I don’t know what it is with weather stations at some universities. Of course we have the station at University of Arizona Tucson in the parking lot, and this one isn’t too far from that arrangement. It has a long and uninterrupted history, but what is it really measuring?
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More pictures here
Thanks to surfacestations.org surveyor Craig Limesand we get to see the official USHCN climate station of record at Mount Mary College in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. You can see that the Stevenson Screen is just a few feet from parked cars.
This aerial view shows it better:
Click for a larger live interactive image
Note that in addition to being surrounded by asphalt and parked cars, the station is also about 35 yards from the college power plant.
According to NCDC MMS database, the station has been in this location since at least 1948, unmoved and using mercury max-min thermometers even today.
But without doing a historic evaluation to look at what transpired around the station during that history, how would we know how much is this signal is “climate change”, “UHI from Milwaukee”, or “increased parking capacity” or all of the above?
As much as I like weather stations, it is becoming clearer to me that looking for a clean climate change signal in surface data is a complex excercise in uncertainty.