Picking out the UHI in climatic temperature records – so easy a 6th grader can do it!

The Urban Heat Island effect on temperature records is real, despite what some people wish you to believe. Peter, a sixth grader, and his dad, thought so too, and take the data from NASA GISS and show in a simple video, what we’ve been saying for years here at WUWT. Urbanization, land use, and station siting matter.

Peter - shows how UHI is easy to spot

Watch Peter’s excellent video below:

They used a simple pairing of rural and urban sites to show the differences. This shows why homogenization, which smears all the data from urban and rural sites together, is a bad idea, and gives trends that don’t exist in reality.

I like the ending where he says in the rolling credits “Peter’s dad is not employed or funded by any energy or oil companies”. It’s funny that they’d feel a need to say this. No National Science Foundation funding needed either.

This video appeared in comments on WUWT, if anybody knows how to contact Peter or his dad, please advise. We are in touch now.

One wonders what the response of the well funded Hadley Centre, Met Office scientist Dr. David Parker, might be to this video.

Parker’s 2006 paper published in the Journal of Climate titled: “A Demonstration that Large scale warming is not urban” claims:

The analysis of Tmin demonstrates that neither urbanization nor other local instrumental or thermal effects
have systematically exaggerated the observed global warming trends in Tmin. The robustness of the analysis to the criterion for “calm” implies that the estimated overall trends are insensitive to boundary layer structure and small-scale advection, and to siting, instrumentation, and observing practices that increasingly influence temperatures as winds become lighter. Furthermore, even at windy sites (e.g., St. Paul, Aleutian Islands, in Fig. C1), the calmest terce and especially the calmest decile will be strongly affected by occasions with very light winds in passing ridges or blocking anticyclones, and should reveal any urban warming influence.

…the results of the present study also suggest that they have not affected the estimates of temperature trends.

Steve McIntyre gave Parker’s paper a scathing review in 2007′s article:

Parker 2006: An Urban Myth?

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219 Responses to Picking out the UHI in climatic temperature records – so easy a 6th grader can do it!

  1. Third Party says:

    GISS raw or GISS homogenized?

  2. John says:

    WOW! too cool (no pun intended)

  3. Jason says:

    I’ve been waiting for a larger scale comparison like this one for a while. David Archibald did one years ago with a few southeastern US sites thru 2003, and came up with similar results.

    LOL at the title!

  4. paul says:

    I saw it. Great job. My only concern is that since he uses r2 on the 106 year history the earlier variations may impact the slope of the regression line. As we know GW theory concentrates on the last 30 years.

  5. Rod says:

    A bright spot among all the depressing news.
    There is hope for the world yet.
    Well done Peter (and Dad!).
    Thank you.

  6. PeterS says:

    Well done, Peter, (and Dad).

    The video says it all. The alarmists at Copenhagen should be made to watch it.

  7. tallbloke says:

    Give the lad a scholarship at UEA.

    NOW!

  8. Steve in SC says:

    Very well done.
    Perhaps the climate community could learn a thing or three.

  9. Curiousgeorge says:

    Very cool! So now we have evidence of what ordinary people have known for at least a hundred years. That is: “Honey, it sure is hot here in the city, let’s take a drive out to the country and cool off”. :)

  10. Pet says:

    re: contact. You could try sending a message via his youtube user account.

    http://www.youtube.com/user/TheseData

  11. conversefive says:

    As a layperson I have been wading through all of the explanations, theories, graphs and charts published by so many brilliant scientists, and now, thanks to one sixth grader, I can finally understand it! I realize it is very simplistic, but it sure makes more sense now. Thanks, Peter!

  12. CodeTech says:

    The best part is, getting “peer review” involves polling a few of his friends at recess ;)

  13. Paul S says:

    Has any one ever said what the actual annual temperature should be for 2009?
    How do we know we are deviating, if we do not know what we are deviating from?

  14. rhyl dearden says:

    Congratulations, Peter and Dad.

    Why not send this to people at Copenhagen? Someone MAY look at it and be challenged, though their minds are so closed that this is doubtful.

  15. gerard bono says:

    CodeTech that was great! Recess…………….

  16. Stephen says:

    Out standing!!!
    Now if Peter could cross check the stations he used, with WUWT Surface Station info and see what the condition is for each of the Rural stations and then get some help on doing a proper correction for poor stations, my guess is we would see a cooling trend.
    Stephen

  17. John in NZ says:

    Somebody give that boy a Nobel prize.

  18. Randy says:

    Excellent job Peter and Dad.
    It sure makes the professional weather people look sophomoric.
    Keep up digging into the data. Who knows you might get an honorary degree out of your work.
    I love it.

  19. tarpon says:

    And wouldn’t you think the adjustment would be negative to account for UHI … Isn’t it weird that all the IPCC UHI adjustments are the opposite?

  20. Anon says:

    better than this, produced by adults… maybe even a ‘scientist’…. they say GHG lower food production! submit youtube ccomments

  21. Greg Cavanagh says:

    Re Anon (13:02:50) :

    But that vidio only makes claims, it does not present any data or do any analysis.

  22. Hank Hancock says:

    Absolutely astounding!

    There is nothing more delightful than to see a sixth grader produce a better temperature study than our tax paid climate masters. They should submit a paper to the Geophysical Journal and Nature. It would be most satisfying to see a sixth grader get published. It would certainly put the state of climate research into perspective.

  23. David says:

    So if I understand, the cause of increased temperatures is, er, heating….. due to factories, aircon units, auto engines etc, and not the fantastically complicated greenhouse gas forcing effect. Can’t be – that is much too simple and logical and there are no PhDs, Nobel Prizes or Enron trading scams to be made out of it, not to mention the free hookers in front of Peter.

  24. Daryl M says:

    Re: tallbloke (12:35:59) :

    Give the lad a scholarship at UEA.

    NOW!

    What did the poor kid do to deserve having to work with that sorry bunch?

  25. Icarus says:

    Sure, the UHI effect is real. That’s why they adjust for it, isn’t it?

  26. Bruce Hall says:

    Okay, Mr. Smarty Pants. Everyone knows that there are more people now than in 1900 and they all have to breathe, so there is more CO2 coming from these people. And… more of the more people are living in cities. Walla! CO2 causes warming in the cities! It’s all in the charts.

  27. Jeff says:

    the whole “homogonizing” thing is just a trick to introduce known bad data …

    example:

    I have 5 sites …

    one located at an airport and four located in fields 100 miles away …

    the airport site shows a 2 degree difference vs the average of the 4 field sites … lots of blacktop and such …

    logic would say you adjust the airport site down 2 degrees and leave the field sites alone …

    depending on how you “homogonize” (bad+average/2 or bad+sum of field temps/5) you’ll either get a 1 degree adjustment or a .4 degree adjustment for the bad site …

    both are wrong and simply minimize the bad sites data but does not eliminate it …

    both are wrong …

    either throw it out or adjust it with the delta …

  28. barking toad says:

    maybe it’s the fella at coyoteblog.com who also has climate-skeptic.com

    I recall he did a survey like this with his young bloke

  29. Henry chance says:

    How simple. I suspect they could set raingages under trees if their desire was to tell us we are becoming dryer.

  30. Dave L says:

    One problem: The GISS data originates from the GHCN, no? Some of the data has been “adjusted” in the GHCN. Can one tell from the records which collection sites have been adjusted and which have not?

  31. Jim Steele says:

    Great. They should publish this in Nature!

  32. M. Essenger says:

    He probably forgot to include this:

    [0.,0.,0.,0.,0.,-0.1,-0.25,-0.3,0.,-0.1,0.3,0.8,1.2,1.7,2.5,2.6,2.6,2.6,2.6,2.6]*0.75 ; fudge factor

  33. Tom_R says:

    I came across the video earlier today, and had intended to post a link here. What struck me is that the professionals taking in $2B a year in grants were incapable of performing this analysis.

  34. Ray says:

    I really hope Peter did not use this as his science project if he has an Environut Science Prof.

  35. Paul Vaughan says:

    I would encourage the family act to next break the analysis down one level further by comparing JJA (June-July-August) averages with DJF (December-January-February) averages. The reason I suggest this:
    http://www.sfu.ca/~plv/sqrtaayoy.sq22.png
    I have not yet shared here my work on temperature range, but I will offer this clue: Time-integrated cross-correlations between geomagnetic aa index & temperature range are much higher in summer than in winter – [not really surprising considering that 2/3-of-a-day with daylight (summer) is a lot different from 1/3-of-a-day with daylight (winter) ...but we all know it's not just that simple... still, noticing some loose generalities is helpful on the road to working out details of the complex conditioning - in other words: it's not just about UHI, even though that is an important part...]

  36. PaulH says:

    Obviously this team is funded by Big Oil and Big Carbon! I’ll bet if you play the video backwards you’ll hear, “Exxon is great!” over and over in the background music!

    j/k j/k :-D

  37. Mark says:

    So has anybody ever just graphed ALL the rural data?

  38. I bring AGW demotivational posters to share with AGW fanatics during these difficult times. Feel free to copy!

    http://agwdemotivated.blogspot.com/

  39. wobble says:

    Wei-Chyung Wang of the University at Albany was heard saying, “who does this little snot think he is? I already proved that the UHI effect was insignificant!”

  40. G. Hamid says:

    Great presentation! It reminds me of something I’ve wondered about. Shouldn’t overall urban temps take into account the interior temp of air-conditioned buildings as well as out-door temps? Of course maybe they do and I’m just not aware of it.

  41. 007 says:

    Peter, are you saying the emperor has no clothes???

  42. wobble says:

    Icarus (13:15:52) :

    “”Sure, the UHI effect is real. That’s why they adjust for it, isn’t it?””

    Please explain how they “adjust” for it.

  43. Vincent says:

    Icarus (13:15:52) :

    “Sure, the UHI effect is real. That’s why they adjust for it, isn’t it?”

    Obviously not, otherwise why do rural and urban diverge so much? Urban should be the same as rural if they adjusted for it, shouldn’t it?

    And what would be the point of Parker’s paper other than to justify not adjusting for UHI?

  44. Mapou says:

    Fabulous! In the meantime, the global warming propaganda has taken a new sinister turn. The fraudsters are now questioning the sanity of skepticism. It’s ok for them to be skeptical of us but not the other way around. Check out this preposterous article that appeared over at Wired today.

    The Psychology of Climate Change Denial
    http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2009/12/climate-psychology/

    It’s sickening. The folks at Wired have been a consistent and eager player in the GW fraud.

    We will remember.

  45. Vincent says:

    64,000 dollar question. Is that GISS data raw data or “value added”?

  46. Roger Knights says:

    How was the rural site in the pair selected from the many candidates within the radius? I hope some blind or random method was used, or the comparison could be open to an accusation of cherry-picking.

  47. Max says:

    For examples of weather station siting issues, the California Air Resources Board site information pages are perfect. EG:

    Tree height changes:
    http://www.arb.ca.gov/qaweb/sitephotos_seq.php?dir=stationw&site_no=40849

    Adjacent paving:
    http://www.arb.ca.gov/qaweb/sitephotos_seq.php?dir=stationn&site_no=03614

    Urbanization:
    http://www.arb.ca.gov/qaweb/sitephotos_seq.php?dir=statione&site_no=57582

  48. avisame says:

    Question: If it is true that much of the supposed upward trend in temperatures in the last century results from adjustments to the data, is it possible that the apparence of flattening of temperatures over the last ten years is in part due to the fact that current temperatures are what they are and are not subject to adjustments?

  49. edward says:

    [snip]

  50. This sort of urban-rural pairing is exactly what Jones et al. [Nature, 1990] did with Chinese data. Jones et al. claimed that the difference between urban and rural in China was negligible. China is particularly important, because it has undergone more urbanization than most other countries: so if the difference there is negligible, it is likely negligible in most other places. Jones et  was cited for the crucial issue of urbanization effects in the most-recent Assessment Report from the IPCC.

    The Chinese analysis is what I have alleged to be fraudulent, as discussed on WUWT previously (here, here, here).

    Also, since Jones et al. got published in Nature, maybe these Peter & Pop should submit to there?

  51. Michael says:

    I would have expected this level of scientific analysis coming from a 6th grade Asian student, not an American student. There is still hope for our country.

  52. Harry G says:

    That is the video that SHOULD have been played at Hopenchagen – The one with the girl having nightmares is a disgrace.

  53. hobble says:

    Way OT, I know but… BBC1 showing “Hot Planet” at 10:45pm (9/12/09). I hope it doesn’t suffer the same number of complaints to Ofcom, as “The Great Global Warming Swindel” did in 2007 according to Wikipedia (a fine example of peer reviewed work if ever there was one !)

  54. Anon says:

    avisame: or temps really fell during the ‘flat’ time and look flat cause they covered up the UHI trend

  55. APE says:

    Anthony,
    I hope that you have your own study out soon on the surface station project.
    Speaking of tipping the scales, here is another nomination for the next week’s funny
    http://townhall.com/cartoons/cartoonist/ChuckAsay/2009/12/8
    Enjoy
    APE

  56. edward says:

    I got snipped for a “Scrappleface” style post and Michael 14:10:12 passed muster?
    Should the names have been changed to protect the innocent?

  57. mark fuggle says:

    Peter and Dad. Great stuff.

  58. edward says:

    Here’s a humorous take on Global Warming published in the Washington Examiner:

    Scott Ott’s Examiner Scrappleface: Climate summit opens with warning about giant insects
    By: Scott Ott
    Examiner Columnist
    December 8, 2009 News fairly unbalanced. We report. You decipher.

    House-straddling tarantulas, mosquitoes the size of German shepherds, ants with the speed and mass of a diesel locomotive — all of these threats and more face humanity unless delegates to the Copenhagen Climate Conference agree on the wording of a treaty that would put an end to greenhouse gases once and for all, according to two well-known climate scientists.

    Phil Jones, currently on involuntary sabbatical from the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, as well as Penn State professor Michael Mann, agreed that global citizens “face near-certain doom — crushed in the massive, venomous mandibles of insects and arachnids the likes of which we haven’t seen outside of science fiction movies.”

    Jones and Mann recently came under scrutiny in the scientific community when e-mails surfaced suggesting they, and other leading climatologists, had attempted to distort, hide and even dump data that could challenge their theory of anthropogenic (man-made) global warming.

    In a surprise public appearance, with Powerpoint presentation, on the streets of Copenhagen, the duo said the absence of raw temperature data to back their previous global warming claims pales in comparison with the “sheer terror” that their new data should inspire.

    “If you go back some 107 billion years, as the molten surface of the Earth began to cool, insects were much bigger than they are now,” said Jones. “They went through several cycles of shrinking and expanding until the start of the Industrial Revolution.”

    Professor Mann added that since factories and vehicles began to spew carbon into the atmosphere the average size of an ant has increased at an alarming rate — roughly .0002 percent per century.

    “If you look at a chart tracking the average leg length of tarantulas,” Mann said, “it just shoots up in the mid-1970s. The graph looks like a hockey stick. And they’re on every continent. No one will escape their wrath.”

    Jones and Mann said they arrived at their new theory of global giant bug warming “as an alternative explanation for the data that we no longer have to support our first theory.” This particular interpretation of the data was chosen, they said, “mostly because it’s really scary to little children.”

    Examiner columnist Scott Ott is editor in chief of ScrappleFace.com, the world’s leading family-friendly news satire source.

  59. Michael says:

    MYSTERIOUS BLUE SPIRAL LIGHT IN NORWAY SKY DECEMBER 9 2009

    WUWT

  60. rantingcynic says:

    Nice.

  61. Bob Tisdale says:

    Thank you, Peter and his dad.

  62. Mike C. says:

    Outstanding ! Absolutely outstanding !

  63. Andrew Parker says:

    OT

    Mapou (13:43:45) :

    I think that the quote below is indicative of the careful social manipulation that has been taking place. AGW is no more than a McGuffin for the Greens and the one world statists. It replaced Nuclear Winter, which was also a McGuffin for the same players. After all, what is a community organizer to do without a cause? And remember, the community organizer knows best and must tell us what to do!

    “Norgaard: I think so. And the reason is that we don’t have a clear sense of what we can do. Any community organizer knows that if you want people to respond to something, you need to tell them what to do, and make it seem do-able. Stanford University psychologist Jon Krosnick has studied this, and showed that people stop paying attention to climate change when they realize there’s no easy solution. People judge as serious only those problems for which actions can be taken.

    Another factor is that we no longer have a sense of permanence. Another psychologist, Robert Lifton, wrote about what the existence of atomic bombs did to our psyche. There was a sense that the world could end at any moment.

    Global warming is the same in that it threatens the survival of our species. Psychologists tell us that it’s very important to have a sense of the continuity of life. That’s why we invest in big monuments and want our work to stand after we die and have our family name go on.

    That sense of continuity is being ruptured. But climate change has an added aspect that is very important. The scientists who built nuclear bombs felt guilt about what they did. Now the guilt is real for the broader public.”

  64. pwl says:

    Congradulations of the awesome analysis Peter and Peter’s Dad.

    I wonder what stations are used in the analysis? It would be great to see a peer reviewed paper published from the video.

    New eyes on the problem reveal new solutions others missed or willfully hid within the rising heat island effect of urban areas. Hide the stability? Hide the boring sameness? Hide the heat island effect?

    Anthony you can possibly reach them here if you haven’t already.
    http://www.youtube.com/inbox?to_users=TheseData&action_compose=1

  65. hunter says:

    The annoying thing is that at this point, AGW believers and promoters asre in such denial of simple reality that they dismiss any and all counter evidence presented to them.
    They *need* their apocalypse.

  66. Sean Peake says:

    Do you expect a 6th grader to find evidence of AGW? Of course not. You need a PhD to do that.

  67. Dave UK says:

    O:T,
    Saudi delegate brings up ‘Climategate’ at COP15
    [snip -way off topic]

  68. Dave says:

    Al Gore would say that this young budding scientist in in the employee of Big Oil, but then again he also believe the earth is 2 million degrees below the crust and the climategate emails are from 10 years ago….

    Great job Peter!

  69. Mark says:

    So what happens if one just plots the combined rural data? Is there warming or not? If there isn’t, then I don’t see how we’re causing the warming.

  70. Roger Knights says:

    The Public Informer (13:35:43) :

    “I bring AGW demotivational posters to share with AGW fanatics during these difficult times. Feel free to copy!”

    http://agwdemotivated.blogspot.com/

    I like the one that says, “Putting the ‘Con’ Back in Consensus.”

  71. Jay says:

    Here is a link to an interesting article
    on the money it will cost us to pay for developing nations. In theory sounds good, but in reality the 100 billion comes from you and me. If that is split among Europe and us, what is our cost per taxpayer? Judging by what percentage pay taxes, I forget the number, what will it cost a family?

    http://cleantechnica.com/2009/12/09/developing-world-assistance-likely-to-bring-100-billion-boom-to-renewable-sector/

  72. Marcel says:

    Great !

    Please ask some alarmist (even scientist) to react on this and let us know this here !

  73. Roger Knights says:

    “Check out this preposterous article that appeared over at Wired today.

    The Psychology of Climate Change Denial
    http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2009/12/climate-psychology/

    It’s sickening. The folks at Wired have been a consistent and eager player in the GW fraud. We will remember.”

    The interviewee cites Bangladesh flood patterns, the sinking Maldives, and distorted Alaskan highways. No comments there yet.

  74. Ron de Haan says:

    Republicans plan to form a counter delegation to prevent Obama signing an agreement.

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/12/09/republicans-plan-form-counter-delegation-climate-conference/

  75. drams1 says:

    I sure hope someone is archiving the publicly available data. You know that the revelations over the last few weeks are going to tempt someone to “adjust” raw data.

  76. Tom says:

    I would have titled this “Are you smarter than a 6th grader?”

  77. Michael says:

    I found a little more of this story here, but the original link was shut down within 2 hours of posting.

    Secret Draft Leak Proves More Damaging Than ‘Climategate’ As Talks Are Suspended
    http://www.nrgefficiencyblogy.com/secret-draft-leak-proves-more-damaging-than-%E2%80%98climategate%E2%80%99-as-talks-are-suspended/

    Here are the google news results search
    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&source=hp&q=Secret+Draft+Leak+Proves+More+Damaging+Than+%E2%80%98Climategate%E2%80%99+As+Climate+Talks+Are+Suspended&btnG=Google+Search&aq=f&oq=&aqi=

  78. Barry says:

    Okay, no one else has said it so I will.

    Huh. Global warming is an Urban Myth!

  79. gjg says:

    Peter’s dad here. Just want to thank all of you for your comments, they are most supportive. We are starting analyze more sites and may have a new video soon. Thank you again.
    GJG

  80. Arnold says:

    Hi, i got one made for the Netherlands.

    http://img16.imageshack.us/i/grafiek.jpg

    A nice thing to notice is that the top line is from the KNMI (Dutch Weathercenter) data. The other two are from GISS. Red is raw. blue is “homogenised”(?). And it also had a adjustment down in the early years.

  81. jim karlock says:

    The end credits say (C) attic animations

    Google turns this up:
    http://www.atticanimations.com/

    which has links to their videos including the above one.

    There is a contact link.

    Thanks
    JK

  82. Bill Marsh says:

    and Cavemen??

  83. J.Hansford says:

    Icarus (13:15:52) :

    Sure, the UHI effect is real. That’s why they adjust for it, isn’t it?
    ————————————————————–

    Oh sure they do…. But they don’t adjust it the 1.5 degrees that they should be, which this simple video elequently points out…..

    After all there are adjustments….. and then there is “hiding the decline” ;-)

  84. DaveE says:

    E.M.Smith will correct me if I’m wrong but if I understand it correctly, GISS take the GHCN data then remove corrections applied by NOAA.

    Then they apply their own corrections & homogenisation.

    In the station data at GISS, there are 3 datasets.

    Set 0: Station data, (unadjusted, may be more than one dataset for one area)
    Set 1: Station data, (datasets stitched together to form one record)
    Set 2: Station data, (homogenised, almost invariably shows warming)

    DaveE.

  85. Phil's Dad says:

    If it is raw data it confirms the UHI effect quite nicely.
    If it is adjusted data it confirms how dubious the adjustment has been.

    Child’s play.

    (So let’s all play the AGW game and double insulate our homes to remove the UHI – that’ll teach ‘em. It’ll save you a few bob as well)

  86. Chris says:

    Seems like someone on a low budget could take a weather ballon and an IR camera, and let it go over a city and capture temp empirically. I’m amazed there isn’t a satellite capable of doing this now.

  87. Dom says:

    I have suggestion : let’s launch a dedicated, fully open source website a bit in the spirit of http://www.woodfortrees.org/ where we would provide that kind of analysis, and let people interact with the graphs.

    One would be able to pick a subset of rural cities, display the trend, etc.

    Anthony, if you’re interested, contact me, I’d love to help. (For a living, I’m a senior software designer and I’m used to building very elaborate projects for big brands).

  88. steven mosher says:

    Dont get me started on Parkers paper..

  89. What do you make of the UK situation then?

    Looks as if some work is needed there.

    http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/2009/12/urban-heat-island-effect.html

  90. Paul Brassey says:

    Another self-evident point about UHI: In 1900 the number of airports in the world was zero. Today, I believe it’s the case that the primary weather station for most large cities is at the airport. This is logical, because pilots need to know the on-site, real-time weather conditions. The larger the city, the larger the airport, with its acres of asphalt, air-conditioned and heated buildings, and thousands of jet engines pumping heat into the atmosphere. This is a heat island if ever there was one, and it didn’t exist in 1900.

  91. SABR Matt says:

    Just FWIW, I made spatial temperature plots for the Mid Atlantic region compiled from the Cooperative observing network microfilm the Army Corps of Engineers keeps for data from the 1980s as a part of my senior research mentoring program back in 1999/2000 and found that UHI correlated very strongly with population density. One could easily take US Census data for the entire climate history record…broken down by county, and adjust every station using a linear regression model of population density and UHI.

  92. tokyoboy says:

    I’m still wondering about the “adjustments” made on the Darwin temp. The Team (?) applied stepwise upward adjustments from around 1940 onwards, amounting as much as 3 degC. However, an upward adjustment is meningful only when some anthropogenic COOLING has taken place as time went by. What on earth were such COOLING factors at Darwin airport and its vicinity ??

  93. Pamela Gray says:

    This teacher gives you a benchmark score of “Exceeds”. It compares well to an exceedingly well done 8th grade research project.

  94. Micky C says:

    I don’t really know where to begin. NO WARMING AT ALL in the rural sites. And the jazz fusion track, a bit Steely Dan. Very Nice.

    But 2 words of warning to Peter’s Dad (and Peter):
    1) Peter and Dad, the Magic Climate Circle will not appreciate you doing a Penn and Teller
    2) Peter, NEVER TRY TO IMPRESS A GIRL with this. It will only leave you lonely. Just say you know a few tricks and be vague. Works a treat

  95. CalGrad says:

    Even a caveman could figure that out.

    I see one of the pairings was Sacramento-Colfax, and I’m not sure if it was the best pairing, as Sacramento is in the valley and Colfax up in the foothills. A better pairing might have been another valley town…but it still works, I expect.

  96. Claude Harvey says:

    Someone should give this kid a lesson in statistical manipulation and selective sampling. These numbers are meaningless until they have been “adjusted” by highly skilled climatologists. The kid probably doesn’t even know that old temperature readings do not age well. They tend to float upward with the passage of time and must be adjusted downward in order to bring them up to date. Conversely, newer temperature readings fresh off the old thermometer tend to rapidly sink and must be adjusted upward.

    The general public, and certainly some grammar-school kid, cannot not hope to comprehend the complexities involved in teasing the underlying greenhouse warming signal out of seemingly simple and straightforward land temperature records. This chore is best left to the professionals. /sarc

    CH

    REPLY: I added /sarc in case it wasn’t clear to some people that this was sarcasm -A

  97. Bill Illis says:

    Wow, that is really good.

    It would have taken a lot of work and one doesn’t put this much data together and produce a video if one was using fake data.

    In a way, they did something very close to what the NCDC does with the homogenization adjustment – except the NCDC is using more than a pair of stations.

    Give the adjustment from the NCDC’s homogenization adjustment – the Maximum daytime temperature is adjusted UP 0.45C from the raw numbers, 0.225C for the average Mean temperature – they must be using the urban stations to spot potential errors in the rural stations so they can they adjust the rural stations up.

    You couldn’t use the presentation above and somehow adjust the Mean UP by 0.225C. If they were looking for UHI bias, they would be adjusting it down rather than up.

    This really needs to be sorted out and people should be removed from their positions if this is what they are doing.

  98. Michael says:

    I scan the comments to the articles on a daily basis at The Huffington Post et al, to measure what I call the “Mass Brainwash Index”, that publication being one of the best places to get accurate results from the populous. Six months ago my index was at a reading of 9.5, 10 being the most brainwashed and 0 being the least. Today my Index has fallen to a reading of 7.5. Something dramatic is happening to the psyche of the American population.

  99. Bill P says:

    The experiment was simple and elegant. What a great learning experience for the young man!

    Most impressive to me was the clear-cut conclusion, without extravagant claims.

  100. JohnV says:

    Something’s very wrong with this little analysis. Where’s the characteristic shape of the 20th century warming in the USA? There should be a warm bump in the 1930s. Even if you argue the warm bump is artificial, it should be in the urban trend line.

    It’s pretty obvious that this thing is not real.

    Anthony — you know what the trend looks like from the best rural stations. Steve McIntyre did it a couple of years ago. The most cursory reality check makes it obvious that there’s something very wrong here.

  101. Norman says:

    I posted a link to this You Tube video on RealClimate at 7:53 Eastern Time. It is in moderation. I wonder how long Gavin Schmidt will allow this one on the websited before it is removed.

    Guess I will check back in an hour or so.

  102. mack520 says:

    If Hansen had more funding he could have eliminated all these rural sites by now.

  103. Gordon Ford says:

    Steve McIntyre watch your back. This kid is after your job!
    Well done Peter and helper.

  104. Jeff L says:

    subtitle for this post:

    disproving AGW
    …. so easy , a caveman can do it :))

  105. Bill Illis says:

    JohnV (16:55:11) :

    JohnV is right that we should be looking for these things, but the warm 1930s was almost exclusively just 1934 for the US as a whole.

    Here is the US monthly anomaly (which doesn’t look far off what they produced).

    http://img44.imageshack.us/img44/3491/usmonthlyanom.png

  106. Michael says:

    Good read;
    The Myth of Neutral Academic Peer Review Exploded
    http://www.lewrockwell.com/north/north791.html

  107. Mark says:

    Re: JohnV (16:55:11) :

    JohnV, good question. If you go to that web page and click on Oklahoma, you’ll see rises in temperature in the ’30′s on the rural sites (I checked about 7 random rural sites and they all showed a bump in the ’30′s).

  108. Richard M says:

    Like I said on the thread this was introduced, this would make a great segment on Fox News. However, as I cautioned there, we need to make sure the rural stations are not cherry picked.

  109. Dr A Burns says:

    Fantastic seeing kids doing real science instead of being spoon fed AGW garbage like this latest piece of rubbish on ClimateGate from New Scientist:

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn18238-why-theres-no-sign-of-a-climate-conspiracy-in-hacked-emails.html

    - “… with its talk of manipulation and “tricks”. But raw data almost always has to be “fixed”. ”
    - “Manipulating data is what scientists do.”
    - “…highlighted temperature reconstructions like the “hockey stick” graph because they are easy for people to understand, but in scientific terms they are not of great significance.”
    -”…he calls on other researchers to delete certain emails. While on the face of it this does not look good…”
    - “But nothing in them justifies claims of a massive conspiracy, or undermines the certainty about climate change and its causes.”

  110. Queenslander! says:

    I notice most people assume UHI is not significant in populations below 10,000. I’d hazard a guess that UHI is in effect anywhere close to any human habitation.
    I regularly visit a small country town, population less than 2,000. The weather station is in the yard behind the Post Office. Now I have read that the effects of global warming will be seen mostly- at night; in winter; at the poles. On a cold winter’s morning there may be a light frost in the town but on the open flats outside town there will be a heavy frost. The minimum temperature recorded might be 3 degrees C (and frost!), but I bet it’s a lot colder out of town. Out in the bush, a heavy frost might come right up to the house, whereas a light frost won’t.
    Now I do think we’ve got a bit warmer over the last 30 years, but not much. And I don’t think land based thermometers can be relied on to measure it.

  111. Rational Debate says:

    tallbloke (12:35:59) : Give the lad a scholarship at UEA. NOW!

    ==========

    Lord, I wouldn’t wish that on anyone, let alone a decently bright kid! Not to mention, there’s nothing good he’d learn from them and they’d be at him day and night with Orwelllian doublespeak trying to convince him of the joys and benefits of ‘post-normal science.’ It’d make more sense to give the CRU ‘Team’ scholarships, to be paid out of their own already awarded grant money (out of their own pockets far better, actually), to study under the direction of the University of Peter & Dad
    - except I wouldn’t want to inflict the ‘team’ on Peter and Dad either!

    I picture them like a dozen Gollum’s from Lord of the Rings, all pawing and scrabbling round Peter & Dad crooning about their ‘precious post normal science,’
    trying to pull them both down to trample all over them.

    Give the boy a scholarship under someone who’s a REAL scientist!! Or under someone like Macintyre if he prefers a different discipline. Transfer the UEA grant money too.

    The vid really does put the entire ‘climate’ society to shame, doesn’t it? KUDOS!!

  112. RDay says:

    tallbloke (12:35:59) :

    Give the lad a scholarship at UEA.

    NOW!

    Do you want to stigmatize the poor boy for the rest of his life?

    I see you were a financial modeller?
    Yes.
    In what area?
    Sub-prime mortgages.
    Ok, thanks for your interest.

    I see you have a Phd in climatology.
    Yes.
    From which university?
    UEA…..

  113. George says:

    Regarding the 30′s, I suspect they did straight averages instead of moving averages and may have ended up flatlining the seasonality.

  114. gjg says:

    Peter’s dad here again. Just to answer a couple of questions. We used the data set “after combining sources at the same location.” It was just easier (I had to set up the excel spreadsheets by hand). If there was more than one rural site near the urban site we tried to use the one furthest away from the urban site but within the 100 km limit. A things being considered, you actually should use the ones with the lowest increase just because it should be the one least tainted by urban heat. But this gets into a circular argument about whether or not the data is “cherry picked.” If warming is a global effect then you can’t “cherry pick” the data. Anyway, we did the best we could.
    Here are the site we used.

    Hemlock 42.8 N 77.6 W 425725230070 rural area
    Rochester Airport 43.1 N 77.7 W 425725290030 1,062,000
    Roosevelt 1wnw 33.7 N 111.2 W 425722780080 rural area
    Phoenix/Sky H 33.4 N 112.0 W 425722780003 2,395,000
    Maryland 6sw 42.5 N 75.0 W 425744800010 rural area
    Albany/Albany 42.8 N 73.8 W 425725180000 851,000
    Smithfield 35.5 N 78.3 W 425723060010 rural area
    Raleigh/Ralei 35.9 N 78.8 W 425723060001 856,000
    Newnan 4ne 33.4 N 84.8 W 425722150010 rural area
    Atlanta/Mun., 33.6 N 84.4 W 425722190001 2,960,000
    Vevay 38.8 N 85.1 W 425744680030 rural area
    Cincinnati/Gr 39.0 N 84.7 W 425724210000 1,818,000
    Whitestown 40.0 N 86.3 W 425724380100 rural area
    Indianapolis/ 39.7 N 86.3 W 425724380001 1,380,000
    Kingfisher 2se 35.9 N 97.9 W 425723530020 rural area
    Oklahoma City 35.4 N 97.6 W 425723530001 959,000
    Tombstone 31.7 N 110.0 W 425722730040 rural area
    Tucson U Of Az 32.2 N 111.0 W 425722740020 667,000
    Colfax 39.1 N 121.0 W 425745000010 rural area
    Sacramento City Usa 38.6 N 121.5 W 425724830031 1,481,000
    Lemon Cove 36.4 N 119.0 W 425723890010 rural area
    Fresno/Air Te 36.8 N 119.7 W 425723890000 756,000
    Los Lunas 3ssw 34.8 N 106.8 W 425723650020 rural area
    Albuquerque/I 35.0 N 106.6 W 425723650001 589,000
    Saint Peter 2sw 44.3 N 94.0 W 425726490010 rural area
    Minneapolis 44.9 N 93.2 W 425726580000 2,539,000
    Philo 3sw 39.8 N 81.9 W 425725210010 rural area
    Columbus United 40.0 N 82.9 W 425724280000 1,345,000
    Hood River Experiment Stn 45.7 N 121.5 W 425726980080 rural area
    Portland/Int. 45.6 N 122.6 W 425726980003 1,414,000
    West Point 41.4 N 74.0 W 425725030050 rural area
    New York Central Park 40.8 N 74.0 W 425725030010 8,000,000
    Arcadia 27.2 N 81.8 W 425747960020 rural area
    Fort Myers Faa Ap 26.6 N 81.9 W 425747960010 309,000
    Boerne 29.8 N 98.7 W 425722530080 rural area
    San Antonio/I 29.5 N 98.5 W 425722530000 1,324,000
    Inverness 3se 28.7 N 82.3 W 425722110030 rural area
    Tampa/Int.,Fl 28.0 N 82.5 W 425722110000 1,995,000
    Santuck 34.6 N 81.5 W 425723120050 rural area
    Charlotte/Dou 35.2 N 80.9 W 425723140001 1,162,000
    Morgan Como Springs 41.0 N 111.7 W 425725720060 rural area
    Salt Lake Cit 40.8 N 112.0 W 425725720000 1,072,000
    Amite 30.7 N 90.5 W 425722330030 rural area
    Baton Rouge Wso Ap 30.5 N 91.1 W 425722310090 470,000
    Gardiner 44.2 N 69.8 W 425743920020 rural area
    Portland/Intn 43.6 N 70.3 W 425726060000 184,000
    Lowville 43.8 N 75.5 W 425743700010 rural area
    Syracuse/Hanc 43.1 N 76.1 W 425725190000 642,000
    Angelica 42.3 N 78.0 W 425725230030 rural area
    Buffalo/Great 42.9 N 78.7 W 425725280000 1,189,000
    Cuyamaca 33.0 N 116.6 W 425722930010 rural area
    San Diego/Lin 32.7 N 117.2 W 425722900004 2,498,000
    Brinkley 34.9 N 91.2 W 425723400040 rural area
    North Little 34.8 N 92.2 W 425723400002 513,000
    Albia 3nne 41.1 N 92.8 W 425725460010 rural area
    Des Moines/Mu 41.5 N 93.7 W 425725460003 392,000

  115. JohnV says:

    George:
    I don’t understand. The annual average temps in the lower-48 were warmer in the 1930s than in the 1970s.

    By the way, I am not arguing that UHI is not real. But this analysis doesn’t seem right.

  116. Glenn says:

    “This video appeared in comments on WUWT, if anybody knows how to contact Peter or his dad, please advise.”

    The credits at the end are a clue. http://www.atticanimations.com/
    Peter Gundling

  117. old construction worker says:

    Send that link to he Senate floor. i wonder what Kerry would say?

  118. Paul Vaughan says:

    hunter (14:57:31) “The annoying thing is that at this point, AGW believers and promoters asre in such denial of simple reality that they dismiss any and all counter evidence presented to them.”

    Indeed, throwing red meat to partisan loyalists while preaching to the choir just camouflages a marathon as a sprint. Opposing a religion is tricky, sensitive business and the going is sure to be painfully slow – excruciatingly so. Science funding remains politically hijacked, so straightforward logic is not even furnished with a voice at this stage. It is patently delusional to think now is a time for resting on laurels. Folks with a short fuse can’t dominate the game as it is presently structured. The leaders who can win this war will be the ones with long-term vision, not the ones who noisily insist on choosing short-term battles unwisely.

  119. Jack Simmons says:

    CodeTech (12:44:40) :

    The best part is, getting “peer review” involves polling a few of his friends at recess ;)

    Those were his peers.

    My friends are always happy to tell me when I’m full of it. If they say nothing, it’s ok.

  120. Keith G says:

    Excellent stuff by Peter (and Dad). Actually, I’m inspired. I thought I might try my hand by downloading some GISS data and subjecting it to some Monte Carlo Markov Chain (MCMC) analysis. Essentially, to start with, much the same as Peter’s analysis – except with a strongly Bayesian flavour. I’ve recently had to apply this technique to noisy power metering data to detect systematic bias of individual meters and establish bounds on the hidden ‘real’ signal. The UHI effect is essentially the same problem, it would seem, so I will simply adapt my existing programs.

  121. gjg says:

    Peter’s dad here again. Just another little clarification. Our data does show the warm “bump” in the 30′s, then cooling in the 60′s and 70′s. Our data set actually has 1921 as having the highest average annual temperature and this may obscure the “bump.” This data set is limited and is not meant to show anything other than a difference between two sets of data, the rural set and the urban set. We are now compiling new data sets and we hope to have a new video. It is difficult because there really are not that many sites that have good consistent readings. By the way, I am a molecular geneticist. I work in a laboratory daily and do a fair amount of data analysis. We are using a fairly simple excel analysis here because usually simple is better. I may use JMP next time. Peter and I again thank you for your interest.

  122. Bob Highland says:

    Excellent job, Peter and Dad. Clear thinking, common sense and good science all in action at the same time. Warmist death-shriekers please take note.

    There’s another very simple and instructive experiment on UHI on the site of Ole Humlum, a Professor of Geography.

    http://www.climate4you.com and click on the “Urban Heat Island” tab on the menu.

    Using readily available tools (a car with a thermistor on its roof) he simply drove back and forth through Oslo at various times of the year, starting and finishing in open country, and recorded the temperature every 5 seconds.

    The results are quite surprising. Sure, they’re not ideal control conditions for an experiment, but the size of the effect is so obvious that even a denialist (a warmist) couldn’t ignore it.

  123. Innocentious says:


    Icarus (13:15:52) :
    Sure, the UHI effect is real. That’s why they adjust for it, isn’t it?

    Right… Icarus that is part of the problem… ‘They’ may be doing it wrong. If rural stations for the most part are say 95% flat, and Urban stations still all show warming then did they adjust correctly?

    Heck if even 75% of the rural stations are flat then did they adjust correctly?

    They maybe doing a bang up job, on the other hand they may be doing a horrible job. Also when you have articles like Parker’s 2006 paper to back you up it really does not lend much credence to the entire ‘they are adjusted correctly’ ideology.

    Look I am not saying temperatures did not increase over the last 150 years. I think they have. I feel that glacial melting offers evidence that this is the case in many regions of the world.. But how long have many of those glaciers been melting? I mean if you start a process 150 years ago and they continually get smaller each year over 150 years then sooner or later you are going to end up with… a melted glacier that does not exist any longer… This does not show ‘Global Warming’ however as being man caused in the sense that CO2 did it.

    Rather it means that at some point over the last 150 years the temperature got sustainably warm enough to melt the glacier… Sort of what it did during the medieval warm period. When Greenland was much more green… Oh wait, sorry that was an inconvenient truth I threw out there I forgot that certain scientists are now admitting there was a warm period, just that it wasn’t as warm as now.. How silly of me.

  124. Innocentious says:

    By the way Peter and Dad, Very nice glad you thought to do this.

  125. Glenn says:

    CalGrad (16:22:24) :

    “I see one of the pairings was Sacramento-Colfax, and I’m not sure if it was the best pairing, as Sacramento is in the valley and Colfax up in the foothills. A better pairing might have been another valley town…but it still works, I expect.”

    They may have selected Sacramento and found the closest location labeled “rural area” with longest timespan with recent coverage. That would be Colfax. Travis only goes from ’47 to ’70, Beale from ’59 to ’70, Placerville is a contender but data only goes to ’80.
    With Sac and Colfax they could get overlap from 1905 to 2004.

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/findstation.py?lat=38.6&lon=-121.5&datatype=gistemp&data_set=1

  126. Art says:

    You don’t need a FOI request to get Peter and his dad’s data or methodology, anyone can replicate their model. Isn’t that what science is supposed to be about? It’s too bad the folks at UEA, GISS, et al can’t do what a 6th grader is capable of doing…..

  127. Sean Peake says:

    Art, they don’t have any 6th graders working there.
    GJG, brilliant piece, and an important lesson for your son—question everything, trust nothing.

  128. JohnV says:

    gjg:
    Thanks for providing the station list.

  129. JohnV says:

    gjg:
    I just reproduced your analysis of rural stations. I used your station list and calculated the average rural temperature every year.

    I fit a linear trend to the results and found a trend of 0.8 degC/century (0.008 degC/year) among the rural sites. In your video, at about 3:25, you show a rural trend about 10x smaller than mine.

    Before I go on and check the urban sites, I want to make sure I understand your analysis. Did you do a simple average of the rural temperatures from the selected stations? (That’s what I did).

  130. Richard Scott says:

    Great work for a kid. Good approach.

    I wouldn’t take this too seriously, however without more work. I live 30 miles SE of Portland and have visited Hood River many times. They can’t be compared.

    Portland Airport, which is where I presume the data is collected from is about 12 miles west of the mouth of the Columbia River Gorge which cuts thru the Cascade Mountains. Hood River is at the east end of the Gorge. Portland is in a fairly wet climate with somewhere around 40 inches of precip a year, lots of clouds, especially from October thru April. Hood River is where the rain shadow begins and clouds disappear, with lots of sunshine in the summer, snow in the winter. A few miles east of HR, the desert begins. In addition, the wind sweeps thru the Gorge and has a strong influence on weather at either end. Portland Airport is about 10miles from downtown Portland and the Gorge wind changes everything. Portland has about 4,500 heating degree days while HR has about 5,500.

    All in all, I think it would be difficult to find stations near Portland with which to make a valid comparison. At least in the west, geography makes a huge difference. And in general, big cities have big airports which can skew the data without any UHI effect.

    Don’t get me wrong, I do believe in the UHI.

    A great exercise for a kid.

  131. JohnV says:

    gjg:
    I had a little time on my hands, so I did the analysis for the urban stations too. Here are my results:

    Rural trend: 0.81 degC/century
    Urban trend: 0.94 degC/century
    Difference: 0.13 degC/century

    The difference does show a bit of an urban heat island effect, but nothing like you suggest. What’s up with that?

    Anthony — I will send you my spreadsheet to check my work. Feel free to forward it to gjg. Perhaps a disclaimer in the article would be appropriate?

    REPLY: Actually a better way would be to get a check would be to get gjg’s spreadsheet and have a look. I have another idea also. I’ll have more later, rather busy tonight. – Anthony

  132. WAG says:

    Hmmmm, relying on 6th graders for your science now?

    Now that’s sound science.

    REPLY:
    Well at least this 6th grader has the courage to put his name and face to what he says, which is more than I can say for troll cowards like yourself. – Anthony

  133. hareynolds says:

    Screw the Scholarship at UEA (that trade unionist rat’s nest); nothing less than MIT will do for this kid. Hullo, Prof. Lindzen, we got a great one for ya!

    Terrific job, gentlemen. Keep it up.

  134. _Jim says:

    Been there, done that; posted a link to a LWIR overnight satellite imagery series (a ‘picture’ every 15 min if you will) a few weeks back that showed _cooling_ all around the Dallas/Ft. Worth area *while* DFW remained degrees warmer …
    .
    .
    .

  135. gjg says:

    This is from my data but I only have data to 2006. Still I don’t think it should make much difference. Again this is a limited population.
    rural sites
    y = 0.0008x + 13.333
    R² = 0.0046
    Urban sites
    y = 0.0111x – 7.3746
    R² = 0.47149

    But you can’t really say too much about the trendlines, the r2 values are very low. You don’t get any accuracy unless they are above 0.9. In my work I can’t really use them unless they are above 0.95. It is more interesting to plot the difference between the means of the rural and urban populations. You see that they are very similar around 1900 and increase in difference over the century.

  136. Larry Scalf says:

    Great job, Peter and Dad. For me, I grew up living in the vicinity of Lake Michigan, so when we wanted to cool down in the summer, we just went closer to the Lake. In the spring, fall, or winter, when we wanted to warm up, we went inland to the countryside. So I can’t quite relate to this. But I find it highly interesting and correct for where I live now.

  137. Leon Brozyna says:

    A finely done study. A tribute to you and your dad. You’re lucky to have this kind of help, support and encouragement from your dad. Keep up this level of work through Middle & High School and you should be able to land a scholarship, no matter the field of study you choose.

  138. Buddenbrook says:

    This could be embarassing. You can’t pick a video on the internet you come across randomly and push it forward as “excellent” and assert that it shows Y and proves X, without familiarising yourself with the underlying data and methods to see if you can replicate the results. Now JohnV seems to suggest you can’t and could well be right.

    Now it looks to the outside (whether the results can be validated or not) that faith has been shown in the work of Peter and Dad blindly because of the results the work portrays. You don’t even know whether raw data or manipulated data was used, come on.

    In otherwords; a clear bias is evident, something which we accuse the alarmists of. This is nothing to do with science and gives cheap ammo to the alarmists.

    I would place a huge disclaimer on this thread or delete it entirely until the work has been verified.

    I usually rate this site very highly, so this is not a general criticism, but this thread is a low point scientificly and should not been posted with such bold assertions before the work had been checked, replicated, verified.

  139. Terry2 says:

    Re Jason (12:30:26) :

    “I’ve been waiting for a larger scale comparison like this one for a while. David Archibald did one years ago with a few southeastern US sites thru 2003, and came up with similar results.”

    Are there any “professional” analysts looking at this to publish in the hallowed peer reviewed literature. Or have they already done so and it has been ignored. Just wondering because it is a huge job to do it comprehensively and difficult to search for among the millions of google entries on the matter. Anyone have any leads…I would be grateful

  140. anna v says:

    JohnV (20:37:08) :

    gjg:
    I had a little time on my hands, so I did the analysis for the urban stations too. Here are my results:

    Rural trend: 0.81 degC/century
    Urban trend: 0.94 degC/century
    Difference: 0.13 degC/century

    The difference does show a bit of an urban heat island effect, but nothing like you suggest. What’s up with that?

    From what I have learned recently, raw data pass a homogenization stage . Are you sure the data you use is the raw ones and not the homogenized ones? As was discussed in other threads homogenization does exactly that, reduce the differences.
    Homogenization in this business means adjusting data by averaging with nearby stations.
    The kid’s analysis needs raw raw , before the homogenization stage.

  141. Pamela Gray says:

    Peter and dad, I still have my copy of Statview SE. Loved that program. Ran on a tiny little Mac that had a handle built into the back of it. You could throw the thing across the room and it would still run. Ah, the memories.

  142. Dan the Lurker says:

    QUOTE: Bob Highland (18:41:38) :

    There’s another very simple and instructive experiment on UHI on the site of Ole Humlum, a Professor of Geography.

    Using readily available tools (a car with a thermistor on its roof) he simply drove back and forth through Oslo at various times of the year, starting and finishing in open country, and recorded the temperature every 5 seconds.

    The results are quite surprising. Sure, they’re not ideal control conditions for an experiment, but the size of the effect is so obvious that even a denialist (a warmist) couldn’t ignore it. END QUOTE

    Back in the 70s and 80s I lived in NYC and drove a motorcycle all over town and at all times of day through most of the year. Starting from Manhattan, no matter where you headed you could feel it get cooler as you rode father away from that HUGE heat sink known as “the City”. UHI is a palpable phenomenon.

    Good show Peter and Dad!

  143. Jack Jennings (Aus) says:

    WATTS !!

    What have you done to me ?? I use to have a job, a family … a life. Now all I have is a habit.

    I got tired of the same old MSM stuff, ‘we’re all gunna die ! … again ! … only worse !’

    I needed data, facts, hard stuff like intellectual rigour and integrity.

    I got a whiff of blog, but I needed more. Simon of Sydney said he knows this guy who’s got the real gear. In some dark cyber alley you whispered, “I think you’ll like this, Try it, no charge”. So I did and boy was it gooood. McIntyre, tree rings, hockey sticks, sun spots, cosmic rays and solar winds.

    So I paid my money and ohh it was just too good. I couldn’t sleep, I’d get up at 4am ‘They’re probably posting new stuff now in the US’, I’d think. I couldn’t work, reduced to painting the family home, but I couldn’t even do that right.

    “You’ve missed a big patch here” my wife said. “Oh that was when I remembered that the sea ice satellite had been down and I thought it might me up again and I should check it” I recalled.

    “Don’t you realise your daughter is sleeping on the kitchen table waiting for you to finish her room?” she yelled at me.

    “Well of course I do, it’s very hard to balance my MacBook on her, especially when she rolls over” I explained.

    “GET OUT” she screamed.

    “But what about my Internet Broadband ?” I despaired.

    “Ah McDonalds Free WiFi” I thought.

    To prove she wasn’t totally heartless she let the kids give me their pocket money to buy coffee at Maccas. “Dad” my streetwise 12 year confided to me, “Yu gotta get a grip. Nobody believes this stuff, they’re all too busy buying stuff.”

    So now I’m on the street, my wife rejects me, my friends don’t talk to me. My kids are taunted at school “Your Dad’s a skeptic ! Your Dad’s a skeptic !” But they play defence and their Dad taught them a good attack is an aggressive defence. So they throw back “Yeah well at least he knows the world is round ! You bunch of warmy wimps.”

    I even tried my own blog about sailing, but my crew wouldn’t read it. “Uhm, Jack, there’s too much stuff about wind graphs, polar curves and sail trim” one confided in me. “Hey but we’re logging the data, analysing, correcting and we keep getting better results.” “Yes but stuff about the tides only going up 1.3mm per year, you know is not what the Environment Minister Garrett says – 6m sea rise, we’re all gunna die ! ” “But the data doesn’t show that !!”

    So …
    “Excuse me Sir, there’s been a complaint.” The pimply kid in the McDonalds Have-a-Nice-Day outfit said to me. “Is that DATA your looking at?”

    “Uhm well yes it is”

    “Ah that looks like RAW DATA, Sir. You’re not a professional scientist are you Sir?”

    “Well it is numbers. Ahh and the Truth”

    “It’s the NAKED Truth! Sir, this is a Family Restaurant, couldn’t you just watch a wholesome family video like An Inconvenient Truth?”

    “But I don’t like scary movies” I muttered back.

    “Oh no Al Gore’s not scary, he’s a JOKE. Million degrees huh. If you want scary you should try the EPA’s video the “air we breathe is a pollutant”. Now that’s scary. Or how about this one Sir, it’s by a 6th Grader?”

    So then I saw it.

    Peter (and his Dad). (ohh now I get it – we don’t see his Dad so he’s in brackets. :)

    Data, lot’s of it, and graphs and trends, oh God, and so the first thing I thought is I’ve gotta show this to the kids’ science teacher. But they all know me, “What is it this time, CrankyJack ? Heliocentricity, plate tectonics, Medieval Warming, Maunder Minimums ?”

    “No No, this is easy it shows why temperatures might be hotter !”

    “Yeah well plate tectonics was pretty easy, ‘See how all the little pieces fit together?’ Can’t have that, noooo we need Dark Matter, quantum string theory that sort of big physics stuff, that if you think you understand it you obviously don’t.

    So there I was hanging around the school yard, “Pissst, Kid, wanna see a cool video, and I mean coool ??”

    What have you done to me, WATTS !!

  144. JB, Portland Oregon says:

    Great video. One point, Portland, Oregon (Orygun not Or-Gone) and Hood River are in completely different climate zones and should not be compared. I don’t know if that affects anything except that Portland is much warmer on average. (Summers are similar but Winter are much colder in Hood River) I’ve seen numbers like 53 degrees annual for Portland and 45 for Hood River. I noticed another post in the discussion mentioning that their city pair was not well chosen. If by chance many of these cities and their rural pair are poor choices, would this affect the comparison? Seems like the stable rural temperatures would not be affected since you were looking at change not absolute.

    Another thought, many cities were founded in their respective areas for a reason – near a river or other body of water for example. Would be interesting if that is relevant.

  145. Atomic Hairdryer says:

    Re: Jack Jennings (Aus) (23:28:49)

    Like it :)

    The truth, it’s addictive! Unfortunately in the UK, that means it’ll probably get banned. Our schools ‘National Curriculum’ is very much on-message with AGW, so it’s good to see that gjg’s encouraging their son to keep an open mind.

  146. Roger Knights says:

    Buddenbrook: A few of us have posted cautionary comments. I’m worried because Tom Karl (I think) of NOAA (I think) posted an analysis supposedly showing that the best-sited US station show the same warming trend as the worst. If so, then this UHI study here seems too good to be true. I’m sure there are many other WUWTers who share my concerns, but don’t want to rain on the parade.

    It would be wonderful if it is true, of course, and I’m hoping.

  147. Vincent says:

    Buddenbrook,

    “I usually rate this site very highly, so this is not a general criticism, but this thread is a low point scientificly and should not been posted with such bold assertions before the work had been checked, replicated, verified.”

    Oh for God’s sake lighten up. I think nobody reading this article is going to think it’s peer reviewed science. For me it was one of the most engaging pieces I’ve seen in a long time and has raised questions that can’t be ignored. Why are the rural temps flat? Should we be homogenising temps the way we do? Why was not a similar pattern found in China? It’s all motivated me to take a look at the data myself.

    All power to Peter and his Dad.

  148. Josh F says:

    Seriously, nobody has done this before?

    I just can’t believe it.

  149. Bill Illis says:

    gjg (22:00:01) :

    The r2 doesn’t mean much and it is not important.

    The US has a great deal of variation and if one is just fitting a linear trend to it, it will simply have a low r2. Temperatures never approximate a straight linear line and all the temperature series have a low r2 compared to the trend.

  150. Don B says:

    WAG (20:44:36) The video just makes simple what climate scientists have been saying in peer reviewed articles, that there is a warming bias in surface temperature records. Such as..

    http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2009/12/09/do-the-cru-e-mails-change-the-ipcc-conclusions-on-the-late-19th-20th-and-early-21st-century-surface-temperature-trends-does-the-cru-data-and-thus-the-ipcc-overstate-the-magnitude-of-global-warming/

    Tom Karl has refused to listen to scientists who have documented the warming bias and other problems, so perhaps he could understand what is obvious to a sixth grader.

    http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2009/11/26/e-mail-documentation-of-the-successful-attempt-by-thomas-karl-director-of-the-u-s-national-climate-data-center-to-suppress-biases-and-uncertainties-in-the-assessment-surface-temperature-trends/

  151. ventana says:

    Need a favor:

    Years ago I read Crichton’s State of Fear. In it I want to recall that he pointed out West Point NY’s station data as showing a long term decrease. I also *want* to recall that I went to the GISS link he provided in the book to check his figures, and he was right.

    Am I remembering correctly? Did he mention a West Point decline in the GISS record? Because I went there last night and that is not now the case. Can someone who has the book or a better memory than mine check in? I wouldn’t want to think the GISS record is subject to ongoing changes.

  152. Wondering Aloud says:

    Unlike so much of the pseudo science committed by CRU, Nasa, etc. this is easy to check. That makes it reproducible which makes it science. The conclusions may be wrong or they may be right, But, at least it is possible to check them.

  153. Bill Illis says:

    The full data set from the NCDC for the US has a trend of

    - 0.66C per Century (1900 to 2006) and
    - 0.68C per Century (1895 to 2009).

    So, I think gjg’s numbers are closer (at 0.59C per Century assuming equal split between rural and urban) than JohnV’s (at 0.875C per Century on the same assumption) JohnV’s are neccessarily higher than the full US dataset no matter what the relative proportion of each is.

    ———–

    JohnV (20:37:08) :

    I had a little time on my hands, so I did the analysis for the urban stations too. Here are my results:

    Rural trend: 0.81 degC/century
    Urban trend: 0.94 degC/century
    Difference: 0.13 degC/century

    ————

    gjg (22:00:01) :

    This is from my data but I only have data to 2006. Still I don’t think it should make much difference. Again this is a limited population.
    rural sites
    y = 0.0008x + 13.333
    Urban sites
    y = 0.0111x – 7.3746

  154. DennisA says:

    In 2005 Munich Re produced a paper on mega cities, which whilst pushing global warming, also had this:

    Megacities are pronounced heat islands. The mean tem-
    perature at the centre can be several degrees Celsius (up
    to 10°C) higher than in the surrounding countryside.

    Extreme weather is moderated in the cold season (e.g.
    cold snaps, snow); in addition, considerably less dew, fog
    and frost develops there. In the warm season, the
    weather extremes are often significantly intensified (e.g.
    heat waves, thunderstorms, hail).
    – Concrete buildings and paved areas heat up considerably
    when they are in the sun. This effect is particularly seri-
    ous when there are long heat waves, because it consider-
    ably reduces night-time cooling.

    http://www.munichre.com/publications/302-04271_en.pdf

  155. JohnV says:

    gjg:
    Please ask Anthony Watts for the spreadsheet I sent him. Or if you prefer you could send your spreadsheet and I will compare. I am very confident that something went wrong in your analysis. I have looked at the rural stations in detail (more than once), and I am certain that the rural trend is more than 0.08 degC/century.


    anna v:
    I just confirmed that I was using the raw data after combining stations at the same location. This is the same data that gjg says he used. Something went wrong in his analysis.


    Anthony Watts:
    You also know what the rural trend looks like, and you know that it shows more than 0.08 degC/century warming. I sent you a spreadsheet with my work and graphs illustrating the actual trends. Do the right thing.

  156. JohnV says:

    Here’s a graph of my results.
    I sent the spreadsheet to Anthony if anyone wants to check my work.
    Sorry for using a cheesy file upload site:

    http://tinypic.com/view.php?pic=16h4s93&s=6

    Anthony — are you going to let this video stand without a retraction?

    REPLY: John V I’m waiting to hear back from Peter’s dad, I sent an email last night. There’s something your probably haven’t considered in submitting your “proof”. If I’m right, then your complaint will likely be nullified.

    So far, your analysis also shows a difference between urban and rural, though less. That doesn’t disprove Peter’s theory, and shows it to be true, but is a disagreement over magnitude. Also, you might want to put an x-axis year labels on your graph, as Peter did. For all we know you may have plotted 30 years worth of data.

    -A

  157. Chris Wright says:

    gjg (Peter’s Dad):
    Congratulations, it’s a great piece of work, and very nicely presented. It looks like you’re giving your son an almost priceless gift: the ability to think for yourself. Keep on with the good work. I’m sure some of the experts here, including Anthony, will be able to give you invaluable help.

    Chris (15:49:04) :

    “Seems like someone on a low budget could take a weather ballon and an IR camera, and let it go over a city and capture temp empirically. I’m amazed there isn’t a satellite capable of doing this now.”

    Actually, satellites regularly return IR images. They show the warmer urban areas very clearly. In fact they do look a bit like islands in the sea, so the name Urban Heat Islands is very appropriate.

    Mark (15:03:02) :

    “So what happens if one just plots the combined rural data? Is there warming or not? If there isn’t, then I don’t see how we’re causing the warming.”

    Michaels and McKitrick published an important paper on this, I think it was 2008. They demonstrated a strong correlation between station warming and the surrounding environment, and therefore demonstrated a strong UHI effect. They concluded that if UHI were properly adjusted for, the warming of the last few decades would be cut by half. That implies a total global warming of perhaps less than 0.5 degree C. It would also mean that a greater proportion of the total warming occurred in the first half of the 20th century, when there wasn’t enough CO2 to cause any measurable warming – assuming, of course, that CO2 caused any of the warming in the first place.

    *********************************************
    Steve McIntyre’s comment about Parker and the IPCC is spot on. It’s completely bizarre that the IPCC claims UHI to be negligible on the basis of Parker. Why use such an indirect and problematic method when you can go out and measure UHI directly?
    Actually, the answer to that question is blindingly obvious. This alone demonstrates how badly the IPCC and the Team have degraded science.

    Some of you will recall the BBC Climate Wars series. The presenter gave a perfect example of how easy it is to measure UHI directly. He simply stood in front of the camera and measured the temperature. Then he drove into Las Vegas and repeated the measurement. It was several degrees warmer. The irony is that the program was pro-AGW. It didn’t seem to occur to the presenter that he had just demonstrated a powerful argument against one aspect of AGW.

    I think UHI is one of the most important aspects of AGW science, because it’s so easy to demonstrate how bad the science is.

    Chris

  158. Vincent says:

    Question:
    I am looking at the data for my own area, and I see it gives a single temperature for each month. Does anybody know how this temperature is calculated? I had assumed the records was made up from Tmin and Tmax.
    Thanks

  159. bryan says:

    Anthony,
    I have the E-mail address for the video maker.
    e-mail me and I will pass it along to you

    REPLY:
    Already have it, thanks, he left comments upstream. – Anthony

  160. JeffK says:

    Keith G (18:40:24) :

    ” – except with a strongly Bayesian flavour. ”

    I prefer paprika, myself ;-) (sorry, I couldn’t resist)

    Richard Scott (20:30:31) :

    “I wouldn’t take this too seriously, however without more work. I live 30 miles SE of Portland and have visited Hood River many times. They can’t be compared.”

    JB, Portland Oregon (00:16:05) :

    “Great video. One point, Portland, Oregon (Orygun not Or-Gone) and Hood River are in completely different climate zones and should not be compared.”

    Actually, to Richard & JB, I must dissagree & I think you miss the point. The issue is not the daily individual temps, the point is the longterm trend between urban vs. rural temps. Hey, he could have taken temps from Rockaway Beach (rural, on the coast, if there was a station there), Portland & Hood River. Each about the same distance from Portland in opposite directions, in completely different climate zones, but yet, in the long term, Rockaway Beach & Hood River will most likely have a similar trend where Portland had an increasing trend which reflects the UHI buildup over time.

    Oh, & by the way, east of Hood River along I-84 is *not* desert. Every time I drive along I see a whole bunch of wheat fields & other agriculture out there. Yes, it is arid, but irrigation (thanks to the Columbia River) helps to grow quite a bit in eastern Oregon & Washington.

    Regards,
    Jeff

  161. John Bowman says:

    Petergate?

    Science: simple and open so everyone can check it and/or agree/disagree with it – even a child can do it. Now if only some adult scientists could do likewise.

    Congratulations to Peter and his Dad for reminding us of the essence of scientific study at a time when science and theocracy are merging.

  162. beng says:

    Of course an observant 6th-grader would notice it — every nite on the local weather reports! Every clear/windless nite the Washington DC news shows predicted overnite lows 5-10F cooler for the surburbs in any direction (including south or east) than the city center. Lately, tho, you have to get at least 20-30 miles outside the city to see the differences.

  163. Murray says:

    see Stephen 12:54:56.
    Anthony, this is what we have been hoping for from you for some months now, with a careful matching of good and bad stations for climatic similarity. Do you have anything in the pipeline?

    REPLY: yes two peer reviewed papers in the works – Anthony

  164. Buddenbrook says:

    VIncent,

    “Oh for God’s sake lighten up. I think nobody reading this article is going to think it’s peer reviewed science.”

    People have been posting it around as proof of fraud or whatever, I have noted it linked elsewhere as a result of this thread. The point is not about the quality of their work, which could be good or bad, but the blind assumption that it is excellent and shows or proves such and such thing before the results have been verified. This shows a bias.

    “For me it was one of the most engaging pieces I’ve seen in a long time and has raised questions that can’t be ignored. Why are the rural temps flat?”

    We know UHI is a problem and not fully accounted for. Pielke’s studies on this are convincing, for an example. IPCC’s favourite papers much less so.

    Peter and Dad’s piece raises questions that can’t be ignored only if it is a valid piece, and this hasn’t been verified so far.

    All credit to Peter and Dad, I’m sure they have been honest, but generally you shouldn’t jump the gun. Climategate has expanded the debate, and there are many skeptics in the media like Delingpole of Telegraph with lot of enthusiasm but a general lack of knowledge. In the worst case a thread like this gets distributed widely by their types and if later is shown to be bogus science, then can be referred to as an example to “prove” how the skeptics jump on any studies that support their beliefs.

  165. JohnV says:

    Anthony:
    This is getting silly and sad (but unfortunately not surprising). You are responding to other comments so I know you are in this thread. I have done the work to show that “Peter and his Dad” made mistakes in their analysis. You are ignoring that fact. I can only guess why you are not interested in accuracy.

    Mistakes happen. “Peter and his Dad” probably made an honest mistake. This is a good example of the power of peer review. That and having the integrity to admit your mistakes would be good lessons for Peter.

    REPLY:
    John V – do you know my wherabouts at every moment? Do you know exact when I’m online (like my response to you at 6;24 above) versus when I’m doing things like taking my son to school in the morning, managing my business, attending a Rotary club meeting, Christmas shopping, putting my kids to bed, or having breakfast? Because if you do, by all means, please publish my schedule here. Otherwise, refrain from saying you know when I’m online or not. I have a team of moderators that work in parallel. Just because comments keep getting approved and new posts show up doesn’t mean I’m online. Many posts are written in advance and scheduled.

    I’ve sent an email to Peter’s Dad asking for the data he used. It is possible that you are BOTH right. I won’t know until I’m able to check it out. So far I haven’t gotten a response. When I do I’ll put it up and we can decide. As I said above your own analysis shows UHI, but the magnitude differs. You jump to a conclusion, citing a mistake, while that’s possible, there’s also another possible reason that I’m checking out.

    In the meantime, you might want to think about congratulating this young man for his work, which shows curiosity, courage, and commitment. You are so busy trying to prove him wrong, you haven’t had time to look at the perspective.

    As for your claims about: “I can only guess why you are not interested in accuracy.” I’ve explained what I’m doing. Let me say I’m not interested in your cheap shots Mr. V. If you want to make such accusations again, put your full name to it like I do with everything here. – Anthony Watts

  166. JohnV says:

    Murray:
    I second that motion. When is Anthony going to un-hide his station data and actually do some analysis with it? I did some work with it before he hid the data. NOAA did some work before he hid the data.

    What’s up with the mysterious quality control Anthony?

    [REPLY - Please be patient. These things take time. All will be forthcoming. ~ Evan]

    REPLY2: People have been telling me that the work doesn’t matter unless it’s published in a peer reviewed journal. So that’s what I’m doing. As primary investigator and lead author that’s my right and that how it will be done like other papers. The data will be published in the SI and here too. Don’t like that wait? Sorry. People like JohnV want it early so they can draw their own conclusions before I get it published, and Mr. V has a track record of doing so. He did an early analysis with limited stations and poor spatial representation which was rushed to completion weeks after I started the surfacestations project. After publication, beat it up and much as you want using the data I provide. – Anthony

  167. John G says:

    Wow, that would take a professor, three grad students, and a big grant to produce at a major university and they wouldn’t explain the whole process to you. Well done.

  168. Spen says:

    Interesting analysis. I see that raw temperature histories have been published for the UK, New Zealand, Scandinavia and Alaska (See ICECAP) . None of these indicate that the last decade was the warmest on record (see Copenhagen). In fact most show little historical change particularly over the last 70 years. I hope proxies for Peter and his Dad carry out similar excercises without fudge factors in say,France, Germany,Russia, China and South America – now that would be really interesting. Or have these analyses been published already?.

  169. JohnV says:

    John G:
    Keep in mind that the analysis is probably wrong. I attempted to verify it and got a very different answer. Anthony and “Peter’s Dad” have my spreadsheet to check my work.

  170. ralph says:

    >>> “”Sure, the UHI effect is real. That’s why they adjust for it, isn’t it?””

    Yes, indeed. As we saw in the Darwin record, they adjust for the UHI effect by making the recent data much warmer. Errrmmm. Sorry, did we get that correction base over apex????

    .

  171. Anthony Watts says:

    to: gjg “Peters dad”

    If you see this, please check your email, specifically your AOL spam filter. I sent an email last night but have not gotten a response. AOL has a tendency to flag emails not in your regular communications.

    I’ve just sent another email from my office account.

    Thanks for your consideration, Anthony Watts

    UPDATE: about 15 minutes later . gjg has replied from his work location, he’ll send me the spreadsheets tonight, as he has them on his home computer. Then I’ll be able to confirm or disprove my hunch about why John V gets different results. – Anthony

  172. JohnV says:

    I just communicated with gjg as well.
    There was a difference in our methods and his was a little better. Basically he filtered out any monthly data from rural/urban stations that didn’t have a corresponding reading in the urban/rural station.

    For example: If rural station A has no reading for Jan 1901, then the corresponding reading for urban station B is removed from the analysis.

    I updated my analysis to do the same and forwarded my updated spreadsheet to him. (I didn’t do this previously because I was trying to replicate his procedure as I understood it).

    After updating my analysis, I now get these trends:
    Rural: 0.57 degC/decade
    Urban: 1.06 degC/decade

    The difference is larger than I have found in previous looks at UHI, but the method seems reasonable. I am still not sure why his rural trend is so close to zero.

    REPLY: I believe I know why, and when I get his spreadsheets tonight, I’ll be able to confirm or refute my hunch.

    BTW that 0.49C difference in trends you found is quite significant in the context of the generally agreed upon 0.74C that is claimed for the last century.

    from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_warming they say

    Global surface temperature increased 0.74 ± 0.18 °C (1.33 ± 0.32 °F) between the start and the end of the 20th century.

    Citation: IPCC (2007-05-04). “Summary for Policymakers” (PDF). Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. http://ipcc-wg1.ucar.edu/wg1/Report/AR4WG1_Print_SPM.pdf. Retrieved 2009-07-03.

    - Anthony

  173. JohnV says:

    Anthony (in response to your REPLY2 above):
    Keep in mind that when I first looked at trends derived from your best stations in comments at Climate Audit (back in September 2007), you said:

    “Hello John V.

    Thanks so much for doing this analysis, your detailed effort is appreciated.

    I had planned on doing something similar, and I know Steve McIntyre is also working on something along these lines.

    …”

    You encouraged my work for a while, but then changed your mind at some point.

    REPLY: Yes, when I learned the sample at 25-30% was still inadequate, even though others insisted it was and that your analysis was being held up by alarmists as proof of falsification. BTW you’ve never lifted a finger to have other people remove the claim, who took that early rushed work of yours based on that inadequate sample and used as a basis for falsification of the surfacestations project, before it was even completed. Yet you come here and make demands. Not at all impressive nor convincing. It shows your intent.

    Like I said, beat it up all you want when it is published. And put your full name to it. – Anthony

  174. Jack Jennings (Aus) says:

    Hey, I really liked Pete & Dad’s work.

    It was clean and simple and got the point across that the “professional scientists” are making some of this over-complicated.

    I know the UHI effect is real. In 1985 I used to watch it when sailing 20nm down the coast and into Sydney Harbour. I could see the cloud formation neatly aligning over the central CBD and we’d sail into a totally different weather pattern and then sail out of it again and back up the coast. It appeared to me the city heat was causing this wonderful cloud formation. This was way before anybody had invented Global Warming and long before UHI was bandied around for lay people to hear about.

    Now when I go into Melbourne city the heat is just blistering and returning to our bayside location the temperature drop is wonderful.

    I think Pete & Dad’s work has been a fabulous post here and shows the depth of interest in the community. When the IPCC says UHI’s have a negligible effect and then we see pictures of the weather stations in friggin car parks, well no wonder we become, let’s say suspicious. And as for homogenization, well Pete & Dad’s work neatly dovetails with Darwin Zero and it doesn’t look real good for the “professionals”.

    Thanks again Anthony, mods and contributors.

    CodeTech (12:44:40) :
    The best part is, getting “peer review” involves polling a few of his friends at recess ;)

    Just cracked me up – Jack.

    Oh and JohnV, yes my body is a highly calibrated thermometer, a few degrees C difference and it sure starts producing “readings”.

  175. JohnV says:

    Anthony:
    I just noticed your reply. I see you are upset with me for not stopping other people from making un-justified leaps based on my work. As I recall, a few people on sites that I had never visited re-posted a couple of my graphs.

    Meanwhile, I was commenting at Climate Audit (the only site I had visited at the time) in support of the Surface Stations project. I said many times that there was a lot of interesting science that could come out of proper station rating. I said many times that the bad stations should not be used.

    While you express outrage that I would post comments on a blog without waiting for all stations, you went ahead and published a report with the Heartland Institute where you say:

    “the errors in the [U.S. temperature] record exceed by a wide margin the purported rise in temperature…during the twentieth century.”

    How could you possibly know this? You’ve never done any analysis of your data.

    Why are you publishing conclusions that can’t be backed up with *any* analysis?

    Why are you so mad at me for posting comments (with your approval) that could be backed up with substantial analysis?

    REPLY: See there you go again, making assumptions like with my online schedule, that I have not done any analysis. I don’t have outrage so much with your comments, but with what people did with them. You’ve not lifted a finger about that. And your Opentemp project has fallen by the wayside, neglected. But this is all another battle that has nothing to do with a 6th grader and his UHI analysis.

    You might start by apologizing to him for demanding that I take his video down …in your words “do the right thing” and placing insinuations about me, before you had any data or procedure from him.

    – Anthony

  176. JohnV says:

    Anthony:
    One more thing. I am not going to pre-judge your work without seeing it. If it’s done well there will be no need for me or anyone else to “beat it up”. I hope it’s done well and I look forward to the release of the data from your volunteers.

    REPLY: Fair enough, thank you – end of discussion then – Anthony

  177. JohnV says:

    Anthony:
    I will apologize for not being as polite as I should have been last night. At some level I conflated the tone of the comments with you. And yes, the difference of 0.49 degC/century is quite substantial. It’s different than other results that I have seen and worked on, but the method seems reasonable.

    My concern was and is with the near-zero rural trend. I’m curious how that will shake out.

    [snip - as mentioned above, we are done with this discussion, I've explained it, wait for the paper.]

    I have not had the time or energy to work on OpenTemp for quite a while. The constant attacks and inferences about my “intent” got to be too much. Plus real life got in the way. I may have more time in 2010, or maybe not.

    REPLY: “Real life” gets in everyone’s way, especially those of us like you and me that do this climate work, unpaid, while we try to keep our private businesses running and our family life secure. I agree with you on that issue. I’d like to be further along than I am as well, but we both have balancing acts. I sincerely hope that you’ll revive the project and run my data on it when I publish the paper. – Anthony

  178. JohnV says:

    Anthony:
    Is there any way to be notified of inline replies?
    Going back over the thread, I can’t tell when you replied. I was waiting for a reply in the main thread.

    REPLY: Try the refresh button. -A

  179. JohnV says:

    Anthony:
    You’re snipping a quote from something you published? Weird.

    REPLY: On one comment you say you want to wait for the paper and not pre-judge on the next you want to open it up again. I simply don’t wish to waste any further effort and promote an off-topic discussion between you and me that has nothing to do with Peter, his dad, and their project.

    We’re done on that – Anthony

  180. Eric says:

    It’s cute when non-scientists pretend to be scientists.

    [REPLY - A common (but unfortunate) illusion is that whatever scientists do is science and whatever non-scientists do cannot be science. ~ Evan]

  181. Ted Annonson says:

    This is outstanding science — the data and methodology are available, not like most of the AWG papers in the “peer reviewed” journels that I’ve read. Boy, keep up the great work!!!

    In similar vein, there four weather stations within seven miles of my house.
    Cannon AFB 5 miles west, Longhorn Estates (a small housing develement) 2 miles north of Cannon AFB, Fairfield subdivision 3/4 mile north of my house at the edge of town, and the Clovis city airport 6miles east of me. At night, most of them don’t vary by more than 1 or 2 degrees F. In fact 3 of the four are usually identical, with CannonAFB showing a high reading. On a sunny afternoon, the CannonAFB will often show as much as 10F more than the others.
    CannonAFB is the sit used by The Weather Channel for their local weather reports.
    Sorry Anthony, the local bus doesn’t go to any of those places, so I can’t find out if they follow the NOAA guidelines. I can’t walk there because I haven’t saved enough to pay my share of a knee replacement.

  182. Bill Illis says:

    I was around at the time of John V’s original work. Not having the ability to go through the code etc. I assumed that it was an objective (although as Anthony mentioned, too early) effort.

    I certainly reverse that assumption now after this episode.

    —–

    John V’s newest numbers are still

    - 0.815C per Century

    - versus 0.875C per Century before.

    After updating my analysis, I now get these trends:
    Rural: 0.57 degC/decade
    Urban: 1.06 degC/decade

    —–

    While the:

    - NCDC record for the US is 0.66C per Century

    - the GISS (annual) data for the US is 0.67C per Century; and

    - Peter and his dad came up with 0.59C per Century.

    —–

    So, I believe there is a major fault in John V’s code (which I assume he is still using in some fashion to come up with these numbers so fast when it should have taken several days or weeks to put together).

  183. Allen Ford says:

    I don’t want to sound in any way patronising, but is this not what the Idsos have been demonstrating for years over on co2science.org? In spite of this, great work, guys! You are in great company. Independent thought and work are always to be admired.

  184. JohnV says:

    Bill Illis:
    I simply created a spreadsheet and copied the temperature data from the GISTEMP site into the appropriate columns. No special code was required. It took about 90 minutes.

    As I said above, I think UHI is real. I also think the rural/urban pairing is a pretty good method of investigating UHI (I sent Anthony a very similar study a year or two ago). My concern is with the near-zero rural trend. That just doesn’t seem right to me.

    Last night and this morning I didn’t realize Anthony was replying inline with my comments. (I don’t comment here very often). Reading the comment thread with his inline comments (that I didn’t know about), I see that I looked like a jerk. I apologized for that above.

    Peter’s Dad and I have been emailing back and forth and constructively working together. I modified my spreadsheet to more closely match his algorithm (and posted my new results immediately). Now we are trying to figure out why our raw data doesn’t match. We’re collaborating to get the right answer. I think that’s a good thing.

  185. Glenn says:

    JohnV (17:35:32) :

    “I simply created a spreadsheet and copied the temperature data from the GISTEMP site into the appropriate columns. No special code was required. It took about 90 minutes.”

    Seems some code was required (Bill Illis didn’t say “special”):
    “I modified my spreadsheet to more closely match his algorithm”

    What is the significance in the time you claimed it took to create a spreadsheet and copy data? Sometime after the station list was posted, you thanked gjg for posting it, then less than a half hour later you claimed you had “reproduced” Peter and gjg’s analysis.

    You claimed to have “analyzed” the urban stations having “some time” on your hands, posted a half hour after your claim of rural stations analysis being superior.

    Cleaning and matching data urban and rural would take anyone considerably longer than 90 minutes. Rural and urban stations include “999″ month values, years must match…there are what, over 50 stations? Then analyzing trends…90 minutes?

    You’ve accused and jumped the gun so many times, and there are so many inconsistencies in your statements, that no matter what you finally decide, you’re still going to be wrong.

    But if your concern is truly with a US rural trend, then pull them all, do a comp analysis and report it, instead of trying to find fault with another’s, that is admittedly not based on a complete station record.

  186. JohnV says:

    Glenn:
    I mention how long it took me because Bill Illis assumed I was using my old OpenTemp code (otherwise he thought it would take days or weeks to do the analysis).

    Thanks for noting the time stamps. That shows how long it took to reproduce the spreadsheet. That’s how long it took to copy the urban stations. It’s not a lot of work if you’re familiar with the website and with Excel.

    There’s a thread over at lucia’s where I gave Bill Illis my whole procedure. Why don’t we move this discussion over there?

    I did many analyses using the best-rated rural stations a couple of years ago at Climate Audit. Anthony has asked me not to do that anymore. He wants to publish first.

    I attempted to replicate somebody else’s work. That’s how science is done. I am now working constructively with “Peter’s Dad” to reconcile the differences. Where’s the problem?

  187. Dr A Burns says:

    >> Icarus (13:15:52) :
    >> Sure, the UHI effect is real. That’s why they adjust for it, isn’t it?

    The IPCC refers to Jones et al. (1990) for its claim that the non-climatic bias due to urbanization is less than one-tenth of the global trend. That is UHI contributes less than ) .06 degrees

    Of course we know that Jones is the No 1 ClimateGate scammer.

  188. Dr A Burns says:

    In the past 100 years, global population has increased by a factor of about 3.6, with most growth in cities.

    Based on the results of this UHI study
    http://www.warwickhughes.com/climate/seoz_uhi.pdf

    … this growth corresponds to a UHI temperature increase of 0.8 to 1.6 degrees C over the past 100 years.

    I feel it is likely that Briffa tree rings are correct in indicating a global cooling over the past 70 years.

  189. Glenn says:

    JohnV (19:08:48) :

    “I attempted to replicate somebody else’s work. That’s how science is done.”

    Not quite how I would characterize your “contribution” in this thread.

    “Where’s the problem?”

    I just told you. Want it spelled out? Clearly you rushed to judgement, made premature demands, yet expect to be treated differently. You rushed trying to prove a prior belief, and here’s some evidence for that.

    “Basically he filtered out any monthly data from rural/urban stations that didn’t have a corresponding reading in the urban/rural station.”

    You didn’t.

    “That shows how long it took to reproduce the spreadsheet. That’s how long it took to copy the urban stations.”

    No, it doesn’t. It only shows when you made claims. All I’ve seen are a couple figures. Doesn’t seem like something to brag about, or use as a defense against Bill’s charge of rushing, since you have admitted to being wrong, what, twice now?

  190. JohnV says:

    Glenn:
    I admit I was overly aggressive. But were my conclusions presented any more forcefully than the many comments disparaging the IPCC and Parker in particular? And those comments were made by people who put no effort into validating the analysis.

    I did have a prior belief. I ran the analysis to check it. I did not do the urban/rural matching because it was not in the original description of the algorithm in the video. “Peter’s Dad” and I exchanged a couple of emails and he pointed out the difference in the analysis.

    Realizing that my first analysis was not an accurate reproduction, I quickly updated it and posted new results. Are you honestly upset with me for updating my results to correct a mistake?

    Anyways…
    My initial concern was around the near-zero rural trend. That disagrees with every analysis I’ve ever done of the lower-48 (and I’ve done quite a few). Anthony has a hunch that may explain the near-zero trend. “Peter’s Dad” may be able to explain it. They both have my work to see if I made any errors.

  191. Hessu A. says:

    Thanks! I hope people watch this.
    Nobel for you!

  192. JP Miller says:

    It would help me if you all would scale back the emotional/ accusatory comments. Peter and his Dad did an interesting piece of work. It has been challenged, fair enough. JohnV and Anthony have some prior history that got in the way, thanks for settling it. Now, let’s see where the science leads.

  193. Hayek says:

    JohnV

    Your type of comments that contradict the post are the most valuable. Even if it was not correct from start it points out the potential weaknesses and areas where the conclusions could be attacked.

    The best debates are when you are proven wrong – because then you learned something new!

  194. old construction worker says:

    Hayek (01:05:40) :
    ‘JohnV
    Your type of comments that contradict the post are the most valuable. Even if it was not correct from start it points out the potential weaknesses and areas where the conclusions could be attacked.
    The best debates are when you are proven wrong – because then you learned something new!’

    Yes. Science is a double edge sword. Something The IPCC and the “Team” have forgotten.

  195. Bill Illis says:

    John V, my interest in this debate has always been what do the real numbers show.

    It is not helpful when scientists manipulate the data so that the real numbers are obscured while at the same time, throwing out the raw data or making it unavailable so that no one can check.

    I have seen many times, individuals with a pre-existing belief in global warming jump into various debates with even further obscurred data in order to short-circuit the discussion. And it often works. When I see this happening, I try to do my small part to put the discussion back on track.

    Credibility is hard-earned, easily lost and harder to get back when lost.

    JohnV could re-gain some credibility (and I will apologize) if he can show from now on that he is not in the camp of people trying to short-circuit important discussions.

  196. Richard M says:

    I think folks should lay off JohnV. Yes, his tone was wrong, but he apologized. Good enough for me. Think of this as dynamic peer review. We’re seeing the future in action. Different people get different results and now they are trying to understand why. The true scientific process and results should come out soon.

    Just think how long this would take through a normal peer review cycle. I commend all … JohnV, Peter’s Dad and Peter … for doing work and making it available for others to critique. Well done.

  197. gjg says:

    Peter’s dad here. Hi, interesting discussion. I only checked one pair of sites last night and I’ll let Anthony discuss it more if he wishes. The data I downloaded from GISS is now different from the data I downloaded in early 2008. The rural site in the pair now has different numbers (and even different years represented) from the original download but the urban site numbers are the same. I don’t know how this will affect the overall calculations but there are now differences in the database. I really have too much work at the moment to check all the sites but I will try sometime. Anyway, to argue over slight differences in trendline equations when the r2 values are so low if really counterproductive. The variation is very high and you must judge accordingly. Quite frankly, you can’t get any accuracy unless the r2 is above 0.9. At this point you really need to think of this as a qualitative analysis not a quantitative analysis.

    By the way, Peter is thrilled with the response all of you have given to his video and is planning more. Thank you all.

    I will be very busy and won’t be able to comment for a while. In case you want to know, I’m checking different extraction techniques that allow me to very accurately quantitate the amount of particular micro-organism DNA in very small samples. I can actually count the number of viral particles in microliter volumes so that’s why I know more than a little bit about analyzing data.

    REPLY: He’s correct, and it is what I’ve been alluding to in comments above – the GISS data has changed, significantly since then. I have a detailed post planned on this – stay tuned. – Anthony

  198. JohnV says:

    I have to admit that I’m surprised by the friendly turn in the conversation. I turned on my computer this morning expecting a hail of abuse. Thanks. to those who are backing me up a little bit.

    For those who are angry at me, please consider something: How did my aggressive comments and quick analysis compare to accusations of incompetency, dishonest, and even fraud that are commonly applied to climate scientists in this forum?


    Bill Illis:
    I’m not going to jump through any more hoops for you. You accused me of not doing the work that I did (at lucia’s) — you essentially said I was a fraud. I demonstrated that I did do the work. I put in the time to test something that didn’t look right. Anthony and Peter’s Dad have the spreadsheet (and Anthony can post it online if he wants). We will see if my results are correct.

    You can re-gain some credibility with me by retracting.

  199. JohnV says:

    gjg:
    Thanks for the response. Did you have a chance to compare any of my data against the new GHCN values?

    Anthony:
    I have an archive of the complete GHCN dataset from Sept 13 2007 if you are interested. If the data did change this might help determine when it happened. Wouldn’t it be ironic if my PITA comments lead to the discovery of major changes in GHCN rural data?

  200. Nic says:

    Any urban sites that showed significantly different trends to the nearby rural sites were discounted in the temperature trend- you dont think that the overwhelming global body of scientists are stupid do you?

  201. Bill P says:

    The data I downloaded from GISS is now different from the data I downloaded in early 2008. The rural site in the pair now has different numbers (and even different years represented) from the original download but the urban site numbers are the same. I don’t know how this will affect the overall calculations but there are now differences in the database.

    JohnV (07:45:30) :

    gjg:
    Thanks for the response. Did you have a chance to compare any of my data against the new GHCN values?

    Anthony:
    I have an archive of the complete GHCN dataset from Sept 13 2007 if you are interested. If the data did change this might help determine when it happened. Wouldn’t it be ironic if my PITA comments lead to the discovery of major changes in GHCN rural data?

    Very interesting. Compliments to all concerned for your tenacity, especially Peter and Dad for focusing attention on this issue.

  202. Bill P says:

    Perhaps Anna V’s comment, above, is pertinent.

    anna v (22:42:17) :…
    From what I have learned recently, raw data pass a homogenization stage . Are you sure the data you use is the raw ones and not the homogenized ones? As was discussed in other threads homogenization does exactly that, reduce the differences.
    Homogenization in this business means adjusting data by averaging with nearby stations.
    The kid’s analysis needs raw raw , before the homogenization stage.

    … Assuming that “value-added” data is still available. The dumping or destruction of “raw-raw” data (especially if it were shown to have been cooler) seems particularly incendiary.

  203. Bill P says:

    Correction to above… “Assuming that something other than“value-added” data is still available.”

  204. Dave in Delaware says:

    I just completed extraction and analysis based on the data and processing steps listed by GJG and JohnV. My data was ‘recent’ as noted by Anthony above. I extracted the data for years 1900 -2006 from GISS web site for the GJG list of paired locations, and removed the rows with 999 values in either Rural or Urban values as discussed above.

    My results confirm JohnV’s numerical result, with one notable difference.

    Rural temperature slope, DegC per year = 0.0057
    Urban temperature slope, DegC per year =0.0107

    Which gives I think

    Rural 0.57/century (not per decade as listed above)
    Urban 1.07/century

    More results comparing Rural and Urban temperatures at the 28 paired sites, all in DegC:
    ……………….Rural ……..Urban
    Minimum …….5.8………….7.2
    Maximum ….22.4…………23.3
    Average……..13.1…………14.3

    As others have pointed out, the slopes of temperature change per time are probably more important than the averages, since there may be true siting differences in some pairs. Additional poking at the data showed no particular trends in the slopes based on warmer or colder areas in the paired sets.

    *There are 6 of 28 (~20%) Rural negative slopes (cooling).
    *None of the Urban temperature slopes are negative/cooling.
    *Five of the Rural slopes are higher than the corresponding Urban slope (almost 20% of pairs), which also means that those five Urban slopes are lower temperature change than the corresponding Rural slope.

    for what it’s worth.

    Dave (Professional Engineer, PE – retired)
    The retired part lets me poke around with data and spreadsheets from time to time. And of course, I am a daily viewer here at WUWT.

  205. toyotawhizguy says:

    In my city, the Fire Dept operates a wundergournd.com weather station. There is a 2nd wunderground.com weather station located in a rural area, 4 miles outside of the city. The temperature reported by the Fire Station in real time consistently runs 3 to 5 degrees F above that of the rural station just 4 miles away.

  206. JohnV says:

    Dave in Delaware:
    Thanks for taking the time to do an independent confirmation and for posting the extra details as well. I used data from 1898 to 2009. That might explain the difference in the 3rd significant digit of the urban trends.

    You mentioned “one notable difference” from my results. Is that the 1.07 vs 1.06 on the urban trends, or was there something else?


    Bill Illis:
    Do you believe me yet?

  207. Dave in Delaware says:

    re JohnV (14:18:52) : You mentioned “one notable difference” from my results. Is that the 1.07 vs 1.06 on the urban trends, or was there something else?

    Our numerical results are in good agreement for the updated process. A value of 1.06 vs 1.07 is right on the mark from my perspective.

    In two of your earlier posts on this thread you listed different time scale units for your results

    your initial post lists Per Century
    JohnV (20:37:08) :
    Rural trend: 0.81 degC/century
    Urban trend: 0.94 degC/century
    Difference: 0.13 degC/century

    then later, after you had reworked your spreadsheet numbers, the new values are listed as Per Decade:

    JohnV (11:02:42) :
    After updating my analysis, I now get these trends:
    Rural: 0.57 degC/decade
    Urban: 1.06 degC/decade

    The difference in Units (per decade) would also give perspective on Anthony’s comment at

    Anthony Watts (10:21:03) :
    BTW that 0.49C difference in trends you found is quite significant in the context of the generally agreed upon 0.74C that is claimed for the last century.

    Since you listed ‘per century’ the first time, the ‘per decade’ may have been unintended in your later post. I believe that the units for the listed results should be per century in JohnV (11:02:42) : which was the ‘notable difference’.

    regards,
    Dave

  208. JohnV says:

    Dave in Delaware:
    That was my mistake. The second post should have been in degrees per century like the first.

    Anthony’s comment about the significance of 0.49C is still true. A difference of 0.49 degC/century is very significant compared to 0.74 degC/century.

    Of course, I don’t think this little sample of stations is the definitive word on UHI. But the method is reasonable so the results are worth something.

  209. Bill Illis says:

    JohnV (14:18:52) :

    Bill Illis:
    Do you believe me yet?

    Okay, I apologize.

    I really just want to the real data to come out and sometimes it seems as though as some are just trying to further obscure the issues.

    But in this case I was wrong.

    I still would like to see an explanation of why the average of these stations (which seems to be a rather random sample) is higher than the average of the US in general.

  210. OKE E DOKE says:

    i know it’s just weather, but here in north central Iowa, there doesn’t appear to be any warming at all since 1991.
    using the average monthly temps reported on my utility bills, i plotted 2 graphs—– warm, ( june july august ) and cold ( december january february.)
    the warm graph has no particular trend, including 1998 . MAYBE a slight neg trend from 2004 to 2009.
    the cold graph, however, has a peak in 1998, returns to prior levels and remains fairly flat till 2004, when an easily seen decline begins and continues till present.

  211. anna v says:

    There are other threads on wattsup that say that the original raw data has been removed and what is called raw is massaged data.

    I am really confused where this analysis falls, is it really raw raw data? All the acronyms are confusing too.

  212. JohnV says:

    Bill Illis:
    Thanks. I appreciate that. Apology accepted.
    I am very careful about being honest and open so this was an important one for me. I will try to be less aggressive to avoid picking any more fights.

    I don’t know why these stations give the trends they do, or why the analysis in the video shows a flat rural trend. I’m moving on though.

  213. Krishna Gans says:

    @ DennisA
    You know, that Munich Re is one of the funder of the PIK, where Schellnhuber and Rahmstorf come from, two of the greatest alarmist around ?

  214. Richard Scott says:

    Anthony,

    What happened to your UHI project and test run in Indianapolis?

    I am new to the site and can’t find a followup. Transects look to me like a great idea. I am bothered by trying to use data from weather stations because of siting problems, especially since many metropolitan area stations appear to be at large airports.

    FWIW, George Taylor, formerly a climatologist at Oregon State University said that an analysis of rural station data actually showed a statistically insignificant decline in temps while urban temps showed an increase. This was at a lecture about 10 years ago.

    Since Taylor challenged the “science” behind global warming and wasn’t following the party line, the governor changed his job title.

  215. gober says:

    What was the result of this?

    Did anyone nail down the difference between the results Peter & his dad came up with, and those of JohnV?

    Was it simply a question of the data set used? If so, that would of course be highly significant.

    It was an interesting thread, with unresolved questions, which has gone completely quiet, and I’m not sure why.

Comments are closed.