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July 5, 2007

Temperature Readings May Exaggerate Warming

It doesn't take much to qualify as controversial these days in the field of climate science. Anthony Watts of Watts Up With That? is running a project at surfacestations.org that is creating a publicly available photographic database of weather stations, to help the public judge for itself why some of these stations are registering higher temperatures. The Kool-Aid–guzzlers at RealClimate are enraged that we don't just take their word for it that the temperature is shooting to the sky because selfish Americans won't refrain from productive activity.

Watts quotes a comment by Jim Clarke at Climate Science, which he says "clears the air rather nicely":

If a site is initially chosen because it meets all the qualifications for observing temperature, there is little about the site that could change to develop a cool bias. Almost all the changes will result in a warming trend from the original, ideal setting.
Natural changes such as the growth of trees and shrubs, reduce the clear sky radiation, resulting in a warming trend. Man made changes, such as increased building and paving in and around the site, also results in a warming trend that is unrelated to any potential climate change. Finally, deterioration of the shelter housing the instruments also leads to an artificial warming.
Any correction of these potential warming factors simply returns the site to its initial, ideal state. The only way to get an artificial cooling is to start with a less than ideal setting for recording air temperature and improve it. While this may have happened in a few locations, it is obvious that the gradual degradation of recording sites is the norm.
The calculations of the temperature increase due to increasing CO2 are theory, which can only be verified with actual, accurate data. Those who claim that the accuracy of the data is not relevant are, in effect, defending a theory against reality, which is faith, not science.
I know that supporters of the AGW [anthropogenic global warming] theory get very upset when they are accused of behaving in a religious fashion, instead of behaving like scientists. To avoid this, I suggest they start behaving like scientists and support the effort to obtain the best data possible.

Differences of a fraction of a degree are worth haggling over, because they could deprive the global warming hoax of what little scientific credibility it still retains. So naturally the true believers don't want the public to know about possible flaws in data collection. What does data matter anyway when the important thing is to believe?

weather-station.jpg
This site has changed a little in the 100 years it's been collecting temperature data.

On a tip from Kevin.

Posted by Van Helsing at July 5, 2007 12:07 PM

Comments

from what i understand, it's still very hot in the summer in phoenix. oh yeah, and death valley...and a multitude of other places and then BOOM! it gets cold again long about november in the same stinking places! could be a conspeory - still working on the angle, though...

Posted by: nanc at July 5, 2007 12:29 PM

Good picture. Cell site HVACs produce a great deal of heat because the rectifiers and radio equipment inside the relatively small shelters produce heat and must be kept at or near room temperature. Even on cool days, the AC runs pretty regularly. On hot days it's almost constant.

Posted by: forest at July 5, 2007 1:16 PM

Ok, I understand your point of view, but I don't agree. Let's say the numbers representing temperature readings are modified by other factors and they are not true. But global warming is more than this. You can feel it when you go outside and it is so obvious.

If you look at www.arctic-warming.com you will see some details about last century's climate which are very important in understanding the current climate.

Posted by: Adrianne at July 5, 2007 1:28 PM

"You can feel it when you go outside and it is so obvious."

You are kidding, right? Assuming the readings are correct, (which is a big assumption) the average increase is only a fraction of a degree over many years. It's not possible to feel a difference so small.

Posted by: forest at July 5, 2007 1:52 PM

"You can feel it when you go outside and it is so obvious."

Most people can't feel a temperature difference of a couple of degrees celcius, let alone 0.6 degrees over the last 100 years. I have been asking people to tell me about changes they have seen, not just know in their hearts, due to climate change. The results? Nada to date, nothing. Except for what Al Gore and Co. are telling people, those same people can't come up with a concrete example.

Oh the sea level is rising and drowning Tuvalu. Not according to the Tuvaluans and the data. But polar bears are disappearing. Not according to studies done by the Canadain government. Storms are becoming more frequent and stronger. Not according to the data and historical trends. Just because we can measure things with more accuracy now than in the past does not make them true. Tornadoes used to be recorded when they were sighted, now we have Doppler radar and can record every little dust devil. Satellites show us tropical storms that would have gone unnoticed in earlier days. There is no way to compare our curent records with older ones due to our ability to measure ever finer detail.

Posted by: John Nicklin at July 5, 2007 3:34 PM

"You can feel it when you go outside and it is so obvious."

Man, that is hilarious!! hahaha!! Quite scientific.

The asphalt in the picture above is probably one of the biggest contributors. I'd read this article before, and this is just one example - the credibility of many other stations is also compromised.

Perhaps all the GW scientists will all say "Remember when we said the earth was getting hotter? Well, our bad".

Posted by: NudeGayWhalesForJesus at July 5, 2007 8:48 PM

Okay, my turn...

"You can feel it when you go outside and it is so obvious."

When I first moved to Atlanta in 1980, the bank thermometer read 113 degrees. It was a heatwave summer. I felt that when I went outside. That was nearly 30 years ago, and the recent summers have been quite mild in comparison.

I think what Adrianne is feeling is what we refer to as "summer". Give it a few months, Adrianne will claim global cooling is "so obvious".

Posted by: Atlanta Man at July 5, 2007 8:54 PM

Adrianne
Many scientists agree that the temature has gone up, BUT, the REAL questions are:
1} Is "global warming" caused by human activity?
2} Is it going to be as bad as the alarmists claim? (Coastal flooding of many feet, for instance)
and here's MY question:
3} What temeature would be nessisary to melt the Earth's poles as compleatly as the alarmists say, and how long would the melting take? Remember; if you have higher tempatures to hasten the melting, the REST of the world would experience a drastic rise in tempature.
BONUS QUESTION:
4} What effect would the nessisary ice-melting tempatures have on the Tropics and Eqitorial regions? (Let's say the poles average year-round tempature is 40 degrees)

Posted by: KHarn at July 6, 2007 1:04 PM

Adrianne,

The graph at www.arctic-warming.com shows a rapid and prolonged warming in the Arctic between 1920 and 1938, since then it has been cooler by a wide margin. If the polar ice cap was still intact after 1940, I don't think that we have much to worry about now. The temperature then peaked out at about 2.5 degrees. Now it at a toasty 0.6.

How long would it take to melt the polar ice cap, at about 5 degrees warmer, a few decades, but no increase in sea level, its floating ice. To melt Greenland? somewhere between 5 and 10,000 years, at 5 degrees warmer. To melt the Antarctic? Probably something like 20,000 years. All best guess from my climate model I built in my garage of course.

Thanks for the tip on the acrtic site.

Posted by: John Nicklin at July 6, 2007 6:21 PM

I am back to the discussion as I think I didn't explain myself well the last time. What I meant by "You can feel it when you go outside and it is so obvious" it wasn't that you go out and say "Oh, I should have taken short pants instead of blue jeans", but I meant that you can sense that, compared to the previous years, the temperatures are hotter and hotter. Or in the winter, you see that there is less if any snow.

Maybe this site will explain a little better than I am able to.

Best regards!

Posted by: Adrianne at July 12, 2007 7:56 AM