How not to measure temperature, part 71: NOAA neglect of volunteer observers

As we get more of the private observers in USHCN surveyed, we start hearing about stories like this one from Dufur Oregon, where the observers seem to have been pretty much “left on their own” for about many, many, years. The lack of guidance and QC on the part of NOAA is stunning. The station itself is even more troubling. I don’t blame the observer, but NOAA clearly failed this observer and the science mission to collect climate data.

Find the Stevenson Screen in this picture

One of our most prolific and hard working volunteers for www.surfacestations.org , Don and Liz Healy, wrote to share what they learned on this recent survey:
Anthony, I wanted to share  experience regarding Dufur with you because the station is on a private residence and the survey form does not allow for the frustration that one feels regarding the lack of oversight on the part of administering agency.  The particulars are these:
An 80+ year old gentleman, [we’ll call him Bob for privacy], has been curator of the Dufur station since 1968, having inherited these duties from his father-in-law as a death bed request.  The father-in-law, had maintained the station since about 1908.  However, it is very apparent that there has been little guidance or assistance, and almost no recognition for the efforts of these volunteers:  In this instance, for about one century of effort.
It is very disheartening to see the amount of effort that this family put into a project that is so badly out of compliance with the guidelines.  Some of the problems with the station include:
1.  The Stevenson Box is 6 feet from the house and 6 feet from the exhaust unit of a heat pump.
2.  The box is dwarfed and almost swallowed up by a large yew tree on one side and a juniper on the other. Both trees tower over the box and access to the door on the box is now quite restricted.
3.  There are numerous other trees, shrubs and fences in this very small area that influence the air flow near the thermometers.
4.  Several decades ago, apparently concern about the top of the box weathering prompted either the curator or his father-in-law before him to sheath the top in what appeared to be aluminum sheeting. ( I know you’ve been experimenting with the effects of latex vs whitewash; what about metal sheathing?)
5.  The reported coordinates of the station are off by .14 miles, and have been out-of-date for 40 years. The lat/lon cited by NOAA also marks the precise location of his father-in-law’s house, where the station was located 40 years ago; coincidence?  As I understand it, [Bob] moved the box 40 years ago, but NOAA was not aware of the change and did not physically check out the station during the 40 year period.
6.  Firewood, tools and bikes have been and are currently stored around and under the box.
7.  The curator indicated that in the past when he was away from home, a friend of his who lived a ways out of town, would simply record the temperatures at his (the friend’s home), and the curator would plug this data into his records.
It would appear, that in 40 years no one has been by to check this installation and I wonder what communications are maintained between the curators and NOAA to encourage that the stations and procedures are kept in compliance.
Don also writes that when it was time to give the NOAA Service award to this volunteer, NOAA failed again:
To add insult to injury, when [Bob] was given a certificate for his efforts, NOAA shortened the number of years of service.
On behalf of NOAA and taxpayers everywhere, I apologize. Volunteer observers like this man and his family take their work seriously, even if left to their own devices, they do the best they can given the tools and support provided. When they get no support, this is what happens. “Out of sight, out of mind” is not the way to operate scientific data collection.

Here is the “metalized” roof of the Stevenson Screen:

Note also the condition of the wood and paint.

As you can see from this photo, the screen is in proximity to trees, bushes, and the house:

See the complete photo gallery here.

Yes, this is an active, official climate station of record for the US Historical Climatological Network. Data from this station and many like it are used in climate studies.

Every time I see something like this it angers me. In private industry we have demands for quality control. There are protocols like ISO-9000 put into place by industry voluntarily, to ensure quality products and services, yet it appears we have not even a hint of similar quality control in the measurement and collection system of the USHCN data set.

Which makes this statement from the home page of NOAA’s USHCN particularly laughable:

The United States Historical Climatology Network (USHCN) is a high quality, moderate-sized data set of daily and monthly records of basic meteorological variables from over 1000 observing stations across the 48 contiguous United States.

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hyonmin
September 15, 2008 9:47 pm

I am at an unusual loss of words. How could NOAA treat their responsibilities so badly. On one hand we have the time to help defend smoke stack painters, on the other hand to misuse hard working people. One cannot even mention the issues to these people whom have worked for close to a century on this project. It bothers me and I only pay taxes to support NOAA. I wonder if it bothers them at all.

AnyMouse
September 15, 2008 10:45 pm

If the box is over a mile from where records show it is, kudos for finding it. Obviously there is a valid mailing address, but someone’s not using it to send operation manual updates.

crosspatch
September 15, 2008 10:52 pm

Well, when the data validates the popular meme, nobody thinks to look into it.

Alan the Brit
September 15, 2008 10:54 pm

OT The latest BBC programme on Climate Change, apparently the definitive scinetific version by a Scotish geologist from Plymouth, Devon, entitled Climate Wars, has been screened. That Scottish brogue lending an air of working class credibility to the narrative as against a boring southern English upper class accent. It started well as expected, & then turned “GREEN” rather rapidly, equally as expected from Aunty Beeb. Looks like the main “scientific” contributor/advisor was one Professor Naomi Oreskes from California! Well, well. No news there then! Lots of lovely tinted film of billowing gases from “steam” towers, etc, you know all brown/red & dirty for maximum effect, the sun has limited effect on the climate etc, etc. About as impartial as an alcoholic bartender, a little unfair I know but really this takes the biscuit on neutrallity? One begins to wonder why one pays a TV licence!

John McDonald
September 15, 2008 10:58 pm

Time to support crime in the UK, destroy careers, make movies, and hold thousands of press interviews, but no time to actually do their job.

Leon Brozyna
September 15, 2008 11:08 pm

This makes me think of a bad NOAA Infomercial – Just site it and forget it!
I can just hear some cocky desk jockey data adjuster justifying such lack of attention by citing an established practice of ‘adjusting’ data, so that any possible problems with data from this station would be fixed by the computer program.
Seeing how they handle the present network, what guarantees are there that the quality of the new network will be any better? Will they continue this practice of Just site it and forget it?

Forester
September 15, 2008 11:36 pm

The really sad thing about this is that NOAA will now close this site and tell poor Bob, his friend and his father-in-law’s memory they’ve wasted their time.
And NOAA will blame it all on you Anthony.
As they say, Bob will likely forget most of the details about what actually happened, but he’ll never forget how they made him feel…
All sacrificed to the biggest global fraud since the Yalta Agreement.

D. Quist
September 16, 2008 12:09 am

Anthony,
I don’t know what to say, my father records rain and jots it down in a calendar. He has been doing it for several decads. He is 83. He, like this gentleman, is a breed apart. They “just do it”.
Does this gentleman know that his information is tainted and perhaps of no scientific value? This is way beyond neglect. It is disrespectful. This should be put out into the news.
HEADLINE:
“Neglected Father & Son team kept useless temperature record for a 100 years! NOAA continue to includes their data in climate science research.”
STORY:
“The father, who started to record temperatur for NOAA in 1908 asked, on his death bed, his son “Bob” to continue to record the data. Bob has diligently done so since 1968! A group of volunteers at surfacestations.org found that the temperature measurments are hopelessly tainted by local conditions, including an air conditioner within feet of the station, trees and repairs made to the stations that did not follow guidlines….” etc. etc. etc.
There has to be SOMEONE, bigger than a local news station that will report on this!! I bet WSJ would.
P.S. Isn’t there enough information here to take some action too? In my opinion, this is enough to get someone fired.

D. Quist
September 16, 2008 12:15 am

Now I am even more miffed!
Looking at the picture, this man is taking care of his own yard in an impeccable manner. I know, my father does exactly the same thing.
If asked, these kind of people would maintain records with unerring steadiness and unfailing accuracy.
Shame on NOAA.

Bobby Lane
September 16, 2008 12:26 am

As I said on another posting, the USHCN needs a complete overhaul, top to bottom. And NOAA may too for that matter. The real problem is, straying OT here, that Dow Jones lost 500 points today. Merrill Lynch got bought by Bank of America, and Lehman Brothers is going to be carved up like a Christmas ham. Plus, both presidential candidates favor a cap-and-trade system that is destined, if implemented, to do widespread damage to the entire energy market and thus the economy. I am afraid the USHCN ranks somewhere way, way down the list of priorities for the government, even while its bad and freely “adjusted” data justifies James Hansens lunatic cries and his advocacy for British eco-terrorists as a key scientific witness during their trial that earned them a not guilty verdict from the jury.
There are perilous times ahead.

CodeTech
September 16, 2008 1:30 am

I work for a company that currently contracts to a large multinational chain of electronics stores. There are hundreds of stores, each of which gets daily email and direction on what items to display, pricing, where in the store to put product, etc.
STILL, every time I’m in one, they’ve done SOMEthing wrong, something different, something that seemed to make sense at store level but makes no sense from the perspective of the chain.
The worse/best in this regard are smaller cities, populations under, say, 100,000. Or 50,000. They will improvise anything and everything. They’ll make things work without contacting us for the support we are already being paid to provide. They’ll buy their own parts and bring things from home and use duct tape.
I recognize the same spirit in this station. As I understand it, this was the same type of spirit that settled North America and made it what it is!
PS. Sorry about the inaccurate measurements. Then again, I expect they can simply be “adjusted” to give the desired… er… correct results.

Ared
September 16, 2008 3:27 am

Makes me think about science fiction stories where rusty robots are still doing their futile chores while the humans have moved on long ago. But how do you tell a 80+ year old human that all the data he and his father in law have been collecting for a century are now completely useless? Heartbreaking, truely.

Denis Hopkins
September 16, 2008 3:57 am

With reference to Alan the Brit.
I watched the programme Climate Change as well. It was presented in a manner that gave it a feel for balance.
However, it was noticeable that the intrerviews with the “Sceptics” were shown as if they were seen with an IR camera. This gave a sublimal impression of danger and weirdness. Oddly this technique was not used with the people on the other side of the argument
There was a quick interview with Christopher Monckton that let him raise objections but did not give the reasons for his objections to the hockey stick and the odd manner of its publication in IPCC documentation, against all their rules and with no peer reviewers alowed to check the stats. This made him seem like an oddball who believes in conspiracy theories with no justification for maligning noble scientists like Mann. There was a 10minute discussion of the Hockey stick with no mention of Steve McIntyre. There have been so many other confirmations of the graph, according to the programme!
The Great Global Warming Swindle was mentioned with reference the link between sunspots and temperature. He mentioned that it stopped in 1980 and extended it to 1990 because it then did not show that the link did not continue. Interesting it was not extended up to 2008 to show the relative temperature fall since the 1990s.
Unfortunately it was presented well for such a populist programme.
It even said that all discussion of sceptics is designed to delay action in any way. Oil companies and Big Business were mentioned as you would expect!
There was a comment on Greenland as used by sceptics in their arguments. He then went on to “show” that many scientific studies had shown that the medieval warming did not happen. But did not go back to mention why Greenland was then colonised, nor why the burial grounds are under permafrost, as the dead were not buried in permafrost in the medieval period.
Sorry, we keep hearing that the argument is moving in the sceptics favour, but I don’t think that will happen until debilitating taxes hit home, and there is no difference in climate. No doubt it will be blamed on China, India, Russia etc who are polluting the atmosphere so much that we are getting a temporary Global Dimming effect.

Mike C
September 16, 2008 4:42 am

And the response from the local NOAA / NWS office will be: Call Washington.

September 16, 2008 4:58 am

Holy Cow! ….I believe the recording of the temperature would have to be HIGHER than actual due to the various things that INTERFERE with the screen.
We must do better.
http://www.cookevilleweatherguy.com

dearieme
September 16, 2008 5:00 am

I’ve joked before that the only weather measurements I trust are those I took when I was a boy, covering for the schoolteacher who normally took them when he was on holiday. Many a true word is spoken in jest.

denis hopkins
September 16, 2008 5:20 am

By the way Anthony, always enjoy the postings on here. Very informative and balanced.
I have passed on much to our school geography department. The last few weather station posts on Stephenson boxes have made an impression on them to the extent that the Head of Geography has already done a Powerpoint for students on siting a weather station, using images and information from here.
Thanks again.

terry46
September 16, 2008 5:32 am

It’s as if they intentially put these moniters near heat from air condition units or asphalt or where some source of extra heat may be.I believe they want to get a higher bias reading to be in line with all the global warming .Even though the media will try to hide it the truth will eventually come out on bias and phony temperatures readings.

jmrSudbury
September 16, 2008 5:32 am

Hadcrut data is now out for August: 2008/08 0.387
http://hadobs.metoffice.com/hadcrut3/diagnostics/global/nh+sh/monthly

Fred Nieuwenhuis
September 16, 2008 5:52 am

O/T: Hadcrut’s out: 0.387 for August.

Fred Nieuwenhuis
September 16, 2008 5:53 am

Dang.. Sudbury beat me. 🙂

Bill Marsh
September 16, 2008 5:56 am

No way to tell which way the bias went since there are so many competing bias factors. I figure the aluminum top can’t help but raise the daytime temps markedly, if my memories of living in corrugated steel Quonset huts in those less than appealing areas of South East Asia I had the joy of occupying in my youth .
I don’t see how anyone can possibly ‘trust’ the GISS numbers if 30% of the stations are like this.
Anthony, when you have 90% of the stations cataloged you need to get this in front of Congress. Simply sending it to NOAA will result in a massive CYA coverup.

September 16, 2008 6:15 am

[…] colim wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptThere are protocols like ISO-9000 put into place by industry voluntarily, to ensure quality products and services, yet it appears we have… […]

September 16, 2008 6:49 am

denis hopkins (05:20:41): “…Head of Geography has already done a Powerpoint for students on siting a weather station, using images and information from here.”
The power of the net; the “Global Village”; inspirational. Thanks, denis. Go Anthony!

Don B
September 16, 2008 6:53 am

Anthony, here is an article in today’s New York Times about the Mohonk House weather station in NY. They even mention that some stations around the country, but not that one for the reasons they mention, have to have the data adjusted for urban heating effects.
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/16/science/earth/16moho.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&ref=science
REPLY: Thanks I saw that in JS Today, I’m going to ask if anyone can survey it.
Anthony

Reply –
I am a couple of hours from there. So is John. And we both wanted to meet for lunch. – Dee Norris

Bobby Lane
September 16, 2008 6:56 am

A James Hansen sighting in a surprising (yet, somehow, unsurprising) place. EUReferendum.com reports on the recently deceased company, Lehman Brothers:
This is a company which had on its board, or so we are told, the ultimate snake oil salesman, James Hansen, the self-same company having ambitions of becoming “the primary brokerage for emission permits”.
Somehow, it is entirely fitting that a company which was looking to exploit the smoke and mirrors business of carbon trading should crash and burn.
http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/2008/09/negativity-revisited.html
Uh, can we say “conflict of interest” here? They give Al Gore a mention too.
Anthony,
If we could somehow pair these two sites, yours and EUReferendum.com, I think we would have perfect pairing to consider the topic of AGW and cap-and-trade from both a scientific and political perspective. Maybe you could add them as a non-scientific “friendly” blog to your Blogroll?
They do reference you plenty. Starting in May of this year, using a simple search of “watts up with that,” I can come up with a dozen linked references to your site and much of their readership, as they note, is American. A comprehensive view of an idea would seem to be scientific in spirit, and there is definitely a political angle to this AGW idea, though that is best covered elsewhere in detail. They do a pretty good job of it.

Bob B
September 16, 2008 7:20 am

Hadcrut3 numbers are in:
http://hadobs.metoffice.com/hadcrut3/diagnostics/global/nh+sh/monthly
Aug slightly cooler then July

Bobby Lane
September 16, 2008 7:22 am

Okay, I retract my James Hansen sighting on the board of Lehman Brothers due to lack of evidence and, it appears, an accidental mix up. It was apparently Al Gore, and that only reportedly according to a National Post article featuring a Prof. Richard Lindzen. It may or may not be true, for either Gore or Hansen, but neither is listed on the current Board of Directors on the Lehman Brothers website. At the same time, with companies using “off the book” finances, it is hard to be sure exactly who might have “executive priveleges” without being mentioned due to conflict of interest (as would have surely been the case with Hansen) or unwanted controversy.
But Lehman Brothers ideas about “carbon markets” (first pioneered in Europe) is instructive of the overall business take on the idea.
http://www.lehman.com/webcasts/US/00185/006360/TheBusinessOfClimateChangeII.pdf
Among the References for the piece, one may find the IPCC and Gore, A. Heh. Guess who?

Jeff Alberts
September 16, 2008 7:44 am

One begins to wonder why one pays a TV licence!

I’d rather watch adverts than have to pay for garbage.

Jeff Alberts
September 16, 2008 7:46 am

Seeing how they handle the present network, what guarantees are there that the quality of the new network will be any better? Will they continue this practice of Just site it and forget it?

No no, the new network will be very high tech. With the latest ABA(tm) technology (Auto-Bias Adjuster). Temperatures too low? No worries, ABA will handle it!

Alan the Brit
September 16, 2008 8:15 am

Re Denis Hopkins,
I watched most of the first programme with great interest, the second programme with less so, but as it rapidly decended into the expected AGW stance I rather lost the will to live. I only watched because my wife told me it was coming on & she knew just how enthusiastic I am about AGW. Being just an engineer & not so politically astute I rather naively thought the BBC had come to its senses by deciding to genuinely put on a programme coverng this contentious topic in an impartial way, just as a publicly funded organisation should do. Woe betide them if they seek an increase in licence funding in the New year!
Perhaps this is a pre-emptive move by the BBC to get this programme on dvd for circulation to schools for the coming season to endorse Al Gores little piece of showmanship currently doing the rounds. We’ve already had one drama on BBC about Ca limate Change scandal hiding the bad news from the poor illinformed populous, there has to be another very soon to reinforce the previous message. Joseph Goebels learnt that little piece of trickery well in the 1930’s, constant reinforcement of the point! The BBC really are chancing their arm, particularly after the Roger (no credibility) Harrabin fiasco earlier this year, the laughing stock they must have looked around the world as that storey punched its way onto the web. I sincerely hope that Lord Mockton’s dvd of his talk at Oxford to students, including a genuine Q & A session, will be permitted to be sent out to schools around the well so that a balanced view can be presented.
We seem to be having globally cooling temperatures, more ice in the north, even more ice in the south, & the IPCC blames it on “natural variations in the climate system”, qel surprise, “volcanic activity”, & “reduced solar output”, even grand qel surprise! What a weird world this is!

Burch Seymour
September 16, 2008 8:48 am

“6. Firewood, tools and bikes have been and are currently stored around and under the box.”
Any sign of a Bernz-o-Matic and spark starter?

September 16, 2008 9:33 am

Alan the Brit,
The problem with video (and audio too) is there are many simple techniques that can slant the pictures being shown or words being said to the author’s point of view no matter what’s being shown or said. Your example of brown colored (uh, sorry I believe that should be spelled coloured) steam is a great example.
Anthony’s weathercasts are another example. The “talent” stands in front of a green screen (usually but there are other colors) and looks at monitors behind the cameras, and off to the sides of the set. The map is substituted for the green screen electronically minus the “talent’s” body. Thus it appears the person is standing in front of this large map, and speaking pretty much “off the cuff” and to the audience.
Another good example here in the states is the infamous “Buy Gold” commerical. Ever notice how the whole thing has this very rich golden glow about it?
I do training videos and I use these techniques to help people learn the material. I try to be ethical about their use, but it is really easy to cross the line. You always need to ask the question does this technique serve to underscore the point being made or detract from it.
Might be interesting to see if there are any “subliminal frames” in the programs – just a single frame of something out of place to imprint the mind. In some areas this is outlawed, but you have to be aware of it to report it, which means going through the program frame by frame.
Lovely world we live in isn’t it.
Mike

Richard Percifield
September 16, 2008 9:45 am

I cannot see the images. Is anyone else affected in the same way?

anna v
September 16, 2008 9:53 am

Let us be a bit pragmatic about these stations.
They were not set up to measure temperatures to a tenth of a degree, or even to a degree. They were for their time a way to map the temperature gradients over the US to help meteorologists in their study of the weather systems. And it worked. That we do have weather predictions even for these few days is because such measurements were made on land and on sea recorded and transmitted and studied so that weather models could be checked.
These people have not been working in vain. They just have not been working on what this latter generation of climatologists wanted, and nobody instructed them or checked them on this.
So their work was very useful. It is being plagiarized now for a purpose that it was not meant for.

Stan
September 16, 2008 10:02 am

“Climate” science is apparently a synonym for sloppy science. They don’t check the temperature sites, they don’t audit anyone’s work, they don’t archive their data, they don’t share their computer code, and they are absolutely certain about their results.
None of that sounds like science to me. But of course, there’s a globe to save, can’t be bothered with little details.

em
September 16, 2008 10:17 am

Hi everyone,
Just by coincidence, the New York Times has a fascinating article about how wonderful it is when this volunteer reporting is done correctly for 112 years in the same place by only 2 or 3 dedicated operators!
You can read it at:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/16/science/earth/16moho.html?8dpc
I don’t know how much original information about siting and operation was given to the families. In this Dufur case, possibly the station was there before the house was sited (as it does not look like a century-old home). Nothing has been done properly by NOAA in this Dufur situation and it unnerves me to think how many times this might be replicated, and those inaccuracies are being incorporated into our global warming data.
From the end of the NYT article, you will see there is hope on this issue, too.
Thanks to all the hard-working, dedicated volunteers, and someone needs to send a mini tsunami to NOAA. It needs clearing out, it seems.
Best to all — Em
http://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com
“Everyone knows someone who needs this information!” (TM)

evanjones
Editor
September 16, 2008 10:58 am

I am at an unusual loss of words.
You need not be.
I assure you that these conditions are quite usual.
So you can feel better now.

Martin
September 16, 2008 11:14 am

… and the numbers were called Data, and The Hanson used the Data, and He saw that it was good.

evanjones
Editor
September 16, 2008 11:26 am

All sacrificed to the biggest global fraud since the Yalta Agreement.
Disagree it was a fraud. The Russians were already occupying Eastern Europe and nothing anyone said or did not say was going to change that. Romania and Bulgaria already had armies in the field on the Soviet side. They outnumbered allied forces around 4-1, were far better fighters man-for-man (second only to the Germans, themselves), had an equivalent tactical air force, and incredibly superior armor (and numbers of AFV), and could supply directly by rail. And if we’d made a bid for Berlin, they just would have made their move in March rather than waiting until April.
And Moscow (and Soviet production) was far out of bomber range.
If we’d been crazy enough to take them on, it probably would have been Dunkirk v.2.
At the time no one had any idea whether the bomb would work or not. We got the promise of Russian help in Asia to pin down the Japanese army, which did not turn out to be necessary, but was thought by all to be a big deal at the time. All FDR and Churchill gave up was what the Soviets already had and nothing was going to change.
(Sorry, jeez, I could not bring myself to let that pass.)

evanjones
Editor
September 16, 2008 11:34 am

anna v makes a valid point.
Is anyone else affected in the same way?
No problems here (and I’m dial-up).
Perhaps another browser would work?

Tnspotter
September 16, 2008 11:54 am

Have been introduced to your site recently and love it. But may I tell the other side of the story. Yes, there are plenty of sites which are tinted in some way which downgrade the quality of proper temps. How ever the data from UAH also includes data from the Huntsville , AL NWS office. This office is tops in making sure they get proper data in the field and deal with situations where questionable data shows up. One of the fellows I know does the leg work going to the sites to check equipment. One situation was a former coop member who kept his temp sensor near a black top roof instead of a yard or field. He refuse to move it and was a great believer of the GW hype. You walk a thin line in this debate. The other side is the AGW people who don’t want sensors near water sources as they are heat producing. (In the SE, fog on bridges can be a big issue during winter months, we don’t know squat about black ice driving here!) An active outreach program would help greatly let everyone know one another and everyone knows what is expected of them. Usually some one in the media will notice the different in temps and bring it to the attention of the NWS.
I have express my dismay that it is hard to get proper data from the rural areas, some areas flat out don’t have coverage. This program is volunteer as is the spotter program and Cocorahs. You get some weird looks when people realize you do this work with no payment in return. It takes a lot of folks to gather data and info, some are sloppy about it.
My point, not all the coop members or NWS offices are at fault. I too question this when even the ALaska NWS offices have reported reported temps way below normal. But keep up the work, you have the guts to report data and issues in the science world which never makes it to main stream media.

Eric Anderson
September 16, 2008 1:18 pm

Amen to anna v’s comment.
My understanding is that, with the exception of a small handful of stations put in place in the past few years, the network was not established with the goal to identify a minor, incremental rise in temperature over decades or centuries. The dedicated individuals who have been gathering regular data should be given their due. It is simply that the data was never intended in the first place to give — and as the state of the network demonstrates, cannot now give — a meaningful trend, when the trend itself is supposedly measured to a sensitivity that for so many of the stations is obviously well below the margin of noise.

William Wallace
September 16, 2008 1:59 pm

“……the sun has limited effect on the climate etc, etc.” I suppose the BBC won’t mind my little project to switch off the sun then, eh?

September 16, 2008 4:59 pm

[…] How not to measure temperature, part 71: NOAA neglect of volunteer observers As we get more of the private observers in USHCN surveyed, we start hearing about stories like this one from Dufur […] […]

FatBigot
September 16, 2008 8:01 pm

It is reported that “Bob” moved the apparatus when his father-in-law died 40 years ago. That gives no reason to question the 60 years of measurements undertaken by the late father-in-law.
I hope the family will be given a very fine award to mark a century of dedicated work to an important process. That could only happen if someone tells NOAA that the century has been achieved, perhaps those who know Bob’s name and address could bring it to their attention.

Robert of Texas
September 16, 2008 8:50 pm

Just curious.
Why doesn’t someone take a pair of calibrated thermometers and take readings near the box and further away. This could prove the impact of a air conditioner nearby, if any. While I can see the station is ridiculously out of compliance I would rather have some fact to back it up – not just a touchy feely picture. Actually, if someone were good enough at statistics I wonder if you could correlate this stations data versus another one nearby (that is better in compliance) and see an “air conditioning effect” on warm days – if its measurable.
Should be able to measure the impact of using metal on the roof using a pair of models set up side-by-side.
Also, if “Bob” knows when he moved you might be able to see some change in the data at the time. This would back up arguments that data collection is biased.
Ah, so many experiments, so little time… 🙂

Editor
September 16, 2008 9:40 pm

FatBigot (20:01:05) :
I hope the family will be given a very fine award to mark a century of dedicated work to an important process. That could only happen if someone tells NOAA that the century has been achieved, perhaps those who know Bob’s name and address could bring it to their attention.
Perhaps the site could be featured in the next Coop Observer’s newsletter. With photos, of course. 🙂

Alan the Brit
September 17, 2008 3:51 am

Re:Michael J Bentley/Evanjones/William Wallace.
The way things are reported & commented upon by apparent observers is always illuminating in many ways.
I recall a wonderfull BBC documentary broadcast a while ago, following a Sky at Night special hosted by the marvellous Sir Patrick Moore, all about the Sun! Well, the documentary that followed was equally marvellous, with wonderfull photography, graphics, & descriptions of the workings of the Sun. In fact I was totally enthralled by it until the last 5 minutes or so, when the narrator dramatically spoke the closing words along the lines of “No one can explain what effects the power of the sun has on our climate, but whatever it is, it’s already been overtaken by man-made global warming!”, coupled with an image of a bright furious sun cutting immediately to an image of a calving ice sheet. Very impressive. I only wonder as a simple structural engineer how that, if one doesn’t know what effect ‘A’ has upon ‘B’, how does one know that ‘C’ has a greater effect upon ‘B’ than ‘A’, & one doesn’t really know what effect ‘C’ is having upon ‘B’ if any?
BTW great website Mr Watts, please keep up the splendid work! If it wasn’t for this & ICECAP among others I would have still been a AGW believer.

Mike Bryant
September 17, 2008 4:00 pm

OT Here is an article about new projections from Hansen at GISS.
http://www.physorg.com/news140440981.html
This seems to be so wrong on so many levels it is stunning.
It includes his newest plan to save the world.

Wales
September 19, 2008 5:09 pm

Hmm.. I’m not sure if this is a useful suggestion, but if the station needs to be maintained (here it looks like the station needs to be rebuilt, the foliage hacked back, and possibly relocated a bit…) — this might be something to let a local Boy Scout Troop know about. The Scouts do service projects in their local cities and neighborhoods, and raise the funds to do so, get donations of time and materials, etc and execute the projects. A local Scout troop might tackled something like this as a project — it seems to fit all the criteria they look for. If the person who did the field report knows the person who is maintaining the facility would like some help to update the facility, they could let a local Scout Troop know, and the boys (and adults) in the Troop might be able to get it done — for free to the property owner.

September 20, 2008 2:43 am

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