Quote of the Week: That time when climate science believed UHI was causing most of the twentieth century warming

AMS fellow Joe D’Aleo writes of a time when Thomas Karl, former director of the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) actually believed that UHI and station siting was a problem that created a warm bias.

USHCN official weather station at the University of Arizona, Tucson, outside of the Atmospheric Sciences Department. Note that it was measuring the temperature of the parking lot.

He writes:

Tom Karl whose paper in 1988 defined the UHI adjustment for the first version of USHCN (which was removed in version 2) wrote with Kukla and Gavin in a 1986 paper on Urban Warming:

“MeteoSecular trends of surface air temperature computed predominantly from [urban] station data are likely to have a serious warm bias… The average difference between trends [urban siting vs. rural] amounts to an annual warming rate of 0.34°C/decade.  … The reason why the warming rate is considerably higher [may be] that the rate may have increased after the 1950s, commensurate with the large recent growth in and around airports. …

Our results and those of others show that the urban growth inhomogeneity is serious and must be taken into account when assessing the reliability of temperature records.”

Source: https://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/1520-0450(1986)025%3C1265%3AUW%3E2.0.CO%3B2

Local copy: kukla-gavin-karl 1986 (PDF)

Inexplicably, the UHI adjustment Karl argued for was removed in USHCNv2.

Doug Hoyt, once chief scientist at Raytheon wrote:

“It is not out of the realm of possibility that most of the twentieth century warming was urban heat islands.”

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104 thoughts on “Quote of the Week: That time when climate science believed UHI was causing most of the twentieth century warming

  1. funniest part is they “adjusted” climate change theory to say most of the warming would be at night….to make it fit

    • Most of the warming should occur at night, in winter and in the coldest air masses on Earth… Because the so-called greenhouse effect simply slows down the process of radiative cooling.

      • No warming occurs on the night side sophist.

        The lit side does the warming, the darkside cools. hth.

        • 5 down votes from beauties that think the sophistry of ”delayed cooling” is actually warming something up.

          The idiocy is mind blowing,…..

          like putting a blanket on is warming you by slowing cooling, YOU warm you, and the blanket, because you generate heat.

          Nothing natural is generating heat on the darkside it is cooling all night…………..as it loses far more energy than it gains.

          The lit side absorbs far more energy than it losses, it warms…….

        • Gary, the issue David was referencing concerns the nighttime release of the stored daytime energy in the asphalt, concrete, etc. which elevates the normal nighttime temperatures, i.e. increases the minimum recorded temperatures.

          This increase in minimum temperatures is the main number behind the increase in average global temperatures, not the sporadic higher daytime temperatures.

          • This is what he said,………
            ” the so-called greenhouse effect simply slows down the process of radiative cooling.”

            cGary, the issue David was referencing concerns the nighttime release of the stored daytime energy in the asphalt, concrete, etc. which elevates the normal nighttime temperatures, i.e. increases the minimum recorded temperatures.

            Dave however appears to doubt the radiative co2 nonsense.

            You however i’m not sure about.

            Cooling and warming are opposites.
            Things have be warmer at sunset to stay warm longer, concrete etc to raise average night time temps.
            The extra energy has to be there before dark…………because only cooling take place then.

            If you increase the square kilometres of solid surface of the planet, which you do when you build up into the sky you increase the solar energy absorbed and stored in the surfaces.

            And a higher min at sunrise means nothing at all to day time temps,……
            If day break surface temp is 10c, and day time max 30c, starting the day at 11c 12c will not increase daytime max past 30c.

            ps my bad i think both dave latitude and i are on the same hymn sheet.

          • Gary Ashe – July 26, 2018 8:57 pm

            Things have be warmer at sunset to stay warm longer, concrete etc to raise average night time temps. The extra energy has to be there before dark…………because only cooling take place then.

            AAAWWWW, …. comeon, …… Gary …..

            Talking half-truths is more often than not considered to be a disingenuous act, …. except for those who don’t know any better.

            If cloud cover (warm front) moves into the area then evening/nighttime temps will persist longer …… and sometimes will cause a near-surface temperature increase.

            And a higher min at sunrise means nothing at all to day time temps,……

            WRONG!!! …… A higher min at sunrise, …. will, ….. more often than not, …. cause an INCREASE in the daily AVERAGE temperature.

            An increase in any number within a “number set” will automatically cause an increase in the calculated “average number” for said “set” ….. [but only if there was not a larger decrease in another number(s)].

            If day break surface temp is 10c, and day time max 30c, starting the day at 11c 12c will not increase daytime max past 30c.

            WRONG, another half-truth!!! …… A higher min at “day break” oftentimes precedes the “setting” of a new “High Temperature Record” for that day of the year …… for that particular locale.

            Iffen one gets a “jump start” they can usually “jump” higher or farther.

          • Gary writes: And a higher min at sunrise means nothing at all to day time temps,…… If day break surface temp is 10c, and day time max 30c, starting the day at 11c 12c will not increase daytime max past 30c.

            Respectfully, Gary this is wrong. You are confusing temperature at equilibrium – and equilibrium is generally not reached during the daily cycle – with temperature that is slowly responding to changing radiative flux.

            At equilibrium, incoming and outgoing radiation are equal. You are correct that at equilibrium it wouldn’t make any difference whether the low before equilibrium is reached was 10, 11, 12 or even 20 degC.

            However, daily changes in temperature are not in equilibrium with daily changes in irradiation. That can be seen most clearly on the Moon, which rotates only one a month and has a much smaller surface heat capacity than the Earth. Even after 2 weeks of darkness, the dark side of the moon has only cooled to about 120 K, which is still far from equilibrium. The continuously shaded craters at the poles of the Moon are about 40 K.

        • You are mistaking ‘warming-caused by the sun’ and ‘warming-an increase in temperature compared to the past’.

          So the nights have ‘warmed’.

          • BS, I mistook nothing of the sort, solar energy is the only energy that warms the Earths mass in the RGE.

            All energy emitted by that mass is energy transfer and cooling, how the energy permeates the mass as it expands is not warming, it is cooling. of the original solar absorbing mass.

            The thermal energy in the mass of the earth moves from cooling warmed/warming mass to cooler.mass, until it leaves our system.

            Thermalising spectra only exists in one direction. all spectra is not equal.

      • ” in the coldest air”

        Actually in the driest air – cold air usually contains less water molecules per volume so the coldest air is often affected more by a tiny increase in heat from CO2, because the air can hold more water. When night hits, it rapidly cools in places with dry air.

        As the climate warms, the air (even at night and in cold places) will on average become warmer, and able to hold more water molecules per volume, hence more heating shows up there because, on average, gained the most water molecules. In places where it is already warm and the air is close to water vapor saturation, the heat gain will be minimal. Note the use of ‘on average’, because without water up take the warming almost disappears.

        Without water vapor, the amount of warming caused by CO2 would be negligible.

        This ignores the possibility of other feedbacks that might counter such water driven warming. (This begins to sound a lot like the tail wagging the dog…)

        • Which is a fairly large component of UHI here in the Southwest. Our sprawling cities (with yards, golf courses, etc.) and irrigated agriculture surrounding them raise the humidity well above what it is outside of the settled region.

      • Yeah being absorbed by plants as most of it descends into the 1st kilometre of the Atmosphere.

        At daybreak ground levels are 600 ppmv.

        • Surface CO2 increasing past 600 PPMV during the night is not from CO2 descending, but from surface emissions such as from microbes, fungi, molds and animals and burning of fuels, when there is no sunlight that causes atmosphere-stirring convection. During daytime, sunlight causes convection which stirs up the atmosphere, so surface CO2 is closer to the overall atmospheric CO2 concentration. (As opposed to being made much lower by plant photosynthesis.)

          • Donald

            Agreed. I have measure values up to 1100 ppm in the morning. Once an inversion sets in, the emissions from combustion and natural activity (decay or living organisms). During the day, in a light wind, I have measured >800 ppm coming off the ocean SW of the Jakarta airport for the entire working day.

            I get around…and I have never measured a steady value as low as 400 ppm. Typical is 500-600 near the ground.

          • Donald L. Klipstein

            Surface CO2 increasing past 600 PPMV during the night is …… from surface emissions such as from microbes, fungi, molds and animals and burning of fuels, ………..

            Donald K, your forgot to mention (to Gary L) the primary emitter of nighttime CO2, …… the green-growing biomass itself, …… the plants.

            Plants emit CO2, ….. both at night time and during the day, ….. as a result of the process of “respiration”.

    • GH gasses do most of the warming at night because they slow the loss of energy.

      They also, WV, absorb and slow incoming solar energy during the day (this is why humid regions have a lowe Tmax than dry regions for the same insolation).

      Thus the effect is to lower Tmax, raise Tmin a lot, and Tavg a bit.

      • “They also, WV, absorb and slow incoming solar energy during the day”

        Not really since the sun emits very little energy in the LWIR band.

  2. What on Earth is with all this talk about UHI lately? Haven’t the great minds at BEST already told us that UHI has little to no effect on temperature trends?

    Mosher! Quick! Get in here and give us a one line quib telling the unbelievers that The Science must not be questioned!

    There’s a consensus after all.

    ~¿~

  3. Early on Anthony, our esteemed host, noticed that station siting was a big problem. He started the surface station project. I think it’s one of the things that convinced Judith Curry that the skeptics might have a point.

    It’s still a big deal which the alarmists refuse to deal with. Old well sited rural stations tell a much different story than the rest of America’s surface stations. link

    • “Old well sited rural stations tell a much different story than the rest of America’s surface stations”
      If you read your linked post through, it says the opposite. It says that for long-running stations both show an almost identical trend. But I don’t know what “GISS dataset” it is talking about.

      • Notice the trick that Nick pulled here.
        CommieBob references old “well sited” stations, while Nick only wants to talk about old stations.

        Definitely a moving the goal posts violation.

        • “CommieBob references old “well sited” stations”
          In fact, his link does not have a category of “well-sited” stations. It has only urban and rural, long-term and “all”. And it says of the long term ones:

          “While the sequence and the amplitudes of upward and downward peaks are closely similar to those seen in Figure 2, the trends for both rural and non-rural stations are virtually zero. Therefore, the average temperature anomaly reported by long-running stations in the GISS dataset does not show any evidence of long-term warming.”

          • Rural does not mean well sited, nor does it even imply that there isn’t a lot of development in the immediate vicinity of the station.

          • Take that up with commiebob, who said, based on this link:
            “Old well sited rural stations tell a much different story”
            The only relevant distinction in the link is between rural and urban.

          • ‘…In fact, his link does not have a category of “well-sited” stations. It has only urban and rural, long-term and “all”…’

            Well you said that the link “says the opposite” of his claim that “Old well sited rural stations tell a much different story than the rest of America’s surface stations.” Now you’re admitting that his link didn’t break-out old, well-sited rural stations in the first place. So the link didn’t support his claim, but it doesn’t support yours, either, lol. Great job.

          • Nick is grasping at straws…
            Hey Nick, don’t you know that straws are outlawed in “CaliPornia” ??

          • Please don’t call this great state ‘CaliPornia.’ Use the correct name of “Calizuela.’

          • Nick, what do you say about the last sentence of your quote from the linked article – the one saying there is NO long-term warming evident in the old stations used in GISS?

          • It says there was no net trend during twentieth century in ConUS in raw data. This is well known; in fact SE US cooled somewhat. A large part of the reason is TOBS; volunteers shifted from evening reading (warm bias) to morning (cool bias). That is on record, and an adjustment can and should be made.

          • One thing I don’t understand is TOB.

            Seems to me that your argument is that a serious question’s answer depends on whether the high for a 24 hour period is attributed to Monday or Tuesday. The high for the last 24 hour period is what it is; as is the low. It also seems to me that if TOB is a game changer, it would change the game in opposite directions depending on whether we are approaching the summer or winter solstice.

            Teach me something I don’t know.

          • “a serious question’s answer depends on whether the high for a 24 hour period is attributed to Monday or Tuesday”
            No, the issue is whether a warm Monday gets counted as a warm Tuesday too. If you reset at 5pm Mon, it may be that that would be warmer than any time Tuesday, so it counts as the Tue Max. So that afternoon counts for 2 of the 30 days.

            It’s real. Here (from here, click to enlarge) is a plot I did using 3 years of hourly data from Boulder, Colorado. The colors show the monthly averages ((min+max)/2) calculated as if the thermometer were reset at 2am, or 5am etc. The black is just an average of each 24 hrs, and so just an average of the hours of the month. As you see, it makes about a ±1°F difference, depending on what time you use for the (here imaginary) reset. It is a fairly constant difference, but it matters if the time of resetting is changed.

            https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/www.moyhu.org/misc/ushcn/TOM2.png

          • I don’t get that. If 1 reading can count for the high for 2 different days, which day was not counted at all? Sunday? Monday or Tuesday? If there is an adjustment, then it must be upward for the average temperature difference between Monday and Tuesday for 6 months of the year and downward for the other 6 months. Over a full years time they should average to 0.

          • “Sunday? Monday or Tuesday?”
            Tuesday. Suppose the ‘real’ successive maxima (mid-afternoon peaks) for Sun, Mon, Tue were 60,75,60 °F. The average is 65 F, and if you were resetting in the mornings, that is what you would get. But if you reset at 5pm, and it was 70F at 5pm Mon, then the numbers you would average would be 60, 75,70, or 68.33°F

            Remember that for most of the history, min-max thermometeres were being used. When read 5pm Tue, there is no evidence of when the max occurred.

          • Bingo! You’re comparing data from min-max temperatures were read at X time of day, then reset to automatic data. As long as all temps are read at the same time of day and all comparisons are made of the same thing, the highest and lowest temps of the latest 24 hours, then at you’re not comparing apples to bananas.
            The only times this wouldn’t be effective would be those winter midwest night when a cold front was coming through and the official high of the day occurred at midnight. These happened every year but were uncommon enough as to be negligible for climate measurements.
            BTW, you didn’t give an example of the same reading being used for the high temp on 2 different days.

          • ” As long as all temps are read at the same time of day”
            Yes, and you don’t need to make an exception for midnight fronts. TOBS only causes an adjustment when you change the time of day.

            “you didn’t give an example of the same reading being used for the high temp on 2 different days”
            No, that doesn’t happen. The key is the same (warm) afternoon, not the same reading. Morning resets have an analogous cool bias, where v cold mornings get counted twice.

          • There is a dual argument for morning reading with a cold bias. So changing from morning to evening would make an uptrend. However, the movement has been from evening to morning. The reason is that the original recommendation was to read thermometers in the evening, but rain gauges need to be read in the morning. So the tendency has been to read both in the morning. With MMTS, it’s all rather academic.

          • With MMTS, you’re comparing Apples to Bananas. A 24 hour reading compared to 1 daily reading of min-max for the last 24 hours unless all but 2 momentary readings are discarded for comparison.

          • With MMTS being wired, doesn’t that require the sensor to be placed even closer to artificial heat sources?…such as buildings? How many MMTS sensors are placed in Class 1 sites?

          • Ah yes TOBS, the magical incantation by which we arrive at the answer we know must be right. Away UHI! I cast thee out!

            TOBs doesn’t really make sense, though… it is not obvious that the time that they reset should affect Min/Max (except on the first day they do it), given that it’s still measuring 24 hours, and there is some evidence it does not in the station records. Even if TOBS were more plausible, nor would I trust any math that attempts to estimate such an effect to within 95% confidence.

            The reality is if these kinds of adjustments are a big portion of your signal, you don’t have a signal. All TOBS can tell us is that there is another half-degree or so of uncertainty in the temperature record on top of instrument error, homogenization error, infilling error, local error, operator error, etc.

            The process to measure temperature is now a Rube Goldberg apparatus spawning new error at every step and selectively shifting trends in the direction convenient to bias, such that it now bears little resemblance to what was reported even just 20 years ago. This is how you get really obvious problems like Great Lakes record ice extents in years that NCDC say are nearly average temp for the region. But it passed peer review, so never mind your lying eyes.

          • If you are measuring an anomaly then that should not even be an issue. In any event the TOBS adjustment was 100% guesswork according to the paper that invented it. To match that adjustment the volunteers must have set their alarms 5 minutes earlier every day for about 30 years creating a trend where none existed before. When a trend obviously comes entirely from adjustments then skepticism is the only sane response.

      • and you missed the bigger trick….trend
        if one trend is 2 to 3…
        …and the other one is a fake 4 to 5…and should be the same

        what happens when you get a global temp out of that?

      • My guess is that the long running stations that are not ‘rural’ are otherwise well sited, say in a park or other relatively less UHI affected area (which to some extent would explain why they were nit relocated). That would explain the lack of trend difference. There is a slight difference in average between the two and looking at the graphs it is clear there is some increased divergence from say 1970 onwards with the non rural stations having higher minima. Not that much but noticeable.

        • I forget the cutoff for “rural”, but it’s large enough to still cause significant UHI.

          Rural does not mean it’s on a farm.

          • Yeah, probably the worst UHI study ever was Hansen, I think 2010, where he used Google Night Lights to estimate urbanization. Yeesh.

        • “having higher minima”….which means they start out with a higher temp in the morning
          That’s where Nick’s trend is a s c a m

  4. Just sad to see how science has been degraded since then. After centuries of improving our lives, it’s been turned 180 degrees to a tool of those who want to wreck our economy, our free speech, and everything else that gives us a better option than the hard toil of our grandparents.

    It’s an unintended consequence of the fall of the Iron Curtain. Before 1989, the self-haters and the humanity-haters focussed on explaining how communism was superior, or at least equivalent to our system. They didn’t get much traction, because one look at the Berlin Wall (or the hundreds of kilometres of similar walls) was enough to clarify the reality. What kind of system was so awful that it needed electrified wire, barbed wire and guards with dogs and guns to stop its citizens from leaving?

    Since 1989, that deluded crowd has changed its focus. Instead of joyous excursions to grim hotels in Moscow, they attend shareholder meetings of energy companies and investment funds. They close down scientific debates. They stop developing countries from acquiring affordable energy.

    We still have islands of sanity like WUWT. Keep fighting the good fight.

    • Just sad to see how science has been degraded since then. After centuries of improving our lives, it’s been turned 180 degrees …

      History shows us mostly the shining successes of science. The majority of science has always been crap.

      This 1883 quote from Mark Twain pretty much sums up how things were toward the end of the 1800s:

      There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact. link

      Science is something like the theory that, if you put enough monkeys in front of enough typewriters, you will get the complete works of Shakespeare. If we’re going to get the good stuff that will allow our civilization to prosper and continue, we have to winnow through almost infinite garbage.

      • …if you put enough monkeys in front of enough typewriters, you will get…

        …The New York Times, a perfect anagram of “The Monkeys Write.”

    • Maybe to those of us with a brain, but the masses will likely still buy into msm propaganda. And then we have Rino’s voting for a blessed carbon tax!

      The system will not let this die. They are indoctrinating the next generations from grade 1, 1984’ing the language, eliminating free speech, putting feminists nonsense into STEM..

      You may be correct with the science, but certainly not the narrative and definitely not the stealing of our money. No no, that will snowball until energy prices are so high that millennials parents start to freeze to death and they are forced to leave the basement

    • As long as mainstream media pitches the fairy-tale, so-called science magazines publish the rubbish, there are going to be a lot of sheep out there who blindly believe the story.

      Most people simply are not trained, nor interested in questioning authority. Authority comes from their perception of who is powerful (politician), or charming (Hollywood), or has some kind of title (as in PhD). They learn the message and repeat it like a prayer.

      So, I would argue that AGW was discredited years ago… But the herd keeps bawling just the same. They will continue this until a new cause is found – most will never admit they were wrong.

    • Thus, as the great 19th century French economist Frédéric Bastiat observed,

      “WHEN PLUNDER BECOMES A WAY OF LIFE FOR A GROUP OF MEN IN A SOCIETY, OVER THE COURSE OF TIME THEY CREATE FOR THEMSELVES A LEGAL SYSTEM THAT AUTHORIZES IT AND A MORAL CODE THAT GLORIFIES IT.”

      That pretty much sums up modern politics AND our corrupted legal system.

      Scumbags have always tried to steal other people’s wealth, rather than earn their own. Today is it is part of mainstream politics and the law business… …and global warming fraud.

  5. Forgive my ignorance, but is this the same Karl responsible for the somewhat appropriately titled Extended Reconstructed Sea Surface Temperature Version 4 “dataset” from a few years back?
    No sign of any adjustocene fun going on there…..

  6. The June Tropical North Atlantic index (TNA) went to an all time low (since 1950) to -2.0 standard deviations. The oceans are cooling everywhere and air temps lag a year or two behind.

    Actually it is remarkable just how much they have cooled, but if you look at it, the Earth is constantly radiating out to space so if any of the incoming radiation gets deflected, the intensity drops or both there will be net cooling.

    Who knows if this is the new trend, but what we aren’t having is runaway warming. If this goes on for a few years, global temps might actually drop back down to where we started. Then what is going to be the AGW missive?

    • {Who knows if this is the new trend, but what we aren’t having is runaway warming. If this goes on for a few years, global temps might actually drop back down to where we started. Then what is going to be the AGW missive?}

      I suspect it will be the same old story—burning fossil fuel is causing global Cooling, and if we don’t change are ways the world is doomed.

    • One theory is that the loss of sea ice has allowed heat to be slowly radiated away in the Arctic. This initially leads to warm water rising and replacing the cooled water and then more energy radiated away. Eventually, you run out of warm water. That would be where we are now.

      If this is correct we may be at the beginning of the negative AMO half-cycle. Arctic ice should start increasing over the next decade which would certainly be the death of AGW as currently envisioned.

    • Yes…the oceans are cooling and certainly the atmospheric temperatures are following. I don’t even think a weak El Nino this winter will offset the cooling trend.

      With concern for the mental health of the ‘vast majority’ of climate scientists’ who have hitched their reputations to the doom and gloom of CAGW, I offer the following spin:

      “The missing heat is increasing at a much faster rate than we thought!”

  7. As an Arizona Wildcat (Class of 1968) I witnessed some of the rapid growth of both the University of Arizona and surrounding Tucson. Both have only grown more rapidly since then. I leaned to protect myself when entering my car after it sat in the university parking lot for an hour or more.

  8. Eventually, as years roll by in civil service, common sense is eradicated by political agenda.

  9. Back in the early 70’s, I took a “meteorology” course at UT Austin. Major discussion about the UHI in Austin which was situated at 24th & Guadalupe which is where the prevailing winds deposited all the hot air from downtown, the capitol complex and the university itself. It was noted that the reporting station for Austin back then was camp Maybry–just a couple of miles west of the UHI intersection. By the mid 70’s, Camp Maybry was surrounded by development, with major commuting route (MOPAC/Loop 1) skirting it’s east fence line close to where the reporting station was sited. Not sure when the station was moved to the airport (left Austin before the 70’s ended), but even then, the spike in reported temperature was noticeable.

    • …plus the airport has moved since then as well (to the old Bergstrom AFB in 1999).

      • We have daily reports from both of the weather stations. The airport was massively expanded and hasn’t really had a break in the construction for years. MOPAC has been expanded at least two times in the last 20 years.

  10. The guy who does the posh vegetable garden atop Galeries Lafayette department store in Paris has said that he gets earlier and longer growing seasons from being in the centre of the city. So when life sends you UHI, make lemons.

  11. Ironically, many of the rural sites had even worse problems than some of the urban ones. It was a case by case situation. With the USCRN there is hope for an accurate record, at least in the U.S.

    • To show the difference the effect can make, he noted that in June 2017 the nighttime low at Arizona State University’s grassy campus in Tempe was just 69 degrees (21 Celsius). But the nighttime low just 5 ½ miles (9 kilometers) away at Phoenix’s Sky Harbor International Airport, where expanses of asphalt cover former farm fields, was 81 degrees (27 degrees Celsius).

      ..or 12 degrees F

    • Latitude, that quite a difference add in Tempe is surrounded mostly by city the exception is the Salt River Indian reservation which is still somewhat undeveloped. If you want the true story you need to look a Queen Creek and Saguaro Lake and see how much those that change. Saguaro Lake is still fairly undeveloped but will have the moderation of the lake in it record.

      • Mark, I’m not sure where you will get reliable figures for Queen Creek. I visited the USHCN station there in 2009. (Station name was Chandler Heights) As I remember it the area was fairly rural, certainly not urban. From my comments at the time:

        Site was closed after a lightening strike started a fire that burned
        down the residence and an adjecent historical building. MMS was removed
        by NOAA and someone stole the rain gauge. Pictures are of the MMS site
        as curator remembered it. Estimated 20 feet to remaining brick wall in
        the picture, something similar to the unpaved road to the east.
        ….

        I believe the brick column in pictures is the chimeny of a
        fireplace. You would think I’d have the presence of mind to take a good
        look at the other side of this to be sure, but I didn’t. It’s pretty
        obvious, though, and a blazing fire in the fireplace might have an
        interesting effect on the temperature just behind the chimney….

        This could have been a station where the immediate environment would swamp the neighborhood average, at least on a cold winter night….

  12. The kicker is, they not only don’t care that the records have been badly contaminated, indeed, that is what they want. The warm bias “happened”, and they are glad of it, because it reinforces the Warmist doctrine.

  13. Best example is Hachojima and Tokyo. Hahojima shows 0 warming, while Tokyo warmed 2 c in 100 yrs. But the deniers still wanna proclaim how Japan is so warm when the Japanese cost that broke record is suffering from UHI

    • The problem is that the warming is an artifact of false precision.
      The idea that we know what the temperature of the ocean to a few hundredths of a degree is ludicrous.
      The idea that we know what the temperature of the oceans 100 years ago to anything less than +/- 5C is a fantasy.

    • Donald, the problem with SST data is that the ocean does not absorb much warmth from the atmosphere – it gets well over 90% of it’s warming from direct sunlight. So any increase in temperature of the atmosphere over the oceans is a direct result of more sunlight reaching the ocean surface, which then raises the atmosphere’s temperature. This is definitely NOT global warming caused by an increase in the CO2 level.

  14. This is the part where we are told that science, knowledge, and data have improved, and that Karl was wrong in 1988 but is right today!

    Well that and that UHI is limited only to a small percentage of the globe and therefore basically insignificant…

    • “Well that and that UHI is limited only to a small percentage of the globe and therefore basically insignificant…” The only problem with that is that the “basically insignificant” part is where most land base measurement are taken. Only a fool or a conman would make such a statement.

  15. I’m pleased to have contributed the term “Karlization” to the Pause Killer adjustment by Karl on the eve of his retirement in 2015. A similar thing was done by Hansen in 2007 when the mid 1930s-mid 1940s US temperatures still stubbornly held the US record highs. State records still stand and Canada’s high temps from that period also stand (47C in July, 1937 at two localities in Saskatchewan). He pushed down these record highs, and in one swoop, also reversed the fairly steep decline from these highs over the following 40yrs that had the scientific community worried about the slide into a new ice age or mini ice age. The cleverness of the this move left the long term temperature rise at about 0.6C so they could say that they didn’t really change the record much. Later, it was discovered that raw temperatures from elsewhere around the world also had the 30s-40s temps as record highs – Greenland, northern Europe, Siberia in the NH and Paraguay, Ecuador, South Africa in the SH.

    However the change also removed the embarrassing fact that with no CO2 in play, the run-up of 0.6C took place entirely between 1880 and 1940. With this trick and hiding the scary decline in temperature to 1979, they had the run-up take place between 1880 and 2000, three years into what became the dreaded “Pause”. Another bonus was that the Arctic ice extent could be measured from 1979 as a decline due to CAGW instead of a decline from approximately the coldest period of the 20th Century. Articles and news reports from the 1930s highlighted the plight of seals and the disappearing Arctic ice.

    This paper, brought to light that he has been Karlizing since early in his career. Sheesh, what kind of person can live with himself looking back over his work.

    • It’s a bit warm at the moment in Paris (28°, at two o’clock in the morning) do you think some urban island effect is responsible?

      • Just for the record, I drove from Le Mans (you know, where they have those car races) to Paris this afternoon, the temperature (out in the countryside) stuck at 37° (C, we do not know another way of measuring it in Europe).

  16. One would expect that if the warming trend in the US surface data was solely the result of urban heat effect, then this would be exposed as such by the lower troposphere data. UAH TLT v6 reports that since Dec 1978 the lower 48 US states have warmed at a rate of 0.17 deg. C per decade.

    That’s slower than the surface data for the US, but warmer than the global warming rate in UAH over the same period, 0.13 C/dec, which is statistically significant. (Note: UAH runs considerably cooler than the other commonly used satellite TLT data set, RSS, on the global scale. Presumably this warmer trend is also reflected in RSS’s US data, but I can’t find a separate RSS data set for USA48.) It would appear that more than just UHI is at work in the US temperature record.

    • Acknowledging that CONUS is not globally representative, am I correct that your comments attribute .04 C/dec to the “more than UHI” component of the US temperature record?

      • Doug,

        I don’t see how the 0.17 C/dec warming of TLT above the CONUS region since Dec 1978 reported in the UAH satellite data can be attributable at all to UHI. TLT temperature, as reported by the satellite producers, is the estimated ‘average’ temperature of the troposphere from the near surface (approx 2 m) to around 12 km vertically upwards into the sky. The 2 m surface layer is only about 0.02% of the TLT measurement area. Heat rising off the surface from a point source is quickly dissipated. UHI would have a negligible to non-existent impact on TLT.

        0.13 C/dec is the rate of global warming reported by UAH since Dec 1978. That includes the columns of air above global ocean regions, which constitute 79% of global surface area. Probably safe to assume that these regions will also be overwhelmingly free of UHI effect.

    • Who said “solely the result”?

      As to whether UHI could significantly impact satellite measurements, which you correctly note are estimates / calculations rather than direct estimates, I would think that would heavily depend on what exactly they measure / how they make their estimates (e.g. what wavelengths of radiation are measured, how they are focused / receive their input data, and the way this is then calculated into the estimate).

      To provide an oversimplified example, imagine that the satellite is merely a pair of thermal imaging binoculars (that then take the images that they receive and calculate temperatures). The binoculars are pointed down over an area that includes a city. UHI would obviously make that city “brighter” to the binoculars, but only by know the particulars of where the binoculars are looking, and how the temperature estimate is constructed from the data (the “brightened” image) could you know the extent of the effect. No?

  17. Each station need to be reviewed for change in conditions. Stations that have seen changes in their surroundings or their urban environment need to be supplemented with a twin station that reflects conditions from the earlier time periods. A comparison of the readings from the twins will give a measure of how much bias has crept in to the data. You don’t need to supplement every station — just enough to get a good measure of the bias.

    Maybe someone has already done this?

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