Thursday, January 10, 2013

how (not) to measure terrestial temperature

link:  How not to meausre temperature
  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.
Volunteer(!) run:  Volunteers find thermometres and photo graph the site
From theirs FAQ page:

Q: Why are you doing this? Isn't all the data discontinuity and urban biases accounted for by all the adjustments made to the climate data sets as described in the USHCN home page?

A: Yes adjustments have been made to account for measurable and predictable data biases, such as Time of Observation and station moves, but the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) and NASA's Goddard Institute of Space Flight (GISS) who are the main collectors, analyzers, and modelers of climatic data have not done a site by site hands on photographic survey to account for microsite influences near the thermometer. To date all such studies conducted have been data analysis and data manipulations used to spot and/or minimize data inconsistencies.

Published works by Dr. Roger Pielke of the University of Colorado, Dev Nyogi of Purdue University, and Georg Taylor of Oregon State University have demonstrated that a significant number of USHCN and other weather stations used in the climate record have some significant, and in some cases severe measurement biases near the thermometers in these climate stations of record. There have been instances recorded of air conditioners being located directly adjacent to the thermometer, vehicles parked next to thermometers head-in, heat generating electronics and electrical components being placed in the thermometer shelters within inches of the sensor, and sensors being located in the middle of large areas of asphalt/concrete and directly attached to buildings all in violation of standard published NOAA practices for temperature measurement. None of these things witnessed by observers and captured by photography are known or accounted for by climate researchers. See the Odd Sites page for examples of these types of issues with USHCN stations.

This website exists as a repository of such information to compile a list of stations with issues and a list of stations that are issue free. Knowing this will help produce better data and hence better climate predications.

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