Compliant station in Orland, CA Credit: Anthony Watts
Non-Compliant Station Marysville, CA Credit: Anthony Watts
Anthony Watts, owner of the award winning blog “Watts Up With That”, has pre-published a paper titled, “An area and distance weighted analysis of the impacts of station exposure on the U.S. Historical Climatology Network temperatures and temperature trends” co-authored by Anthony Watts of California, Evan Jones of New York, Stephen McIntyre of Toronto, Canada, and Dr. John R. Christy from the Department of Atmospheric Science, University of Alabama, Huntsville, to be submitted for publication.
From the press release:
Watts et al 2012 has employed a new methodology for station siting, pioneered by Michel Leroy of METEOFrance in 2010, in the paper Leroy 2010, and endorsed by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Commission for Instruments and Methods of Observation (CIMO-XV, 2010) Fifteenth session, in September 2010 as a WMO-ISO standard, making it suitable for reevaluating previous studies on the issue of station siting.
The old method was ineffective in evaluating the vaguries of station that Watts had been evaluating sine 2007. When I first met Anthony in 2008, he, and his band of volunteers, had been visiting and documenting USCHN temperature stations in the continental US. They had found that stations had been sited next to airconditioner outlets, trash burning barrels, black roof tops and asphalt paved areas and other warming bias conditioons. At the time there was no attempt at evaluating the effects temperature-wise, but this paper does that.
Several papers had supported the validity of the siting of these stations but the rating methodology was inadequate to decifer the effects of the obvious siting issues.Further, from the press release, Watts comments:
I fully accept the previous findings of these papers, including that of the Muller et al 2012 paper. These investigators found exactly what would be expected given the siting metadata they had. However, the Leroy 1999 site rating method employed to create the early metadata, and employed in the Fall et al 2011 paper I co-authored was incomplete, and didn’t properly quantify the effects.
The new rating method employed finds that station siting does indeed have a significant effect on temperature trends
The paper illustrates there is, indeed, a warming indication associated by semi-urban and urban sites as opposed to rual siting. The strangest part of this is that the non-rural sites were considered “normal” by the National Oceanographic and Aeronautics Administration (NOAA), and rural sites were adjusted upwards and even the urban sites were adjusted upwards also. This part of the process seems to be counterintuative but that is what NOAA was doing.
The chart illustrates the core of the paper’s findings showing the effects of the siting issues as well as the NOAA adjustments.
The effect of the non-compliant siting issues and the NOAA adjustments has lead to a 100% increase of the temperature increase for the US in the past several decades since 1979 through 2008.
Several issues were noted in the press release including:
· Statistically significant differences between compliant and non-compliant stations exist, as well as urban and rural stations.
· Poorly sited station trends are adjusted sharply upward, and well sited stations are adjusted upward to match the already-adjusted poor stations.
· Well sited rural stations show a warming nearly three times greater after NOAA adjustment is applied.
· Urban sites warm more rapidly than semi-urban sites, which in turn warm more rapidly than rural sites.
Mr. Watts has assembled a stellar group of experts to ensure an excellent review.
The key here is that the “GOOD” news is that the US has the best temperature monitoring system on the planet. The “BAD” news is that the US has the best temperature monitoring system on the planet. Add to that the upward adjustments that NOAA makes to the artificially warmed urban sites, that are not representative of the US as a whole, and the potential is clear that the global warming as proclaimed by the IPCC and others may not be even half of the “accepted value”.
The press release in PDF form: Watts_et_al 2012_PRESS RELEASE (PDF)
The paper in draft form: Watts-et-al_2012_discussion_paper_webrelease (PDF)
The Figures for the paper: Watts et al 2012 Figures and Tables (PDF)
A PowerPoint presentation of findings with many additional figures is available online. Links are in Press Release