Record Daily Temperatures and UHI in the USA

By Paul Homewood

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Basic CMYK

https://www2.ucar.edu/atmosnews/news/1036/record-high-temperatures-far-outpace-record-lows-across-us

Every so often, the hoary old chestnut of record daily temperatures is wheeled out, as evidence of global warming. The above chart is from the NCAR study by Gerard Meehl in 2009, and the NCAR Press Release stated: 

Record high temperatures far outpace record lows across U.S.

November 12, 2009

BOULDER—Spurred by a warming climate, daily record high temperatures occurred twice as often as record lows over the last decade across the continental United States, new research shows. The ratio of record highs to lows is likely to increase dramatically in coming decades if emissions of greenhouse gases continue to climb.

Climate change is making itself felt in terms of day-to-day weather in the United States,” says Gerald Meehl, the lead author and a senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). “The ways these records are being broken show how our climate is already shifting.”
This graphic shows the ratio of record daily highs to record daily lows observed at about 1,800 weather stations in the 48 contiguous United States from January 1950 through September 2009. Each bar shows the proportion of record highs (red) to record lows (blue) for each decade. The 1960s and 1970s saw slightly more record daily lows than highs, but in the last 30 years record highs have increasingly predominated, with the ratio now about two-to-one for the 48 states as a whole.

The study, by authors at NCAR, Climate Central, The Weather Channel, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), has been accepted for publication in Geophysical Research Letters. It was funded by the National Science Foundation, NCAR’s sponsor, the Department of Energy, and Climate Central.

If temperatures were not warming, the number of record daily highs and lows being set each year would be approximately even. Instead, for the period from January 1, 2000, to September 30, 2009, the continental United States set 291,237 record highs and 142,420 record lows, as the country experienced unusually mild winter weather and intense summer heat waves.

A record daily high means that temperatures were warmer on a given day than on that same date throughout a weather station’s history. The authors used a quality control process to ensure the reliability of data from thousands of weather stations across the country, while looking at data over the past six decades to capture longer-term trends.

This decade’s warming was more pronounced in the western United States, where the ratio was more than two to one, than in the eastern United States, where the ratio was about one-and-a-half to one.

The study also found that the two-to-one ratio across the country as a whole could be attributed more to a comparatively small number of record lows than to a large number of record highs. This indicates that much of the nation’s warming is occurring at night, when temperatures are dipping less often to record lows. This finding is consistent with years of climate model research showing that higher overnight lows should be expected with climate change.

Remember that last paragraph,as we move on later. But first, a quick recap of the huge flaw in Meehl’s exercise.

The data starts in 1950, and consequently picks up all of the daily low records set during the much colder 1960’s and 70’s, but fails to pick up the daily highs during the 1930’s and 40’s. This flaw was so significant, and obvious, that I am amazed the paper ever made its way past review.

multigraph

http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/cag/time-series/us

Nevertheless, we can now move on. WUWT mentioned the other day that CDIAC, The Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center of the Department Energy, have introduced a new tool, which crucially uses data right the way back to 1911. It also only uses USHCN stations, regarded as  high quality, and excludes any that don’t have complete, or nearly so, records back to 1911.

The data only goes up to 2010, so there will no doubt be a batch of record highs in 2012, and record lows last year, not included.

Interestingly, CDIAC introduce their new interface thus:

Like politics, you might say that all climate is local. As researchers seek to help the public better understand climate and climate change, a sensible approach would include helping people know more about changes in their own backyards. High and low temperatures are something that all of us pay attention to each day; when they are extreme (flirting with or setting records) they generate tremendous interest, largely because of the potential for significant impacts on human health, the environment, and built infrastructure.

In other words, they want to “educate” the public, who remain stubbornly sceptical! However, it appears they may have shot themselves in the foot

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Southeast Region

Greg Kent, in his essay on WUWT, put together some graphs for the CONUS, which did not look as scary as the original NCAR study, but I wanted to delve a little deeper, so decided to take a closer look at the thing region by region, starting with the Southeast (encompassing VA,NC,SC,GA,FL & AL). Altogether, there are nine regions in the CONUS.

Within the region, CDIAC list 37 stations, out of the national total of 424. The interface offers these screens for each.

broker

http://cdiac.ornl.gov/cgi-bin/broker?id=013816&_PROGRAM=prog.htxctn_d9k_424.sas&_SERVICE=default&_DEBUG=0

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http://cdiac.ornl.gov/cgi-bin/broker?id=013816&_PROGRAM=prog.htxctn_data_d9k_424.sas&_SERVICE=default&_DEBUG=0

So, using the record highs and lows, I have built up a database for the whole region. (The 1910’s start in 1911, and so on).

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Figure 1

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Figure 2

As far as daily highs go, there are 17730 records/ties, an average of 479 per station (i.e suggesting 113 ties). The total number of records set between 2001 & 2010 was 1222, much lower than the average of 1773. Daily lows were also below average in the last decade, with 1094, against an average of 1604.

We can also look at the ratio of highs and lows, in Figure 3, showing that they have been pretty much in balance since 1991. The imbalance during the warm 1920’s to 50’s, and cold 1960’s to 80’s, is also evident.

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Figure 3

I don’t want to make too big an issue of these figures, because the Southeast is generally accepted to have shown the least warming of any regions during the last century. We can only get the full picture when I have worked my way through the other regions.

But, here things started to get a bit interesting.

Urban Heat Island Effect

As I was transferring the data, I noticed that some stations had much higher ratios of highs to lows. I only really cottoned on when I noticed it for Charleston, SC, which you may have realised is a rather large city!

So, I backtracked, and entered the population data, using the GISS database. GISS either show <10,000, or the actual population, so I have split the Southeast database into two, one for “rural”, or less than 10,000, and the other half for urban, or more. The numbers split almost equally, with 18 rural, and 19 urban.

The difference between the two sets in Figures 4 & 5 is startling.

Rural stations now show more lows than highs, with a ratio of 0.86 highs to lows during the last decade. In contrast, urban stations show a ratio of 1.61.

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Figure 4

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Figure 5

It is clear from analysing the numbers that it is record lows, and not highs, which are making the urban and rural ratios so different, as the Table below shows.

2001-10 Decadal
Average
1911 to 2010
% of average
Record Highs
Urban 593 911 65
Rural 629 862 73
Total 1222 1773 69
Record Lows
Urban 367 813 45
Rural 727 791 92
Total 1094 1604 68

Rural stations are actually showing a slightly higher number of record highs than urban ones, relative to the average. But, with daily lows, rural sites have posted double the number compared with urban.

It is hard to find clearer evidence, that night time temperatures have been biased upwards by the Urban Heat Island effect in recent years.

OK, these are just daily records for one region. What does any of this tell us about annual trends for the country as a whole?

The second part of the question will be answered in due course, once I have run through the other eight regions. But the following comment in the NCAR press release, introducing Meehl’s work is significant:

The study also found that the two-to-one ratio across the country as a whole could be attributed more to a comparatively small number of record lows than to a large number of record highs. This indicates that much of the nation’s warming is occurring at night, when temperatures are dipping less often to record lows. This finding is consistent with years of climate model research showing that higher overnight lows should be expected with climate change.

 

So NCAR admit that much of the warming has occurred at night, and believe that this is caused by “climate change”. The evidence from the Southeast suggests that this is not the case, and that night time warming is largely the result of UHI.

It is also worth bearing in mind, that many of the stations, which I have labelled as rural, could still be small towns with their own UHI effect, given that GISS lump all sites with populations of less than 10,000 together. Lexington, VA is a good example of this. It has a population of 7000, and a ratio of highs to lows during the last decade of 2.82.

Clearly, a lot more work needs doing, but this exercise suggests a lot of serious questions need to be asked about the true impact of the Urban Heat Island effect.

References

The CDIAC interface is here. Go play!

http://cdiac.ornl.gov/climate/temp/us_recordtemps/dayrec.html

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60 thoughts on “Record Daily Temperatures and UHI in the USA

  1. Very interesting Paul.

    One thing that struck me straight away is that there seems to be a twenty year lag between the highs and the lows. This is even clearer in the rural data in fig4, less to in urban.

    No idea why that should be or if it’s a pattern that holds up for different regions , just an observation.

  2. Whenever I get into a discussion with an alarmist about topics like this, I always say “Let’s take the starting point back to where the long term curve changed slope. I choose the year 1650 or anywhere near the bottom of the Little Ice Age. Typically the climate alarmist calls foul because they know without a good cherry picked starting point, their arguments do not hold up.

  3. “I am amazed the paper ever made its way past review.”

    The buddy system that the climate “scientists” use instead of a real Peer Review, means that any old crap will be published.

  4. If you go to an ordinary table of state high temperature records, just about one half of them were set in a single decade — the 1930s. Outside of the 1930s, they are pretty uniformly distributed, with nothing interesting about the 2000s compared to the 1910s (for example). This alone is an enormously damning statistic, as it suggests that all or most of the alleged warming of the CONUS is an artifact of the computational process. Lack of accurate UHI correction is the least of it.

    I think that accurate treatment of the UHI correction is around the corner, however. There are systematic studies underway (that still do not utilize the available resources particularly well) that offer strong evidence that the UHI correction to GISS is terribly implemented, more often than not having the wrong sign (which should nearly always be a cooling of the more urban present compared to the past, but somehow ends up the other way more than half the time in GISS) and of course there is no UHI correction to HADCRUT4, so it is absolutely certain (in my opinion) that there is a systematic warming error across the entire range it covers to where it is at least a few tenths of a degree C by the last two or three decades (probably larger than their claimed method error for that time period, that is. Since the entire warming indicated by HADCRUT4 from the 1850’s to the present is itself considerably less than 1 C, knocking 0.2 C off of the right hand side reduces it to perhaps 0.5 C plus or minus a couple of tenths.

    The pattern of warming from 1910 to 1945 greatly resembled the pattern of warming observed from the late 1970s to the present, right down to press reports that the Arctic was melting and Arctic sea ice all but disappeared. I am deeply skeptical of any claim that we can accurately know global average temperatures and even more skeptical that we can know global average temperature “anomalies” relative to the present from that era, but it is reasonably probable that at least some fraction of the global warming claimed for the last 35 years is really local warming, specifically warming driven primarily by UHI effects as the world’s population more than doubled over the interval. For better or worse, people measure(d) temperatures primarily where they live(d), and wherever they live(d) in the past, far more people live there in the present. Then there is the utter imprecision of global estimates of sea surface temperature for most of the climate record. Even with ARGO, HADCRUT4 only claims 0.15C accuracy (probably egregiously). Pre-ARGO? Who knows? Only that the error (systematic and otherwise) is certainly much larger, especially prior to perhaps 1950 after world war II and the advent of modern aviation and navies opened up oceanic travel worldwide.

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  5. I think it’s easy to miss the point here, I would expect more record highs than record lows to be recorded, always. It’s just a question of thinking where would you expect record highs to be recorded and where would you expect record lows to be recorded, then ask yourself where the recording instruments are most concentrated. In cities.

  6. Well, we can add “they’ve taken into account UHI” to the list that also contains “they’ve taken into account the sun”, and “the Little Ice Age was an extremely localized phenomenon” that warmists will believe with all their hearts.

    Anything else?

  7. Powerful analysis, simply stated. Such detailed, long-term, thorough-going analysis belongs in permanent archives as baseline refutation of the contentious over-generalizations typical of loose-leaf AGW catastrophists.

  8. I question if comparing record high/low temps by decade would even have any real meaning. Imagine creating a database for any stable system over time. The first year a 100% percent of all measurements would be records because there would be the nothing to compare it too. In the second year the number of records would decrease from the previous year [because] the amount of data to compare it to would increase and the same would happen for the fourth year and fifth year and so on. Eventually the full range values of the system would have been experienced and the number of records would reach some stable value (0 if we are not considering ties). From looking at your charts that seems to be whats happening here, although the 80’s seem to throw a wrench in my observation. Any thoughts?

  9. It would be entertaining to re-issue the press release of Meehl with the same reasoning using the recent decadal numbers – his certainty of global warming becomes NCAR’s reasoning for global cooling. Hey, use the same logo with some small changes.

    On a mathematical note, one should understand that new records should get fewer with time. If the variations were absolutely random, the number of records one can expect is approximated by Ln N where “N” is the number of years in the series and the first year in the series is counted as a record. This works very well for major floods of rivers. In a hundred years the number of record highs at a station would be Ln 100= 4.6, about 5. So how many should we expect in 500 years? Ln 500=6.2 !!!! only one more. Now to do this properly, when you have a heat wave and progressive days increase a little, you should really only count this as one record. Perhaps select the highest within a week of highs surrounding the high. It is also a better measure of what they are trying to communicate.

    If random and we are counting all the records (with my caveate) the NCAR figure for highs in the 60 year period would be Ln 60*1800 stations. Ln 60 is 4, so we should have expected 7,200 record highs and not 291,000. This is 40 times my figure. If we were to triple my figure to allow for records within days of each other at a given station (picture a week’s heat wave) then we would have ~22,000. Lets triple this figure to allow for fiddled records that pushed a number of whole years from below 1937 which still held the US record high as late as 1998 until it was rejigged by Hansen at GISS precisely to deep six 1937 temperatures. That’s 65,000 and we could add more because of pushing the pre 1945 temps down to make the recent rise steeper and thereby moving a bunch of those records up into the 1950s + years. Okay, that still doesn’t do it. Random falsified.

  10. Also to be considered is how past record highs/lows have been changed, not broken, changed. (Adjusted if you prefer.)
    Find an online list of your area’s record highs/lows then copy the address into the search part of TheWayBackMachine (http://archive.org/web/web.php) and compare.
    For example, where I live the 2007 list says there were 0 new record highs or lows set between 2002 and 2007. Yet the 2009 list says 12 new records were set in that same time period.

  11. if the earth is in an inter glacial warming period then one would expect warming. The co2ers have to show how much extra co2 induced warming they think there is. Why all warming HAS to be co2 is very odd assumption during an inter glacial warming period.

    decontextualising any study from the ice age cycles to scream ‘it co2 warming’ is just seeking headlines in a media hungry for disaster movie stories.

  12. OOPS!
    That should read:
    “For example, where I live the 2007 list says there were 0 new record highs or lows set between 2002 and 2006.”

  13. Thank goodness there is this double standard in science that holds medical research to a much higher standard for peer review and product or procedure review. Otherwise the life expectancy would be about like that of isolated hunter gatherer groups. Climate scientists with defective methodologies in turn would have to churn out papers faster, before they all croak.

  14. I see a different sort of error:

    “If temperatures were not warming, the number of record daily highs and lows being set each year would be approximately even.”

    Prove it. There is no definite or even logical connection between the number of record highs or lows and general warming or cooling. The climate might only become more variable with time in preparation to make a step up or down (something that happens repeatedly, as records show). The number of record single day highs and lows tells us nothing about the average temperature for a month or year.

    To support a claim of general warming one would have to first calculate the average temperature for the period for which the claim was made. “Temperatures warming” is a very different thing from number of ‘record high temperatures for a given day’.

    For a proper (useful) metric one would want a time-weighted record of daily temperatures, say by the hour, and if you want to make a engineer-quality assertion it should be temperature and absolute humidity-corrected – i,e, heat content, and demonstrate a net change in enthalpy.

    This decade’s warming was more pronounced in the western United States, where the ratio was more than two to one, than in the eastern United States, where the ratio was about one-and-a-half to one.” (italics added)

    There was no general “warming”, there was an increase in the number of record high’s recorded (so runs the claim). No warming trend was demonstrated so why the claim? It is an unsupported leap over a large canyon of required proofs to jump from a record high or low to change in average surface temperature.

  15. Should not more records be set earlier in any series than later, since they all start at zero? As time goes by the time between extremes should grow, unless there was a trend. Then there would be fewer extremes on one side than the other.

  16. Heat and wild weather.

    1931
    CLIMATIC AMENITIES AMERICA STORM SWEPT AND PROSTRATED BY HEAT.
    Al- most the entire area East of the Rockies is experiencing an ex-tremely severe heat wave, and a heavy death roll is already re- ported, and is increasing.

    In several States withering heat has been accompanied by terrific elec-trical storms and cloudburst, follow-ed by floods, and considerable dam-age has been done by hail.

  17. There are so many things that can potentially affect record lows that the statistic is practically useless on its own. For example increase cloudiness or haze at night, increased wind at night and so on.
    I personally enjoy the fact that every time we have a cold snap in winter in Perth I can sit back and listen to the climate people talk about how we haven’t had sufficient rain. Well duh, the reason we had a cold snap was because of cloudless nights. Needless to say whenever it rains a lot in winter, the same people go on about how it’s so warm.

  18. The study, by authors at NCAR, Climate Central, The Weather Channel, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA),

    ======================================================================
    That’s funny. Since they changed their format for “Weather on the 8’s” back in November I haven’t noticed them even once list my area’s record highs and lows for that day. I wonder why?

  19. You know what? I turn 70 this year, and like most people my age, I’m heavier than I was in high school, about 50 pounds heavier. Now my weight goes up and down some, but the record highest I ever weighed in my life record is in my last decade. Wow I bet you’re all surprised by that factoid right? OK, you’re not surprised. Well then no one should be surprised, and it certainly isn’t news that there are more high temperature records during this last decade where the average temperature of the world is warmer (+0.8°C) than it was 165 years ago.

  20. During the mid 1930’s in Topeka, Kansas there were periods of several consecutive days when the temperature remained above 100 degrees all day and all night. I have tried to locate these records without any luck. I can remember a couple of days in the 1950’s or 1960’s that the low temperature for the day was above 100. Has that type of record been recorded anywhere since the 1930’s?

  21. “So, I backtracked, and entered the population data, using the GISS database. GISS either show <10,000, or the actual population, so I have split the Southeast database into two, one for “rural”, or less than 10,000, and the other half for urban, or more. The numbers split almost equally, with 18 rural, and 19 urban."

    The GISS metadata WRT population should be avoided at all costs.

  22. I didn’t say that!

    NASA GISS
    Whither U.S. Climate?
    By James Hansen, Reto Ruedy, Jay Glascoe and Makiko Sato — August 1999

    ……………Yet in the U.S. there has been little temperature change in the past 50 years, the time of rapidly increasing greenhouse gases — in fact, there was a slight cooling throughout much of the country (Figure 2). We caution that linear trends, as in Figure 2, can mask temporal detail. Indeed, Figure 1(b) indicates that the last 20 years have seen a slight warming in the U.S. Nevertheless, our analysis (Hansen et al., 1999a), summarized in Figures 1 and 2, makes clear that climate trends have been fundamentally different in the U.S. than in the world as a whole………………

    http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/briefs/hansen_07/

    H/t Steven Goddard

  23. I have done the same basic exercise, informally, in my area, Kansas City. The 1930s (1931-1940) account for nearly one third (108/366) high temperature records. The 1980s and 1990s together account for about one third (127/366) of the low temperature records. The records date back to about 1887. There are a couple caveats to note: Where a temperature ties an existing record, the latest date is reported, meaning that the temperature could have been reached several times in past; also, the locations of data collection have changed over the years, as of course have the technologies.

  24. The Urban Heat Island effect in the USA at night. Otherwise known as climate change and we must act now! LOL. Boy, imagine if cities were built up in the 1930s like today!

  25. OK S

    Should not more records be set earlier in any series than later, since they all start at zero? As time goes by the time between extremes should grow, unless there was a trend. Then there would be fewer extremes on one side than the other.

    Sounds logical, but remember we also include ties, so presumably there should be just as many records now as there were back then.

  26. Steven Mosher

    The GISS metadata WRT population should be avoided at all costs.

    Is there any reason why the GISS info is significantly out of line?

    It may be an odd thousand or two out, but that really is not the point. If there are any sites they show as >10,000 which are not, or vice versa, let me know and I will update.

    I have full list in my Appendix here.

    http://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2014/03/14/daily-temperature-records-and-uhi/

    Paul

  27. There are many ways to slice the data, and they all seem to point to some UHI. The number of sub-zero days per year has declined noticeably in many cities but the number of 100+ degree days has not gone up at all in those same cities.

  28. Steven Mosher says:

    “The GISS metadata WRT population should be avoided at all costs.”

    IMHO, the GISS ‘data’ WRT anything should be avoided at all costs! ☺

  29. Daily High and Low records are less likely to be adjusted out of the record than are the monthly and annual averages. NCDC and BEST are going into history every month and changing it (NCDC with its ever evolving algorithms which seem to have another impact every single month they update the database and BEST with increasingly chopping out all the decreases in temperature and resetting them to flat).

    But the record high of July 7, 1934 can’t be erased so easily. It is recorded in many different places, in local climate offices and in published books. (The records are also erased sometimes but not nearly as often as the monthly average of 1934 is adjusted). Hence, the 1930s still has the most all-time daily high records.

  30. I wonder if a better measure of temperatures over time can be found in collected soil temperatures on crop land. Would the department of agriculture or possibly an Ag school tucked away in some cow college have such data?

  31. Several stations collect soil temperature at different depths. I wonder where the archives would be. My guess is that there are paper copies somewhere. And this information could go quite far back in time.

  32. 14 March: MIT Technology Review: Are Big, Rich Cities Greener Than Poor Ones?
    When it comes to cities, being big and rich is better for the planet than being big and poor, according to a new study of carbon dioxide emissions from cities around the world. But is this correct?
    Today, we get an answer of sorts from Diego Rybski at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany and a few pals. These guys give an interesting twist to the debate. They say that big cities in rich countries are greener than small ones but big cities in poor ones are the opposite…
    The bottom line, according to Rybski and co, is this: “We conclude that urbanization is desirable in developed countries and should be accompanied by efficiency-increasing mechanisms in developing countries.”…
    A more serious problem is the nature of the data. It is notoriously difficult to define the size of a city either geographically or population-wise. So an important question mark over this study is whether the data from different places is really comparable.
    Only last month, for example, we reported on a study claiming to have found that big cities in the US produce more carbon dioxide per capita than small ones. That directly contradicts the findings here…

    http://www.technologyreview.com/view/525571/are-big-rich-cities-greener-than-poor-ones/

    15 March: NZ Herald: AP: Audit says US project in Haiti missed carbon goals
    A U.S. program that seeks to save Haiti’s forests by shifting people away from charcoal stoves has largely failed to reach its goals, according to an audit by the U.S. Agency for International Department.
    Few Haitians bought the alternative stoves, in large part because even the cheapest cost $10, while charcoal stoves go for as little as $2. The liquefied petroleum gas stoves aimed at commercial and institutional users cost about $100. The World Bank says nearly 80 percent of Haiti’s 10 million people live on less than $2 a day.
    The audit reported a lack of financing available to help people cover the costs.
    It said only 337 of a hoped-for 4,550 street food vendors, orphanages, and schools shifted from charcoal to liquid petroleum gas, and a minority of those targeted for the smaller stoves made the switch…
    The $8.2 million project was launched in 2012 by Chemonics International Inc., a for-profit company based in Washington, D.C., that works throughout the developing world. It is among the many U.S. groups that received contracts to help Haiti rebuild following the 2010 earthquake.
    The new audit is the latest to report that Chemonics failed to meet targets for its work in post-quake Haiti.
    A review in 2012 revealed that a $53 million contract from USAID wasn’t on track to complete its work on time, had a weak monitoring system and didn’t involve community members. Two years prior, USAID auditors found the firm failed to hire thousands of Haitians as planned under a cash-for-work program, and instead spent the funds on equipment and materials.
    Spokeswomen for Chemonics and USAID separately said that they welcomed the latest audit because its findings help improve performance***…

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=11220119&ref=rss

  33. in a nutshell (nutty shell?) the climate talks in Bonn, now in their final day, are not going well:

    15 March: Bloomberg: Matthew Car/Alex Morales: Trade Concern Limits Rich-Nation Effort to Cut Carbon
    “Until leadership is shown by developed countries, developing countries won’t accept the 2015 agreement where it says it’s applicable to all,” Ravi S. Prasad, a negotiator at India’s Ministry of Environment and Forests, said yesterday in an interview. Poorer countries “won’t buy” arguments richer nations need to protect their economies, Prasad said…
    In Europe, home to the world’s biggest carbon market, industry and lawmakers are debating efforts to push up the price of carbon dioxide emissions amid concerns it will force manufacturers to move to countries with looser emissions rules. ArcelorMittal was among 64 steel companies that this week called for European Union governments to weigh the impact of climate policy on an industry that provides 350,000 jobs in the region…
    “The EU needs to show it can impose a price that leads to decarbonization without closing down its industry,” Andrei Marcu, the head of the carbon market forum at the Centre for European Policy Studies in Brussels, said in a March 11 interview…
    Global emissions need to fall about 12 percent in 2020 from 2012 levels to prevent temperatures rising 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) from pre-industrial times, according to the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics. It estimates carbon output won’t fall under existing climate commitments…
    The discussions are about making sure “that all the major economies are controlling their emissions,” Dirk Forrister, the head of the International Emissions Trading Association, said in Bonn on March 11. “They worry about competitive distortion.”

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-03-14/trade-concern-limits-rich-nation-zeal-to-cut-carbon.html

    no doubt done for the Bonn climate talks. wasted effort. models no good!

    15 March: Bloomberg: Andrew Childers: ‘Cost of Carbon’ Doesn’t Include Some Climate Risks
    The $37 per metric ton figure that federal agencies use to calculate the impact of climate change in their regulations is either missing or improperly quantifying the threats posed by increased risk of high-ozone days, drought, ocean acidification, loss of species and habitat and other impacts, according to the report, “Omitted Damages: What’s Missing From the Social Cost of Carbon,” issued by the Institute for Policy Integrity, the Environmental Defense Fund and the Natural Resources Defense Council…
    The report recommends that federal agencies continue to use the $37 per metric ton of carbon dioxide figure while they reconsider the factors they use to determine the risk of climate change…
    However, the report said that the revised carbon figure is limited by the models used by the interagency task force that reviewed the social cost of carbon. The models don’t accurately reflect all of the harms posed by climate change. That may be because it is difficult to model the physical or economic harms caused by some effects of climate change, the report said…
    The Institute for Policy Integrity, the Environmental Defense Fund and the Natural Resources Defense Council launched the website http://costofcarbon.org/ to collect academic research on the social cost of carbon figure…

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-03-14/-cost-of-carbon-doesn-t-include-some-climate-risks.html

  34. if the adiabatic lapse rate hasn’t change how has the atmosphere become more insulated?

  35. Back in 2009 there was a guest post here in re the NCAR paper

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/11/16/hall-of-record-ratios/

    A Critique of the October 2009 NCAR Study Regarding Record Maximum to Minimum Ratios

    Guest post by Bruce Hall, Hall of Record

    It featured this graph

    Maximum vs Minimum Monthly Records by Decade

    Which shows that while the ratio of high to low records has swung dramatically in favor of highs, the absolute number of monthly records was lower in the 00s than at any time since the 1880s. The graph is nearly five years old and perhaps someone with more time and graphic skills than me could bring it up to date.

  36. I have used this link for looking at daily global temp changes…http://meteo.france24.com/en

    One aspect of this site that I like is when you click on a city the page has a tab of average temps, so a quick look will show what is above or below average. I have noticed that almost all locations anywhere around the globe will show a few degrees above average for the night time, even when the daytime is running below average. All of the locations are in major cities, though. So this relates to what the author is showing in this article. I was wondering about what I had been looking at. Although the thought of UHI affecting the readings did occur to me. Glancing at 5 locations for a quick look shows that all the temp stations are at airports and within a mile or two of a major city. Beijing temp location shows as in the city and they appear to be well above average for day and night right now. Must be all of that extra strength UHI over there.

  37. 120 year records for my location(42N/89W) show an all time record low of -27F(-33C) and an all time record high of 107F(42C) . . from the 1930’s. In my 60 year span, I have experienced the former but am still 4F degrees away from experiencing the latter record high.

  38. Thank goodness there is this double standard in science that holds medical research to a much higher standard for peer review and product or procedure review.

    I was struck by this article in WSJ a few years back about how many of the cancer cell lines used for research are corrupted by the wrong types of cancers (cervical for prostate, for example), and the implication that many medical researchers hushing up erroneous results for fear of discrediting their research.

    Cancer experts seeking to solve the problem have found that a fifth to a third or more of cancer cell lines tested were mistakenly identified—with researchers unwittingly studying the wrong cancers, slowing progress toward new treatments and wasting precious time and money.

    In hundreds of documented cases that undermine a broad swath of research, cancer samples that were supposed to be one type of tumor have turned out to be another, through either careless laboratory handling, mislabeling or other mistakes”

    .

    I think it pays to be skeptical of the experts — all experts.

  39. I don’t have time to trawl all the posts, but wasn’t it yesterday or the day before when we had a poster on here gloating about the Arctic ice maximum being reached early this year, all Monty Python-like – “Hank Spim: I love animals, that’s why I like to kill ‘ em.”

    We all love Arctic ice, that’s why we do handsprings when it disappears.

    Ha ha. Check out the sidebar.

  40. Does this not also key in to your research on poor siting? How many of these skewed figures are also from badly situated sites, regardless of size of population? For instance is the recorder at Lexington VA sat 2 feet away from a lump of asphalt or a aircon exhaust?

  41. What would really be nice is to create a global raw temperature data set. I have no idea how to provide such an animal. But, it would need to be updated monthly and available at wood4trees. Maybe it could be created using a similar approach to the surface stations project. I would be happy to help with such a study. I’ve heard the data is available. If all it needs is collecting/processing then a volunteer approach might work. A web page with instructions might be all that is needed.

  42. I have believed for some time that UHI is the huge “elephant in the room” in regard to temp studies, patterns and interpretations. I believe it biases scientific perspectives, especially amongst warmists and I’m quite certain it’s a variable not at all understood by the general public. I would argue that the (vast) majority of climate change researchers grew up entirely in urban environments in which UHI has been a common and constant factor. Their “bodily” experience since infancy has been shaped by life in a UHI bubble. As cities expand, and adjacent green space declines, we can expect to see a popular sense that things are hotter (or are getting hotter). There is a also a local change in weather consistent with increased UHI (anecdotally, in my historical view).

    I grew up in a city of about 60K people in the ’50s and ’60s, about 30mi from Toronto, then about several 100K population. Toronto was surrounded by rural farmland between the municipalities within that 30mile radius (today, it is almost entirely built up). Regularly, in the summer, we would make a party pilgrimage into downtown TO to savour the “big city” night life. Back home, a summer’s day that was 85 in the peak of the day would cool to as low as 70 in the evenings. Downtown Toronto would peak out at 87-90 that same day, but the nights would only drop to about 80, maybe 75 by dawn. It was always a topic of conversation how hot and stuffy Toronto downtown was at night (well ok, hot, TO is stuffy all the time). Over the intervening years, that gradient has flattened, as much or more, IMO, due to expansion of the urban environment. This heat retention has had local effect, I believe , both locally in terms of weather, and in human perceptions of the climate environment. People, literally, don’t experience the real “global average” because most never live in the “average” environment.

  43. Hi Paul,
    We’ve recently finished a series of three articles investigating urbanization bias, which we’ve submitted for open peer review in a new forum we’ve set up called Open Peer Review Journal. For our studies, we were mostly looking at monthly averaged temperature records instead of the daily records you discuss here. But, you might find our results relevant. We’ve summarised our findings on our blog here.

    Steve Mosher is correct about the GISS population metadata being quite crude, although it’s actually just a copy of NOAA’s GHCN metadata. But, we found it to be still useful if we combine it with the GHCN night brightness metadata. In our analysis, we divided the weather stations into “fully rural” (GHCN population 100,000; night brightness = bright “C”) and “intermediate” (everything else).

    By combining two metrics, we managed to find some quite strong rural-urban differences, because if both metrics indicate “urban” or both metrics indicate “rural”, we can have a bit of confidence about how urbanized the stations are.

    P.S. We borrowed the Viz cartoon in Figure 14 on our blog post summary from your blog – I hope you don’t mind! ;)

  44. “In our analysis, we divided the weather stations into “fully rural” (GHCN population 100,000; night brightness = bright “C”) and “intermediate” (everything else).” was cut for some reason! I think it was because I was using the “less than” and “greater than” symbols.

    That should read,

    In our analysis, we divided the weather stations into “fully rural” (GHCN population less than 10,000; night brightness = dark “A”); “fully urban” (GHCN population greater than 100,000; night brightness = bright “C”) and “intermediate” (everything else).

  45. Resourceguy says:
    March 14, 2014 at 1:45 pm
    Thank goodness there is this double standard in science that holds medical research to a much higher standard for peer review and product or procedure review.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    HAHAHAHAHA!

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3700330/

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3702092/

    And thousands more…

    I keep saying *nobody* is automatically more trustworthy than anyone else because of their professions. Auto mechanics, lawyers, politicians, scientists, doctors, ad nauseam.

    If you place a profession above suspicion (even as a social conceit), frauds will flock to it.

  46. Jimbo says:
    March 14, 2014 at 2:30 pm

    “The 1930s was a bad decade for warm weather.

    30 May 1934
    “SULTRY” IN ANTARCTIC. 25 Degrees Above Zero!”

    Warming fanatics are busy trying to make such major climate periods more localized. Only Europe experienced the LIA and MWP… that sort of thing.

  47. One big gripe I have is that looking at record highs and lows is rather silly, since you are throwing away a lot of data contained in the temp record. If you want to see what what the temps are doing, then LOOK AT THE TEMP AVERAGE, not at something like record highs/lows.

    • The oft told meme is that global warming leads to more temperature extremes. Where’s Waldo? Most of the “average” temperature increase is at the low end, not the high end. That fits nicely into UHI.

  48. Every CAGW paper wanting to find an increase in weather “extremes” starts in the 1950’s, or as the Warmists know it, the beginning of time.

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