The latest “sticky” Watts Up With That (WUWT) post is one claiming that, in fact, the results of the Cook et al. (2013) consensus surveys suggests that 98% of the papers that take a position on anthropogenic global warming (AGW) endorse AGW, not 97%. The reason this is significant, according to Anthony Watts, is that this indicates that Cook et al. so desperately wanted to match previous reults (which reported a 97% consensus) that they engineered their results to reproduce this outcome.
Really? That seems quite remarkable. Could it possibly be true? Below is the table from the Cook et al. paper. In the Cook et al. paper, they find 3896 + 78 + 40 = 4014 articles that take a position on AGW (endorse, reject or uncertain). Of these papers, 3896 endorse AGW and hence 97.1% of the papers that take a position on AGW, endorse AGW. Anthony Watts seems to be suggesting that only 3896 + 78 = 3974 papers take a position on AGW (i.e., those that are explicitly uncertain should not be included) and hence the correct result is 98% of those that take a position on AGW endorse AGW.
Anthony Watts is just basically wrong. The paper is very clear that the study distinguishes between those papers that make no mention of AGW and those that do and divides those that do into those that endorse, reject or are uncertain. Rather than finding an error that should have been “caught in peer review“, this just makes Anthony look like a pedantic twerp who desperately wants to find something wrong with the Cook et al. (2013) study and, so far, is failing to do so.