The Surface Temp Record is a Mess
Posted by greg2213 on January 27, 2010
So says Anthony Watts of Watt’s Up With That? He and others, especially E.M. Smith, aka “Chiefio,” have put together a PDF that analyzes the surface temp record (it isn’t pretty )and they include a one page summary for polcy makers.
To summarize the overall issue (and note that people are discussing whether or not each point is actually important:)
- Many of the measurement stations used are very poorly placed
- Stations are moved, equipment is upgraded or changed, standards change, data doesn’t get recorded, used, or is lost, etc.
- A bias, for whatever reason, has been shown that cools pre-1960 temps and warms post 1960 temps. This, of course, has the effect of exaggerating any detected warming.
- Heat island effects seem to be poorly corrected
- 75% of the stations are no longer used in the temp record. Coincidentally most of these stations were from cooler/rural areas.
- And on and on.
As many readers know, there have been a number of interesting analysis posts on surface data that have been on various blogs in the past couple of months. But, they’ve been widely scattered. This document was created to pull that collective body of work together.
Of course there will be those who say “but it is not peer reviewed” as some scientific papers are. But the sections in it have been reviewed by thousands before being combined into this new document. We welcome constructive feedback on this compendium.
WUWT announcement: New Compendium Paper on Surface Temperature Records (The comments are interesting, even the critical ones and the rebuttals, and include discussion about exactly what is measured, and why. )
The full pdf is here – Not peer-reviewed you say? I say that the readers of these blogs would not let sloppy data pass. Any dirty data crunching would be exposed for all to see.
E.M. Smith has done a ton of work on this thing (and so has Mr. Watts with his SurfaceStations project) and has a ton of info and analysis on his blog. Musings from the Chiefio