Friday, August 3rd 2012, 10:59 AM EDT
A reanalysis of U.S. temperature station data shows temperatures are rising only half as much as claimed by the U.S. Historical Climatology Network (USHCN) and other government overseers of temperature data. The reanalysis is the first using the Siting Classification System devised by the MATEO-France French national meteorological service and recently approved by the World Meteorological Organization.
The new analysis, conducted by a team of scientists led by temperature station expert Anthony Watts, shows government overseers are improperly reporting double the temperature increase that is occurring in the real world. Fully 92 percent of the overstated temperature rise results from erroneous and scientifically unjustified government “adjustments” to the raw temperature data.
The new analysis shows U.S. temperatures rose only 0.155 degrees Celsius per decade from 1979 through 2008 according to high-quality surface temperature stations. The 0.155 degree increase is substantially less than is claimed by government temperature overseers, and it is sufficiently moderate to rebut fears of an imminent global warming crisis. The U.S. temperature increase from 1979 through 2008 is even less worrisome when considering that temperatures over the oceans are warming at a slower pace than temperatures over land, and that global temperatures cooled during the 30 years prior to 1979.
The authors note global temperature trends are unlikely to be substantially different from the U.S. temperature trends analyzed in their new analysis.
Lead author Anthony Watts explained how government overseers overlook meaningful siting problems that add fictitious warming to the raw data.
“The USHCN is one of the main metrics used to gauge the temperature changes in the United States,” wrote Watts in a press release announcing the findings. “The first wide-scale effort to address siting issues, Watts, (2009), a collated photographic survey, showed that approximately 90% of USHCN stations were compromised by encroachment of urbanity in the form of heat sinks and sources, such as concrete, asphalt, air conditioning system heat exchangers, roadways, airport tarmac, and other issues. This finding was backed up by an August 2011 U.S. General Accounting Office investigation and report titled: Climate Monitoring: NOAA Can Improve Management of the U.S. Historical Climatology Network.”
The authors also explain how government overseers’ improper manipulation of the raw temperature data manufactures fictitious warming. According to the authors:
•Statistically significant differences exist between well-sited temperature stations and stations whose temperature data is influenced by encroaching urbanization, poor siting locations, and changes in nearby surface conditions that affect temperature readings.
•Government overseers of the raw data improperly adjust temperatures from poorly sited stations upward, and then add similar nonexistent warming to temperature data from well-sited stations.
• After government overseers improperly adjust the temperature readings from well-sited stations, they report three times as much warming from those stations as the raw data indicate.
•Urban temperature stations report more warming than semi-urban stations, which in turn report more warming than rural stations. These findings support skeptics’ claims that the urban heat island effect is substantially responsible for reports of rising temperatures.
The new paper throws cold water on this week’s sensationalist media coverage of claims by Cal-Berkeley professor Richard Muller that his research confirms United Nations temperature reports. Muller, who embarrassingly seeks media coverage by claiming to be a long-time global warming skeptic when in fact he has been pushing the myth of a global warming crisis for at least the past decade, bases his conclusions on the government-adjusted temperature reports that are debunked in the Watts paper.
Anthony Watts: Our Draft Paper & The Future Of Peer Review
The idea of online pre-peer review is in my opinion where the future of science publishing lies.
My sincere thanks to everyone who has provided widespread review of our draft paper. There have been hundreds of suggestions and corrections submitted in comments and in email, and for that I am very grateful. That sort of input is exactly what we hoped for, and such input can only make the paper better, and so far it has.
Edits are being made based on many of those suggestions. My sincere thanks go to WUWT moderator Bob Phelan for help in collating the online comments to remove duplicates and group comments and corrections by category. Using that, I’m hoping to post up a revised draft, addressing many of those comments and corrections in the next day or two. I had hoped to have an update ready today, but the editing is taking more time than I thought initially. I will likely create a separate dedicated page for Watts et al 2012 so that it gets separated from the press release, and can be managed better.
An issue has been identified in the processing of the data used in Watts et al. 2012 that was placed online for review. We thank critics, including Zeke Hausfather and Steve Mosher for bringing that to attention. Particular thanks go to Zeke who has been helpful with emailed suggestions. Thanks also go to Dr. Leif Svalgaard, who has emailed helpful suggestions.
The authors are performing detailed reanalysis of the data for the Watts et al. 2012 paper and will submit a revised paper to a journal as soon as possible, and barring any new issues discovered, that will likely happen before the end of September.
The idea of online pre-peer review, and likely peer review itself, is in my opinion where the future of science publishing lies. I think we’ll all learn useful lessons for that future from this experiment. As the saying goes, nothing ventured, nothing gained.
My sincerest thanks to everyone for their input and consideration.
Look for future updates, along with some technical discussions as we proceed.