Where the !@#$% is Svalbard's Weather Station?

In the previous WUWT entry, Willis posted his data on the Svalbard weather station, noting that it is spliced data and that the station data has been merged in nearby station history:

0 km (*) Svalbard Luft 78.2 N 15.5 E 634010080002 rural area 1977–2006

47 km (*) Isfjord Radio 78.1 N 13.6 E 634010050010 rural area 1912–1980

425 km (*) Bjornoya 74.5 N 19.0 E 634010280003 rural area 1949–2006

Svalbard Luft is the airport. As we’ve noted time and again on WUWT, the stations in GHCN have a propensity for airport migration. Here’s what Svalbard Airport looks like to visitors:

File:Svalbard Airport, Longyear 1.jpg

Svalbard airport terminal and tarmac - Image from Wikimedia - click to enlarge

Lots of nice black asphalt and buildings there to absorb the feeble sunshine at that latitude. But where’s the weather station?

No help from NCDC’s metadatabase, they have no clue either, all they know is that it is “at the airport”:

The equipment tab gives no clues, and the lat/lon is too coarse to pinpoint a location within the airport complex.

But, the great thing about Svalbard is that it is now a tourist destination. Regular jet flights are available. Fortunately for us, tourists take photos, and upload them to Panoramio. Here’s one photo likely taken right off the plane:

Note the Stevenson Screen at the edge of the tarmac

Here are some additional views:

This photo is very high resolution, over 3000 pixels wide, see the zoomed section below

The zoomed image shows the Stevenson Screen at the edge of the tarmac

I found another tourist photo on Panaramio, that shows the characteristic metal legs and struts of the Stevenson Screen visible beyond the plane that tourists are boarding:

Note the legs and bracing struts of the Stevenson Screen are visible - click image for original photo

More tourist submitted Panoramio photos of the airport show just how much asphalt tarmac there is around the station, such as this one:

One tourist uploaded a huge panorama image of the airport tarmac - click for original image

And when you zoom in on that panorama image at far left, sure enough, there’s the Stevenson Screen again:

Stevenson Screen at the edge of the airport tarmac, zoomed subsection of previous image

It is clear that there’s a lot of asphalt around the station, but there’s also a lot of snow too. What happens when it snows at the airport? They clear the runway and tarmac, of course:

Svalbard Luft seen from the air - click for original image

Where’s the Stevenson Screen? Right at the edge of the tarmac.

Svalbard airport terminal and tarmac - Stevenson Screen location is the dot near the end of the arrow

So, aviation snow removal makes a nice black year round albedo, right next to the weather station. Plus jet exhaust, generators, steam driven de-icers and other tools of the aviation trade are also nearby. Even if the Stevenson Screen has been abandoned in favor of an automated sensor, as often happens at airports, both would still have some locally measured effects in the record.

In the Arctic and Antarctic, aviation is the lifeline of humanity. A warm pocket of energy use in a sea of snow and ice. It would be interesting to plant a few of my portable USB logging thermometers around Svalbard away from this pocket of humanity to see what sort or temperature readings we get. By bet is that we’ll see a local AHI (Airport Heat Island) at Svalbard. It’s a busy place. In 2009, the airport had 138,934 passengers. Source: ^ Avinor (2010). “Årsrapport Passasjerer” (in Norwegian). http://www.avinor.no/tridionimages/2009%20Passasjerer_tcm181-109035.xls.

In Willis’ previous essay, he notes RC calls it a 5 sigma outlier event in April 2006. I had surmised it might be due to a tarmac resurfacing changing the albedo. I could be right. From the Wiki article on Svalbard airport:

In 1989, parts of the runway were re-insulated, giving these areas that previously had been the worst an acceptable solution. In 2006, this measure was conducted on the remaining parts of the runway.

There was construction going on in 2006, Oddly the source of that metadata is from a paper on gauging the airport performance under the “duress” of climate change:

Svalbard airport runway. Performance during a climate-warming scenario. (PDF)

In a study initiated by the Norwegian Airport Authorities in 1995, insulation of the whole runway in a manner similar to the 1989 procedure was deemed the most favorable long-term runway maintenance strategy (Instanes, D. and Instanes, A., 1998). This has so far not been carried out, and a new reconstruction is planned for 2005/2006 to improve the runway. The average global surface temperature is projected to increase from 1.4 to 5.8°C between 1990 and 2100 (IPCC, 2001). Warming at higher latitudes of the Northern hemisphere may be greater than the global average, as high as 4 to 7°C between 2000 and 2100 (ACIA, 2004).

They don’t seem to realize anywhere in the paper that the temperature data they are relying of for input to their models used for permafrost thaw comes from the little white box at the edge of the tarmac. Talk about positive feedback and polar amplification. Let’s build a new runway; hey look it’s warmer we were right! Sheesh.

People like Jim Hansen and Gavin Schmidt who sit up at the top of the climate food chain and take data from these weather stations at face value and then use it to extrapolate to nearby grid cells because there are no other nearby stations in the Arctic really need to get out more and see what the measuring environment is like. Maybe somebody can convince them to get off their taxpayer funded butts and away from their computer screens someday and do some field work.

Of course given what they did to censure Willis at RC when he brought up the issues at Svalbard, I doubt they’d believe their own eyes if it contradicted their expectations.

UPDATE:

The UHI at Svalbard airport has been measured, using the driving technique I first wrote about back in fall 2008 to study UHI in Reno, NV.  This study at:

http://climate4you.com/LongyearbyenUHI%2020080331.htm

…was pointed out by commenter Ibrahim and is reproduced below:

=============================================

Longyearbyen UHI experiment, March 31, 2008

Longyearbyen March 31, 2008 16:15 PM (not corrected for summer time), looking WNW from the northern end of the lake Isdammen (see map below). The sky was almost clear, with a few local clouds forming over the fjord. The wind was weak from southeasterly direction, 0.5-3 m/s. The large building in the distance to the right is the main hangar at Svalbard Ariport. Compare with map below.

The general weather situation, measurement equipment and measurement route

The air temperature was about -20oC, and the wind weak from southeasterly direction, 0.5-3 m/s, but with local deviations (see map below). The sky was almost clear. The ground surface was covered by snow. The nearby fjord was ice free, with the exception of a 5-50 m wide zone with new icew along the coast. A thermistor was attached to the roof of a car (c. 1.5 m above terrain), and temperatures were logged at 2 sec. intervals. The time given in the diagrams below are not corrected for summer time. The measurements were carried starting at Svalbard Airport in the upper left of the map below, driving SE along the coast to the town, making a roundtour here, before proceding SE into the lower part of the major valley Adventdalen.

Longyearbyen is the worlds northernmost town and is located at 78o17’N 11o20’E, in central Spitsbergen . The present number of inhabitants is 2,001 (January 1, 2007). There is no official meteorological station located in Longyearbyen at the moment. The official meteorological station is located at the airport, about 4 km northwest of Longyearbyen, close to the coast (see map below).

Topographic map showing Longyearbyen and Svalbard Airport (Svalbard Lufthavn). The red line shows the measurement route March 31, 2008, starting at the Airport and ending in the lower part of the valley Adventdalen to the SE. In between, a detour was made in the central part of the town as shown. The wind was weak, 0.5-3 m/s, from south easterly direction, but with local deviations (blue arrows). The fjord was ice free. The map section measures c. 11 km west to east.

Results

Result of temperature measurements along the route Svalbard Airport – Longyearbyen -Adventdalen, March 31, 2008. The official Svalbard meteorological station is located at the airport. Se map above for reference. Time (not corrected for summer time) is given in hh:min:ss format along the x-axis.

Interpretation of results

The whole area was snowcovered. The sun was below the skyline formed by the mountains, and albedo effects caused by buildings and roads for that reason presumably not very important.

The registered air temperatures show an overall falling trend towards SE along the main measurement route. Near the airport, where the official Svalbard meteorological station is located, air temperatures are relatively high (about -18oC), which is interpreted as the result of the onshore airflow from SE across the ice free fjord. Further towards SE, this local warming effect diminishes, and colder air (about -25oC) draining out of the valley Adventdalen dominates. The temperature difference between the Airport and Adventdalen is about 8oC, representing the open water effect (OWE) at this particular time. In between, the local heat island effect of the town Longyearbyen is only weakly developed. The maximum UHI effect appears to be about +0.5oC at the time of the experiment. The local cold trough recorded within Longyearbyen (16:04) corresponds to the position of the main valley axis, where cold air masses is draining NNE from the glacier at the valley head.

The existence of an urban heat island effect in a relatively small settlement as Longyearbyen may come as a surprise. This is, however, not the first time this has been observed in the Arctic; see, e.g., Hinkel et al. 2003.

=============================================

UPDATE2:

A commenter asked if satellite and surface data deviated here. Willis provides the answer.

I just looked at the MSU versus the NORDKLIM/GISS record, and the surface record shows much more warming than the satellite warming, almost twice as much. The surface record shows warming at 0.10 °C/decade, while the MSU record is warming at 0.06 °C/decade … here’s the graph:

w.

UPDATE3: From comments, we have a close up photo of the Stevenson Screen near the edge of the tarmac. Thanks to commenter “Oslo” for finding it at the Norwegian Metorological Institute website.

Stevenson Screen at Svalbard Lufthavn Airport

I wonder if the cinder blocks are a permanent feature?

UPDATE4

Erik Kempers writes in comments that he has found a Panaramio photo that was misplaced on the map that shows the weather station in perspective with the Svalbard airport runway and taxiway/tarmac. I’ve provided a zoomed and annotated version below. The original is here.

click to enlarge

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Phillip Bratby

Great follow-up to Willis’ article. Good detective work Anthony; I don’t know how you find the time to do all the work that Hansen, Schmidt et al should be doing with their taxpayer dollars!

A close look at the changes of the Geomagnetic field at Svalbard (and the nearby North Pole) may finally give us a clue what drives climate of the North Atlantic.
http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/LFC16.htm
http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/LFC-CETfiles.htm

Mindbuilder

Does the effect of this poor siting show up as a difference between the satellite and thermometer record?

Ibrahim

So we have whole degrees of “warming” from the AHI / UHI effects and are supposed to get excited about fractional degrees of overall ‘warming’ of the record?
When places like France and the USA are over 90% thermometers at airports in GHCN (and we know there were none at airports prior to 1914…)
Somehow I’m starting to think that AHI alone is sufficient to explain “global warming”…

Geir in Norway

On high time! Thanks so much! We Norwegians have recently been served this scary story about Svalbard warming up according to the latest “research”:
http://www.aftenposten.no/klima/article3646095.ece
(Aftenposten has recently won back its position as most sold newspaper in Norway.)
This is what they present as facts:
“Fact: This is the case NorACIA (Norwegian Arctic Climate Impact Assessment) today presents in a report on climate change and impacts in northern Norway, Svalbard and in the surrounding ocean.
The report is based on five studies in climate change issues, physical and biochemical systems, ecosystems and biodiversity, effects on people and society, and adaptation to climate change.
NorACIA have both used the facts from the IPCC and local data and scaled down global climate models to regional effects. ”
What they mean by facts from the IPCC I cannot fathom, but it seems they have been reading AR7 and the Svalbard dataset quite uncritically.

Henry Galt

The airport will be under several meters of catastrophic sea-level rise – about the same time as the area becomes hospitable. Such a shame. Think of the children. Run for the hills. Psst, wanna buy some cheap carbon credits?

Ralph

As a pilot, if you were waiting for an inbound aircraft to do an approach, landing and backtrack to vacate the runway, you could be holding next to that Stevenson Screen (engines running) for 10 minutes or so. Great plumes of hot exhaust playing over the screen for 10 minutes.
Might be more profitable to check the movement records for the airport, rather than the climatic records of the Arctic.
.

Mankind needs to worry much more about UHi than it does (possible) fractional warming caused by CO2.
The Romans recognised 2000 years ago that UHI made their 1 million population city unbearably hot and it caused beech trees to migrate to the hills and ice sellers to make a lucrative living.
When pontificating on global temperatures (which heaven knows is a highly debatable concept in the first place) we need to bear in mind two things;
Firstly that stations move and they are therfore not recording the original micro climate. By definition micro climates are different to one another so you may get different readings that could be exacerbated by local conditions-land use- or by climatic changes such as an alteration in the prevailing wind direction.
Secondly that there is a tendancy for stations to move to warm places such as airports-or if they don’t move of being engulfed by urbanisation.
The basic proposition of believing we have recent catastrophic global warming based on our extremely suspect temperature records is highly debatable. That we have a serious and much greater effect on our ‘local’ urban climate was something Emperor Nero knew about.
Tonyb

GK

The surfacestations scandal should have it`s own “gate” name like Surfacestationsgate.
The scale of the surfacestations scandal is so large, that it is impossible that the AGW peddlers dont know that the whole temp reconstruction is totally meaningless. I`m now 100% convinced that they they are fully away of how bad the data is, and they are just a part of the con to make a buck.
It`s inconcievable that anyone with anything more than pre-school maths knowledge doesnt comprehend the impact of this on the whole set of data

It’s an interesting UHI experiment, but it probably has to be repeated many times for confirmation. Some problems: The temperature fluctuates much along the route, so it is difficult to tell variations from topological differences from true UHI variations. The temperature at one spot also generally varies a quite a bit within an hour in this area. And the detour within the settlement is also slightly uphill, so a temperature rise can also be explained by inversion.
The UHI hypothesis sounds reasonable, though. Snow is white, buildings are dark. And during winter it’s common practice in Longyearbyen to let the car idle while parked outside the mall, etc, which will generate ever so slight heat.

“My bet is that we’ll see a local AHI (Airport Heat Island) at Svalbard. It’s a busy place. In 2009, the airport had 138,934 passengers.”
According to this site, there is generally one flight in, one out, per day.

freespeech

Perhaps all this alarmist talk of runaway greenhouse effects is just a simple spelling mistake? They seem to be actually talking about “runway” greenhouse effects.
Reply: Polite golf *clap* ~ ctm

phisher

Amazing…
This must be the best scientific site on the Internet, thanks for all your hard work.

nednead

Interesting, now you believe in the positive albedo effect. So it works over the tarmac but not over the sea ice? I wonder how that can be? How do you determine when it matters and when it doesn’t? Do you have surfaces you allow to have a positive feedback effect and those you do not? Strange indeed…

Willis Eschenbach

Great post, Anthony. I just looked at the MSU versus the NORDKLIM/GISS record, and the surface record shows much more warming than the satellite warming, almost twice as much. The surface record shows warming at 1.3 °C/decade, while the MSU record is warming at 0.8 °C/decade … here’s the graph:

[Edited to fix incorrect decadal averages, thanks to those who pointed it out]
w.

Signe Moerk

The Stevenson Screen you see on your picture has not been in use for a long time! It has a completely different location.
Best regards from mee, living in Longyearbyen

This description of re-surfacing work at Svalbard airport might be of interest…
http://www.voegele.info/en/aktuelles_und_presse/jobreports/Jobreports_-_Detailseite_123.html

Stig

I’ve been living in Longyearbyen, Svalbard for 8 years, from 1998-2006. No doubt, winters became warmer during that period. In winter 1997-98 the fjords froze all over, but they did not any of the next 8 winters. Glaziers at land melted substansially, and permafrost thawed. As a MSc student at the University in Longyearbyen ( UNIS) I drilled holes in the tundra and placed thermistors in the holes. They all showed that the active layer ( melting zone in the summer) went deeper year by year.
This is of course not so interesting as the time span is too short, but it supports the general opinion that the Arctic has become warmer during the last decades.
The question, however, is if this increase in temperature in the Arctic, is due to natural variations or burning fossil fuel. What we know for sure is that all avaliable history and measurements from Svalbard tells us that the 1930-40’s were just as warm as today, glaciers melted, less fjordice and probably also melting tundra…
Too sad it’s not accepted to ask these kind of questions anymore. So keep up the good work Anthony!

Steveta_uk

Pity we don’t have a static temp measurement for comparison – sun was “below the skyline” but he doesn’t say for how long, and without a return-trip, there’s no way of knowing how much of the temperature drop was simply an early evening decline.

Ibrahim

Some might find this article interesting: “Temperature variations at Svalbard during the last century”, for general background.
http://www.nordicspace.net/PDF/NSA106.pdf
But as for the AHI effect, let’s see what happened in 2006.
Passenger numbers increased from 2005 to 2006 by 34.5%, and total aircraft movements of around 7.6%.
In 2006 the runway was re-surfaced (note: parts were formerly white to reduce melting of permafrost beneath, but now all black), the safety zones were enlarged and the terminal was being upgraded, so there was all that extra construction etc as well. The runway and taxiway is now 170,000 sq.m of asphalt.
Then we read in the WMO’s “Annual Bulletin on the Climate in WMO Region VI – Europe and Middle East – 2006”
“On Svalbard it was more than 12 °C warmer than normal in January and again in April 2006, and more than 5 °C on the annual average.”
Oh, what a surprise!

Another interesting paper on the airport. Demonstrates the effect climate models have on real world engineering assessments.
Title reads “Svalbard airport runway. Performance during a climate-warming scenario.”
http://www.ivt.ntnu.no/bat/vs/bcra/workshops/workshop1/W1_2%20Instanes_BCRA2005BCRA05paper00241.PDF

ditmar

Re Nick Stokes
I’m sure you’re right, generally one flight in and out per day. However I am also sure that the raw materials, equipment,facilities, and construction workers required to upgrade the airport were not locally sourced. Also the mining equipment,materials, facilities, transport,constuction workers, utility suppliers and corresponding infrastructure, including the generator needed were all flown in on that pristine tarmac to constuct the GLOBAL SEED BANK! I think that alone will remove the anomalous apr. 2006 temp. I’m sure you will concede that, or will you?

mike

but when were the thermometer and tarmac placed respectively?

Jimbo

E.M.Smith says:
So we have whole degrees of “warming” from the AHI / UHI effects and are supposed to get excited about fractional degrees of overall ‘warming’ of the record?

Totally agreed. Also warmists tell us that it’s the trend that matters and don’t realise that there is a trend for increased international air travel, airport expansion and urban creep.
freespeech – you are spot on. This is truly runway Mann-made global warming from weather thermometers.

Willis Eschenbach

nednead says:
May 13, 2010 at 2:18 am

Interesting, now you believe in the positive albedo effect. So it works over the tarmac but not over the sea ice? I wonder how that can be? How do you determine when it matters and when it doesn’t? Do you have surfaces you allow to have a positive feedback effect and those you do not? Strange indeed…

nednead, I’m not sure who the “you” is in “now you believe in the positive albedo effect.” Let me renew a call that I have made many times. If you disagree with something that someone has said, cite it and quote it.
Otherwise, you may have a valid point, but since no one has a clue who you are talking to or what you are talking about, your comment will get ignored.

Willis Eschenbach

Signe Moerk says:
May 13, 2010 at 2:25 am (Edit)

The Stevenson Screen you see on your picture has not been in use for a long time! It has a completely different location.
Best regards from me, living in Longyearbyen

Man, I hates it when someone does that …
Signe, if you know where it is, how about you come down off of the mountain of pure knowledge and tell us where it is? Post a google earth view of it, send us a sketch, show us a photograph, use naval signal flags, I don’t care how, but hey, give us a clue as to its real location .

Willis Eschenbach

Stig says:
May 13, 2010 at 2:32 am (Edit)

I’ve been living in Longyearbyen, Svalbard for 8 years, from 1998-2006. No doubt, winters became warmer during that period. In winter 1997-98 the fjords froze all over, but they did not any of the next 8 winters. Glaziers at land melted substansially, and permafrost thawed. As a MSc student at the University in Longyearbyen ( UNIS) I drilled holes in the tundra and placed thermistors in the holes. They all showed that the active layer ( melting zone in the summer) went deeper year by year.
This is of course not so interesting as the time span is too short, but it supports the general opinion that the Arctic has become warmer during the last decades.
The question, however, is if this increase in temperature in the Arctic, is due to natural variations or burning fossil fuel. What we know for sure is that all avaliable history and measurements from Svalbard tells us that the 1930-40′s were just as warm as today, glaciers melted, less fjordice and probably also melting tundra…
Too sad it’s not accepted to ask these kind of questions anymore. So keep up the good work Anthony!

Thanks, Stig. In my thread here, there’s a great citation to a page in Norwegian discussing the effect of wind on the temperature of Svalbard. I also show a graph that shows that temperatures have cooled since 2006 …

Capn Jack

What a shameless plug in an article,
when my great fleet of Pirates turned Privateers were gonna turn the world into an Eden.
We need fleets of Pirates turned savior with rotating masts and big bilge pumps.
Yeah right, thermometers and Stevenson screens in the right place is gonna save the planet.
Got a good miind to report Watts to the advertising board on subliminal advertising nd not so sublimal advertising.
Me mate Nemo designed them silver lining ships , Me and Nemo discovered Svaldie boo boo port and we done it in winter.

kwik

Well, I cannot understand why it is so difficult.
Look here;
http://www.yr.no/place/Norway/Svalbard/
So there is 5 stations. Click English upper right corner.
Click for example Hopen.
http://www.yr.no/place/Norway/Svalbard/Hopen/
Click Statistics;
http://www.yr.no/place/Norway/Svalbard/Hopen/statistics.html
For more statistics, go here;
http://sharki.oslo.dnmi.no/portal/page?_pageid=73,39035,73_39049&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL&6009_BATCHORDER_3197941
Click English.Get your username and password, and you can get data for these stations
REPLY: The URL for the English page: http://met.no/English/
…gives me a spartan, nearly useless presentation. There’s no data I can see there, most links are gone.
Met.NO English page

Pascvaks
oldseadog

OT, but I can’t get the “tips and notes” to work.
Just to say have a good conference in Chicago, Anthony.
I’d love to be there but the sailboat racing series comes first.

imapopulistnow

Real Scientists would be extremely grateful for your discoveries because they help further the accuracy of the data base by identifying outliers.
Real Climate Scientists on the other hand……

Capn Jack

Skaal.

stephan
Ralph

>>ScientistForTruth says: May 13, 2010 at 2:47 am
>>In 2006 the runway was re-surfaced
Anyone who has seen re-tarmacing will know how energy intensive it is.
Now let me guess: They cannot retarmac the apron in the winter, but they would want to get it done before the tourist season.
So. How about APRIL??
.

Geoff Sherrington

Please can someone do this simple exercise.
Take an airport of known area. Find the number of aircraft movements per year. Assume a weight for each aircraft, take-off and landing. Estimate the energy required to lift then lower the total weight of those aircraft to say 500 ft. Convert the energy into watts per sq m and then into temperature change. With the many pages of talk on airports, I have failed to find if the fuel burning alone is in the right ball park to raise temperature. (This is separate from jet wash problems and albedo changes).

geo

Nice job. Perhaps this “ends of the earth” series ought to be pursued to completion? It is certainly off to a very interesting start, and it seems clear that the topic merits that pursuit given the overweighted importance these stations have in the record, and in the general AGW theory of outsized impacts on the Arctic/Antarctic.
I’m off to look at five stations in northern Iowa (Le Mars, Storm Lake, Rockwell City, Iowa Falls, and Fayette) this weekend. From the satellite data I’m not expecting anything this exciting, however!

LearDog

Wow. This is an AMAZING post and set of comments. You guys are fantastic !
Thanks for everyone’s engagement.

Oslo

Here are the figures for Svalbard Airport, as reported by the Norwegian National Weather Service. The top graph is for April, the middle is for winter, and the bottom graph is yearly anomalies:
http://www.yr.no/klima/bakgrunn/1.6266962
More information about the measuring station form the same web page:
The measuring station is now situated at Svalbard airport. before 1974, the data comes from other measuring stations on Spitsbergen (Svalbards main island), but the data have been adjusted to also account for Svalbard Airport. (could make an interesting study).
And there is a photo of the station, probably taken from the runway:
http://met.no/filestore/svalbard_lufthavn2.jpg
In 2006, the runway was made 160 meters longer and 3 meters wider on each side. From the construction company’s own measurements, the temperature of the runway surface ranges from -44 degrees celsius to +22 degrees celsius (!). A new terminal building was begun constructed the same year, and was operational in 2007.
In 1989, construction was undertaken to insulate the runway surface from the permafrost in the ground. As the permafrost beneath the surface has melted, due to the surface temperature of the runway, the runway became bumpy. This project was deemed “partly successful”.
My guess is that insulating the runway surface from the cold permafrost below, would tend to increase the surface temperature, as the cooling effect of the cold permafrost would diminish. This effect could be significant, as the difference between a surface temperature of up to 22 degrees in summer and the permafrost (around 0 degrees) is quite large. Insulation would make the surface temperature higher, and would make it cool off much slower in evenings as sunlight fades.

Captain Cosmic

If you search the various METARs databases for Svalbard (ICAO code ENSB) the coordinates given suggest that the weather station is about half a mile to the NW of the airport. 78 15 01N 15 28 01E. This seems a bit of a strange thing to do though – pilots want to know the weather on the runway not the weather half a mile away! So it may be some sort of typo.
Don’t know if that helps any.

Pamela Gray

This airport heat island affect, and the lesser urban bump through town, may show topography effects (the airport is in a shallow canyon that would encourage warmer inland airflow towards the sea versus sea breezes onto land), AND urban heat island effects. Local topography can produce major local affects: well defined pockets of cold and warmth in an around urban areas that will show up even on the most idyllic setting for a temperature gauge. It isn’t always about urban heat from humans. It could be the lay of the land as well. That might be the case here. Regardless, the outcome is the same. A temperature gauge might be picking up topography effects (which will be influenced by weather pattern oscillations) as well as human influences at the local level that will then be mistakenly -or not- gridded to represent an entire region.

Pamela Gray

To expand on topography, when the northern Pacific is cold, the topography of the coastal areas will demonstrate changes in warm and cool breezes (and pockets of temperature differences) that stick around till the ocean warms up again. When it does, these same pockets of warm and cool breezes will change with this oscillation. Temperature gauges located in urban heat islands may not be so sensitive. They just keep getting warmer from baseline (one story wooden structure, no parking lot) to completed construction (surrounded by asphalt next to a tall brick building).

nednead says:
May 13, 2010 at 2:18 am

Interesting, now you believe in the positive albedo effect. So it works over the tarmac but not over the sea ice? I wonder how that can be? How do you determine when it matters and when it doesn’t? Do you have surfaces you allow to have a positive feedback effect and those you do not? Strange indeed…

Water gets very reflective at low angles of incidence, such as the Arctic circle. That is why you get significant glare off the sea at sunrise and sunset everywhere.
Tarmac, on the other hand, does not. The most glare to be seen on tarmac seems to be in the middle of the day in my experience. I am not sure how the physics of that works, however, but it certainly absorbs heat, even at low angles of incidence.
So the answer to your question is ‘observation’, as opposed to the speculation which seems to be very much in vogue among those pushing the ever-floundering Hidden Global Warming hypothesis (if it can even be dignified with such a label).

Theo Goodwin

Anthony writes:
“Maybe somebody can convince them to get off their taxpayer funded butts and away from their computer screens someday and do some field work.”
God Bless Anthony. Hansen and friends are Cartesians. They lie abed until noon daily and meditate on their deductive schemes.

Climate isn’t the only place where our past is constantly changing.

Erik

@Geir in Norway says:
May 13, 2010 at 1:04 am
On high time! Thanks so much! We Norwegians have recently been served this scary story about Svalbard warming up according to the latest “research”:
http://www.aftenposten.no/klima/article3646095.ece
—————————————————————————————-
Just mailed the Author Mr. OLE MAGNUS RAPP the two WUWT links

tommy

And this same island had palm trees and tropical animals a few millions years ago even though it was located at around same latitude as today..