Where Thermometers Go To Die – How not to measure temperature, part 80

In my 30 years in meteorology, I never questioned how NOAA climate monitoring stations were setup. It wasn’t until I stumbled on the Marysville California fire station and its thermometer that that I began to notice just how badly sited these stations are. When I started looking further, I never expected to find USHCN climate monitoring stations placed at sewage treatment plants, next to burn barrels, or in parking lots of University Atmospheric Science Departments, or next to air conditioning heat exchangers. These were all huge surprises.

I didn’t think I’d be surprised anymore. I thought I’d seen the weirdest of the weird, and that I would not be surprised again with bad station placement examples.

Then I saw this station, submitted from Fort Scott, Kansas:


Click for larger image

No, your eyes do not deceive you. That is an official NOAA USHCN climate monitoring station at a funeral home in downtown Fort Scott, KS

From a wider perspective, you can see all the things around it. Not only do we have a fountain (extra humidity), a nearby brick wall for heat retention at night, a large concrete driveway that curves around the station, a tree for shade in the late afternoon, a big brick building with a south facing brick wall, but we also have cobblestone streets and convenient nearby parking. The station is near the center of the city.


Click for larger image

This location has everything needed, except a BBQ.  See the photo gallery here.

It seems that that station was moved into this location from the previous one about a block away on April 4th, 2002:


Click for larger image

Upon first examination. it appears that it “may” have been cooler at the previous location, once you get past the spike of the 1998 El Nino it seems the elevated step function remains. Though since the location was also downtown, about a block away, perhaps the UHI of the downtown has overwhelmed the station change.


From what I can tell of the towns history, most of the growth in buildings occurred during the first half of the 20th century. Many of the downtown buildings seem to date from that time. Certainly it appears cooler around 1900.

No worries though, GISS has “fixed” the temperature to reflect a cooler past:


Click for a larger image

Of course, this GISS adjustment artificially increases the temperature trend of the last century. It appears to use the present as the hinge point.

Yes it probably was cooler in Fort Scott’s past, when it looked like this, when it was founded:


“A beautifully undulating prairie”. “An almost precipitous decent of fifty feet”. “A flat spur of high prairie”. “A small clear-water creek”.

In 1852, Assistant Surgeon Joseph Barnes used all of these phrases to describe the landscape surrounding Fort Scott.

reference here

Here is a recent view of downtown



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pablo an ex pat
January 2, 2009 6:33 am

It’s official, it’s been nailed to borrow a useful phrase, ahem, as well, as causing it to get warmer CO2 can cause it to get colder, much colder.
Here’s a plan for a Green Tea Party : Have cake, eat it, repeat.
Or haw about a different conclusion ?
It doesn’t matter much to the Earth how much CO2 there is in the atmosphere. The Earth warms and cools to the beat of a different drum or more likely set of drums.

January 2, 2009 6:49 am

Wow. That is amazing. How do you find these?

January 2, 2009 6:56 am

here is a must read article over at newsbusters concerning James Hansen:

Ed Scott
January 2, 2009 7:04 am

Looney Tunes, part 4.
John Holdren: A recommendation.
John Holdren: Obama’s science advisor.
John Holdren is the ultimate example of the pseudointellectual impurities that have recently flooded universities and academies throughout the Western world.
“…Holdren and Ehrlich may have narcissistically talked about “prestigious symposia” but it’s hard to change the fact that events where people compete who is going to propose a more absurd die-off scenario are just gatherings of pompous loons.”
In the particular Ehrlich-Holdren paper, they discussed five “theorems”, as they boldly call this retarded stuff. For example, the first “theorem” says that “population growth causes a disproportionate negative impact on the environment”. The last one argues that “theoretical solutions to the problem are often not operational and sometimes they are not solutions”.
These are great theorems! They’re so accurate, well-defined, rigorously proven, and universally valid! I am pretty sure that in insane asylums, the physicians would use different words than “theorems” to describe these manifestations of their anxiety disorders.
Nowadays, they equate “CO2 emissions” with a “great die-off”. Details have changed but the dishonest, unscientific, extremely ideological, and political essence of their movement hasn’t. These people evolve just like the RNA viruses of flu. You may think that you have already gained immunity against this intellectual trap but instead, the viruses have mutated just a little bit and they’re back. They will probably always be with us.
It’s very bad that people whose approach to the world is the exact opposite of science – because they prefer irrational phobias, “prestige” of symposia, and visible jobs paid by gullible manipulated folks over rational, humble, careful, and ever more refined, accurate, and justified scientific arguments and findings – are being linked to science, and it is bad that President-elect Obama is helping to distort the definition of science and its proper role in the society in this way.

Steve M.
January 2, 2009 7:05 am

“Wow. That is amazing. How do you find these?”
After looking at surfacestations.org, you’ll find that finding stuff like this is quite easy

January 2, 2009 7:06 am

Why is it weird that it’s outside a funereal home? These are volunteer stations, so I think you’d be likely to find them outside all kinds of different places. Of course, the headline — “Where do thermometers go to die…” — is hilarious, and all the wrong things at the site are appropriate to point out. But when you’ve got over a thousand of these things being run by volunteers (not to count the several thousand non-USHCN sites), I think they’ll likely be found in all sorts of weird places.
Happy New Year, Anthony, and congrats on the success of WUWT over the past year.

January 2, 2009 7:34 am

Pardon me, but I’m not seeing how they’re getting “moderately wooded” out of the current site. If one tree makes a city lot moderately wooded would two trees make it heavily forrested?

Ed Scott
January 2, 2009 7:51 am

Looney Tunes, part 5
Litter Offsets?

Those carbon offsets seem to be quite popular these days. So why not expand the concept to other forms of pollution?

January 2, 2009 8:01 am

Thank you. The website was very helpful.

January 2, 2009 8:17 am

Where human morbidity and mortality issues are at stake, such as in the manufacture of pharmaceutical drugs, operation of hospital laboratories, blood product collection methodology, automobile manufacturing, bridge construction, etc., there are normally very rigid rules regarding “quality control.” The backbone of “quality control” includes calibration standards, correlation studies, uniform methodology, standardized instrumentation, reproducibility, and documentation. “Quality control” is normally expensive, time consuming, and requires constant monitoring.
In this regard, we have the concepts of global warming and climate change, about which we are constantly bombarded with warnings of rising oceans, famine, species extinction, disease outbreaks, etc. — primarily based upon future predictions from computer models centered upon historical temperature records — all of which (if true) have significant implications on future human morbidity and mortality. Yet the “science of climate change” involving computer models utilizing past records of surface temperatures, as well as current recordings of surface temperatures, appears to be completely devoid of “quality control” regarding the primary data records. (Buried in “quality control” is urban heat island effect, which would be eliminated with appropriate standard methodology requirements.) Not only are you amply demonstrating that “quality control” in surface temperature recording is completely absent with your project, there is a second issue of “manipulating” data obtained from methods devoid of “quality control” overview. How can one “manipulate” (adjust) historical data that one cannot verify as being accurate and reproducible? Such “manipulations” cannot correct for previous lack of “quality control” and may actually introduce more uncertainty. This is not science — it’s “data fakery.” How can any reputable science journal publish studies where the primary data sets are “highly suspect” for being unreliable? Please continue your work in exposing this fraudulent science, if it can be called a science.

James the Less
January 2, 2009 8:21 am

“This location has everything needed, except a BBQ.”
Actually, there is a BBQ…they do cremations.

January 2, 2009 8:25 am

Here we go…
I still favour the boneless chicken cannon. (My design!)
Apologies for being a tad OT.

Mike C
January 2, 2009 8:26 am

That’s a stiff one

Pierre Gosselin
January 2, 2009 8:34 am

The crematorium is probably not far away too!

Craig D. Lattig
January 2, 2009 8:42 am

True, the BBQ pit seems to have been misplaced…however, all may not be lost! Have someone check and see if they have a crematory…it would probably require a state air permit. cdl

January 2, 2009 8:46 am

Another of the hundreds of examples of bad measurement. The GISS corrections are universally rubbish. I know they tried to bulk correct based on light levels but it clearly didn’t work. With the low number of stations present in the early record the GISS data from the early part of the century cannot be trusted.
With so much money dumped into AGW why isn’t someone demanding a longer stick for the thermometers say 50 ft. GISS guys should at least be screaming for a better system.
The only thing keeping them in line now are the satellites and even those have experienced ‘adjustments’. Whether they are reasonable adjustments to the satellites or not, I don’t know.
Keep it up, Anthony, I know you will anyway but the more that is exposed the better it gets.

Tom B.
January 2, 2009 9:16 am

Anthony, your blog is fascinating, and one of the ones I find useful for someone like me (a computer geek whose statistical background consists of a few college courses many decades ago). Am trying to understand the adjustments that are being made to the data for UHI that are in the final temperature estimates that folks like Hansen publish. Can you point me at something that might discuss how those adjustments are made? I recall a posting (not sure if it was you or Jeff Id) that showed the UHI adjustment made at a specific station which actually pushed the number UP instead of moderating them, so was hoping to actually understand what their algorithm for UHI adjustment was…
Thanks in advance, Tom Bauch

Steve Keohane
January 2, 2009 9:16 am

Since Mr. Hansen loves to adjust numbers, I thought it would be fun to take the station data bias, UHI, from the US stations that have been examined on surfacestations.org, about 2.8 deg C, minimum, and apply that to GISS Global Temps plot. Since the US has 1221 of the approx 5300 world-wide stations, that is 23%. Assume there are no other stations in the world with a UHI bias, use 1985 as a hinge point which seems to be one of Hansen’s favorites, and move the end of the smoothed line and data points down 23% of 2.8=0.6 deg C, and voila we have a more real picture of glbal temperature.
Happy Chillier 2009 everyone!

Tim L
January 2, 2009 9:21 am

I bit you get a little pit in your gut every time you find how bad temps are found, after the years you used these same ones to tell your audience what the weather is,was.
I CAN NOT believe how much fraud is being found, we need to start a fund to collect money to pay expenses for a good lawyer to go after the reduction of past temps like this one. WHY OH WHY DO THEY NOT LOWER CURRENT TEMPS???????
Thank you

Rod Smith
January 2, 2009 9:48 am

Basil (07:06:48): You make several interesting and valid points. Still, it is apparent that overall management, supervision, technical oversight and assistance, training, and monitoring are obviously absent from the majority of USCHN sites.
When you add that in many cases NOAA is not even sure of the exact location of these sites, it becomes obvious that these civic minded ‘volunteers’ are left to their own devices regardless of their technical expertise, or lack of such.
Nevertheless, their product is clearly not an accurate measure of the local climate.
Note: The above statement assumes the absurd — that ‘climate’ can accurately be described/measured/predicted using a single parameter, temperature.

D Caldwell
January 2, 2009 9:51 am

Wow! We lived just outside town on a large farm when I was a young boy in the late 50’s and early 60’s. I am waxing very nostalgic at seeing an entry on Ft. Scott – but I will spare you all my stroll down memory lane.
FWIW, I do wish to weigh in on the UHI factor. Since Ft. Scott was an important commercial and railroad center in the post Civil War western expansion, I believe most of the downtown and the brick streets were already there at the turn of the century (19th to 20th that is). There was some modest growth in the 20th century, but not enough to drive significant UHI effects IMHO.
Whatever artifacts may exist in that temp record would be more likely from equipment and siting issues.

old construction worker
January 2, 2009 10:13 am

It would be nice if our US neighbors would send photographs of their weather stations.

January 2, 2009 10:17 am

RE: (jim (06:56:07) 🙂
I’m beginning to wonder if Hansen wants Michael Griffin’s job? See (for instance):

January 2, 2009 10:20 am

Tsk, tsk, Anthony. Those are not cobblestones, they’re bricks. You need to get out more often.

January 2, 2009 10:33 am

Hansen’s plan to keep the carbon-tax money in the public’s hands and out of the “commodities market” actually makes very good sense — if CO2 were actually a bad thing. I have to credit him on that one (however, I do not believe CO2 restriction is necessary or beneficial).
Thing is, politics is all about public policy being used to transfer money from ordinary citizens to the wealthy — so the wealthy can contribute (give it) to the politicians. Hence, I think Hansen’s plan will not be implemented.

January 2, 2009 10:37 am

Typical GISS adjustment: one size fits all. Doesn’t matter whether the relocation is one block or one mile, whether its being relocated from an orchard to a sewage treatment plant or from Joe Sixpack’s patio barbecue to the Town dump. It doesn’t need to be scientific as long as it shows a temperature increase. This same scenario has been repeated hundreds of times in the past decade as the climatic history is readjusted to conform to contemporary thinking (by AGW’s).
At least the funeral Home has provided a more stable location (4 years)!

January 2, 2009 10:39 am

You missed a trick there Anthony ‘The 2009 calendar of incorrectly sited US weather stations’ would have sold in its thousands.

January 2, 2009 10:45 am

Forget warming. I think the real problem is snow pollution. Up here in Canada the air is so thick with it that sometimes we can’t see across the road; trees and ground are covered by it, and variants of snow pollution have caused a form of scum that covers local water bodies for months at a time.
It’s a pollution trifecta! Where is the outrage?

Tom in seasonaly pleasant Florida
January 2, 2009 10:55 am

Since the station move to it’s present location, I will assume those readings are dead on.
(Sorry, couldn’t resist)

January 2, 2009 11:18 am

I think the large sunlit wall on the other side of the parking lot also presents a radiative problem. It may subtend an even greater solid angle than the low wall beside the temperature sensor. The wall has obviously been there a long time–note the bricked in doorway towards the street.
I’m also wondering where the shadow of the flag falls.
What do the innards of the sensor/housing look like? Anyone have a reference?

January 2, 2009 11:23 am

@ Pablo,
I’m almost sorry that you shared that link to The Telegraph in which some scientists claim that we must stop global warming in order to stop future global cooling and glaciation. Huh ?!?
Fortunately my son the scientist is sitting here and was able to explain that climate leads the C02 and not vice-versa and why.
But. Most people don’t have access to a person sitting across the living room to explain just why enviro-whackos are well . . . . whacko.
I keep thinking I’m going to wake up.
Interesting times.

Steven Hill
January 2, 2009 11:30 am

If Yellowstone goes, none of this is going to matter….it’s shaking again.

Jon Pemberton
January 2, 2009 11:40 am

Where can you get the unadjusted numbers for the monthly averages that GISS does? Not for individual stations but for the global average.

January 2, 2009 11:53 am

You cannot assume there are no distortions elsewhere – not that you would. In the UK, the Met Service was originally a branch of the Ministry of Aviation, the main customer being the armed forces and especially the RAF. As a result, many of the sites were located at airfields … and still are, often right next to wide expanses of concrete (which were grass back in the days when they were established).

January 2, 2009 11:53 am

OK, Steven,
Now you’ve got me ‘quaking’ in my shoes.
If Yellowstone blows in our lifetimes – well . . . I guess we’ve lived long enough to see just about everything. Hope and change and global warming and cooling all at the same time.

Steven Hill
January 2, 2009 12:16 pm

Never meant that it was, you have to admit that all those quakes are interesting and will lead to something.

January 2, 2009 12:31 pm

Has anyone who is “responsible and accountable” for the quality of the surface stations network actually ever acknowledged that these findings are a cause for concern, let alone embarrassment, and begun to do something about it?
I guess I probably know the answer but I am just curious – has there been any reaction from officialdom to the surface stations project findings?
Happy New Year to Anthony and everyone connected with this outstanding site.

January 2, 2009 12:46 pm

That Telegraph story is quite fascinating. Either those “scientists” haven’t a clue how the greenhouse effect works or they are quite simply making things up. Those deposits on Svalbard are from the Late Proterozoic which had several extreme glaciations with continental ice in equatorial areas, though the oceans probably never froze completely. And, yes, CO2 levels were very much higher then than now, but on the other hand the Sun was about 5% weaker then, so it’s not really such a big problem from an AGW standpoint. My opinion is that they’re just trying to get publicity and/or funding by putting an AGW slant on their research. I’ve got geologist friends who are complaining that it is now almost impossible to get funding for research that doesn’t at least pretend to have something to do with climate change.

Bill Barrett
January 2, 2009 12:50 pm

Interesting weather patterns from the other side of the pond….
Location.. Ashford,Kent. United Kingdom.
Unusually cold spell of weather made me realise the Met Office’s figures for the average temperatures in the month of January are not the average from 1950 to 2008, but rather a new average from 1990 onwards.
E.g Weatherman/(and women!) on TV keep saying averages daytime temperatures in January should be about 7 degrees C.
For the last week the temperature has averaged between 3 and 4 degrees C.
If one looks at the weather records for the 1950’s, 1960’s and 1970’s the average in January in Southern UK, is 4 to 5 degrees C.
The Met office has simply started assuming that post 1990 the UK average winter temperature is 2 degrees warmer than it was pre-1990!!
No way in hell is the average 7 degrees C. Be quite difficult to get more than a couple of nights of frost per winter if that was the case, as December would average at 9 degrees C!!!!
Lake outside my house has been frozen for 7 days by the way.! -4degrees tonight.

Mike McMillan
January 2, 2009 12:58 pm

Novoburgo (10:37:48) :
Typical GISS adjustment: one size fits all. . . . It doesn’t need to be scientific as long as it shows a temperature increase. This same scenario has been repeated hundreds of times in the past decade as the climatic history is readjusted to conform to contemporary thinking (by AGW’s). . . .
To demonstrate the ham-handedness of the one-size-fits-all GISS homogenization, I did a blink of SurfaceStation.org’s home page poster child for good siting, Orland, CA. Same location for a century, no problems, but it needed GISS adjustment.
I’ve been doing raw/GISS comparison blink charts for a few states (IA,IL,WI) and the hansenization does seem to break roughly even for up and down adjustments. Somewhere, somebody did an average anomaly adjustment chart that shows an overall lowering of past temps. Anybody have a link for that?

Aussie John
January 2, 2009 1:05 pm

It appears that the UHI effects in the past were worse than current as the ‘adjustments’ are larger in 1880 than 1980.
Maybe their were more horses around the thermometer in the 1800’s, raising the methane level.
Can someone explain how NOAA’s adjustments are justified to make them larger in the past than the present, particularly with the damning evidence that Anthony presents here for UHI?

January 2, 2009 1:23 pm

Even good looking sites have issues once you start looking around.
Like the sprinkler systems nextdoor.

pablo an ex pat
January 2, 2009 1:30 pm

Dear Cathy
Please inform your son not to introduce facts that may disagree with or present any alternative explanation to “The Theory”.
It is bad to do that as the high pitched laughter generated as real facts are compared with manufactured ones may disturb the slumbers of the many members of the MSM who make a good living uncritically disseminating scary news stories.
Also there are a lot of mortgages and retirement plans dependent on keeping the research funding bandwagon rolling. Both we and rest of the world may become impoverished as the US ecomomy is tanked but think of the poor researchers who lead us into this ?
Surely we need them to be happy, after all they make wonderful graphs don’t they, and that alone has value doesn’t it ? It’s wonderful that they can make the data fit any curve they want to support a predetermined conclusion. It’s called New Science.
When I studied Old Science it was obviously taught wrongly. We were taught, now don’t laugh now, to start any study with an open mind. No preconceived ideas in those days.
When we had collected what we laughingly call real data we would examine it and use it to reach our own conclusions and not the conclusions that were expected of us.
I look back and smile now at how dumb we were, if we’d have adjusted the data the fit the facts that others wanted to see it would have been a lot better. We could have done it too via a well known technique previously called by a rude name but in these PC days it’s now called Adjusting.
My gosh we were dumb, no wonder there was no money in Science then eh ?
So please be more considerate. Stick to “The Theory” from here on out. It’s been nailed you know, and adjustmentwise you can’t say better than that.

January 2, 2009 1:51 pm

Aussie John (13:05:40) :
One argument was that the stations were originally “in town” and moved to airport locations which were in more rural areas. Of course those nice grassy fields are now acres of concrete and full of jet engines…

January 2, 2009 1:56 pm

Bill Barrett (12:50:57) :
Interesting weather patterns from the other side of the pond….
Location.. Ashford,Kent. United Kingdom.
Unusually cold spell of weather made me realise the Met Office’s figures for the average temperatures in the month of January are not the average from 1950 to 2008, but rather a new average from 1990 onwards.
I don’t know if the Met office follows the same protocols as the US, but the weather
stations here in the US use averages based on the last 30 years. That could be part of the difference. Kind of a rolling average.

January 2, 2009 1:59 pm

TonyB (10:39:31) :
You missed a trick there Anthony ‘The 2009 calendar of incorrectly sited US weather stations’ would have sold in its thousands.
Add me to the list!
I’d love to have calender of the worst of the worst! Let me know if it’s a possibility.

Tom in Texas
January 2, 2009 2:28 pm

If you want to know what thet were drinking when they set up this site,
check out the name of the County.

January 2, 2009 3:07 pm

Has anyone thought to collect the ‘unadjusted’ figures worldwide?
Before they’re ‘disappeared’ that is.

January 2, 2009 3:25 pm

Hansens idea of a carbon tax instead of cap’n’trade is almost good. But instead of redistributing the new federal income to all citizens the tax should be taken at state level and offset income taxes.

January 2, 2009 3:51 pm

Good Ol’ Bourbon county. The picture of downtown Fort Scott is misleading. There usually aren’t that many people there. The picture is probably from the Fort Scott Good Ol’ Days in early June. Lots of good barbeque there to contribute to global warming. http://www.fortscottgoodoldays.com/index.html

King of Cool
January 2, 2009 4:41 pm

Surely we need them to be happy, after all they make wonderful graphs don’t they, and that alone has value doesn’t it ? pablo an ex pat (13:30:19)

They also participate in wonderful international junkets. Take a gander where your hard earned tax will be going in 2009:
culminating in the biggest banquet of all time in wonderful, wonderful, Copenhagen where they will be soon brewing extra Carlsberg and writing new pastry recipes. The little get together in Venice should be rather fun too – half an hour checking out the water level and 3 days checking out the sights and the restaurants?

January 2, 2009 4:46 pm

Curiously, the 20th century portion of the Ft. Scott record (unadjusted) stands up well in a variety of comparisons with far better-located stations nearby. It’s the 21st century record that’s suspect and, thanks to hansenization, will undoubtedly produce the desired trend.

January 2, 2009 6:16 pm

Dear Pablo,
I am duly chastened and genuflect to the ‘New Science’ per your admonition to be mindful of researchers whose well-being rides on the fraying coat-tails of The Theory.
I feel sooo much better. Yes. 4 is 5. Up is down. Cooling is Warming.
Thank you.

January 2, 2009 6:30 pm

Quite an interesting setup! Don’t see it being ‘moderately wooded’…
The use of a funeral home to measure the temps is (in and of itself) a good idea. They are typically manned most of the time and are good at turning in the information compared to say, a city-run operation where you don’t always have coverage. This is the case in our city. We get days where they report (on Saturday and Sunday) the SAME EXACT high and low temps. HMMMMMM…guess they come in Monday and push the min/max buttons and turn it in…..not good at all.

January 2, 2009 7:02 pm

“This location has everything needed, except a BBQ. See the photo gallery here.”
When I click on the link to the photo gallery, there’s only one image there. Perhaps I’m doing something wrong Help? Anybody?

January 2, 2009 7:32 pm

Obviously, we need a better design for the MMTS shelters. Therefor, why not build and market a new base? I’m thinking that a Webber Grill incorporated into the station base would negate the need to have BBQ’s and MMTS a few troubling feet apart.
Or, for more decorative installations, I was thinking that the MMTS should look nice with a flaming Tiki torch on top??
Another dual-use design would incorporate yard lighting on the MMTS pole.
A final design could use the top of the MMTS shelter as a place to mount Citronella candles, to keep the mosquitoes away. Or, incorporate a light and a bug-zapper into the MMTS shelter itself.
Basically, I think that if useless data is the goal (and from the station sitings, it sure appears to be) then why not make the stations fill a dual role? 🙂
Seriously though, thanks for busting so many bad stations. As for this one…
That siting is a thing of beauty.. it’s in the the apex of an L shaped building with the open sector orientated to the SW. There is no better way to maximize solar heating, not that I know of.
BTW, in some of the photos, I see what appears to be a crematory chimney. Those kick out loads of heat.

Robert Bateman
January 2, 2009 7:41 pm

Doesn’t surprise me. After finding a USFS FIre Weather station for a meteorologist who couldn’t believe that mountain temperatures rivaled valley temperatures, and accompanying the sole technician they had left, it goes downhill from NOAA fast.

Tim C
January 2, 2009 7:45 pm

Figured WHY Yellowstone is shaking.
It’s the cold, poor old place is shivering.

January 2, 2009 7:51 pm

My dear fellow! The USHCN makes adjustments to the 20th century trends. We are assured that they are quite accurate.
— There is the adjustment for TOBS. Upward.
— There is the adjustment for fill-in data of missing (FILNET). Upward.
— There is the adjustment for station history (SHAP). Upward.
— There is the “MMTS adjustment”. Upwards.
But fear not. they knock off 0.05C for 20th-century urbanization.
All in all it comes to c. +0.3C to the 20th century trend.
Well, that USHCN-1, and the NOAA posted these remarkable admissions on its adjustment page. (And it is one of the most-quoted pages by skeptics.)
NOAA didn’t make THAT mistake twice. The USHCN-2 page is filled with reasonable-sounding explanations. But it somehow doesn’t get around to tell us what their adjustments actually are.
Though posters on this site have calculated it to about +0.42C to trend.
And that is why they do not adjust current temperatures lower: they adjust them higher.
Your tax dollars at work. Sleep easy.

January 2, 2009 8:01 pm

And I think it would do to point out that the “raw” data in the graph above the trend which GISS is pumping up is not actually raw data.
It is NOAA/NCDC-adjusted data.
So the GISS exaggeration in trend will have been ON TOP OF the NCDC adjustments.
Consider that.

Tom in Texas
January 2, 2009 8:17 pm

Someone needs to write this up.
The Heartland conference is in March.
Section 1 – Surface Station Nightmare
Section 2 – Hansenizing the Data
Section 3 – Pulling a Global Temperature out of the Hat
Appendix: (Witch) Dr.’s Secret VooDoo Data

January 2, 2009 8:37 pm

I have postulated the theory for several years that we will all ultimately receive “ration cards” of x tonnes of CO2 per person per annum.
Everything that we purchase will have a “carbon debit” against our ration card, relative to the item’s particular carbon footprint.
When our card runs out, we cannot purchase anything.
It will then be necessary to purchase unused carbon rations from cave-dwelling hippies, through a grand national (or even international) carbon credit exchange.
Of course, the swampies will constitute the democratic majority, and they will be able to vote themselves all sorts of exemptions and subsidies. Hansen has accidently exposed the true intent of all this bullshit – the transfer of wealth from the middle class to the swampies.
I used to think that those “New World Order” and “One World Government” conspiracy theory kooks were dangerous loonies. Now, I’m having second thoughts……..

January 2, 2009 8:55 pm

Dear Anthony,
I’m a brazilian climatologist and I’m writing a book about the non man-made global warming. I love your story and I’d like to include it in my book with the your blog’s reference. May I?
Thanks for your information. It’s very important to show the real state of art of weather monitoring.
Best regards,
REPLY: Be my guest, use as needed- Anthony

January 2, 2009 9:27 pm

I just did an analysis based on this, comparing the slope of GISS global to the slope of UAH over the entire measurement period. I was surprised at the difference.
GISS has some serious problems to work out.

January 2, 2009 9:34 pm

I’m copying this because the BBC loves censorship especially of comments criticizing the BBC no matter how true.
In response to this piece of backslapping patronization from Richard Black I replied:

I think that 2009 will be the year that climate alarmists and environmental propagandists like Richard Black finally get their comeuppance by reality.
The climate will continue to cool, and with it will come the desperate rearguard action by the BBC Environmental Propaganda Unit to remove all reference to “global warming” in favour of “climate change”. The Green Room will get the same blatent favouritism in giving a bully pulpit to scientifically and economically illiterate eco-alarmists calling in ever more shrill terms for scary reductions in population (without, of course, ever specifying exactly how this would be achieved – mass sterilizations anyone?), with more ridiculous linking of every trouble under the Sun to climate change from bird migrations to spurious losses in biodiversity. During 2009 the Sun itself will never vary at all, at least not according to the BBC.
Of course the hurricane seasons for the past two years have failed to provide the desperately needed superstorms that were supposed to be receiving in increasing numbers in our AGW-controlled world. And the BBC will continue to focus on the warming Arctic and fail to mention the increase in sea and land ice cover in Antarctica or the increasing size of glaciers in the Himalayas. The journos will ignore the increasing number of extremely well credentialled scientists who dispute the AGW story who if they are mentioned at all, will be put in the standard sandwich of climate alarmist-climate alarmist-sceptical scientist-climate alarmist-withering patronizing statement about sceptical scientist.
The results of climate models (but never the climate models themselves) will be reported as if they produced scientific data.
Stories generated from environmentalist corporations will be cut/pasted and quoted as indisputable fact in no need of analysis, criticism or any reasoned response and the proposed remedies (mainly involving crashing the Western economies under a new blizzard of eco-taxes and heavyhanded bureaucracy) treated as if they were carved into stone on Mount Sinai.
Every news story mentioning weather will continue to get the shrill undertone of alarm over climate, until one day the BBC Trust finds its testicular fortitude and having had enough of the flouting of its clear guidance on impartiality, starts sacking the journalists responsible.
And oh! What a happy day that will be.

January 2, 2009 11:18 pm

ah! Makes lots of sense why the forcast claims to be 38 and it’s only 29 where I live!

January 3, 2009 12:06 am

Noting Ed Scott’s comment about government advisors.
In the days when Australia had a population of less than 10 million our government set up the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, (CSIRO), a government body set up to provide critical mass to research in an economy where few firms were big enough to effectively go it alone in research. It worked marvellously well as both industry and science turned to the CSIRO for support when their own resources were insufficient.
The head of the CSIRO was always a leading scientist.
In the 1980s the Hawke government put the national president of the Labor Party in charge of the CSIRO. He was not a scientist, he was a lawyer politician, the retired premier of the state of New South Wales. They put their own political scientists in charge of the real scientists. 
Hawke was from the same side of politics as Al Gore.
It is from the CSIRO that much of our Global Warming propaganda now comes.
It is a fact of life that science tends to find what it is looking for. These scientists were sent by our government to look for Global Warming. But it appears very much to me that they had to change the rules of science and the language to “find” it.

January 3, 2009 1:13 am

You are way behind the British Government whose parliamentary committee on climate change has suggested this and it is currently being discussed as a genuine option. The first phase of this was inmcorporated in the recent climate bill which sets legal limits on our emissions.

Perry Debell
January 3, 2009 1:35 am

It’s highly probable that those of us who comment here, will have lists of other favourite sites which they visit on daily. basis. One of mine is http://www.seablogger.com/?cat=22 It’s run by Alan Sullivan who has an abiding interest in volcanoes.
He is focused on Chaiten and Yellowstone at present and being a clever chap, his science links include WUWT, CA & Marohasy and as well as http://volcanism.wordpress.com/ and http://eruptions.wordpress.com/ where additional information about global volcanic action is available.
I’ll bet Hansen et al take no notice of CO2 from volcanoes, but we should.

B Kerr
January 3, 2009 3:57 am

Where Thermometers Go To Die
In Scotland we would sum that up by saying, “Pure dead Brilliant”.

January 3, 2009 8:52 am

MikeMcMillan (12:58:48) wrote:
“To demonstrate the ham-handedness of the one-size-fits-all GISS homogenization, I did a blink of SurfaceStation.org’s home page poster child for good siting, Orland, CA. Same location for a century, no problems, but it needed GISS adjustment.
Great demo Mike!
The station that turned me on to the farce that are GISS adjustments is the Western Maine metropolis (sarc) of Farmington (pop 7,500), a college town with a 100+ year climate record. The trend over the century was showing cooling (see http://www.john-daly.com) which I guess was inconvenient. Additionally, the warmest years were the 1930’s. Well, that couldn’t stand, so a little adjusting here, a little there, and voila’…problem solved. Another government solution to our outdoor air pollution!
Considering the fact that many of these towns in Maine have been slowly reverting back to forest from abandoned small farms that existed years ago, cooling made a lot of sense. These “adjustments” are enough to make an old man cry.

January 3, 2009 6:41 pm

It seems to me that it might be possible to model the thermal impacts on a temperature station of the local environment in response to wind, sun, and precipitation variations and heat generation sources like barbecues and home heat lose, etc.
Perhaps do a numerical model and a physical scale model. Better yet, measure an actual site with the ultimate goal being an improved site or site type specific adjustment. Site geometry probably can’t be too complicated and it might be desirable to do a site which also has wind, sun, precip data.

January 3, 2009 7:45 pm

Anthony. I am curious about the current thinking within NOAA about the work of WUWT. A WUWT report in 2008 advised that NOAA was grateful about the review of the stations as a learning experience BUT I am not seeing any attempt to make any changes at all. Are they absolutely convinced of their methods still or are conversations happening within the cone of silence? What do your little birds tell you?

Pete Stroud
January 4, 2009 4:59 am

Off thread, have you seen this: Soot reduction ‘could help to stop global warming’ at http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/soot-reduction-could-help-to-stop-global-warming-1224481.html Here is one quote from the article that is based on a paper by GISS: “Black carbon, the component of soot that gives it its colour, is thought to be the second largest cause of global warming after carbon dioxide.” Methinks that even the worst AGW alarmists are looking for a way out!

January 4, 2009 7:41 am

Last time I looked at climateaudit, John V (and others) were comparing the time series between CRN123 sites and the official temperature record, resulting in a pretty good fit.
These snapshots of stations located near (or moved to) warm spots are anecdotal. How’s the analysis coming?
Could you please provide any information you’ve investigated about how and why the temp record for the above station was adjusted. Is there a link?
If you have no information, we’re left to speculate (unless one’s mind is firmly sealed against inquiry) on the physical history of the Fort Scott station.
Is there an update on the numbers part of the project? Last page I checked was
There wasn’t a thread number at the bottom of that one like the previous. Are there similar threads at this site?
Mostly, I’ve found the inquiry very impressive.

John V’s inquiry was premature, he only used 17 CRN1/2 stations with poor spatial distribution. A new comparison will be done when a majority of stations with good spatial distribution has been completed, likely sometime this spring. – Anthony

January 4, 2009 8:55 am

Thank you, Anthony Watts. I look forward to the (public?) resumption of the analyses. All the best.

January 4, 2009 12:15 pm

I second the motion for a weather stations calendar!

January 4, 2009 3:21 pm

Thanks to yourself and various people for your support for a weather stations calendar-as long as you all realise I am being ironic and us Brits have a strange sense of humour, here is a link to a roundabouts of Britain calendar which could be a model.
Scroll down a little then use the button to flip through the photos. We could have mugs and T shirts as well…Perhaps it might be best to wait until after the judging…

January 4, 2009 6:19 pm

A pocket sized weekly daytimer calendar would be great. There are way too many surface stations reporting a 5+ degree error to fit into a 12 month calendar.
Plus, people could carry their weekly daytimer/scheduler with them and show people the source of GISS data. Maybe this graphic [or one like it] could be on the cover.
Heck, maybe there are even enough surface stations with bad data/bad siting to make up a daily daytimer. And this site could be used to provide a daily/weekly “fact” of all the disasters that global warming supposedly causes.
It might even be a money maker. Plenty of people are now questioning AGW. They’re a growing market.

January 5, 2009 2:49 am

Anyone else interested in a range of sceptical merchandise of some kind? A percentage of the profits to those who supplied the image/ photo/text etc and a percentage to go towards properly funded (albeit very badly) research into a couple of selected areas of sceptical concern. It would also be nice to pay for an adverising link to participating sites with a view to blogs such as this and Climate Audit earning a little money

January 5, 2009 5:01 pm

where can you find unadjusted data and data from older stations 60 percent of which has been taken out of giss records?
at giss map, is the data adjusted?

January 6, 2009 10:36 am

I’m astonished that Green Machine Gore and his band of “experts” have not yet proposed capping all volcanoes, or better still promoting man made eruptions. The latter putting billions of tons of dust particles into the air blocking solar radioation and thereby cooling the earth. Where do people think carbon comes from? Are they blind to the fact that it has always been here and always will be in one form or another? Is the Carbon Cycle not taught anymore in schools? We have not the ability to create matter from nothing nor the ability to destroy matter. It can only be reduced to its purest forms and last time I checked they were all located in the Periodic Table. It may be too difficult of a concept to grasp for most, but humans just happen to be living in a time where speech, writing, and technology are all manifesting themselves at the same time. The realistic facts of the fossil record show that every dominant species from all previous eras are now exctinct. And we too will one day be nothing more than a fossil record posing countless questions to those who may discover our remains.

George E. Smith
January 6, 2009 11:29 am

Well Anthony, my ribs haven’t recovered from last year’s ROFLMAO; so would you please stop it. At my age it hurts. I do like the fact that they moved the barbecue inside though; that was a real divine inspirational improvement.
Happy new year to you !

January 14, 2009 11:20 am

Are there no scientists among you? Watts is a man with no scientific cred. He’s a weather presenter, not a climatologist; he finds a few bad stations that produce bad data out of the huge number of NASA stations, and thnks the whole NASA thing is wrong. You need to be more intellectual and challenging of hobbyists like Watts.

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