Photos: NOAA’s Carefree Climate Station

UPDATE: A second nearby station has been located, also showing a lower high temperature. See below.

First let me say that the Carefree, AZ Skypark airport, and the airport observer have not done anything wrong. I commend them for their service as a NOAA Cooperative Observer, a volunteer job done for the good of the country. The station was installed by NOAA/NWS Phoenix personnel and it is their responsibility for things like this difference in daytime high temperatures, such as I discovered below.

Comparison of High Temps July 8th 2010. Carefree AP is 109°F while private station 1148 meters north had a high of 104°F. Carefree AP tied the old record for that date, the only one in AZ that week, which brought attention to this station.

But after looking at the ground photos of the NOAA climate station, I have only one word to describe it: FUBAR

First some review; read my essay on what I discovered from metadata investigation of the station: A Carefree Record High Temperature in Arizona

I showed a map with all the new records plotted. But, there was a curious red dot record high temperature “anomaly” on it, 109°F in Carefree, AZ on July 8th, the only one for that entire week in the entire state.

From HAMWeather Map center - click for interactive plotter

From that essay, this image shows the station is surrounded by Asphalt tarmac:

click to enlarge imageAnd thanks to WUWT reader Glen Sheldon, we have photos from the ground (on 07/13/2010) that confirm what I suspected; the station temperature sensor is mounted directly over asphalt at roof level, both of which contribute to anomalously high temperature readings.

Looking south: Note NOAA's little "helper"

I don’t know how often the outdoor fireplace is used, but when it is, I’m sure it helps keep the cold away.

Looking west - note the asphaltic domain the sensor surveys

Looking east - more blackbody heatsinks, but you can buy a Pepsi to cool off

overall view of the Carefree, AZ station

Closeup of the MMTS - wind sheltered, next to a darker surface? Just a bit.

Seasoned surfacestation.org volunteers have seen worse sitings, but this one has severe siting violations worth noting:

  • NOAA 100 foot rule ? – pfft!
  • Over asphalt plus physically on a building – rates a CRN5 “worst of the worst”
  • Wind sheltered on one side due to the beam – southerly wind, not so much
  • At roof level – will pick up waste heat from the building when wind blows across the flat roof
  • Incorrect height – WMO/NOAA standard is 1.5 meters – this is twice that
  • Other heat sources nearby, Pepsi machine – waste heat like an A/C unit, nearby outdoor fireplace
  • Nearby tree – listed as an obstruction in the NCDC metadata
  • Nearby automobile parking – radiator inward, under the sensor

In case anybody wonders about NOAA rooftop stations that give erroneous high temperature readings, this one should provide an excellent primer because NOAA closed it in 1999 due to similar siting problems.

How not to measure temperature, part 48. NOAA cites errors with Baltimore’s Rooftop USHCN Station

NOAA then wrote an internal technical competency manual on it advising that it is not good practice. I guess WSO Phoenix never read it.

Reference: NOAA Professional Competency Unit 6 (PCU6) manual (PDF)

But the thing that really hit me was the data they compiled, comparing to other nearby stations, and thus proving the case for rooftop bias with this station:

baltimore_table.jpg

They cite the table with:

The table to its right summarizes a comparison of 12 months of overlapping data that was collected on the rooftop and at the new relocated site (for data continuity), relocated several blocks away at ground level with other nearby standard, ground based stations. A combination of the rooftop and downtown urban siting explain the regular occurrence of extremely warm temperatures. Compared to nearby ground-level instruments and nearby airports and surrounding COOPs, it is clear that a strong warm bias exists, partially because of the rooftop location.

Maximum and minimum temperatures are elevated, especially in the summer. The number of 80 plus minimum temperatures during the one-year of data overlap was 13 on the roof and zero at three surrounding LCD airports, the close by ground-based inner Baltimore harbor site, and all 10 COOPs in the same NCDC climate zone. Eighty-degree minimum are luckily, an extremely rare occurrence in the mid-Atlantic region at standard ground-based stations, urban or otherwise. Temperatures can be elevated on roofs due to the higher solar radiation absorption and re-radiation associated with many roof surfaces including black tar, shingles, stone, and metal. During the colder months, ongoing upward heat transfer through the roof from the heated interior of the building also can contribute to the warm bias although stronger winter winds tend to create better mixing and minimize this impact.

The table shows that the rooftop station has Tmax >90°F more than twice as often  as other stations and a Tmax >100°F  13 times where no nearby station achieved it. Similarly we have this station recording a Tmin >80°F where no other stations did.

But here we still find stations just like this in NOAA’s climate monitoring network 11 years after Baltimore’s station was closed for the same reason.

The Carefree Skypark COOP should either be closed, go to rain only, or relocated, as it is not used for airport operations, only for NOAA climate reporting. The station is polluting the climate record. NOAA needs to determine how long this has been going on and if the record is even worth keeping. I doubt it is. Also of note, this station is used to adjust other stations nearby in the “homogenization” process, further polluting the climate record.

I’m looking into doing some longer term data comparisons between the Carefree, AZ AP station and the nearby private observer station. If I’m able to obtaining the data, we’ll have a look in a future post.

Again I close with what I opened with:

The Carefree, AZ Skypark airport, and the airport observer have not done anything wrong. I commend them for their service as a NOAA Cooperative Observer, a volunteer job done for the good of the country. The station was installed by NOAA/NWS Phoenix personnel and it is their responsibility.

UPDATE: A second nearby station has been located, a MESONET station, and it’s high temperature on that day was also considerably lower, 4°F lower than the airport.

Data follows.

08 Jul 7:00 pm    93    49    22    NE    5G13    33    11%            OK
08 Jul 6:48 pm                            %    0.00        OK
08 Jul 6:45 pm    93    49    22    NE    5G15    33    8%            OK
08 Jul 6:33 pm                            %    0.00        OK
08 Jul 6:30 pm    95    49    21    E    4G14    93    20%            OK
08 Jul 6:18 pm                            %    0.00        OK
08 Jul 6:15 pm    99    45    16    E    3G08    93    17%            OK
08 Jul 6:03 pm                            %    0.00        OK
08 Jul 6:00 pm    100    42    14    SW    3G04    99    16%            OK
08 Jul 5:48 pm                            %    0.00        OK
08 Jul 5:45 pm    100    42    14    SW    3G08    99    14%            OK
08 Jul 5:33 pm                            %    0.00        OK
08 Jul 5:30 pm    100    44    15    NNW    3G08    126    16%            OK
08 Jul 5:18 pm                            %    0.00        OK
08 Jul 5:15 pm    99    45    16    SW    4G10    126    15%            OK
08 Jul 5:03 pm                            %    0.00        OK
08 Jul 5:00 pm    101    47    16    SSW    4G09    571    63%            OK
08 Jul 4:48 pm                            %    0.00        OK
08 Jul 4:45 pm    103    45    14    SW    4G15    571    59%            OK
08 Jul 4:33 pm                            %    0.00        OK
08 Jul 4:30 pm    103    38    11    ENE    4G08    659    64%            OK
08 Jul 4:18 pm                            %    0.00        OK
08 Jul 4:15 pm    103    38    11    ENE    3G08    659    60%            OK
08 Jul 4:03 pm                            %    0.00        OK
08 Jul 4:00 pm    100    44    15    SSW    3G13    714    62%            OK
08 Jul 3:48 pm                            %    0.00        OK
08 Jul 3:45 pm    104    44    13    SW    2G08    714    59%            OK
08 Jul 3:33 pm                            %    0.00        OK
08 Jul 3:30 pm    103    43    13    SW    4G14    802    64%            OK
08 Jul 3:18 pm                            %    0.00        OK
08 Jul 3:15 pm    105 42    12    SSW    6G15    802    62%            OK
08 Jul 3:03 pm                            %    0.00        OK
08 Jul 3:00 pm    101    41    13    SE    6G14    852    63%            OK
08 Jul 2:48 pm                            %    0.00        OK
08 Jul 2:45 pm    102    47    16    S    5G10    852    62%            OK
08 Jul 2:33 pm                            %    0.00        OK
08 Jul 2:30 pm    100    42    14    S    5G13    522    37%            OK
08 Jul 2:18 pm                            %    0.00        OK
08 Jul 2:15 pm    102    44    14    SSE    5G15    522    36%            OK
08 Jul 2:03 pm                            %    0.00        OK
08 Jul 2:00 pm    100    46    16    SE    2G14    923    63%            OK
08 Jul 1:48 pm                            %    0.00        OK
08 Jul 1:45 pm    101    48    17    S    2G15    923    62%            OK
08 Jul 1:33 pm                            %    0.00        OK
08 Jul 1:30 pm    100    46    16    SSE    6G17    945    63%            OK
08 Jul 1:18 pm                            %    0.00        OK
08 Jul 1:15 pm    99    45    16    SE    4G19    945    63%            OK
08 Jul 1:03 pm                            %    0.00        OK
08 Jul 1:00 pm    99    45    16    ESE    4G10    951    63%            OK

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77 Responses to Photos: NOAA’s Carefree Climate Station

  1. Mike Haseler says:

    News Snippet

    Cooling caused wars, drought

    SINGAPORE – AS CHINESE policymakers grapple with an expected increase in extreme weather due to global warming, a study has found that periods of cooling between AD 10 to 1900 also caused a wave of disasters, war and upheaval.

    Droughts and locust plagues caused by cooler spells probably triggered internal wars, the authors said.

    http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/TechandScience/Story/STIStory_553415.html

  2. tallbloke says:

    How well does that plastic flange insulate the sensor from the heat absorbed into that heavy steel elbow joint 5″ below it?

  3. Joe Lalonde says:

    Anthony,
    You and your team make GREAT detectives to keeping science and the data honest!
    Want to bet that this “record high” will be in the anomaly records and will be part of the hostest year ever?

  4. Eric Gamberg says:

    Anthony:
    From:
    http://www.surfacestations.org/

    “NEWS Updated 07/16/2009 ”

    Any plans to update the website on at least an annual basis?

  5. Joe Lalonde says:

    I know guys…”hostest” should have been “hotest”.
    A honest mistake…………….honest!

  6. pgosselin says:

    “The station was installed by NOAA/NWS Phoenix personnel and it is their responsibility.”

    I can hear them saying: “Good enough for government work!”

    I’d like to know what these people are thinking when they install a sensor? Are they only following someone’s instruction? Are they going out there and willfully looking for a location that will assure the hottest possible readings? It’s almost like they all got an internal memo instructing them to install these things at the hottest imagineable spots.

    An interesting case to say the least.

  7. Hoppy says:

    Again good detective work highlights yet more flawed data. How many times do you need to kick their shins for them to actually do something about it? Whoever is responsible for these networks needs naming and shaming.

  8. Mike Haseler says:

    Off topic – [snip]

    [reply] Take it to tips and notes please. RT-mod

  9. Geoff Sherrington says:

    Time for discussion why stations 1200 km apart can be used to reconstruct each other (as in the Antarctic) while stations 1.2 km apart can differ by 5 deg F at about the same hour?

  10. Warren in Minnesota says:

    Note suspected spelling error: “…but this one has sever siting violations worth noting…”

    sever should be severe

    Reply: sever spelling error fixed. ~ ctm

  11. mrpkw says:

    FUBAR indeed !!!!!!!!!!!!
    How many examples can be shown like this will it take for the AGW alarmists to at least question the validity of the data???????????????????

  12. mrpkw says:

    pgosselin says:
    July 14, 2010 at 4:34 am
    Are they going out there and willfully looking for a location that will assure the hottest possible readings? It’s almost like they all got an internal memo instructing them to install these things at the hottest imagineable spots.

    ================================

    Yet after they do that, they still adjust the data UP later !!!!!!!!!!!
    Bad data X 2

  13. stephen richards says:

    They certainly were carefree when they installed it ! An unbelieveable lack of professionalism which appears to go to the heart of the whole organisation.

    Anthony, had I been head of this organisation (national) I would not have wasted my time trying to prove you and your team wrong. I would not have wasted time trying to prove that poor siting makes no difference. I would have kicked some backsides into action and resited all the badly sited stations this one among them.

  14. stan says:

    If scientists never calibrate their instruments, is it really science? Calibrate?! Oops, I meant never bother to check them at all. Welcome to climate science — where instruments are never accurate, studies are never replicated, dissent is never tolerated, and the incompetents running the circus are convinced they are never wrong.

  15. boballab says:

    It was probably installed there due to ease of installation. From the pictures you can see a light fixture near by and the security camera and other electronic equipment. What probably happened was that NOAA contracted the install out, the installers have no clue of siting requirements, they show up and ask the airport facilities manager where they can install the electonic sensors. The manager takes them around and shows them where all the other electronic and power cables run from inside to outside the building. So the installers piggy back the MMTS through the existing cable runs. This is something that anyone that has any electronic or electrical cable running experience would look for when running cables: It’s much easier and cheaper to run through an existing run then make a new one. Then they installed it up high like that because trenching through the asphalt, running a conduit and then re paving is even more money. Remember the contractor is going to try to do the job as cheap as he can to maximize his profit after being “low bidder”. Trust me I have seen this type of crap before when I was an Electronics Tech in the Navy and dealing with civilian contractors. Sometimes they have no clue about special requirements, they are just trying to do a job as fast as they can.

  16. Mike Bryant says:

    I’d love to see some FLIR thermal images of that station…

  17. RockyRoad says:

    What’s a few acres of black asphalt among friends?

  18. Ryan says:

    Not so much record air temperature as record amounts of charcoal on the BBQ.

  19. Ron McCarley says:

    NOAA’s website also states that approx. 50 of their 11,700 COOP stations are rooftop stations, and that a study was to be done about 10 yrs. ago. From what I’ve seen on the WUWT and Surfacestations websites, this 50 number seems to be low. Does anybody know if the actual study by NOAA was performed?

  20. wws says:

    “I’d like to know what these people are thinking when they install a sensor?”

    Oh, that’s easy to see if you’ve ever hired workmen to do any job. (and no insult, I’ve been there myself) If whoever gives them the job doesn’t say anything besides “go out and do it!” (typical) then they will always grab the closest and quickest path to completion. Why a roofbeam? It’s already there, and the wiring is short! Plus, putting it up above everyone ensures no one will drive their car into it or trip over it, meaning nobody will ever call up and complain and make you go back and do it over.

    Well, except those science guys, but they take years to figure out something like this. It’ll probably be someone else’s job by then.

  21. Dave N says:

    I guess they have some Carefree barbecue summers there, and probably some winters, too!

  22. DR says:

    Geoff Sherrington

    Yes, I’ve wondered the same thing. Of course the anomaly method corrects for that :)

  23. Atomic Hairdryer says:

    It amazes me how sloppy processes are with NOAA. Write site guides, don’t bother checking they’ve been followed.

    Years ago when digital cameras became cheap, we equipped all our field guys with cameras. Any time they visited a site, they’d take pictures and they’d be added to the site records. We then had a much better idea what we were working with, and saved a lot of time and money. We could plan work, mark up photos with what to install, where to install and connect. Field engineers knew what they were facing on a trip and had much better site guides to work with, and records if there was any dispute over the quality of the work.

    Given the problems already discovered by the volunteers and the importance placed on the data collected, why hasn’t NOAA done their own field survey by now?

  24. John Blake says:

    Maximal incompetency over decades can only mean lack of any routine installation, monitoring or supervisory operating authority. Yet we’d bet that NOAA is overrun with administrators (sic) thick as cockroaches, who have no more interest in field-work than vetting prima facie discordant temperature results. Unless and until a civic-minded volunteer network supplants these swarms of “placemen” (Jefferson), full-throated AGW propaganda assaults at public expense will continue unabated.

  25. Ralph says:

    So, with the recorded data having an error of +-5 oc, we can confidently assert that global temperatures have risen by +-0.1 oc per decade.

    Something does not compute.

    .

  26. Steve Keohane says:

    Thank you again Anthony. One can’t make this stuff up, reality is more bizarre than fiction. We are supposed to scrap the world economy to fix this CO2 induced problem.

  27. Ian L. McQueen says:

    As has been written more than once, siting the temperature sensors at airports makes perfect sense for the purpose for which they were installed: giving accurate temperature conditions at the airport for the benefit of the pilots flying the airplanes that use the airport.
    The fault lies in using those same data for climate studies.
    I must check- I thought I read within the past few days that a new network of 50 (approx) weather stations has been established with care in siting the stations across the USA. I recall reading that the data over the next (!) 30 years should give an accurate picture of true climate conditions.

    IanM

  28. Layne Blanchard says:

    Don’t forget that nice hot motorcycle parked below either. They throw a tremendous amount of heat when they’re cooling down.

  29. Alexander K says:

    I once worked with a former US Navy jet jockey who had joined the service as an officer cadet straight from high school. He recounted that his first navy flying instructor gave a standard caution to all prospective service pilots;
    “Remember that you will be flying aircraft supplied by the lowest tenderer and mostly assembled by high school drop-outs. Do your pre-flight checks as if your life depends on them… they probably do!”
    Organisations are as bad as their laziest and most slipshod employee and if management don’t do the checks they should have formulated, nothing of value is acheived. The network of recording stations seems to be an example of how not to do stuff.

  30. John Michalski says:

    Seriuosly, though, with the availability of cell phones with cameras and digital cameras how much time would it take for NOAA to do photo survey of each and every site. It is my guess that within a weeks time, they would now the siting of each and every station. At that point in time, a plan of action could be set forth to re-site all out-of-compliance staions.

  31. PJB says:

    Makes perfect sense to me.

    First, make sure that you are getting spuriously “reliable” warming data.
    Second, enact draconian measures to reduce CO2.
    Third, relocate sensors to “standard” sitings and easy as 1,2,3 AGW is solved as temperatures drop the amount that the models say and we are saved!

  32. Dave Springer says:

    Don’t know how much it effects the entire temperature record but it makes you wonder. One thing for sure is that it and stations like it make the record high temperatures (day and night all year long) incomparable with old records.

  33. latitude says:

    “Also of note, this station is used to adjust other stations nearby in the “homogenization” process, further polluting the climate record.”

    Good grief

    But they know exactly how much that asphalt is artificially heating the sensor,
    so they know exactly how much to adjust for it…

    and then they do the “homogenization” process, right?

    This really is a joke.

  34. stephen parrish says:

    Interesting comment regarding continuous improvement and problem identification. Was at Disney in the spring and overhead either a new employee or an employee working a new process.

    They had taken a picture with their phone of a less than perfect feature in the park and were sending it to service/maintenance so it could be repaired. The program they were using apparently identified where the picture was taken in the park provided the maintenance crew a chance to categorize the work and plan it.

  35. Dave Springer says:

    Tarmac power:

    Say there’s 50,000 square meters of tarmac at the airport. In full sun at solar noon it’s receiving in excess of 1000 watts per square meter. Tarmac only reflects about 10% of that.

    So it’s fair to say that temp sensor is situated above a 50 megawatt heater.

  36. Henry chance says:

    The Pepsi vending machine cranks out heat even at night. Mine had the compressor at the bottom and when barefoot, you could feel a fan push out hear 20 degrees hotter than the air around it.

    I see the black pavement and am surprised the readings don’t hit 120 degrees at certain times of the day.

  37. Tim Fitzgerald says:

    More great research. I have a couple of questions and one comment:

    Does the airport owned weather station have its own temperature sensor? What is the function of the airport owned weather station–it looks like they only report nearby fields in their AWOS. Are there any instances of airports that have AWOS/ASOS with a different set of equipment that report to the NCDC? It might be interesting to see the differences.

    I don’t know if this is helpful, but I found this on the NWS website:
    http://newweb.wrh.noaa.gov/mesowest/getobext.php?wfo=sgx&sid=MACR&num=168&raw=0&dbn=m

    Tim

  38. Jim Means says:

    The “rooftop” comments are misleading. It is not at all mounted like the Baltimore rooftop (it’s on the side, not sitting on the rooftop). Temperature measured at that height would be expected to be LOWER, not HIGHER, because it is farther from the surface below it than it should be. Certainly not a good location, but your reasoning is faulty.

    REPLY: Normally, yes height would matter, and the extra 1.5 meters would be cooler, However I’ll point out the Baltimore rooftop station was over a tar and gravel roof, not unlike asphalt. In a wind from the SE or E, heat from the airport office roof will transported to the sensor. -A

  39. ujagoff says:

    Not sure if this was an issue here, but here in AZ it is common, very common, for outdoor eating areas to use portable propane heaters in winter to make it possible to use the area when it is cold outside.
    Maybe they do here, maybe they don’t, but just pointing that out…

  40. Roger Knights says:

    It’s a pity that short-range wireless transmission wasn’t legally available back when these new cable-connected stations were being installed. Then, practicality problems with trenching wouldn’t have forced poor siting. They should have waited until the laws were changed, or agitated for a special exemption using garage-door-opener frequencies, or something. Another case of institutionalized stupidity and short-sightedness.
    ======

    John Michalski says:
    July 14, 2010 at 6:57 am

    Seriously, though, with the availability of cell phones with cameras and digital cameras how much time would it take for NOAA to do photo survey of each and every site. It is my guess that within a weeks time, they would know the siting of each and every station. At that point in time, a plan of action could be set forth to re-site all out-of-compliance stations.

    It’s my impression that the gov’t. has site-photos, or was about to ask its sites to send in photos, in response to complaints about siting, but then canceled this data gathering for some reason, probably CYA-related. I also have the impression that it was Tom Karl who issued the cancellation order. (Please correct me if I’m wrong.)

  41. Colin from Mission B.C. says:

    You’ve overlooked the presence of the motorcycle, probably owned by one of the employees of the station. While relatively brief, the the ambient heat from the running engine plus the exhaust from the bike when it arrives, and when it’s started up to leave, would add extra heat to the area.

    To describe this siting as FUBAR is being charitable.

  42. Slabadang says:

    Isn`t this link something worth as a seqence of Moshers artikel about global temperatures? I think its brilliant!

    http://www.climate4you.com/GlobalTemperatures.htm#Temporal stability of global air temperature estimates

  43. Roger Knights says:

    Let’s say that there were systematic siting problems that resulted in a cooling bias. Activists would have made a stink about it (“I blame Bush”) and the gov’t. would have relocated them in a jiffy. You know it’s true.

    Viewed in that light, the station-siting issue reveals a problem larger than a mildly biased temperature record: an untrustworthy climatological establishment. I.e., if they’re willing to overlook systematic bias in this matter, why not in other climatological matters as well? Why should we trust ANY of their data or inferences? We don’t need no stinking weathermen.

  44. Anthony, Do you routinely report bad sites, such as this one, to NOAA?

    REPLY: Yes, I sent this to WSO Phoenix, plus that I get dozens of hits per day from throughout NOAA, NWS, NCDC. They know. -A

  45. dp says:

    As a pilot I wonder how many such stations report bogus weather information I might use in my flight plan. Density altitude becomes rather important for a number of flight calculations – this is pathetic and probably criminal. But exactly what I expect of government.

  46. j.pickens says:

    As IanM correctly notes above, the pilots who use the airport are perfectly happy with temperature sensors which show the effects of asphalt heating.
    Their lives depend upon safely loading light aircraft for ambient conditions.
    If you estimate field temperature and use that to calculate the safe load and operating conditions of your aircraft, and your temperature estimate is high, you are safe.
    If you estimate field temperature too low, you could die.

    If I were a pilot at the airport, I’d mount the temperature sensor exactly as shown.

    As has been noted many times here at WUWT, its just too bad that climate measurement and flight safety are at crossed purposes.

    I hope that there will, in the future, be a separation of these two types of temperature recording systems.

  47. Massimo PORZIO says:

    I can understand the usefulness of reading the max and min temperatures of the day for statistical pourposes.
    I don’t really figure out how that two daily parameteres could really be useful in the AGW arena.
    A daily integral of them computed as (Tmax+Tmin)/2 can’t be in any manner used to establish any causal relation to the CO2 concentration.
    It sounds like to guess the winner of a Formula One grand prix using the fastest speed for the prediction.
    For example, in last Silverstone race Fernando Alonso scored the fastest lap and his Ferrari’s team fellow Felipe Massa scored the 2nd fastest lap, but they finished that race only 14th and 15th (sigh).

  48. John C says:

    Why is it that when people use this type of stuff to deny Global Warming, they fail to account for why correctly placed sensors still show an average increase in temperature?

    In fact, all the sensors show anomalies in degree offset from the ‘norm’… So even if the temperature were to be 2 degrees higher, there would still be a noticeable upswing.

    Do I deny that government will not try to take advantage of controlling Carbon emissions? No… Chances are they will. People should focus on this rather than trying to disprove data that shows our species is changing the environment. It’s ridiculous to think this is not possible. A major misunderstanding of science is rampant in these circles. People that claim that C02 isn’t capable of warming the atmosphere, etc. I can prove otherwise though a simple highschool experiment.

    REPLY: You haven’t a clue about what you are writing about. Of 1067 stations surveyed in the USA (of 1221 in NOAA’s USHCN climate network) Only 1 in 10 of such sensors in the USA meet siting requirements, see http://www.surfacesattions.org With that sort of widespread FUBAR, how can we ” fail to account for why correctly placed sensors”. Nobody is “denying” anything. But the data they produce is most certainly suspect. – A

  49. PapyJako says:

    Hi Anthony,

    Did you notice how fresh is the asphalt, and the white lines drawn on it ?

    Could it be that the record is simply measuring how hot can be those big asphalt machines ?

    By the way, I made a short french translation of this article in http://www.lepost.fr/article/2010/07/14/2152011_encore-un-record-de-temperature-entierement-fait-de-main-d-homme.html

  50. Jim G says:

    We called it “garbage in, garbage out” in the olden days. So, even assuming the model was not gabage itself, the poor quality of the input data, again assuming the data were not manipulated to compound the problem, would compromise validity of the results. Again, though, we are picking at fly droppings since the entire basis of the AGW theory is flawed by the causation problem and lack of true scientific methodology and statistical validity.

    We need to emphasize the socio-economic penalties we will all pay if these people succeed in implementing their plans to “fix” our environment. Particular emphasis upon how severe their proposed policies will impact the “poor” for whom the progressives weep in all of their fake care for the little people of the world. For instance, they have done a great job of killing thousands of Third World folks with their ellimination of DDT.

  51. 899 says:

    stephen richards says:
    July 14, 2010 at 5:15 am
    They certainly were carefree when they installed it ! An unbelieveable lack of professionalism which appears to go to the heart of the whole organisation.

    Anthony, had I been head of this organisation (national) I would not have wasted my time trying to prove you and your team wrong. I would not have wasted time trying to prove that poor siting makes no difference. I would have kicked some backsides into action and resited all the badly sited stations this one among them.

    Yes, but you see? That would be an admission of guilt and an open invitation to question virtually everything the organization does.

    It would also cause a virtual furor in the weather/climate community, which in turn would negate much of the hoopla over CAGW/CC, itself having a knock-on effect to lead all thinking people to ask: Is the science even valid, when the data are so questionable?

    From thence, the money for climate research would likely diminish significantly, and heads would surely roll!

    So then, well have none of that!!!

    The first remarks uttered in any government program quality audit is: What? I don’t understand what you’re saying! Are you sure? Maybe it’s yourself who’s wrong!

  52. CRS, Dr.P.H. says:

    Thanks, Anthony, the story about the climate stations just gets more & more ridiculous!

    You just can’t make this stuff up…..my jaw continues to hit the floor with every new revelation.

  53. Neo says:

    Anthony, if they actually were to fix all these stations, the nation would be sent into the next “Ice Age” by alarmists.

  54. Henry chance says:

    dp says:
    July 14, 2010 at 9:01 am
    As a pilot I wonder how many such stations report bogus weather information I might use in my flight plan. Density altitude becomes rather important for a number of flight calculations – this is pathetic and probably criminal. But exactly what I expect of government.

    My kid is both an engineer and new grad taking flying lessons. I have told her that ethanol they are trying to push for avgas is running lower reid vapor pressure and 20% lower mjoules per liter. adjust loads accordingly.
    Social engineering will make a lot of changes.
    Oh yes. The EPA is behind alcohol, and blind when it comes to “endangerment” in certain products.

  55. Roger Sowell says:

    What came of the warmists claim that even with the “bad” sites excluded, the temperature record continues to show a distinct warming?

  56. Ian H says:

    It would be useful to also have pictures of the nearby private station for comparison, assuming that this can be done while respecting the privacy of the owner. The commentary assumes that this station is perfectly sited. However this is an unwarranted assumption.

  57. John T says:

    PapyJako noticed the same thing I did. It looked like nice, new, totally black asphalt. I wonder if the day it was laid down is reflected in the temperature record?

  58. Curious Canuck says:

    Tmax+Tmin/2 … Does the assumption of 2 take into account or overlook variance in the lenghts of day periods and night periods. Are these results of the calculation actually as ‘useful’ as purported, especially when the short nights means less time for the surroundings to cool to a minimum. In the case of this siting, is it possible that nightly lows are being skewed even more than the daily highs, at least part of the year?

  59. Anon. says:

    Actually, Joe Lalonde, it should have been “hottest” :-))

  60. 899 says:

    Neo says:
    July 14, 2010 at 10:27 am
    Anthony, if they actually were to fix all these stations, the nation would be sent into the next “Ice Age” by alarmists.

    As strange as this might sound, there are actually people ‘out there’ who will tell you to your face that if you fix this, it will only make matters worse!

    Imagine this: The locations of all sensor stations will become a matter of ‘national security,’ and the unauthorized disclosure of such will become a criminal offense.

    Stranger things have happened …

  61. 899 says:

    Roger Sowell says:
    July 14, 2010 at 11:00 am
    What came of the warmists claim that even with the “bad” sites excluded, the temperature record continues to show a distinct warming?

    Well, it would appear that the ‘good’ sites were actually the bad sites, but the bad sites are really good sites for the purposes of CAGW/CC propaganda.

  62. Ric Werme says:

    Ian L. McQueen says:
    July 14, 2010 at 6:46 am

    I must check- I thought I read within the past few days that a new network of 50 (approx) weather stations has been established with care in siting the stations across the USA. I recall reading that the data over the next (!) 30 years should give an accurate picture of true climate conditions.

    It exists, see http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/crn/

    USCRN Overview

    The U.S. Climate Reference Network (USCRN) consists of 114 stations developed, deployed, managed, and maintained by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in the continental United States for the express purpose of detecting the national signal of climate change.

    The siting is considerably better than this one. None at airports. Data online, including near-real time data.

    Also http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/04/29/what-the-modernized-ushcn-will-look-like/
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/05/14/ftp-access-for-climate-reference-network-data/

  63. Glenn says:

    Perhaps a minor issue with this site and others, is the cable connector to the sensor. Notice in the pic that the connection is friction taped. Friction tape dries, hardens and degrades especially when exposed directly to sun and hot objects. It just irks me not to see a boot covering over the connection, and I wonder whether certain weather connections such as humidity may affect the output. When we are looking at fractions of a degree to determine the fate of the world, I expect a little more professionalism then flopping friction tape over a precision electronic instrument connection, holding condensation, corroding terminals.

  64. jorgekafkazar says:

    I suspect the sensors are intended to be placed atop a VERTICAL pole, not mounted any old way, at a 10° angle from vertical. What do the mfr’s specs say?

  65. Arizona CJ says:

    What is it with the attraction between barbecues (or outdoor fireplaces) and weather stations!?!?!?

    Anthony, I think your online store is missing a gold mine; a weather station with a built in barbecue. There is obviously an enormous demand.

    REPLY: Tried something like that. I once offered mobile homes with a free tornado, didn’t sell, and was hell on inventory. -A

  66. 899 says:

    Glenn says:
    July 14, 2010 at 1:40 pm
    Perhaps a minor issue with this site and others, is the cable connector to the sensor. Notice in the pic that the connection is friction taped. Friction tape dries, hardens and degrades especially when exposed directly to sun and hot objects. It just irks me not to see a boot covering over the connection, and I wonder whether certain weather connections such as humidity may affect the output. When we are looking at fractions of a degree to determine the fate of the world, I expect a little more professionalism then flopping friction tape over a precision electronic instrument connection, holding condensation, corroding terminals.

    You raise a good point: You’d think that such an installation would have employed moisture-proof connectors, or at the very least resorted to a sealant, i.e., RTV.

    There are several products available for just that purpose, not the least of which is Coax-seal: http://www.coaxseal.com/

    And on that issue there’s that matter of moisture intrusion –which you’ve mentioned– itself which could conceivably affect the measurement by way of setting up a corrosion cell on the contacts, producing a dissimilar metal potential difference, thereby influencing the output of the sensor.

    Further –and not to take this to the nth degree– there’s that issue of security: Who’s to say that someone wouldn’t remove the connector, and temporarily insert a modified sensor to cause an intentionally biased reading?

    Murphy’s law: If it can happen, it will happen.

    So, why no safety wire and security seal on the connectors?

    That’s done on commercial aircraft all the time as a matter of course, and for a very good reason: To detect tampering.

    If they –the government– demand to tax us on the matter of carbon and temperature, then they should at the very least attempt to ascertain whether their devices are being tampered with.

    Finally, I wonder just what the frequency of visitation/inspection is for all those sites?

  67. 899 says:

    Arizona CJ says:
    July 14, 2010 at 2:17 pm
    What is it with the attraction between barbecues (or outdoor fireplaces) and weather stations!?!?!?

    Anthony, I think your online store is missing a gold mine; a weather station with a built in barbecue. There is obviously an enormous demand.

    REPLY: Tried something like that. I once offered mobile homes with a free tornado, didn’t sell, and was hell on inventory. -A

    Well, Anthony, I will consider that you didn’t apply for that NOAA ‘seal of approval.’

    ;-)

  68. Al Cooper says:

    REPLY: Tried something like that. I once offered mobile homes with a free tornado, didn’t sell, and was hell on inventory. -A

    ROTFL!!! Love your replay! I live in “tornado alley” (Oklahoma City).
    I visit your site daily, sometimes more that once.
    THANK YOU!!

    REPLY:
    Thanks. If you live in OKC, then you ought to get a copy of my personal radar program: http://www.stormpredator.com rather than wait for NWS to send bulletin. – Anthony

  69. Al Cooper says:

    REPLY: Thanks. If you live in OKC, then you ought to get a copy of my personal radar program: http://www.stormpredator.com rather than wait for NWS to send bulletin. – Anthony

    I did that some time ago!
    I als0 have two USB Dataloggers.
    Thanks for all you do/what you have done!

  70. Gail Combs says:

    Roger Knights says:
    July 14, 2010 at 8:47 am

    Let’s say that there were systematic siting problems that resulted in a cooling bias. Activists would have made a stink about it (“I blame Bush”) and the gov’t. would have relocated them in a jiffy. You know it’s true.

    Viewed in that light, the station-siting issue reveals a problem larger than a mildly biased temperature record: an untrustworthy climatological establishment. I.e., if they’re willing to overlook systematic bias in this matter, why not in other climatological matters as well? Why should we trust ANY of their data or inferences? We don’t need no stinking weathermen.
    _____________________________________________-

    Yet most here are willing to believe the “official” CO2 data. As a chemist who worked with an IR in 1972 trying to use it for analytical work, I do not. see: http://www.co2web.info/ESEFVO1.pdf from this web site: http://www.co2web.info/

  71. Strike One: Poor siting … thank you Anthony
    Strike Two: Electrician’s tape as the waterproof seal … thank you @Glenn (July 14, 2010 at 1:40 pm)
    Strike Three: Visible tension on the cable, without sign of strain relief
    Strike Four: No evidence of a yearly NIST traceable calibration, where is the cal sticker placed?

  72. Rhoda R says:

    Boballbud: Your points about hiring installers is correct only to a certain extent. Most Government contract have specific directions on how the job is to be done (I just recently retired from Government contract work) and then the job is inspected after completion before final payment is made. It may be that the contractor and the inspector were in cahoots but I doubt it –probably the contract didn’t specify installation requirements and that is just unprofessional on the part of the contracting team.

    REPLY: The COOP manager at each local Weather Service Office is responsible for the installation. To my knowledge, they are not subcontracted. – Anthony

  73. Glenn says:

    Ricky Martin Frisker FTN says:
    July 14, 2010 at 6:54 pm

    “Strike One: Poor siting … thank you Anthony
    Strike Two: Electrician’s tape as the waterproof seal … thank you @Glenn (July 14, 2010 at 1:40 pm)
    Strike Three: Visible tension on the cable, without sign of strain relief
    Strike Four: No evidence of a yearly NIST traceable calibration, where is the cal sticker placed?”

    Although I took other pics of the wire going into the building that were not published, I missed your point about tension on the cable at the sensor. The cantilevered all wood 4 x 12 or 16 beam seems to have twisted sometime after installation of the sensor and base, lengthening the distance from the connector to where the cable is stapled on the beam. This leaves at least two places where the cable could be compromised.

    If there is a calibration sticker, the place for it would seem to me to be inside on a terminal or computer. I didn’t ask to see the hardware inside. But I doubt there are inspections, for obvious reasons.

  74. Baa Humbug says:

    pgosselin says:
    July 14, 2010 at 4:34 am

    Are they going out there and willfully looking for a location that will assure the hottest possible readings?

    Maybe there is precedence PGosselin. Try this from John L Daly

    Climate station installed at Badwater purely to reach world record high temperature.

  75. Geoff Sherrington says:

    Imagine how much better it would be to have redundancy, e.g. two thermometers at each site from the beginning.

  76. Mooloo says:

    It would be useful to also have pictures of the nearby private station for comparison, assuming that this can be done while respecting the privacy of the owner. The commentary assumes that this station is perfectly sited.

    No it doesn’t. The commentary merely says that two nearby stations give wildly different results.

    It is a red herring to worry if those other sites are poor if they are not used officially.

    The onus is on NOAA to site their stations properly.

  77. Hu Duck Xing says:

    Anthony,
    It’s a bit late, but then, I just got here;
    In your reply to John C at 9:40 AM, your link is messed up. Misspelling,
    “www.surfacesattions.org”
    Duck Xing

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