Picking out the UHI in climatic temperature records – so easy a 6th grader can do it!

The Urban Heat Island effect on temperature records is real, despite what some people wish you to believe. Peter, a sixth grader, and his dad, thought so too, and take the data from NASA GISS and show in a simple video, what we’ve been saying for years here at WUWT. Urbanization, land use, and station siting matter.

Peter - shows how UHI is easy to spot

Watch Peter’s excellent video below:

They used a simple pairing of rural and urban sites to show the differences. This shows why homogenization, which smears all the data from urban and rural sites together, is a bad idea, and gives trends that don’t exist in reality.

I like the ending where he says in the rolling credits “Peter’s dad is not employed or funded by any energy or oil companies”. It’s funny that they’d feel a need to say this. No National Science Foundation funding needed either.

This video appeared in comments on WUWT, if anybody knows how to contact Peter or his dad, please advise. We are in touch now.

One wonders what the response of the well funded Hadley Centre, Met Office scientist Dr. David Parker, might be to this video.

Parker’s 2006 paper published in the Journal of Climate titled: “A Demonstration that Large scale warming is not urban” claims:

The analysis of Tmin demonstrates that neither urbanization nor other local instrumental or thermal effects

have systematically exaggerated the observed global warming trends in Tmin. The robustness of the analysis to the criterion for “calm” implies that the estimated overall trends are insensitive to boundary layer structure and small-scale advection, and to siting, instrumentation, and observing practices that increasingly influence temperatures as winds become lighter. Furthermore, even at windy sites (e.g., St. Paul, Aleutian Islands, in Fig. C1), the calmest terce and especially the calmest decile will be strongly affected by occasions with very light winds in passing ridges or blocking anticyclones, and should reveal any urban warming influence.

…the results of the present study also suggest that they have not affected the estimates of temperature trends.

Steve McIntyre gave Parker’s paper a scathing review in 2007’s article:

Parker 2006: An Urban Myth?


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GISS raw or GISS homogenized?


WOW! too cool (no pun intended)


I’ve been waiting for a larger scale comparison like this one for a while. David Archibald did one years ago with a few southeastern US sites thru 2003, and came up with similar results.
LOL at the title!


I saw it. Great job. My only concern is that since he uses r2 on the 106 year history the earlier variations may impact the slope of the regression line. As we know GW theory concentrates on the last 30 years.


A bright spot among all the depressing news.
There is hope for the world yet.
Well done Peter (and Dad!).
Thank you.


Well done, Peter, (and Dad).
The video says it all. The alarmists at Copenhagen should be made to watch it.


Give the lad a scholarship at UEA.

Steve in SC

Very well done.
Perhaps the climate community could learn a thing or three.


Very cool! So now we have evidence of what ordinary people have known for at least a hundred years. That is: “Honey, it sure is hot here in the city, let’s take a drive out to the country and cool off”. 🙂


re: contact. You could try sending a message via his youtube user account.


As a layperson I have been wading through all of the explanations, theories, graphs and charts published by so many brilliant scientists, and now, thanks to one sixth grader, I can finally understand it! I realize it is very simplistic, but it sure makes more sense now. Thanks, Peter!


The best part is, getting “peer review” involves polling a few of his friends at recess 😉

Paul S

Has any one ever said what the actual annual temperature should be for 2009?
How do we know we are deviating, if we do not know what we are deviating from?

Congratulations, Peter and Dad.
Why not send this to people at Copenhagen? Someone MAY look at it and be challenged, though their minds are so closed that this is doubtful.

gerard bono

CodeTech that was great! Recess…………….


Out standing!!!
Now if Peter could cross check the stations he used, with WUWT Surface Station info and see what the condition is for each of the Rural stations and then get some help on doing a proper correction for poor stations, my guess is we would see a cooling trend.

John in NZ

Somebody give that boy a Nobel prize.


Excellent job Peter and Dad.
It sure makes the professional weather people look sophomoric.
Keep up digging into the data. Who knows you might get an honorary degree out of your work.
I love it.

And wouldn’t you think the adjustment would be negative to account for UHI … Isn’t it weird that all the IPCC UHI adjustments are the opposite?


better than this, produced by adults… maybe even a ‘scientist’…. they say GHG lower food production! submit youtube ccomments

Daniel M
Greg Cavanagh

Re Anon (13:02:50) :
But that vidio only makes claims, it does not present any data or do any analysis.

Hank Hancock

Absolutely astounding!
There is nothing more delightful than to see a sixth grader produce a better temperature study than our tax paid climate masters. They should submit a paper to the Geophysical Journal and Nature. It would be most satisfying to see a sixth grader get published. It would certainly put the state of climate research into perspective.


So if I understand, the cause of increased temperatures is, er, heating….. due to factories, aircon units, auto engines etc, and not the fantastically complicated greenhouse gas forcing effect. Can’t be – that is much too simple and logical and there are no PhDs, Nobel Prizes or Enron trading scams to be made out of it, not to mention the free hookers in front of Peter.

Daryl M

Re: tallbloke (12:35:59) :
Give the lad a scholarship at UEA.
What did the poor kid do to deserve having to work with that sorry bunch?


Sure, the UHI effect is real. That’s why they adjust for it, isn’t it?

Okay, Mr. Smarty Pants. Everyone knows that there are more people now than in 1900 and they all have to breathe, so there is more CO2 coming from these people. And… more of the more people are living in cities. Walla! CO2 causes warming in the cities! It’s all in the charts.


the whole “homogonizing” thing is just a trick to introduce known bad data …
I have 5 sites …
one located at an airport and four located in fields 100 miles away …
the airport site shows a 2 degree difference vs the average of the 4 field sites … lots of blacktop and such …
logic would say you adjust the airport site down 2 degrees and leave the field sites alone …
depending on how you “homogonize” (bad+average/2 or bad+sum of field temps/5) you’ll either get a 1 degree adjustment or a .4 degree adjustment for the bad site …
both are wrong and simply minimize the bad sites data but does not eliminate it …
both are wrong …
either throw it out or adjust it with the delta …

barking toad

maybe it’s the fella at coyoteblog.com who also has climate-skeptic.com
I recall he did a survey like this with his young bloke

Henry chance

How simple. I suspect they could set raingages under trees if their desire was to tell us we are becoming dryer.

One problem: The GISS data originates from the GHCN, no? Some of the data has been “adjusted” in the GHCN. Can one tell from the records which collection sites have been adjusted and which have not?

Jim Steele

Great. They should publish this in Nature!

M. Essenger

He probably forgot to include this:
[0.,0.,0.,0.,0.,-0.1,-0.25,-0.3,0.,-0.1,0.3,0.8,1.2,1.7,2.5,2.6,2.6,2.6,2.6,2.6]*0.75 ; fudge factor


I came across the video earlier today, and had intended to post a link here. What struck me is that the professionals taking in $2B a year in grants were incapable of performing this analysis.


I really hope Peter did not use this as his science project if he has an Environut Science Prof.

Paul Vaughan

I would encourage the family act to next break the analysis down one level further by comparing JJA (June-July-August) averages with DJF (December-January-February) averages. The reason I suggest this:
I have not yet shared here my work on temperature range, but I will offer this clue: Time-integrated cross-correlations between geomagnetic aa index & temperature range are much higher in summer than in winter – [not really surprising considering that 2/3-of-a-day with daylight (summer) is a lot different from 1/3-of-a-day with daylight (winter) …but we all know it’s not just that simple… still, noticing some loose generalities is helpful on the road to working out details of the complex conditioning – in other words: it’s not just about UHI, even though that is an important part…]


Obviously this team is funded by Big Oil and Big Carbon! I’ll bet if you play the video backwards you’ll hear, “Exxon is great!” over and over in the background music!
j/k j/k 😀


So has anybody ever just graphed ALL the rural data?

I bring AGW demotivational posters to share with AGW fanatics during these difficult times. Feel free to copy!


Wei-Chyung Wang of the University at Albany was heard saying, “who does this little snot think he is? I already proved that the UHI effect was insignificant!”

Great presentation! It reminds me of something I’ve wondered about. Shouldn’t overall urban temps take into account the interior temp of air-conditioned buildings as well as out-door temps? Of course maybe they do and I’m just not aware of it.


Peter, are you saying the emperor has no clothes???


Icarus (13:15:52) :
“”Sure, the UHI effect is real. That’s why they adjust for it, isn’t it?””
Please explain how they “adjust” for it.


Icarus (13:15:52) :
“Sure, the UHI effect is real. That’s why they adjust for it, isn’t it?”
Obviously not, otherwise why do rural and urban diverge so much? Urban should be the same as rural if they adjusted for it, shouldn’t it?
And what would be the point of Parker’s paper other than to justify not adjusting for UHI?


Fabulous! In the meantime, the global warming propaganda has taken a new sinister turn. The fraudsters are now questioning the sanity of skepticism. It’s ok for them to be skeptical of us but not the other way around. Check out this preposterous article that appeared over at Wired today.
The Psychology of Climate Change Denial
It’s sickening. The folks at Wired have been a consistent and eager player in the GW fraud.
We will remember.


64,000 dollar question. Is that GISS data raw data or “value added”?

Roger Knights

How was the rural site in the pair selected from the many candidates within the radius? I hope some blind or random method was used, or the comparison could be open to an accusation of cherry-picking.


For examples of weather station siting issues, the California Air Resources Board site information pages are perfect. EG:
Tree height changes:
Adjacent paving:


Question: If it is true that much of the supposed upward trend in temperatures in the last century results from adjustments to the data, is it possible that the apparence of flattening of temperatures over the last ten years is in part due to the fact that current temperatures are what they are and are not subject to adjustments?