How not to measure temperature (or climate change) #96

From the “global warming data looks better with heat-sinks and air conditioners” department.

Dr. Mark Albright, of the University of Washington writes:

Here is a great example of how NOT to measure the climate! On our way back to Tucson from Phoenix on Monday we stopped by to see the Picacho 8 SE coop site at Picacho Peak State Park. Note the white MMTS temperature monitor 1/3 of the way in from the left. The building is surrounded by the natural terrain of the Sonoran Desert, but instead the worst possible site adjacent to the paved road and SW facing brick wall was chosen in 2009 as the location to monitor temperature.

Here is a view looking Northeast:

Picacho8SE-looking-NE

For an aerial view in google maps:
https://www.google.com/maps/place/32°38’45.9%22N+111°24’06.9%22W/@32.6461088,-111.4018201,111m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0x0?hl=en

The NCEI HOMR metadata repository tells us:
COMPATABLE EQUIPMENT MOVE 55 FEET DUE WEST. EQUIPMENT MOVED 05/06/2009. (that is when the new state park visitor center was built)

http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/homr/#ncdcstnid=20001376&tab=MISC

Additional photos:

Picacho8SE-looking-E

Note the air conditioner heat exchangers within a few feet of the MMTS sensor:Picacho8SE-looking-N Picacho8SE-looking-NW Picacho8SE-looking-SE


 

Picacho 8 SE has it all: brick building, parking lot, road, and air conditioner heat exchangers within a few feet of the MMTS sensor.

This one takes the cake, and I think it is worse than our former worst-case USHCN station (now closed) located in a parking lot in Tucson at the University of Arizona:

Tucson-USHCN

Picacho 8 SE is a COOP site, not part of USHCN, but it (along with others) is used as basis for the adjustments to the stations that have not been compromised. This is the crux of the problem, and why it is so important to seek out the good and unperturbed stations for their record, and discard the rest. No amount of general purpose algorithms and adjustments can fix garbage temperature data produced by stations like this, nor should we even try. This is a Class 5 station, the worst of the worst, and should be closed rather than continuing to pollute the climate dataset.

In our AGU 2015 poster and press release, it was stated:

“The majority of weather stations used by NOAA to detect climate change temperature signal have been compromised by encroachment of artificial surfaces like concrete, asphalt, and heat sources like air conditioner exhausts. This study demonstrates conclusively that this issue affects temperature trend and that NOAA’s methods are not correcting for this problem, resulting in an inflated temperature trend. It suggests that the trend for U.S. temperature will need to be corrected.” He [Watts} added: “We also see evidence of this same sort of siting problem around the world at many other official weather stations, suggesting that the same upward bias on trend also manifests itself in the global temperature record”

“Our viewpoint is that trying to retain stations with dodgy records and adjusting the data is a pointless exercise. We chose simply to locate all the stations that DON”T need any adjustments and use those, therefor sidestepping that highly argumentative problem completely. Fortunately, there was enough in the USHCN, 410 out of 1218.”

1. Comprehensive and detailed evaluation of station metadata, on-site station photography, satellite and aerial imaging, street level Google Earth imagery, and curator interviews have yielded a well-distributed 410 station subset of the 1218 station USHCN network that is unperturbed by Time of Observation changes, station moves, or rating changes, and a complete or mostly complete 30-year dataset. It must be emphasized that the perturbed stations dropped from the USHCN set show significantly lower trends than those retained in the sample, both for well and poorly sited station sets.

2. Bias at the microsite level (the immediate environment of the sensor) in the unperturbed subset of USHCN stations has a significant effect on the mean temperature (Tmean) trend. Well sited stations show significantly less warming from 1979 – 2008. These differences are significant in Tmean, and most pronounced in the minimum temperature data (Tmin). (Figure 3 and Table 1)

3. Equipment bias (CRS v. MMTS stations) in the unperturbed subset of USHCN stations has a significant effect on the mean temperature (Tmean) trend when CRS stations are compared with MMTS stations. MMTS stations show significantly less warming than CRS stations from 1979 – 2008. (Table 1) These differences are significant in Tmean (even after upward adjustment for MMTS conversion) and most pronounced in the maximum temperature data (Tmax).

4. The 30-year Tmean temperature trend of unperturbed, well sited stations is significantly lower than the Tmean temperature trend of NOAA/NCDC official adjusted homogenized surface temperature record for all 1218 USHCN stations.

5. We believe the NOAA/NCDC homogenization adjustment causes well sited stations to be adjusted upwards to match the trends of poorly sited stations.

6. The data suggests that the divergence between well and poorly sited stations is gradual, not a result of spurious step change due to poor metadata.

The result speaks for itself:

Figure 3 - Comparisons of well sited (compliant Class 1&2) USHCN stations to poorly sited USHCN stations (non-compliant, Classes 3,4,&5) by CONUS and region to official NOAA adjusted USHCN data (V2.5) for the entire (compliant and non-compliant) USHCN dataset.

Figure 3 – Tmean Comparisons of well sited (compliant Class 1&2) USHCN stations to poorly sited USHCN stations (non-compliant, Classes 3,4,&5) by CONUS and region to official NOAA adjusted USHCN data (V2.5) for the entire (compliant and non-compliant) USHCN dataset.

Figure4-poster

Figure 4 – Comparisons of 30 year trend for compliant Class 1,2 USHCN stations to non-compliant, Class 3,4,5 USHCN stations to NOAA final adjusted V2.5 USHCN data in the Continental United States

 

 

 

168 thoughts on “How not to measure temperature (or climate change) #96

  1. So what does the data plot from that weather station look like? Is there a noticeable change in 2009 after the station was moved?

      • Thanks. Another apparent Berkeley data ingestion fail. They have the station move in 2011, not 2009 per the cited metadata. OTOH, they have regional expectation quality control fails thereafter. Presumably too hot.

      • Well the visitors’ centre was built in June 2009, at least that is the date of the move. How good was the siting before the move ?!

        It does appear from the “break point adjusted” graph at Berkeley that the station record was notably too high from 2009-2011 and then about half the error gets corrected.

        The other two adjustments may reflect that it was too volatile in comparison to regional neighbouring sites which may have more greenery. It ran too warm during 1995-2003 , then apparently showed more cooling 2003-2010

        This may be due to it’s obviously arid nature. Dry rock / sand has about half the heat capacity of soil or ‘moist rock’ . An important factor in sensitivity to incoming radiation is available moisture . [ Geoffroy 2015]

        This kind of land record bias gets roughly doulbed when land temps are added to sea temps to form GMST ‘average’.

        See recent discussion at Judith’s.
        https://judithcurry.com/2016/02/10/are-land-sea-temperature-averages-meaningful/

      • In January 2009 WUWT carried a discussion of the mysterious “big red spot” near Florence. Picacho peak came up in the head-scratching:

        Gary A.
        January 10, 2009 at 4:38 pm

        “Picacho Peak State Park is open. Please note that our new Visitor Center is still under construction, but the park is open for public use. The new Visitor Center is scheduled to be completed by the end of February 2009. Thank you for your understanding.”

        Going from memory now, so caveat emptor. Shortly after this discussion I tried to get a picture of the Picacho Peak park site. The ranger declined to give permission or disclose the exact location, because the station was at that time near to a residence and he felt there was a privacy issue. I think he did indicate that changes were in the works.

        Wonder if Dr. Albright had to pay the entrance fee to get in…?

      • Can’t expect them to walk too far in the summer heat. I’m just surprised that the Coop isn’t inside the AC room for easy monitoring.

      • Bryan A February 17, 2016 at 2:30 pm

        Can’t expect them to walk too far in the summer heat. I’m just surprised that the Coop isn’t inside the AC room for easy monitoring.

        Don’t be silly, the cooler would result in a decrease in temperature. We all know that NEVER happens! ;-)

    • Well that shadow of the gizmo, would be coming from a early afternoon sun, when it is nice and toasty.

      Fortunately red brick is known of to be a very poor reflector in the solar spectrum and IR region. nobody in his right mind would make a telescope mirror out of red brick.

      Well that stuff is such a poor reflector, I can barely see what it is; but now it looks more like concrete artificial brick, instead of the real thing.

      Well its a pretty clever arrangement, the solar energy may go right through that concrete, so when the sun moves back around to the North East, the building wouldn’t stop all of it from getting to the gizmo.

      g

  2. Excellent post Anthony!

    Bad data is worse than no data. Especially for this type of investigation where you’re looking at pretty sensitive (to change in outcome/trend) data. It typically leads to wrong conclusions and thinking. See it all the time in Clinical Data……

    • “Bad data is worse than no data.”

      Indeed. That’s why the saying “its not what you don’t know that gets you in trouble. Its what you know that simply isn’t true” is so important to remember.

      • Well actually all that is in that can, is a counter that counts the number of sunny days, which they detect by looking for a reflection from the concrete blocks.

        g

      • ..Evan Jones, please explain how you can ” Correct ” bad data ? I love the JoNova website BUT this makes no sense to me !

      • Evan Jones wrote, “On the other hand, bad data — if accompanied by good metadata — potentially can be corrected.” Lawyers love to hear that kind of talk about prescriptions. It’s why they advertise for customers who have been harmed by taking a particular prescription. The initial rollout fails to mention you could have a heart attack if you take this new whizbang pill, precisely because they pumped up bad data with good metadata. Abracadabra: The new shiny pill is safe because we made the data say Uncle.

      • Youse guys are going to have me sounding like Mosh.

        Good data is better. But bad data can sometimes be corrected.

        All surface station data (arguably other than CRN) is bad data. All of it. Quite apart form the siting issue, the equipment itself is biased.

        A CRS unit has an inherent trend bias — pimped up Tmax, dumbed down Tmin. as a result of the box itself (paint issues make it worse). MMTS conversion creates jumps.

        I can correct for that. I do. Even our unperturbed Class 1\2 data must be corrected for equipment bias.

        One cannot achieve perfection. But sometimes one can identify issues and improve otherwise downright incorrect data to the level of usefulness.

        Or, as in the case of NOAA, make it worse.

      • Evan Jones February 17, 2016 at 8:51 pm
        Youse guys are going to have me sounding like Mosh.

        Good data is better. But bad data can sometimes be corrected….

        Mmm, “corrected” data is subject to additional potential error sources. You can treat it as “data” in the same way as “good” data, but the identification and correction of the error becomes problematic, particularly because there is a “should” implicit in any correction. A correction assumes we actually know what the reading “should” have been at some degree of accuracy.

      • Yes, every correction is subject to MoE. And a regional correction is not necessarily applicable to an individual station even if the offset difference is used rather than the offset.

        But, no, corrections do not imply that you knew the “correct” result beforehand and are dickering with the data to achieve that result. Or at least it shouldn’t. When I apply a jump correction for equipment change, I don’t know what the effect on Tmin or Tmax will be until I see the results.

        What is important (and not generally done) is to show both raw and adjusted data, explain what you did to it and why, all in a manner that can be easily replicated.

        When things get too complex, there is more and more mush for confirmation bias to rule. As a game designer/developer creating historical “models”, I am all too aware of that and have seen all to much of that. When VeeV wants me to feed my stuff into his black box, my impulse is to infer (from the results) what is going into the black box and create on my own a cruder, but entirely transparent and understandable box that can be understood and discussed — positively or negatively — by anyone.

      • P.S.: Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it.

        Just because some folks are doing it wrong doesn’t necessarily mean it can’t be done right.

      • “Evan Jones February 17, 2016 at 8:51 pm
        Youse guys are going to have me sounding like Mosh.

        Good data is better. But bad data can sometimes be corrected….”

        Perhaps, but sometimes it can not.

        How does one determine which bad data is reasonably correctable and which is not? And how does one know that the corrections are within reason?

      • If you have the data and metadata, and if know what to correct in the first place, you can take a good shot.

        But when you do you are playing with fire. Fire is a useful tool, but it is fraught with inherent dangers. Homogenization is juggling with nitro. Proceed with care.

        NOAA adjustments appear to be incorrect and incomplete. They have strayed and not followed the full path. But that does not mean it cannot be done in such a way as to improve rather than further damage the results.

        Having said all that, proper metadata is often lacking outside the USHCN. For that matter, raw data, being incorrect, no correction will ever get it perfect. Certainly not on a station-by station basis.

        We do not strive for perfection; we cannot. Yet we can strive for advantage. We do. We will.

      • NOAA adjustments appear to be incorrect and incomplete. They have strayed and not followed the full path. But that does not mean it cannot be done in such a way as to improve rather than further damage the results.
        Having said all that, proper metadata is often lacking outside the USHCN. For that matter, raw data, being incorrect, no correction will ever get it perfect. Certainly not on a station-by station basis.
        We do not strive for perfection; we cannot. Yet we can strive for advantage. We do. We will.

        How do you know if what you end up with is better or worse?

      • One can never be 100% certain. But NOAA has gone full illogical over equipment adjustment and I haven’t even looked at their TOBS correction yet. They fail to account for microsite in any meaningful manner.

        The best way to ensure the best result is complete transparency of method. No black boxes need apply.

      • ” The best way to ensure the best result is complete transparency of method. No black boxes need apply.”
        I tell my data customers unless you can guarantee your results are correct, you’re better to not “fix” it at all.

      • But raw data won’t do. It clearly needs to be fixed. There can be no guarantee of accuracy; this is an ongoing effort.

        NOAA adjustments make the matter worse. But we think our own (unperturbed Class 1\2 stations stations plus equipment adjustment) are a great improvement, and while they cannot capture the entire spectrum, they improve accuracy rather than detract from it.

        As I say, we will provide transparent methods and data. Others (hostile or not) will review this and, no doubt, will offer suggestions that will improve it further. But there are no guarantees in this game — except the guarantee that the raw data is unreliable and should not be used as such.

      • ” except the guarantee that the raw data is unreliable and should not be used as such.”
        And yet, I think it’s obvious that the corrected data is worse.
        And the raw data is perfectly useful to collect station trend data, absolutes are not needed, trends are.

      • Yes and no.

        Bad data makes bad trends, whether raw or badly adjusted.

        The correct solution is to tackle the adjustments and make them correctly. Which I am doing.

      • The correct solution is to tackle the adjustments and make them correctly. Which I am doing.

        But there is no way to tell if it is right.

        That’s the problem with any blind change to data, how can you confirm something you don’t have (the true value) based only on what you think might have altered the data you have, and no way to go back and verify your change is an improvement and by how much was it improved.

        REPLY — The idea is not to do it blind. Always give full reasons and exact details. The way NOAA does it, it makes the problems worse. The reasons are obvious and easily explained. Neither is it (or can it) be just right. That opportunity was blown the day the data was written. It can be made better instead of worse, and can be explained in a logical manner. Numbers and red flags included. ~ Evan

  3. Besides the two A/C condensing units, the third pad-mounted object in the enclosure next to the large electrical disconnect is a dry-type 480V/208V transformer. Also a good 365d/24h continuous heat source.

    • Good observations. Bad sensor location. But the condensing unit is probably not the biggest problem here, as the unit sucks ambient air in through the sides (coils) and blows it upward at 500 fpm or so, at which point it will continue to rise due to being warmer air. Except for odd wind currents sometimes reversing this upflow, the condensing unit will actually cause unaffected ambient air flow across the sensor box.

      • Louis,

        When air is pulled into something and then forcefully ejected from it, it changes the air flow around it right? Since there are TWO, LARGE air conditioning units there, most likely running 24 hours a day, and the air flow behind them is almost completely restricted, isn’t it possible that those units “suck” in and “blow out” with enough force to create a mini air current of their own that pulls heat rising from that asphalt towards them? If so, that gauge is directly in the path of that asphalt heated air.

        Is that cover (on the gauge) made out of a PVC type plastic or metal painted white? Every single element near that “white” gauge is darker than that gauge and made of rock, cement, brick or asphalt which causes heat to be absorbed more and released more slowly than the “white” gauge in that same location. So even at night, as the asphalt cools the most slowly of all of the other elements around that gauge, those air conditioning units could be pulling that slow to cool air over that sensor and making it appear as though night time temps aren’t falling as quickly or as much as they actually are….

        Am I making sense?

  4. Anthony, is it possible to generate a chart that goes all the way through 2015 using only well cited stations? I realize that the ones that were well cited in 2008, might not be well cited any more, but if they are, I’d love to see the trend through the entire “hiatus” period.

    This report took a Hurculean effort by you, your coauthors, and a huge number of volunteers. You all deserve scientific medals and accolades. Thank you!

    • Second that! Are there any volunteers here in the UK to do a similar excercise I wonder? I think I’ve seen pictures of one or two airports which weren’t airports some decades ago. Most of the airfields in Britain were built with A form concrete runways with perimeter track and dispersal bays — about 200 of them — in an enormous construction job in 1941/42 and many have been converted for commercial use since the war. Including Heathrow. Many have gone back to farm land.

      • The worst sited temperature monitors I have ever seen are at Seville airport in southern Spain, right next to the tarmac, close to buildings and occasionally fanned with the hot plumes of jet exhaust.

        Seville is a very hot place in mid summer and I wouldn’t mind better this monitor gives you serious ‘global warming’ before homogenisation and a lot more afterwards.

      • A few years ago potential surveys were mentioned regarding other countries. It seems some nations are not fond of picture taking and the like around public facilities. This might be a good way to get shot or just picked up by police and questioned. More reason now than ever.
        A sad state of affairs but I can see the point.

      • Actually that Seville airport Temperature monitor is right where it needs to be, because that’s what the plane crews need to know to see if it is safe to take off.
        Airline pilots don’t give a rip about global warming; only landing and take off conditions; specially the landing part.

        Take off is entirely optional; the rest of the flight is mandatory !

        G

    • another in agreement here. the importance of anthony and his teams work on this issue cannot be overstated.

    • I realize that the ones that were well cited in 2008, might not be well cited any more, but if they are, I’d love to see the trend through the entire “hiatus” period.

      And it will take a long time to evaluate that (and the other metadata). Probably save it for followup.

      2005 – 2014 saw a strong cooling signal in the US. As expected, the poorly sited USHCN shows much more cooling than CRN, just as it showed exaggerated warming during the warming periods.

    • Aphan: Re my earlier reply to RonPE: Is there something about the terms “suck in” and “blow out” that makes you uncomfortable enough to put them in quotation marks? I was only trying to explain that the heat generated by a condensing unit with vertical discharge doesn’t ordinarily affect a nearby sensor any more that other normal thermal effects in the area..

  5. The more they can pre-cook the data, the less fudging they need to do afterwards. More efficient that way.

  6. To be honest you’d think it might occur to someone to abandon that hopeless morass and use radiosonde confirmed LT satellite data instead. Or did I miss something really obvious there?

      • The adjustments made to sat data are large but fairly simple. The adjustments made to surface stations (except CRN, I hope) are large and relatively complex. Even our unperturbed (both well and poorly sited) data must be adjusted both for CRS trend max-min distortion and jumps for equipment conversion.

        And that alone can make a cooling station warm and a warming station cool. Or warm more. Or cool more. Or hardly change the trend at all. CRS adjustment is easy to apply. But MMTS conversion jumps are all over the place (as H&L-06 correctly observes).

  7. Its time for the National Weather Service to break away from NOAA. I think that they would function better as a scientific organization if they weren’t under NOAA’s control and oversight. Its time for some of the nations meteorologists and climatologists (not all of them have been bought off or are bad) to quit catering to special interest groups, lobbyists, and government payoffs (grants for research) and to play quit playing politics with the weather. I long for the days of integrity and honesty from these folks to return.

  8. We’ve had several Senate hearings on the climate. Has the question of station siting ever been raised? Have the bureaucrats involved ever been called on to account for their choices?

    • Comrade, yes the question has been raised, Dr. Curry, among others has noted the problems with both measurement and data adjustment in various testimony.

      No the bureau-trash has not been held accountable for anything, although there are some efforts with Senator Alexander out in front. Although when you have a prez who’s dumb enough to think that all the Marines are dead, (aka Marine Corpse)… then you might just have issues getting anything done.

  9. More evidence of NOAA ineptitude. The switch to state by state NClimDiv in 2014 swept in COOP stations such as this, contributing to NOAAs newest ‘official’ Arizona warming. ‘New and improved’ NClimDiv introduced or increased warming in all but 8 states. For CONUS, it increased the decadal warming rate from 0.088F to 0.135F. Another fine ‘sciency’ contribution from warmunist Tom Karl and his merry band of NOAA rogues.

      • Criminy, Nick. Those coordinates are godawful. Pathetically useless for actually spotting them on Google Earth. Haven’t they discovered GPS yet outside the USHCN? Takes me back to the Bad Old USHCN1 days. Sheesh.

  10. All data is within the margin of error. Considering there is no or infinite margin of error with non-random, non-replicated sample size of one (n=1), that is not really an issue.

    The real issue is that it is incorrect to even generate simple statistics like averages on apples and oranges.

    GIGO

    • I think the entire fed gov, except Defense, should be required to engage in zero-based budgeting every year, and have something like ISO Guidelines to evaluate last years expenditures. The bozos would be doomed-as-doomed could be …

  11. /sarc on/ of course, it’s mitigated by the shadow of the tree in the afternoon. Oh, wait! The tree is too close to the station!!!! Danger Will Robinson… /sarc off/

  12. Anthony: Do you have a gridded map showing how the compliant statIons are situated with respect to the USCRN locations?

  13. Why would data from these sites even be considered for climate analyses? Would they accept a surface temp on their child,s pinkey right after hand washing for determining health? Would a comparison of multiples of such measurements give accurate anomalies? Could you get better data by averaging or otherwise manipulating measurements on both hands?
    If the measurement methods are not accurate and taken with reasonably uniform methods they are not trustworthy. Indeed GIGO.

  14. You look at these pictures and then wonder at the so-called “scientist” who claims that the surface record is better than the data from satellites. Better for what purpose one wonders.

      • He emailed it to me.

        Ouch, doesn’t that hurt his career, tenured or not? (Sorry to get cynical).

        I still know a number of these professors from my days at the UW. At some point I need to buy some of them a pile of drinks…

  15. It’s a bad site for sure, but you can measure the derivative of daily and annual temperature change and show the step in temp in 2009, and that over a 24 hour period after 2009 the nightly cooling hasn’t changed since.
    Any temperature increase is from thermal storage, not a loss of cooling.

    • Just curious, do you base this on theory or did you actually check data already?

      Any temperature increase is from thermal storage, not a loss of cooling.

      Can you clarify this? When is temperature increase ever anything other than gaining more heat than losing it?

      • @Chic,
        Yes I studied surface data and did numerous measurements with an IR thermometer.

        I found it cools slightly more at night than it warmed the day before, and it took a long time to figure out how that could be.
        Tropical oceans warm and evaporate lots of water, and that water is carried poleward to cooled.
        The extratropic (I think this the proper term) Jetstream sets the dividing line between warm tropical air and cool dry polar air masses, a shift in the path of the Jetstream, caused by a change in the oceans AMO/PDO can easily change the ratio of the two air masses over the continents, and then poorly thought out processing of surface data in fills large areas with one or the other, and all of a sudden the whole world is warming.

        And my regional derivative charts show large regional shifts, as I would expect them if this were true.

      • micro6500,

        I found it cools slightly more at night than it warmed the day before, and it took a long time to figure out how that could be.

        How can this be? If night was always cooler than the previous day, minimum temperature would continually drop and the daily temperature range would have to increase on average to maintain at least a constant temperature.

        Is there some reference where your experience is documented in more detail? With this kind of behavior going on, how in the world (no pun intended) is a daily min/max average temperature considered acceptable for a measurement of land, let alone ocean, temperatures?

      • How can this be? If night was always cooler than the previous day, minimum temperature would continually drop and the daily temperature range would have to increase on average to maintain at least a constant temperature.

        As I mentioned I believe it’s the heat of water vapor that was evaporated in the tropics moving onto the continents. Same reason why most of the east coast had a warm winter, tropical air out of the gulf displaced Canadian which is 15-20F degrees warmer. Same thing happens in the summer.

        Is there some reference where your experience is documented in more detail? With this kind of behavior going on, how in the world (no pun intended) is a daily min/max average temperature considered acceptable for a measurement of land, let alone ocean, temperatures?

        https://micro6500blog.wordpress.com/2015/11/18/evidence-against-warming-from-carbon-dioxide/
        Charts, descriptions, and links to code and the data used to create the charts, plus a half dozen ways the data was sliced. If you don’t like the way I sliced it.

        I believe it is quite useful in detecting the change in temps, not the absolute value. But I also don’t believe surface station can determine a global average, most of the planet isn’t measured. But you can see what happened at a large number of stations that are placed around the world.

    • If only it were that simple. If it was only an offset step change, then that would work. However, this fundamentally changes the shape of the graph. A/C units in particular exacerbate measurement of hot days since they add to the temperature in the immediate area proportionally to the building’s load (which is not only temperature-dependent, but based on how much the building is used). You also can’t use the difference across the switch as your delta since the change from day to day or year to year is multiple times the decade trend. If you ran the two locations concurrently for several years to get a baseline delta, I could see it working. However, that just doesn’t happen. Trying to adjust for such a change will obliterate your data completely.

      You can actually see the effect of such actions in homogenization graphs, which effectively take the delta and replace the existing trend with the regional trend. While it might be interesting for a local trend, it then makes it useless for determining regional trends as you have replaced what you are looking for with what you “should” find plus the noise from the original.

      Furthermore, a number of issues are caused by encroachment, where an area gradually becomes built up, so they can’t.

  16. “withing” should be “within” in the picture caption.

    …just mentioning…

    [Noted. Peer-review works! .mod]

  17. The only examples of worse siting that comes to mind is placement of mainstream media craniums. They are apparently kept in warm, dark, moist, odiferous places with atmospheres very rich in methane.

  18. Tremendous work Anthony. I hope you get some enjoyment from this. I also really admire the work and messages from Patrick Moore but he always comes across as grumpy.

  19. Anthony :

    It must be emphasized that the perturbed stations dropped from the USHCN set show significantly lower trends than those retained in the sample,

    Huh?

    Seems at odds with fig. 4

    • We reveal this, because otherwise we would be accused of cherry picking stations. That’s right, we rejected stations that would have improved our result because they failed other criteria.

    • Yes.

      TOBS bias looms large. Also, one (obviously) cannot rate a station after a move unless one knows the previous location.

  20. 5. We believe the NOAA/NCDC homogenization adjustment causes well sited stations to be adjusted upwards to match the trends of poorly sited stations.

    As a corollary to the land + sea temp averaging issue linked above: this arid site raises another issue.

    In the same way that land will bias up the land+sea average because of it’s lower heat capacity, arid sites will ramp up the mean of land averages.

    If we just want stats about average temperatures we live in the straight average is probably as good as anything. However, if this average is to be used to climate sensitivity calculations, arid sites will disproportionately increase the mean temperature.

    The key point is that according to the laws of physics and thermodynamics, temperatures can not be added and averaged. To get a physically meaningful average it needs to be weighted by the climate sensitivity or heat capacity of the site. That gives an energy quantity which can be properly added and thus averaged.

    See the update at end of article.
    https://climategrog.wordpress.com/2016/02/09/are-land-sea-averages-meaningful-2/

  21. “5. We believe the NOAA/NCDC homogenization adjustment causes well sited stations to be adjusted upwards to match the trends of poorly sited stations.”

    Why would a well sited station need to be adjusted by anything other than possibly a near-by well sited station?

  22. I agree that there isn’t a way to properly adjust the temperature readings at that station. Sometimes it may be 2 degrees F or more higher than it should, sometimes only 1 degree higher and sometimes it may actually be correct. Without knowing when the AC was running, how long the station was cloud covered, the wind direction, precipitation times and amounts, and more; readings at other somewhat “neighboring” stations, including properly sited ones, may have absolutely no knowable relationship to that station’s readings.

    • Can’t ever be correct except twice a day as the temperature curve of this arid site possibly intersects with the real temperature, Look at the surface below the station, if I was trying to heat an area by thermal intertia this is how I would do it.

  23. “issue affects temperature trend and that NOAA’s methods are not correcting for this problem, resulting in an inflated temperature trend.”

    Nearly right. How about
    “… NOAA’s methods CANNOT corre ct the problem – and that is the real problem.”

    And nor can BEST’s nor anyone else’s ‘methods’.

    There is an unquantifieable upward bias going forward in time with pretty much the entire data set due to UHI effect and a comparacble bias, for quite different reaosns, in the sea data set. The only reliable data is from the modern balloon and satellite sets and the Argo buoys and they do not have the length of data to base some obsession on.

    • +1

      And of course, shortly after ARGO was rolled out, it showed that the ocean temperatures were cooling. It was assumed that this must be due to some error without ever taking a random sample of buoys back to the laboratory for instrument testing calibration evaluation etc. Instead, they merely deleted from the data set those buoys showing the greatest cooling. That is science in action for you, and demonstrates how seriously they take quality control into consideration.

      There might have been a problem with the ARGO data, but not testing to actually verify that the buoys showing the greatest trend in cooling were actually faulty forever tarnished the record, and the ARGO data must always be viewed with that caveat in mind.

      • They probably did test it and didn’t like the answer they got, sooooooo,…… in the trash bin it goes !

  24. I find it interesting that at the same time this poorly cited coop site was being installed in Arizona in 2009 an effort was underway to produce a first-rate Regional Climate Reference Network of 72 sites throughout the SW states of Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado. This network was indeed opened in 2010 but then was shut down in June 2014 with little fanfare or notice:
    https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/crn/usrcrn/

    -mark albright

    • Hmm. Somehow the existence of the Regional Climate Reference Network escaped my notice here in NH. The Climate Reference Network is a nationwide project and has been running since 2005 or so and I guess is NCEI’s second best kept secret.

  25. Might as well place it on the AC unit or in it if there is no more concern than this. That way it can be serviced together.

  26. It’s ok, we have MODELS that tell us what the temperature should be, so we can save all the money associated with maintaining real temperature sensors. Or perhaps we begin to crowdsource temperature measurements – we have temperature sensors in millions of cars. /sarc.

    • Don’t underestimate how much heat comes off the block wall. I live in Tucson and the wall of my house is too hot to touch in summer after the sun’s been on it (i.e. 50-60C). Lots of mass that will re-radiate that heat back at night as well.

  27. How to force and exploit people. The modern scientific orthodoxy has the same goals as the old orthodoxy covered with a variable sheen of legitimacy.

    Oh, well. We’ll learn how well their models, let alone their axioms, stand up to Nature’s chaos under man and machine’s limited perception, and the inevitable feedback to traditional pursuit of capital and control.

  28. From what I can tell, the Australian temperature siting is no better. If wuwt data is anything to go by, maybe a third is worth using..?

    • Less than a tenth. And only after correction for equipment bias and jumps.

      As third of stations are unperturbed. But only a quarter of those are adequately sited.

      If we can gin up a correction for microsite (not as easy as it sounds), we may be able to largely redeem the remainder.

  29. They’re clearly not serious about science, data, observations or forecasting. No monitoring and a wild-@ss guess would be better than this perversion, pretending to be objective and disinterested data.

    They’re stacking the deck, and they know it.

    And if they don’t know it (which is inconceivable), then excise their records as corrupt and useless data. It’s even more corrupt to know about this behavior, and not do so, and keep presenting trend-lines as ‘climate change science’, rather than just corrupt weather-record logging, by people stacking the deck, or too apathetic to give a stuff. this topic has been around too long now to accept excuses for inaction ad removal of sites. Do you keep using a broken out of calibration thermometer, like there’s nothing wrong with doing that?

    Apparently that would be a yes.

    • They’re stacking the deck, and they know it.

      From what I can tell, they are stacking the deck and they do not know it.

      It’s worse than a crime. It’s a blunder.

      • Evan,

        I respect that you speak in “good faith” terms about them, but how many times does a “blunder” have to be pointed out, and go uncorrected, before it qualifies as deliberate? Crimes of stupidity are still crimes. No criminal intent does not negate a criminal act.

      • If the pointing out comes from people they are biased against and with whom they have harsh word (if any words at all), then they are going to blow it all off. OTOH, one can get some reasonable discussion if it is kept on a civil, professional level.

        Many if not most of the corrections to our 2012 pre-release are a direct (and extremely valuable) result of such discussions, and I am grateful to those who participated.

        Our efforts are an ongoing process.

  30. Whatever the obvious raw problems pointed out here in the lower 48, for the GLOBE, the adjustments made over the last 50 years are quite small, and overall, the adjusted data shows LESS warming than the raw data:
    Figure 2 (second panel) in Karl et al shows global land/ocean raw vs. adjusted: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2015/06/noaa-temperature-record-updates-and-the-hiatus/

    You also can find all the land and ocean data with and without corrections on the NOAA ftp site: ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/scpub201506/

  31. “The NCEI HOMR metadata repository tells us:
    COMPATABLE EQUIPMENT MOVE 55 FEET DUE WEST. EQUIPMENT MOVED 05/06/2009.” The conspiracy theorist in me wonders if anyone has ever searched through that repository to find and analyze all the equipment moves….

    • The google satellite image shows that the pathway has since been concreted over. I’m guessing the site photos are older than the satellite photos.

      I’m simply sunned that they went to the effort of moving the thermometers into the worst possible location. The site from the satellite image shows they could have moved it in any other direction and all would have been well. But no, they placed the thermometer against the west facing wall where the most tarmac was and were the air conditions were situated. It’s worse than amateurish.

  32. Steven Mosher posted this over at Judith’s, last week. It speaks volumes about the temperature record, and about “Climate Scientists'” approach to the media. If any “Climate Scientist” ever said the word “Kludgy” to anyone in the Main Stream Media, and admitted that reporting temperatures to the hundredth of a degree was completely meaningless considering the data, many many heads would explode.

    Engineers such as myself are taught many important rules regarding data, and it continues to amaze me to see an entire so-called scientific field completely ignoring these well-established policies.

    Steven Mosher | February 11, 2016 at 5:39 pm | Reply

    Daryl
    What you are missing is that we have a complex system. If we lived in a perfectly instrumented world, a lab beaker, we could probably define one metric collect it with precision and do experiments.
    But the earth system is not a lab beaker. We don’t have perfect measurement systems. There is no repeating experiments in a controlled fashion.

    If we were forced by some dictator to choose on metric we might choose energy balance at TOA. But we don’t have long or accurate measures of that.

    So we are left with making do. Making do with metrics that only capture the ocean heat content, or land air temps or night time mat, or sst, or surface skin estimates or sea level rise or the brightness temperature from 0-8km, or tree rings, or the size of glaciers or ice sheets, or a metric where we combine sst and sat. We call the last one global temperature.. It’s really an index. One sliver one slice of this complex system. Think of it as judging the performance of a car by averaging it’s top speed and speed in the corner.. It’s an indicator, nothing more.

    Lacking the perfect we make do with a whole collection of imperfect, sometimes kludgy, metrics.

    Here is the rub. All of those metrics tell the story.
    The earth is warmer. The best current explanation for that warming is that forcing has increased.
    There are two types of forcing. Human and natural.
    The best imperfect explanation says that humans account for more than half of the increase in forcing.

    Now you can, as OJ’s defense lawyers did, throw all sorts of doubt at each separate piece of evidence. And you could win a case if the decision required knowledge beyond a reasonable doubt. But that’s really quite different from trying to provide the best understanding. Science tries to provide the best understanding.

    • “There are two types of forcing. Human and natural.”

      Better, and more intellectual accurate IMHO, would be “There are two types of forcing. Natural and Unnatural.”

      Followed by: “The best imperfect explanation says we don’t know enough about the Natural forcings to determine how much effect the Unnatural forcings may have.”

      That would require an honest scientist to admit he/she doesn’t know everything and some scientists posting here have actually said that.

    • If I’m understanding kludginess correctly, it’s that defendants are all guilty but if they can throw enough doubt around, they can unjustly win cases.

  33. Many an experienced gardener will explain that the best way to grow tropical plants such as frangipani in the cool temperate climates found south of Sydney is to replicate the temperature of a tropical climate and one of the best ways to do that is to plant near a brick wall that receives plenty of sunshine.
    Maybe NOAA also understands this trick?

  34. OK, are you going to make google for ” frangipan ” or are you going to tell me whether it is edible or not ?

    • I’ve never eaten them but as with many plants Marcus yes I believe the flowers of the frangipani are edible.

      • “All flowers are edible. But some of them are poisonous. :)”

        You’ll be eating crow-flowers. Edible is fit to eat, safe to eat etc. Not just possible to swallow.

      • Are “crow flowers” edible? :) (teasing)

        I’ll be sure to try to include the word “teasing” in my silly posts because obviously the smiley face at the end of my previous comment wasn’t enough of an indicator for you personally.

    • Fragipanni

      A useful contribution would be a nice change when you decide to hit the “post comment” button Marcus.

      • “A useful contribution would be a nice change when you decide to hit the “post comment” button Marcus.”

        It’s always amusing when someone attempts to make the behavior of another look a certain way, while behaving in the exact manner they are condemning. Or what that a shining example of what you consider to be a “useful contribution”?

  35. Why can our government afford to buy and put up barriers to open parks and road pull outs during a government shutdown, yet cannot buy a few hundred feet of wire and that property calibrate said weather station for the extra wire, my guess is either they are lazy are dishonest in what they are measuring. I am really tired of educated morons who are moron and lazy constantly getting the soap box to push their loony ideas on us all.

    • I can safely say that politics is all soap box all the time.
      Oh, and I’m sure you can figure out where “morons” fits too.

  36. and what a weird way of doing brickwork – why haven’t they overlapped the perpendiculars like builders normally do when building brick or block walls?
    Those walls can have zero strength, I wouldn’t go in there even while a big truck was driving past, let alone on a windy day or if any chance of earth tremors. The thing would just crumble.

    • Peta, that’s called a stack bond. And they are not brick, they are block, big difference. Odds are they are cultured block, anyway.

    • Most likely because it’s “facade” bricking on the building. They manufacture “veneer” stones that weight hardly anything (and they can make them look exactly like any type and color of rock you can imagine) and apply them to the outsides of homes and buildings so they look as if they are actually constructed out of them when they aren’t.

      It’s been a very, very long time since I actually saw a new building in which the exterior walls were actually constructed out of solid bricks/blocks and nothing else. And the ones I’ve seen in the past, have been drilled through and injected with re-bar for structural strength.

    • I think Peta is correct. They are blocks stacked in vertical columns instead of the usual overlapped. The low wall in front is definitely block work, and the lower 20 blocks of the building use alternating exposed block texture, some of which are the same as the low wall. This is no façade.

      An errant vehicle only needs to bump that low wall and it would collapse. They are all solid blocks stacked vertically.

      • “”””I think Peta is correct. They are blocks stacked in vertical columns instead of the usual overlapped.””””

        Yes, it’s called a ‘stacked bond’.

        “””They manufacture “veneer” stones that weight hardly anything (and they can make them look exactly like any type and color of rock you can imagine)”””

        Yep, it’s called Cultured Stone, or Cultured block. And they are heavy, no façade about them. They get laid up to the existing wall, which holds it in place. It’s like frosting a cake and sticking on sprinkles.

        The Veneer products are usually sheets of your preferred ‘look’, weighing very little and attached to an existing wall.

        There’s really quite a “Science” to it. Undoubtedly, which brings to thought the use of words that can totally change the outcome of any said discussion.
        Which made me think precisely this…..

        Anthony, as I read here quite often, one thing which I would like to point out about the simplicity of words and their meanings.
        As you wrote about your photos, you stated that the building were brick, when actually they are not brick.
        As I’ve pointed out, they are block. Of course ! this is not meant as criticism ( towards you) since we can’t all know everything!… But my point being, is that when simple mistakes are made, it can become such a different outcome.

        It really is the same thing that is talked about here all the time.

        There is quite a “Science” to laying brick, block, Cultured or otherwise, poured concrete walls verses laid block, re-bar re-enforced or not.
        Different procedures for each application, different outcomes for each method, ect..

  37. Reblogged this on Climatism and commented:
    NOAA and NASA say UHI isn’t important. Therefore they do not make the obvious adjustments necessary to compensate for UHI affected sites such as this when calculating their “Hottest Year Ever”.

    Satellites (UAH/RSS) don’t have asphalt car parks, AC exhausts or human development located next to them, which is probably why they show no global warming, at all, over the past 18+ years.

    • NOAA and NASA say UHI isn’t important. Therefore they do not make the obvious adjustments necessary to compensate for UHI affected sites such as this when calculating their “Hottest Year Ever”.
      Satellites (UAH/RSS) don’t have asphalt car parks, AC exhausts or human development located next to them, which is probably why they show no global warming, at all, over the past 18+ years.

      Point an IR thermometer at asphalt and then a grassy area on a sunny day and then tell me there’s no UHI.

      • Heck, you can do the same thing the morning after a sunny day in the summer before the Sun even comes up, and the asphalt is still warm, and the grass will be quite cool.

      • UAH / RSS measure the “upper air”. Part of the atmosphere well above Earth’s surface. And the precise point where AGW is supposed to be measured.
        – far from car parks and asphalt.

      • far from car parks and asphalt

        I shouldn’t have included that part, but I also assumed people would realize that NOAA and NASA [produce] GAT based on surface stations, which are right next to asphalt parking lots.
        Nasa has satellites measuring temperatures, but they don’t actually produce those GAT’s UAH/GSS does.

  38. Not only is this station not in USHCN, or in GHCN-M, and so not used in the GISS or NOAA global indices, but it seems it is not currently used in the much larger setfor the new nClimDiv for the CONUS average. The complete inventory for that is in this 294 Mb file, and the most recent month in which station USC00026513 (PICACHO 8 SE) was used was Feb 2014.

    • So this is a poorly sited station for which the data produced is not used for anything useful. That must mean our government has paid for the installation, operation and maintenance of what passes for a weather station. I am not surprised.

  39. A friend purposely surrounded his swimming pool (in the cold UK) with a very similar brick wall, to keep the pool warm. And it did a brilliant job, storing and reradiating the midday heat well into the afternoon.

    R

  40. UHI effects on surface temp trends is a much better, Occams Razor explanation than the CO2 GHE hypothesis considering the lack of trend in TLT balloon & satellite data sets.

    • UHI effects on surface temp trends is a much better, Occams Razor explanation than the CO2 GHE hypothesis considering the lack of trend in TLT balloon & satellite data sets.

      And, we you look at the difference between today’s warming and tonight’s cooling over a years time and many different stations, I would expect Co2 to reduce cooling, leading to an increase of temperature. What I find is over the period of 1940 to 2014 there is a slight cooling, it cools slightly more over night that the prior days warming.

      The last part took me a while to figure out, how could it cool more than it warmed?
      Then I realized air masses move, in particular the tropical oceans warm and evaporate tremendous amount of of water, that then blows inland where it cools.

      But to your point, there is no sign of a loss of cooling at night in surface data (the actual station data, not the published trash that masquerades as temperature data).

  41. Ok lets face it land based temperatures from 1922 cannot be compared to land based temperatures of today. There are too many variables and adjusting and re-adjusting back and forth through time to get the “real” temperatures might be fun and pull a good paycheck but is next to useless.

    Satellite data also has variability to deal with, but much less volatile and much easier to measure. Satellite data currently is our only hope of measuring temperature over time. Just scrap the land based stuff, it is a waste of money and resources and is harmful when presented as authoritative.

  42. all quoted temprture readings are done from termometers in the shade and called air tempreture

    [Speal cheek is you’re fiend. .mod]

  43. Some years ago we built a house that faces where the sun rises on the shortest day of the year.
    I can still remember getting out in the field on that very cold winters day and waiting for the sun to rise just to see exactly where it rose over the surrounding hills, and stepping out the site of the house and hammering pegs into the ground to make sure we had it right.
    Never had to use heating, or very little in the following winters, the house was lovely and warm by early morning, due to the heating effect of the winter sun hitting concrete floors from sunrise, and dark brown bricks, and later in the day and in summer when we didn’t need the heat, the wide eves and narrow end of house kept the sun/heat out.
    We used the heat from the sun to achieve all the warming and cooling we needed. Today we power our house with solar panels on our roof, and contribute what we don’t use to the grid, again another house that faces the right way for the sun to heat in winter, and wide eves on the north and western sides.

  44. Who is the dolt that placed that “weather” station in that location ? Why not just put it in front of a gas fireplace ? Is there no criteria for collecting accurate weather data ? At least satellite data isn’t subject to
    human induced bias . That can’t seriously be considered a ” weather station ” . Any scientist who chose that as a valid weather station should be fired .

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