Warming Temperature Measurements Polluted by Bad Data, Research Confirms

USHCN climate monitoring weather station in a parking lot at University of Arizona, Tucson

By H. Sterling Burnett

For years, I have written about the poor quality control exercised by government entities promoting the theory human fossil fuel use is causing dangerous climate change. When federal agencies in the United States, such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), university researchers, and weather agencies abroad, aren’t outright manipulating data (as numerous previous issues of Climate Change Weekly and other Heartland Institute publications show they’ve done) to prove their assertion the Earth is warming rapidly and to a dangerous degree, they are using data from severely compromised sources.

A recent report in the Journal of the American Meteorological Society (JAMS) reconfirms the latter claim, showing NOAA has underestimated the extent to which the heat island effect has compromised its recorded temperatures.

Two features about this work are of particular note: (1) two of the researchers involved in the study actually work for NOAA, the organization whose temperature records their research is bringing into question; and (2) the experiment conducted by the researchers serving as the basis of their conclusions was part of NOAA’s attempt to refute work of Anthony Watts, a meteorologist with more than 40 years of experience who founded the award-winning climate website Watts Up With That. Watt, who recently joined The Heartland Institute as a senior fellow, has for more than a decade produced research showing the National Weather Service’s (NWS) climate monitoring stations, which NOAA uses to compile its temperature records and trend lines, were compromised, failing to meet the agency’s published standards for data quality.

In 2009, The Heartland Institute published a study by Watts exploring problems with NWS’s weather monitoring locations. Watts wrote,

The official record of temperatures in the continental United States comes from a network of 1,221 climate-monitoring stations overseen by the National Weather Service, a department of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

[A examination of] 860 of these temperature stations … found that 89 percent of the stations—nearly 9 of every 10—fail to meet the National Weather Service’s own siting requirements that stations must be 30 meters (about 100 feet) or more away from an artificial heating or radiating/reflecting heat source.

In other words, 9 of every 10 stations are likely reporting higher or rising temperatures because they are badly sited.

It gets worse. We observed that changes in the technology of temperature stations over time also has caused them to report a false warming trend. We found major gaps in the data record that were filled in with data from nearby sites, a practice that propagates and compounds errors. We found that adjustments to the data by both NOAA and another government agency, NASA, cause recent temperatures to look even higher.

The conclusion is inescapable: The U.S. temperature record is unreliable. 

Working with others, Watts continued examining potential sources of bias at NWS climate monitoring sites, concluding in a 2015 presentation to a meeting of the American Geophysical Union, “the 30-year trend of temperatures for the Continental United States (CONUS) since 1979 are [sic] about two thirds as strong as official NOAA temperature trends.”
Watts’ research generated wide media coverage. NOAA felt obligated to respond. By 2012, NOAA researchers had begun an experiment to refute Watts’ claims about the integrity of its weather monitoring system.

The results of NOAA’s experiment are now in, and to the extent it tested Watts’ claims, his concerns were verified. The coauthors of the JAMS paper found “small-scale urban encroachment within 50 meters of a station can have important impacts on daily temperature extrema (maximum and minimum)….”

This extends the area for which temperature recordings by NWS stations are compromised by 66 percent beyond what the agency previously admitted was a problem, leading to the question: How many more monitoring stations’ data are compromised above what Watts previously found?

In particular the JAMS study confirmed what Watts and other researchers have consistently maintained: even relatively modest development near temperature recording devices can skew their measurements, particularly by narrowing the diurnal temperature range—the difference between the daily maximum and minimum temperatures. Anthropogenic heat sources such as motors and exhaust from machinery located near measuring stations, as well as built-up concrete and other types of development, accumulate and store heat during each day’s hottest period and release it only slowly overnight, resulting in higher nighttime lows being recorded, and a smaller diurnal range. Because the vast majority of the much-hyped average global warming of the latter part of the twentieth century stems not from higher high temperatures being recorded but from higher low temperatures usually recorded at night, much of NOAA’s reported temperature rise is likely an artifact of compromised data from poorly sited NWS monitors.

Ground-based temperature measurements, although below those projected by climate models, are still the closest of the three sources of temperature data (ground monitors, satellites, and weather balloons) to matching the models’ projections and trends. Skeptics have long used more accurate satellite and weather balloon data to justify their position that the models’ temperature estimates and projections don’t match real-world measurements. If, as seems to be the case, even the ground-based temperature measurements and trends are lower than NOAA and others have previously claimed, there is little if any reason to trust model projections of temperature. And if this is so, there is even less reason to trust other projections of climate doom spun out by models that are purported to flow from their temperature projections.

The conclusion media pundits, the general public, and politicians alike should draw from this new research is that there is little justification for imposing costly restrictions on fossil fuel use to fight a warming that is, in fact, not severe at all.

I fear, however, their response will be much more akin to the closing lines of Don McLean’s classic song “Vincent”:
“They would not listen, they’re not listening still.
Perhaps they never will.”


SOURCES: Watts Up With That; Journal of the American Meteorological Society (behind paywall); The Heartland Institute; Climate Change Weekly; Climate Change Weekly; Climate Change Weekly

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109 thoughts on “Warming Temperature Measurements Polluted by Bad Data, Research Confirms

    • As Carl Mears recent manipulations of his latest RSS version have shown, the satellite tropospheric temperature data can be easily compromised to bring in in line with altered surface records… if one is so inclined to do so.

      • Just ask Spencer and Christy about V6.0 at UAH.

        Remember when RSS was the satellite data of choice for those dismissive of AGW?

        BTW – I use both RSS and UAH.

      • Joel O’Bryan “As Carl Mears recent manipulations of his latest RSS version..”
        That’s total BS..

        Mears et al validated/verified their new v4 AMSU diurnal drift correction using the REF_SAT and MIN_DRIFT experimental series, i e reference AMSU satellites with no or little drift.

        Spencer et al unvalidated/unverified their new v6 AMSU diurnal drift correction, by making it disagree significantly with reference AMSU satellites with no or little drift (aka UAH v5.6)

        Spencer et al also have the unscientific habit of ” knowing” which satellite is right and which is wrong, without supporting evidence..

    • But it makes you wonder how far above the land surface the urban heat island effect takes place and if the satellite LT data might be influenced as well.

        • I believe Dr Christy and Dr Spencer rely primarily on radiosonde (balloon) data to cross check and calibrate. There’s no way a surface measurement can calibrate a tropo measurement that measures from 1000 feet to 8000 feet MSL without knowing precisely the local ambient lapse rate at that measurement time for example.

          • Spencer & Christy claim that they validated their new v6 product using the RATPAC B and RAOBCORE radiosonde datasets.
            By coincidence (?) these two have the lowest trends of all radisonde datasets, and are for various reasons not fit for the purpose.

            Still, a comparison with RATPAC B looked like this:

            http://postmyimage.com/img2/193_image.png

            A comparison with RAOBCORE would reveal the same boomerang shape.
            Not very convincing for the AMSU part of UAH v6, and the likely explanation of the extreme pause in this dataset.

            ps I wrote “looked” above since UAH v6 has improved slightly in comparison when it incorporated the nondrifting METOP-B satellite in the series. The good data has likely diluted the poor diurnal drift correction..

          • UHI is known to effect rainfall up to forty miles away from urban centers. I’m guessing that those rain clouds are above 1000 feet.

          • “…not fit for the purpose”

            Presumably because they don’t show the warming you want?

          • Having a low trend is proof that they aren’t fit for purpose?

            Fascinating. Do you always assume that agreeing with your religion is proof of accuracy?

          • Ratpac B is raw after 1997, contain inhomogeneities, and is not recommended for large scale long-term trends by its producer.
            RAOBCORE is not a pure radiosonde dataset. It is adjusted by reanalysis, which in turn is partly based on satellite data. The comparison becomes circular.
            But it doesnt matter, because not even this unfit cherrypick of data supports UAH v6.

          • Gator says:

            “UHI is known to effect rainfall up to forty miles away from urban centers.”

            The article says:

            “. . . the vast majority of the much-hyped average global warming of the latter part of the twentieth century stems not from higher high temperatures being recorded but from higher low temperatures usually recorded at night . . . ”

            A significant influence on minimum nighttime temperature is humidity (dew point). One should consider the water vapor added to urban areas due to combustion of gasoline, natural gas, jet fuel, diesel fuel, kerosene, etc. Just consider the daily consumption of gasoline in a large urban area. For each gallon of gasoline combusted, 12.7 lb of water vapor is produced (1.52 gal equivalent x 8.34 lb/gal).

            To put this in perspective, CA consumed 366,820 thousand barrels of motor gasoline in 2017 (US eia data). This equates to 42,209,000 lb/day gasoline combusted which introduced 535,080,000 lb/day water vapor (someone please check my calcs). Add to this the water vapor produced by combustion of natural gas, diesel fuel, jet fuel, etc. etc. and you get the picture.

            I challenge someone with the analytical skills to take my back-of’-the-envelope calculations to the next level and calculate the increase in humidity and its influence on the UHI measured heating. It’s more than just radiant heat from brick, concrete, and asphalt.

      • Satellites average pretty much the whole earth. (They don’t measure all the way to the poles.)
        If any portion of the earth is being warmed artificially, it will impact the average.

        • The UAH satellite data is divided into 10 regions, some of which are further divided into land and ocean. The Arctic is warming faster than the world average, there are not many urban heat islands there.

          (maybe you will get something w=right sometime)

          • You are absolutely right about high-latitude warming, Jack. It’s just been rediscovered by Catherine McKenna (often uncharitably referred to in these pages as “climate barbie”), who announced it as a crisis, although it’s been known for a long time, and is even anticipated by GCM models.

            You could also find out about it by asking people who live and work in the Canadian north. In the 1970s, it was normal to have 3 or 4 weeks when the morning lows were -40° or lower (working in mineral exploration, we paid attention to that because a lot of outside work stopped at -40°). This was in northern Ontario and Quebec; if you went to northern Manitoba and Saskatchewan, those winter mornings might get close to -50°C, and in the Northwest Territories, even lower.

            Those days are gone (for now, anyway). Once you’ve lived through high-latitude warming, you appreciate that it’s mostly winter lows that have warmed a lot, winter highs have warmed a bit, and summer temperatures haven’t changed much. This is the typical anecdotal evidence of real people who live here. And (also anecdotally) most of the change seemed to be between about 1980 and about 2000. I haven’t heard much about changes in winter conditions for 20 years now.

            It just doesn’t feel catastrophic. And face it, high-latitude warming since 1980 contributes a lot to global averages. So the tropics must have warmed less than the global averages.

            This spring has been the slowest spring in most peoples’ memories. It’s almost a month behind its normal schedule. But we can all take comfort from the fact that, no matter how short, wet and chilly this summer will be, our indomitable climate scientists will be there next January to assure us that 2019 was, if not the hottest ever, at least in the top two or three.

            And, so as we don’t get fixated by disappearing Arctic sea-ice (which more or less stopped disappearing 12 years ago), we do need to remember that it’s largely controlled by Atlantic circulation patterns. Changes in winter temperatures from -50° to -35° sound bad, but they don’t have a lot to do with summer melting.

          • From the Harper government, 5 years ago:
            Over the last six decades, Canada has become warmer, with average temperatures over land increasing by 1.5°C
            between 1950 and 2010 (Figure 1). This rate of warming is about double the global average reported over the same
            time period by Hartmann et al., (2013). Warming has been occurring even faster in many areas of northern Canada,
            and has been observed in all seasons, although the greatest warming has occurred in winter and spring. The annual
            number of extreme warm days has also risen, while the number of cold nights has declined.
            https://www.nrcan.gc.ca/sites/www.nrcan.gc.ca/files/earthsciences/pdf/assess/2014/pdf/Full-Report_Eng.pdf

            Sea ice extent continues to decline:
            https://nsidc.org/sites/nsidc.org/files/images/cryosphere/sotc/mean-anomaly-1953-2018.png

            Also from NSIDC:
            Arctic sea ice extent for April 2019 averaged 13.45 million square kilometers (5.19 million square miles). This was 1.24 million square kilometers (479,000 square miles) below the 1981 to 2010 long-term average extent and 230,000 square kilometers (89,000 square miles) below the previous record low set in April 2016.

            https://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/N_iqr_timeseries.png

          • I read that three times, and still can’t figure out how it is responsive to anything that I said.

            I’m guessing that like most acolytes, you assume that anyone who disagrees with your religion believes that there has been no warming.

            For myself, I have always said that CO2 does cause warming, with a TCS in the 0.3C to 0.5C range.

            Now, if you would actually care to discuss the science instead of preaching the religion, perhaps you will be able to make some progress.

          • Jack Dale
            From your link: “The POES satellite system offers the advantage of daily global coverage, by making NEARLY polar orbits 14 times per day approximately 520 miles above the surface of the Earth.” The operative word “nearly” supports MarkW’s claim that you were reacting to.

          • Read the next sentence. “The Earth’s rotation allows the satellite to see a different view with each orbit, and each satellite provides two complete views of weather around the world each day.The Earth’s rotation allows the satellite to see a different view with each orbit, and each satellite provides two complete views of weather around the world each day.”

            What does “complete” mean to you?

  1. Congratulations, Mr. Watts! Your detailed, logical, and well-documented research FIRST attracted me to your website, and I’ve been here ever since. I like to think of myself as a logical, rational, analytical thinker … and I must say the “skeptic” side of CAGW exhibits far more of those characteristics than the hysterical Wamist Camp. Perhaps the Warmists are finally running for cover? Or will NOAA issue a big … “but” … to this study?

    • Yes, there is a large-scale sorting hat effort underway with personalities during the Climate Crusades.

      Of course there are logical, computer science types on the warmunist side also, but only because they have as much conviction for it as they do for late night comedy skits and AOC jokes. I guess it comes down to the level of time investment and seriousness involved. AOC demonstrated the joking side quite well.

      • She DOES keep me amused. Amused that the American voters … in NYC, no less … people who should be educated-enough to know better … put this ditz into our country’s leadership. My only option is to LAUGH at her … otherwise, I would eat my liver over her complete ineptitude.

        • What makes you think the people of NYC should be educated any better than the rest of us?
          I know that they believe they are.

          • Now, now – remember that all of NYC didn’t elect her. They do have several Representatives in Congress.

            I will admit that the others would have a challenge in winning a debate with a Rhesus monkey – but I have no idea why one segment of the populace of Gotham decided that electing one of Harvey Dent’s sidekicks (she can’t be the blond, so it must be Spice) to office was a good idea.

        • Some of the truest hicks in the world come from big cities. Never been off Avenue U, and “getting out of town” is going from Brooklyn to Staten Island.

          Don’t ever think that “city” automatically equals “sophistication.”

  2. Didn’t Congress order a study into the location of these stations some years ago?

    From memory (and it was a long time ago) I thought it was done by Auditors under the Government Accountability Office and they found a LOT of stations that did not meet criteria. They were placed into various categories depending on how they met the criteria.

    If the data was re-worked using only stations fully matching criteria laid down in the specs, then the resulting figures would have been more defendable.

    • Teddz, Back in the Reagan days when he was trying to cut budgets there was an assessment of NWS Weather Stations. Afterwards NOAA testified in Congress over the cost and proposed cost cutting to the program, which included turning some sites over to universities and others to operate by NOAA “standards.” One of their arguments at the time was that NWS didn’t really need them as much as before since they had satellites. They claimed that by now they would could everything necessary in weather forecasting using satellite data.

  3. They need to redo the whole lot. Nothing less than a complete audit carried out by independent engineers and statisticians.

  4. Congratulations Anthony Watts, your concerns, and those of many of us who, like you, bother to study this issue in depth, are being recognised and vindicated.

    Keep up the good work.

  5. When the main focus at all levels of government is a quest for a large, new revenue source bad data is an ally. Naysayers must be held up for ridicule and auditors must be deflected to other assignments.

  6. “(2) the experiment conducted by the researchers serving as the basis of their conclusions was part of NOAA’s attempt to refute work of Anthony Watts, a meteorologist with more than 40 years of experience who founded the award-winning climate website Watts Up With That.”

    Excellent! Slow burn to the governmental activists!

    Beer time for Anthony!

  7. Well of course this means that some at NOAA will conclude that the past was even cooler than our dumb previous generations – that couldn’t even read a thermometer – measured it as being, thus is should be adjusted downward again. /s

  8. And doesn’t the CRN (Climate Reference Network), over 100 “pristine” sites created by NOAA also show no warming in the CONUS? or perhaps even some slight cooling? Short record, yes, only about 15 years, but the results are confirming that NOAA’s data is largely not fit for purpose.

    • “the results are confirming that NOAA’s data is largely not fit for purpose”
      It doesn’t confirm that at all, because you haven’t said what “NOAA’s data” was saying. In fact, the results of USCRN, in terms of CONUS average, confirm the results of USHCN and its successor completely. They are virtually indistinguishable. Here is the plot (from here, Fig 1).

    • A couple of comments have touched on this: Is there a chart comparing the trends shown in the “pristine” sites compared to the overall database?

        • And this is supposed to represent catastrophic runaway global warming?????????????????????//

          • You’re not supposed to SEE those numbers. You’re just supposed to listen to trusted members of the national media read them to you and believe what they tell you.

          • What it shows is that despite the beat-up here of this paper, the network of stations used by USHCN and now ClimDiv returned almost exactly the same average as USCRN. And yes, the trend in that small area for those few years isn’t large.

          • James
            “gridding would be unnecessary to get a good anomaly”
            The need for gridding doesn’t go away with high station density. Gridding tells you how much account you should take of each station. If you have 200 stations in Wisconsin and 100 in Georgia, that is good coverage, but if you just average the two lots of stations, the result will be a lot cooler than it should be. And it still depends on the number of stations, which it shouldn’t. If you average W and G separately and then combine them, you will get a better and different answer.

  9. So what is an honest estimation of the error range?
    The increase in “record High Temperatures”.
    Produced by sensors with near instantaneous response, digital readout and electronic reporting .These are then compared to historic highs,from slow reacting Mercury in Glass,recorded with the Mark1 eyeball and great “trends” are pronounced.

    I sense the wheels have come off the charade, the profiteers have collected their money and only the gullible fools now face exposure..
    Policy based evidence manufacturing has a very short life span, being one of the many reasons that every thing government touches turns to garbage.
    The genius of the Cult of Calamitous Climate;”To save you we must enslave you”.

    Gee I cannot understand those difficult people who say ;”No Thanks” to such sincere helpers.

  10. This really isn’t rocket surgery. I figured this out decades ago, with zero funding and a full time career in another field. Why can’t so-called climate experts, who receive billions in grants and who have access to massive supercomputers, figure this out? Is it because it pays so very well to play dumb?

    • “Where ignorance is bliss, ’tis folly to be wise.” Thomas Gray

      However, ignorance provides no protection from reality.

  11. It’s worse than that. The temperature station south of Canton NY at the Cornell Cooperative Experimental Farm was moved to that location on the north slope of a hill 20′ from an asphalt parking lot and 30′ from a house from a location near the top of a hill in the middle of a field. There is no record of that move in the database.

    • Global Warming is correlated with obesity since they are unwilling to walk more than 30 feet to a station.

    • Ooh, I’m going to use that… I’m taking an Adult Education class for alumni at Cornell this summer on “Global Warming, and what we can do about it”… I’m very interested in what will be presented in this class, and am hoping to play Devil’s Advocate if it is the standard BS stuff. Do you have coordinates, or a picture or address for that station? Station number?

      • You could point out that even though it’s not considered “climatologically significant” because of the short time period, most of the Earth has been cooling, or plateaued for anywhere from 20 to 5 years now.

        The truth of the global temperature is that it’s not a global warming, it’s only an average global warming. If you look at individual regions like the US, Northern Europe, India, Australia, even Japan or Hawaii, the trends are all over the place — and mostly down or flat.

        It’s only if you lump them all together, mash ’em up, and smooth it out really well do you get “global warming.”

        • There are a couple of key pieces that I don’t think most people realize. First is that the upward charging graphics they see of “global warming” are anomalies, not real temps, and most don’t understand the difference, nor the very small amounts of change involved vs. the +/- 0.5C uncertainty in the original data. Next is that, as you say, it is all an AVERAGE, and about 75-80% is not warming as most assume it is, i.e., higher and hotter temps, but slightly warmer lows. How serious is that? And while AGW theory says the insulation effect should do just that, so does UHI and nearly everything mankind builds, the REAL man-made warming. They appear to be indistinguishable, so really, how reliable are the attribution studies? And last, it seems a surprise to many that the AGW theory only gets dangerous warming due to WATER VAPOR, not CO2. Most don’t believe it, having the demon CO2 rammed down their throats they can’t believe it is not that dangerous carbon pollution that will do the damage, but water vapor… oh, and almost forgot “ocean acidification”. where fresh water is FAR more acidic by that standard than anything that can ever happen to the oceans…. so much garbage “science” out there.

  12. From a systems standpoint the temperature database is a mess because of all the siting errors and adjustments to recorded temperatures. Making adjustments to one station based upon stations of unknown accuracy that are 10’s, 100’s, or 1000’s miles away is madness.

    If you were in a commercial environment with three assembly lines each cutting rods to 0.01 inch accuracy would you let your quality folks “infill” data for a broken measuring device from an average of the other two lines? I would hope not!

    I won’t even start on the data processing of measurement errors and trying to identify an error budget that applies to the temperature database so that scientists can make accurate assessments of their results.

    • From a systems standpoint the temperature database is a mess because of all the siting errors and adjustments to recorded temperatures. Making adjustments to one station based upon stations of unknown accuracy that are 10’s, 100’s, or 1000’s miles away is madness.

      If those things aren’t done, the database is a lot cleaner and easier to work with. Certainly no precision or accuracy is lost, because it’s obvious that interpolated data is not real data, and can’t possibly add anything of value to anomaly or trend calculations.

  13. Ha ha, you climate deniers are at it again.
    try using logic, climate buffoons

    If nine out of ten stations are badly sited, but the product is world class, the other sites must be so excellent that they can be used to adjust the bad sites which were first used to adjust the excellent sites

    whats so hard to understand ?

  14. This article recalls the Chico Marx quote: “Who you gonna believe, me or your own eyes?”

    But I suppose we can wait another 50 years to see what the real numbers are before taking action (should say “different action”; doing nothing is an action). What could go wrong?

    • chris

      But I suppose we can wait another 50 years to see what the real numbers are before taking action (should say “different action”; doing nothing is an action). What could go wrong?

      Nothing.

      But “fighting” “claimate change” by destroying the world’s economies and killing millions directly and hurting billions econmically, physically, socially, and morally for 50 years7
      Yes, THAT will do nothing to slow “claimate change”, do nothing to slow the natural warming and beneficial climate we enjoy now, and will have a 100% ASSURED harm for 50 years.

  15. Why don’t they conduct a study using all of the stations that are properly sited…especially those in the rural areas totally away from the urban heat islands? I’d be real interested in the minimum, maximum, and mean temperature trends from those areas. If global warming was real, those stations should be lighting up as well.

    • Or we could use tree ring proxies. Why use instruments when there are perfectly good tree rings from a continent that isn’t so far away ?

  16. Question: was this issue not part of one of the ‘climategate’ email scandals? Specifically, didn’t one series of the FOIAed federal agency emails provide evidence that data from higher elevation and higher latitude stations were being excluded and/or replaced with data from stations that are more likely to reflect UHI? Another way to ask – didn’t certain emails show that systematic bias was being introduced deliberately into the dataset?

    Any info would be much appreciated.

  17. Congratulations Anthony. This is exactly what got me to be a sceptical about20 years ago.
    BTW, has anyone built any new, spec conforming and well-sited monitoring stations in the past 20 years? With the huge implications of climate change on our wallets, why aren’t new stations popping up everywhere (on a nice regular grid of course)? It’s been done with ARGO floaters. So why not on land. And not just North America.

  18. How about we (as in e humans) adapt to the slowly changing environment like we always have, and like all life on this planet always has? Then we are just adjusting to actual issues instead of frightening everyone about anything that could ever go wrong.

    Or is that just too straight-forward?

  19. In Australia, there was a new version of the official BOM national record ACORN-SAT released quietly last Christmas.
    Those wishing to study the art of surrealistic adjustment of historic temperatures should read yesterday’s study of it by Ken Stewart on his modest but perceptive Kenskingdom blog. There are daily T adjustments exceeding 10deg C. Plausible science and BOM have parted ways. Geoff

      • Indeed, according to Environment Canada, the weather in Ottawa (for example) is *exactly* the same as it was 100 years ago. There is no measurable difference.

  20. This is one of the most important and useful sites on the web. A story like this one confirming what we have have all suspected about bad temperature measurements ought to be front page news. There ought to be serious discussion about it But don’t expect the main stream news media to report on it. If it wasn’t for sites like this one we would never hear of this study.

    Side note. I’m as much for a free press as anyone. But something has to be done to reform the free press. I don’t know what. They only report news that fits their political agenda, they make up news, and they twist and spin the news. Why will the news media report on the most ridiculous global warming claims while ignoring legitimate and important work that calls into question the temperature measurements?

  21. Warming caused by coming out of the Little ice Age, warming caused by reduction of SO2 because of the Clean Air Acts of the 50’s/60’s/70’s and 80’s, warming caused by ENSO in the past 20 years and now UHI accepted as affecting the temperature record and being recorded as warming. CO2 has a lot of contending causes as the driver of Global Warming.

  22. “the 30-year trend of temperatures for the Continental United States (CONUS) since 1979 are [sic] about two thirds as strong as official NOAA temperature trends.”

    If up to 80% of the warming is at night, then my immediate suspicion would be that up to 80% of the warming trend is caused by gradual changes in the area around the weather stations, not just a third. Would be increased average cloud cover account for warming that happens only at night?

    • “The build-up of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere from human emissions reduces the amount of radiation released into space, which increases both the night-time and day-time temperatures. However, because at night there is a much smaller volume of air that gets warmed, the extra energy added to the climate system from carbon dioxide leads to a greater warming at night than during the day.”

      https://phys.org/news/2016-03-nights-warmer-faster-days.html

      https://rmets.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1002/joc.4688

      • I propose an experiment:

        On the Autumnal Equinox, using a calibrated IR temperature gauge, from a distance and height of 6′, take the temp of the four exterior walls of a contemporary suburban brick-veneer home, selected for walls with westward-, southward-, eastward- and northward-facing red brick surfaces which are not shaded by trees or other buildings during the course of the day.

        Begin the measurements at Sunrise (first showing of the sun’s partial disk, straight East), each wall in the same order. Also, take the temperature of the grass at the measurer’s feet, 6′ out from the base of the wall, and completing all 8 measurements within 2 minutes.

        Repeat the measurements each 15 minutes, for the ~24 hours until the next sunrise. Plot the results.

        The hypothesis is that you’ll find measureable differences in the wall temperature change characteristics during the day, which in advance can reasonably characterized as follow:

        The north wall, which does not receive any direct sunlight during the day, is only warmed from its interior, by ambient external air temperature, and by whatever IR is being returned from the atmosphere and the surface.

        The other three walls will have varying amounts of insolation during the day, based on the angle of the sun as the day proceeds.

        The East wall insolation will taper off as sidereal noon approaches, and end at noon, and the grass 6′ away will go into shade sometime later, depending on the height of the wall.

        The south wall insolation will increase from nearly nothing until sidereal noon, and then decrease to nearly nothing right about sunset. The grass at the foot of this wall will have the same schedule of insolation, but will be at a different angle with respect to the sun’s rays.

        The grass at the foot of the west wall will get its first insolation some time before noon, depending on the height of the wall. The wall itself will get its first insolation at sidereal noon, which will increase as the angle between the sun’s rays and the wall changes. Insolation of both the wall and the grass will cease at sunset, though the insolation of the grass will be at a different angle with respect to the sun’s rays as the afternoon progresses. The highest insolation of the grass will be at noon, and will decrease as the afternoon proceeds.

        Plot the temps in a time-series, all 8 measured values for each 15-minute sample interval stacked.

        My hypothesis is that the varying influence of direct insolation will be measurable as a function of the time-of-day, and the surface being measured. The North-facing wall is the control, as it receives no direct sunlight, only being influenced by the ambient air temp, internal home temp, and whatever IR may be present. The grass at its base will similarly lack insolation, though (depending on latitude) may get some direct sunlight at midday. The other three walls get time-varying amounts of sunlight, and the grass is cooled by evaporation, warmed by insolation, and perhaps also by IR.

    • “Would be increased average cloud cover account for warming that happens only at night?”

      No.
      It’s the dominating effect of the GHE as caused by non-condensing GHGs.
      The back-radiated LWIR required to reduce cooling under a shallow surface inversion is much smaller than during the day – when convection increases (mostly) the atmospheric depth.

  23. A simple solution. All such weather stations should be in the country, they are automated, so no walking to them to read.

    And if the results differ wildly from those obtained by the time tested balloons, plus the satillites, then its clear that fiddling of the figures by the various government agencies is still taking place.

    But we still come back to the fact that the Green blob is now big business. Far too many business people are now quite happy with the results of CC, as its a steady supply of money.

    And what would all of the Universities and so called scientists do without CC. Its too big, just as the Worlds Banks were considered to be too important during the Global financial crash of 1987 to be allowed to be declared Bankrupt.

    It will probably be a slow process, such as the Red -blue team idea by Pres. TRUMP, if it ever happens.

    NJE VK5ELL

  24. In 100 years, pictures like the one above will appear in the science textbooks for 6th graders. The authors will mock our generation mercilessly for being so bad at Science that we spent trillions of dollars before discovering that we had climate stations located in parking lots.

    They’ll regard us the same way we think of people who spent a year’s wages on a tulip bulb in the 1,600’s.

  25. And this is from the most technologically advanced single largest country on the planet earth.
    Let’s not even start to talk about the other 9/10ths of the planet’s records, or the almost complete lack of records for the 2/3rds of the planet’s surface covered in water.

    This “Man Made Global Warming” stuff is as bad a “science” as the flat earth society.

  26. “Two features about this work are of particular note: (1) two of the researchers involved in the study actually work for NOAA, the organization whose temperature records their research is bringing into question; and (2) the experiment conducted by the researchers serving as the basis of their conclusions was part of NOAA’s attempt to refute work of Anthony Watts, a meteorologist with more than 40 years of experience who founded the award-winning climate website Watts Up With That. Watt, who recently joined The Heartland Institute as a senior fellow, has for more than a decade produced research showing the National Weather Service’s (NWS) climate monitoring stations, which NOAA uses to compile its temperature records and trend lines, were compromised, failing to meet the agency’s published standards for data quality.”

    Wrong. It was not and attempt to prove anthony’s speculations wrong.

    1. There are NO feild tests of micro site using LeRoys criteria. The CRN classification system (CRN1-5)
    has never been FIELD tested. LeRoy just made it up. His associate did limited undocumented testing.
    How do I know, well FFS I asked them before we wrote our paper.
    The lack of any proper FIELD TEST of the leroy classification system is pretty well known
    https://sci-hub.tw/10.1007/s10546-014-9918-2
    “It is difficult to install and maintain sites that satisfy the recommendations of WMO (2006)
    in spite of the efforts of observing network managers because of costs and the urbanization
    surrounding the sites. Minimizing errors arising from the surroundings of the sites is required
    of network managers, while the observing sites have been selected mainly by drawing on
    the experience of installers (WMO 1993). The reason is there is no quantitative method for
    evaluating the observation environment or estimating the influence of an artificial surface.
    Therefore, a quantitative method for evaluating the temperature observation environment is
    necessary.
    In recent years, classifying sites into classes 1–5 has been considered and discussed in
    WMO (2010). A site classified as class 1 can be regarded as a reference site, while a site
    of class 5 has a poor environment where the meteorological observation are suspect and to
    be avoided. The classification of the temperature observation site is based on the artificial
    surface ratio among the inside of a circle where a thermometer is located at the centre. It is
    a practical method but lacks a scientific basis.”

    2. There is only ONE documented test of the effect of pavement , for example.
    https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/sola/9/0/9_2013-013/_pdf/-char/en

    3. NOAA saw an opportunity to put numbers on the speculation, on the HYPOTHESIS that
    microsite matters.

    “The U.S. Climate Reference Network (USCRN) was designed to create a bias free
    2 climate record for the United States, in addition to serving as a reference to quantify the impacts
    3 of station biases, including urbanization (Diamond et al. 2013, Leeper et al. 2015). To achieve
    4 this goal, the USCRN used criteria in the selection process that inversely awarded points to a
    5 location based upon its proximity to local bias sources (urban, water bodies, tree canopy, and
    6 other obstacles; Leroy 1998, NOAA 2002, WMO 2014 ANNEX 1.B). These points were then
    7 used to classify candidate sites and assess their sensitivity to local influences and
    8 representativeness of the surrounding area. For temperature, preference was given to sites located
    9 further than 100 m from artificial heating sources or water bodies. The USCRN site selection
    10 process balanced the representativeness score with the anticipated temporal stability of the site
    11 (likelihood of future changes that may impact a site) and its accessibility in the selection process.
    12 After installation, each site was visited annually for maintenance and calibration and to
    13 photographically document changes in the vicinity of the station.
    14 During one of these annual visits, site technicians noted encroachment at the Kingston,
    15 RI, Plains Road Site station. From discussions with the site host, there were plans to expand a
    16 parking lot, reroute a road, and move a heated greenhouse all within 100 m of the station. Rather
    17 than remove this station prior to construction, it was decided to leave the station in place and
    18 record the nature of the air temperature changes caused by the encroachment. This decision was
    19 feasible due to the existence of a second Kingston USCRN station (Peckham Farm Site) only 1.4
    20 km to the south that assured continuity of the climate record at this location, and provided an
    21 unbiased observation set for comparisons.”

    the big question is statistical significance

    The reach of the urban bias differed between day time and night time conditions. It was
    largest during evenings following sunny days, when light winds were from the direction of the
    built environment. The mean urban bias for these conditions quickly dropped from 0.84 °C at
    small-scale built environment. Despite a mean urban signal near 0.9 °C at tower-A, the mean urban biases were not statistically significant given the magnitude of the towers standard
    2 deviations; 0.44, 0.40, 0.37, and 0.31 °C for tower-A, -B, -B’, and -C respectively.

    #######################

    The situation is actually very funny. With no specific evidence ( measurements, controlled tests ) that
    microsite matters, people reasoned from experience, they reasoned from basic physics, to conclude that
    microsite must matter. This is like those guys who reason from Physics about huricanes that warmer water will lead to more hurricanes. REASONABLE hypothesis, but you dont know until you test.

    There have been NO TESTS of LeRoy’s classification system.
    To date there have been TWO tests of elements of the system.

    1. A test by a road
    2. Noaa’s test.

    the NOAA results dont achieve statistical significance. However, its still wise to keep the site
    clear of heat sources… until more testing shows otherwise.

    Some final points

    “The official record of temperatures in the continental United States comes from a network of 1,221 climate-monitoring stations overseen by the National Weather Service, a department of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).”

    USHCN is not an official source anymore. Sorry, its not used.

    last point. Anthony reclassified the stations in 2012.

    Refuses to release the data or even a portion of the data .

  27. The best network of climate surface stations in the world is the U.S. Climate Reference Network, USCRN. NOAA\GISS don’t use it directly; their best data to present US climate data. It shows no warming. Instead they use badly sited weather stations, and modify them (slightly down, I guess). This modification for UHI nighttime temperatures is less than actual UHI nighttime additions to temperature. It would be so much more accurate for NOAA/GISS to use USCRN directly; with no adjustments.

    I guess we should be thankful they’re not adjusting the raw USCRN readings?

    • “It would be so much more accurate for NOAA/GISS to use USCRN directly; with no adjustments.”
      Well, here it is. On a NOAA site, they show USCRN, along with USHCN until its termination, and its replacement ClimDiv. You can put them all on the same plot.

      “So much more accurate”? It’s almost exactly the same. Just a smidgin higher trend in USCRN.

      • What is a smidgin? I’ve seen reports touting degrees to the thousandths place (0.001). Are those a smidgin too?

        • “What is a smidgin? “
          A smidgin more than I thought, as Olof pointed out above. USCRN rises by 0.48°C/decade since 2006, ClimDiv 0.36. It’s quite a lot in proportional terms, but both are small, especially relative to the variation, and also the OLS uncertainties, which are respectively 957 and 711°C/decade.

  28. EM Smith (Chiefo) has analysed, over the past few months, in great detail, the differences vetween GHCN versions 3 and 4. This is well worth a look as it shows the problem with instrument changes and data adjustments (fiddling).

    I strongly recommend people reviewing all the posts he has made in connection with this analysis. This can be found set out at: https://chiefio.wordpress.com/tag/ghcn/ He has all the codes so his work can be double checked.

  29. H. Sterling Burnett

    Nice explanations, but then please explain in addition why 46 of the 71 USHCN stations selected by surfacestations.org (i.e., so I suppose, under the direction of Anthony Watts) compare so well with over 8000 GHCN daily stations located in CONUS:

    1. 1900-2018
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1B4TzVe7rFLidKIb-dUOLwdittauW2oVY/view

    As you can see, the GHCN daily plot is even above that for USHCN, what of course means that its trend over 1900-2018 is lower than that of the latter.

    And believe me: GHCN daily is a raw raw data set.

    2. 1979-2018
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/12Khxeii6he3PhW-xKJL-nhlJkA1frWmS/view

    By the way: feel free to have a look at the excellent correlation between CONUS’ surface and lower troposphere data.

    When you get a really closer look at station data, it becomes more and more difficult to accept the claims you reproduce here.

    A decade ago, more and more station data was rejected due to UHI.

    After some people had shown how small the difference between rural and urban/suburban locations in fact are, rural measurements were rejected as well.

    And what do I read here in the comments below your guest post? Satellite measurements above urban corners are to be rejected too. Is that not simpy ridiculous?

    We definitely leave climate science here, and enter bare politics.

    Rgds
    J.-P. D.

  30. The opening sentence from above: “For years, I have written about the poor quality control exercised by government entities promoting the theory human fossil fuel use is causing dangerous climate change.”

    Please, do not give these govt entities any more credit than they deserve: regarding potential AGW they are promoting a HYPOTHESIS; not a THEORY. Their notion, which may or may not be true, is DEFINITELY UNPROVEN; therefore, clearly, a HYPOTHESIS … at best.

  31. “The conclusion media pundits, the general public, and politicians alike should draw from this new research is that there is little justification for imposing costly restrictions on fossil fuel use to fight a warming that is, in fact, not severe at all.”

    Weaponize our water, weather, energy, food, thought, et cetera to control the masses. That is the goal….the agenda. Do as we dictate or else.

  32. The opening sentence from above: “For years, I have written about the poor quality control exercised by government entities promoting the theory human fossil fuel use is causing dangerous climate change.”

    Please, do not give these govt entities — or any of their like-minded colleagues — any more credit than they deserve: regarding potential AGW they are promoting a HYPOTHESIS; not a THEORY. Their notion, which may or may not be true, is DEFINITELY UNPROVEN; therefore, clearly, a HYPOTHESIS … at best.

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