Via experiment, NOAA establishes a fact about station siting: ‘nighttime temperatures are indeed higher closer to the laboratory’

WUWT readers may recall that I wrote about this experiment being performed at Oak Ridge national Laboratory to test the issues related to station siting that I have long written about.

NOAA’s ‘Janus moment’ – while claiming ‘The American public can be confident in NOAA’s long-standing surface temperature record’, they fund an experiment to investigate the effects of station siting and heat sinks/sources on temperature data

This effort promises to be greatly useful to understanding climate quality temperature measurements and how they can be influenced by the station site environment.

From the USCRN Annual Report: http://www1.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/uscrn/publications/annual_reports/FY11_USCRN_Annual_Report.pdf

Texas State Climatologist John Nielsen-Gammon writes about the the first results of this experiment presented at the recent AMS meeting in Austin, TX. The early results confirm what we have learned from the Surface Stations project. Nighttime temperatures are affected the most.

Two talks that caught my eye were on the land surface temperature record.  They attacked the problem of land surface temperature accuracy in two completely different, but complementary ways.

One, by John Kochendorfer of NOAA at Oak Ridge, Tennessee, is a direct test of the importance of siting.  They’ve installed four temperature sensors at varying distances across a field from the laboratory complex.  The experiment has only been running since October, but already they’ve found out a couple of interesting things.  First, the nighttime temperatures are indeed higher closer to the laboratory.  Second, this is true whether the wind is blowing toward or away from the laboratory.

It’ll take a lot more data to sort out the various temperature effects.  One way the buildings might affect the nighttime temperature even when the sensor is upwind of the buildings is infrared radiation: the heated buildings emit radiation that’s stronger than what would be emitted by the open sky or nearby hills.

More here: http://blog.chron.com/climateabyss/2013/01/dispatch-from-ams-looking-at-land-surface-temperatures/

Biases Associated with Air Temperature Measurements near Roadways and Buildings

Wednesday, 9 January 2013: 9:15 AM Room 15 (Austin Convention Center)

John Kochendorfer, NOAA, Oak Ridge, TN; and C. B. Baker, E. J. Dumas Jr., D. L. Senn, M. Heuer, M. E. Hall, and T. P. Meyers

Abstract

Proximity to buildings and paved surfaces can affect the measured air temperature. When buildings and roadways are constructed near an existing meteorological site, this can affect the long-term temperature trend. Homogenization of the national temperature records is required to account for the effects of urbanization and changes in sensor technology. Homogenization is largely based on statistical techniques, however, and contributes to uncertainty in the measured U.S. surface-temperature record. To provide some physical basis for the ongoing controversy focused on the U.S. surface temperature record, an experiment is being performed to evaluate the effects of artificial heat sources such as buildings and parking lots on air temperature. Air temperature measurements within a grassy field, located at varying distances from artificial heat sources at the edge of the field, are being recorded using both the NOAA US Climate Reference Network methodology and the National Weather Service Maximum Minimum Temperature Sensor system. The effects of the roadways and buildings are quantified by comparing the air temperature measured close to the artificial heat sources to the air temperature measured well-within the grassy field, over 200 m downwind of the artificial heat sources.

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

Early results of what has been learned in the surface stations project can be seen here:

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/07/29/press-release-2/

h/t to Dr. Roger Pielke Sr.

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182 thoughts on “Via experiment, NOAA establishes a fact about station siting: ‘nighttime temperatures are indeed higher closer to the laboratory’

  1. dog bites man science from NASA….after the video of said dog and man was repeatedly played on national TV, they claimed it was a hoax and then decided maybe they should looked into it.

  2. Can’t believe this experiment wasn’t done many years ago. After all, there is siting criteria for stations. Didn’t they experiment at that time to come up with good siting conditions??

  3. First, the nighttime temperatures are indeed higher closer to the laboratory. Second, this is true whether the wind is blowing toward or away from the laboratory.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Well duh! Uber duh!
    The buildings have vertical surfaces which means they radiate predominantly horizontal instead of vertical. Then to add to their analysis they come up with this utterly brilliant observation:

    the heated buildings emit radiation that’s stronger than what would be emitted by the open sky or nearby hills.

    Which physics classes did these bozos fail to attend since simply flunking them isn’t a good enough explanation for the stupidity of this remark? Both the open sky and the nearby hills radiate predominantly down and up. The vertical walls of the building radiate predominantly “sideways” or straight AT the nearby sensors. It isn’t the strength of the emission it is the DIRECTION of the emission.

  4. tom streck says:
    January 20, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    Can’t believe this experiment wasn’t done many years ago. After all, there is siting criteria for stations. Didn’t they experiment at that time to come up with good siting conditions??
    _____________

    This^^^

    How on earth has no-one thought to do this, and obtained funding, before? Especially considering how vital the record is to justifying saving the planet, surely understanding the effects of these things in detail should have been a very first step? Otherwise, if you try to adjust for them, you’re not “homogenising”, you’re just guessing!

    Unless, of course, you worry that the results of such an experiment, when explored fully, might weaken your case. In which case faiing to do it would be entirely understandable.

  5. In attempting the perhaps futile task of taking the earth’s past & present temperature, it appears that proxy data are almost (if not more, since possibly less subject to “adjustment”) important during the thermometer period as before it.

    For the repeatedly falsified CAGW hypothesis, shouldn’t lower tropospheric temperature be most significant, anyway? Or sea surface temperature or ocean heat content, rather than the easily faked land stations?

  6. A worthy study but, does it not confirm what we already know? Somebody please explain if this study adds anything new.

  7. @tom

    Probably, then they decided they don’t like those results, so we’ll ignore the issue as it helps their agenda.

  8. Shocked, shocked by the surrender of the modellers to the experimentalists.
    Just what the hell do they think they are doing, science?

  9. I so want to know how much I spent on this incredulously fantastic woulda thunk it possible discovery!!!!

  10. In re experimentally confirmed siting requirements; no, the conspiracy of ignorance masquerades as common sense. In a word, when two of the millions of Internet-monkeys agree, as they blog-chatter randomly, they have confirmed each other’s hypothesis and it becomes commonsensical.

  11. the heated buildings emit radiation that’s stronger than what would be emitted by the open sky or nearby hills

    It’s not so much the radiation is stronger (although it could be), rather it’s because it’s being emitted from a vertical surface, and more will reach a nearby object near the surface.

    It’s called the Urban Canyon Effect and a is a major source of UHI.

    It’s a pity they didn’t do the same experiment on the west side as well, as that would allow a quantification of the solar heating component versus internally generated heat in the building.

  12. I am in no way, shape or form a scientist or climatologist, but even I can say without a shred of doubt: DUH.

    The Emperor wears no clothes.

  13. That this work had not been done DECADES ago by the NOAA/CRU/GISS mob is utterly bizarre because the level of knowledge required to appreciate the basic issue is high school physics and in any case is reflected in the siting criteria!!.

    And they wonder why there are skeptics out there.

    Methinks 2013 could be a good year for skepticism and we might even see the AGW bubble burst.
    Anthony, can you organise an on line store for hazmat suits because the doodoo will go everywhere when it hits the fan and many of us will just want to watch.

  14. So it takes a long overdue, sophisticated scientific experiment to convince scientists that what lay people experience is actually happening?? All I can say is “DUH!!” One wonders whether these folks have ever been outside at night, anywhere, anytime.

  15. Anthony, This seems entirely intuitive to me. Have you ever received any commentary from NASA or the weather service on the major differences between the reported US temperatures and the group of well-sited and technologically sound stations that began to collect data in 2009 (if I recall correctly)?

  16. First, the nighttime temperatures are indeed higher closer to the laboratory. Second, this is true whether the wind is blowing toward or away from the laboratory.

    So this invalidates the claims against UHI that used wind direction as a metric with the logic that wind blowing toward the UHI would reduce the night time temperature if UHI was significant. Looks like some major reassessments will need to be done.

  17. Over the years I seem to recall that warming often occurs with night time temperatrures while daytime temperatures seem normal. Maybe this is a signature of UHI as well as badly sited individual thermometers. It is the storage radiator effect, i.e. heat stored in concrete by day keeps the place warm by night.

  18. I might be missing something, but the installation in Fig 7 appears to be “it” — i.e., the whole experimental design. If so, I’d be hesitant to call it an experiment; more like a demonstration. I’d want to have more than one transect at the site, perhaps with the replicates arranged radially (to capture varying wind direction), and replicate the site design at several locations. Sure, it will probably show what everyone (here) expects, but I can’t see n = 1 being sufficient for a defensible analysis of any kind.

  19. Aren’t experiments like this already in the literature? I don’t see how they are just figuring this out in the 21st century. This is goofy.

    Also, what about airports? Has anyone done similar experiments for runways? A heat sink is a heat sink whether it is a brick building or a slab of concrete.

  20. “Nighttime temperatures are affected the most.”

    As I recall, warming that showed a greater rise in Tmin than the rise in Tmax was supposed to be the “Signature of CO2 induced AGW”.

    This study appears to confirm what Anthony’s work has shown. Warming that showed a greater rise in Tmin than the rise in Tmax is the signature of poor station siting induced ALW (anthropogenic local warming)

    However I’m sure however the BEST team will be able to re-establish the signature of AGW through playing with anomalies and homogenisation. There should be absolutely no need to get out of the office and make individual station record corrections based on individual station metadata and site conditions. /sarc

  21. I have been jumping up and down and screaming for years about how climate scientists have no instinct for the empirical. The obvious failure revealed in the post under discussion is the same failure that undermined paleoclimatology: you cannot simply pop sensors (select proxies) down across the globe and assume that their readings are comparable. You have to do empirical research on the environment of each and every sensor before you can know that they are comparable.

    Now that some climate scientists have discovered this fundamental truth of scientific method, my guess is that they will conclude that the necessary work is so tedious and dirty that they would rather give up climate science. I encourage them to do so. There is not one among them who shows the capacity necessary to do what Professor Watson (of Crick and Watson fame) did over many decades. Every day he went into the lab and immersed his arms in vats of chemicals, day after day after day. Watson’s work, which is ongoing though the good Dr. is deceased, is the empirical grounding of the Double Helix. In any science, someone has to do that work.

  22. Does this mean a readjustment downwards will be undertaken once the effect can be accurately quantified?

  23. I hope this duplicating older experiments because this is soooo obvious.
    But if not, it’s about time.
    Now, the next step is to set up a similar (but much larger ) array around multiple cities of different sizes to start to better quantify UHI effect.
    With a station correction & UHI correction, maybe we can derive a surface temp data set that is more meaningful (but it will be an interpretive product regardless , due to the above effects being in the raw data).

  24. As has been pointed out, why have we spent so many billions of dollars ‘proving’ Global Warming, without making this simple test. In addition, sceptics have been claiming this is a probable factor for years, and it has been brushed aside as irrelevant, and data ‘adjusted’ to preconceived ideas without said tests being made.

    As I recall (perhaps poorly) the majority of Global Warming is in higher nighttime lows rather than daytime highs. If that is true, is it possible that even that is a crock, and there is really no warming whatsoever? That would be the very last leg of the whole CAGW hypothesis, and it should then be abandoned unless some proof appears.

    I predict that my taxes will not go down, however, and neither will the shill squealing of the alarmist abate.

  25. Station siting criteria have been around since before we were born, just for this reason. This stuff has been known for a long time. It has only been in the AGW era that some of these basics have been purposely forgotten: station siting, natural climate variability, the billions of years of earthly climate without a runaway greenhouse effect, and so on.

  26. The back story to this is simply , for most of the time poor sitting in reality did not matter to much . No one thought you could really give accurate figuers to two decimal places and thanks to the chaotic nature of weather its was accepted that forecast of all forms , temperature being just one , would be a bit and miss . And to that the lack of funding and you can see why the details of there position where not given a high priority. AGW changed all that suddenly they were claiming great accuracy and predictive power , so people started to look at just how good this locations really were and that’s when all hit the fan .
    For example
    Airport weather stations are designed to give weather for the airport and a limited area , so issues like jet wash and lots of runways were not an issue has its was still accurate for ‘the airport ‘ for the purposes it needed to be . But once it was expending into greater areas , partly to save cost , these factors became an issue , especially when they were being used in the name of ‘the cause ‘ and claimed to be a accurate way of measuring of wide areas to not subject to airport conditions.

  27. Theo Goodwin says:
    January 20, 2013 at 2:18 pm
    Now that some climate scientists have discovered this fundamental truth of scientific method, my guess is that they will conclude that the necessary work is so tedious and dirty that they would rather give up climate science. I encourage them to do so….In any science, someone has to do that work.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    They are too darn lazy to send their grad students or even their senior level Bachelor of Science students out to do the grunt work.

  28. Ben D. says:
    January 20, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    Does this mean a readjustment downwards will be undertaken once the effect can be accurately quantified?
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Are you kidding? Hansen will figure out some way to use this to ADD a couple more tenths to the global and US temperature record.

  29. The good thing about this, apart from the result, is that it is now published. If the results stand then this can be used to invalidate a whole set of interdependent data sets and subsequent dependent models. It would quite likely remove any ‘human sourced’ component… Back to the drawing board.

  30. About time, duh !

    now all they need to do is the REST of the Frigging sampling requirments:
    Replicates and random sampling.

  31. Hey – half a dozen or so ‘good’ papers in the last couple of weeks.
    ‘Good’ – well, sensible.
    Are the wheels on the CAGW Juggernaut starting to look a bit wobbly on their axles?
    Could it be that some in the weather/climate area of science have noted that not absolutely everything published is, well, good, verifiable science?
    [What about the other politically correct bodies, like the Met Office, or the American Chemistry thingy, whose brand leader is an English graduate, I read about today . . . .?]

    Might the tide be starting to turn?

    The costs so far have been horrific – all those [self-snip for obscenity] windmills, for a start! – but maybe we’ll see a reduction in the rate of increase. Please . . . . . . . .

    Here in the UK – my local forecast is -10 C (14 F) tomorrow at 0600 Z, in the UHI called London – we need some political leadership.
    Rather eliminates anyone called Clegg or Cable – or Cameron.
    And I don’t think the Millipede chap, who started the wind-scam as Energy Minister, would recognize a hectojoule.

    Auto

  32. I didn’t see anything about magnitude in that Oak Ridge experiment.

    How big an effect are they finding for station siting?

    • @Duncan, don’t know for certain, since I can’t get the whole presentation yet. I will say that if it were not a significant value, John N-G would not have written about it.

  33. I would think it would also be nice to see how all the different levels of adjustment
    (i.e. intake and homogenization) alter this data set just to see how good current process measures up to a control set of data.

  34. How much does the pruning of, mostly rural, temperature stations from the data set back in the 90’s come into play here?

  35. About “canyon effect” and “heat sinks”, how about the radiators varying characteristics due to size and distance. I know that radiation from a point source is attenuated by R^-2, and that as the dimensionality increases from line to surface to volume and as the dimensions increase the physics gets real complicated.

  36. For those who underestimate the impact of heat radiation, it is much like conduction. The individual photons bearing the heat energy, in their own frame, simply step across from source to target without any passage of time in between — time does not elapse at the speed of light. It’s well known that in a forest fire what you must avoid is open exposure to flames at medium distance — because the heat radiation kills. Therefore it can’t be a surprise that heat radiation from buildings will directly heat a thermometer casing at a medium distance.

  37. What matters is not whether temperatures are different near buildings, but whether temperature anomalies i.e the deviation from average, are different. Is there anything in the study on this? After all, if the sensor in the field is always cooler, then it makes no difference to the deviations from average.

  38. Why is it always worse than I suspect? The temperature data is not even good enough for government work.
    Does this one site test, reaffirm Michel Leroy’s methodology?
    Slightly OT, the temperature sensors used by the AWOS (Automatic weather observation stations) here in Canada are reported by Nav-Can as sensor model YSI 44034, specification sheet gives a range of -40 to 20C.Accuracy in that range as 0.01C.( might be 0.001C forgot already)
    This is the ongoing upgrade to Environment Canada’s system, does anyone know what sensor the system 1990 to 2010 uses,its working range and accuracy.
    This end of range at -40C, at arctic stations, strikes me as willful blindness, if true.

  39. In a bizarre way, this does prove the warming detected was AGW,..not from the CO2, but from their buildings! :)

  40. True vindication will come when NOAA recognizes, acknowledges, and INCLUDES confirmation of Watts et al in this research when published and made public.

    What would really quantify and confirm the accuracy of NOAA’s adjustments would be them publishing previous station adjustment methods, along with the same adjustments made to these known 5 in this study.

  41. Well this is indeed personal vindication for me as well as I had literally described in detail the exact experiement required to determine the amount of heat noise produced in micro-climates over short distances.

  42. Posted on the on the BEST update post at Climate, etc. Steven Mosher did the “snap” denial of an impact on BEST. Because they didn’t use an urban sites. LOL.

    k scott denison | January 20, 2013 at 5:45 pm | Reply
    Noted that WUWT has a report about NOAA experiment showing that siting affects nighttime temperatures… always warmer near buildings regardless of wind direction.

    Wonder how this affects the BEST data?

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/01/20/noaa-establishes-a-fact-about-station-siting-nighttime-temperatures-are-indeed-higher-closer-to-the-laboratory/

    Steven Mosher | January 20, 2013 at 5:57 pm | Reply
    In the UHI paper we only used stations that were free of urban influence to a 10km radius. so effectively we used no stattions close to buildings.

    Trends dont change.

  43. Impossible! The science is settled, $2.5 billion was spent, whole businesses (phony) created and (real) destroyed. The price of everything increased, fuel and energy poverty, food gone into gas tanks as bio-fuel and sundry little thing’s like the middle East exploding due to the high cost of living and food. No big deal to the watermelons.
    PS – I could have done this little experiment for a $100 and 3 or 4 spare evenings, How much of taxpayers money went into the obvious. So much for higher education!!!!

  44. There are a lot of DUH comments – justifiably – but please note that criticism is due to all those who did NOT do any testing, much more than it is due to those who at least ARE testing even if rather late.
    It is depressing that the world of science so often takes so long to apply a simple test. As for Marshall and Warren, where all the orthodoxy had to do was take a look, but it took them 20 years.

  45. Perhaps Anthony or someone else can point us to a link that documents the history of temperature loggers. I recall the early ones could only be a short distance from the computer and were sited on or near the sides of buildings.

    I’d be interested in knowing if their introduction coincided with the ‘warming’ that started in the mid-1970s.

  46. Konrad says:
    “Nighttime temperatures are affected the most.”

    As I recall, warming that showed a greater rise in Tmin than the rise in Tmax was supposed to be the “Signature of CO2 induced AGW”.

    You remember correctly. Except now we can say it’s a theoretical fingerprint of GHG warming and an observed fingerprint of UHI effect.

  47. Good comments. The “UHI error” cannot be deconvoluted from the real temps because the UHI effect must be measured at each station. Wind speed and direction are major variables here.
    I repeat, UHI effect must be quantified at EVERY STATION to permit subtraction of any error. This has not been done. The UHI error story is the most important salient weakness to the historical temperature record.
    For Tom and others, National Weather Services did (and do) have station siting criteria, rules for recording temps, and what color of paint to use on the screens, but those rules were not enforced. The people reading the thermometers may or may not have been reliable on every daily recording. Recording insturmentation goes out of calibration or fails.

    W all need to face the reality that there are no scientifically reliable surface temperature measurements before the creation of the Climate Reference Network. If you want reliable tems, then you need to look at the records of individual rural stations that never changed in any way in 100 years, including the individual who read the thermometer and recorded the readings, then you might get some trend line worthy of making climate claims, but such stations do not exist and there is no way to recover good data that was never scientifically reliable in the first place. If you know data are contaminated you must reject the data. The application of “night lighting” estimates to “gridded” and “homogenized” data is not accepted.

    Those few individual rural stations with long term stability, and some semblence of scientific discipline, in the UK or Europe, show ZERO long term warming. There are 4 science stations in Antarctica, Amundsen-Scott, Vostok, Halley and Davis that have a reliable temperature record since 1957, those stations all show ZERO warming.

    The Surfacestation.org project is a huge benefit to understanding the AGW story. Most people live their lives in marvel at daily technological advances, so fail to fully appreciate that some “scientists” CAN be politically corrupt, mediocre, self-serving or imcompetent. The same goes for the so-called “science” promoting societies like the Royal Society, AAAS, ACS, etc.

  48. I suggest we wait for the models to tell us whether the information gleaned from this experiment is useful. I mean, experiments are all well and good, but …

    /sarc

  49. I have to believe that at least some of the faults of NOAA’s siting is due to the fact that previously
    nobody much cared about the ability to discern small changes over time – 67 degrees was OK , even if it was really 68, because that was close enough for the purposes it was being used for.
    Or am I mistaken in this belief?

  50. Steven Mosher says:
    January 20, 2013 at 2:53 pm
    “ahem. arnt you forgetting who first pointed this experiment out to you?”

    I have been pointing out the need for such experiments for years. Why did it take so long to do the experiment. Will they do the necessary work on all their sites? Will they report that this work undermines most of their surface temperature records?

  51. Oh, wait. Does this mean they are going to have to go back and adjust every station that isn’t near a building or concrete or some other heat source to raise it to match the poorly sited locations? Seems to me they keep looking for excuses to make additional upward adjustments. First they adjusted rural stations up to match UHI. Now they are going to have to adjust well-sited locations up to match the poorly-sited ones.

  52. jimmi_the_dalek says:
    January 20, 2013 at 3:14 pm

    Why would you or anyone assume that the distortions introduced into measurements are uniform? That is not science. The experimental work must be done.

  53. Has anyone studied micro-heat islands? My very small town is a heat island, I know it but the heat islands I read about are much larger.

  54. I understand that these researchers have since submitted a new grant proposal to examine whether or not a watched pot boils.

  55. I’m pleased that someone has actually bothered to measure this (and in what appears as a rural location too?)
    However, in practise, most scientific folk have known about this type of problem for many years but it was never considered as being important because the effect is assumed to be constant, which in short timescales, it pretty well is – only when new build and towns are constructed around stations will a noticeable effect be seen. I believe this is one of the reasons UHI was always ‘dismissed’. The trouble is that we all know it is significant and more importantly is far more significant than they would like to admit. Hundreds of station data should probably be lowered as a result of cumulative UHI, but I have no idea how much adjustment for it has been done, or from when , or based on what criteria!
    I don’t know about the USA – but outside my house, (solid walls with no means of cavity insulation) I know it radiates a good deal of heat because on a cold frosty morning I see that my car has no frost on the side nearest the house, but well frosted on the other side. Hence, the house is emitting significant radiation to keep the facing side of my car ‘frost free’, QED. But of course, if we put several hundred thousand houses in close proximity into an area I dunno, let’s call it, a town, or many more together and call it, a city – and lets call the effect of lots of this heat radiation, ‘UHI’ – the data keepers still do not think it is significant and not really an issue when considering ‘global’ rising temperatures, despite increased town sizes, increased use of central heating, paved roads, infrastructure, etc ……yeah, right!

  56. tom streck says: Can’t believe this experiment wasn’t done many years ago. After all, there is siting criteria for stations. Didn’t they experiment at that time to come up with good siting conditions??

    If Bolivia had no money to do this astonishingly expensive experience ten years ago, all right, but the powerful NOAA ……

  57. crosspatch says:
    January 20, 2013 at 4:09 pm

    Haha – quite possibly! I can imagine the rural stations will next be argued to be artificially ‘cooled’ as a result of open access to wind chill for example – compared to all those sheltered urban stations! Watch out – it’ll probably happen!

  58. I’m willing to bet that 97% of scientists assumed that these experiments had already been done years ago by those clever people at the IPCC.

    And the other 3% were merely gobsmacked.

  59. Gail Combs says:
    January 20, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    Ben D. says:
    January 20, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    Does this mean a readjustment downwards will be undertaken once the effect can be accurately quantified?
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Are you kidding? Hansen will figure out some way to use this to ADD a couple more tenths to the global and US temperature record.

    Hansen, in his best impersonation of Captain Jean Luc Piccard, says “Make it so.” and the historical record is adjusted by the requisite amount.

  60. Over the past 60 years Tokyo has warmed by 2.0~2.5 degC, while Miyake Island, ca. 180 km from Tokyo, shows practically no trend in temperature. There are many such examples in Japan, and no doubt in most countries too.

  61. Obviously no ‘climate scientist’ has ever had a pet that needs to relieve itself at night or this ‘discovery’ would have been realised much sooner. I have often leant against the warmer bricks of the house whilst waiting for the pooch, rather than suffer the cooler temps away from the house.

  62. Once this is quantified and instrumented, the next step is to point the instrument at the night sky to measure “radiative forcing”. Not measuring any? Re-calibrate!

  63. OK
    So now alarmist know the data they are currently using shows no warming for 15+ yrs.
    Now is Hansen going to have the ability to go back and lower past temps some more?
    cn

  64. We were recently in New Zealand. When there, we visited the Mt Tongariro national park. A virtually uninhabited and building-free zone for many hundreds of square miles. Imagine my surprise when we drove straight past the local weather station. It was located less than 2 metres from the asphalt road.

    • @Anto I drove Highway 48 (Bruce Rd) tonight from the entrance all the way up to to Whakapapa, and dind’t see it. Can you help me locate it?

  65. Kev-in-Uk says:
    January 20, 2013 at 4:31 pm
    “I’m pleased that someone has actually bothered to measure this (and in what appears as a rural location too?)
    However, in practise, most scientific folk have known about this type of problem for many years but it was never considered as being important because the effect is assumed to be constant, which in short timescales, it pretty well is – only when new build and towns are constructed around stations will a noticeable effect be seen.”

    The US and the UK are on different time scales regarding building. For example, Atlanta grows relentlessly. It is like some sort of monster that never rests. I have not seen anything similar in the UK including London. I don’t mean to put down the UK. I just think those are the facts.

  66. coldoldman says:
    January 20, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    Little by little, day by day, the long walk back continues.

    It astounds me how slow the process is. For many CAGW probably qualifies as a psychiatric delusion:

    Although non-specific concepts of madness have been around for several thousand years, the psychiatrist and philosopher Karl Jaspers was the first to define the three main criteria for a belief to be considered delusional in his 1913 book General Psychopathology. These criteria are:

    certainty (held with absolute conviction)
    incorrigibility (not changeable by compelling counterargument or proof to the contrary)
    impossibility or falsity of content (implausible, bizarre or patently untrue)

    Furthermore, when a false belief involves a value judgment, it is only considered as a delusion if it is so extreme that it cannot be or ever can be proven true

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delusion

    Delusions die hard.

  67. “As I recall, warming that showed a greater rise in Tmin than the rise in Tmax was supposed to be the “Signature of CO2 induced AGW”.

    If you compare the difference between how much temps go up today, vs how much they fall tonight, there is no tread. I have a number of graphs the the url linked in my name.

  68. I have just found this case of BoM claiming an all-time hot day record at Leonora, West Australia – in a Post Office yard where solid fences have progressively enclosed the instruments since 1998 and in the last half decade a junk yard has evolved less than 10m from the instruments.

    http://www.warwickhughes.com/blog/?p=2029

  69. @Doug Huffman

    >About “canyon effect” and “heat sinks”, how about the radiators varying characteristics due to size and distance. I know that radiation from a point source is attenuated by R^-2, and that as the dimensionality increases from line to surface to volume and as the dimensions increase the physics gets real complicated.

    Actually it is a point source radiating spherically outwards that follows the R^2 law’. A wall radiates much more like a hot plate: largely perpendicular to the surface plus some to all sides.

    The experiment is useful, simple and the results will be believable. I agree they should have planted another set of instruments a 90 degrees to the first and where possible, a third at 180 degrees. That would have answered a lot of additional questions i have.

  70. NOOOOOOO! NOT HOMOGENIZATION!!!

    What homogenization does is to identify outliers and bring them into conformity with the others.

    Four out of five USHCN stations flunk the microsite test. One out of five are in compliance and yield reliable results.

    Guess which ones get identified as “outliers” . . . Yup, you guessed it.

    Now, I approve of the experiment, really I do.

    But when they homogenize the data, they always wind up pasteurizing it. I have been getting a real snootfull of that during my travels helping Watts et al. up to speed (just call me Al).

  71. NZ Willy wrote;

    “The individual photons bearing the heat energy, in their own frame, simply step across from source to target without any passage of time in between — time does not elapse at the speed of light.”

    Well, that is sort of correct. However time does indeed elapse when radiation travels, it might be a very small amount of time, but it is finite and more than zero.

    If you have ever placed an international phone call that was routed via satellite (or watched a news interview that did the same) you will notice a definite 2-4 second delay between the question and the answer. This is the time for the radio waves to travel up to an orbiting satellite and back down again. A phone call made via undersea cable (while travelling slightly slower) does not have this noticeable delay simply because the cable is MUCH shorter than the distance to/from the satellite.

    A good rule of thumb is that 1 nanosecond is about equal to 11 inches, give or take a bit depending on the impedance of a cable or the refractive index of an optical fiber.

    And indeed this “time of flight” is actually used to good effect in the engineering world (those clever humans what won’t they think of next) where “laser trackers” (expensive, but very real devices) are used to assemble large structures (ship building, bridges, airplanes, building, etc.) into exactly the desired location. Modern laser trackers provide knowledge of the location of a point within about 50 microns (~0.0002″) or so. All this is done by measuring how long it takes a pulse of laser light to travel to a retro-reflector (a specialized mirror) and return. With enough retro-reflectors on a large object you can tell where it is (relative to a datum) within tens of microns. It’s done every day in construction and manufacturing, and there are now some inexpensive DIY measuring tools that can measure the location of a surface within 1/16 of an inch without ever contacting the surface.

    So, time does indeed elapse when travelling at the speed of light, but you sure can’t use your grandfather’s stopwatch to measure it.

    Cheers, Kevin.

  72. I wonder if UHI ‘is’ global warming? If the only increase in temperature is UHI. Everything else is natural variations of the weather.
    People congregate and as cities grow everybody demands more energy to do their work for them. To move them around, for entertainment, etc. Even small towns exhibit some warming from UHI as they grow and depending on the location of their station maybe significant warming.
    I wonder, are civilization and growth causing the increased temperature readings?
    With so many people using energy for work and play, burning fuel, creating heat there must be some warming. But, I don’t think the warmth is caused by CO2, I think it’s the heat generated by people using energy 24/7.
    Take a car and fuel for instance. The energy in a gallon of gas is not generating heat. As the gas burns heat comes out from everywhere. The tail pipe, muffler, engine, radiator, etc all generating heat from that gallon of cool gas. Each part too hot to touch and warming the air surrounding them. And not just cars but thousands of other heat generators like refrigerators and dish washers and clothes dryers.
    I don’t see any harm in this type of warming. People should congregate and warm is good.
    I certainly don’t want us to stop our global growth just to prevent some warming in the growth areas of the world. If people get to where they can’t stand it they’ll move. A couple of degrees of warming is not to hard to take as long as you have energy….
    and air conditioning.
    What say you?
    cn

  73. Classic “Duh?” moment. I’m inclined to go with the absolute minimum here, with respect to the very lowest bar you must BEST. Which, by necessity, encompasses the obvious. Closer to a heat source, relative to the sticks, the more observable the thermally relevant emissions of denser mankind etc.etc.are.

    That’s the BEST we can do?

    At yet another half-precession-cycle-old possible end extreme interglacial?

    One has to wonder if this is not evolution in action. Go climate-security-blanket green, rub-out GHG emissions to whatever your modeled sub-tipping point may be. You might just be environmentalist enough to tip us into the next glacial, within which lies climate chaos which no one in your presently known internet family tree has any genetically transmittable knowledge of..

    If we, the people, fund research that can come to what must obviously be the correct natural conclusion with respect to effect relative to distance from source in (insert years here), what part of that instructs us as to how this specie of the genus Homo will navigate”

    “The onset of the LEAP occurred within less than two decades, demonstrating the existence of a sharp threshold, which must be near 416 Wm2, which is the 65oN July insolation for 118 kyr BP (ref. 9). This value is only slightly below today’s value of 428 Wm2. Insolation will remain at this level slightly above the glacial inception for the next 4,000 years before it then increases again.”

    http://www.particle-analysis.info/LEAP_Nature__Sirocko+Seelos.pdf

    with respect to:

    “An examination of the fossil record indicates that the key junctures in hominin evolution reported nowadays at 2.6, 1.8 and 1 Ma coincide with 400 kyr eccentricity maxima, which suggests that periods with enhanced speciation and extinction events coincided with periods of maximum climate variability on high moisture levels.”

    http://www.manfredmudelsee.com/publ/pdf/Trends-rhythms-and-events-in-Plio-Pleistocene-African-climate.pdf

    All tipping points in play, Mr Mosher et al, it probably does not matter who is right or wrong, Extend the present interglacial to beyond our next potential hardware upgrade, some 200kyrs in our future, and then beyond somehow again, or strip, mitigate, the only thing prognosticated so far to be capable of extending the present interglacial. For, at least, two more glacials…………..

    Representing the only known society so far capable of funding such a resource, democratically, NOAA need to up its game in light of

    “Briefly, the data indicate that cooling into the Younger Dryas occurred in a few prominent decade(s)-long steps, whereas warming at the end of it occurred primarily in one especially large step (Figure 1.2) of about 8°C in about 10 years and was accompanied by a doubling of snow accumulation in 3 years; most of the accumulation-rate change occurred in 1 year. (This matches well the change in wind-driven upwelling in the Cariaco Basin, offshore Venezuela, which occurred in 10 years or less [Hughen et al., 1996].)”

    “Abrupt Climate Change – Inevitable Surprises”, Committee on Abrupt Climate Change, National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences, 2002, ISBN: 0-309-51284-0, 244 pages, Richard B. Alley, chair

    Just sayin……………..

  74. Barb R. says:
    January 20, 2013 at 1:39 pm
    I am in no way, shape or form a scientist or climatologist, but even I can say without a shred of doubt: DUH.

    The Emperor wears no clothes.

    Book him, Danno, for public indecency.

  75. edcaryl says:
    January 20, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    Now move the experiment to the Arctic where the temperature difference is 100 degrees.

    And the Antarctic!

  76. Theo @ 4:10 “The experimental work must be done”

    Precisely. That is what I was asking. Have they looked at the effect on anomalies. Nearly everyone here is assuming that finding different temperatures near the building is critical. I am pointing out that it is only critical if it affects the temperature differences from the long term average as measured using the same apparatus, located at the same point, and measured at the same time of day. Otherwise no big deal.

  77. jimmi_the_dalek;
    I am pointing out that it is only critical if it affects the temperature differences from the long term average as measured using the same apparatus, located at the same point, and measured at the same time of day. Otherwise no big deal.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Of course it matters. For 100 years there is no building, then someone puts up a building and for the next ten years it is warmer and then someone puts up another building and for the next ten years it is even warmer than that…. how could it NOT matter?

  78. jimmi_the_dalek says:
    January 20, 2013 at 9:01 pm

    Every meteorologist and every climate scientist should have a bright red face all day everyday out of shame that they interpose some human’s contrivance, anomalies, between actual measurements and what they record. I do not consider professional hockey a real sport because the game is often interrupted so that players can fight on the ice. I will never consider meteorology or climate science to be genuine sciences until they do away with anomalies.

  79. Chuck Nolan says:
    January 20, 2013 at 8:05 pm
    “I wonder if UHI ‘is’ global warming? If the only increase in temperature is UHI. Everything else is natural variations of the weather.
    People congregate and as cities grow everybody demands more energy to do their work for them. To move them around, for entertainment, etc. Even small towns exhibit some warming from UHI as they grow and depending on the location of their station maybe significant warming.
    I wonder, are civilization and growth causing the increased temperature readings?
    With so many people using energy for work and play, burning fuel, creating heat there must be some warming. But, I don’t think the warmth is caused by CO2, I think it’s the heat generated by people using energy 24/7.”

    In the suburbs of Atlanta, the answer is yes. The addition of new shopping centers on three sides of your five acre property will send the temperature right through the roof.

  80. Theo Goodwin
    I do not consider professional hockey a real sport because the game is often interrupted so that players can fight on the ice.I do not consider professional hockey a real sport because the game is often interrupted so that players can fight on the ice.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    I take umbrage with this remark. Hockey is a shining example of just how far we have come in just two millennium. Ancient Rome had huge buildings called “coliseums” in which thousands of spectators would watch as paid athletes would do combat with sticks to which were affixed various blades. When a favoured combatant gained the upper hand, the crowd would leap to their feet and shout “kill ‘im! kill ‘im!”.

    This is nothing like a modern coliseum in which thousands of spectators gather to watch as paid athletes do combat with sticks with blades attached because nowadays the blades have little variety and must be within a narrowly defined standard. When the paid athletes do engage in combat,, and one favoured combatant appears to gain the upper hand, the crowd leaps to its feet and shouts “kill ‘im! kill ‘im!”

    How anyone could not see the vast difference is beyond me.

  81. Can I source the group and ask for calculations? Take an airfield near you that has a weather station. Calculate the volume of airfield up to 100m above ground. Obtain figures of daily fuel consumption from the airport operators. Convert the burned fuel heat to temperature spread over the volume. See if there is a possibility of warming this way, or whether it can be discounted.
    It’s not the same problem as jet wash impacting thermometers, but airports are often mentioned as having a bias. Can we calculate orders of magnitude and either kill or revive the question?

  82. I would have thought that they would site them at uniform distances from the building. Say at 50m 100m 150m etc. They seem to be bunched up.

  83. Being serious for a moment, I notice that the five weather stations are more or less in a line northeast of the buildings. Seems to me this brings into play two significant factors:

    1. The station closest to the buildings, and I am guessing the second closest as well, will most likely be in shadow during the late part of the day while the others will be exposed to direct sunlight in the evening.

    2. Given that the stations are northeast of the buildings, I think the result is they will exhibit less temperature differential than if they were on the south side. Were they on the south, the south facing wall would heat up significantly more during the day and hence have that much more energy to radiate back out toward the sensors.

    Seems to me that they have incorporated at least one effect that they should have tried to exclude, and they have excluded a rather important effect that they should have been including.

  84. If the thermometer is moved closer to the building in order for a cable to be connected to it, or a paved path is laid down to the thermometer, or a birdbath is installed nearby, or a shed or sauna or garage is installed, or the owner goes from having one car parked nearby to two, or buys a larger car like a pickup or SUV, or installs metal roofing, or builds a patio, or paves his driveway, or puts on aluminum siding, etc,., etc., etc., none of which will have been documented, then even an unmoved rural site will exhibit a warming trend. And it is likely that some of these developments have occurred at most “rural” stations. (If they’re airports they will have had increased traffic and hangers and fencing.)

  85. KevinK says:
    >>NZ Willy wrote: “The individual photons bearing the heat energy, in their own frame, simply
    >> step across from source to target without any passage of time in between — time does not
    >> elapse at the speed of light.”
    >Well, that is sort of correct.

    The key phrase which you overlooked was “in their own frame”. I showed that radiation is akin to conduction because, in the photon’s frame (where time does not exist) they are the same. Cheers.

  86. mpainter says:
    January 20, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    “A worthy study but, does it not confirm what we already know? Somebody please explain if this study adds anything new.”

    We aready knew it they have been denying it for decades.

  87. I can’t believe this sort of study is ‘revolutionary’ in 2013. This kind of study should of taken place decades or centuries ago.

    This is the sort of ‘data’ that is intuative to the common observer and, as shown, is easy to confirm.

  88. Geoff Sherrington says:
    January 20, 2013 at 9:52 pm
    “Obtain figures of daily fuel consumption from the airport operators.

    #1. In the USA just showing up at an airport and asking such a question would trigger a visit from “friendly” government anti-terrorists agents – with guns.

    #2. Besides, you would need to know the fuel consumed within that space and that would depend on plane, motor, taxi time, and so on. If you try to get all that information for a day or two – see item #1.

  89. PPS: Here’s a science project for Boy Scout groups around the country: Interview the persons maintaining nearby temperature reporting stations to get an idea how many of the local-site add-ons I listed above have been done over the years. Photos of the site from decades past would help. Some jurisdictions may have photos in the files of one of their departments. (I was able to obtain a photo of my house in Seattle in the 1930s, for instance.) Or insurance companies may have such photos. With a little encouragement, such a high-school level or college level project could get off the ground, because it might obtain significant findings. If the first pioneers did so, and got publicity and praise, then others would quickly follow without encouragement.

    What would be needed would be for a skeptic site to post a draft questionnaire (asking if the site add-ons I mentioned had been installed), a list of contact info for temperature stations (they needn’t be official stations in order for the survey to have widely applicable results), and a set of suggested procedures for how to locate and check official and/or insurance company photo archives. Call it “Surface Stations Project 2,” maybe. Maybe a WUWTer who’s a scoutmaster or a high school or college science teacher could pioneer this.

  90. I rather deplored your original heading to this story – Janus, and two-faced. I think they’re to be commended for re-examining the validity of their methods, and all should encourage such actions as good practice. (Sorry to be the Tart at the christening!)

  91. Theo Goodwin says:
    January 20, 2013 at 6:28 pm

    Not having been to the US, I don’t know about the scale of your building, But I don’t doubt your words. Everyone knows full well that urban night time minimum temps are warmer than rural, and I know the climate boys have tried to play down UHI as ‘insignificant’ – but I think it is very significant, and I reckon this confirms my long held thoughts, that all stations need individual analysis and that the majority of urban stations should probably be discarded, or perhaps just treated as their own separate dataset.
    The UHI issue is probably quite complex to resolve and requires a lot of human reasoning and analysis, not just computer ‘adjustment’. In the 60’s here, central heating was a rarity, and even the first house I bought in 1981, in Birmingham had no central heating. The provision of Natural gas in the early 70’s allowed more folks to get onto cheap energy and install central heating, but it wasn’t just the main cities (which had town gas beforehand) towns. I always remember our houses being cold in the winter mornings, and staying in one room next to the fire to keep warm! Contrast to today, when we swan about the whole house, enjoying 20degC whilst its cold outside! This has to have generated a significant amount of extra UHI over those years of gradual installation? So in order to correct temp readings for UHI, you have to gradually ramp up the correction according to a number of different factors. Then, in the 80’s and 90’s, we had government grants to install roof insulation, etc – so houses got warmer, but did the net UHI stay the same? At the same time, we had double glazing becoming the new ‘thing’. But a warmer house emits more radiation, does it not?
    In practise I just can’t see how a realistic correction to measured urban temperatures is possible without an awful lot of heavy analysis – and even then it is likely to be a best estimate. So, instead of using the urban temps (which we know are affected by UHI) within a global dataset, for my money, they should only be used on their own – or completely ignored.

  92. Anthony, typo on Figure 7 description. Furthest should be farthest.

    REPLY: Tell it to NOAA, that is a screen cap of their publication – Anthony

  93. There is a very interesting explanation for past global temperature using glaciers as the proxy in John Kehr’s book The Inconvenient Skeptic. http://theinconvenientskeptic.com/the-book/
    It seems most current glaciers between the Arctic Circle and the equator did not exist until some 4,000 years ago. Same for the SH. What more proof for a warmer past even if the present glaciers are showing some signs of minor melting.

  94. wshofact says:
    January 20, 2013 at 7:20 pm
    I have just found this case of BoM claiming an all-time hot day record at Leonora, West Australia – in a Post Office yard where solid fences have progressively enclosed the instruments since 1998 and in the last half decade a junk yard has evolved less than 10m from the instruments.

    And, as I have noted at Warick’s blog the Stephenson’s screen is about 3 meters from irrigated grass, in the middle of what is close to a desert. Any reduction in irrigation frequency (likely in the current environment here) will increase temperatures.

  95. Without any evidence or peer review papers to my credit the analysis of the temperature record is purely subjective on my part, however I have noticed as no doubt have many others the strange fact that our predecessors obviously could not read thermometers. Thus they have incrementally been adjusted in a downward way. Conversely the modern temperatures seem to rise with every passing year.

    This experiment dwells in the realm of very naughty and not of advantage to the cause, I would thus be a little careful if I were these people, they may need a new job soon.

    Thus the conclusion can only be, put back the real temperatures from the past, correct the modern temperatures correctly and we have been cooling. This is not a good thing but most probably true.

  96. Pas à pas ils s’approchent la verity.

    Step by step they approach the truth. Just a bit slow and with too many diversions on the way.

  97. davidmhoffer says: @ January 20, 2013 at 9:52 pm

    I take umbrage with this remark. Hockey is a shining example of just how far we have come in just two millennium.
    …. thousands of spectators gather to watch as paid athletes do combat with sticks with blades attached because nowadays the blades have little variety and must be within a narrowly defined standard. When the paid athletes do engage in combat,, and one favoured combatant appears to gain the upper hand, the crowd leaps to its feet and shouts “kill ‘im! kill ‘im!”
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    And those thousands of spectators are couch potatoes who sit on their rears pushing keys/pencils all day, most of whom would fall flat on their faces within the first few minutes if they tied on skates and tried to compete.

  98. I classified several weather stations with Météo France. The classification in this experience is not the same in the french network, with the interpretation of Michel Leroy in France.

    In the picture USCRN, the class 4 of the experience is probably class 2 in France (for a class 4 in France, the artificial heat sources must be > 31 m2 in the radius of 10 m or > 4 m2 in the radius of 5 m (and/or the shadows, …), for classe 3 it must be > 283 m2 in the radius of 30 m, > 1 m2 in the radius of 5 m or > 12 m2 between the radius of 5 and 10 m) , the classes 3 , 2 of this experience are class 1 in France (there are not enough the artificial heat surfaces in the radius of 100 m, the thresholds are, > 3142 m2 , 3 m2 in the radius of 10 m, 126 m2 in the radius between 10 and 30 m)

    You can see all the thresholds of the artificial heat surfaces in the tables in my old web page of the classification 1999 (The classification of 1999 give also the same heat surfaces as M Leroy 2010 ):

    http://meteo.besse83.free.fr/Divers/Classite.htm

    The original paper ML 1999 is here : http://entreprise.meteofrance.com/publications/collections/techniques_d_observations_et_de_prevision/techniques_d_observations_et_de_prevision?page_id=2912&document_id=4071&portlet_id=18736

    The main differences between ML 1999 and ML 2010, are the angulars for solar masks and the definition of representative reliefs (for shadow due to natural relief) . Example, ML 2010 in class 4 : Away from all projected shade when the sun is higher than 20 ° ( for ML 1999 : 5° )

  99. The cynic in me says the only reason they’ve “found” it now, is because … they are desperately looking for a way to explain the total inability of their models to predict the climate. And to be able to point to the temperature record as the culprit now suits them fine.

    I am reminded of a program about melting glaciers in Greenland. It showed the sea ate away at the base of the ice slowly but surely undermining it until all of a sudden the whole ice-front would collapse.

  100. Is there any point in using surface station records to calculate global temperatures post 1979 when the satellite records started?

  101. One of the things my old High School Physics teacher taught us was about trucks, and ‘drafting’. It was that BOTH the lead and the following truck got better gas mileage. Why? The lead truck clearly “makes a hole” for the follow truck… but the follow truck also pushes air forward to help reduce drag on the lead truck…

    For a building, down wind gets a turbulent area as the wind over the building is off the ground for a ways. But on the upwind side, you get a stagnation pocket for some distance out as the wind has to ramp up over and go around the building. BOTH sides get lower wind speeds…

    So more radiation, more “reflected sunshine” off the building onto the dirt all day long, and less wind to cool the dirt. On both upwind and downwind sides…

  102. Mike Haseler:

    At January 21, 2013 at 1:44 am you say

    The cynic in me says the only reason they’ve “found” it now, is because … they are desperately looking for a way to explain the total inability of their models to predict the climate. And to be able to point to the temperature record as the culprit now suits them fine.

    There is no need for cynicism. Pewrelw1tz (a NASA climate modeller) makes exactly that claim in his most recent post (at January 20, 2013 at 5:40 pm) in the WUWT thread at

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/01/16/quote-of-the-week-hansen-concedes-the-age-of-flatness/

    He there says

    The “NOAA falsification criterion” doesn’t say anything about a falsification of the models. Also this is purely made up by you. This is an interpretation that is only in your head. It’s something you are only projecting into the quote. Instead, the NOAA report formulates a criterion for when it is correct to speak about a discrepancy between observed and simulated temperatures. This isn’t the same statement as the one you are projecting into the quote.

    So, according to Perlw1tz, “a discrepancy between observed and simulated temperatures” “doesn’t say anything about a falsification of the models”.

    The NOAA falsification criterion is on p23 of the NOAA ‘State of the Climate’ Report (2008). It says

    ENSO-adjusted warming in the three surface temperature datasets over the last 2–25 yr continually lies within the 90% range of all similar-length ENSO-adjusted temperature changes in these simulations (Fig. 2.8b). Near-zero and even negative trends are common for intervals of a decade or less in the simulations, due to the model’s internal climate variability. The simulations rule out (at the 95% level) zero trends for intervals of 15 years or more, suggesting that an observed absence of warming of this duration is needed to create a discrepancy with the expected present-day warming rate.

    http://www1.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/cmb/bams-sotc/climate-assessment-2008-lo-rez.pdf

    The global temperature trend has been indistinguishable from zero at 95% confidence for more than 15 years whether or not one removes the 1998 ENSO peak. And, contrary to Perw1tz’s assertion, this falsifies the models.

    Richard

  103. John Hounslow says:
    January 20, 2013 at 11:03 pm

    I rather deplored your original heading to this story – Janus, and two-faced. I think they’re to be commended for re-examining the validity of their methods, and all should encourage such actions as good practice. (Sorry to be the Tart at the christening!)
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    No it is Janus, and two-faced.

    They have been shamed, beaten and bludgeoned into doing this study by the skeptic community. And they HAD to do it before a skeptic (Anthony or Roy Spencer…) did it. Please note they picked the direction from the building that would yield the lowest possible change, the north east direction.

    I am in mid North Carolina not all that far from Oak Ridge (less than a days drive) and the west or south west side of a building gets very very hot. So hot you will burn you hand touching the inside wall of my horse trailer. Mean while the northeast side has had since around noon to cool off and never actually got that hot in the first place.

    In other words if they did this experiment at 180 ° from the present experiment they are very likely to get a much larger difference and they darn well KNEW that if they had lived in the South for over a year. (You learn to wear gloves in the summer for driving so you do not burn your hands on the seatbelt buckle or other metal parts if you live in South Carolina.)

  104. The global temperature trend has been indistinguishable from zero at 95% confidence for more than 15 years, and as the majority of stations are sited in urban areas affected by UHI which has now pretty much reached saturation, there will probably be NO further detectable warming other than natural variability, I see no further warming in our lifetimes.

  105. I should add that #3 and #4 are not far from an asphalt road (less than the building length) and even # 5 has some sort of asphalt/gravel path near it. So the experiment is not really “clean”

  106. PPPS: Or maybe the site-owner had installed an air conditioner, a very common add-on since 1950. This would, like the other add-ons I mentioned, have added to the site’s “UHI.”

  107. I think you guys are missing the big picture.

    Bad microsite does not merely affect the offset. It affects the trends.

    On average, a badly sited station WARMS FASTER than a well sited station even if the station has not moved and there has been no additional development around it for the study period.

    Not because structures are being built near it. Not because the area has become more urbanized over time. Even if there has been NO CHANGE IN ANY OF THIS, the trends (sic, Sic, SIC!!! TRENDS, DAMMIT) are higher for poorly sited stations than for well sited stations.

    The difference between well and poorly sited stations is greater in rural areas where there has been no environmental change than in urbanized areas.

    So that Badly Sited Station Near You is producing a higher trend even if those bad siting conditions have not changed one whit in decades.

    We already know badly sited station are WARMER. That is not even controversial. But they are also WARMIER. Their TRENDS are higher. And that his HIGHLY controversial.

  108. Even the BBC (!) are beginning to acknowledge the existence of UHI. For the last few months, we’ve been getting weather forecasts, some of which have included something like this:

    “Temperatures tonight will dip to around minus five degrees … that’s if you live in a city. In country areas you may experience temperatures four or five degrees lower than this.

  109. why no graph showing the difference in night time temps… could it be we are talking about .0001-.0004 of a degree? and while it is measureable it might be well less than statisticly significant . I want to see the data.

  110. jimmi_the_dalek says:
    January 20, 2013 at 9:01 pm

    Theo @ 4:10 “The experimental work must be done”

    Precisely. That is what I was asking. Have they looked at the effect on anomalies. Nearly everyone here is assuming that finding different temperatures near the building is critical. I am pointing out that it is only critical if it affects the temperature differences from the long term average as measured using the same apparatus, located at the same point, and measured at the same time of day. Otherwise no big deal.
    —————————————————-

    Jimmy, it doesn’t actually matter whether or not this particular result affects the temperature records. What matters is that it’s such an absolutely basic bit of grade school science that it’s inexcuseable it hasn’t been done long before now.

    the reflection isn’t on the quality of the data so much as it’s on the quality of the scientists – these world-leading experts who are shaping the future of our world – who appear to have been so caught up in clever manipulations to homogenise data tat they’ve missed something so obvious.

    It’s a bit like finding you’ve just paid a mechanic £1000 to replace your faulty fuel pump when he forgot to check there was fuel in the tank first!

  111. John F Hultquist says – In the USA just showing up at an airport and asking such a question would trigger a visit from “friendly” government anti-terrorists agents – with guns.

    We all know there are too many guns in USA. That’s not the point.

    Any regular commercial pilot can grab the approximate amount of an airport’s fuel use from his own observations. Some corporatised airports publish it in annual reports. Fuel companies are not likely to invoke swat squads if you ask them the q and the reason for it. Manuals for aircraft give consumption on taxi and take-off, as well as landing especially with thrust reversed.
    Can I put it to you that this is a significant, unresolved question that badly needs an answer. Don’t be too put off by a gut reaction, be inventive and find the figures whichever way is non-alarming. They do exist as public knowledge in many places.
    There is no good reason why release is a security problem.

  112. Steven Mosher says January 20, 2013 at 2:53 pm
    ahem. arnt you forgetting who first pointed this experiment out to you?

    Was it me in a post on CA about similar BOM experiments at Broadmeadows by Jane Warne about 4 years ago?

  113. I wonder if anyone has even done a study of airport station temps during the period before, during, and after the 9/11 airport shutdown as compared to other non-airport stations in the vicinity. That shutdown lasted 3-4 days and could show the singular heat effects of the takeoffs, landings, trucks, etc that influence temps there on a daily basis. The buildings and runways would still radiate, but at least you’d be able to separate the combustion component from the heat sink component. Just a thought…

  114. Odd – i’ve just realised that every time i load the homepage my subconscious is reading the title of this as “Vile experiment….”

    Does that mean I’m an AGW supporter in denial?????

  115. richardscourtney says: January 21, 2013 at 2:39 am
    ============================

    The modelers have a problem with distance. They have great difficulty in taking a viewpoint that is not distorted with personal/ideological commitment. Jan Perlwitz is a good example. In his hands the principles of physics become quite elastic as he stretches them this way and that to maintain his fantasy land of unimpeachable climate models. His type of scientist never achieves the top rank of science because they cannot shift their psychological burdens away from from their treatment of scientific questions.

  116. richardscourtney says: January 21, 2013 at 2:39 am
    ============================

    The modelers have a problem with distance. They have great difficulty in taking a viewpoint that is not distorted with personal/ideological commitment. Jan Perlwitz is a good example. In his hands the principles of physics become quite elastic as he stretches them this way and that to maintain his fantasy land of unimpeachable climate models. His type of scientist never achieves the t
    op rank of science because they cannot shift their psychological burdens away from from their treatment of scientific questions.

  117. Can I claim back the additional fees for electricity and gasoline which came due because of the nonsensical carbon-tax slapped on both now, please?

  118. One thing to remember is the paper covered on WUWT that found building structures in open areas led to warming. This was due to better mixing of the air. So, it isn’t just UHI. Even rural sites may be impacted by the building of barns, silos, etc. It’s kind of a double whammy.

    In addition, the other paper mentioned on the n-g blog could be important. It mentions how a modelled view of land temperatures in the 1940s based on SSTs produced results that were too high. However, if they were comparing the modelled results to adjusted temps rather than raw data, then maybe it is the adjustments that are wrong and the model (a weather model) is showing this.

  119. If you have ever ridden a motorcycle in the country on a cold frosty night you can instantly detect when you come to the outskirts of a village by the sudden ‘warmth’ – even when the buildings are several hundred metres back from the road and even if the day has been a cold frosty one too – so sensors anywhere near buildings are bound to be effected to some degree (or fraction of a degree?).

  120. It is just amazing to me. Experiments we did in the sixties as part of beginning Meteorology and Climatology class now have to be repeated to these supposedly brightest of the bright.

  121. Geoff Sherrington says:
    January 21, 2013 at 4:37 am

    John F Hultquist says – In the USA just showing up at an airport and asking such a question would trigger a visit from “friendly” government anti-terrorists agents – with guns.

    We all know there are too many guns in USA. That’s not the point.
    __________________________
    No, we all don’t know that, but you’re right, that is nowhere near the point.

  122. I think one reason the temperatures started be recorded closer to buildings had to do with, of all things, getting Dopplar Radars. The radars were so expencive that Congress insisted the NWS had to make cuts in other areas, and one area that saw cuts involved paying actual people to walk out and look at thermometers. Instead “automatic” thermometers were put in, but back at that time the “cordless” ones hadn’t been invented. Because the automatic thermometers had to have a buried cable, and couldn’t cross under streets or highways, they were closer to buildings. Temperatures seemed to rise, and Alarmists could freak out about “Global Warming.” Now that we have “cordless” thermometers we can place them farther away from buildings, Global Temperatures will apparently fall, and Alarmists can utterly freak out about “Global Cooling.”

    As usual, Congress was behind the funding glitch. However I’m glad we got Dopplar Radar out of the deal. Prior to Dopplar meteorologists didn’t understand how amazing and complex thunderstorms actually are.

  123. Now what is needed is the second part of the experiment: what changes in the temperature sensor housing need to be made to eliminate or greatly reduce the influence of radiation from nearby structures? We cannot expect to hold the immediate environment around these stations unchanged in any way for 30 or more years, nor do I like the process of “adjusting” historical data to compensate (as we imagine) for non-natural influences. The larger the “buffer zone” required to avoid artificial heating, the greater the expense to site and maintain these stations.

    So, what kind of IR screen can eliminate influence of nearby construction (buildins, roads), with a natural buffer zone no larger than 100 meters around the sensor?

  124. The university of Minnesota is doing some work on the UHI. I have a sensor in my yard. About 4 months so far. They have a large number scattered throughout the Minneapolis St Paul area and suburbs. They assume UHI exists and are looking for ways to minimize it.

    http://islands.environment.umn.edu/

  125. Our well respected newspaper [sarc ] deleted this post as it offened their community standards.
    HOW? or don’t they like the truth?

    So how accurate are our temperature records?
    In a recent experiment by the NOAA at Oak Ridge, Tennessee, they installed four temperature sensors at varying distances across a field from the laboratory complex. The experiment has only been running since October, but already they’ve found out a couple of interesting things. First, the night time temperatures are indeed higher closer to the laboratory. Second, this is true whether the wind is blowing toward or away from the laboratory. For more info see WUWT

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/01/20/noaa-establishes-a-fact-about-station-siting-nighttime-temperatures-are-indeed-higher-closer-to-the-laboratory/

  126. Latitude says:
    January 21, 2013 at 5:38 am
    I always wondered why we planted early and late season crops next to the barn……………..
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Yes! When you fly over the Cdn prairie in spring, you can look down at that broad expanse of white, punctuated by large circles of bare earth, a cluster of farm buildings in the centre of each one.

  127. Anyone with a garden could tell you this. The tomato plants that are right next to the house always survive the early frosts that wipe the other ones out. How and why does anyone listen to or respect people who don’t understand such very basic facts?

  128. @ Anthony

    “@Anto I drove Highway 48 (Bruce Rd) tonight from the entrance all the way up to to Whakapapa, and dind’t see it. Can you help me locate it?”

    Would that I was in the area – I’d give you a hand!

    I hope you get the opportunity to see the South Island, and if you do, and are in the Nelson region, I’d love to say “G’day”.

    Cheers

  129. Snow melt around tree bases

    Here is a great example using just a tree. Anything that sticks up through the snow creates a heat island…no need for buildings with internal heat sources for the effect to be observable. Just something sticking up through the snow what isn’t white.

  130. @Richard M 6:07, Yes part two is interesting, if the model is useful, it would run high when compared with the “corrected” temperatures of the 1940s . Sort of like the tree ring thickness of hide the (1960 on) decline. Would that be 3 indications that the land surface temperature database is FUBAR beyond all help?

  131. Standard procedure in vineyards is to till (alternate rows) in the spring, so that the frost risk is reduced, by providing a better surface to absorb daytime sun and to reduce the nucleation of frost from moisture & vegetation growth. Alternate rows are usually sufficient, though in local “pockets” where cold air pools, its often better to till all rows. Even the UC knows this http://www.sarep.ucdavis.edu/covercrop/files-images/Pres1wCreds.pdf though it’s Davis not Berkely..

  132. davidmhoffer says:
    January 20, 2013 at 9:52 pm

    Your eloquent response is totally convincing. How could I have been so blind to the march of civilization?

  133. Have to agree with JohnS …….. That is a pretty rinky – dinky experiment. Honestly, the set up is something I might expect in a grade 10 or 11 high school science course. NOAA… really…… that is the best they could do? I would be far to embarressed (excuse my spelling) to publish something like this even done by a back water, little provincial government geologist yet alone a major organization. If this is in any way representative of other `climate science’ being done…. well, I am to disgusted to …. to … I am at a loss for words.

  134. Kev-in-Uk says:
    January 20, 2013 at 11:16 pm

    I agree wholeheartedly. Also, I share your experience, though mine was in the US. In our “information age” few can imagine that most Americans heated their houses with coal as late as 1950. I guess we are roughly the same age.

    By the way, London is no place to do a UHI study. That is because London gets so little sunlight. If one wants to do a UHI study, good locations include Atlanta, St.Louis, Dallas, and Phoenix.

  135. Steve C says:
    January 21, 2013 at 3:42 am
    ‘Even the BBC (!) are beginning to acknowledge the existence of UHI. For the last few months, we’ve been getting weather forecasts, some of which have included something like this:

    “Temperatures tonight will dip to around minus five degrees … that’s if you live in a city. In country areas you may experience temperatures four or five degrees lower than this.“’

    Amazing. In the US, meteorologists have reported in this fashion since TV became popular in the Fifties.

  136. The point is that a thermometer is a instrument that measures something at a specific location. Move it and the the measurement changes. So, we have measurements based on a specific location that is assumed to be close to the temperature of a broader area. As an example, the summer mid day temperature under a canopy of cedars can be much cooler than the temperature measured at the local airport one mile away. While in winter, the same measurement may show the opposite, where the temperature under the cedars is warmer than the temperature at the airport. As we change the landscape, we change the specific temperature of that location. Thus, to make an effort to measure a trend is difficult as there are too many moving targets.

  137. What’s NOAA up to? They recently applied downward adjustments the the long-standing 1934 temperature record (making 1934 cooler), and applied upward adjustments to the 2012 record, making 2012 warmer than the adjusted 1934 record. Having done that, NOAA then proudly announced that 2012 was the hottest year ever in the U.S. Does NOAA expect the station siting experiment to give scientists new insights for further gerrymander recent temperature data… and if it doesn’t, will we ever hear the outcome of this experiment?

  138. Theo Goodwin:

    I do not consider professional hockey a real sport because the game is often interrupted so that players can fight on the ice……..

    ==================================================
    “Sir, …… Pistols at dawn!.

    TB

    /joking

  139. There should have been a (slaps face) right after the “Sir”. I’m sure you all get the idea.

    ;-)

  140. evanmjones says:
    January 21, 2013 at 3:30 am
    I think you guys are missing the big picture.

    The difference between well and poorly sited stations is greater in rural areas where there has been no environmental change than in urbanized areas.

    I wouldn’t assume no environmental changes in rural areas.

    Take the UK over the last 60 years.

    Removal of hedgerows and small copses. At one point 2% of all hedge rows were being removed every year. Result – decreased boundary layer mixing.

    Large increases in field drainage. Result – reduced evaporation and humidity, and earlier planting of crops = albedo changes.

    Irrigation which was rare 60 years ago is now widespread. Result – Increased humidity and night time warming near storage reservoirs.

    IMO what is needed is separation into urban, agricultural and undisturbed natural stations. The last being the one of interest.

  141. I wonder just how much infra-red radiation is emitted by a Boeing 747 or an Airbus 380 at take-off? And is it more than a Boeing Dreamliner when its batteries are on fire?

  142. TomR,Worc,MA says:
    January 21, 2013 at 1:51 pm

    Professional ice hockey is very similar to climate science. In ice hockey, all that would be necessary is introducing the rule that a fight on the ice carries an automatic ten game suspension without pay. The matter is totally in control of the powers that be. But they refuse to address the matter. All that the honest observer can conclude is that the powers that be believe that players fighting on the ice contributes to the game. Insanity.

    In the case of climate science, the powers that be could insist on strict conformity to scientific method. That would have stopped Michael Mann and friends prior to publication. They did no empirical investigation of the various causes of growth in proxies studied and how those causes vary from location to location. They simply assumed that all measurements of proxies are comparable. Insanity. All that one can conclude is that the powers that be believe that deviation from scientific method contributes to paleoclimatology. Insanity.

    I cannot apologize for criticizing professional ice hockey. If fans did not like the fights they would have stopped them long ago. If Obama and his minions did not like deviations from scientific method they would have stopped them long ago.

  143. @ Philip Bradley says:
    January 21, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    The data shows that well sited rural stations using modern sensors show nearly two thirds less warming than the full set of stations. The better sited stations, on the whole, have not seen a lot of change around them. After all, those that have are no longer well sited. As for stations that have been poorly sited, even those with little change in their microsite environment, show a much greater degree of warming than the well sited stations.

    As for adjustment, the poorly sited stations show little adjustment and the well sited station trends are adjusted upwards to match the poorly sited stations.

    That is not to gainsay your observations, however.

  144. The infrared radiation emitted by buildings or ground is not directed “upwards” or “horizontal”. With the usual materials, it’s directed isotropically, equally in all directions. So what matters, as far as heating the temperature sensor, is how many ster-radians the building takes up. When it’s closer the building covers up a larger fraction of the sky.

    From this you can predict that in the far field the effect will be inversely proportional to the square of the distance to the building. (I.e. at distances greater than say twice the square root of the area of the building facing the sensor.)

    Might be nice to do a post on the theoretical changes.

  145. ===========================================
    @Anto I drove Highway 48 (Bruce Rd) tonight from the entrance all the way up to to Whakapapa, and dind’t see it. Can you help me locate it?
    ===========================================

    Anthony,
    No, sorry I can’t help any further. We were in a campervan (I thought about stopping to take a picture, but didn’t). We stayed in Wakapapa, so it would have been on the main road into there (coming from the North). I’m pretty sure it was Highway 47. (There is a junction where 48 meets 47. Turn right there, if you’re coming from Tongariro). It was on the western side (right-hand side as you approach it).


  146. One way the buildings might affect the nighttime temperature even when the sensor is upwind of the buildings is infrared radiation: the heated buildings emit radiation …

    Ha.

    Validation of this can be performed INDOORS, in your living as a matter of fact … any of the earlier wide-screen LCD television ‘sets’ used a CCFL (cold-cathode fluorescent lamp) for back lighting the LCD display panel to the tune of 200 to over 300 Watts distributed over the surface of the screen … walking within a foot (after the set has been operating for awhile) will readily familiarize one with the kind of IR ‘heat’ energy coming off these buildings … I had an opportunity to encounter a high-end 2006 46″ Samsung just this last weekend; I previously had _no_ idea the amount of energy consumed by these sets in order top overcome the losses through the LCD panel itself …

    BTW, energy (power) consumed by this set was measured with one of those “Kill-A-Watt” power/energy measurement devices; power factor was shown as unity and power consumed around 290 Watts … most of that for the CCFL backlight, not the electronics.

    .

  147. Caleb says January 21, 2013 at 6:25 am

    As usual, Congress was behind the funding glitch. However I’m glad we got Dopplar Radar out of the deal. Prior to Dopplar meteorologists didn’t understand how amazing and complex thunderstorms actually are.

    ‘scuze please?

    You’re spinning tales and lore that is simply NOT ENTIRELY TRUE … many meteorological RADARs were in use prior to the fielding of the NWS WSR-88D, such as the WSR-57 and WSR-74 S and C models, those coupled with meteorological field study and knowledgeable observation over decades contributed greatly to the knowledge thunderstorms including Tornadic thunderstorms.

    Several research activities, that eventually LEAD to the development of the WSR-88D series were also ongoing on the plains of Oklahoma at the National Severe Storms Laboratory, where specifications for the WSR-88D were eventually drawn up, given their experience with research and operating several research meteorological RADARs data back to the 1960’s! … all this has been well documented, and isn’t lore ….

    From: http://www.nssl.noaa.gov/about/history/

    1967 – Researchers place two Doppler radars so that each has a different view of the same storm. It is the first dual-Doppler experiment in the United States.
    1969 – NSSL obtains a surplus 10 cm Doppler radar that had been used by the U.S. Air Force.
    1971 – The experimental NSSL Doppler radar becomes operational.

    http://www.magazine.noaa.gov/stories/mag151.htm

    “WEATHER RADAR DEVELOPMENT HIGHLIGHT OF NATIONAL SEVERE STORMS LABORATORY’S FIRST 40 YEARS”

    From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NEXRAD

    In the 1970s, the US Department of Commerce, Department of Defense, and the Transportation Department found the need to replace the existing national radar network, consisting of non-Doppler WSR-74 and WSR-57 radars developed in 1974 and 1957, respectively, to better serve their operational needs.

    The Joint Doppler Operational Project (JDOP) was formed in 1976 at the National Severe Storms Laboratory to study the usefulness of using Doppler radar to identify severe and tornadic thunderstorms.

    Tests over the next three years, conducted by the National Weather Service and the US Air Force Weather Service, found that Doppler radar provided much improved early detection of severe thunderstorms. A working group that included the JDOP published a paper providing the concepts for the development and operation of a national weather radar network. In 1979, the NEXRAD JSOP was formed to move forward with the development and deployment of the proposed NEXRAD radar network.

    .

  148. Theo misunderstands a tenant of hockey. Unlike most sports, all of the discipline is not left up to the capriciousness of the officials. Often, all can see when some flagrant infraction (often involving injury) is done, and the players have the chance to settle it — in some fashion — themselves. Why is this wrong?

  149. And just as an aside to my previous comment, everyone knows that such retribution might be in the offing. As the old saying goes, “an armed society is a polite society”.

  150. Possible crazy-talk? Reference is to the 9:30 point in the video and con-trails (not ‘ship trails; MWG thinks we can be easily conned late in the day with light moderation taking place.)

    The post: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/01/20/noaa-establishes-a-fact-about-station-siting-nighttime-temperatures-are-indeed-higher-closer-to-the-laboratory/#comment-1204679

    michaelwiseguy says January 20, 2013 at 10:58 pm

    These are some of the craziest ship trails I have ever seen off the NW Pacific coast in new NASA image. See at 0:30 [sic, 9:30 he means .. _Jim] in this video;

    [Yes, we (the mods) saw that ship-trails comments, and - you are right - we did assume he really meant "ship trails" (wakes) and not contrails. Mod]

    .

  151. carlbrannen says January 21, 2013 at 6:07 pm

    From this you can predict that in the far field the effect will be inversely proportional to the square of the distance to the building. (I.e. at distances greater than say twice the square root of the area of the building facing the sensor.)

    All this is well and good and if you are dealing effectively with a point source; the rather large, broad side of a building takes rather quite some distance to render it a point source (otherwise the relationship is more like inversely proportional to the distance to the building. There will also be a transition zone from 1/D to 1/Dsquared.)

    .

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