Watts' announcement: US temperature records contaminated with urban warming

(Click to enlarge)

Wasn’t quite the bombshell I was expecting, and hardly of ‘global’ significance, but interesting none the less.

UPDATE: In my haste to post this morning, I missed a key point, which Anthony kindly writes to correct:

“This paper means that every surface temperature record national or global must now be examined. See what Dr. Roger Pielke Sr. says here.”

Apologies for the misunderstanding.

Here’s the extract from Anthony’s post:

A reanalysis of U.S. surface station temperatures has been performed using the recently WMO-approved Siting Classification System devised by METEO-France’s Michel Leroy. The new siting classification more accurately characterizes the quality of the location in terms of monitoring long-term spatially representative surface temperature trends. The new analysis demonstrates that reported 1979-2008 U.S. temperature trends are spuriously doubled, with 92% of that over-estimation resulting from erroneous NOAA adjustments of well-sited stations upward. The paper is the first to use the updated siting system which addresses USHCN siting issues and data adjustments.

The new improved assessment, for the years 1979 to 2008, yields a trend of +0.155C per decade from the high quality sites, a +0.248 C per decade trend for poorly sited locations, and a trend of +0.309 C per decade after NOAA adjusts the data. This issue of station siting quality is expected to be an issue with respect to the monitoring of land surface temperature throughout the Global Historical Climate Network and in the BEST network.

One particularly interesting point is that the NOAA adjustments increase the temperatures despite UHI effects. How can they get it so spectacularly wrong (unless there’s an agenda at work in the background – perish the thought)?

Read it all here.

Ironically, this information comes at precisely the time that Richard Muller, of BEST fame, continues to plug the line that his temperature set has “settled the science”:

CALL me a converted skeptic. Three years ago I identified problems in previous climate studies that, in my mind, threw doubt on the very existence of global warming. Last year, following an intensive research effort involving a dozen scientists, I concluded that global warming was real and that the prior estimates of the rate of warming were correct. I’m now going a step further: Humans are almost entirely the cause.

My total turnaround, in such a short time, is the result of careful and objective analysis by the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project, which I founded with my daughter Elizabeth. Our results show that the average temperature of the earth’s land has risen by two and a half degrees Fahrenheit over the past 250 years, including an increase of one and a half degrees over the most recent 50 years. Moreover, it appears likely that essentially all of this increase results from the human emission of greenhouse gases. (source)

Call me cynical, but maybe he’s worked out which side his bread’s buttered.

UPDATE: Morano does the required demolition here. Even Michael Mann is peeved:

“My view is that Muller’s efforts to promote himself by belittling the collective efforts of the entire atmospheric/climate research community over several decades, though, really does the scientific community a disservice. Its great that he’s reaffirmed what we already knew. But for him to pretend that we couldn’t trust this entire scientific field until Richard Muller put his personal stamp of approval on their conclusions is, in my view, a very dangerously misguided philosophical take on how science works. It seems, in the end–quite sadly–that this is all really about Richard Muller’s self-aggrandizement 😦 “

Like I said in a post a while ago, the surface temperature sets are a crock. On that point, we have consensus.

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