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The big news is out on Watts Up: Half the trend is due to badly placed thermometers and erroneous adjustments

Posted By Joanne Nova On July 30, 2012 @ 5:00 am In Global Warming | Comments Disabled

It’s all up on Watts Up now.

What Anthony Watts and Evan Jones have revealed is breathtaking, a must see. Half of the warming trend has gone. 92% of the artificial rise was due to” erroneous adjustments of well sited stations”. Muller et al used an older siting classification system. The new classification system shows that siting does have a major impact on the data.

We always knew thermometers were never meant to be stuck next to air-conditioners. Now we know they shouldn’t be recording global warming near airports either.


[Art thanks to: Cartoons by Josh]

Go and Visit Watts Up and enjoy!

I’ll be posting my own analysis with graphs and information soon.

This is one of those blockbuster moments when the pieces come together. For Anthony it’s five years work, and overturns so many studies all at once. This graph rather sums it all up. Raw well placed thermometers recorded 0.15C per decade. Badly sited thermometers recorded 0.25C, and adjusted ones recorded 0.3C!  Fully twice the warming trend.

Figure 19 – Comparisons of regions and gridded values for all CONUS compliant stations, all CONUS non-compliant stations, and final USHCNv2 adjusted CONUS data

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PRESS RELEASE – July 29th, 2012 12PM PDT – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

A reanalysis of U.S. surface station temperatures has been performed using the recently WMO-approved Siting Classification System devised by METEO-France’s Michel Leroy. The new siting classification more accurately characterizes the quality of the location in terms of monitoring long-term spatially representative surface temperature trends. The new analysis demonstrates that reported 1979-2008 U.S. temperature trends are spuriously doubled, with 92% of that over-estimation resulting from erroneous NOAA adjustments of well-sited stations upward. The paper is the first to use the updated siting system which addresses USHCN siting issues and data adjustments.

The new improved assessment, for the years 1979 to 2008, yields a trend of +0.155C per decade from the high quality sites, a +0.248 C per decade trend for poorly sited locations, and a trend of +0.309 C per decade after NOAA adjusts the data. This issue of station siting quality is expected to be an issue with respect to the monitoring of land surface temperature throughout the Global Historical Climate Network and in the BEST network.

Today, a new paper has been released that is the culmination of knowledge gleaned from five years or work by Anthony Watts and the many volunteers and contributors to the SurfaceStations project started in 2007.

This pre-publication draft paper, titled An area and distance weighted analysis of the impacts of station exposure on the U.S. Historical Climatology Network temperatures and temperature trends, is co-authored by Anthony Watts of California, Evan Jones of New York, Stephen McIntyre of Toronto, Canada, and Dr. John R. Christy from the Department of Atmospheric Science, University of Alabama, Huntsville, is to be submitted for publication.

The pre-release of this paper follows the practice embraced by Dr. Richard Muller, of the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project in a June 2011 interview with Scientific American’s Michael Lemonick in “Science Talk”, said:

I know that is prior to acceptance, but in the tradition that I grew up in (under Nobel Laureate Luis Alvarez) we always widely distributed “preprints” of papers prior to their publication or even submission. That guaranteed a much wider peer review than we obtained from mere referees.

The USHCN is one of the main metrics used to gauge the temperature changes in the United States. The first wide scale effort to address siting issues, Watts, (2009), a collated photographic survey, showed that approximately 90% of USHCN stations were compromised by encroachment of urbanity in the form of heat sinks and sources, such as concrete, asphalt, air conditioning system heat exchangers, roadways, airport tarmac, and other issues. This finding was backed up by an August 2011 U.S. General Accounting Office investigation and report titled: Climate Monitoring: NOAA Can Improve Management of the U.S. Historical Climatology Network

All three papers examining the station siting issue, using early data gathered by the SurfaceStations project, Menne et al (2010), authored by Dr. Matt Menne of NCDC, Fall et al, 2011, authored by Dr. Souleymane Fall of Tuskeegee University and co-authored by Anthony Watts, and Muller et al 2012, authored by Dr. Richard Muller of the University of California, Berkeley and founder of the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature Project (BEST) were inconclusive in finding effects on temperature trends used to gauge the temperature change in the United States over the last century.

 

Read the whole press release on Watts Up.

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