Faulty and False Global Temperature Readings

Temperature measurements that are the basis for claims of global warming are defective and wrong.  That’s the finding of a scientific team led by Anthony Watts.  Watts is a meteorologist, editor of “Watts Up With That,” founder of the “Surface Station Project,” and my personal hero for his style and bravado.

When global warming alarmists claim that the Earth is warming or that this was the hottest (year, month) ever, they are totaling up readings from rather simplistic, low-budget, small, automated weather stations scattered around the nation and the world.  But about 90% of those weather stations violate the officially-published standards required for accurate measurements.

In 2007, meteorologist Anthony Watts stumbled onto an official weather station, where hot air was blowing onto the sensor from an air-conditioner’s exhaust, located on an asphalt parking lot heated by the sun. 

Curious, Watts started the “Surface Station Project” to survey weather stations around the world.  The “crowd sourced” response from trained scientists documented with photographs that about 90% of the weather stations are faulty.  This sparked the “How Not to Measure Temperature” series highlighting individual faulty stations.  Note that when Watts and his team refer to finding “siting issues” with the stations, you should read that as them discovering “royal screw ups.”

Watts was a presenter at the 9th International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC-9) organized by the Heartland Institute, held in Las Vegas, Nevada.  Watts explained in a call in to our radio show, Conservative Commandos, from the conference on July 9, 2014, that a weather station (about the size of a modest camera tripod) standing next to a brick building will give inaccurate readings, because the brick building will radiate heat at night absorbed during the day.  This raises the average temperature over 24 hours above what a properly sited station far away from any building or heat source would have registered.  In other cases, air conditioning exhaust, heat from factories, and even jet exhaust at airports blow onto the weather stations measuring temperature.

Furthermore, the errors have changed over time.  Airports were originally located out in the countryside away from cities, to serve small propeller planes.  Today, those airports are surrounded by urban sprawl, with lots of concrete and asphalt creating a local “heat effect” environment that is artificially hotter than the countryside that once was there.  And those airports are now serving large jet-engine aircraft spewing much-hotter exhaust in the direction of badly sited temperature stations.  Therefore, the changing local conditions have increased the temperature readings over time, having nothing to do with global climate. 

Similarly, installations of ever-more-elaborate equipment increase temperature readings over the decades.  More-powerful, modern industrial air conditioning units on the roofs of office buildings blow hot air on to the rooftop weather stations near by.  The growth of cell phone facilities has caused low-budget locations like a rural fire station to bring in extra revenue by hosting both a cell phone transmitter – cooled by air conditioner – and a weather station tripod next to the air conditioner.

So about half of the temperature trend claimed by alarmists is completely artificial (false).  Watts’ team finds that the accurate temperature trends show a rise of about 0.18 degree Centigrade per decade.  NOAA is claiming an increase of 0.32 degrees Centigrade per decade. 

It may not sound that bad that half of the claimed temperature rise is wrong.  However, the scientific debate concerns the sensitivity of the global weather systems to carbon dioxide.  Discovering that half of the alleged temperature increases are fictitious dramatically changes the projections, and our understanding of positive or negative feedback mechanisms in the world’s atmospheric systems and biosphere. 

Anthony Watts and his fellow researchers are about to publish a peer-reviewed study and analysis on the falsehood of temperature readings that global warming alarmists are relying upon.  The news in the near future about climate alarmism should continue to be very interesting.  It is about to get hotter for Al Gore, Tom Steyer, and other climate propagandists.

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