Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Is the U.S. Temperature Record Reliable?

I've made no secret about my suspicions about Global Warming and my concern on how emotionally charged the issue is. Unfortunately, when emotion takes over, science and common sense can often fly right out of the window. Now, I am not saying that we should not use our finite resources more wisely, even more conservatively. I am also not denying that less pollution has to be a good thing. What I am arguing with is the way these excellent points are being side-stepped or derailed by the sense of over-wrought urgency to fix this all yesterday because we're "ALL GONNA DIE" and the over-bearing attitude of the Global Warming (My bad, they changed it to "Cliamte Change") doomsayers. They are willing to push this bad information at the cost of jobs, the economy, and livelihood of all of us just because they think they are doing something good for Mother Earth. And woe to any individual who disagrres because, after all, "The debate is over!".

I received an email about the following from my Dad. I Googled the Author, Anthony Watts and according to both Wiki, and his own Blog site, he is a meteorologist and former Global Warming proponent. He, as a Scientist, decided to start doing his own research and found, as I did, much of the science used to argue for Global Warming is flawed. Here is the Executive Summary for the attached PDF showing an issue with a majority of the "1,221 climate-monitoring stations overseen by the National Weather Service" used to gather/report historical temperature means and climate change data. Read the attached PDF and check out the website at http://www.surfacestations.org/ for all the data and form your own opinion.

Again, here is a reprint of his Executive Summary:
"Global warming is one of the most serious issues of our times. Some experts claim the rise in temperature during the past century was “unprecedented” and proof that immediate action to reduce human greenhouse gas emissions must begin. Other experts say the warming was very modest and the case for action has yet to be made.

The reliability of data used to document temperature trends is of great importance in this debate. We can’t know for sure if global warming is a problem if we can’t trust the data.

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.

We found stations located next to the exhaust fans of air conditioning units, surrounded by asphalt parking lots and roads, on blistering-hot rooftops, and near sidewalks and buildings that absorb and radiate heat. We found 68 stations located at wastewater treatment plants, where the process of waste digestion causes temperatures to be higher than in surrounding areas.

In fact, we found that 89 percent of the stations – nearly 9 of every 10 – fail to meet the National Weather Service’s own siting requirements that stations must be 30 meters (about 100 feet) or more away from an artificial heating or radiating/reflecting heat source.

In other words, 9 of every 10 stations are likely reporting higher or rising temperatures because they are badly sited.

It gets worse. 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.

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

The errors in the record exceed by a wide margin the purported rise in temperature of 0.7º C (about 1.2º F) during the twentieth century. Consequently, this record should not be cited as evidence of any trend in temperature that may have occurred across the U.S. during the past century. Since the U.S. record is thought to be “the best in the world,” it follows that the global database is likely similarly compromised and unreliable.

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 www.surfacestations.org, where station photos can be browsed by state or searched for by name."
- Anthony Watts
Now, I am not arguing against common sense. I am cautioning against radical and emotionally charged decisions and taxes based on bad data. With The American Clean Energy and Security Act (H.R. 2454) in Congress, we really should know the real story before things get too out of hand.

1 comment:

  1. Very good find! But nothing like this ever gets any attention though. Gore claims the debate is over, even though a debate hasn't actually occurred. Scientists risk career suicide by opposing the Church of Climatology. Not to mention, climate legislation will guarantee steady income for a plethora of niche scientists, who are in much greater supply than legitimate demand would ever accommodate. And, finally... with a climate bill being Obama's 2nd biggest priority, I don't think ABC is going to be airing the climate science fair from the white house anytime soon.

    As far as Earth-emotion: Bluntly, Global Warming has become a religion. In their eyes skeptics no longer exist. You either show full compliance with sacrificing whatever is needed by the "climate" to prevent the imoending apocalypse, or you continue to live a life of sin that rapidly shortens the date to damnation.

    Even the slightest doubt earns you the label of denier (and more recently "Denialist"). Everyone is either Jesus, or is holding a nail. And Lord Gore has made it clear that if Jesus has to die for the sinners again, there will be no Easter.

    Al Gore claims the debate is over. But the debate never happened. Scientists still risk career suicide by opposing the Church of Climatology.


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