Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Temperature Stations

A must read for anyone serious about studing global warming SCIENCE.
Anthony Watts, Is the U.S. Surface Temperature Record Reliable? Chicago, IL: The Heartland Institute, 2009

Excerpts include:
"we found that 89 percent of the stations – nearly 9 of every 10 – fail to meet the National Weather Service’s own siting requirements"

"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). Until now, no one had ever conducted a comprehensive review of the quality of the measurement environment of those stations."

"During the past few years I recruited a team of more than 650 volunteers to visually inspect and photographically document more than 860 of these temperature stations. We were shocked by what we found."

"9 of every 10 stations are likely reporting higher or rising temperatures because they are badly sited"

"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."

"This report presents actual photos of more than 100 temperature stations in the U.S., many of them demonstrating vividly the siting issues we found to be rampant in the network. Photographs of all 865 stations that have been surveyed so far can
be found at, where station photos can be browsed by state or searched for by name."

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

Heroes of Science:
Anthony Watts is a 25-year broadcast meteorology veteran and currently chief meteorologist for KPAY-AM radio. He got his start as on-air meteorologist for WLFI-TV in Lafayette, Indiana and at KHSL-TV in Chico, California. In 1987, he founded ItWorks, which supplies broadcast graphics systems to hundreds of cable television, television, and radio stations nationwide. ItWorks supplies custom weather stations, Internet servers, weather graphics content, and broadcast video equipment. In 2007, Watts founded, a Web site devoted to photographing and documenting the quality of weather stations across the U.S.

The author thanks Gary Boden, for his extensive work in implementing Excel and Google Earth algorithms, plus quality control;
Evan M. Jones, for his untiring assistance in station surveys and quality control checking;
Dr. Roger Pielke, Sr., Colorado State University, for his guidance and assistance in providing resources that enabled this project to become a reality;
Barry Wise, for his assistance in linking Google Earth to the photo gallery;
and the more than 650 volunteers who have tirelessly driven thousands of miles to survey and report stations, with particular thanks to the volunteers who have surveyed 25 or more stations, including Craig Limesand, Eric Gamberg, John Goetz, Don Kostuch, Russell Steele, Kristen Byrnes, and Liz and Don Healey.

I also thank Steve McIntyre, who provided a large measure of assistance in collating station data.

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