A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


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The Great Dying of Thermometers

It’s like watching the lights go out over the West. Sinan Unur has mapped the surface stations into a beautiful animation. His is 4 minutes long and spans from 1701-2010. I’ve taken some of his snapshots and strung them into a 10 second animation.

You can see as development spreads across the world that more and more places are reporting temperatures. It’s obvious how well documented temperatures were (once) in the US. The decay of the system in the last 20 years is stark.

For details on just how sinister the vanishing of data records is, see my previous post on Anthony Watts and Joe D’Aleo’s extraordinary summary of Policy Driven Deception.

The Great Dying of Thermometers


Sinan points out that people might not realize that many thermometers haven’t actually disappeared — they are often still collecting data — it’s just that their records are not being included in the “global” compilations. Though, as Watts and D’Aleo point out, sometimes these forgotten thermometers are still used to calculate the baseline averages.

I’m sure one day the chronological spread (and decay) of thermometers will be a useful marker for some socio/economic/historic marker (though it’s [...]