Urban Night Lighting Observations Demonstrate The Land Surface Temperature Dataset is ‘not fit for purpose’

Foreword by Anthony:

This excellent study demonstrates what I have been saying for years – the land surface temperature dataset has been compromised by a variety of localized biases, such as the heat sink effect I describe in my July 2022 report: Corrupted Climate Stations where I demonstrate that 96% of stations used to measure climate have been producing corrupted data. Climate science has the wrongheaded opinion that they can “adjust” for all of these problems. Alan Longhurst is correct when he says: “…the instrumental record is not fit for purpose.”

One wonders how long climate scientists can go on deluding themselves about this useless and highly warm-biased data. – Anthony

Guest essay by Alan Longhurst – From Dr. Judith Curry’s Climate Etc.

The pattern of warming of surface air temperature recorded by the instrumental data is accepted almost without question by the science community as being the consequence of the progressive and global contamination of the atmosphere by CO2.   But if they were properly inquisitive, it would not take them long see what was wrong with that over-simplification: the evidence is perfectly clear, and simple enough for any person of good will to understand.

In 2006 NASA Goddard published two plots showing that the USA data[1] did not follow the same warming trend as the rest of the world. Rural data numerically dominate the USA archive, while urban data massively dominate almost everywhere else.   Observations began very early in the USA – being introduced by Jefferson in 1776 – and that emphasis had already then been placed on providing assistance to farmers.

They are consistent with the ‘global warming‘ that so worries us today being an urban affair, caused not by global CO2 pollution of the global atmosphere but by the heat of combustion of petroleum we burn in our vehicles, our homes and where we work – all of which is additive to the radiative consequences of our buildings and impermeable cement and asphalt surfaces. However, towns and cities in fact occupy only a very small fraction of the land surface of our planet, about 0.53% (or 1.25%, if their densely populated suburbs are included) according to a recent computation done with rule-based mapping. But it is in this very small fraction of land surfaces that most of the data in the CRUTEM or GISTEMP archives have been recorded.

Consequently, very few surface air temperature observations have been made in the small villages which, with their farms and grazing lands, are scattered in the otherwise uninhabited grassland. forest, mountain, desert and tundra.  Nor is it widely understood that our presence there has been associated with progressive change since the introduction of steel and steam to plough the grasslands and to cut forests for timber.[2] 

A measure of the brightness or intensity of night lighting, the BI index, was derived by NASA from the work of Mark Imhoff, who calibrated and ranked night lights in seven stable classes – one rural, two peri-urban and four urban.[3]   The BI indes for airport of Toulouse is at 59 and the central district of Cairo is at 167.  Care must be take with apparent anomalies similar to that of Millau which is an active little town of 20,000 people but it has a BI = 0, as does Gourdon which has only 4000.  This is because the MeteoFrance instruments at Millau have been placed on a bare hilltop on the far side of a deep, unbuilt valley adjacent to the town and so they record only the  conditions of the surrounding countryside.

It is not only in major cities that the effects of urbanisation can be detected; this effect can also be detected in data from some very small places that would otherwise be considered rural as at Lerwick, a port in the Orkney Islands with a population of <7000.  Here, the GHCN-M data from KNMI show a warming of about 0.9oC over the period 1978-2018, while during the same period the day/night temperature difference increased by 0.3oC.  Retention of heat at night is characteristic of urban warming.

But Gourdon, a compact little rural village not far from my home in western France has a BI of only 7 for a population of only 3900.  It is situated in farmland that was abandoned 150 years ago when the vines died, and it is now given over to sheep, goats and scrub vegetation.   Little hamlets in this region are now often dark at night and their road signs may warn you that you are entering a ´Starlit village´.

Despite its deep isolation, there is a manned Meteofrance data station in Gourdon which over a 60-year period has recorded a very gradual and small summer warming since mid-20th century, associated with perfectly stable winter conditions.

Since buildings and human activity have undoubtedly changed at Gourdon in this long period, perhaps especially by the growth of rural tourism, this effect was probably predictable.  The same is seen in data from other small places such as Lerwick, a port in the Orkney Islands with a population about twice that of Gourdon.  Here, GHCN-M data from KNMI show a warming of about 0.9oC over the period 1978-2018 while during the same period the day/night temperature difference increased by 0.3oC.

The BI values for night lighting are in no way influenced by fact that the thermometric data with which each is associated have later been merged with data from another station to achieve regional homogeneity.   Consequently, it is appropriate to associate them with night-light data in the hope of isolating the effects of local combustion of hydrocarbons in towns and cities, from what we must attribute to solar variation.    The consequences of homogenisation on the surface air temperature data is avoided here by the use of GHCN-M data from the KNMI site – which are as close to the original observations, adjusted only for on-site problems, as is now possible to get.

The urban warming phenomenon has been observed and understood for almost two hundred years.  Meteorologist Luke Howard (quoted by H.H. Lamb) wrote in 1833 concerning his studies of temperature at the Royal Society building in central London and also at Tottenham and Plaistow, then some distance beyond the town:

But the temperature of the city is not to be considered as that of the climate; it partakes too much of an artificial warmth, induced by its structure, by a crowded population, and the consumption of great quantities of fuel in fires: as will appear by what follows….we find London always warmer than the country, the average excess of its temperature being 1.579°F….a considerable portion of heated air is continually poured into the common mass from the chimnies; to which we have to add the heat diffused in all directions, from founderies, breweries, steam engines, and other manufacturing and culinary fire..’ [4]  

To Luke Howard’s list must now be added the consequences of the combustion of hydrocarbon fuels in vehicles, mass transport systems, power plants and industrial enterprises located within the urban perimeter, cement/asphalt surfaces and their relative contributions day and night.[5]

The energy budget of the agglomeration of Toulouse in southern France is probably typical of such places: anthropogenic heat release is of order 100 Wm2 in winter and 25 W m-2 in summer in the city core, and somewhat less in the residential suburbs.  Observations of resulting evolution of surface air temperatures in central Toulouse are compatible with the anticipated effect of the inventory of all heat sources seasonally.  Below the urban canopy layer, a budget for heat production and loss through advection into surrounding rural areas has been computed and it is found that this loss is important under some wind conditions.  In this and many other urbanisations, there is also an important seasonality of heat release by passing road traffic that forms a major component of the heating budget, since national highway systems commonly pass close to major centres of population.[6] 

Larger cities, larger effects: in the core of the city of Tokyo during the 1990s the seasonal heat flux range was 400-1600 W.m-2 and the entire Tokyo coastal plain appears to be contaminated by urban heat generated within the city, especially in summer when warming may extend to 1 km altitude, much higher than the simple nocturnal heat island over large cities.[7]   The long-term evolution of urban climates is well illustrated in Europe where, in the second half of the 20th century when their natural association with regional climate was abruptly replaced by a simple warming trend that took them almost 2oC above the base-line of the previous 250 years.

Although, globally, the energy from urban heat is equivalent to only a very small fraction of heat transported in the atmosphere, models suggest that it may be capable of disrupting natural circulation patterns sufficiently to induce distant as well as local effects on the global surface air temperature pattern.  Significant release of this heat into the lower atmosphere is concentrated in three relatively small mid-latitude regions – eastern North America, western Europe and eastern Asia – but the inclusion of this regional injection of heat (as a steady input at 86 model points where it exceeds 0.4W m2) has been tested in the NCAR Community Atmospheric model CAM3. 

Comparison of the control and perturbation runs showed significant regional effects from the release of heat from these three regions at 86 grid points where observations of fossil fuel use suggest that it exceeds 0.4 Wm-2.  In winter at high northern latitudes, very significant temperature changes are induced: according to the authors, ‘there is strong warming up to 1oK in Russia and northern Asia…. the north-eastern US and southern Canada have significant warming, up to 0.8 K in the Canadian Prairies’.

The suggestion that the global surface air temperature data – on which the hypothesis of anthropogenic climate warming hangs – are heavily contaminated by other heat sources is not novel.  The map below shows the locations of 173 stations used by MacKittrick and Michaels for a statistical analysis of the contamination of the global temperature archives by urban heat., using which they rejected the null hypothesis that the spatial pattern of temperature trends is independent of socio-economic effects which was, and still is, the position taken by the IPCC – for which MacKittrick was then a reviewer.[8]

In the present context, this study seemed worth repeating, so a file of 31 clusters of BI indices was gathered from the ‘Get Neighbours’ lists that are shown when accessing GISTEMP data.  These clusters comprise 1200 data files representing 776 towns or cities and 424 rural places – of which 355 are totally dark at night.  They therefore represent a wide range of individual station histories – many longer than 100 years – and are sufficient for the task.   Just 53 of the 540 rural sites listed are in Western Europe, the remainder being located in the vast, night-dark expanses of Asia – where the data based on the arctic island of Novaya Zemyla includes only three with significant night lights,  of which one is the city of Murmansk.

 The cluster centred southeast of Lake Baikal includes two cities (329,000 and 212,000 inhabitants having BIs of only 28 and 13) together with 39 small places – of which 28 are totally dark at night  – while that immediately to the west of Baikal includes 19 such places.   But not all bright locations have large populations, because intensive industrial farms – solar panel energised – can dominate regional night lighting as it does at in some Gulf States: an experimental farm alone here generates a BI of 122, while the 3012 people who live at Shiwaik generate a BI of 181.

The map below indicates the central locations  of 30 clusters in relation to the distribution of native vegetation type. [9]                

                                  Central stations of each cluster 

        Place name                              Radius km   BI=0 BI>25  Npop<1K    N       E      

  1   Gourdon, France                                  288       5           1               6         44.7  01.4

  2   Valentia Observatory, S. Ireland    400       14         2              14        51.9  10.2

  3   Santiago Compostella, Spain           406      7          23              2          42.9   06.4

  4   Muenster, Germany                         109      1          7               0          52.4   07.7

  5   Innsbruck, Austria                           107      9           2               4          42.3   11.4

  6   Bursa, Turkey                                  224     12         1                2          40.4   25.1 

  7   El Suez, Egypt                                 532       7       21                0            25.4   32.5

  8   Abadan                                             628        6       17                0         30.4   48.5

  9   Gdov, Russia                                    224      14         5             10          58.7   27.5

10  Saransk. W Russia                            434        9         9                1          54.1   45.2

11  Tobolsk, Russia                                 482         8        7                5          58.1   68.2

12  Lviv, Ukraine                                    293      10        5                2           49.8   23.9     

13  Simferopol, Crimea                           397       14        4                2           44.7   34.4            

14  Tulun , Russia                                    485      19        4               9            54.0   98.0

15  Tatarsk, Russia                                    308      14         1               6           55.2   75.9

16  Krasnojarsk, Russia                            391     13         2               7            56.0   92.7

17  Ostrov Gollomjanny, Russia i             277      38         2            24           79.5   90.6

18  Malye Kamakuki, Russia                     82      30         1            23            72.4   52.7

19  Kokshetay, Kazakstan                          460      15         3              2          53.3   69.4

20  Cardara, Russia                                   212       12         0              1           41.3   68.0

21  Nagov, Russia                                     696      30         0              4          31.4   92,1

22  Selagunly, Russia                                846      26        0              5            66.2  114.0

23  Loksak, Russia                                    493       31         0            11          54.7  130.0

24  Gyzylarbat, Russia                              636       20         5             5          38.9    56.3

25  Ust Tzilma, Pechora Basin                 451        16         1           7           65.4    52.3

26  Cape Kigilyak, Kamchatka               1055        37        0            9          73.3  139.9

27  Dashbalbar, Mongolia                       435       29         1            6           49.5  114.4    

28  Guanghua, China                               465       17         2             ?           32.3  111.7   

29  Youyang, S. Korea                            417       26          0            ?          28.3  108.7

30  Poona, N. India                                 681         4          7            0          18.5   73,8

31  C. India                                             601         1        17            0          23.2   71.3     

32  Mai Sariang, Burma                          57         10          4            1          68.2    97.9

33  Central Japan                                   203          5       13            1          34.4  132.6

These data may be used to investigate the supposed warming of Europe and Asia that so worries the public.  In far eastern Russia and neighbouring territories 8 clusters are listed  which include 296 place-names lacking any night-lighting at all, together with just five small towns having night-light indices of only 1.  In such places, it is the natural cycle of climate conditions – modified locally by progressive anthropogenic change in ground cover – that dominates the global pattern of air temperature, and in rural regions there is a rather simple relationship between population size and BI.

Towns and villages occupy only a very small fraction of the continental land surface of our planet, currently about 0.53% – or 1.25% if their densely-populated suburbs are included – according to a recent study using rule-based mapping.  Although it is peripheral to the present discussion, it must be emphasised that conditions in the sparsely-inhabited rural or natural regions are not static at secular scale – everywhere, including in Asia, grasslands and prairies have been grazed or ploughed, and forests clear-cut and replaced with secondary growth.

Consequently, the distribution of population is highly aggregated and associated – as it must be – with regional economic development.  This is illustrated in the images below which show that in western Europe access to the sea is critical, as it is in Japan, while in night-dark Ukraine and Russia it is the zones of temperate broadleaf forest and temperate steppe in which settlement and urban development has been most active.[10]  The arctic tundra belt is very sparsely populated but does includes a few industrialised cities, of which Archangelsk is the largest.

Although, globally, the energy from heat of combustion is equivalent to only a very small fraction of the energy transported in the atmosphere, models suggest that it may be capable of disrupting natural circulation patterns sufficiently to induce distant as well as local effects on the global SAT pattern derived from observations.  Significant release of this heat into the lower atmosphere is concentrated in three relatively small mid-latitude regions – eastern North America, western Europe and eastern Asia – but the inclusion of this regional injection of heat (as a steady input at 86 model points where it exceeds 0.4W m2) in the NCAR Community Atmospheric model CAM3 has important but distant regional effects, especially in winter. 

Comparisons of control and perturbation runs show significant regional effects from the release of heat from these three regions at 86 grid points at which observations of fossil fuel use suggest that it exceeds 0.4 Wm-2: specifically, in winter at high northern latitudes, very significant temperature changes are induced: according to the authors, ‘there is strong warming up to 1oK in Russia and northern Asia…. the north-eastern US and southern Canada have significant warming, up to 0.8 K in the Canadian Prairies’.  Especially in northern North America, where the instrumental record is excellent, this effect is readily observed night lighting is highly aggregated and associated – as it must be – with regional economic development.  This is illustrated in the image above which shows that in western Europe access to the sea is critical, as it is in Japan, while in night-dark Ukraine and Russia it is the zones of temperate broadleaf forest and temperate steppe in which settlement and urban development has been most active.[11]

In eastern Asia, 8 clusters include 268 places that are dark at night, together with just 47 having some night-lighting, mostly of intensity <20.  They include only one city (BI = 153).   In such regions, it is the multi-decadal cycle of solar brilliance that dominates the evolution of air temperature, modified by local effects of change in vegetation and ground cover.

But it is really a misuse of the term ‘rural’ to apply it to the small inhabited places scattered across northern Asia, for this implies some similarity with landscapes such as surrounds Gourdon, devoted now or in the past to farming and herding.  But small villages in asiatic Russia have nothing to do with rurality: their houses and streets have simply been set down in natural terrain – in the wildlands, if you will – that is subsequently ignored; there are no crops, gardens or greenhouses, and the activities of the population are not clear.  The wide unpaved streets bear very few motor vehicles – and there is no street lighting.  Many are described as administrative centres and some have a small dirt runway for light aircraft, while a few seem not to be connected to the rest of the world by dirt roads even seasonally,

Here are two small places in northern Siberia with very different seasonal temperature regimes, of which one is clearly well on its way to urbanisation.  Each lies between 65-70oN on the banks of the river Lena.

 Zhigansk is a long-settled little town founded in 1632 by Cossacks sent to pacify and tax the region; it is now an administrative centre housing 3500 people., laid out beside the river on a rectangular grid.  Until the Lena freezes, it has no road access to the outside in winter.

Kjusjur, just south of the mouth of the Lena in a subarctic environment, was founded in 1924 as the administrative centre for this region, and has a population of 1345; routine meteorological data began to be collected in 1924 and continues today.  About 100 small houses and one larger building are set on unpaved streets beside the stony bank of te river; it has neither runway nor river landing place, but rough tracks leave the settlement to north and south which must be impassable much of the year.[12]

Two motor vehicles can be seen in Kjusjur and a few small boats are pulled up on the beach, while there are about ten motor vehicles in Zhigansk and neither place has any street lighting. Zhigansk has a dirt airstrip with a radar installation that perhaps also houses the meteorological station.   Each has a temperature regime appropriate to its situation, and although it was what I was looking for, I am surprised by the strength of the response to urbanisation at Zhigansk.   I was also expecting that each would respond – at least in very general terms – to solar forcing, and so it does: the cooling of the 1940s and 50s which caused us so much concern in those years about a coming glaciation is clear.

  A compilation of arctic data and proxies took 64oN as the limit of the Arctic region, within which 59 stations were used to analyse the pattern of regional co-variability for SAT anomalies based on PCA techniques.[13]   This demonstrated quasi-periodicity of 50-80 years in ice cover in the Svalbard region: at least eight previous periods of relatively low ice cover can be identified back to about 1200.

Hindcasting climate states is not easy: a recent synthesis of tree-ring data from the Yamal peninsula rashly states that in Siberia the ‘industrial era warming is unprecedented…. elevated summer temperatures above those…for the past seven millennia‘.  However, documents and observations show that this is one generalisation too far.  In summer 1846, as recorded by H.H. Lamb, warming across the arctic extended from Archangel to eastern Siberia, where the captain of a Russian survey ship noted that the River Lena was hard to locate in a vast, flooded landscape and could be followed only by the ‘rushing of the stream’ which ‘rolled trees, moss and large masses of peat’ against his ship, that secured from the flood ‘an elephant’s head’.

The temperature reconstruction below is from annual growth of larches on the Yamal peninisula at the mouth of the Ob.[14]  It testifies that the early decades of the 19th century did indeed include a period of very cold conditions on the arctic coast, while supporting the reality of periods of warmth likely to caused melting of the permafrost of tundra regions.

 In any case, irruptions of warm Atlantic water into the eastern Arctic – including the present one – are well recorded in the archives of whaling, sealing and the cod fisheries.  The present period of a warm Arctic climate is not novel and there is an abundant record from the cod fisheries in the Barents Sea and beyond, not to speak of the documentation concerning the intermittence of open seas from the sealers and whalers in northern waters.

The surface air temperature data are dominated by observations made in towns and cities so that the secular evolution of the climate is determined not by the gaseous composition of the atmosphere, nor by solar radiation: instead, it is dominated by the consequences of our ever-increasing combustion of fossil hydrocarbons in motor cars, public transit and home heating systems, as well as in the industrial plants and factories  where most of us must work.  To this must be added the daily accumulation of solar heat in the stonework or cement of our buildings facing each other along narrow passages.

One conclusion is unavoidable from this simple exploration of the surface air temperature archive: as used today by the IPCC and the climate change science community the instrumental record is not fit for purpose: it is contaminated by data obtained from that tiny fraction of Earth’s surface where most of us spend our brief span of years indoors.  


[1] Hansen, NASA press release and J. Geophys. Res. 106, D20, 23947-23963.

[2] Ellis, E.C. et al. (2010) Glob. Ecol. Biogeog. 19, 589-606

[3] R.A. Ruedy (pers. comm)- see GISS notice dated Aug 28, 1998, at the Sources website

[4] from H.H. Lamb

[5] see for example, Li, X et al. (2020) Sci. Data 7, 168-177.

[6] Pigeon, G. et al. (2007) Int. J. Climat. 27, 1969-1981

[7] Ichinose, T.K et al. (1999) Atmosph. Envir. 33, 3897-3909, Fujibe, F. (2009) 7th Int. Conf. Urban Clim., Yokohama

[8] McKittrick, R.R. and P.J. Michaels (2004 & 2007) Clim. Res. 26 (2) 159-273 & J.G.R. (27) 265-268

[9] Map is from Gao and O’Neil (2020) NATURE COMMUNICATIONS |11:2302https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-15788, image is from eomages.gf.nasa.go

[10] Map from Gao and O’Neil (2020) NATURE COMMUNICATIONS |11:2302https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-15788, image is from eomages.gf.nasa.gov

[11] Ellis, E.C. et al. (date) Global Ecol. Geogr. 19, 589-60, and “Anthropogenic biomes: 10,000 BCE-2025 CE (doi.3390/land9050129v

[12] Images from Google Maps software

[13] Overland, J.A.. et al. (2003) J. Clim. pp-pp

19 Polyakov, I.V. et al. J. Clim. 16, 2067-77

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Tom Halla
December 18, 2022 6:17 pm

So it would appear that night lighting is not well correlated with UHI intensity, at least for the purpose of discounting UHI.
Given the substantially biased siting of land stations, UAH satellite measurements should be preferred, if one is trying to draw claims about the climate in general. Or at least, if one is trying to be honest about climate, and not just a CAGW hack.

December 18, 2022 6:21 pm

As long as climate researchers propagandists are being paid to produce shite that supports political agendas, they will continue to produce shite.


Last edited 1 month ago by Bob Tisdale
Reply to  Bob Tisdale
December 18, 2022 6:52 pm

Excellent comment Bob.

Mike Maguire
Reply to  Bob Tisdale
December 18, 2022 7:08 pm

Screenshot 2022-12-18 at 21-07-52 Upton Sinclair Quotes.png
Reply to  Bob Tisdale
December 18, 2022 7:21 pm

Hi Bob, it’s me, Leonardo “one of the 97%” Di Caprio, filling in for Al and John this week. They’re off to both ends of the world, flying in their personal jets, to explain how best everyone can reduce their carbon dioxide emissions and save the planet.

You must be some uninformed rube with a high school GED degree like mine, except I’m an expert now. Al and John told me so when I came on board to help spread the propagan, uh, word.

Chris Hanley
Reply to  BobM
December 18, 2022 7:52 pm

And when Leonardo speaks the world listens.

December 18, 2022 7:03 pm

And, of course, they need to cool the past to make up for this urban warming.

That’s correct “adjustment”, isn’t it 😉

Tom Abbott
Reply to  bnice2000
December 19, 2022 5:14 am

Yes, the alarmists have to artificiallly cool the past using their computers because if the truth is known, they don’t have a case for claiming CO2 is driving the climate to unprecedented heights. The reason being that today’s temperatures are not unprecedented if we go by the unmodified regional temperature charts from around the world, the U.S. chart being just one of many.

What the unmodified regional charts show is that it was just as warm in the Early Twentieth Century as it is today and they show we are not experiencing unprecedented temperatures today. In fact, it was warmer in the 1930’s, in the United States, going by the regional chart shown above (Hansen 1999), than it is today.

Today there is much more CO2 in the atmosphere than there was in the 1930’s, yet it is no warmer today than it was then. Alarmists have no way to explain this, so they use their computers to create the Big Lie that we are experiencing unprecedented warmth today because of CO2, by making the past look colder in comparison to today, than it really was.

The only way the Alarmists can win the argument is to successfully perpetrate this Big Lie. Any thinking, honest person who has looked into this matter, knows it’s a Big Lie. The Alarmists bastardized the temperature data in their computers to promote a political agenda.

The Bastardized temperature record is the ONLY *evidence* Alarmists have, and it is all made up in a computer and does not represent the real world going by the written, historial temperature records which say just the opposite of what the Bastardized records says.

A few dishonest alarmist computer programmers set the stage for the insane world we now live in where CO2 is a demon. They set the stage and the politicians, recognizing a good thing when they see it, ran with it, and here we are on the brink of destruction of our economies and societies because of it.

The Big CO2 Lie has Big, Bad Consequences.

Dave Andrews
Reply to  Tom Abbott
December 19, 2022 8:47 am

I often post the fact that the open season for the coalport at Spitsbergen (Svalbard) went from 3 months in the years before 1920 to over 7 months of the year by the late 1930s as physical evidence of the early 20th century warming.

Recently I came across a paper on glacier length fluctuations by Leclerq at al which says amongst other things,

“Despite increasing global temperature in the 20thC, this retreat is strongest in the period 1921 – 1960 rather than the last period 1961 – 2000″

‘A data set of worldwide glacier length fluctuations’ PW Leclerq, J Oerlemons, HJ Basagic, I Busheva, AJ Cook and R Le Bris. The Cryosphere 8, 659-672, 2014


Reply to  Tom Abbott
December 19, 2022 8:58 am

They cool the past and warm the present, then declare that you can’t criticize their adjustments because there are just as many cooling adjustments as there are warming adjustments. (I’m not kidding, I’ve seen quite a few make that argument.)

Reply to  MarkW
December 19, 2022 12:59 pm

And don’t forget Nitpick Nick’s go-to line: “the adjustments make no difference in the results…”

Pat from Kerbob
Reply to  MarkW
December 19, 2022 5:18 pm

Yes, they do try to say there are lots of cooling adjustments with out stating those were all in the past to smooth the shaft of the hockey stick

Recent , last 30 years, all increases.

And the result is a hockey stick

Reply to  bnice2000
December 19, 2022 12:00 pm

this also confirms my findings, that I wrote about in August:

John Hultquist
December 18, 2022 7:23 pm

Thanks. An interesting report.

I live 5 miles from a small airport (KELN) with an elevation 1745 feet. There the instruments register 19°F at 7 pm (12/18/22).
My place is at an elevation 2,240 feet. My outside sensor claims it is 16°F.
There is cold air rushing out of the Canadian Arctic. To get to me it has to come up out of the mid-Columbia River Valley. At Omak, WA (100 miles north, in the Okanagan Valley) the temp is 10°F. Wind is 28 mph. KELN wind is 0 mph. This is confounded by local cold air drainage from the 6,000 ft. ridge just to my north.
While this is an interesting episode, I expect a temp of about Zero on Wednesday morning.
A little global warming, if you please.

Peta of Newark
Reply to  John Hultquist
December 18, 2022 8:56 pm

John H: Same here.
I’d recount asimilar tale from living in very rural north east Cumbria UK and as the farmer I was, keeping an eye on all things ‘weather’
An epic resource was/is the little Wunderground station in the small town of Brampton, pop: 4,000

The station is sited near the top of a modest little hill, above the town and on the southern edge.
What intrigued me was that me and it were both on the 300ft contour line, had epic views to the (prevailing weather direction) west and were barely 3 miles apart as ‘the crow flies’
Hence how/why I got interested in setting up my data-loggers – to compare notes and calibrate them.

What was amazing though, seeing/watching the 5 minute daily traces created by the Wunderground, was what happened at night occasionally if/when there was little wind.
Classically the breeze would drift in from the south west, having come from miles and miles of perennially green farmland.

But sometimes, you’d see a very abrupt upwards temperature spike of maybe one or two Celsius during a nighttime and wonder “wtf happened there/then

The clue came from looking at the windspeed/direction plot the Wunderground was also creating.
Exactly when the spike occurred was if the wind, for whatever reason, did an about-turn and breezed in from the north – meaning it hit the weather station after blowing over the town instead of coming in from the fields to the south west.
I guess due to a very mini-cyclone dust-devil being carried in the prevailing nighttime breeze working to reverse the breeze as it floated through.

But the efffect on temperture was insane, from just such a small town that’s 10+miles from any other civilisation (Carlisle pop 100,000 to the west) then nowhere after that for 25+ miles.
You would have thought that, with Carlise being directly upwind most of the time you’d see some effect but it wasn’t obvious and to my mind, those spikes, short duration but high amplitude, proved it
But also, again to my mind, what a complete crock of shyte the GHGE actually is

Unfortunately I was using the Lascar dataloggers and they have so much inertia that they couldn’t see such events. They wouldn’t anyway, my farm/house was 2 miles east from a village of barely 300 souls with nothing between and as I said, 3 miles due north of Brampton

How I compensated was by putting an identical datalogger under 18″ of dirt and comparing the graphs.

Thus I discovered that air temperatures can and do do anything they like at any old time that they like.
Nebulous is a possible description/word but doesn’t come close to the reality.

Climate Science really is chasing after and attempting to count dancing faeries
or especially,
Temperature is not Energy

Reply to  John Hultquist
December 19, 2022 9:00 am

A 3F drop for a 500 foot elevation increase is about what you would expect.

Reply to  John Hultquist
December 19, 2022 9:28 am

“My outside sensor claims it is 16°F.”

I have two sensors outside. One near the house by my deck, the other at the edge of the field about 100′ away. They’re calibrated to within 0.1F of each other (verified). They often read 4-5F difference.

That’s just one house on a farm.

And the warmer one is often 2-3F below what the “official” report is for the area.

Last edited 1 month ago by Tony_G
Tim Gorman
Reply to  Tony_G
December 19, 2022 5:34 pm

This is why you simply cannot believe the homogenization done to the temperature record is correct.

Temperature depends on a lot of things: elevation, pressure, humidity, wind, terrain, and geography among others. You can see temperature differences between stations even a mile apart. So when they “homogenize” by using stations that can be 20 miles to 100 miles (or possibly even more) they are just GUESSING at what the temperature at the unknown location is. Using surrounding stations to determine when the temperature record at a location needs adjusting is even worse. It just makes the entire data record a mess and unfit for purpose.

December 18, 2022 7:56 pm

Clearly the laws of physics cease to exist in the US. CO2 evenly blankets the globe. There is no way for a constant to cause the trend differences between the US and the Globe. That is basic science 101. Unless you can explain why there has been no warming in the US, yet warming elsewhere, you can’t blame the warming on CO2. If CO2 didn’t cause warming in the US, it can’t cause warming elsewhere.

Pat from Kerbob
Reply to  CO2isLife
December 18, 2022 9:37 pm

The USA has, or had, a good temperature network of both urban and rural.
For most of the rest of the world there are mostly only records from cities which are then used to infill.
And we know what that leads to.

So the world temp record is basically UHi

Tom Abbott
Reply to  CO2isLife
December 19, 2022 5:28 am

“Unless you can explain why there has been no warming in the US, yet warming elsewhere, you can’t blame the warming on CO2.”

There has been no warming elsewhere either, going by the unmodified, regional, written temperature records from around the world.

Here are about 600 charts from around the world showing it was just as warm in the Early Twentieth Century as it is today:


The only warming comes from bastardized, computer-generated temperature records. It is all the Alarmists have as “evidence” that CO2 is causing temperatures to rise to unprecedented levels. Without the bastardized charts, the Alarmists have nothing with which to make an argument because the written temperature records dispute the claim that we are living in a time of unprecedented warmth. We are not. CO2 has done its worst, so to speak, and we are no warmer today than we were last century. That’s what the truth of the matter is.

Jeff Alberts
December 18, 2022 7:59 pm

Are MacKittrick, McKittrick, and McKitrick the same person? Consistency would be nice.

Dodgy Geezer
December 18, 2022 8:19 pm

It’s not only urban heat output – surface materials change data radically.

I live in the UK, which is just coming out of a cold spell at the moment. When rain rather than snow started coming down I went outside with a hand-held thermometer to see what the temperatures were like.

At the back of the house (lawn) the ground measured +0.5C. At the front (paved drive) it measured -3.5C. I was startled that such a major difference could be measured within a few yards….

December 18, 2022 8:28 pm

Earth’s human population has increased 4 or 5 fold since 1880 and the per capita quantity of infrastructure, ranging from residential housing to roads and bridges, office buildings factories etc not to mention the mass advent of the motor vehicle etc etc etc meaans that the loacal heat footprint has gone up bu at least one and likely two orders of magnitide compared to the atmosphere’s CO2 content.

On what basis do these eco hillbillies not figure out the data might be significantly if not fatally corraupted? When searching for the answer to that question adopt that old and tried but true position to ‘follow the money’.

What we have here is a political-scientifical complex that delivers for both parties, just like the military-industrial complex Eisenhower warned of 75 or so years ago.

Reply to  ClimateBear
December 19, 2022 12:14 pm

Eisenhower warned of the “scientific-technological elite” in the same address:

“Akin to, and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our industrial-military posture, has been the technological revolution during recent decades.

In this revolution, research has become central, it also becomes more formalized complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government.

Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in labaratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers.

The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present — and is gravely to be regarded.

Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.”

Chris Hanley
December 18, 2022 8:29 pm

UHI effect may explain the abrupt departure of NH from SH surface temperature trend from around 2000.

December 18, 2022 8:34 pm

There is no “global” warming.

Most warming is occurring in the Northern Hemisphere in winter when temperatures are less than 0C. The Southern Hemisphere south of 55S is cooling. The Nino34 region without trend for more than 4 decades.

Much more insightful to look at the temperature than anomalies. But even anomalies show that there is no “global” warming.

NH oceans are warming up in September and that is increasing advection in the form of increasing snowfall to cooling land during the boreal winters.

The ingredients are all there for termination of the modern interglacial. Climate change has nothing to do with CO2. It is driven by the changing orbit. NH started has experienced increasing solar intensity for 2000 years. It is now having a significant impact on temperature and snowfall. SH has been getting less solar intensity for 1000 years and it is just starting to impact temperature trends.

Pat from Kerbob
December 18, 2022 9:32 pm

The two graphs at the beginning are the ones Hansen had in his 1998 paper.
The USA one was based on good records while the world one is based on much sparser data, basically only from cities in the rest of the world
So the “world” graph represents the record of uhi

Last edited 1 month ago by Pat from Kerbob
Tom Abbott
Reply to  Pat from Kerbob
December 19, 2022 5:38 am

NASA used to host a webpage with that information on it, but for some reason, decided to delete it. Here’s the link to the original page, and a link to that same data on the Wayback machine:

comment image


comment image



Hansen, in his comments about the difference between the way the U.S. chart profile looks and the global chart profile looks, offers a lame excuse.

James Hansen: “How can the absence of clear climate change in the United States be reconciled with continued reports of record global temperature? Part of the “answer” is that U.S. climate has been following a different course than global climate, at least so far. Figure 1 compares the temperature history in the U.S. and the world for the past 120 years. The U.S. has warmed during the past century, but the warming hardly exceeds year-to-year variability. Indeed, in the U.S. the warmest decade was the 1930s and the warmest year was 1934. Global temperature, in contrast, had passed 1930s values by 1980 and the world has warmed at a remarkable rate over the last 25 years.”

Maybe that’s why NASA deleted the page, too many people were making fun of Hansen’s lame excuse. Thankfully, we still have the Wayback Machine.

Last edited 1 month ago by Tom Abbott
Reply to  Tom Abbott
December 19, 2022 3:29 pm

But Tom your US graph is not up to date. Here is the full version and now the warming is far more pronounced and more in line with the planet.
comment image

Reply to  Simon
December 19, 2022 4:22 pm

Your poor eyesight is evidence since the two USA charts are very different as they nearly eliminated that inconvenient cooling run from the 1940’s to the 1970’s (.1C) in your chart while the 1999 chart was showing a DROP of around .70C

Your credibility is dead on arrival.

Pat from Kerbob
Reply to  Simon
December 19, 2022 5:11 pm

Yes Simon, after adjustments it now looks worse. In 1998 they hadn’t thought that far ahead yet, but after tens of thousands of adjustments it now looks “better”.

Evidence for criminal charges.

Reply to  Pat from Kerbob
December 19, 2022 11:02 pm

Evidence for criminal charges.” Ummm no. Still if you can prove it go ahead.

Reply to  Simon
December 19, 2022 8:55 pm

Yes, there is a few extra years of data, however, most of the earlier data has changed as well.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Simon
December 20, 2022 5:07 am

Simon, don’t you know better than to try to pawn off a bastardized temperature chart as being real, around here?

The U.S. graph in combination with the UAH satellite data puts everything in perspective. Note that the UAH chart shows the warmest years in the satellite era were 1998 and 2016, which are statistically tied for the warmest in the satellite era.

So when Hansen says that 1934 was warmer than 1998, he is also saying that 1934 was warmer than 2016, the “hottest year evah!” according to the alarmists. Well, 2016 was not the hottest year evah! in the United States. Your bastardized chart doesn’t show that, Simon. And we know why, don’t we. It’s all a scam, and here you are helping to promote it.

UAH satellite chart:

comment image

And another thing: The globe is currently cooling. In the face of increasing CO2 in the atmosphere, the globe is cooling. That is contrary to what the alarmists claim should be happening.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
December 20, 2022 7:23 am

Simon, don’t you know better

That was rhetorical, right?

Reply to  Pat from Kerbob
December 19, 2022 9:05 am

Even the US record isn’t that good. Most of the recording stations are on the eastern seaboard, with a smattering around the population centers on the west coast.
The number of sensors in the center of the country is quite sparse.

Pat from Kerbob
Reply to  MarkW
December 19, 2022 5:13 pm

But it’s still a widespread record
Yes, in 1880 the west was even more sparsely populated, but out in the rest of the world, outside Western Europe and a very few other locales they only place collecting data were cities, and mostly cities in colonial empires, because Europeans were more sciency.

So the world graph has an upward slope due to uhi.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  MarkW
December 20, 2022 5:15 am

“Even the US record isn’t that good.”

That can be interpreted in more than one way.

Coverage could have been better, but I don’t think the accuracy of the readings that were taken at the majority of weather stations is in question.

And I would apply that not only to the United States but to the rest of the world. The coverage was not good, but the accuracy was as good as today under similar circumstances (humans visually reading thermometers).

December 19, 2022 12:16 am
Peta of Newark
December 19, 2022 1:03 am

Here it is, soooo easy to find, from what was my local Wunderground.

From during The Heatwave as well – an actual photo of Dancing Faeries

See the event: Highlighted at between 5 and 6 in the morning (sunrise was just before 6AM BST local time that day)

How from midnight the wind was constant from the East (unusual) but at 5AM something scrambled it direction-wise and a brief ‘squall’ of 25mph blew up.

That stirred up the warm air of the town at the base of the hill the station sits upon and bingo, station temp went from 21.1°C to 25.8°C

and an hour later it had all disappeared..

See The Joys Of Averages there, upon which ALL of Climate Science depends?
That spike would have gone into and lifted the average of the Official Temperature Record but – how many polar bears did it kill?

This whole thing is A Complete Crock

Urban Heat at ICUMBRIA1.PNG
Last edited 1 month ago by Peta of Newark
Leo Smith
December 19, 2022 1:54 am

Here in li’l old UK, the daytime temperature has risen 17°C (-4°C to +13°C) in less than a week.
Climate? What climate?
All we get is [deleted] weather…

Alan Welch
December 19, 2022 2:12 am

It’s a pity the 2 graphs at the start were not plotted at the same scales.

I extracted by eye the average decade temperatures and plotted on 1 graph.

There was not much difference except for the 30’s in the US.

The US might be big but it is only 2% of the Earth’s surface so the left graph is a weather graph and the right a “global climate” graph what ever that means. The smaller the area the more extreme the range of readings.

Their slopes are almost identical at 0.005 degrees C / year.

t hal
Reply to  Alan Welch
December 19, 2022 4:46 am

I noticed this also and stopped reading and just scanned the article. There are a couple other side-by-side graphs that invite eyeball comparisons presented in the same manner.

I do not need to be convinced that there are problems with the record, but I lose patience fast when authors resort to this type of presentation to bolster their narrative – from both sides of the argument.

Pat from Kerbob
Reply to  t hal
December 19, 2022 5:08 pm

These are the graphs James Hansen used in his 1998 paper

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Pat from Kerbob
December 20, 2022 5:29 am

They ought to ask themselves where Hansen got the data for his bastardized global Hockey Stick chart.

They ought to ask themselves why all the unmodified, regional, written temperature records from all around the world show the same temperature profile as the U.S. chart, where the Early Twentieth Century shows to be just as warm as it is today.

They ought to ask themselves why the temperature profiles of the unmodified, regional temperature records look nothing like the “hotter and hotter” profile of the global Hockey Stick chart. The bogus Hockey Stick chart profile is unique. It is the OutLiar.

The written temperature record puts the Lie to the Bogus, Bastardized Global Hockey Stick charts. They do not represent reality.

December 19, 2022 6:43 am

The flawed data is suitable for those nefarious organisations that want to ramp up climate alarmism, for their own greedy benefit of course

Ben Vorlich
December 19, 2022 6:59 am

Just a small point, Lerwick is the capital of Shetland, Kirkwall the capital of Orkney. I am not sure which one is being referred to in the article. Lerwick and Shetland are quite a bit further north than Kirkwall and Orkney, neither have large populations

December 19, 2022 8:55 am

Speaking of lighting, the Biden is getting ready to start pushing everyone to use LED lights, whether you want to or not.


Reply to  MarkW
December 19, 2022 1:14 pm


Pat from Kerbob
Reply to  MarkW
December 19, 2022 5:06 pm

I like my led lights, can get any shade, use much less power, much improvement over those crap VFL bulbs.

And don’t produce heat like incandescent, warming my house when I don’t want to.

Led lights are good, I can string Christmas lights like Clark Griswald, cover my house and yet run them off single plug.

Reply to  Pat from Kerbob
December 19, 2022 9:00 pm

I like them as well. The only non-led lights left in my house are on the back porch and a couple of closets. Collectively they probably run less than 2 hours a year.

My point is that it should be each person’s decision as to whether or not they are going to switch. Government should have no role in such a decision.

I remember a story about an office building that was switching from incandescent to fluorescent, during the first winter after the switch, they ended up having to do an emergency order for extra heaters. Seems that the old incandescents were throwing off so much heat that they partly heated the building.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  MarkW
December 20, 2022 5:32 am

“My point is that it should be each person’s decision as to whether or not they are going to switch. Government should have no role in such a decision.”

And an excellent point it is.

December 20, 2022 4:30 pm

Nighttime lighting in a city (or elsewhere) has no better than moderate positive correlation with energy consumption. One example is Pyongyang which has nighttime lighting much less than that of most other cities that have the same energy consumption or the same urban heat island effect. Some cities and towns have “dark sky” policies for astronomical observatories or for stargazing. The Las Vegas Strip (which is mostly outside Las Vegas city limits) does the opposite.

There is also the matter that some cities, etc. are leaders and others are laggards at keeping pace with energy efficiency improvement of outdoor lighting. For example, Philadelphia is standing out as having its streetlighting mostly done with high pressure sodium vapor lamps, many of which run 24/7 because of aging/failing photocells. And also, some places prioritize gain of energy efficiency towards more llight while others use gain of energy efficiency improvement to decrease energy consumption. For example, some bits of Philadelphia that got sodium streetlights replaced by LED ones are lit up blazing bright

December 20, 2022 8:32 pm

nightlights are not fit to define urban

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