Pielke Sr. on the quality of global surface stations

Quality Of Global Climate Surface Observing Sites

By Dr. Roger Pielke Sr.

Moist enthalpy? What's that? Photograph courtesy of Karen O’Brien (a climate observing site in Chiapas Mexico - in this case for pan evaporation)


Anthony Watts, Evan Jones and the numerous outstanding volunteers have provided us with an effective, land breaking documentati0n of the quality of siting of surface observations that are used in the construction of the US Historical Climate Network. Anthony reported on this topic in the outstanding report:

Watts, A. 2009: Is the U.S. Surface Temperature Record Reliable? 28 pages, March 2009 The Heartland Institute.

Anthony’s research as led to our first joint paper on this subject

Fall, S., A. Watts, J. Nielsen-Gammon, E. Jones, D. Niyogi, J. Christy, and R.A. Pielke Sr., 2011: Analysis of the impacts of station exposure on the U.S. Historical Climatology Network temperatures and temperature trends. J. Geophys. Res., 116, D14120, doi:10.1029/2010JD015146.Copyright (2011) American Geophysical Union.

On December 12 2006 I posted examples of photographs of observing sites outside of the USA in the post

New Evidence Of Temperature Observing Sites Which Are Poorly Sited With Respect To The Construction Of Global Average Land Surface Temperature Trends

Over the next few weeks, I will post the photographs that appear on that site as well as others that I am able to find.  I encourage readers of my weblog to e-mail me information on other sites which I can post on the weblog. There is also a need to identify which of the posted sites are GHCN locations.  This, hopefully, is a first step to extend Anthony’s analysis world wide. While these stations do not have the photographs from each cardinal direction, they are still very useful.

The first three stations are the following:

1. Lusaka Zambia

2. Katmandu Nepal

3. Nassau Bahamas

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

Footnote: For all of its flaws, the USHCN has one big advantage over the ROW and GHCN – superior metadata. That said, even then it is difficult to find stations sometimes. For example yesterday I made a road trip to fix a station survey that had been identified as being at the airport in NCDC…except that it wasn’t anywhere near the airport. More on that later.

The locations of most of the worldwide GHCN stations are not well documented in metadata, and lat/lon values published are so coarse that it makes spotting one from Google Earth nearly impossible. That said, documenting the state of the GHCN is going to be an uphill challenge.

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56 Responses to Pielke Sr. on the quality of global surface stations

  1. Latitude says:

    disconnect…………..

    The very people that do not trust anything to do with temperature….
    ……roll over and treat CO2 reconstructions like they are the holy grail

    http://www.warwickhughes.com/icecore/call2.jpg

  2. Peter Miller says:

    On behalf of the IPCC, I want you to understand that this type of denialist proganda is completely irrelevant. The science is settled and minor, even if it applies to most weather stations’ aberrations in quality control, will not deter us from exposing the truth on climate change, as seen from the grant receivers perspective, to the entire world.

    Our QA/QC protocols on raw data collection for climate statistics are second only to those from Al Gore’s garden, Greenpeace, Zimbabwe and North Korea and therefore can be considered thoroughly reliable in at least 10% of instances.

    Yours truly

    From my air conditioned private box on the 9th green of the TERI Foundation, New Delhi, India.

    Rajendra K Pachauri

  3. Jeff Alberts says:

    Typo:
    “The locations of most of the worldwide GHCN stations is not well documented”

    Should be “are”.

  4. Ferdinand Engelbeen says:

    Latitude says:
    August 14, 2011 at 7:41 am

    Come on, the subject here is the quality of the global surface stations, not the quality of historical CO2 measurements or ice cores. That has been discussed for the nth time on this blog…

  5. Annabelle says:

    Are these supposed to be examples of poor siting? Am I missing something – what is wrong with the Zambian site?

  6. R. Gates says:

    It’s nice to see a quality control effort for surface stations, as it is certainly needed. However, it should be made clear that none of this will alter the overall global temperature trend data over later part of the 20th and into the 21 century.

    And speaking of temperature data, what’s the latest from Berkley?

  7. matthu says:

    Zambia site: has it got something to do with the cables extending skywards and suggesting some massive structure in the direct vicinity? (just a guess here – no expertise.)

  8. rpielke says:

    Hi All – Thanks for your feedback so far. I am showing all the stations I can find; some will be well sited. Jeff Alberts – Thanks ! I will correct the typo in my orginal post.

    More sites this coming week.

  9. Dusty says:

    Annabelle says:
    August 14, 2011 at 8:47 am

    Are these supposed to be examples of poor siting? Am I missing something – what is wrong with the Zambian site?
    ——
    I think this is another picture of the site:
    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/usgcos/stations/Zambia/lusaka_city_airport_059.jpg

    Does that help?

  10. rpielke says:

    P.S. Jeff- Anthony will correct as I see that the typo is in the footnote.

  11. Dusty says:

    “Watts, A. 2009: Is the U.S. Surface Temperature Record Reliable? 28 pages, March 2009 The Heartland Institute.”

    The link contained in the above, returns “page not found”

  12. Paul Coppin says:

    R. Gates says:
    August 14, 2011 at 9:09 am

    It’s nice to see a quality control effort for surface stations, as it is certainly needed. However, it should be made clear that none of this will alter the overall global temperature trend data over later part of the 20th and into the 21 century.

    Of course not. We already know the fix is in for that.

  13. Navy Bob says:

    Have to agree with Annabelle. They look pretty good to me – esp. compared to some of the horror shows Anthony uncovered in the US.

  14. Brandon Caswell says:

    Gates
    “…However, it should be made clear that none of this will alter the overall global temperature trend data over later part of the 20th and into the 21 century….”

    Could you really show any more bias?

    They call jumping to conclusions before the evidence is in, “faith”. You pretend to wrap up your faith in science, but in the end you still “know” the correct answer and feel its your goal to spread the faith to the non-believers. But your no more following science than peewee herman was following shakespear.

    Give it a rest.

    You’re no different than the UN guys saying the the 5th IPCC report is even worse than 4, even though its not even written yet.

    But since statistics can be used to show warming where there was none in antartica, show no medieval warm period despite overwhelming evidence, show a hot spot despite not showing up in the sats or weather balloons. I would be willing to bet that using a “trick” (and that is common in climate science, you all told us over and over, so no complaints from you) one could show a change in the trend.

    But then again, I have seen Roger and Anthony be honest and recognize data that doesn’t agree with them, so I doubt they will Stoop to a “trick” even if it is regular climate science.

  15. Doug Proctor says:

    The arguments about global warming are based on the temperature data. Not the precision of the data, but the accuracy. The change from long-term baseline, the temperature anomaly, gets rid of station-to-station correlation problems but does not get ride of the representation of reality. The warm bias in long term temperature “corrections”, the UHIE under-correction (also warm bias), the non-random nature of temperature corrections at any moment, the extension of temperature values to areas that have no stations – all these go to the accuracy of the data. The difference in only one aspect – the inclusion of “Arctic” data in GISTemp versus HarCruTemp lead to about a 0.12C difference in a temperature rise that, by HadCru analysis, is only about 0.55C (5-year running average). An 18% difference in the data based in the contribution of only one factor makes me question the certainty issue.

    How does certainty at 95% result when there is this obvious uncertainty in the fundamental amount of heating the world has seen? Other factors, such as UHIE, cannot in an sound mind be said to be 100%. And as there is clear evidence of a strong warming bias in temperature adjustments, the certainty of overall adjustment ACCURACY cannot be said to be 100% either.

    The statistical analysis of individual parameters and problem to get the fundamental temperature dataset strikes me as a bit of bait-and-switch: the certainty that we hear is that of disparate datapoints that, when clumped together, do not have the same accuracy resolution of one measurement repeated many, many times.

    Agreed, there are error bars. But do error bars mean that the center of the error bar is 95%? A moving datastream can develop a more accurate trend with time, I agree, but on the basis of two conditions: the errors are not cumulative and the errors are random. GISTemp appears to have cumulative errors in principle as today’s temp anomaly is dependent on a whole series of other anomalies considered to be a priori cooler or warmer than today (MWP, LIA). And the errors for at least UHIE (possibly also cool sites and non-sampled areas) are not random and build, in part, on such warm biased corrections as UHIE.

    So, statistically, how do we end up with a 95% certainty? I haven’t addressed all the factors of causation, either. The amount of natural warming has an uncertainty, as does both the radiative forcing of CO2 and feedback, regardless that the feedback is proposed as 100% warming (does not this also have a certainty limit less than 100%).

    Again, being skeptical, I ask: how, regardless of computers, slide-rules and the combined intelligence of the world’s population of sperm whales, do we end up with a 95% certainty of what will happen in the next 89 years?

  16. stephen richards says:

    R. Gates says:

    August 14, 2011 at 9:09 am

    It’s nice to see a quality control effort for surface stations, as it is certainly needed. However, it should be made clear that none of this will alter the overall global temperature trend data over later part of the 20th and into the 21 century

    Shouldn’t this read ” it should be made clear that none of this will be allowed to alter the overall global temperature trend data over later part of the 20th and into the 21 century” ?

  17. Brandon Caswell says:

    R.Gates

    Further yet. It doesn’t matter if your paper doesn’t completely rewrite history in one single paper.

    Science deals with the details and lets the grand picture take care of itself. Small changes matter in science. You can’t wave away a paper simply because it doesn’t completely overturn everything completely.

    The IPCC model of climate science is suffering the death of a thousand cuts. Climate is complex. Extremely complex. Even simplified models are complex with dozens of variables. Take the IPCC main models and adjust all the parameters by 1% randomly up and down. Now tell me if the output is the same? You know it won’t be because of their chaotic interconnected nature. The 1% here is amplified by the other 1% and act to exaggerate a seemily insignificant 1% somewhere else, etc..

    1% changes matter. Now look the dozens of small changes that have happened in forcing estimates over the last 3-5 years. You and your supporters have been happy to dismiss each one in turn because they (each one on its own) were not big enough to change anything. You show how changing one thing a small amount only had a tiny effect, so you change it back to the original number. But add them all in at the same time and your theory is bleeding to death.

    Saying the change is too small to make a difference and then ignoring it, is thumbing your nose at the complexity of climate. 99 is not the same as 100.

    I challenge climate scientists to actually add all the “too small to change anything” differences into your models instead of ignoring them. Then tell me how robust your theory is and how they can’t change anything.

  18. littlepeaks says:

    “Is the U.S. Surface Temperature Record Reliable” link goes to “Page not Found” on Heartland Institute.

  19. Doug says:

    I’ve been photographing them when I see one….a remote station in Bhutan, a mountain top in France. Is there a place to send my pictures?

  20. JR says:

    Re: Annabelle, Navy Bob

    As Dr. Pielke points out in his blog post, all of those sites are too close to human activity that will influence the temperatures in a non-constant way, making them unsuitable for detecting climate change.

  21. djmoore says:

    Dusty said: “I think this is another picture of the [Zambian] site:
    lusaka_city_airport_059.jpg”

    I don’t see any elements the two pictures have in common. If they are the same site, they’re taken from such different vantage points it’s hard to see the commonality.

    I, too, am with Annabelle. These sites may not perfect, but they’re far from “horror shows”.

    Perhaps in the future the most objectionable aspect of the site could be put behind some kind of spoiler tag, so that we in the casual audience can play along at home.

  22. djmoore says:

    …And I somehow missed JR’s post immediately above mine.

    OK, seems reasonable. Not obvious, but reasonable. The second two, in particular.

  23. Smokey says:

    djmoore,

    Check out Anthony’s Surface Stations site:

    http://www.surfacestations.org

    You will see that it doesn’t take much to put a station way out of tolerance. $Billions are spent every year based on the temperature record, which in turn is based at least in part on uncalibrated, out of tolerance surface stations.

  24. rpielke says:

    Doug – please send your photos as jpegs with their location and as much information as you have on them to Anthony and I. My e-mail is pielkesr@ciresmail.colorado.edu.

  25. scott says:

    Here is the link to Australia’s BOM site index. The info provided approximates the sort of thing you have shown above. The photos don’t necessarily show nearby buildings and runways though!

    http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/change/reference.shtml

  26. commieBob says:

    95% confidence is for wusses. I will predict the temperature 100 years from now with 99% confidence. The temperature will be 15 deg. C. within plus or minus 5%.

    One source gives the current global average temperature as 15 deg. C. That is 288 deg. Kelvin. 5% of 288 deg. is 14 deg., so the global average temperature will be somewhere between 0 deg. C. and 30 deg. C. Given the temperature record for the last 800,000 years http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:EPICA_temperature_plot.svg , I think I’m pretty safe. ;-)

  27. Verity Jones says:

    Is there any merit in listing and linking to the ones previously covered here? For example: Verhojansk
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/11/15/giss-noaa-ghcn-and-the-odd-russian-temperature-anomaly-its-all-pipes/
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/11/18/update-on-the-verhojansk-russia-meteo-station-and-data/
    Svalbard
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/05/13/where-the-is-svalbards-weather-station/
    Milan
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/10/04/how-not-to-measure-temperature-italian-style/
    I’m sure I don’t remember all of them but perhaps it’ll jog a few memories. Anthony’s got plently else to do besides trawl through WUWT pages to find them.

  28. Stephen Brown says:

    I am from Zambia and have lived in Lusaka. The city airport is now very secondary to the new airport which is 15kms out on the Great East Road. The city airport was the international airport until the new one opened around 1970.
    The city airport is surrounded by the fast-growing city of Lusaka, it is, to all intents and purposes, in the down-town area. What is, even in this urban environment, the principal source of heat for cooking? Charcoal.
    Lusaka is, every evening, blanketed in a miasma of smoke from the thousands of open fires used for preparing the evening meal. The devastation of the local bush bears testament to this.
    Any temperature measurement taken within 10 or 15 miles of urban Lusaka is invalid. Just go and see why!

  29. Mac the Knife says:

    Dr. Pielke,
    In regards to the lead photo “..a climate observing site in Chiapas Mexico..”, I suggest an alternate title
    “Airing The ‘Dirty Laundry’ Associated With Global Climate Surface Observing Sites”.

  30. LazyTeenager says:

    Smokey says:
    August 14, 2011 at 12:56 pm
    . $Billions are spent every year based on the temperature record.
    ——–
    sure Smokey I bet you have the exact figures to hand. Now assuming this statement has some degree of truth to it does it matter relative to all the other expenditures in the economy? And does it damage the economy I an significant way? And is the money wasted?

    Let’s compare these billions for example to the billions spent on gambling or overeating or any other less than useful pursuit. Does the economy collapse due to these things?

  31. TrueNorthist says:

    Does one need to download and run the files from the GHCN site to get the coordinates for the stations, or is there a list of all the lat/lon numbers that could be used?

  32. Met station pics from Europe (Hungarian site with poor quality Google translate).

  33. Remember the great story about the Canberra Airport instruments.
    How an ACT Green bureaucrat called out the BoM over car parks affecting the readings. I have an FOI thing in progress trying to get the full perspective.
    They way it stands, the BoM moved the station a little in 2008 – but instruments are now a bit closer to the considerable commercial developments near the terminals. So – the elephant in the room gets ignored again.
    Marvellous stuff.
    http://www.warwickhughes.com/blog/?p=218
    and
    http://www.warwickhughes.com/blog/?p=447

  34. R. Gates says:

    stephen richards says:
    August 14, 2011 at 11:03 am

    R. Gates says:

    August 14, 2011 at 9:09 am

    It’s nice to see a quality control effort for surface stations, as it is certainly needed. However, it should be made clear that none of this will alter the overall global temperature trend data over later part of the 20th and into the 21 century

    Shouldn’t this read ” it should be made clear that none of this will be allowed to alter the overall global temperature trend data over later part of the 20th and into the 21 century” ?
    _____
    It’s true that skeptics would love to find out that the global temperatures are way off because of bad data, etc. Heck, maybe we’ve not been warming after all! There was even great hope that the Berkeley project would bring forth some big revelation. Well, it just ain’t gonna happen.

    There is great value in making sure the data is as clean and uncorrupted as possible, but overall, it just isn’t going to make a huge difference in the temperature record. Don’t expect this to be a fruitful avenue if the refutation of AGW is the goal. It would be about as fruitful as trying to deny that the net increase in CO2 over the past few centuries has it’s root cause in human activities. Skeptics are barking up the wrong trees in both cases.

  35. R. Gates says:

    Brandon Caswell says:
    August 14, 2011 at 10:37 am

    Gates
    “…However, it should be made clear that none of this will alter the overall global temperature trend data over later part of the 20th and into the 21 century….”

    Could you really show any more bias?
    _______
    Well, why don’t you take a look at the preliminary results from the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project. Supposed to be totally objective, using only the best data, and yet it found that essentially the temperature records are pretty much accurate. It’s always good to get the most uncorrupted data possible, and so Anthony’s efforts in this regard are worthwhile, but they are not, under any circumstance, going to change the temperature trends over the past several decades. You can call this being bias, or simply understanding what is and isn’t possible based on the wealth, quality, and types of data that we do have and know to be reliable.

  36. Graeme W says:

    R. Gates says:
    August 14, 2011 at 9:09 am

    It’s nice to see a quality control effort for surface stations, as it is certainly needed. However, it should be made clear that none of this will alter the overall global temperature trend data over later part of the 20th and into the 21 century.

    I know others have already chimed in, but I found I had to, too.

    The Fall, et. al, 2011 paper showed that while the net result on trends in the USA was not significant, that was because they found two opposed sets of station bias that happened to counteract each other. Without a physical explanation as to why that would be the case, we can’t assume it will be the same world wide. It could just be a coincidence with the USA data the the biases were roughly equal and opposite.

    So I just can’t see how anyone can make a statement that investigating data quality standards for non-USA surface stations is not going to alter the overall global temperature trend data. It may or it may not – it’s too early to tell.

  37. Dusty says:

    djmoore says:
    August 14, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    I don’t see any elements the two pictures have in common. If they are the same site, they’re taken from such different vantage points it’s hard to see the commonality.
    ——-
    I took it from this site for Zambia station, which has both photos. I’d say being within the offset requirement for bldg and parking lot (and maybe trees?) would be behind the spoiler tag.

  38. Paul Coppin says:

    Gates: “You can call this being bias, or simply understanding what is and isn’t possible based on the wealth, quality, and types of data that we do have and know to be reliable.”

    Bwah haha! Wealth is right, but um, tell me how you measure and quantify “quality” and “reliability”?

    I don’t not believe the world is warming due to human activities. How reliable is my belief? 100%. I’ve never stated otherwise. As to quality, my belief is firmer, better and more fully informed than yours and unequivocally of much higher quality.

  39. Smokey says:

    Lazy Teenager says:

    “sure Smokey I bet you have the exact figures to hand.”

    The U.S. wastes between $7 and $8 billion every year on “studies” that revolve around the planet’s temperature.

    Lazy continues:

    “Now assuming this statement has some degree of truth to it does it matter relative to all the other expenditures in the economy? And does it damage the economy I an significant way? And is the money wasted? Let’s compare these billions for example to the billions spent on gambling or overeating or any other less than useful pursuit. Does the economy collapse due to these things?”

    OK, we’ll add ‘economic illiterate’ to Lazy’s CV.

  40. Richard M says:

    The lazy teen once again amazes us with his/her intellect. I thought most people already knew that it is the cheaper foods that have led to the obesity problems. People actually need to spend more money on things like fruits and veggies.

    As for gambling … that is a form of entertainment for most people. You might as well list ALL forms of entertainment. Movies, sports, arts, travelling, etc. I guess when you spend all your time in mom’s basement it’s difficult to picture how the rest of the world operates.

  41. Shanghai Dan says:

    Jeff Alberts wrote:

    “The locations of most of the worldwide GHCN stations is not well documented”

    Should be “are”.

    No, it’s correct. Most of the data is simply made up, and we’re not sure of the location where that fabrication takes place…

  42. DR says:

    Ok, someone explain how error bars and CI have any meaning unless the sources of uncertainty of the measurements are accounted for and removed.

    The recent ERA-40 and Antarctic errors should raise some red flags.

  43. Smoking Frog says:

    R. Gates said:

    Well, why don’t you take a look at the preliminary results from the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project. Supposed to be totally objective, using only the best data, and yet it found that essentially the temperature records are pretty much accurate.

    The BEST project did not find that the temperature records are pretty much accurate. It found that its own statistical analysis of a subset of the raw data produced a history of global mean temperature pretty much like what others’ statistical analyses of all of the raw data produced, where “its own” is somewhat different from, and arguably better than, “others’.” This has very little to do with whether the raw data is accurate. Moreover, last I knew, Prof. Mueller(sp?) said that BEST had not yet checked for “systematic error.”

  44. Smoking Frog says:

    R. Gates: Also, I’m not aware that BEST used “only the best data.” I thought it used a random subset.

  45. Brian H says:

    Shanghai Dan says:
    August 14, 2011 at 7:03 pm

    Jeff Alberts wrote:

    “The locations of most of the worldwide GHCN stations is not well documented”

    Should be “are”.

    No, it’s correct. Most of the data is simply made up, and we’re not sure of the location where that fabrication takes place…

    Jeff was correcting the singular/plural, not the positive/negative. So he could better have said Should be “are not”.

  46. Steve Keohane says:

    LazyTeenager says: August 14, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    Smokey says:
    August 14, 2011 at 12:56 pm
    . $Billions are spent every year based on the temperature record.
    ——–
    sure Smokey I bet you have the exact figures to hand. Now assuming this statement has some degree of truth to it does it matter relative to all the other expenditures in the economy? And does it damage the economy I an significant way? And is the money wasted?

    Let’s compare these billions for example to the billions spent on gambling or overeating or any other less than useful pursuit. Does the economy collapse due to these things?

    The real issue you are missing is that one set of dollars is spent as one wishes, the second is extracted at gunpoint prior to being spent. Your personal feeling about how either is spent is irrelevant.

  47. wayne Job says:

    Mr R Gates Armaggedon from CO2 is not about to happen ever. The tricks to show a warming world for political purpose is exposed. Please back track, take off your rose coloured glasses, and smell the daisies. Have a good long look around and see the manipulation of the temperature record, and tell us all the it is kosher. If you tell us all is well we will understand your condition and give you the correct amount of sympathy.

  48. Steve T says:

    Smokey says:
    August 14, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    Lazy Teenager says:

    “sure Smokey I bet you have the exact figures to hand.”

    The U.S. wastes between $7 and $8 billion every year on “studies” that revolve around the planet’s temperature.

    Lazy continues:

    “Now assuming this statement has some degree of truth to it does it matter relative to all the other expenditures in the economy? And does it damage the economy I an significant way? And is the money wasted? Let’s compare these billions for example to the billions spent on gambling or overeating or any other less than useful pursuit. Does the economy collapse due to these things?”

    OK, we’ll add ‘economic illiterate’ to Lazy’s CV.

    ************************************************************************************
    Smokey, I think you’re being unfair expecting “lazy” to work out why his CV has been updated.

    I think we need to spell out the difference between what individuals do with their own cash (individual choice) and what the government takes as taxes and “wastes” on our behalf (bureaucratic, mindless waste &/or oppression).

  49. Nuke says:

    R. Gates says:
    August 14, 2011 at 9:09 am
    It’s nice to see a quality control effort for surface stations, as it is certainly needed. However, it should be made clear that none of this will alter the overall global temperature trend data over later part of the 20th and into the 21 century.

    And speaking of temperature data, what’s the latest from Berkley?

    In other words: We know the [meta]truth. Facts be damned.

  50. David in Georiga says:

    It is interesting that R.Gates uses the BEST research to indicate that the science done by Anthony Watts and Steve McIntyre on Surface Station siting doesn’t matter, when the testimony that was given by Dr. Muller to Congress said, “Without the efforts of Anthony Watts and his team, we would have only a series of anecdotal images of poor temperature stations, and we would not be able to evaluate the integrity of the data.

    This is a case in which scientists receiving no government funding did work crucial to understanding climate change. Similarly for the work done by Steve McIntyre. Their “amateur” science is not amateur in quality; it is true science, conducted with integrity and high standards.”

    See http://berkeleyearth.org/Resources/Muller_Testimony_31_March_2011

  51. John_in_Oz says:

    @ LazyTeenager
    I’ve read your recent post. The last time I was this bemused was when I heard a proposal that “we should abolish farms. Farms are cruel. We should just get meat from the supermarket.”
    I will respond, but it may well take me a few days.

  52. Slacko says:

    R. Gates says:
    August 14, 2011 at 3:55 pm

    “It’s true that skeptics would love to find out that the global temperatures are way off because of bad data, etc. Heck, maybe we’ve not been warming after all!

    There is great value in making sure the data is as clean and uncorrupted as possible, but overall, it just isn’t going to make a huge difference in the temperature record. Don’t expect this to be a fruitful avenue if the refutation of AGW is the goal.”

    On the contrary, this is an extremely fruitful avenue of pursuit.

    Take Barrow for example, on the Arctic shore of Alaska. Here we have a situation where UHI is quite pronounced for a small city, and is extrapolated over a large area.
    Population increased from 300 in 1900 to only 4,600 in 2000. Yet Barrow exhibited up to 2.2°C of UHI in the winter months (from December 2001 to March 2002) compared with the surrounding hinterland. UHI increases to 3.2°C when there’s no wind.
    (Hinkel, K.M., Nelson, F.E., Klene, A.E. and Bell, J.H., 2003. “The Urban Heat Island in Winter at Barrow, Alaska.” International Journal of Climatology, vol. 23, pp. 1889-1905.)

    The weather station at Barrow Airport is used by GHCN and GISS to determine “proxy” Arctic temperatures. However, readings are clearly “infected” with significant UHI and, therefore, inflate high-latitudinal Arctic temperatures.

    So global temps are corrupted by bad data, and sufficiently to make it appear they are warmer than in reality. If you think that doesn’t make a difference you’re only kidding yourself.

  53. Smoking Frog says:

    David in Georgia: You make an excellent point. I completely overlooked it because I was focused on the difference between what Mueller did, and what R. Gates claimed he did.

  54. Brian H says:

    And, of course, there’s that odd selectivity of corrections “required” to homogenize the data: it always turns out to emphasize “the warming trend”. Here we have true anthropogenic fingerprints. Most belong to Jones and Mann and Hansen.

Comments are closed.