New Surface Station Study – Real Temperatures Half of NOAA’s Adjusted

Russ Steele

Today, a new paper has been released that is the culmination of knowledge gleaned from five years or work by Anthony Watts and the many volunteers and contributors to the SurfaceStations project started in 2007.

Ellen and I were some of the many volunteers that visited and reported on the station siting issues. We visited stations in California and across the nation as we traveled, including stations in Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, South Dakota, Maryland and Delaware. We are proud to have made a small contribution to this paper as one team of the many Surface Station contributors.

PRESS RELEASE – July 29th, 2012 12PM PDT – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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.

This pre-publication draft 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, is 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, is to be submitted for publication.

The pre-release of this paper follows the practice embraced by Dr. Richard Muller, of the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project in a June 2011 interview with Scientific American’s Michael Lemonick in “Science Talk”, said:

I know that is prior to acceptance, but in the tradition that I grew up in (under Nobel Laureate Luis Alvarez) we always widely distributed “preprints” of papers prior to their publication or even submission. That guaranteed a much wider peer review than we obtained from mere referees.

 

More details are HERE, including a link to the full paper being submitted for publication.  As Anthony notes, this pre-print paper is open for peer review and analysis. Even out local lefty warmers are free to examine and comment on the paper. Maybe his Purpleness will weight in with his scientific analysis. 

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About Russ Steele
Freelance writer and climate change blogger. Russ spent twenty years in the Air Force as a navigator specializing in electronics warfare and digital systems. After his service he was employed for sixteen years as concept developer for TRW, an aerospace and automotive company, and then was CEO of a non-profit Internet provider for 18 months. Russ's articles have appeared in Comstock's Business, Capitol Journal, Trailer Life, Monitoring Times, and Idaho Magazine.

9 Responses to New Surface Station Study – Real Temperatures Half of NOAA’s Adjusted

  1. This post has a local connection, but I will bet it never shows up on any of the local lefty blogs? His Purpleness is promoting the Muller BEST study, but Dr Roger Pielke writes that Anthony’s study trumps BEST.

    The new Watts et al 2012 paper shows that Muller’s data base is really not a significant new addition for assessing land-side climate patterns, at least until further analyses are performed on the siting quality of the stations he uses in the BEST assessment.

    Anthony Watt’s new paper shows that  a major correction is needed Muller’s BEST study.  Anthony also has shown what dedicated scientists can do with even limited financial support.  Despite the large quantities of funds spent on the BEST study, it is Anthony Watts and his team who have actually significantly advanced our understanding of  this aspect of the climate system.  Well done Anthony!

    Anyone want to place a wager for the record?

  2. Somewhere I saw the IPCC info was confirmed by a Koch brothers financed group. Is that BS or what?

  3. James Delingpole on the UK Telegraph Blog:

    Have a look at this chart [chart in post]] It tells you pretty much all you need to know about the much-anticipated scoop by Anthony Watts of Watts Up With That?

    What it means, in a nutshell, is that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) – the US government body in charge of America’s temperature record, has systematically exaggerated the extent of late 20th century global warming. In fact, it has doubled it.

    Is this a case of deliberate fraud by Warmist scientists hell bent on keeping their funding gravy train rolling? Well, after what we saw in Climategate anything is possible. (I mean it’s not like NOAA is run by hard-left eco activists, is it?) But I think more likely it is a case of confirmation bias. The Warmists who comprise the climate scientist establishment spend so much time communicating with other warmists and so little time paying attention to the views of dissenting scientists such as Henrik Svensmark – or Fred Singer or Richard Lindzen or indeed Anthony Watts – that it simply hasn’t occurred to them that their temperature records need adjusting downwards not upwards.

  4. Power Line BREAKING: FROM BEST TO WORST IN LESS THAN A DAY

    Well now: Richard Muller’s sneak peak of his latest findings from the BEST project due out tomorrow have run headlong into Anthony Watts’ latest study of the surface temperature record, posted up on his WattsUpWithThat site at 3 pm eastern time today.  Watts’ conclusion is indeed s bombshell if it proves out: that the U.S. surface temperature rise has been overestimated by a factor of two:
    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.

    ClimateDepot has more, and a good roundup of reaction rolling in already. Now, the mischievous part of the Watts release is that appears to build upon some of Muller’s work, and Watts’s decision to release a pre-publication of his new study apes the exact same process Muller has used:
    The pre-release of this paper follows the practice embraced by Dr. Richard Muller, of the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project in a June 2011 interview with Scientific American’s Michael Lemonick in “Science Talk”, said:

    “I know that is prior to acceptance, but in the tradition that I grew up in (under Nobel Laureate Luis Alvarez) we always widely distributed “preprints” of papers prior to their publication or even submission. That guaranteed a much wider peer review than we obtained from mere referees.”

    So hey—if Muller can do it, why not Watts?  If nothing else, Watts is having a lot of fun aping Muller here, and I expect the climateers will go to DefCon1 on this whole matter.  If nothing else, this will expose a lot of double-standard, but as we always say, without double-standards, the Left wouldn’t have any standards at all.

  5. Bob Hobert says:

    Ben, it truly is small minds that use flawed and maladjusted data to support their claims. I expected fair analysis from you on this latest set of revelation. You surprise me.

  6. As far as I can see the main novelty is that the weather station classification scheme of Leroy (2010) is better than Leroy (1999).

    It would have been more elegant if Watts had stated in his press release that the differences between stations of various qualities he found in the temperature trends are only visible in the raw data. In the homogenized (adjusted) data the trends are about the same for all quality classes. No more sign of errors due to the urban heat island.

    That the trend is stronger in the homogenized data is no surprise, the transition to automatic weather stations during the study period has caused an artificial cooling in the raw data.

    For a bit more detailed “ review, please visit my blog.

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