubious reporting methods, and a large, very suspicious, extremely warm reported heat patch covering most of Russia.

How (and why) does Russia keep moving its steampipes?

Anthony doesn’t explain how or why Russia moves its steampipes around the world each January – from sparsely populated regions of Russia to North America and further, then back again. I’ll let you try to figure out for yourself how and why they do this.

In January 2019 Russia turned its steampipes down a bit and shifted their Russian steampipes they’d installed in the USA and Canada a bit west. (Move the arrow to the right to compare January 2020 with January 2019).

May 18
April 18

Figure 3 | Maps showing mean surface temperature anomalies for January 2020 and January 2019 from the 1951-1980 mean. Data source: GISS NASA

In 2018, Russia turned of quite a few of its steampipes, leaving any residents to suffer the freeziing cold. There were quite a few more Russian steampipes in North America in 2018.

May 18
April 18

Figure 4 | Maps showing mean surface temperature anomalies for January 2020 and January 2018 from the 1951-1980 mean. Data source: GISS NASA

In 2017 Russia had cut down its steampipe operations, but it didn’t turn them off altogether. That was probably so it could vastly expand its steampipes in North America.

May 18
April 18

Figure 5 | Maps showing mean surface temperature anomalies for January 2020 and January 2017 from the 1951-1980 mean. Data source: GISS NASA

In 2016, when there was a big El Nino and the temperature anomaly was just a smidgen below that of this January (with no El Nino), Russia got rid of most of its steampipes, moving them from Russia to North America.

May 18
April 18

Figure 6 | Maps showing mean surface temperature anomalies for January 2020 and January 2016 from the 1951-1980 mean. Data source: GISS NASA

The WUWT waste heat conspiracy

Anthony finished his article with this, and no, he didn’t tag it as satire:

It appears that the “warmest ever” January might simply have been influenced by Russian temperature data warmed up by waste heat. Maybe the U.S. House of Representatives will start an inquiry into Russian collusion to interfere with global temperature data and climate change legislation – but don’t hold your breath.

That reminds me of his “waste heat from the little warm pockets of humanity” he found in a tent in a remote and isolated part of the remote continent of Antarctica.

Warmest winter in Moscow

I meant to add a comment about some news items remarking that this past winter has been the warmest ever recorded in Moscow. I don’t know if that was because of something going wrong with the steampipes or not /s.

In Moscow, people adjust to a winter without snow: ‘It’s like we’re at a resort’

From the HotWhopper archives





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