Revisiting Detroit Lakes

Some long time WUWT readers may remember this famous picture of the USHCN climate station of record in Detroit Lakes, MN.

This is what I wrote on July 26th, 2007 about it in:

How Not to Measure Temperature, Part 25

This picture, taken by www.surfacestations.org volunteer Don Kostuch is the Detroit Lakes, MN USHCN climate station of record. The Stevenson Screen is sinking into the swamp and the MMTS sensor is kept at a comfortable temperature thanks to the nearby A/C units.

Detroit_lakes_USHCN.jpg

The complete set of pictures is here

From NASA’s GISS, the plot makes it pretty easy to see there was no discernible multi-decadal temperature trend until the A/C units were installed. And it’s not hard to figure out when that was.

Detroit_lakes_GISSplot.jpg

And as you know, that curious jump in the GISS record, even though it coincided with the placement of the a/c heat exchangers (I checked with the chief engineer of the radio station and he pulled the invoices to check), it turns out that wasn’t the most important issue.

Steve McIntyre of Climate Audit saw something else, mainly because other nearby stations had the nearly the same odd jump in the data. That jump turned out to be discovery of a data splicing glitch in the NASA GISS processes joining the data pre and post year 2000.

It became known as The GISS Y2K glitch. It changed the balance of GISS surface temperature reporting, bringing 1998 down as no longer the hottest year on record. Here’s a writeup on it from Steve on the data itself.

Yesterday, volunteer Mark Ewens sent me some updated pictures of the Detroit Lakes site. It appears the embarrasment of having such a terrible station siting has forced the local NWS office into making some siting improvements:

Detroit_Lakes_1NNE_Looking_NorthWest

As you can see, the MMTS has been moved away from the a/c units and the building. The Stevenson Screen appears to be gone. Interesting story about the Stevenson Screen, it was originally moved out of that center location where the MMTS has been now, because there was concern that somebody might break the mercury thermometers inside, and the mercury would prompt a “wetlands hazmat response”, which would be any EPA field agent’s dream, a double whammy.

Here are more pictures:

Detroit_Lakes_1NNE_Looking_East

Detroit_Lakes_1NNE_Looking_East_Northeast

Detroit_Lakes_1NNE_Looking_West

Mark writes:

About a year ago I indicated that the MMTS at the Detroit Lakes 1NNE Coop site was moved. See attached
the pictures I took last week while on a trip. Obviously not optimal, but much better. Like almost all radio stations
this one is located in a swamp, so I’ve got limited options to work with. The observer did note that he has noticed
a marked decrease in the average temperatures since the move – and not just due to global cooling!
The MMTS is ~80 feet from the building. The brown stalks are the left over winter kill of the saw grass that
is common in the swampy area of west central Minnesota.
Mark Ewens
Grand Forks ND

Apparently, the NWS thought enough of the criticism of the siting next to a/c heat exchangers to do something about it. And, I’ve been hearing from time to time, that stations that volunteers have visited and we have showcased in “How Not To Measure Temperature, Part X” have been quietly cleaned up.

While that is encouraging, the fact remains that it took a team of concerned citizens and some international embarrassment to get NOAA to fix quality control problems in climate monitoring stations that they should have recognized and corrected long ago.

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79 thoughts on “Revisiting Detroit Lakes

  1. Moving them now is as bad as poorly siting them then. You just introduce another discontinuity in the data. Hopefully they at least recorded the move.
    REPLY: That’s true, but NOAA believe now with USHCN2 that they will be able to correct such discontinuities, where as before they would go undetected. We’ll see. – Anthony

  2. Still, a location along a fence line, in tall grass of variable height, near a home and a shelterbelt, does not seem to be the ideal spot for even the highest quality sensors.

  3. I really can’t think of a natural location change that would result in a negative variance.
    Maybe a tree growing to a hight to create shade?
    All that I see would cause average readings to go up. Isn’t that what people want to support their pre suppositions?

  4. That sorta painted red linear structure with legs which appears to the untrained eye as a fence is the support for the coaxial cable going from the transmitter building out to the transmiting antenna. I inquired previously if anyone knew how resistant the MMTS is to strong RF fields, and received no response. This one is in the near field of a radio broadcast antenna with all kinds of implications beyond the simple problem of nearby intermittently hot items. Frying pan to fire, anyone?

  5. lulo, yes, but the siting is supposed to be “typical for the area” or some such. Other than the long grass, it looks reasonable to me, given the area. If it’s 75 feet from the building instead of 100 feet, well, then 2-1/2 cheers for the operator instead of 3.
    But thanks are definitely in order to all the volunteers who respond to problems. Yes, in a perfect world there would be overlapping coverage periods whenever a sensor is moved. But that is a problem for program management, which apparently feels that it is OK to try a drive a major realignment of the world economy based on the work of 0.25 FTE (if I recall correctly). That the volunteers are poorly managed is not their fault.
    Google Street View link,
    http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=46.8N,+95.8W&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=51.177128,90.791016&ie=UTF8&ll=46.837297,-95.837093&spn=0.002723,0.005541&t=h&z=18&layer=c&cbll=46.837115,-95.837102&panoid=eefCGZcP3i2W8KzSb4an-w&cbp=12,295.6,,0,2.65
    (gosh that’s horrible code, mods remove if needed)

  6. It will be interesting to see how the adjustment algorithm handles the years that it was next to the AC unit.

  7. At a guess, I calculate the back board of the MMST, which is on where the min-max thermometer (or dig. sensor) should be fixed, is at ~ 1.7 yards from the AC exhaust fan. The protocol for the minimum distance recommends that the MMST must be placed, at least, 5 yards distant from any reflecting surface or source of heat, or paved streets, and at least at 10 yards far away from water ponds, water streams and houses (because of the inherent warmth from houses during winter and heat radiated from the houses’ walls during summer). Some stations are placed at 3 yards distant from concrete walls; however, the diameter of hot air bubbles produced from heat sources or reflecting surfaces could expand up to more than 5 yards. The Stevenson screen seems to be at ~ 2.2 yards from the AC exhaust fan. I think that Stevenson screens and weather stations should be placed at a minimum distance of 10 yards distant from sources of heat or reflecting surfaces.

  8. So how long did they run parallel equipment at old and new spots to compare the difference and at least be able to estimate a bias at the old spot? What, nobody thought of that? Is it stupidity, arrogance, or bureaucratic incompetence? Whatever it is, it isn’t science.

  9. George M (09:34:03) :
    That sorta painted red linear structure with legs which appears to the untrained eye as a fence is the support for the coaxial cable going from the transmitter building out to the transmiting antenna. I inquired previously if anyone knew how resistant the MMTS is to strong RF fields, and received no response.

    I think the cable to the transmission tower is probably only carrying low-power audio. All the high power RF equipment is probably right at the transmission tower. I can’t tell from the photos how the electrical power is delivered to the transmitter.
    The MMTS is a temperature-sensitive resistor; the display unit is basically measuring resistance and displaying the temperature equivalent. This type of electronics should not be affected much by RF, and although bad connections might convert RF into some electrical power that is both unlikely to happen and unlikely to affect the readings. A greater risk is anything which damages the cable and affects the resistance.

  10. George M.
    Definitely fire. Now I’m going to have to research the electronic character of the MMTS and see if I can find my old books on antenna propagation. Could be there’s a microwave waveguide in that sorta red structure too. How do you like your data cooked?

  11. The MMTS pole seems to be touching the coax duct. Is this going to affect the readings? Does anyone know what the MMTS pole is made of? Plastic? Steel?

  12. Criticism of your surface station study fascinates me.
    With all their grim predictions of climate doom, you would think the folks at NOAA would be vigilant about maintaining surface station requirements.
    Wouldn’t the scientific community and the public also expect higher standards?

  13. I hope the NWS obtained any required environmental permits to disturb the wetland when they relocated instrument and installed the cable supports! I also wonder if there is any localized thermal effect from the decomposing vegetation in the wetland.

  14. 1. I’ll guess the current location has standing water part of the time, maybe in early spring after snow-melt. Probably common in that part of the world but water does have interesting properties.
    2. “. . . there was concern that somebody might break the mercury
    thermometers”
    Many years ago high school science classrooms included a box that contained wood-vials of mercury. Each student could pour the mercury onto a table top or into their hand and push it around and break it into smaller bits to see how it behaved. Then – from the palm, it could be run back into the vial. Great fun. That was before Hazmat existed.

  15. Congratulations Anthony – it would seem that things are being done to improve matters as a direct result of you and your volunteer supporters’ efforts. A great deal of hard work and thorough analysis is beginning to have a clear impact.
    H/T to you especially and everyone who has helped in this mammoth effort.

  16. So, for managers of the USHCN, the solution to bad siting issues is simple:
    Find egg on face — clean it up.
    Wonder how many before/after scenes are out there to reveal the extent of the influence of the surfacestations project. And I wonder how they’ll fix one of my favs – Tucson, AZ.

  17. It should be mandatory for WEB CAMS to be pointed at the temperature devices with the video recordings being publicly available via a public web site LIVE! At least two to four cameras per site. Infrared cameras at that! That way you can see the effects of the local temperature zone on the temperature measurements.
    Actually why don’t they have infrared cameras mounted high up on a pole so that they can measure the temperature of a wide area rather than just on tiny spot? Wouldn’t an infrared camera with it’s area of temperatures (say at least 640 x 480 resolution but 12 mega pixels would be better at 4000×3000) be a better way to measure temperature? That way we could see anomalies?
    I guess that’s the next generation of temperature monitoring. Sorta like a little local satellite not in orbit but sitting there 100 feet in the air with a view of an area.
    Damn us computer scientists. ;-0

  18. AnonyMoose (10:04:00) :
    I think the cable to the transmission tower is probably only carrying low-power audio. All the high power RF equipment is probably right at the transmission tower. I can’t tell from the photos how the electrical power is delivered to the transmitter.

    The cable connects the final RF amplifier to the antenna. It carries very high power at high frequency. (When I went to my rich uncle’s radio school, we were shown pictures of what happens when rings, metal watchbands, etc. were touching any part of the antenna feed while powered up. Not pretty.)

  19. pwl, IR cameras would measure the heat of nearby surfaces, not the heat content of the air itself. Useful for showing possible local biases but not useful for the primary measurement.

  20. Putting the MMTS sensor in the middle of a swamp might prevent some vandalism but it wouldn’t be my first choice of location.
    Would there be much difference in hourly readings above dry land versus swampy conditions?

  21. My comments are not about this article, but the ad at the end of it. (I apologize if this is not the right place to put this.) Make your own electricity ad looks like a hoax to me. I feel ads like this certainly cheapen the appearance and content of WUWT. Does this bother anyone else?

  22. How about for arguments sake we accept the data as over stated by 2 degrees. That motivates them to correct the placement problems or accept a theory that is now gone away because they really don’t have 2 degrees to work with.

  23. This could be interesting. If they re-position 20% of the measuring sites, and get a corresponding drop in measured temperatures – possibly in conjunction with a climatic cooling trend – they might find a very rapid decrease in observed temperatures.
    How will they explain that one away?
    .

  24. Why couldn’t the people maintaining this station spend the thirty minutes it would take to update the information at the Surface Stations website? The (bad) publicity generated by the Surface Stations project is almost certainly what prompted them to make these changes, so they are obviously aware of the site.

  25. Looking at the feed line to the antenna, it appears to be a steel box conduit affair. That should shield the MMTS from any loose rf leaking from the coax cable running inside the conduit.
    Hope they didn’t trash the old Stevenson screen. I understand they run about $1000 apiece. Don’t suppose they kept dual records for the screen and the MMTS? That could be used to calibrate the MMTS move.

  26. Another mistake where the temperature jumps “up.” I don’t recall ever reading about a mistake where a temperature record was mistakenly lowered.
    I also remember a few issues in ice area measurement and it seems like the mistake was in reporting less ice.

  27. “MikeB
    Does this bother anyone else?”
    Not me… I’m sure you can make your own electricity. In fact we may be forced to soon. I’m gonna miss my air conditioner the most.
    Mike Bryant

  28. The rf cable, if coaxial, should not radiate, or if so, by a very small amount. Use of coaxial implies a tuned antenna assembly at the end of the cable, otherwise line losses would be very high and efficiency would fall dramatically. Its off the ground to keep it out of the muck, and reduce ground coupling and RF ground loops. Properly installed coax suitably impedance matched to the output of the transmitter and feedpoint of the antenna should not carry any (significant) RF current on the outside.
    Whether the MMTS is at risk depends on what that antenna is doing – if its support only for VHF hardware up top, the risk to the MMTS is small. If its a broadcast antenna in which the whole thing is a radiator, then all bets are off.

  29. Mike B, the ads are provided by Google, which places adverts based on keywords in the page. My experience with google ads is a couple of years out of date now but I recall at the time that there was no way to screen particular adverts out.

  30. “The observer did note that he has noticed a marked decrease in the average temperatures since the move”
    Hmmmm. Nothing evident in the graph. Is the current data from this sight available, and what does it show. I wonder if it looks like a step function opposite of the one we see above.
    Of course with all the global warming going on, any adjustments to instruments such as the one we see here followed by a decline in temperature readings from the station must be met with skepticism, and perhaps will need to be adjusted higher to account for the missing warming.

  31. Here’s a weather forecasting scoop
    “It is a stark reality that Arctic sea ice could disappear in the summer sometime between 2013 and 2040. Regardless of exactly when the summer ice will disappear, the downward trend is clear, and shrinking ice cover will change almost everything in the Arctic, and will also be felt globally. ”
    Before clicking try guessing what the photo will show….
    http://www.catlinarcticsurvey.com/environment
    And the “results” have been, er, hidden away in some archive:
    “The results from the Catlin Arctic Survey have now been submitted for archiving on the Polar Data Catalogue of Canadian Cryospheric Information Network.
    This is an archiving database scientists, academics and researchers use to find data to help them with their studies. The public can also access the data when it has been uploaded by the administrators along with other research work at
    http://www.polardata.ca/whitesnow
    I think they have lost the plot completely

  32. Gee Anthony,
    If you keep at it, maybe have a satirical Surface Station of the Day post every day, you can cause the next ice age all by yourself…. lol

  33. The most telling aspect of Anthony and his volunteers’ hard work is the fact that Gavin is no longer acknowledging Anthony’s efforts or posts. All other detractors are scurrying to marginalize him. This is great stuff as it indicates the touching of a sensitive nerve. The realization that all the warming could be easily explained and understood by problems with the data acquisition is a major coup for us realists. Sadly, MSM and those committed to the CAGW theory are now backed into a corner that is going to be very difficult to back out of. One of the best traits I see in most realists is the desire to take the tough road, do the dirty work to find out what is real and not to take someone else’s word for it. Thankfully, Anthony trusted his instincts regarding surface station measurements, and sure enough found that the data is questionable, at best. “When the levee breaks”, ….. it will be none too soon.
    REPLY: Worse than that, Gavin won’t even respond to direct emails from me anymore. I’ve always been polite, but he’s now written me off as one of “those sorts of people” as he’s recently posted on RC (couldn’t post there either, my 4 comment attempts were denied):

    [Response: Our comment moderation has nothing to do with any economic or social policy (indeed, look at the tragedy of the commons post which was the most policy-related one in a while). Instead, it is enabled to improve the signal to noise ratio, and cutting out repetitive continuous cut-and-pasted talking points from people with whom there is no point in having rational discussion. By and large that works. – gavin]

    At some point, when I publish a paper, we ‘ll see then if there’s any point in “having a rational discussion”. In the meantime, WUWT continues to beat the pants off RC in traffic and reach, so I’m going to just keep on doing what I’m doing and not worry about Gavin’s opinion of me. – Anthony

  34. Check out the links Steve(Paris) has provided. Those people really have lost the plot. I especially liked the “picture” of the arctic ice status on the polardata site. I can’t believe anyone would think that is real. Mislead and obfuscate.

  35. Mike B (11:41:42) :
    “I feel ads like this certainly cheapen the appearance and content of WUWT. Does this bother anyone else?”
    Not at all. They are on most sites and one just learns to ignore them. Elsewhere, I have seen a “1 Sexy Stomach Rule” ad many times in the last few months. I actually looked just now to refresh my recall of the wording but usually it and others are just there without me being concerned about them. On WUWT, as someone else mentioned, they key on words in the text. Actually some of them are interesting and some let you know what others are up to. As a policy, I usually check about 3 or 4 a day while on WUWT and ignore those on other sites. Seems fair – I enjoy this site and want to see it continue.

  36. Why do they even monitor the temp? Hansen changes the values to fit the models anyway. Oh, that’s right, they need an excuse to spend more taxpayer money.
    What was I thinking.

  37. ralph ellis (12:02:10) :
    (….)
    How will they explain that one away?

    Mannomatics dear boy, Mannomatics.

  38. …there was concern that somebody might break the mercury thermometers inside, and the mercury would prompt a “wetlands hazmat response”, which would be any EPA field agent’s dream…
    Wait’ll everybody and their brother start breaking curlicue mercury lightbulbs!!! The EPA CO2 cops will have to work double overtime to hazmat the entire country.

  39. “Dan Lee (09:39:33) :
    So now its a tie? 1934 & 1998?”

    I think they’re using that Rosie Ruiz algorithm.

  40. David Ball (14:11:13) :
    REPLY: Worse than that, Gavin won’t even respond to direct emails from me anymore. I’ve always been polite, but he’s now written me off as one of “these sorts of people” as he’s recently posted on RC (couldn’t post there either, my 4 comment attempts were denied):
    [Response: Our comment moderation has nothing to do with any economic or social policy (indeed, look at the tragedy of the commons post which was the most policy-related one in a while). Instead, it is enabled to improve the signal to noise ratio, and cutting out repetitive continuous cut-and-pasted talking points from people with whom there is no point in having rational discussion. By and large that works. – Gavin]
    I feel sorry for Gavin. He’s invested 1000’s of hours of hard-graft and an undoubted talent into supporting a scientific paradigm that caught the imagination of the body politic.
    His entire competence, integrity, reputation and self-image (not to mention his future) is dependent upon whether an eclectic recipe of pan-scientific disciplines, cooked by computer and served up as a catastrophic AGW (CACC?) dish to a hungry MSM will stand the test (taste?) of time.
    In the past his resolution was unshakeable. All the evidence was on his side. Clearly he was right, everyone said he was – Temperature records, his peerless colleagues but, most gratifyingly, not just his political masters but the United Nations. What an accolade for a simple scientist. Darn it, I’d be wagging my tail as well!
    Given that consensual pedigree, he should be magnanimous in victory, confident in any debate and respectful of those who clearly lie within the intellectual infra-red as being incapable of “having rational discussion”
    This is not Gavin today. IMHO, and I’m only trying to be helpful here, I think you may be worried young man. Forget the ridicule exhibited by some posters about your recent literary offering, ignore the scathing comments of professional statisticians about the employment, and your admirable defense, of Mannian methodologies but please don’t allow your passion and loyalty to guide your intellect into a “Heads I win, Tails I lose” future.
    The level of anger you direct towards certain individuals and ideas does not become you. You may be wrong, you may be right but you, as a highly gifted individual, are here to guide others. Don’t do it by dismissal and contempt – that’s beneath you. WUWT and CA annoy you to a level that indicates a touching of nerves – seriously, and this won’t go down well with your anger, but please have a think about this – If your viewpoint is correct and you can persuade them, not antagonize but persuade, these two, at least, along with their regulars will back you to the hilt. Don’t let your passion blind you to the fact that guys are so like you. They only want the truth and anyone that says otherwise has an agenda that you should be questioning. Are they using your passion for self-aggrandizement?
    Think, Gavin, if they can persuade you are you ready to reciprocate? I sincerely hope so, we need you mate.

  41. don’t tarp me bro (09:30:40) :
    I really can’t think of a natural location change that would result in a negative variance.
    Maybe a tree growing to a hight to create shade?
    All that I see would cause average readings to go up. Isn’t that what people want to support their pre suppositions?
    even the presence of a small hill/valley will cause change in the direction of air coming into an area and will make a temp difference. an area closer to a body of water will be cooler too. any good homegardner is aware of these issues, as there are microclimates every where. when firm AGW’s are having hysteria about miniscule differences in temperature trends, yeah, a site change that causes even an average 0.5 degree difference matters.

  42. The last record for this location is may 2007
    Looking at the raw and giss adjusted temperatures for this site gives the following plot
    http://img341.imageshack.us/img341/2918/detroitlakesgissraw.jpg
    which shows Giss making a 1.4 deg adjustment in the last few years
    1. The adjustment “reduces GW ”
    2. There is NO massive 5degC jump
    3. The y2k jump seems to have been corrected
    4. The station data has not been recorded from 2007 onwards, so splicing on the the new station location data will be poor.
    5. Until 1992 there is a 1 deg c gentle rise = GW

  43. Great work Anthony and crew of dedicated volunteers; one weather station fixed, but sadly how many more to go?

  44. I am a radio engineer.
    I see an even bigger issue here;
    RF. The MMTS has been moved to within mere inches of an FM transmission line enclosure.
    I’d be concerned with any electronic equipment that close to RF sources.

  45. OT… GISS is applying 2000 Lean’s database on Total Solar irradiance:
    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/modelforce/solar.irradiance/
    I don’t know why Hansen et al ascribe only 0.3 to solar forcing if from Lean’s database the change of the intensity of solar irradiance has been 1.62 W/m^2 for the period 1880-2000). That magnitude of change of solar irradiance would cause a change of temperature of about 0.42 K, which would correspond to a solar forcing of 0.77; more than twice the magnitude that Hansen et al have assigned to solar forcing.

  46. For those commenting on the auto-generated ads, the solution is simple.
    Use Firefox browser with Adblock Plus. It is a free plugin/service.
    You “right click” the ad, add the ad to Adblock’s ad blocking filter, and viola, no more ads!

  47. The FCC database says that is a one kilowatt AM radio station on 1340 kHz, the tower is electrically 171.7 degrees (350 feet) tall, and looking at the photos, it appears that the MMTS is within less than one wavelength (~700′) of the radiating tower, or in the near field as the term is used. The proximity of the coaxial cable is not of concern, it is the radio frequency energy radiated by the antenna which could cause problems in the MMTS. Note one confounding factor, this is a half wave radiator, instead of the expected quarter wave design, when calculating the E and M fields at the MMTS. I would do it, but I’m so out of practice, it is guaranteed to be wrong.

  48. j.pickens (17:58:42) :
    For those commenting on the auto-generated ads, the solution is simple.
    Use Firefox browser with Adblock Plus. It is a free plugin/service.
    You “right click” the ad, add the ad to Adblock’s ad blocking filter, and viola, no more ads!

    Heh! This will be my very first correction on a foreign language grammar… Change “viola” for “voilà”. But don’t look at my grammar gremlins, ok? 😉

  49. Steve (Paris) (13:52:40) :

    And the “results” have been, er, hidden away in some archive:
    “The results from the Catlin Arctic Survey have now been submitted for archiving on the Polar Data Catalogue of Canadian Cryospheric Information Network.
    This is an archiving database scientists, academics and researchers use to find data to help them with their studies. The public can also access the data when it has been uploaded by the administrators along with other research work at
    http://www.polardata.ca/whitesnow”
    I think they have lost the plot completely

    I told it to search for Catlin for this year and got:

    Record 1
    Title
    Catlin Arctic Survey 2009
    Purpose
    Aims and Objectives The results produced by the Catlin Arctic Survey are intended to support the work of scientists by providing data collected in a way that compliments existing data sets. Specifically for use by; %G•%@ Sea Ice Observers (scientists who measure the condition of the sea ice using a range of direct and indirect measurement systems) %G•%@ Sea Ice Modellers (scientists that use computer models to predict the current and future condition of the sea ice) More specifically, the survey’s route was chosen so that the team would begin the expedition on multi-year ice, transit briefly through a region primarily covered with first year ice, then enter a region in which second-year ice prevails. It was expected that this transect would provide ice thickness information about all three types, with a focus on: 1) The -Y΄health‘ or thickness of the oldest remaining multi-year ice 2) The extent of the multi-year ice and 3) The growth rate of first year ice. The approach of polar explorers and the methodology used is sufficiently different compared to traditional data gathering methods, to provide a valuable alternative perspective.
    Abstract
    A team of 3 polar explorers were able to perform an extreme field expedition, taking physical measurements of ice thickness and snow depth using a manual ice drill and ice gauge over a 470km transit from 81.5N130W, to 85.33N125W, during a 72 day expedition in from the 1st of March to the 11th of July 2009 The team selected pans each evening representative of the type of ice they had travelled on during the day, and measured it’s thickness and snow covering by taking multiple physical measurements, avoiding boundary conditions near ridges and leads. This methodology provides modal ice thickness results which in this case was almost exclusively First Year Ice
    Geographic Location
    West Bound Coordinate: -130
    East Bound Coordinate: -130
    North Bound Coordinate: 85.33
    South Bound Coordinate: 81.41
    Temporal Coverage
    Begin Date: 1-Mar-2009
    End Date: 11-May-2009
    Contact Information
    Contact: Christine Barnard
    Position: Data Manager
    Organization: ArcticNet Inc.
    Telephone: +1 (418) 656-2411
    Fax: +1 (418) 656-2334
    [Ric: Email deleted]
    mailing Address:
    Pavillon Vachon 1045 Ave. de la Médicine Local 4081
    Québec
    Québec
    G1V 0A6
    Canada
    Research Program
    IPY International
    Not applicable
    Citation Information
    Published on the Catlin Arctic Website, http://www.catlinarcticsurvey.com
    Link to Data
    http://catlinarcticsurvey.com/assets/downloads/CAS%20Snow%20Ice%20measurements%20-%20Final.xls
    Keywords
    Ice
    Snow depth
    Snow accumulation rate
    Ice chart
    Arctic Ocean
    Originators
    Pen Hadow
    Ann Daniels
    Martin Hartley
    Maintenance Status
    Progress: Complete
    Update Frequency: As needed

    Note the .xls URL above. That appears to be the data. I don’t understand some of what gets display, but that might be because I have Open Office, not Excel, but I think it’s fair to say the organization of the data is they worst I have ever, ever, seen. A 12 year-old could have done better.
    It looks like they have 113 data point in March, 142 in April, and 30 in May (10 per day in May). It’s not clear what some of the cells have – 46 is a popular number. Clearly it’s not the answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything. Oh, it’s the number of cells that have snow depth information for a day’s sampling. I don’t understand how a day with 10 samples can fill a column of 46 cells.
    The spreadsheet has graphs, X-axes are date, Y-axis likely depths, but you get to figure out depths of what.
    The summary data has things like (please, format god, be good):

    ------N------|------W-------|--Date--| Thick|Std Dev| Snow|Std Dev
    81°49 ' 32''N|129°58 '21 ''W|3/1/2009|375.00| 158.98|16.78|10.19
    81°56 41' ''N|130 09 56' ''W|3/2/2009|      |       |13.23| 5.76
                 |              |3/3/2009|      |       |     |
    81°51'36 ''N |130°04 40' ''W|3/4/2009|154.20|  15.16|11.87| 6.85
    81°59'36"    |130°04'42"    |3/5/2009|153.33|   1.15|     |
    

    Look at the incredible range of styles in recording lat/long. I don’t know if I could write software to parse them all. The data is crying out to be euthanized, it may not be useful in any stretch of one’s imagination as anything but several anecdotal data points. Even Steve McIntyre would have trouble finding anything meaningful in it.
    Clearly, Catlin got ZERO data points from that radar they faithfully dragged for part of the trip (it was picked up for repair at the first resupply, and returned at the second).
    I’m sure glad I didn’t help foot the bill.

  50. So is this now tacit acknowledgment that the data taken before the move is crap? I would like to see how the fudge is/was applied.
    You would think with all that taxpayer money, they would have a better monitoring and upgrade program in place. But I guess that like all bureaucracies, the least possible is the common goal.

  51. Nasif Nahle (16:38:26) :
    Just Want Results… (16:20:20) :
    Now if we can get them to move this station :
    http://www.norcalblogs.com/watts/images/Tucson1.jpg
    or at least get them to paint the pavement Stevenchu white.
    Hah!!! Have you seen the tiny patch of grass below the Stevenson screen?
    As Tony Blair once said: “Location, location, location…”

  52. “Ric Werme (18:28:46) :
    I’m sure glad I didn’t help foot the bill. (Catlin expedition)”
    Don’t worry, after Copenhagen, we’ll all be footing the bill for idiotic studies, surveys, policies and taxes.

  53. Elizabeth (10:26:39) :
    Criticism of your surface station study fascinates me.
    With all their grim predictions of climate doom, you would think the folks at NOAA would be vigilant about maintaining surface station requirements.
    Wouldn’t the scientific community and the public also expect higher standards?

    Elizabeth – you appear to be assuming that the AGW Movement is interested in finding out the truth wrt Climate.
    The nature of advocacy science is too only show interest in reports that validate and reinforce the accepted theory. Contrary facts, and poor data, are simpy ignored or attacked.
    I suspect that the broader scientific community and the public are simply un-aware of the poor state of the land based temperature data.

  54. In the meantime, WUWT continues to beat the pants off RC in traffic and reach, so I’m going to just keep on doing what I’m doing and not worry about Gavin’s opinion of me. – Anthony

    An eminently wise decision. You’re obviously the better man.

  55. j.pickens (17:58:42) – It’s not hard to find ad blockers. I don’t block what is trying to pay for what I’m reading. I’m expecting the ads to initially be more amusing than relevant, particularly because AGW people seem to feel it’s necessary to advertise panic and solutions.

  56. Mike Bryant (13:19:38) : In fact we may be forced to soon. I’m gonna miss my air conditioner the most.
    FWIW, back during the “Greyout Davis” years when California had persistent rolling blackouts, after putting small portable UPSs on all the electronics and a light in every room, and after getting an emergency gasoline generator, I decided to investigate a “longer term” solution ( I think it was in the 2nd or 3rd year… groan… )
    IIRC, there was a very nice efficient Diesel portable generator that, when all the math was done, made electricity for the price of “Diesel oil per gallon divided by 10 per kW-hr”. So if Diesel was selling for $2.50 it cost .25 / kW-hr. A convenient metric to keep in mind. At the time Diesel was about $1.80 and electricity was .15 or so and I let the idea pass.
    Now, with Diesel at $2.50 and the “peak over baseline politically incorrect yes I want AC at the hottest part of the day” rate pushing .35 it is probably worth a re-visit…
    There are also relatively low cost Lister type Diesel generators that run on vegetable oil (designed to do so from the factory!) so if you have a friend with a hamburger stand … or if they tax Diesel to death but subsidize food like Soybean oil, well, there are ways…
    My ‘base plan’ is to just use my Diesel car to provide about 1 kw if I need to go there due to gasoline being too expensive for my Honda generator (I already have the inverter, from the last time…)
    Golly, remember the days back when the electric utility just provided steady reliable cheap electricity all the time? Before the government decided to start “fixing” things and put the fix in, I mean, gave things a fix, um, oh never mind … 😐
    (Dusting off my gasogen and methane fermenter plans… and looking at natural gas prices vs gasoline / Diesel and thinking about a nat-gas generator plumbed in… Reminds me of the time I was looking at getting electricity in a 3 rd world country on a reliable basis…)
    The only good news is that out here under The Big Blue Blob of cold, we’ve had exactly zero need for AC so far this summer. Did need the heater a bit, though, and I already have a fireplace insert and wood pile.
    I have noticed that the sky has a peculiar thin high haze / cloud to it. Mid day it looks like feint fog or thin cirrus at, I’d guess, 5,000 to 10,000 feet. Late in the afternoon / evening it gets a bit more like normal cumulus. Very odd in that we’ve typically had stark clear blue during summer in the past 30 years. Maybe that GCR thing… ?

  57. Can we then expect an impending ice-age scare in a year when we see the average temperature drop over 4 degrees C in 12 months? Lol.

  58. George,
    I hadn’t looked it up (forgot that I could check with coordinates), but yes it is indeed an AM at 1340 (a “local” frequency.”)
    1000 watts is not an enormous amount of RF, but the ground system from that tower, if still in tact, essentially puts the proximity of the instrumentation “right on” the antenna.
    AM would actually be more likely to cause trouble with such equipment, but at 1000 watts it may not matter.

  59. Oh, good point Tom: “IR cameras would measure the heat of nearby surfaces, not the heat content of the air itself. Useful for showing possible local biases but not useful for the primary measurement.”
    Ok, so we have a way to validate that the existing air temperature sensors aren’t being influenced by local biases then. Plus a way to measure surface temperature over a wide area from the ground. Two purposes for one. Excellent.
    Well then how do satellites measure temperature of the ground, lower, mid and upper atmospheres? Let’s use that technology from ground based sensors. Does that make any sense?
    What about using Atmospheric Infrared Sounders from the ground?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atmospheric_Infrared_Sounder
    Or Advanced Microwave Sounders from the ground?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_Microwave_Sounding_Unit
    There must be some ground based methods for measuring air temperature accurately within a local volume of air.

  60. Perhaps, before long, we’ll see the onset of an honest temperature record for the US. Is anyone doing similar research into stations in the UK?

  61. What this and many other stories like it highlight is the absolute need to get the powers that be to sit down and agree the following:
    1. Criteria for weather station siting.
    2. Methods for monitoring any events which may compromise ongoing consistency or integrity of data gathering.
    3. Cost-effective methods for carrying that monitoring out.
    4. A moratorium on religious pronouncements on warming or cooling until the above three have been instigated and monitoring continued for a few decades…
    Any chance of that folks?

  62. “Rhys Jaggar (04:04:41) :
    What this and many other stories like it highlight is the absolute need to get the powers that be to sit down and agree the following:
    1. Criteria for weather station siting.
    2. Methods for monitoring any events which may compromise ongoing consistency or integrity of data gathering.
    3. Cost-effective methods for carrying that monitoring out.
    4. A moratorium on religious pronouncements on warming or cooling until the above three have been instigated and monitoring continued for a few decades…
    Any chance of that folks?”
    No chance. The political beast is on a “crusade”, and, unless we find another “Guy Fawkes” type, will not be stopped. The Mesiah *is* in The White House after all.
    The other issue is *most* people are unwilling to research and question “authority”. I, personally, have been doing that since the late 60’s. My main point being is that some people focus on getting fried chicken from the local takeaway, rather than really understanding what our elected politicians are doing and where food, actually, comes from. That’s why Obama got elected, that’s why *most* people support “saving the planet” via reducing C02 emissions. It’s all politics and emotion (Smoke and mirrors).

  63. Reported accuracy of the MMTS design is quoted as “+/- 0.3F ( random google search). If the MMTS circuitry is digital, it will be relatively immune to 1430kc, although the thermal sensor could suffer some inductive heating. The ERP at the distance from the antenna as indicated in the picture would not likely be enough to induce much heating, and would be much less than 1000w. Certainly, if you were to grab a 1000w rf radiator at a current node, you might be a tad surprised at the experience.
    There is at least one paper that discusses the cover design in terms of its heating response to solar radiation (Hubbard, Lin & Walter-Shea): http://tinyurl.com/kndk4z

  64. Phooey – that tinyurl link didn’t work, and I’m not getting one that does. If interested google “The Effectiveness of the ASOS, MMTS, Gill, and CRS Air Temperature Radiation Shields”.

  65. E.M.Smith (22:12:05) :
    I have noticed that the sky has a peculiar thin high haze / cloud to it. Mid day it looks like feint fog or thin cirrus at, I’d guess, 5,000 to 10,000 feet. Late in the afternoon / evening it gets a bit more like normal cumulus. Very odd in that we’ve typically had stark clear blue during summer in the past 30 years. Maybe that GCR thing… ?

    I mentioned that earlier this spring. Kind of an opaque layer. I definitely remember clear skies, especially a day or two after a rain. Now it seems to stay cloudy for a day or two, then the opaque layer. Weather. Tornadoes are more interesting here in Kansas.

  66. Can somebody help me out here?
    I’m looking for something like global or regional Min, Max, Avg temp graphs. I found two. One for Arghyl ireland, and one for Oxford, England. What I found in both cases is that the average was coming up, but the max temps were pretty steady to slightly rising. What was throwing the avg up was that the Min temps were increasing quite a bit more than the max temps. How common is this?

  67. pwl (10:52:05) :
    It should be mandatory for WEB CAMS to be pointed at the temperature devices with the video recordings being publicly available via a public web site LIVE! At least two to four cameras per site. Infrared cameras at that!

    Just remove the internal IRB (Infra Red Blocking) filter of a good CCD webcam (Philips for example), and you have an instant IR webcam.

  68. “Abstract
    A team of 3 polar explorers were able to perform an extreme field expedition, taking physical measurements of ice thickness and snow depth using a manual ice drill and ice gauge over a 470km transit from 81.5N130W, to 85.33N125W, during a 72 day expedition in from the 1st of March to the 11th of July 2009 The team selected pans each evening representative of the type of ice they had travelled on during the day, and measured it’s thickness and snow covering by taking multiple physical measurements, avoiding boundary conditions near ridges and leads. This methodology provides modal ice thickness results which in this case was almost exclusively First Year Ice”
    11 July!
    Wow!
    And here these “3” Arctic explorers were pulled off the ice before the end of May.
    Gee.
    I wonder if they wrote this BEFORE or AFTER these 3 were pulled off the ice after finishing “all” of their “470 km” trick (er, trek) across the ice. And their “ice radar” actually was used how long? For how many holes?
    As I recall, MOST evening were NOT used to bore ice cores, and ALMOST ALL of their ice cores were deliberately cut through thin, flat first year ice.

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