GISS, NOAA, GHCN and the odd Russian temperature anomaly – "It's all pipes!"

UPDATE: A good photo of one of the Russian stations has been found, see below after the “read more” link.

As most readers know by now, the problematic GISTEMP global temperature anomaly plot for October is heavily weighted by temperatures from weather stations in Russia.

gistemp_after_october_correction

GISTEMP 11-12-08 – Click for larger image

Like in the USA, weather stations tend to be distributed according to population density, with the more populated western portion of Russia having more weather stations than the less populated eastern areas such as Siberia. To illustrate this, here is a plot of Russian Weather Station locations from the University of Melbourne:

russian_met_stations

Click picture for larger image, source image is here

Interestingly, the greatest magnitude of the GISTEMP anomaly plot for October is in these mostly unpopulated areas where the weather station density is the lowest. While I was pondering this curiosity, one of the WUWT readers, Corky Boyd, did a little research and passed this along in email:

…Posters at Watts Up have commented on the ongoing consistently high anomalous temperatures from Russia. I have noticed this too.  In light of the erroneously posted data for October, I took a look at the monthly NCDC climate reports back to January 2007.  By my eyeball estimate the results from Russia are almost all on the high side. .  Some I classified as very highs are massively high.  Of the 21 months reported, only 2 appeared to be below average.

Category 2007 2008 (9 months)

Very high                     6                        4

High                            3                        1

Average                      2                        3

Low                            0                        1

Very Low                    1                        0

Is there a way to validate or invalidate GISS data  by comparing it to RISS?   Does it strike you as odd that the verifiably erroneous data has shown up in the same area that was suspect in the first place?  Could there be a pattern?

Corky also sent along a series of images depicting global near surface and ocean temperature anomalies from NOAA. Here is the most recent one from September 2008:

anomaly-map-blended-mntp-200809-pg

I was curious if indeed there was any pattern to the Russian anomaly, so I decided to animate the last year and a half worth of images. You can see this animation below. It is about 1 megabyte in size, so please be patient while it downloads.

noaa_world_temperature_anomaly_animation

Click for full sized animation

What I found interesting was that the January 2007 anomaly (the last time we had a “global heat wave”) was primarily in the northern Russian and Asian. According to January 2007 UAH satellite anomaly data, the Northern Hemisphere had a whopping anomaly of +1.08°C and the “northern extent” was even greater at +1.27°C, the largest anomaly ever in the Northern Extent dataset

Curiously though, the very next month, the Russian anomaly virtually disappears and is replacing with cooling, though a sharp boundary to warming now exists in Asia. It was as if somebody threw a switch in Russia.

anomaly-map_blended_mntp_01_2007_pganomaly-map_blended_mntp_02_2007_pg

Click for larger images

In March 2008, a very large positive anomaly returned in Russia, and again in April evaporated with the same abruptness as the Jan-Feb 2007 transition. Again almost as if a switch was thrown.

anomaly-map-blended-mntp-200803-pganomaly-map-blended-mntp-200804-pg

Click for larger images

Such abrupt repeated changes don’t seem fully natural to me, particularly when they occur over the same geographic location twice. I realize that two events don’t make a trend, but it is curious, given that we now have had a problem with Russian weather data again that caused GISS to announce the “hottest October on record”.

I also noticed that in the animation from the anomaly maps, there does not seem to be much of an anomaly in the summer months.

This made me wonder what some of those weather stations in Russia might be like. So I went to the Russian Meteorological Institute website at http://www.meteo.ru/english/

I know from John Goetz work as well as this artcle in Nature that Russian weather stations had been closing with regularity due to the trickle down effects of collapse in the former Soviet Union. Though some new ones are being built by outside agencies, such as this one sponsored by NOAA in Tiksi, Russia.

Click for a larger image

What I found interesting in the NOAA press release on Tiksi, was this image, showing weather stations clustered around the Arctic:

Click for a larger image

The interesting thing is that all these stations are manned and heated. The instruments appear to be “on” the buildings themselves, though it is hard to tell. One wonders how much of the building heat in this tiny island of humanity makes it to the sensors. The need for a manned weather station in the Arctic always comes with a need for heat.

I was hoping my visit to the Russian Meteorological institute website might have some particulars on the remaining weather stations that have not been closed. I didn’t find that, but what I did find was a study they posted that seems to point to a significant warm temperature anomaly in Russia during winters between 1961 to 1998:

ru_temp_anomaly

Fig. 1. Linear trend coefficient (days/10 years) in the series of days with abnormally high air temperatures in winter (December-February), 1961-1998.

From the Russian study they write:

For the winter period 1961-1998, most of the stations under considerations exhibit a tendency for fewer minimum temperature extremes. Maximum (in absolute value) coefficients of the linear trend were obtained in the south of the country and in eastern Yakutia.

Whenever I read about elevated minimum temperatures, I tend to suspect some sort of human influences such as UHI, station siting, or irrigation (humidity) which tend to affect Tmin more than Tmax.

In Northern Russia Siberia, I wouldn’t expect much in the way of irrigation. So that leaves station siting and UHI as possible biases. UHI seemed doubtful, given that many of these Russian Stations in Siberia are in remote areas and small towns.

So I decided to put Google Earth to work to see what I could see. One of the stations mentioned in a recent post at Climate Audit cited the station of Verhojansk, Russia, which has  temperatures conveniently online here at Weather Underground.

From the Navy Meteorological exercise I found that Verhojansk has a wide variance in temperature:

Verkhojansk is located in a treeless shallow valley. There is snow on the ground during winter months; it melts in the spring. Verhojansk experiences the coldest winter temperatures of any official weather station outside of Antarctica. Verhojansk has Earth’s most extreme temperature contrast (65oC) between summer and winter. Which of the following indirect factors contribute to this extreme seasonal variation?

From the GHCN station inventory file at NCDC I found that Verhojansk, Russia had a lat/lon of 67.55 133.38 which when I put it in Google Earth, ended up in a mud flat. The Google Maps link from Weather Underground was no better, also off in a field.

Looking in NCDC’s MMS station database yeilded better luck, and I found a more precise lat/lon of 67.55,133.38333 There was very little other helpful information there on the station.

The station appeared to be located in town, though I have no way of verifying the exact location. The lat/lon may be imprecise. But something curious popped out at me as I was scanning the Google Earth image of Verhojansk looking for what might be a weather station – it looks like pipes running across the surface:

verhojansk_station1-520

Click for larger image

These “pipes” appear to go all over town. Here is a closer view, note the arrow to what I think might be the weather station location based on the fencing, objects on the ground that could be rain gauges or shelters, and what looks like an instrument tower:

verhojansk_station2-520

Click for larger image

I was curious about what these pipes could be, it certainly didn’t look like oil pipelines, and why where they so close to houses and building and seem to network all over town. Doing a little research on Russian history, I found my answer in the pervasive “central planning” thinking that characterized Russian government and infrastructure. It’s called “District Heating

From Wikipedia:

District heating (less commonly called teleheating) is a system for distributing heat generated in a centralized location for residential and commercial heating requirements such as space heating and water heating.

But for Russia there was this caveat:

Russia

In most Russian cities, district-level combined heat and power plants (Russian: ТЭЦ, Тепло-электро централь) produce more than 50 % of the nation’s electricity and simultaneously provide hot water for neighbouring city blocks. They mostly use coal and oil-powered steam turbines for cogeneration of heat. Now, gas turbines and combined cycle designs are beginning to be widely used as well. A Soviet-era approach of using very large central stations to heat large districts of a big city or entire small cities is fading away as due to inefficiency, much heat is lost in the piping network because of leakages and lack of proper thermal insulation [10].

I should also point out that district heating is not limited to Russia, but is in many northern European countries. It seems quite prevalent in cold Euro-climates, and even extends into Great Britain.

So I searched a bit more, and found some pictures of what Russian district heating looks like from the ground. Here is one from Picasaweb from somebody’s trip to Russia:

russian_heating_pipes1

The caption was telling: Smaller Russian era dwelling - blue is typical colour. Pipes outside are for the steam heat that is distributed to all buildings.

Click for source image.

Note the pipes in the photo above are not insulated.

I also found a very interesting picture of steam pipes, also uninsulated, from a trip report to the “hot zone” of Chernobyl:

127chernobylpipes

Caption: Driving through Chernobyl. Steam pipes carry heat through the city

And finally a picture of Krasnoyarsk thermal power station Number 1 that has recently been in the news, according to Reuters due to a burst steam pipe:

Caption: A general view shows the Krasnoyarsk thermal power station Number 1 where a main pipeline burst depriving some ten thousand people of central heating, January 5, 2008. The flats of tens of thousands of people in Siberia's Krasnoyarsk and some of its suburbs continue to stay cold for the second day at temperatures of about -20 degrees Celsius (minus 4 Fahrenheit) after a pipeline rupture in a thermal power station that supplies the central heating system, the Emergencies Ministry told local media. Source: REUTERS/Ilya Naymushin (RUSSIA)

Click for larger image – Note the pipes coming out to the left of the power station. You can see steam pipes around the city in this Google Maps view here.

So all this begs the question:

If Russian weather stations are located in cities that have this district heating plan, and a good percentage of the pipes are uninsulated, how much of the waste heat from the pipes ends up creating a local micro-climate of warmth?

Remember when I said that the NOAA map anomalies centered over Russia seemed to be prevalent in winter but not summer? It stands to reason that as winter temperature gets colder, more waste heat is dumped out of these inefficient systems to meet the demand. Basically, we have an active UHI situation in the city that increases in output as temperatures drop.

In the areal photos above of Verhojansk, it appears that some pipes are insulated (white, what appears to be main lines) while others are rust brown, and appear near buildings and dwellings.

I got to thinking about why these pipes might be uninsulated. First there is the classic inefficiency and carelessness of Soviet workmanship, but another thought occurred to me: Russian people might like it that way. Why? Well imagine a place where you walk to the market every day, even in subzero temperatures. Since many of these pipes seem to follow streets and sidewalks, wouldn’t it be a more pleasant walk in winter next to a nice toasty steam pipe?

Steve Mcintyre wrote about this station at Climate Audit, citing a puzzle in the data, here is an excerpt of his post:

Verhojansk

Now there are many puzzles in GHCN adjustments, to say the least, and these adjustments are inhaled into GISS. Verhojansk is in the heart of the Siberian “hot spot”, presently a balmy minus 22 deg C. The graphics below compare GISS dset0 in the most recent scribal version to GISS dset 2 (showing identity other than small discrepancies at the start of the segment); the right compares GISS dset0 to the GHCN-Daily Average.

Over the past 20 years, the GISS version (presumably obtained from GHCN monthly) has risen 1.7 deg C (!) relative to the average taken from GHCN Daily results.

Left- GISS dset 2 minus Giss dset0 [[7]]; fight – Giss minus GHCN Daily

What causes this? I have no idea.

Maybe it’s the steam pipes. We need to send somebody to Russia to find out. Of the many station lat/lons I looked at, Verhojansk was the only one I found with enough Google Earth resolution to see the steam pipes. Maybe the heart of our Russian temperature anomaly lies in central heating.

George Costanza could be right.

UPDATE: The photo below shows the Verhojansk Meteorological station and it’s instruments.  Hat tip to Jeff C. for the photo below:

Direct URL to the photo above here

Note the cable going to the Stevenson Screen suggesting automated readings. Also note the vertical plume at left.

The station can be seen from Google Earth here


Sponsored IT training links:

We offer guaranteed success in 1z0-050 exam with JN0-304 online training. Also get free download link for HP0-S26 exam.


Advertisements

  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Terry Ward

The heat wave in China earlier this year springs to mind.
Anoma(lies).

Well, by definition, if GISS/Hansen is recording the “averages” for each month, and get (by mystical means of magically (er, mathematically) manipulating the values into his plots, one would expect that, over time, :
Half would be above average.
Half would be below average.
Here – over a long time period when both the US AND CANADA Arctic temperatures are BELOW average for similar development and near-identical cold-weather-blowing-from-the-north patterns, only one reading is “very low”, and almost all are above average.
Or, his original “average” (baseline) temperature for Siberia is simply dead wrong. That is, Hansen “thinks” the baseline for Siberia is 1-2 degrees COLDER than it really is.
So: What is his baseline for the NW Torritories? central Alaska, Hudson Bay, and the North Greenland slopes? What is Hansen’s theorectical baseline/working baseline for his Siberia thermometers?
Methinks something sticks in Denmark. Er, Russia.
And Maryland/Columbia University’s science departments.

Ron de Haan

This article clearly asks for a Russian extension of surfacestations.org
What the heck, why don’t you go Global and start your own “shadow network”.

Cathy

You’ve done it.
By God. You’ve done it.
You sir, are really something.

Until the [taxpayer funded] raw data is publicly archived in real time, the credibility of GISS will continue to be negatively impacted.

Chris Ballance

OK. I am boiler engineer with two weeks of vacation and a ton of airline miles. I don’t speak Russian, but I do have some Russian connections through work and friends. I don’t yet have a clue how I could get to Verhojansk in the middle of winter but I am up for the adventure.

tarpon

Isn’t the Arctic Ocean near northern Russia, in particular Siberia? Can’t we just watch the Arctic ice sheet grow almost daily? I wonder what the problem is with the temperature monitoring because it doesn’t seem to square with the physical evidence. I wonder, did the temperature gurus think of that?
Odd.
Maybe they will make the satellite data unavailable to normal folks, that would solve this pesky problem wouldn’t it.

jeez

Digging a little deeper, it looks like you’ve also found the hiding place of Santer’s reindeer.

Verkhoyansk is a town in the Sakha Republic, Russia, situated on the Yana River, near the Arctic Circle, 675 km from Yakutsk. There is river port, an airport, a fur-collecting depot, and the center of a reindeer-raising area. Population: 1,434 (2002 Census).

Chris Ballance,
In Soviet Russia, adventure gets you.

D Caldwell

It’s human nature to readily accept information consistent with your beliefs. As long as the global surface station data in total continues to show warming, NOAA and NASA will continue to assume it to be accurate without challange.
If (God forbid) global temps were to go into a prolonged cooling, they would be challenging and scrubbing weather station data like crazy.

Harold Ambler

Beautiful work, Anthony. One of the many interesting details is in your sentence below:
Over the past 20 years, the GISS version (presumably obtained from GHCN monthly) has risen 1.7 deg C (!) relative to the average taken from GHCN Daily results.
Why 20 years, one wonders, as the start date of the temperature spike? Among the possibilities is a political one: That under Gorbachev more energy was made available to keep the newly freer population a little warmer in winter, as the military stopped getting such a big piece of the energy pie.
Another possibility: The energy boom in Siberia brought greater population to towns that had lost population, and the pipes were turned on for more buildings than in generations.
Another possibility, comes courtesy of Al Gore (ironically).
Below is from a BBC article by By Leonid Ragozin:
“Do you know what is the brightest place on Earth in satellite images?” asks Aleksey Yablokov, leader of the new Green Russia party.
“Not Los Angeles, not Tokyo. It’s western Siberia.”
The vast expanses of this sparsely populated region are lit by the flares of associated gas burned at oil wells.
“I once flew there by night – the view was unforgettable. But these flares killed not millions, but billions of migrating birds”, says Mr Yablokov, one of Russia’s leading biologists and a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
Former US Vice-President Al Gore called Siberian oil flares one of the main causes of global warming, in his book Earth In The Balance.
The number of oil wells where gas is being burned has fallen considerably with the arrival of modern oil extraction technology in the post-Soviet era, Mr Yablokov admits.
But he estimates that about 20,000 such flares are still lighting up the taiga (virgin forest).

I hope that Hansen et al. will show gratitude for this groundbreaking research.

steven mosher

Brilliant youtube selection. and good detective work. while searching for how to get to the site I stumbled on this:
http://www.somerikko.net/travel/oymyakon.html
Scroll down and find the Stevenson screen at oymyakon or as GISS has it
Ojmjakon.
http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/gistemp_station.py?id=222246880006&data_set=1&num_neighbors=1
647 km from the site in question.
Probably want to check all the sites within 1200km..starting with dzardzan

deadwood

These pipes are present in every Soviet built city that I visited in the Russian Fareast during the 1990’s.
As I remember it was generally insulated, but usually rusty. The stuff in the google images looks pristine in comparison (must be oil money).
I have wondered about the heat loss in recent years as I noted the anomalies over there.
Good catch Anthony.

papertiger

We have plenty of Russians living in my neighborhood. The only trick will be thinking of a pertinent question to ask.
Once I find one of them who lived around district heating what then?
I’m serious. We have a Russian church and the street is lined with cars from church goers every Sunday.
How about, “Was it warmer walking to the market under the distict heating pipes? Did people alter their route to walk under the pipes during the cold months?”

jeez

Due to recent career modification, I am also able to (gulp) volunteer to go on “Tour” of Siberia, but could we wait till late spring? Maybe summer?

Spam

Being a guy who spends a bit of time around insulated pipes, while I obviously can’t be certain given the size & resolution of the picture, those ‘chernobyl’ pipes certainly look insulated to me. They wrap insulation around the pipes, then seal them with stainless sheeting, with the goal of keeping the insulation dry to prevent corrosion.

Pamela Gray

One of my favorite places is Britenbush, a eh em, hot spring area in Oregon. All heated with piped in steaming hot water from the hot springs. You can tell where the underground pipes are located because the snow melts along the track. Were they above ground, it would mean that I could walk from my bedroom only cabin to the bathroom without freezing. And even more important, I could walk to the clothing optional bathing areas without freezing my little radio dials off. Good idea that Russian system.

Mike McMillan

Spam (16:13:36) :
. . . those ‘chernobyl’ pipes certainly look insulated to me. They wrap insulation around the pipes, then seal them with stainless sheeting, with the goal of keeping the insulation dry to prevent corrosion.
We had the same central system at a northern-tier air base where I was stationed back in the 70’s. The pipes were wrapped with several inches of corrugated asbestos, something like corrugated cardboard, then protected with stainless steel sheet.

Robert in Calgary

I’m not sure if this is the “tipping point” Hansen had in mind.
Wouldn’t you like to be in the room when Hansen hears about this?
If they don’t bother checking station sites in the USA……

Cary

I assume that it’s a coincidence that the temperature graph of Ojmjakon that Steve posted is similar to the USA temperature anomaly (posted yesterday)that shows the 30s as being higher or equal to the present.

I’ve been thinking about this ever since we saw the nutty GISSTEMP numbers for Russia… Doesn’t it behoove Putin (or his surrogate/puppet?) to “drive” the AGW agenda with high temps across Russia? We (USA, my bias), with Hansen at the helm, drive capitalism into dissarray on the “science”… Putin waits it out with his vast oil cache and substantial re$erves until such time as… [fill in the blank]…
Maybe it was just a bad dream…

Harold Ambler

You know, I should have read the sentence I was trying to comment upon a few more times.
Over the past 20 years, the GISS version (presumably obtained from GHCN monthly) has risen 1.7 deg C (!) relative to the average taken from GHCN Daily results.
Does the GHCN data show an unexplained high anomaly that GISS then ramps up further? Are these two unexplained mysteries?

Alan S. Blue

If you poke around at http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/, there’s a set of satellite pictures indicating NH snow coverage.
I seem to remember being puzzled over the discrepancy between snow coverage and reported ground temperatures.
REPLY: Its not about absolute temperature, its about temperature anomaly. Some people get the idea that those “red” areas mean the Arctic is actually warm.
So for some town in Siberia, a significant anomaly is an average daily temperature of -20°C up from the “normal” of -25°C.
Snow on the ground in either case.
But the folks that see red in GISS graphs and think “warm, melting” are the same ones that undertake expeditions to the Arctic in Kayaks, like Mr. Pugh. – Anthony

uht oh, my bogus html tags “nutty_international_consipracy_theory_on/off” got nuked!

Are those pipes full of steam? They must be insulated otherwise the surfaces would be a burn hazard. The question is how well insulated they are. Insulation doesn’t bring heat loss down to zero.

Bill Illis

Man, this is good stuff. How can there be such a wide-ranging changes – up, down and sideways. There are obviously huge problems with quality in the Russian temp series and I suspect the problems such as building heating, moving temp measuring devices closer to the buildings are the source of the problems as you noted.
I remember China having a bitterly cold winter this year, Jan, Feb and March, which extended into Siberia for parts of this time period, yet it is does not show up hardly at all in the NCDC animation. (side-note, the animations make a huge difference in our understanding of what is going on so keep ’em coming.)

Mike Bryant

Wondering if NASA has any FLIR images of Siberia with sufficient resolution to spot these pipes?

mr.artday

Sometimes I wonder if the OPEC leaders could have been ignorant enough not to feed lots of money to the Environmental Activist world. But those times are few and far between. The Russians claim they sent more money to the U.S. anti-Vietnam-war activists than they sent as war supplies to the N. Vietnamese. The FBI and the CIA never found out how or if they did it. The OPEC guys could have bought the Russ. methods before they began working to ensure that we would be dumb enough to become dependant on them instead of on our domestic production. Or maybe they felt no need to be secretive because the knew the MSM would never follow the money into the Enviro-activist world. And the gov. doesn’t audit the Enviros, to the best of my knowledge.

Mike Bryant

Used for enhancing satellite imaging — The National Security Agency (NSA) utilizes the infrared FLIR technology in satellite devices, to monitor activity in foreign countries. These same infrared equipped satellites are also used to monitor storm activity and environmental patterns. The military also has access to this technology to review potential targets and to survey perimeter security.

Mike Bryant

Very good article in Moscow News about the state of Russia’s heating districts and challenges.
http://www.mnweekly.ru/national/20071115/55290051.html

Mike Bryant

Google “Ater satellite image” to see some nice FLIR images from space.

Mike Bryant

sorry “Aster satellite image”

Mike Bryant

Here is The ASTER home page… there is a “data acquisition request” button.

Mike Bryant
Mike Monce

This is a brillant piece of detective work. It offers a plausible hypothesis to an observed possible problem. The questions posed with this article REALLY need to be answered by NOAA. They are reasonable, well-documented, and well-thought out. Any scientist worth their salt would be taken aback by this article and, I hope, would respond: “Wow, I never considered that before!”

Ray Reynolds

I am shaking my head in amazement.
How blind or incompetant ( or the cynic, dishonest) can GISS/NOAA be? I have wondered, knowing the faults Anthony et al has found close to home, what the state of weather station thruout the world held. Now we get a picture.
Thank! congratulations, this revelations needs widespread exposure.

Chris

A very interesting post, and I suspect you are onto something.
But I think readers should bear in mind e.g. the following comparison:
http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/do_nmap.py?year_last=2008&month_last=10&sat=4&sst=0&type=anoms&mean_gen=10&year1=1943&year2=1943&base1=1951&base2=1980&radius=1200&pol=reg
http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/do_nmap.py?year_last=2008&month_last=10&sat=4&sst=0&type=anoms&mean_gen=10&year1=1947&year2=1947&base1=1951&base2=1980&radius=1200&pol=reg
http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/do_nmap.py?year_last=2008&month_last=10&sat=4&sst=0&type=anoms&mean_gen=10&year1=2008&year2=2008&base1=1951&base2=1980&radius=1200&pol=reg
and also e.g.
http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/gistemp_station.py?id=222202920005&data_set=1&num_neighbors=1
http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/gistemp_station.py?id=222214320004&data_set=1&num_neighbors=1
http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/gistemp_station.py?id=222206740006&data_set=1&num_neighbors=1
http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/gistemp_station.py?id=222208910006&data_set=1&num_neighbors=1
http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/gistemp_station.py?id=222241430002&data_set=1&num_neighbors=1
i.e. northern Siberia does seem to have shown a cyclical pattern from mild in the 1930s/40s to cold in the 50s-80s to mild again in the 90s/00s.
So part of the problem with the anomalies may be that the baselines of 1951-80 or 1961-90 give a false impression of what is “normal”.
Also, it seems to me that the surface records of S/SE Asia, Australia and Antarctica (amongst others) could also be worthy of more attention [c.f. my earlier comparison of GISS maps]
Re: “….UHI seemed doubtful, given that many of these Russian Stations in Siberia are in remote areas and small towns….”
I’m less doubtful. On this point, I hope you may indulge a repeat of my earlier post on another thread.
Chris (16:21:41) :
More on Base Esperanza: [Antarctica]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Esperanza_Base
“……The temperature trend since 1948 is……..” [warming]
“……Built in 1975, the base houses 55 inhabitants in winter, including 10 families and 2 school teachers. Provincial school #38 “Julio Argentino Roca” was founded in 1978 and acquired independent status in 1997. The LRA 36 Radio Nacional Arcángel San Gabriel radio station started transmitting in 1979…..”
“……The 43 buildings of the station have a combined space of 374,400 square metres (4,030,000 sq ft) covered; 18,000 litres (4,800 US gal) of fuel are used annually by the 4 generators to produce electricity for the station…..”
“…….The Base has tourist facilities that are visited by approximately 1,100 tourists each year…….”
Not urban heat effects again surely?
c.f. http://www.geography.uc.edu/~kenhinke/uhi/HinkelEA-IJOC-03.pdf
re: Barrow, Alaska
e.g.
“…On a daily basis, the UHI is best developed under calm, cold conditions and can reach hourly magnitudes exceeding 9 °C; this reflects the increased (anthropogenic) heat input at this high-latitude site…”
Population of Barrow? 3,982.” [Verkhoyansk 1,434]

Pete

Jason Salit (16:57:12) :
I had the same conspiracy theory thought the other day that Putin might want to inflate numbers to encourage the West (mainly the USA) to pursue cap and trade/taxes to drive the US economy down. However, that would diminish worldwide demand and Russian oil revenues, so for that reason I’m not sure the conspiracy makes sense. But I’m sure there are other factors that might keep my conspiricay theory alive. Is Putin in the Carbon trading business?

Mick

Great work Folks!
Regards of the pipe insulation,
the “hot primary” does not need insulation, but the return
“cold secondary” does need it to prevent freezing over and
cracking of the pipe.

chris ballance

If the temperature anomaly is caused by the district heating system then the anomaly will be most noticable during the fall and spring.

crosspatch

Something tells me it isn’t the pipes causing the anomaly. Now I can see something like measurement devices mounted too close to a building or on a roof of a poorly insulated building being a problem. But I don’t think just having those heat pipes in the same town would cause a difference of an entire degree of difference. But then again, maybe it could on a calm night with some cloud cover cause the nighttime temperature of that town to be a degree higher than it might otherwise be.
But one would think that such a heat source would cause an updraft and that colder air from the area surrounding the town would be drawn in to replace it. The result being that temperatures would remain pretty much unchanged.

Novoburgo

If you will go to 67.32.40.61N, 133.23.46.72E you will find a picture and the location of the “Meteo” station. Also, examination of several of the other available pictures will give you a better understanding of the Russian Arctic.

Bruce Foutch

Mr. Watts,
You made a British paper:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2008/11/16/do1610.xml
REPLY: WUWT commenter Chris and John Goetz deserve all the credit here, I was driving in Nevada on Highway 50 at the time of the discovery. Steve McIntyre also deserves more credit. I was just a spectator while my blog went on without me. The best you could say was that WUWT was a facilitator to the discovery. – Anthony

Jack Simmons

This is such a fascinating story.
Here in the United States, our temperature monitoring systems are contaminated by poor siting, neglect, urban sprawl and barbecue pits.
In the former Soviet Union, we have an antiquated heating system.
In both regions, the number of stations are dropping.
Could it be, in the near future, we will have a single station reporting for both countries? It certainly makes sense in these economically stressed times to cut down on the number of reporting stations. It also much more convenient to ‘adjust’ the readings if we are down to a single station for both countries. To estimate the temperatures for Denver, based on the nation’s single site in Columbus, we simply adjust for the distance.
Seriously, before we commit to billions in carbon taxes, or trades, or whatever you want to call it, shouldn’t we audit the temperature records?
Just a thought.
No matter what is decided, these are the things that will happen:
1) Carbon dioxide levels will continue to go up, no matter what is decided in the U.S. China and India will ignore any of the calls for restraint in CO2 production. The big experiment mankind has embarked on for the effects of CO2 on climate will continue with no end in sight.
2) Carbon dioxide taxes will be enacted in the U.S., not matter what. We could see electricity costs go up by 50% and gasoline costs by up to 25%. No matter what.
The worst of all worlds. Undiminished CO2 production (bad news for the alarmists) and undiminished taxes for this country.
Sigh.
Two years for people to see the consequences of an unrestrained green agenda here in the U.S.

steven mosher

Anthony,
Might want to check the surrounding rural stations. I’ve compared the 3 closest..interesting

Rick Sharp

I spent a couple of winters in Ulaanbaatar Mongolia. It is a Russian designed town complete with centralized heating from the powerplant outside town. When it worked it was OK. Sometimes it didn’t, rumor was the Mongolians got a little behind on their fuel payments to the Russians.
Here is a picture http://i66.photobucket.com/albums/h241/ricksharp/11290001.jpg
Give me global warming anytime! Looked up Verhojansk on weatherunderground it is -39C and -39F.

DR

Chris,
Yes yes! The Barrow study is the best example of this type UHI. The latest Hinkel study is 2001-2005 published in 2007. These are my favorite types of research as it is based on empirical data derived from [calibrated] instruments taken in a systematic manner, which I am familiar with.
http://www.geography.uc.edu/~kenhinke/uhi/Hinkel&Nelson_JGR-A_2007.pdf
Little doubt these winter UHI anomalies can result from heat generated in those pipes.
Excellent detective work Anthony.

Ed

The Moscow News story, linked above (and repeated here http://www.mnweekly.ru/national/20071115/55290051.html) has an interesting quote that is quite relevant:
‘A lot of heat, meanwhile, is lost in bad pipes that are meant to transport the hot water to the residential areas. This problem is particularly acute in Siberia’s permafrost, where pipes are laid above-ground. “I’ve seen people break the wooden casing and wrap the pipes in deer hide because they don’t have anything better to insulate them with,” Bashmakov says.’

DR

crosspatch,
Read the Hinkel study; it may surprise many how much UHI can affect thermometer readings in the winter even in a small town. The evidence is incontrovertible, although I’m not saying it is absolutely the case with the Russian situation. It is however a viable hypothesis and should be investigated.

Richard M

From the Russian article:
“Just bringing in the fuel is every expensive,” he says. “There’s no railroads, so trucks are used. Because the equipment is in such a bad condition, there’s often nowhere to store the coal. It’s stored under an open sky, and the wind spreads these gray coal particles all over the village – I’ve seen it in Kolyma, Sakhalin….”
Hmmmmm.