An update on my Climate Reference Network visualization project

Solar powered USCRN Station in Montrose, Colorado, 2006. Note the siting well away from any influences and the triple redundant air aspirated temperature sensors. The data is sent via satellite uplink (grey cone antenna) Photo: NOAA/NCDC

Readers may recall that when Peter Gleick first sent out the stolen Heartland board documents and the fake document to give the story “legs”, there was a mention in there of a project that I asked Heartland to help me fund. They found a private donor who was interested in my idea, and agreed to fund it. The amount of funding I received, based on the plan I submitted, was $44K, which when compared to many scientific papers and projects that get funded, is a proverbial drop in the bucket. For example, Michael Mann got a boatload of money: Mann’s $1.8 million Malaria grant – “where do we ask for a refund’? to study something outside his normal area of expertise – mosquitoes and malaria.

And as you recall, when the Heartland documents were made public by the “publish first, ask questions later” tabloid reporters at the Guardian and other news outlets, there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth by the usual suspects, claiming that somehow I’m in the employ of big oil, big coal, big tobacco, yada yada yada. One of the worst offenders was local eco-activist and Chico State University professor Mark Stemen who wrote to me with similar ludicrous charges, calling me a “Koch whore” and adding that “I’m making sure that everyone in town knows it” followed by posting a series of smears on his Facebook page. Stemen’s abusive smearing was typical of the over the top unprofessional and adolescent behavior that was directed at me for daring to do this project related to making climate data more available to the public.

Today, I’m going to offer my first update on it, so that everyone can see for themselves just how terrible and evil it is in the scheme of all things climate.

The goal of this project is to provide a publicly accessible one-on-one live comparison of temperatures between GHCN and other hourly reporting stations from the older surface network, to the new Climate Reference Network (CRN). The impetus was the heat wave in Texas last year, where I noticed that while there were a number of record setting high temperatures, many of them were higher than temperatures seen in the CRN. This suggested to me that UHI and siting effects play a role in elevating such temperatures. Unfortunately at that time there was no easy way to offer such visual comparisons, and I thought there should be, hence my idea that I asked Heartland to help me find a funding source for.

Here’s how Heartland Described my project in one of the stolen documents:

Weather Stations Project
Every few months, weathermen report that a temperature record – either high or low – has been broken somewhere in the U.S. This is not surprising, since weather is highly variable and reliable instrument records date back less than 100 years old. Regrettably, news of these broken records is often used by environmental extremists as evidence that human emissions are causing either global warming or the more ambiguous “climate change.”

Anthony Watts, a meteorologist who hosts WattsUpwithThat.com, one of the most popular and influential science blogs in the world, has documented that many of the
temperature stations relied on by weathermen are compromised by heat radiating from nearby buildings, machines, or paved surfaces. It is not uncommon for these stations to over-state temperatures by 3 or 4 degrees or more, enough to set spurious records.

Because of Watts’ past work exposing flaws in the current network of temperature stations (work that The Heartland Institute supported and promoted), the National Aeronautics and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the government agency responsible for maintaining temperature stations in the U.S., has designated a new network of higher-quality temperature stations that meet its citing specifications. Unfortunately, NOAA doesn’t widely publicize data from this new network, and puts raw data in spreadsheets buried on one of its Web sites.

Anthony Watts proposes to create a new Web site devoted to accessing the new temperature data from NOAA’s web site and converting them into easy-to-understand graphs that can be easily found and understood by weathermen and the general interested public. Watts has deep expertise in Web site design generally and is well-known and highly regarded by weathermen and meteorologists everywhere. The new site will be promoted heavily at  WattsUpwithThat.com. Heartland has agreed to help Anthony raise $88,000 for the project in 2011.  The Anonymous Donor has already pledged $44,000. We’ll seek to raise the balance.

Terrible huh?

Since it wasn’t clear in the Heartland description above what data I was going to use, for those who don’t know, here’s some background on the Climate Reference Network, this entry from Wikipedia:

The US Climate Reference Network (USCRN) Program was begun in 2002 and remains under construction with an expected completion date in late 2008. It has the long-term commitment of the Department of Commerce (DOC) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). This network will be maintained and modernized during the life of the program.

This is a program that will collect and analyze the highest quality climate data possible. Research based on these data will directly support near and long term policy and decision plans made by senior government and business leaders.

The research community, government agencies, and private businesses have identified significant shortcomings in understanding and examining long-term climate trends and change over the U.S. and surrounding regions. Some of these shortcomings are due to the lack of adequate documentation of operations and changes regarding the existing and earlier observing networks, the observing sites, and the instrumentation over the life of the network. These include inadequate overlapping observations when new instruments were installed and not using well-maintained, calibrated high-quality instruments. These factors increase the level of uncertainty when government and business decision-makers are considering long-range strategic policies and plans. Never before have people been so aware of the impact of the environment and climate variability and change on the quality of life and the economic health of a nation, its citizens, and the population of the world. This project will serve as a model for establishing similar networks in other countries.

Basically, the CRN is NCDC’s response to their realizations of problems in the existing climate observing network, something that I’m long since identified in my own surfacestations.org work, including a peer reviewed paper on the subject. Plus, my conclusions about the problems with the surface network in the USA were backed up by an investigation done by the US General Accounting Office. An example of the kind of problems the many surfacestations.org volunteers found are illustrated well by the fact that some stations used specifically to measure climate, were in the most ridiculous locations, like this USHCN station in downtown Ardmore, Oklahoma:

Ardmore USHCN station , MMTS temperature sensor, January 2009

While NCDC has gone to great lengths to defend the quality of the USHCN network and the highly adjusted data it produces, their actions of closing them (after we pointed out numerous train wrecks like Ardmore) speak far louder than written words and peer reviewed publications:

Ardmore USHCN station , MMTS temperature sensor removed, March 2011

The new CRN has none of these problems. Sites were meticulously chosen, temperature sensors have triple redundancy, there’s a QC process for data collection, and most important, since the data is not measured once a day (as observers did with high and low readings) but is done continuously, there’s no need for the Time Of Observation Adjustment, which we know adds significantly to the overall temperature trend of data used for climate study.

Note that the TOBS adjustment (in black) amounts to the lions share.

Here’s how NCDC describes the CRN:

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 vision of the USCRN program is to maintain a sustainable high-quality climate observation network that 50 years from now can with the highest degree of confidence answer the question: How has the climate of the nation changed over the past 50 years? These stations were designed with climate science in mind. Three independent measurements of temperature and precipitation are made at each station, insuring continuity of record and maintenance of well-calibrated and highly accurate observations. The stations are placed in pristine environments expected to be free of development for many decades. Stations are monitored and maintained to high standards, and are calibrated on an annual basis. In addition to temperature and precipitation, these stations also measure solar radiation, surface skin temperature, and surface winds, and are being expanded to include triplicate measurements of soil moisture and soil temperature at five depths, as well as atmospheric relative humidity. Experimental stations have been located in Alaska since 2002 and Hawaii since 2005, providing network experience in polar and tropical regions. Deployment of a complete 29 station USCRN network into Alaska began in 2009. This project is managed by NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center and operated in partnership with NOAA’s Atmospheric Turbulence and Diffusion Division.

More here. Given the advanced way it is measured, there’s no need to adjust the CRN station data whatsoever.

In addition, many USHCN stations are being modernized and added to the CRN network as I’ve described in detail here: What the modernized USHCN will look like.

Overall I’m pleased with that CRN project and the USHCN modernization, and I endorse it. But little of the data from it is finding its way into the public realm, and I aim to change that.

The first job was to arrange for and to program data ingestion. Initially it looked like the project was designated to be done with an Internet based FTP fetching, which can be fraught with problems related to network delays, timeouts, server load, etc. Fortunately it was discovered that the entire CRN data set was delivered on an hourly basis via one of NOAA’s satellite feeds. This was a godsend, because I worried about NCDC trying to cut off web access (like they did once before) when they decided they didn’t like what I was doing or if my bandwidth usages got to be too high. Similar issues plagued Steve McIntyre when he went to fetch a large amount of data once, the Gavinator of GISS blocked him. So unless NOAA/NCDC decides to pull the CRN data from the sat feed that services NWS WSFO’s nationwide, there should not be any access issues and no complaining over bandwidth and server loads.

Using the funds provided with the help of Heartland’s private donor, I hired a specialist programmer familiar with NOAA systems to trap and convert the NOAA sat feed data to look like any other hourly station (like ASOS hourly stations at airports etc) so that we’d be able to start the visualization and comparison process. This is just one phase of the project before it is ready for public consumption. When finished, there will be a website free and open to the public that will allow tracking and visualization of temperatures from the CRN right alongside that of the regular surface network

I’m happy to report that ingest programming is now completed and in the Alpha stage of testing. I have some “first light” imagery and data produced by the custom ingest system to share.

Below are some screen captures of the first output.

Click the images above to enlarge them.

As you can see for yourself, the project is pure evil.  I’m sure people like Professor Mark Stemen will be just shocked at what the *Koch Brothers/Big Oil hath wrought. /sarc

I’ll have updates when I have news from my programmer that he has completed the next phase of programming.

* For the record there’s no funding from either in this project, nor is any US taxpayer money being used, and anyone who says otherwise is a damned liar.
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93 thoughts on “An update on my Climate Reference Network visualization project

  1. Good for you. A watch out for any heat records around Chico State. Seems a lot of hot air radiates therefrom.

  2. I’ve had an R package for ingesting CRN for sometime. It will be interesting to compare the two approaches.

    REPLY: one time scrapes of data for R analysis is one thing, sustained production on a 24/7 basis is something else entirely – Anthony

  3. Beginning with your Chico Fan, and ending with all of the rest, this tendency towards smearing is the thing that will destroy your opponents. Congratulations on being able to do science on a pittance, instead of Stalinism on the budget of a medium-sized country.

  4. “…For example, Michael Mann goat a boatload of money:…”
    [+emphasis]
    He possibly is caprine but did you mean “got”

    REPLY: Fixed, thanks – A

  5. Anthony,
    This looks very cool. Is there any reason they couldn’t encrypt the CRN data on the sat feed?

    REPLY: oh they could, but this is public domain data, made freely available like any other NOAA data. We would collectively have Karl and Peterson’s head on a stick if they pulled a stunt like that. When they tried it the first time in 2007, they had to recant. You can’t make “public data” non public once the cat is out of the bag. – Anthony

  6. It seems the white car to the left, in the background, hasn’t moved in two years; it is abandoned?

    REPLY:
    it belongs to the city, that’s city hall, and the designated parking space. – Anthony

  7. Well, but it is evil when it destroys their freedom to adjust. It strengthens the reactionary notion of an objective reality and works against temperature relativism and post-normal science. /sarc

  8. I hope the missing Ardmore sensor wasn’t just mounted on the roof of the building.

    REPLY: No, it was moved to outskirts of town at a fire station, and made precipitation only. They no longer record temperature. – Anthony

  9. Excellent work!
    [ snip -while I think Dr. Stemen is really, really, childish and wrong, that's a bit over the top - Anthony]

  10. How very clear and helpful. Many thanks to Anthony, and to the Heartland Institute. Bravos all round!

  11. My compliments Anthony. I love to see real numbers made accessible, especially publically funded ones. The presentation is really top drawer. In my current field (emissions testing) I fight the same battle – no access to the raw data that has been mish-mashed to hide the poor performance of favoured technologies. This is inspirational work. Naturally we all look forward to the ‘first light’ of your national ‘scope.

  12. Really excellent work. I look forward to visiting this new site on a regular basis once completed.

  13. Paul Homewood’s website ‘Notalotofpeopleknowthat’ has found a similar rewriring of the historical record in South America: http://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2012/04/03/adjustmentgatesouth-america/#more-1058

    He’s calling it ‘Adjustmentgate’. Until now it appeared that the GHCN record was only being fiddled in the Arctic. I’ve documented some of it here: http://endisnighnot.blogspot.co.uk/#!/2012/03/giss-strange-anomalies.html

  14. DirkH says
    Well, but it is evil when it destroys their freedom to adjust. It strengthens the reactionary notion of an objective reality
    ————
    I am sure DirkH that they would prefer not to have to do any adjustments at all because it is a lot of very hard work.

    And since they spent a truck load of money to improve the climate network to avoid doing adjustments I think there is plenty of evidence to support the notion they would prefer to not do adjustments at all.

    And since they spent a truck load of money on satellites to provide global temperature measurements that were independent of the historical records, that is more evidence that they are anxious not rely on the historical records.

    I am keen to have better data cos that’s one less excuse climate skeptics can use to twiddle their thumbs.

  15. Good work! I always say persistence is the key to success. Glad to see this going forward, though I have no idea how 40K-80K is enough (putting aside the ridiculous claims by the alarmist that it is too much).

  16. From a total layman and interested in the whole settled debate: Great stuff. sir.
    Just added some fling funds.

  17. Anthony, thanks for the preview of this new work funded by the oil-funded planet-destroying baby-bayoneting denier conspiracy. It looks typically impressive! And for $88,000. That’s less than 5% of a Mann.

    Why are University professors sometimes the most pathetic, juvenile moroons on the planet?

  18. john in cheshire says:
    April 7, 2012 at 1:30 pm
    It seems the white car to the left, in the background, hasn’t moved in two years; it is abandoned?

    Also, someone photoshopped in a yellow truck, added clouds to the sky, and shortened the shadows just to make it look real.

    As Anthony said, it does seem to be the same city car in the same spot. Ardmore seems to be saving money. They kept the leaning water hydrant too. I believe the applicable word is parsimonious.

    I note, also, in the first photo (Montrose, Colorado) the solar power. Appropriate technology at the appropriate scale. Nice.
    ———————–

    Anthony,
    Thanks for the update. Seems a great idea is coming together.
    John

  19. Remarkable how all the ‘sceptics’ work hard to make data and methods public, not the ones in duty and paid by tax dollars.
    The other question is what qualifies this smeary professor to teach young people …

  20. Mike McMillan says:
    April 7, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    Real pretty so far. Are they measuring CO2 locally?

    REPLY: No CO2 monitors – A

    One thing they don’t measure which I think is a real pity, is atmospheric pressure. In addition to providing evidence of increased (or decreased!) storm strength, pressure data would help establish long term changes in weather patterns and might even provide information about total water vapor over time.

    Fortunately, air pressure is about the easiest climate attribute to measure accurately and we are very confident in the quality of data from old instruments.

    It’s sort of a tossup what I would prefer more – a grandfather’s clock or a mercury barometer. I think my wife would go for whatever is quieter. :-)

  21. john in cheshire says:
    April 7, 2012 at 1:30 pm
    It seems the white car to the left, in the background, hasn’t moved in two years; it is abandoned?
    ================
    Look at the lengths of the shadow cast by the fire hydrant, it confirms the seasons.

  22. “in Texas last year, where I noticed that while there where a number of record setting high”
    I think that should “were” not “where”.

    Also Anthony, an outstanding effort and we finally get some real temperature information instead of the usual doctored and manipulated mess we have had to put up with for so long. Like a previous commenter stated, they can no longer fudge the facts with their own interpretations. Time well spent and an outstanding effort.

    REPLY: Fixed the spelling, and please save the kudos for later, what you see above is just crude output. – Anthony

  23. Antony,
    you seems to have missed Roy Spencer’s bombshell; by reanalyzing the US 48 temperature data, he corrected for the warming bias of socioeconomic development and found that instead of 0.20 C per decade, the US has warmed negligibly only 0.01 or 0.029 C since 1970s, depending upon some variations in methodology.

    Moreover, Spencer himself now concedes (although I warned him two years ago to this possibility, after reading a paper by E. Long) that it is quite possible that the UAH data (showing 0.20 C per decade since 1979) has a large warming bias, possibly associated with the transition from one to another NOAA satellite in 1995. This is potentially the biggest climate news in years, and maybe the end of the entire “global warming” narrative.

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2012/04/new-u-s-population-adjusted-temperature-dataset-pdat-1973-2012/

    REPLY: No, didn’t miss it, was planning on running it today…just been busy, and I have to ask him

    Anthony

  24. Anthony,
    it seems that you have missed Roy Spencer’s bombshell; by reanalyzing the US 48 temperature data, he corrected them for the warming bias created by the socioeconomic development and found that instead of 0.20 C per decade, the US has warmed negligibly, only 0.01 or 0.029 C since 1970s, (depending upon some variations in methodology).

    Moreover, Spencer himself now concedes (although I warned him two years ago to this possibility, after reading a paper by E. Long) that it is quite possible that the UAH data (showing 0.20 C per decade since 1979) has a large warming bias, possibly associated with the transition from one to another NOAA satellite in 1995. This is potentially the biggest climate news in years, and maybe the end of the entire “global warming” narrative.

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2012/04/new-u-s-population-adjusted-temperature-dataset-pdat-1973-2012/

    REPLY: The WUWT search box is your friend, see http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/03/30/spencer-shows-compelling-evidence-of-uhi-in-crutem3-data/

    – Anthony

  25. A publically-funded employee Mark Stemen feels secure enough to call a local bill-payer a “Koch Whore'; nice play on words there Mark; I just love professorial innuendo. Not!
    “I’m making sure that everyone in town knows it”
    What everyone in town now knows is not something YOU, your students and employers should be entirely happy about.

  26. Anthony,
    the article you linked is the old one; I am talking about the two completely new posts published in the last two days with even more astonishing results!

    REPLY: Ah, well then I stand corrected – Anthony

  27. “It seems the white car to the left, in the background, hasn’t moved in two years;”

    Quite so – but they have moved the badge on the door …

  28. It occurs to me that Anthony has actually created a university department of climate science.

    Teaching, research, publication, grants from foundations, managing techs and student assistants.

    Two differences from the usual: (1) It’s outside the walls of a university. (2) It’s honest and scientific.

  29. Anthony, WUWT has gone from the last blog I check to a position in front of the Wall Street Journal. Thanks for taking Climate Change to a level that a retired engineer can understand.

  30. The issue with the TOB adjustment isn’t whether it is required, there is no question that it is required, but the size of the adjustment.

    Basically Karl came up with an adjustment algorithm with fairly weak empirical basis that even he concedes could be out by 25%.

    All we can really say is that is that TOB and the adjustment introduces a large uncertainty into the critical 1960s to 1990s period temperature record in the USA. As for TOB in the rest of the world, who knows?

  31. LazyTeenager says:
    April 7, 2012 at 2:05 pm
    “I am sure DirkH that they would prefer not to have to do any adjustments at all because it is a lot of very hard work.”

    Yeah, fudging numbers is hard work, sure, you seem to know a lot about work.

    “And since they spent a truck load of money to improve the climate network to avoid doing adjustments I think there is plenty of evidence to support the notion they would prefer to not do adjustments at all.

    And since they spent a truck load of money on satellites to provide global temperature measurements that were independent of the historical records, that is more evidence that they are anxious not rely on the historical records.”

    They also spend a truckload of money on non-government servers set up with help of Holdren to be able to communicate in covert means in an attempt to evade FOIA laws.

  32. Good stuff!

    However just a couple of things to consider please.

    Use Z time (as shown on your current o/p) and include local offset/time somewhere obvious
    More importantly please use a universally accepted date format yyyy mm dd hh mm ss.
    And continue with the deg celsius output (configurable if you like to degF)!

  33. Congratulations on the best value in scientific outcome for $88,000 in the history of Science. It will curb the ability of the forces of evil to adjust and manipulate. They will just have to report the results and that will be so unproductive for their scam. Objective reality overtakes temperature relativism and post-normal science.

    REPLY: Thanks but, I was only given half of it, and the other half is no sure thing thanks to sliminess by Peter Gleick and his helpers – Anthony

  34. Not sure about “terrible” or “evil”, but I’ve lived through times when the kids might have called it “bad” or “wicked” …

    Seriously, that’s datamashing on an impressive scale – nice work, and that Mk.I output looks pretty good already. And although you’re bullish about receiving no government funding – hang on. Comprehensive, intelligible public access to data collected at public expense? Sounds like something they ought to be supporting.

  35. What extraordinary language from a middle aged assoc professor, living in a modest suburban house in a respectable part of Chico with a responsibility for teaching young people.

    One of his students said, “He wants to turn environmentalism into a quasi-religion. He’s very opinionated. On controversial issues he will only display his side. I expected a sober look at possible solutions to enviro problems. However, there is almost none of that. It is mostly marginal enviro issues used as justification for his own set of ethics”.

    http://www.ratemyprofessors.com/ShowRatings.jsp?tid=379580

    What would his employer and students think, not to mention Terri, Beverly and Edgar.

    The man’s a minnow in the academic world and envious of your success. Good luck with this great project, the website looks extremely interesting.

  36. Why Oh Why does a private citizen have to do this??
    It is a terrible indictment and displays a level of complete incompetence and a paranoia on the part of the so called “scientists” who supposedly run the national weather and climate data networks that a private citizen, on an absolute pittance, probably a good deal less than they each get in annual pay, feels that as the information the public has paid for but which the scientists who run the Climate reference Network have failed to ensure the public has ready access to, he has to develop and then place on the net, vital public data on weather and climate for all to see and analyse.

    And secondly he can only do this with the help and assistance of private funders with no assistance at all from the national science funding bodies for what is likely to be a very significant source of publicly available climate and weather data.
    And he has to do all of this seemingly without any co-operation or even assistance from those same so called scientists who run the same “Climate Reference Network”.

    The credibility of both the so called climate warming scientists and the national science funding bodies has just gone down another half dozen notches.
    And climate warming scientists wonder and agonise over why the public’s trust in scientists and science is starting to go into free fall..

    REPLY: For the record, they do make it available here: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/crn/observations.htm , but have no means for easy side by side comparison of the new more reliable data with the problematic old network data, which is the reason CRN was built in the first place. – Anthony

  37. Isn’t NOAA the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration? I don’t believe a “National Aeronautic and Atmospheric Administration” exists. I think someone got NOAA and NASA mixed up.

  38. Post sounds a wee bit apologetic, even defensive– not acceptable in confronting AGW extremists. Big Government shills such as Hansen, Mann, Romm, Schmidt, Trenberth et al. should be seeking indulgences from WUWT.

  39. Ric Werme says:
    April 7, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    Barometric pressure observations *may* be available from the local airport if ASOS is available there.

  40. having read your introduction and all that you have striven and have achieved in regard to the multi fassets of temperatures across the many variable technological extremes to produce a 24/7 clear and concise honest format to a world of starving pioneers that remain rare in this day and age congratulations and know that the will will out,in integratity that you have achieved, for many today are trully tired of hearing about the Global warming swindle that perpetuats abundently after its aims in terms off $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$trillions i salute you Sir

    Lord Wind

  41. Donation on the way via Paypal as a small token towards the rest of the required funding…

    Keep up the good work!

  42. I hope you are also planning to make an mobile app available once your project is ready to golive. A few coins for downloading the app may help with your project and make the data readily accessible to the masses.

  43. A great project for an above average citizen. Too bad our elected ones and their minions often seem after power and money only and not for the good of something like this project.

  44. Very impressive. A credit to you, your sponsors and all associated with the project. You have my gratitude.

  45. I love this dastardly evil project. Hopefully, the charlatans who attempt to subvert it will discover some serious warming when they go to Hell^H^H^H^H

  46. the other nice thing is that by looking at hourly data folks will be able to see the impact of
    changing the time of observation and the necessity of correcting data

  47. Yes, congratulations on a great project,this is a rock solid foundation to some decent science. I hope your financial support continues in the years ahead.

    I note that temperatures will be monitored ‘continuously’. This will help to pin-point (in time) any abrupt step changes, but, this is digital, and do you know what will the intervals between measurements will be ?

  48. Dr Mark gets an award from his university …

    “Dr. Mark has been an inspiring and effective champion, not only on his own campus,” said San Juan, “but also for the CSU system, where he serves on the systemwide sustainability committee. He has reached across California’s three higher education systems and advised both community colleges and UC campuses as well as the CSU.”

    …for being on a committee.

  49. Unless my eyes doth decieve me, I think everyone may have missed one very important point, (please correct me if I have in fact missed it).

    The more “high density” the environment (think agenda 21 here) the higher the temp and the more irratic the weather. The lower the building density, the more stable the temperature and weather.

    Thus, if it were me, I would suggest to have a serious look at the differences in building, road etc density, vs temp and weather stability. If found that building more dense housing in cities does in fact squew the weather, then the agenda 21 is in peril, we need to disperse more, not gather together more. (hope this makes sence).

  50. Where/how does one contribute to this most worthy project?

    A visit to Heartland’s web site reveals nothing obvious, and many of us do not have Paypal accounts.

    Thanks.

    Pedro

  51. Well you gotta admit there is no line of cars, trucks or buses pulled up at the intersection with motors idling at that Ardmore temp station so what’s all the fuss about? Just the pure natural effect of Gaia’s deciduous street trees.

    REPLY: Ummm, did it occur to you I might have taken the photos at points in time when there were “no line of cars, trucks or buses pulled up at the intersection” to obscure the sensor in the photo? – Anthony

  52. Anthony, Please do a thorough job of verifying your programmers data processing and your own.There are too many nuts out there who would love to discredit you and the smallest bug would go a long way for them. I programmed for 35 years and I think more time should be spent verifying results than doing the actual programming.

  53. Ric Werme says:
    April 7, 2012 at 2:26 pm
    ….It’s sort of a tossup what I would prefer more – a grandfather’s clock or a mercury barometer. I think my wife would go for whatever is quieter. :-)
    _________________________________
    I have the antique aneroid brass barometer from my father -in-law, a ships Captain, hanging right behind me as I type. The grandfather’s clock is still in the hall at his house now owned by my brother-in-law. – Eat your heart out Ric…

    Anthony, as I said before, one day there will be an award in your name, perhaps for the amateur scientist who has advance science the most for that year.

  54. Ohhhh, an early Christmas Present! With plotted, WWs, SIGMETS, fronts, radar, and lots more!!! Just call it Weather Geek Central!! I can hardly wait until you have it up and running!!!

  55. Way to go, Anthony.

    Make sure to include data for babies, polar bears, and cute dogs expended in the process — as you are undoubtedly a confirmed capitalist pig.

  56. This is great, Anthony. I have surveyed only one of the old network sites, it would be classified as “rural” because it was miles away from any population. However, it was surrounded by black rocks, near asphalt paving and heat emitting electical equipment and subject to shadows from a nearby building. I think it could be termed as “RHI,” rural heat island. And I have always been skeptical that a high and low daily temperature truly indicates the average temperature throughout the day. There are so many variations that are not accounted for.

    I can’t help but have these questions, I am an engineer!

  57. Anthony, just like a storm begins with a pitter-patter of tiny drops, the data you are beginning to “systematize” can signal a deluge of trustworthy numbers.

    An excellent beginning.

  58. LazyTeenager says:
    April 7, 2012 at 2:05 pm
    And since they spent a truck load of money on satellites to provide global temperature measurements that were independent of the historical records, that is more evidence that they are anxious not rely on the historical records.

    Curious that they keep referencing “the hottest month/year/decade in history!” then, huh? And they were anxious enough to cite the historical records after they’d arbitrarily adjusted the temps downward…

    Back on topic — great job on the new site!

  59. If the new CRN stations are guaranteed to be not interfered with over 50 years because of their placement, does that mean these new CRN stations are UHI free? Are they now more like rural stations?

    REPLY: Yes they are UHI free, I’ve visited a few around the country and they live up to that claim – Anthony

  60. In the past month I have used the regional CRN site BWEA3 in SE Arizona to quality control a problem with the ASOS temperature observations at Douglas AZ. Some of you may recall the NWS record report at the beginning of Jan 2012 which reported on the many heat records supposedly established at KDUG in 2011:

    http://climate-of-the-west.com/2012/01/01/2011-record-warm-year-in-douglas-az/

    We now realize many of these records were spurious due to an ASOS sensor with an artificial warm bias of +3 to +4 deg F. Douglas is a rural station which I have been using to compare against the Phoenix urban heat island. By February 2012 I became suspicious something was amiss with the Douglas ASOS.

    It now appears since August 2011 the Douglas ASOS had been recording temperatures with a spurious warm bias of +3 to +4 deg F over the 6 months from Aug 2011 through Feb 2012. From the numbers below it looks like the Douglas AZ warm bias of nearly 4 deg F developed around August 2011. I have compared KDUG max temperatures over the past year against the new RCRN site BWEA3 on the western slope of the Chiricahua Mountains. Here are the monthly mean differences between the 2 sites which are separated by 1,000 ft in elevation. Lapse rate considerations suggest the high temperatures should differ by no more than 5-6 degrees, which is indeed what we find until August 2011. The mean monthly difference in max temperature in early 2012 had widened to nearly 10 degrees compared to an average of about 6 degrees in early 2011. RCRN sites such as BWEA3 use 3 redundant temperature sensors to insure high quality temperature observations. Finally at the end of February 2012 the NWS replaced the KDUG ASOS temperature sensor which seems to have removed the spurious warm bias as seen below in March 2012.

    KDUG elevation 4150 ft, BWEA2 elevation 5150 ft

    —————————-
    KDUG-BWEA2 (deg F)
    —————————-
    Jan 2011 6.3
    Feb 6.1
    Mar 6.1
    Apr 5.6
    May 5.6
    Jun 5.9
    Jul 6.2
    —>warm bias begins
    Aug 8.4
    Sep 8.3
    Oct 9.8
    Nov 9.4
    Dec 8.8
    Jan 2012 9.9
    Feb 9.9
    —>sensor replaced
    Mar 6.5

  61. Very interesting. This is going to be extremely valuable.
    I can see you are using a 14 year old compiler & MFC :-)

  62. Thanks Anthony !! It will be very interesting to see what the temperature-variability-magnitude of USCRN within-station data versus nearby USHCN (etc) stations looks like. It will be a real treat to see decent scientific data versus the usual likely-trash and I would expect the data to be illuminating.

    Thanks again for keeping us up to date on the progress of this project.

  63. Danger: “Terrorist” Watts at work!

    It’s going to be really interesting, especially as the database builds
    over the years.

    Great idea Anthony. Great execution, too.

  64. Whatmenaresayingaboutwomen Jay says: “in Texas last year, where I noticed that while there where a number of record setting high”
    I think that should “were” not “where”.

    Dear “whatmenaresayingaboutwomen Jay”, I think what you meant was “I think that should BE ‘were’, not ‘where’. ” You forgot the “be”. I don’t understand why people point out other people’s grammar/spelling mistakes like it really matters if they messed up one where/were while they were typing something up. If you really feel like you need to correct people on their mistakes, maybe you should correct your own first!

  65. It’s a very cool program and will need a catchy name on the title bar. The Watts Meter?

    How about a cute phrase for the “About” page, like “Real, pure, unhomogenized, untortured, non-spindled, or mutilated data brought to you as a public service by Anthony Watts, Heartland Institute, big oil and other imaginary evildoers, for pennies on the dollar” Could be a fun contest.

    And then the motto:
    “Doing things Big Government Can’t Do. For under $50k”

  66. Anthony: this is gorgeous. We are getting real science for a change; and the existence of the CRN seems to be due in large part to efforts like yours to ask the right questions, and keep asking them, and demonstrate how embarrassingly weak the old answers were, and forcing the Climate Establishment to do what it should have done long ago. I also appreciate that you have not tried to compete with the Establishment by constructing a parallel infrastructure of observation stations, but instead have applied pressure to their own system to ensure high standards of station design, siting and data feed; and have then used their own data –at source, before “improvement”– to create transparent and rich presentations for public users at every level of sophistication and interest.
    The leverage here –the bang from these modest bucks– is very great. We are all in your debt, and in debt to Heartland and your donor.

  67. Regarding problems with ASOS temperatures… I have recently retired from NWS, and have noted that there is no indicator as to whether the ventilation fan in the ASOS temperature sensor is operating properly. Since the average life of the ventilation fan is about 10 years, and, if not caught during the 3 month routine maintenance cycle as not operating, or is moving slowly, the only way to correct the fault is by comparison with surrounding sensing systems. An additional problem is that the old mirror dewpoint sensor has not been turned off at sites where the new and improved sensor has been installed. This is a great source of heat, if the vent fan fails, raising the indicated temperature by 2 to 8 degrees as well.

    The only way to get the problem solved is to go through the AOMC and have them label the sensor as “out of tolerance.” Then a visit is scheduled by the nearest forecast office ASOS technician to check the equipment. Unless there are obvious problems with the temperatures, such as comparison with surrounding RAWS or similar sensors, or with COOP sites which are in the general area, the problem could persist until the next routine maintenance check (Quarterly Check) of the equipment.

    Just for your information…

    JHall

  68. It would be nice if they named it the Anthony Watts CRN.

    REPLY: The idea for it well preceded my involvement, but thanks for the sentiment – Anthony

  69. Increasing access to knowledge is always a worthwhile. Keep up the good work. Real data is worth its weight in gold.

    I often get acussed of being anti-science because of my position on AGW and some of the anti-chemical garbage, that hurts because I have been extremely pro-science my whole life. It pains me to see science perverted by the activists and it also hurts to see the science community close ranks around climate scientists instead of demanding they act like proper scientists.

    My position is not a war on science, it is the defense of the non-political science I grew up with and love. The science that was all about the truth and not worried about spin and perception. It is good to see stuff like this which rises above politics and returns to the idea that data is precious and not to be adjusted or changed without multiple levels of diligence….and even then very sparingly.

  70. Great Job

    I would recommend a 5 year review cycle of the new stations, just set it up, and let the volunteers run the legwork.
    Track any problems
    Track any changes
    Compare changes

  71. Thanks Anthony!

    It is encouraging, but regarding remote sites like these powered with solar panels, I can tell you from experience that they are hard to keep up. I trust they have regular scheduled maintenance. CRN is obviously a good and worthy endeavor, but it will not last if someone doesn’t keep up with it. Solar and batteries are not as reliable as folks like to think.

  72. Anthony do not apologize for your work, nor accepting money from Heartland or a donor facilitated by them. (Or anyone else, as you do.)

    Neo-Marxists will always to pull what I call the “dis-interested scam”. They’ll claim that that their opposition has some bias, but they do not. (What a lie! Anyone associated with business is a favourite target, consistent with Marxist exploitation theory. More fundamentally, life is impossible without an interest, as values guide actions and action is necessary to sustain life. (They are hypocrites of course, eager to control others’ lives but screaming if restrained themselves.)

  73. cui bono says: April 7, 2012 at 2:10 pm
    “Why are University professors sometimes the most pathetic, juvenile moroons on the planet?”

    I suspect two causes:
    – universities are bureaucracies, thus full of politics.
    Rational thinking and integration (looking at the whole picture) are not rewarded, appearances and sound bites are. All same in dysfunctional companies, except taxpayers aren’t so much on the hook for them.
    – they operate in an environment more isolated from reality

  74. How many stations are planned for the new CRN? Will there be 29 in Alaska alone? Alaska is huge, 29 points of monitoring for it is very sparse. How many in each of the other States?

  75. “Remember Anthony Watts, the meteorologist and vocal climate change denier? Turns out he was pulling a 5-figure salary from the Heartland Institute. Neglected to mention that, he did.” – Nichole Stephonavich.

    +Nichole Steponavich you are lying about Anthony Watts and are liable for slandering him; time to get your facts straight before you dig a deeper legal hole for yourself.

    First off $44,000 funding for a scientific study is peanuts especially considering that Watts hired a programmer for implementing web site back end programming to collect climate data from other sources and process it for presentation.

    Not only that but the USA budget alone for climate research each year is USD$2.4 Billion dollars. That’s billion. So $44,000 is irrelevant peanuts for a project that sets up a useful web site so that people can visualize climate data.

    $44,000 is one fifty four thousandth and five hundred and forty fifth of the USA $2.4 billion dollar climate budget.

    http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=2.4%20billion%20%2F%2044000&t=wvg01

    “Readers may recall that when Peter Gleick first sent out the stolen Heartland board documents and the fake document to give the story “legs”, there was a mention in there of a project that I asked Heartland to help me fund. They found a private donor who was interested in my idea, and agreed to fund it. The amount of funding I received, based on the plan I submitted, was $44K, which when compared to many scientific papers and projects that get funded, is a proverbial drop in the bucket. For example, Michael Mann got a boatload of money: Mann’s $1.8 million Malaria grant – “where do we ask for a refund’? to study something outside his normal area of expertise – mosquitoes and malaria.”

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/04/07/an-update-on-my-climate-reference-network-visualization-project/

    $44,000 for a scientific study is not a five figure “salary”, it’s to get work done on a science study. Also by calling it a “salary” you imply that Watts will continue to receive that each year, not so as it’s a one time project and in fact Watts asked for $88,000 but only got $44,000 from a Heartland donor.

    “Today, I’m going to offer my first update on it, so that everyone can see for themselves just how terrible and evil it is in the scheme of all things climate.

    The goal of this project is to provide a publicly accessible one-on-one live comparison of temperatures between GHCN and other hourly reporting stations from the older surface network, to the new Climate Reference Network (CRN). The impetus was the heat wave in Texas last year, where I noticed that while there were a number of record setting high temperatures, many of them were higher than temperatures seen in the CRN. This suggested to me that UHI and siting effects play a role in elevating such temperatures. Unfortunately at that time there was no easy way to offer such visual comparisons, and I thought there should be, hence my idea that I asked Heartland to help me find a funding source for.”

    Your misrepresentation of Watts leads one to wonder how many other facts you’re misrepresenting Nicole.

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