Tuesday, 29 May 2007

Warming: It depends how you measure it...

Recent posts here at Not PC have referred to the reservations reasonable scientists have about the gathering of the surface temperature record. ( Vincent Gray summarises the problems here [pdf].)

For a wee visual hint at what some of those reservations are, Anthony Watts has been exploring Californian weather stations to examine the physical locations in which temperature is recorded. Here's one at Maryville, California, considered a "high quality" station in the station list used to calculate global "warming":

And here's the temperature chart for this location over the course of a century or so:

For comparison, here's the chart for a temperature station nearby that's out in the middle of a field:Can anyone say "Urban Heat Island effect?" When you consider that the "corrections" made by the UN/IPCC warmists to the surface temperature record to account for such abominations is anything but peer reviewed, and relies largely on the say-so of one man, Phil Jones, who insists that a correction of 0.05 degrees per century is sufficient, but then refuses to let his working be checked by reliable statisticians [story here] ... well, I'll let Anthony and Steve McIntyre and their commenters take up the explanation from there.

But just remember pictures like these when you're told by Simon and Wendy that Month X was the warmest in Y million years. And if you're passing a temperature collection location, take a photograph and send them to Roger Pielke Sr. and to Anthony at SurfaceStations.Org [perhaps see if it's already been recorded here first]. How could it hurt?


  1. I came across this story at aardvark about Making New Zealand Number One, and I think that this great technology inventor (Unix/Solaris, Java, Internet, etc,..) of our modern times (Bill Joy, former chief scientist and co-founder of Sun Microsystems) has spotted a good way to make money out of global warming.

    I suspect that Bill Joy is looking for investors to start a business to deal with global warming related issues.

  2. Oops, the correct link for aardvark story is here: Making New Zealand Number One

  3. PC, the heat island effect is well recognised and I thought it had been completely discounted through satellite observations and by, presumably, taking a subsample of observations from stations not near civilization. If the point of the article is to suggest that global warming is the product of measurement error I think you'd be going over some well-worked ground.

    As you know by now I have little sympathy with Goreists, but I'm not certain this sort of argument is helpful. Is it really the case that the case for global warming rests on unchecked corrections for urban heating by one man on the planet? If it is then I will stand corrected, but I would be surprised if this is true.

  4. In answer to your points, Matt, I'd say no, "yes but," no, it certainly is, not just one but two (Hansen and Jones).

    Surprised? This is government science, with all that implies.

    And the problem isn't just the Urban Heat Island effect. Here for example is a rural station...


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