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Steven Goddard

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Steven Goddard (pseudonym for Tony Heller) is a blogger and the publisher of "Real Climate Science," a website he established to assert that concerns over anthropogenic global warming are exaggerated and false. Before establishing his own blog, Heller built his reputation as a challenger to anthropogenic climate change theories through frequent postings on the Watts Up with That? blog.[1] Goddard wrote pseudonymously until 2014 when he revealed his true real identity on his blog.[2] He has a BS in geology from Arizona State University and a Master's degree in electrical engineering from Rice University.[3]

Views on global warming[edit]

Sea ice[edit]

One of Goddard's earliest writings, an article for The Register, asserted that the National Snow and Ice Data Center's (NSIDC) data underlying a chart depicting 2008 Arctic sea ice loss was incorrect and that NSIDC seemed to demonstrate "a consistent pattern of overstatement related to Arctic ice loss."[4] Ten days later, however, Goddard acknowledged that the data on which the graph was based was accurate.[5] In 2012, another of Goddard's blog posts attracted attention. The post argued that increases in Antarctic sea ice balanced out decreases in Arctic sea ice, and accused the NSIDC of being "dissonant" about the topic.

Mark Serreze, director of the NSIDC, responded to the post by saying that the increases in Antarctic sea ice were "not a surprise to us".[6]

Claims of NASA manipulation of temperature data[edit]

In June 2014, Goddard attracted considerable media attention for his claims that NASA had manipulated temperature data to make it appear that 1998 was the hottest year in United States history. In fact, he claimed, it was 1934, but NASA had started incorrectly citing 1998 as the hottest year beginning in 2000.[7] Goddard had been promoting these claims for years before this, including in a chapter of a book by Don Easterbrook,[8] but the mainstream media had not paid significant attention to it before then.[9] Those who promoted the claim included Christopher Booker, in a June 21 article in the Daily Telegraph,[10] and Fox News Channel host Steve Doocy three days later in a Fox and Friends segment.

The claim was dismissed by, which rated it as "pants on fire"—its lowest possible rating. Politifact contacted Berkeley Earth energy systems analyst and environmental economist Zeke Hausfather,[11] who told them that the problem with Goddard's analysis was that it ignored the changes the network of U.S. weather stations had undergone over the last eighty years.[12] Goddard's claims were also criticized by fellow climate skeptic Anthony Watts, who argued that his assertions of data fabrication were "wrong", and criticized him for using absolute temperatures rather than anomalies in his analysis.[13] Watts later apologized to Goddard (Heller) and admitted that his "confirmation bias" influenced his thinking. Watts wrote " this time Steve Goddard was right and my confirmation bias prevented me from seeing that there was in fact a real issue in the data and that NCDC has dead stations that are reporting data that isn’t real: mea culpa." [14]

In a response to Politifact on his blog, Goddard argued that while NASA has official reasons for the adjustments they make to temperature data, "their adjustments are highly subjective, and are subject to software and algorithm errors. Politifact’s claim is the result of a failure to understand the topic, for the following reasons. There is no question that the temperature record has been dramatically altered, to turn a long term cooling trend into a long term warming trend. No one disputes this. Anthony Watts was discussing a different specific topic related to missing station data, and has since admitted he was wrong. If you actually contact him, you will find that out."[15]

Noted global warming skeptic Judith Curry initially characterized Goddard's analysis of NASA's data as "bogus." [16] Curry analyzed the situation further and stated "I infer from this that there seems to be a real problem with the USHCN data set, or at least with some of the stations". [17]

Claims for the cause of high Venus surface temperatures[edit]

Goddard claims that the very high surface temperatures on Venus are largely attributable to its "extremely high atmospheric pressure" and that the composition of the Venusian atmosphere, which is 96% carbon dioxide, has little influence over surface temperatures on the planet.[18] Though he does not cite him specifically, Goddard's claim echoes the ideas outlined in a 2003 paper authored by Hans Jelbring, which also posits that surface temperatures on a planet are directly influenced by the size of the mass of the atmosphere.[19]

Goddard's theory on the reason for high Venusian surface temperatures challenges accepted planetary science theories which contend that surface temperatures on celestial bodies with atmospheres are largely a function of the rate at which incoming light radiation is received by a celestial body and the rate at which infrared emissions from the planet's body are blocked by greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.[20]

Claims of deliberate scientific fraud[edit]

On his blog and Twitter feed, Goddard frequently injects his challenges to scientific theories about global warming with accusations that many climate scientists have been corrupted by a liberal political agenda, referring to them as “criminals pushing a scam” who are “blatantly lying"[21] and dismisses anthropogenic global warming as "the biggest fraud in history."[22]


  1. Watts, Anthony (31 August 2010). "Announcements". Watts Up With That. Retrieved 29 July 2015.
  2. "Who Is Steven Goddard?". 27 June 2014.
  3. "Tony Heller". International Conference on Climate Change. Heartland Institute.
  4. Goddard, Steven (15 August 2008). "Arctic ice refuses to melt as ordered". The Register. Retrieved 3 July 2014.
  5. Romm, Joe (25 August 2008). "A new Olympic record for retraction of a denier talking point". Think Progress. Retrieved 3 July 2014.
  6. Wolchover, Natalie (21 September 2012). "While Arctic melts, Antarctic ice hits record. Is warming debunked?". Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 3 July 2014.
  7. Fredericks, Bob (24 June 2014). "Global-warming skeptic says government manipulated temperature data". New York Post. Retrieved 3 July 2014.
  8. Easterbrook, Don (2011). Evidence-Based Climate Science: Data opposing CO2 emissions as the primary source of global warming. Elsevier. pp. 146–156. Search this book on
  9. Taylor, James (24 June 2014). "NASA Activists Caught Claiming Fictitious Warming". Heartland Institute. Retrieved 3 July 2014.
  10. Booker, Christopher (21 June 2014). "The scandal of fiddled global warming data". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 3 July 2014.
  11. "Zeke Hausfather". Berkeley Earth.
  12. "Fox's Doocy: NASA fudged data to make the case for global warming". Politifact. 24 June 2014. Retrieved 3 July 2014.
  13. Bailey, Ronald (23 June 2014). "Did NASA/NOAA Dramatically Alter U.S. Temperatures After 2000?". Reason. Retrieved 3 July 2014.
  14. "The scientific method is at work on the USHCN temperature data set". 28 June 2014.
  15. "My Rebuttal To Politifact". 28 June 2014.
  16. Judith Curry (28 June 2014). "Tweet Number 483006570876243968". Twitter. Retrieved 9 March 2015. @VariabilityBlog @th3Derek I agree what Goddard did to the data was bogus, I say this in my post. This is not the concern raised in my post
  17. "Skeptical of skeptics: is Steve Goddard right?". 28 June 2014.
  18. Goddard, Steve (6 May 2010). "Hyperventilating on Venus". Watts Up With That?. Retrieved 30 Nov 2014.
  19. Jelbring, Hans (2003). "The "Greenhouse Effect" as a Function of Atmospheric Mass"" (PDF). Energy & Environment. Retrieved 30 Nov 2014.
  20. "The surface temperatures of the planets". Royal Museums Greenwich. Retrieved 30 Nov 2014.
  21. Goddard, Steven (27 July 2015). "Cold in England. Coming to the East Coast". Real Science. Retrieved 31 July 2015.
  22. Goddard, Steven (30 July 2015). "The Biggest Fraud in History". Real Science. Retrieved 1 August 2015.

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