Impact on temperature measurement: Cities expand by area equal to France, Germany and Spain combined in less than 20 years

Dark city infrastructure, such as black roofs, also makes urban areas more apt to absorb and retain heat. Heat generated by motor vehicles, factories, and homes also contributes to the development of urban heat islands. Image: NASA

Dr. Roger Pielke Sr. points out on his weblog this interesting press release from IGBP (from March 2012) that we all apparently missed until now. One of the points worth noting is that there were fewer than 20 cities of 1 million or more a century ago, there are 450 today. Yet, the keepers of climate data tend to discount these effects on temperature measurement.

Cities expand by area equal to France, Germany and Spain combined in less than 20 years

Press release |

Urbanization choices to be fundamental to environmental sustainability, say experts; Equivalent of a city of 1 million needed weekly given population growth trend; Four-day Planet Under Pressure Conference in London attracts 2,800 participants Unless development patterns change, by 2030 humanity’s urban footprint will occupy an additional 1.5 million square kilometres – comparable to the combined territories of France, Germany and Spain, say experts at a major international science meeting underway in London.

UN estimates show human population growing from 7 billion today to 9 billion by 2050, translating into some 1 million more people expected on average each week for the next 38 years, with most of that increase anticipated in urban centres. And ongoing migration from rural to urban living could see world cities receive yet another 1 billion additional people. Total forecast urban population in 2050: 6.3 billion (up from 3.5 billion today).

The question isn’t whether to urbanize but how, says Dr. Michail Fragkias of Arizona State University, one of nearly 3000 participants at the conference, entitled “Planet Under Pressure”. Unfortunately, he adds, today’s ongoing pattern of urban sprawl puts humanity at severe risk due to environmental problems. Dense cities designed for efficiency offer one of the most promising paths to sustainability, and urbanization specialists will share a wealth of knowledge available to drive solutions.

How best to urbanize is one among many “options and opportunities” under discussion by global environmental change specialists today, Day 2 of the four-day conference March 26-29, convened to help address a wide range of global sustainability challenges and offer recommendations to June’s UN “Rio+20” Earth Summit.

Other leading options and opportunities being addressed include green economic development (Yvo de Boer, former Executive Secretary, UN Framework Convention on Climate Change), securing food and water for the world’s poorest (Bina Agarwal, Director, Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi University, India), and planetary stewardship: risks, obstacles and opportunities (Georgina Mace, Professor, Imperial College, London). For a full list of “options and opportunities” conference sessions and topics, see conference website.external link, opens in new window

Cities responsible for 70% of CO2 emissions

Shobhakar Dhakal, Executive Director of the Tokyo-based Global Carbon Project, says reforms in existing cities and better planning of new ones offer disproportionately large environmental benefits compared with other options.

“Re-engineering cities is urgently needed for global sustainability,” says Dr. Dhakal, adding that emerging urban areas “have a latecomer’s advantage in terms of knowledge, sustainability thinking, and technology to better manage such fundamentals as trash and transportation.”

Over 70% of CO2 emissions today relate to city needs. In billions of metric tonnes, urban-area CO2 emissions were estimated at about 15 in 1990 and 25 in 2010, with forecasts of growth to 36.5 by 2030, assuming business as usual.

Addressing climate change therefore demands focusing on urban efficiencies, like using weather conditions and time of day-adjusted toll systems to reduce traffic congestion, for example. Congestion worldwide costs economies an estimated 1 to 3% of GDP – a problem that not only wastes fuel and causes pollution, but time – an estimated 4.2 billion hours in the USA alone in 2005. Estimated cost of New York City’s congestion: US$4 billion a year in lost productivity.

An “Internet of things” is forming, he notes – a fast-growing number of high-tech, artificially intelligent, Internet-connected cars, appliances, cameras, roadways, pipelines and more — in total about one trillion in use worldwide today.

High-tech ways to improve the efficiency of urban operations and human health and well-being include:

  • Rapid patient screening and diagnostics with digitalised health records;
  • Utility meters and sensors that monitor the capacity of the power generation net-work and continually gather data on supply and demand of electricity;
  • Integrated traveller information services and toll road pricing based on traffic, weather and other data;
  • Data gathering and feedback from citizens using mobile phones;

“Our focus should be on enhancing the quality of urbanization – from urban space, infrastructure, form and function, to lifestyle, energy choices and efficiency,” says Dr. Dhakal.

Care is needed, he adds, to avoid unwelcome potential problems of dense urbanization, including congestion, pollution, crime, the rapid spread of infectious disease and other societal problems – the focus of social and health scientists who will feature prominently at the conference.

Says Prof. Karen Seto of Yale University, who with colleagues is organizing four of the 160 conference sessions at Planet Under Pressure: ”The way cities have grown since World War II is neither socially or environmentally sustainable and the environmental cost of ongoing urban sprawl is too great to continue.”

For these reasons, “the planet can’t afford not to urbanize,” says Seto. “People everywhere, however, have increasingly embraced Western styles of architecture and urbanization, which are resource-intense and often not adapted to local climates. The North American suburb has gone global, and car-dependent urban develop-ments are more and more the norm.”

How humanity urbanizes to define the decades ahead

Fragkias notes that while there were fewer than 20 cities of 1 million or more a century ago, there are 450 today. While urban areas cover less than five per cent of Earth’s land surface, “the enlarged urban footprint forecast is far more significant proportionally when vast uninhabitable polar, desert and mountain regions, the world breadbasket plains and other prime agricultural land and protected areas are subtracted from the calculation.”

Read the full press release here

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

Dr. Pielke writes:

This land use change not only affects local and regional climate, but also results in a time varying effect on surface temperatures that have been used by the IPCC and others as the iconic metric of global warming. As we reported on in

Montandon, L.M., S. Fall, R.A. Pielke Sr., and D. Niyogi, 2011: Distribution of landscape types in the Global Historical Climatology Network. Earth Interactions, 15:6, doi: 10.1175/2010EI371

GHCNv.2 station locations are biased toward urban and cropland (>50% stations versus 18.4% of the world’s land) and past century reclaimed cropland areas (35% stations versus 3.4% land).

This bias is only going to increase in coming years as urban areas continue to expand.

Recently, I did an essay about the disparity of warming in Texas, and this IGBP press release along with Dr. Pielke’s commentary lends credence to what I found.

The differences between temperature trends between Texas as a whole (which is largely rural by area) and some of its fastest growing cities, such as San Antonio, is quite striking:

The data from San Antonio:

At 0.41 Fahrenheit per decade, it is four times larger than the statewide trend from 1948 to 2011. The population of San Antonio looks like a hockey stick, especially after 1940:

According to the Wikipedia entry on San Antonio: “It was the fastest growing of the top 10 largest cities in the United States from 2000-2010, and the second from 1990-2000.”. So I suppose it is no surprise to find it having such a large temperature trend compared to other Texas cities and the state itself.

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54 thoughts on “Impact on temperature measurement: Cities expand by area equal to France, Germany and Spain combined in less than 20 years

  1. While not wishing to cherry-pick, this bit caught my eye:

    Dense cities designed for efficiency offer one of the most promising paths to sustainability

    I can’t help but picture the Warsaw Pact concrete-tower ugliness so beloved of certain pan-national types.

  2. So now that the ManBearPig warmists are halfway to fixing climate, it’s clearly time to fix population; and soon after no doubt they’ll get ’round to fixing those pesky little deep space irritants so beloved of that irksome Danish fellow and his mates at CERN and soon after that, our inconsiderate Sun’s dodgy thermostat
    Oh goody, hubris and a double bah humbug and it’s not even breakfast

  3. One word: re-wilding. They will not be happy until they’ve herded us all into cities, and the animals into “their” land. GAIA, coming to (currently) private property near you.
    Will your property be re-wilded next? Watch out for Agenda 21 and the forcible
    reduction of CO2…

  4. I don’t think anybody doubts the existence of the UHI effect; the uncertainty relates to the magnitude of its impact on the surface temperature record. Some people say it’s significant, others say it’s neglible.

    Which is why I have to ask… shouldn’t the satellite record (1979-present) give a history that is unbiased by UHI effects? Shouldn’t that help settle the dispute?

  5. I wonder what the spatial distribution of that urban growth looks like compared to the temperature record.

  6. In all probability, especially given the consequences of the ongoing global recession, the world’s population will max out around 2030, and then start falling. By 2050, it could be falling rapidly.
    In decades past, couples started their families young, and if a recession caused them to delay the birth of a kid, they still had time. In today’s world, most couples are starting their families much later in life. For these couples, babies delayed often turn out to be babies that will never be born at all.
    No way in heck to we get 9 billion by 2050.

  7. Isn’t it interesting how the solution to ever problem is fixing someone else’s lifestyle.

  8. Yet, the keepers of climate data tend to discount these effects on temperature measurement.

    No Anthony, they make the necessary adjustments without any intended or unintended bias creeping in whatsoever. Oh, by the way 97% of climate scientists agree that man-made greenhouse gases caused most of the recent (now stalled) warming. Just go ask the very objective activist Dr. James Hansen of NASA. ;-) Go figure!

  9. Studies of UHI have shown that the UHI effect is, at most, an order of magnitude smaller than the warming trend over the last 100 years (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/wcc.21/full). The Berkeley group found it to be slightly negative (http://berkeleyearth.org/pdf/berkeley-earth-uhi.pdf). Satellite data shows the same trends as surface data.

    If you disagree, if you feel that the urban heat island effect has distorted the temperature anomaly then show the data. To quote:

    Show citations or your comment is just opinionated noise

    (http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/07/01/the-highest-temperature-reading-doesnt-necessarily-mean-a-record-hot-day/#comment-1022332)

  10. Dark city infrastructure, such as black roofs, also makes urban areas more apt to absorb and retain heat.

    Generally urban areas have a higher albedo than surrounding areas. Dark surfaces aren’t the main cause of UHI. Lack of evapotranspiration and lower humidity is. Although dark surfaces may be important in high latitude cities and where snow is a factor.

    For those of us who live in warmer climates, the idea of a house with a black roof is laughable. The house would get unbearably hot.

    I’d say urban density is the main determinant of UHI changes, because as density increases vegetation decreases.

    http://hokulea.soest.hawaii.edu/ocn435/classes/papers-class12/Taha-10.pdf

    http://www.atmos.umd.edu/~dalin/jin-zhang-dickinson-urban-clim05.pdf

  11. As an unbiased source of objective data the land-based temperature record cannot be considered to be anything more than than the intaglio of present human existence upon the Earth.

  12. @ MarkW says:
    July 2, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    In today’s world, most couples are starting their families much later in life. For these couples, babies delayed often turn out to be babies that will never be born at all.
    No way in heck to we get 9 billion by 2050.
    ***********************************************************
    You really shouldn’t generalize like this (most couples). There are parts of the world where population increase is double that of the USA or other 1st world countries.

  13. This is an interesting topic…as Russ R. says:… shouldn’t the satellite record (1979-present) give a history that is unbiased by UHI effects? Shouldn’t that help settle the dispute?

    I wonder what the consolidated impact of all that UHI has on global warming ! Perhaps the satellite data can illuminate this? Somebody out there must know Dr Pielke?

  14. I ask this question: Since 1900 where have the many billions (and billions and billions!) of rubber and asphalt dust gone? The short simple answer is: anywhere and everywhere. This enormous amount of black carbon is probably a major contributor to the UHI effect.

    Do this: Dab a Post-It note on the dusty top of a car until it does not stick anymore. Examine the dirty sticky strip with viewer with magnification of about 30-50x. Note the numerous black particles. The flat particles are from rubber, and the more rounder ones are from asphalt..

    The opaque sphere are sand from concrete. The small shiny reflective paricles are mica also from concrete.

    These are the larger particles. There are much smaller particles about 1-2 microns in dia. that we breath in. Once in the lungs these particles are there forever since synthetic rubber and asphaltenes are not degradeable by the body.

  15. Willis Eschenbach and Anthony, if you have time, we have another job for you. I don’t trust these guys’ areal measurement of the world’s cities. You know that if they can exaggerate they will do it in spades. Since their climate sensitivity is 300% too high, we could start by dividing their figures by 3. You can be sure that, whether it is sea level rise, ice decline, mountain glacier retreat (btw, haven’t been hearing anything about glacier retreat, Kilimanjaro de-icing, Lake Chad continuing to shrink, and the like for 3 or 4 years) they will never underestimate the calamity.

  16. Canada has a surface area of 2.5 billion acres, chocked full of all kinds of goodies except tropical fruit and is essentially unpopulated. We here don’t have to worry about susustainability. Ditto for Siberia.

    Metro Vancouver is best since winters are mild and electricity is generated by hydro which is dirt cheap.

  17. I recall Anthony doing drive through temperature urban gradient surveys. It wasn’t until I discovered that the “adjustment” to progressively urbanized collection sites was to lower the temperatures at the rural pristine stations that I understood the true wrongness of the warmist mindset.

  18. KR says:

    “Studies of UHI have shown that the UHI effect is, at most, an order of magnitude smaller than the warming trend over the last 100 years…The Berkeley group found it to be slightly negative…”

    KR, get up to speed. BEST fabricated another fake hockey stick. You can’t trust Richard Muller, so don’t even try.

  19. One can always spot an article deliberately written to be alarmist when it uses indirect measurements…. like a city of a million every week…. because it sounds, well… alarming. Let’s take the numbers and put them in perspective.

    Current global population ~ 7 billion
    Projected by 2050 ~ 9 billion

    Growth ~ 30%

    Exactly what is so alarming about planning for a population increase of just 30% over the next 40 years? By describing it in the terms that they do, it sounds like something monstrous. Itz just about 1% per year. Ohmigosh! 1% per year! What WILL we do?

  20. MarkW says:
    July 2, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    ‘No way in heck to we get 9 billion by 2050.’

    Mark, just a few years ago, the projection was 13 billion by 2050. The birth rate peaked about 2001, and has been dropping since. You never see this on the news because the Power Elites want us to drop to 1/3 billion or so. They hate people.

    The reality is, businesses mostly cannot grow with declining populations, so there may be hell to pay economically.

  21. What I took from the article is that over half of the world’s measuring stations are on less than a fifth of the land. Are stations being deliberately placed in areas that by their nature will get warmer?

  22. Your biologist reports here on the connections to living things:

    A couple of summers ago, I took a class in Animal Ecology. Among other things, we had a field day in Colorado’s mountains weighing and banding baby birds. Bird babies are such GOOD children, quiet and obedient. I wanted to take them home, but their parents were doing such a better job raising them than I could…. All the broods we measured were in human-built research birdhouses. It really struck me how popular those were–they were all taken. This shows that humans can affect the well-being of wildlife for the better if we want to.

    Other field trips showed that the usual human impact is a big increase in a few populations and sharply reduced biodiversity overall. That is just carelessness and ignorance. By working at it, we will learn how to increase biodiversity.

    One of the scientific papers we studied in that class was specifically about UHI. It found a northward extension of the range of Virginia opossums into human-heavy habitat. In the South, the species avoided roads and human structures, but in the North, that is where they were found.

    Overall, warming is good for living things. But as long as science in general, and biology in particular, are dominated by warmist shriekers, we cannot make progress on finding out how to be a blessing to the natural world. And it would be so easy…

  23. Harold Pierce Jr says:

    July 2, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    Canada has a surface area of 2.5 billion acres, chocked full of all kinds of goodies except tropical fruit and is essentially unpopulated. We here don’t have to worry about susustainability. Ditto for Siberia.

    Metro Vancouver is best since winters are mild and electricity is generated by hydro which is dirt cheap.

    Harold notice how the price is rising to pay the contracts to the independent power producers which includes wind farms and site C has to be built as backup for the IPP’s. 60 billion in contracts and site C on top of that. The fiberals are mad.

    Then we also have a carbon tax brought to us by David Suzuki, Andrew Weaver and Mark Jaccard.

  24. ” by 2030 humanity’s urban footprint will occupy an additional 1.5 million square kilometres – comparable to the combined territories of France, Germany and Spain, say experts at a major international science meeting underway in London.”

    1.5 million square kilometres is a square of about 1225 km by 1225 km. I suspect that the combined three countries cited are in real life, vastly larger than the 1500000 square kilometers. I guess a noble cause gives license to gross nonsense.

  25. @ MarkW says:
    July 2, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    In today’s world, most couples are starting their families much later in life. For these couples, babies delayed often turn out to be babies that will never be born at all.
    No way in heck to we get 9 billion by 2050.
    ***********************************************************
    Curiousgeorge says:
    July 2, 2012 at 4:35 pm
    You really shouldn’t generalize like this (most couples). There are parts of the world where population increase is double that of the USA or other 1st world countries.
    ************************************************************
    And many of their babies (and the mother die) soon after. deaths of infants under one year old in a given year per 1,000 live births in the same year 6/1000 for the USA and 121/1000 for Afghanistan. This does not include the under five who often starve to death in poor countries.

    In 2009, 57% or 129 of the 224 countries were below the 2.1, benchmark in 2010, 112 countries are below the 2.1 benchmark. The world population growth rate is 1.096% and the fertility rate is 2.47. The infant mortality (under one year) is 39.48 deaths/1,000 live births, (link) 10.9 million children under five die in developing countries each year, 60% from hunger related disease. (Replacement rate is 2.1)

    The USA had a birth rate of 1.3 in 2009. In 2010 and in 2011 it was 2.06 (I guess those illegals are having babies/sarc)

    France 1.3 -2009, 1.97 – 2010. now 2.08 (2011 est)
    UK – 1.1 -2009, 1.92 -2010, now 1.91 (2011 est)
    Canada – 1.0 now 1.58 – 2010, 1.59 (2011 est)
    Germany – 0.8 now 1.42 – 2010, 1.41 (2011 est)
    Switzerland – 0.9 now 1.46 1.47 (2011 est)
    Greece – 0.9 now 1.37 -2010, 1.39 (2011 est)
    Georgia – 1.0 now 1.44 – -2010, 1.46 (2011 est)
    China – 1.4 now 1.54 – 2010, 1.55 (2011 est)
    Paraguay – 2.8 now 2.16 – 2010, 2.06 (2011 est)
    Cambodia – 2.5 now 2.9 – 2010, 2.78 (2011 est)
    Hong Kong – 0.7 now 1.04 – 2010, 1.09 (2011 est)
    Niger – 5.2 now 7.68 – 2010, 7.52 (2011 est)

    Russia 1.43
    Australia 1.77
    South Africa 2.28

    India 2.58
    Afghanistan 5.64
    Egypt 2.94
    Iran 1.87
    Iraq 3.58
    Israel 2.67

    Argentina 2.29
    Brazil 2.16
    Chile 1.87
    Columbia 2.12
    Mexico 2.27

    The Congos – 5.09/5.59
    Guinea – 5.04

    Africa is the only continent with a really high birth rate but there is also a high infant/child mortality rate World Population is guestimated to peak at about 9-10 billion and then decline.

    Statistics take from : link over last couple of years.

  26. If you are breaking the law by pointing out the carbon tax cost of your products, you need a constitution work-over. I think in North America there would be a several million strong disobedient ignoring of this law organized. In Canada, gasoline pumps list all the government taxes next to the price.

  27. Hello KR,
    Maybe you and Muller missed these:

    http://www.earth.lsa.umich.edu/~shaopeng/stoten08.pdf

    The mean warming rate in Osaka surface air temperature is about 2.0 °C/100a over the period from1883 to 2006, at least half of which can be attributed to the urban heat island effects.

    http://www.utsa.edu/lrsg/Teaching/EES5093/UHI-houston.pdf

    http://climate.jpl.nasa.gov/files/LAHeatWaves-JournalArticle.pdf

    1. 2e average annual Los Angeles maximum temperature has heated
    up by 5.0±0.2 degrees F over the 100-year study period, and the
    average annual minimum temperature has increased by 4.2±0.1
    degrees F over the same period. We attribute this warming to the
    urban heat island effect and, to a smaller degree, atmospheric global warming.

    .

    There are countless other examples out there, and I’m sure Anthony is aware of them. It really isn’t difficult to understand, but is to measure. Some conflate the issue to minimize the significance of UHI. Rather, we are supposed to believe lights=0 can discriminate the effects of UHI within .01 degC, or that by replicating the reported “adjusted” temperatures is somehow a legitimate method of validation. What makes you think these documented phenomenon in the references given are not common throughout the surface temperature records for every location on the planet?

    OTOH, you would likely latch on to this one. It is a model, therefore must be true, because as we’ve learned over the years in climate “science”, models trump observations.

    http://news.stanford.edu/news/2011/october/urban-heat-islands-101911.html

    And you guys wonder why so many are skeptical.

  28. Dark city infrastructure, such as black roofs, also makes urban areas more apt to absorb and retain heat.
    ———-
    This claim ignores some pretty basic physics. Dark surfaces not only absorb heat more readily than light surfaces they also emit heat more readily than light surfaces.

    Therefore I expect cities to warm rapidly during the day, but also to cool rapidly during the night.

    Exactly how these two contrary effects affect average temperatures is not clear to me. Until I see some math or experiments on this I am keeping an open mind on the issue.

  29. old construction worker on July 2, 2012 at 3:11 pm said:
    UHI is a myth, just ask the “Team”. (LOL)
    ——–
    Some members of the team have done research on the urban heat island effect. They know and everyone else knows it’s not a myth.

    You seem to be confused.

  30. Smokeyvarious accusations of scientific malfeasance…

    Then show your data – the authors of these various studies certainly have. If you don’t have the data to support your opinion, then as Hitchens said: “That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence”.

    DR – UHI certainly has strong local effects, making urban areas hotter than rural. When assembling global anomaly data, however, only changes from long term mean are important. Looking at the full data set – well, UHI has no discernible effect on long term anomaly trends.

  31. KR,

    I provided Muller’s cherry-picked BEST chart, and the corrected chart. Also, DR tried to educate you. Face it, things just aren’t like you wish them to be.

  32. Smokey“Muller’s cherry-picked BEST chart”??? Muller provided all of the data. What you presented in your “corrected chart” is a 10-year snippet of the BEST temperature chart, a period which appears chosen to minimize temperature trends, and which is too small a sample to have statistical significance.

    Here’s the trend for 17 and for 20 years through the present (17 years being the minimum for statistical significance in RSS, as per Santer et al) of BEST data – http://tinyurl.com/d8w89wo – you will note trends of 0.36 and 0.23 C/decade, respectively.

    As to what the statistical significance is, taking into consideration autocorrelation of the data (see the calculator at http://tinyurl.com/7uumvqo and look for yourself), the BEST data indicates a 2-sigma significant trend emerging from the noise in 1994, of 0.247 +/- 0.243 C/decade – only a 5% chance of the null hypothesis (no warming) being true given the noise/variation present in the land temperature signal.

    Given the 10 year snippet of data you highlighted, the BEST statistics indicate a 2-sigma range of 0.131 +/- 0.542 C/decade – meaning that the 95% probability trend range might be as low as -0.411, or as high as 0.673 C/decade given that information. That’s just not enough information – your 10 year graph doesn’t tell us anything.

    So – I’m still waiting for some evidence to support your claims of scientific malfeasance.

  33. KR says:

    “…your 10 year graph doesn’t tell us anything.”

    Not “anything“?? Anyone with such a blinkered, extremist view is irrelevant to the discussion. Clearly KR is not up to speed on the subject. I suggest that instead of winging it, he should back up, and start by reading this article and comments:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/10/29/uh-oh-it-was-the-best-of-times-it-was-the-worst-of-times

    BEST data is cherry-picked crap. It is certainly not science according to the scientific method. But that is to be expected with an agenda-driven narrator like Richard Muller inventing conclusions.

    KR needs to take a couple hours to read that article and the comments. It is important for KR to understand what he’s talking about. As of right now, it’s clear he doesn’t.

  34. “High-tech ways to more egregiiously violate privacy and reduce human liberty and well-being include…”

    Just another little “truth in assertions” correction.

  35. I think it is clearly obvious that UHI creates a bias in the temperature record, however; I also think UHI is not in-significant in climate. We have essentially 5% of the land covered in mega-heaters. Not just the change to emissivity, but in huge volumes of energy use which always has some waste (heat). This has to have a measurable effect on real global temperature. Not to mention the millions of miles of asphalt highway. I’ve run quick calculations on how much additional energy is captured by the roads alone in albito changes compared to surrounding natural terrain. The difference is more than enough to meet all US energy needs. That is significant.

  36. “An ‘Internet of things’ is forming, he notes – a fast-growing number of high-tech, artificially intelligent, Internet-connected cars, appliances, cameras, roadways, pipelines and more — in total about one trillion in use worldwide today.”

    One trillion? More than a hundred for each of the planet’s 7 billion inhabitants? Am I so relatively impoverished or are these worry pros just more of a vocal minority that doesn’t know the difference between a million and a billion?

    And where do the records fall by the dozens–in the woods or in the cities? –AGF

  37. Curiousgeorge says:
    July 2, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    You really shouldn’t generalize like this (most couples). There are parts of the world where population increase is double that of the USA or other 1st world countries.
    ===========

    Even in those countries, the rate of population growth has plummeted in recent decades.

  38. Harold Pierce Jr says:
    July 2, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    Once in the lungs these particles are there forever since synthetic rubber and asphaltenes are not degradeable by the body.
    =====
    The lungs have mechanisms for expelling foreign particles from the lungs.

  39. LazyTeenager says:
    July 3, 2012 at 5:36 am

    This claim ignores some pretty basic physics. Dark surfaces not only absorb heat more readily than light surfaces they also emit heat more readily than light surfaces.

    Therefore I expect cities to warm rapidly during the day, but also to cool rapidly during the night.
    ——-
    Please think before posting.
    Exactly where is that expelled heat going to go?
    Into the air.

    The roof may cool down more rapidly, but the air into which that extra heat is dumped is going to cool down at the same rate it always did. Since there is more energy being dumped into the air, and since the air loses heat at pretty much the same old rate, the total amount of energy in the air at any given time is going to be higher. Hence hotter.

  40. Smokey – I took another look at your linked graphs, and it clearly includes some less certain data. The last two data points on your graph are from a mere 47 Antarctic stations, as opposed to the >14,000 used in the remainder of the BEST data, and have a correspondingly higher uncertainty (see http://tinyurl.com/3qlstkw for an in-depth discussion of this). So your data is not only cherry-picked, but includes some data points that are uncertain enough (+/- 2.5C) to be rather worthless.

    It would be a better choice to actually use all of the data. Cherry-picking your data sets, at best, weakens your argument. I strongly suggest you do some reading on statistical significance. As it is, you appear to be suffering from D-K (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect).

    Regarding the WUWT thread you linked – I followed that when it first came up, and was rather astounded at the reversal. Anthony Watts had clearly stated that:

    … I’m prepared to accept whatever result they produce, even if it proves my premise wrong. I’m taking this bold step because the method has promise. So let’s not pay attention to the little yippers who want to tear it down before they even see the results.

    (http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/03/06/briggs-on-berkeleys-best-plus-my-thoughts-from-my-visit-there/)

    But when the results came out, which (not surprisingly, as the trends are clearly in the data, raw, rural, and otherwise) agreed with previous temperature anomaly data, skeptics rushed to dismiss it. I considered commenting there at the time, but decided that the folks posting were making a big enough ****up on their own.

  41. Can you believe these jokers? They hate the fact that you or I own a house in the suburbs rather than be packed like rats in little cages in their “master planned” cities…

    Jerry Brown wants to build these Soviet-style cities along the hyper-expensive, slow-speed rail Browndoggle line he is pushing for California.

  42. I’d call Muller a faux-sceptic. I saw a clip of him claiming to have been a climate warming sceptic prior to BEST. It felt like orchestrated theatre to me.

    Besides, had he been a real sceptic, I think he would have been unlikely to get the BEST gig.

  43. Re: Robert Austin –
    1.5 million square kilometres is a square of about 1225 km by 1225 km. I suspect that the combined three countries cited are in real life, vastly larger than the 1500000 square kilometers. I guess a noble cause gives license to gross nonsense.

    Actually, according to Wikipedia the combined size of Germany (357,021), France (547,030), and Spain (505,992) is less than 1.5 million square km., closer to 1.41 million. I’m not sure I agree with the prediction of new urban space needed, but the ‘visual’ they suggest of their number seems accurate.

  44. Keith says:
    July 2, 2012 at 2:41 pm
    While not wishing to cherry-pick, this bit caught my eye:

    Dense cities designed for efficiency offer one of the most promising paths to sustainability

    “I can’t help but picture the Warsaw Pact concrete-tower ugliness so beloved of certain pan-national types.”

    Are you saying there is no concrete tower ugliness in non Warsaw Pact countries? I think you can find such constructions in countries like the US, Mexico, Brazil, Spain, UK, South Africa, Italy and Holland to name a few.
    The first multistory concrete tenements were Roman.

  45. Smokey – A small note: Argumentem ad hominem does not equal data, and never will; it’s a fallacious argument.

    Back to the thread topic: Everyone who has examined the whole of the data, or even representative sub-sets (checking satellite, rural, sea surface, etc.), has found that UHI has had a negligible to nil influence on temperature anomaly trends. If you disagree, show your data and methods.

  46. @Gail Combs 6.55pm
    Thank you, I was going to say something very similar!
    The over population myth is a pet hate of mine! Expect much more of this as the cries of AGW die down due to Mother Natures refusal to play ball. Sustainability is the new AGW. Just how many will have to die due to sustainability regulations, shudder!

  47. Curiousgeorge says:
    July 2, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    @ MarkW says:
    July 2, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    In today’s world, most couples are starting their families much later in life. For these couples, babies delayed often turn out to be babies that will never be born at all.
    No way in heck to we get 9 billion by 2050.
    ***********************************************************
    You really shouldn’t generalize like this (most couples). There are parts of the world where population increase is double that of the USA or other 1st world countries.

    As many have pointed out: wrong-o!
    Here’s the demographic surprise package:
    Depopulation by birth shortage in all the world — except the US; huge male child imbalances throughout Asia; falling lifespan in Russia.

    http://www.fpri.org/ww/0505.200407.eberstadt.demography.html

    And the UN Population Survey medium projections should be ignored. The “Low band” is the one that’s always right. And it now says peak of <8 bn around 2040, and accelerating (and probably dangerous) decline for the rest of the century.

    The De-Population Bomb! Make babies! Hurry!

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