How not to measure temperature, part 91: find the official climate thermometer in this photo
Watts Up With that, 26th October 2009
"It has been awhile since we’ve looked at stations in the United States Historical Climatology Network.
The tree shade and the junk makes for an interesting combination of exposure factors. This station is in the backyard of a private observer whom I won’t name. Certainly you can’t fault the observer for the measurement environment, people are free to do with and maintain their property however they wish. And as we’ve seen time and again, NOAA/NWS usually does not concern itself with the measurement environment. As long as the station produces data, they are generally satisfied. However, this sort of arrangement doesn’t always yield a controlled measurement environment."
Another classic in this series that has been one of the a highlights of the campaign by "climate realists" to inform people that the measurement of surface temperatures from the United States Historical Climatology Network (USHCN), used to assess multi-decadal surface temperature trends is not a reliable dataset. Note the first blog comment here,
Leon Brozyna (21:38:31) :
“Is The U.S. Surface Temperature Record
Reliable?” By Anthony Watts
A picture is worth a thousand words. It describes so beautifully the state of the network — a pile of junk.
Climate Science, 4th May 2009
"Anthony Watts, author of the weblog Watts Up With That, has completed an outstanding,
clearly written report that documents a major problem with the use of the United States
Historical Climatology Network (USHCN)to assess multi-decadal surface temperature
trends. The report is Watts, A. 2009: Is the U.S. Surface Temperature Record Reliable? 28
pages, March 2009 The Heartland Institute."
The comment is given independently of Anthony Watts, who is seen as a
'climate realist' and anti-global warming hero by many. It is extremely difficult to ignore
THE EVIDENCE as it is gathered and scrutinisied by such 'honest' world experts, his
recognition alongside Steve McIntyre is well deserved. I have featured only some of the
entries from the series 'How Not To Measure Temperature' and sometimes the examples of
poor quality data measurement are unbelievable.
How not to measure
temperature, part 85: what Katrina did for temperature measurement
Watts Up With That, 23rd March 2009
"Below is a photo of the USHCN climate station of record in Pascagoula Mississippi. Note
the location of the MMTS temperature sensor. The phrase "industrial nightmare" comes to
mind. But the MMTS didn’t always have this sweet location at the water treatment plant. It
was moved there after Hurricane Katrina.
Craig interviewed the curator and writes: "Moved
to current location after "the storm" (Katrina), which took place in Aug. 2005. Previous
location was over pavement. When I told the plant employee that there were problems with
the instrument location, he said the NWS guy didn't think there was anything wrong with it."
Well, it' a tough call; pavement or pipes?"
How to generate a warming globe. Step 1. Place as many temperature sensors
near a heat source as possible....
How not to measure
temperature, part 82, Friday the 13th: the Temperature Shelter
Watts Up With That, 13th February 2009
"The surfacestations project has now surveyed over 70% of the USHCN. I keep telling
myself that there probably aren't many surprises left. We've seen climate monitoring stations
in parking lots, next to parked cars, next to burn barrels, near air conditioners, at airports, at
sewage treatment plants, at industrial facilities, in people's front yards, back yards, side
yards, near BBQ grills, on top of telephone poles, on main street, next to houses, attached
to houses, next to buildings, and yes even on the rooftops. [...]
In defense of the newspaper editor, Mr. Howe, who was kind enough to grant access for photography and
reportedly was "puzzled" by the keen interest shown by Evan Jones in this station, he says
that he "inherited it when he came to work there 37 years ago". 37 Years? And in all this
time nobody from NOAA/NWS spots this monstrosity of science and does something
about it? Oh the shame. The NWS lack of responsibility makes a mockery out of the hard
work these dedicated volunteers put in towards maintaining records."
Another classic in the series....
Where Thermometers Go To Die
- How not to measure temperature, part 80
wattsupwiththat.com, 2nd January 2009
"In my 30 years in meteorology, I never questioned how NOAA climate monitoring stations
were setup. It wasn't until I stumbled on the Marysville California fire station and its
thermometer that that I began to notice just how badly sited these stations are. When I
started looking further, I never expected to find USHCN climate monitoring stations placed
at sewage treatment plants, next to burn barrels, or in parking lots of University
Atmospheric Science Departments, or next to air conditioning heat exchangers. These were
all huge surprises. I didn't think I'd be surprised anymore. I thought I'd seen the weirdest of
the weird, and that I would not be surprised again with bad station placement examples.
Then I saw this station, submitted from Fort Scott, Kansas: No, your eyes do not deceive
you. That is an official NOAA USHCN climate monitoring station at a funeral home in
downtown Fort Scott, KS. From a wider perspective, you can see all the things around it.
Not only do we have a fountain (extra humidity), a nearby brick wall for heat retention at
night, a large concrete driveway that curves around the station, a tree for shade in the late
afternoon, a big brick building with a south facing brick wall, but we also have cobblestone
streets and convenient nearby parking. The station is near the center of the city. This
location has everything needed, except a BBQ."
Another classic in the series! Note the comment by James the Less (08:21:36);
"Actually, there is a BBQ…they do cremations." LOL!! See previous comments and entries
for a better perspective on why exposing this terrible scientific data collection has been
necessary to blow the myth of rising global surface temperatures.
How not to measure temperature, part 74
WattsUpWithThat.com, 19th November 2008
"Sometimes, words fail me in describing the absolute disregard of the placement of
NOAA official climate monitoring sites.
For example, this one in Clarinda, Iowa
submitted by surfacestations volunteer Eric Gamberg:"
"For those of you that don't know, this station is located at the wastewater treatment plant there.
I've written many times about the placement of stations at WWTP's being a bad idea due to the localized heat
bubble that is created due to all the effluent coming though.
The effect is especially noticeable in winter. Often you'll see steam/water vapor in the air around these sites in
winter, and more than one COOP observer has told our volunteers that snow sometimes
does not stick to the ground at WWTP's. The larger pole appears to be a gas burnoff
torch for excess methane. I can't say how often it is activated (note the automatic ignitor
circuit on the pole) but I can tell you that putting an official NOAA climate thermometer
within a few feet of such a device is one of the worst examples of thoughtless station
placement on the part of NOAA I've ever seen."
Another classic in the series, but when will the details of this mismanagement hit
the mainstream? This defintion provided by Pierre Gosselin (08:11:04), just about sums up
the situation; "The United States Historical Climatology Network (USHCN) is a ship-shod,
positive-biased data set of daily and monthly records of easy-to-manipulate meteorological
variables from over 1000 poorly sited observing stations across the 48 contiguous getting
hotter United States." But, apparently it's the best network of it's kind in the world....
not to measure temperature, part 71: NOAA neglect of volunteer observers
Watts Up With That?, 15th September 2008
"As we get more of the private observers in USHCN surveyed, we start hearing about
stories like this one from Dufur Oregon, where the observers seem to have been pretty
much "left on their own" for about many, many, years. The lack of guidance and QC on the
part of NOAA is stunning. The station itself is even more troubling. I don't blame the
observer, but NOAA clearly failed this observer and the science mission to collect climate
If you are confused by the pictures, the first picture is taken around the back of
the house which is like a mini-junkyard and the Stevenson screen is raised up and obscured
by an overhanging tree. The 2nd picture is taken from the front of the house where the
Stevenson screen is clearly visible but obviously still surrounded by overhanging trees. This
is another example of why NOAA have lost any credibility for their temperature
measurements (daily and monthly records of basic meteorological variables) received from
their official climate stations as part US Historical Climatological Network.
How not to measure temperature, part 69
Watts Up With That, 23rd August 2008
Another classic, 'How not to measure temperature' with a reference to a recent
article on the Urban Heat Island Effect. There is a brilliant classic photo of a rooftop
USHCN station completely surrounded by buildings, circa 1990’s, courtesy of NOAA.
Huh...and they wonder why people are sceptical nowadays....Anyway, there is a nice
example of jobsworth mentality here too, "I'm low on the totem pole, and I can't help you,
we'll have to ask the Captain." LOL!!
How not to measure temperature, part 48.
cites errors with Baltimore’s Rooftop USHCN Station
WattsUpWithThat.com, 23rd January 2008
"I happened across a NOAA internal training manual a couple of weeks ago that contained
a photo of a USHCN official climate station that I thought I’d never get a photo of. The
Baltimore Customs House."
I continue to be amazed at the historic
placement of US climate stations, Baltimore Customs House has got to be an all time
How not to measure temperature, part 34
Watts Up With That, 19th November 2007
"Klamath Falls was one of those places where you have to wonder "what were they
thinking?" when they placed a climate monitoring station. Imagine measuring the
temperature in the middle of acres of asphalt combined with huge amounts of waste heat
from electric power conversion. That’s Klamath Falls USHCN official climate station of
Forget the global warming rhetoric, look at the location of the sites chosen to
take the measurements, you only need some basic education to work out that this site will
produce distorted heat measurements.
There’s a USHCN station out there, in the "ass end of
Watt's Up With That?, 18th November 2007
"Aplogist Eli Rabett (Joshua Halpern) recently lamented that in order for
dendrochronologists to update tree ring studies used in MBH98/99 (aka Mann’s Hockey
Stick) that they "have to drive out to the ass end of nowhere". It’s such an inconvenience
for those that just perform data wrangling in the office, instead of going out to get their
hands dirty, that a study used as the basis for legislation hasn’t had its data updated in
almost 10 years!
Thanks to Mr. Pete and Steve McIntyre, a recent outing in Colorado to get updated core
samples from the very same trees used in Mann’s study proved that it’s not so hard after
all. In fact they were able to have a Starbucks in the morning, do the field work, and were
back home in time for a late dinner. No futzing with grant proposals, no elaborate plans
submitted for approval, just basic honest field science. The samples they collected are in a
dendrochronology lab undergoing analysis."
There are some nice examples of ill-placed sensors too with this report.
How Not to Measure Temperature, Part 33
Watts Up With That?, 23rd October 2007
Another substandard location for measuring temperature accurately, demonstrating that the
problem is not unique to the USA. Here we have the main Australian historic site,
Melbourne metropolitan, near LaTrobe St, Melbourne, which has been used to measure
max-min temp records daily since 1855 to late 2007.
How not to measure temperature, part 31
Watts Up with That, 19 September 2007
"Ok in the past we have seen stations on rooftops, at sewage treatment plants, over
concrete, next to air conditioners, next to diesel generators, with nearby parking, excessive
nighttime humidity, and at non-standard observing heights. Imagine a USHCN station that
embraces all of that. I give you the Titusville, FL USHCN station:"
This entry also includes an example of the correct environment for measurement of near surface air temperature. Now NOAA are just a laughing stock.
GISS Has Reranked US Temperature Anomalies
Climate Science, 8th August 2007
"The hard work of of Steve McIntyre (Climate Audit) and Anthony Watts (www.surfacestations.org) has resulted in the identification of a significant error in the assessment of the rankings of what have been the warmest years in the United States as identified by GISS. The current warmest year is 1934. This new information can be read at http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=1880#more-1880. Climate Science recognizes that this adjustment by GISS is but one of a slew of issues they need to explore, however, it is a clear example of the value of the research that Anthony and Steve are doing."
The Congratulations must include the small volunteer army of surveyors.
Comment: Well done!
How not to measure Temperature, part 26 - counting A/C units
Norcalblogs.com, 2nd August 2007
What's wrong with the Happy Camp? Well, I can tell you,
"a "rural" station swimming in a sea of exhaust from 22 air conditioning units within 100 feet of the Stevenson Screen. Ridiculous, you are making this up you say? Well that would be my first reaction too."
Well, the troops are going out and smashing the belief that we can rely on the current measurement of ground surface temperatures to assess climate change. This classic USHCN site is another major embarrassment for NOAA compliance.
How not to measure temperature, part 19
Norcalblogs.com, 9th July 2007
"I've seen some poorly thought out places to measure temperature, but this one takes the cake. Not only do we have the sensor above a sea of air conditioners with warm air exhausts, there are two rooftop building exhausts, plus the roof and building itself, and then lets not forget that the Press Democrat itself is in a sea of buildings in downtown Santa Rosa, all of which to contribute to the Urban Heat Island (UHI) the thermometer is exposed to. Yes folks, this is an official USHCN Climate station of record. The data from this station goes into the national climatic database."
Check out the photo gallery, absolutely unbelievable!
How not to measure temperature, part 13
Norcalblogs.com, 26 June 2007
More evidence that the measurement of global mean temperatures is a complete shambles. It is really hard to comprehend how anybody with a basic education in geography could locate climate stations in such an haphazard way. How not to measure temperature, part 14
is even more unbelievable, being located adjacent to a chimney. Ridiculous! Good for a laugh if nothing else! For the innocenti, please pay heed to this quote:
"There is one feature I notice that is generally missing in 'cargo cult science'... It's a kind of scientific integrity, a principle of scientific thought that corresponds to a kind of utter honesty, a kind of leaning over backwards... For example, if you're doing an experiment, you should report everything that you think might make it invalid, not only what you think is right about it... Details that could throw doubt on your interpretation must be given, if you know them." - Richard Feynman
Quality Control - Jones and Hansen Style
ClinateAudit.org, 26th May 2007
Un flippin believable! The CimateAudit.org website has decided to show people where weather stations have been placed to measure surface temperatures. The "urban heat island effect" is part of basic studies in geography but it seems to have been ignored here. I have to say, once I started laughing, I found it very hard to stop! Remember, the high and mighty want to carbon tax based on this crappy data! The site is hard to navigate so are here are some more examples More ISO-2000 Weather Stations from Jones and Hansen