How not to measure temperature, part 70

What’s wrong with this picture?


Stevenson Screen at USHCN station, Hood River Oregon

Click for a larger image

Photo: volunteers Don and Liz Healy

Of course neither Don and Liz Healy or myself have any idea why there is a propane torch and spark lighter inside this thermometer shelter, or what they might be used for, but it seemed pretty comical, so I thought I’d share the photo. I’m continually amazed by the oddities that are found in the USHCN climate station network.

As far as the rest of the station photos go, its fairly typical. Not to far from a road and convenient parking on one side, and near agricultural operations on the other.

See more photos here

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Gary in Olympia
September 13, 2008 4:10 am

As you know, the tripod mounted weather data equipment in the foreground is part of the AgriMet network. This site has data from May 1987 and the photos show much younger trees and the Stevenson screen (looking East photo) in the current position. so I think we can say that we’ve got at least 20 years for the Stevenson. You can see the photos and compare the weather data at:

Mike Bryant
September 13, 2008 5:08 am

The propane torch is required equipment for every station of record. Apparently, Anthony and crew have thrown so much light on the POST-measuring adjustments…
Not Really… yet.

Mike Bryant
September 13, 2008 5:59 am

In Ohio there is a new environmental campaign to save the buckeye tree. The interesting thing in this story? there is no evidence that it’s environment is moving north, or that it is endangered in any way whatsoever.
The billboard next to the Buckeye Hall of Fame and Cafe and along a highway near Ohio Stadium says: “Michigan Buckeye? Global Warming is Sending Ohio’s Buckeye North.” The coalition doesn’t have any evidence that the buckeye’s range has been pushed north but says global warming threatens to make that happen.

September 13, 2008 6:45 am

They need not worry, I’m sure all the Wolverine fans up here will be happy to chop down any Buckeyes that make it north of Toledo.

retired engineer
September 13, 2008 7:11 am

Makes a great outdoor storage shed. A bit small, still useful.
As for the torch, well, that’s one way of ‘adjusting’ the readings.

Jeff Alberts
September 13, 2008 7:56 am

*chkkk* *chkkk* *Fsssshhhhhh*
*holds torch to thermometer*
“Wow, really hot today, Sparky.”

September 13, 2008 8:00 am

Maybe it’s their PDO adjustment.
“Lights=0”, Out!

September 13, 2008 8:00 am

I believe the propane torch is used to keep the instruments from freezing up during the winter months. Can’t have one’s Glow Bull Worming™ temperature-measuring devices getting cold and throwing Teh Consensus™ all out of whack, ya’ know. 😉

Richard Percirield
September 13, 2008 8:26 am

The inside is the summer storage position for the tank and spark lighter. During the winter it is hung on the outside and used to unfreeze the door for easy access. Also, when frost obscures the instrument it is useful in removing it as well. As an added benefit its thermal mass adds a dampening effect to the temperature measurement reducing the need for numerical “smoothing” of the data set during the summer, thus reducing Hansen’s workload.
See this propane torch has more uses than a Swiss Army Knife!
The only remaining question is did they purchase sufficient carbon credits for the hydrocarbons contained in the cylinder, and energy used for its production?

Brent Matich
September 13, 2008 8:42 am

I just about fell off the chair laughing when I saw the propane torch! LOL!!!!! I guess they have to ” adjust ” their readings in line with the Gore-Hansen doctrine of fudging data for their cause.
Brent in Calgary

September 13, 2008 8:56 am

HaHa!! What is all that stuff in the Stevenson Screen??? I think some of these screens need to be packed up and shipped to “WeatherBuffs” like ourselves!! 🙂

Mike Bryant
September 13, 2008 9:01 am

C’mon guys, the torch is obviously there to make the observations easier. You know how dark it is in those stevenson boxes.

John McDonald
September 13, 2008 9:24 am

Looks like a small meth lab, quite common in the Northwest.

September 13, 2008 12:18 pm

Global warming science is a hundred billion dollar industry, why the F… can’t these stations be replaced? It would be funny if it weren’t so wrong.
You’d think Gavin Schmidt would be demanding money for better instruments. I guess these ones, next to roads with a variety of paint colors show the warming just fine though.
REPLY: They are being upgraded and replaced, but it is a slow process.
Here is the modernization of the USHCN
Here is the about to be completed Climate Reference Network:

Richard Patton
September 13, 2008 12:55 pm

Ah, but then the readings from the updated equipment won’t agree with what the previous readings were and will have to be adjusted. We can’t have accurate readings disproving Global warming you know.

Bill P
September 13, 2008 1:05 pm

Re: “…why there is a propane torch and spark lighter inside this thermometer shelter…”
I’m surprised no one has yet identified its purpose. It’s for the barbecue. Sometimes you get one of those steaks that just doesn’t char evenly. Then you need that little bit of extra heat. Note the bottle of Pepto-Bismol on the left.

September 13, 2008 11:29 pm

The young trees in the background will cast increasing shade on the surrounding ground every summer, resulting in a low reading bias as the years pass.

Bob Maginnis
September 14, 2008 5:49 pm

Is there a rain gauge nearby? How could you accurately measure the water if it is expanded into ice. I propane torch would be one way to melt the ice in the rain gauge. If there are ‘agricultural operations’ nearby, are they irrigated? If so, the temps are skewed colder by evaporation of the irrigation water.

Bill P
September 14, 2008 8:40 pm

Jeff Id has linked an April thread dealing with the “thoroughly modern” USHCN facilities. Thanks again for your work on this, and a late question about the PP show there. Namely, is there currently any effort under way to study data streams of both temperature and humidity in conjunction?
Grant Goodge’s PP shows a picture of the innards of a primary weather station, which apparently took a dew point and relative humidity reading with two “matched” thermometers situated beneath the air intake duct, one of whose bulbs is swathed in a patch of cloth. I was curious if this is the way such readings are still taken, or whether the new mechanisms have any provisions at all for taking humidity readings. There’s no mention of psychrometers or hygrometers in the picture.
From what I could gather of the John Christy study in central valley California, it was apparent that fluctuating humidity levels have a profound effects on local temperatures. So, again, why don’t they take these two data streams in conjunction?
Thanks, Bill

September 15, 2008 2:55 am

..Off topic but, does anybody know, why the GISS data is different from the real data from a weather staiton
for instance DE BILT is the the main weather station of the Netherlands
and hometown of the royal ducht met. station
here is de official data for The KNMI
Here is GISS.
for instance 1993 GISS; 10.43 vs KNMI 9.66
(looking at the montly data november is missing in GISS data but it isnt missing in the real world its 2.10 C for De Bilt.)
I quess global warming is man made.. but really this is insane.
How can the data be different. its the same station

September 15, 2008 11:15 am

I think we have found the smoking gun!

September 15, 2008 1:05 pm

How can the data be different. its the same station
Perhaps ye’d better . . . rephrase . . . that, laddie? (Bearing in mind that you, too, can be adjusted.)

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