How not to measure temperature, part 22

This picture below comes to me via volunteer Kristen Byrnes, a 15 year old budding scientist that has created a bit of a stir with her critique of Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth. Her website,”Ponder the Maunder” also has more photos of weather stations.

It is the USHCN Climate Station of Record for Lewiston, Maine, placed at the Union Water Power Company there.


It features an air conditioner unit, a portable barbecue grill, pavement and a nearby building. No close-by parking though as we’ve seen with other stations.

It also features a curious non-standard instrument shelter, of a design I’ve not seen before. The observing height appears to be non-standard, and lower to the ground than usual.


In addition to the close by hard surfaces like concrete pavement, the shelter also is located on an up-slope. That’s a no-no according to NOAA siting specs for a good reason – hot air rises.

Ms. Byrnes found another interesting station in Eastport, Maine. Ms. Byrnes found another interesting station in Eastport, Maine. While it is not part of the USHCN climatic network it is worth looking at because it shows how something simple and obvious that was missed can skew any experiment.

This station is a state operated, NOAA funded special monitoring station with high accuracy, very expensive laboratory grade sensors. The temperature sensor is aspirated, meaning it has a powered fan to draw air in from the outside, and is considered the most accurate way to measure air temperature. The same temperature sensor is used in the US Climate Reference Network (USCRN) specs of which can be seen here and photos here.

The setup also has a portable electronics building to go with it, to house all the data logging and analysis electronics. All that electronics needs to be kept cool, so these building are fitted with an air conditioner.

But the scientists who placed the temperature sensor were apparently so transfixed on the goal, they didn’t notice the air conditioner for the electronics building:


Fortunately, the US Climate Reference Network sites I’ve seen are much better thought out than this station in Eastport Maine.

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Evan Jones
July 15, 2007 7:10 pm

I am following all this with great interest. It seems there are a lot of poor sites. So, what’s are the totals, so far? How many are in compliance and how many are out? Of those which are out, how many are seriously out?
It would seem possible to pick it all apart, except I don’t know if you’ve included all the findings you and your volunteers have acquired.
But since you have already released partial findings, would it bias the study to keep a running track?
(Oooooh, and the findings, too! What are the aggreagate plusses and minuses of the siting categories?)
Besides, I’d be interested if the initial ratio underwent one of them there “paradigm shifts” once your effort spreads and multiplies.
Would it be immoral to predict that before long you’ve going to be seeing fewer “incidental” mobile non-compliances such as the BBQ and trash barrels?
I am a liberal, and still an agnostic on the reality/source of GW. (This may change.) Sure, the panicmongers have been wrong the last ten times, but they only have to be right once.
But one thing’s for sure, GW theory is based on raw data. And I suspect those who are averse to data review. (Or release of method.)

July 16, 2007 12:34 pm

There are a lot more heat producing devices other than AC units, that can be found in urban locations.
Cars, Computers, streetlights, and even people, our own physical systems produce heat.
People are also inventing new ways to make heat every day, the best way is with an I-phone.
Let’s say there is a city with measuring devices on the outer edges over time the city grows and if the city makes a heat island than that island can grow to the point of heating up the measuring devices around it.
But, that would cause a sudden spike up not a slow climb like the ones seen in the graphs.
So the question is if the growth in economy of a city can cause a gradual temperature climb of the overall heat island.
Then, the slow climb would be from global warming not the stuff people use in the city.

July 17, 2007 12:55 pm

Wait, I thought global warming was supposed to be caused by an increased number of people stuff?
Now I’m totally confused.

Evan Jones
July 18, 2007 8:57 am

I think it has do do with ratios. UHI’s (which ARE part of the warming) are increasing over X percent of the total land surface.
However the UHI effect (and the bad individual siting problems too) are probbly overtaking the heating stations at a much higher percentage rate.
This stands to (superficial) reason, because many stations are initially placed on the outskirts of what later becomes a UHI.

David Walton
July 19, 2007 3:12 pm

Thumbs up to Kristen Byrnes, she has a better grasp of climate science and debate than most adults.
I believe she will make an excellent professional scientist in any field if she decides that is what she wants to do.

April 16, 2008 12:40 pm

Nice little exercises at moving the deck-chairs around on the Titanic.

April 16, 2008 1:50 pm

She would make a great scientist except every scientist that questions the CFR/Bilderberg created global warming fraud gets tossed from their universities or lose their funding. Only global warming sycophants get continued funding.

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