I know many of you have wondered when I would post an update about the www.surfacestations.org project. That wait is over.
You can now download the PDF of the publication reporting on what the project has found with 70% of the network surveyed, See the link at the end of the article.
I’ve been exceptionally busy in the past few months. Since November 08, I’ve made 4 trips in the US to get more stations surveyed in areas that were lacking, and these trips have been funded entirely by donations from individuals.
Evan Jones and I have been actively working on logging new aerial surveys. Plus there has been a lot of review and quality control taking place to make sure that surveys and ratings are correct. Google imagery has now improved in many places, and it is now fairly easy to spot some stations from the air. To make certain that we’ve actually got the right station location, telephone calls are made to the curator and descriptions and measurements compared to the aerial photos. I also have 4 digital cameras that have been sent to station curators for them to “self survey” with and mail the cameras back.With additional aerial surveys done plus a few new hands-on surveys that have now come in, we are now at about 79% of the USHCN network surveyed. The sample is large and representative, with good spatial distribution and broad coverage.
The figures below from my Spring 2009 report represent coverage @ 70% of the network surveyed.
See the PDF report below for references on how the surveys were done and how the site rating system was arrived at, based on original work at the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) new Climate Reference Network.
For those WUWT readers that want to survey stations, there is still time to do so before my final report is issued in late summer/fall 2009.
My advice is to visit the Surfacestations Gallery and see what stations remain in your state, or states you may be traveling through.
I realize that we’ll never get 100% of the network surveyed, as over 30 stations have been closed, and some are inaccessible, but with a sample size exceeding 80% and broad spatial distribution as shown above I am confident that we’ll have the character of the network quantified and representative. Sure, there will be critics, but with an 80% or more sample size it will be an uphill battle to criticize the sample. Thousands of peer reviewed papers have been written with much smaller sample sizes. I prefer a “brute force” approach to getting the maximum sample possible compared to statistical extrapolation of a small sample.
The push has been on to get as many surveys done as possible, so I haven’t had a lot of time to update web pages and the like. WUWT itself has been becoming a black hole of time, sucking up more time than I care to admit. My email load has become huge also. Just a note to everyone who has emailed me. I read everything, but I can’t always respond, especially when I’m asked to do additional research to answer questions.
I’m also a bit under the gun as like many of you, my business has taken a financial hit due to the economy, and I’m short a person who is out for extended medical leave. So I’ve been doing 4 jobs instead of my usual 2 or three 😉 Even so, progress is being made.
Finally, I want to take a moment to thank Evan Jones, a frequent WUWT commenter and sometimes contributor. Evan has been working tirelessly to help me with this project, and now like many of you, is unemployed thanks to our current economic situation. Even through this, he has worked very hard to help me on all levels, doing everything from hands-on surveys himself, to QC checks, to aerial surveys, to data analysis.
Without Evan, this project would be a lot further behind. Please give him your thanks. He is truly a “screeching mercury monkey, first grade“. Evan, download your patch and wear it proudly.
Sadly, the alternate weekly that coined the phrase is now out of business.
Since Evan suffered the same fate as the alternate weekly editor (unemployed) and still doing a yeoman’s work for this effort, I have an offer for interested readers to help him out.
I have 25 professionally glossy color printed and bound copies of the report which I’ll provide signed, postpaid via US mail, to anyone who wants a copy that donates $30 or more. Just use the PayPal button at right, and I’ll make sure he gets it. (NOTE: SOLD OUT BACK IN STOCK Thanks to everyone who helped!)
For those that just want to read the report, please feel free to download and read the free copy here (PDF, 4 MB).
I also offer my sincere thanks to everyone who has helped make this project go from an idea to now near completion. The data analysis report will determine once and for all if station siting matters or not.