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NOAA Claim Relative to 2008 is BS

January 19, 2009
By Joseph D'Aleo, CCM, AMS Fellow

Just this week, NWS threw out what would have been an all-time state record for Illinois based on NWS citing lack of confidence in equipment, claiming "ASOS better than AWOS". Anthony Watts responded in this post "when we see public information statements like the one yesterday from the National Weather Service telling us that the ASOS system is more acceptable that an AWOS system calibrated just the day before, I'm quite comfortable in calling BS on that statement."

In the midst of cold arctic air that set or nearly set all-time local and state records (Maine at -50F and Rochelle at -38F), a NOAA press release pronounced 2008 was the 8th warmest since 1895 and that now all top ten warmest years have occurred since 1997. To which I and most other climatologists and meteorologists respond �BS�.

Recall that UAH MSU found 2008 was the 14th coldest in the latest 30 years. If greenhouse warming was real, the lower tropospheric warming would be equal to or greater than the surface warming as that is where the heat is said to accumulate that warms the ground. 

I showed in this post last week, there are many issues with the global data bases including: major station dropout of over 2/3rds of the world's stations, disproportionally biased towards the colder higher latitude and rural stations, a tenfold increase in missing months in the stations that remain, bad siting of instruments, implementing new instrumentation with a known warm bias without adjusting for that bias, little or no urban adjustments or substitute adjustments (city and town trend matching, homogenization) that invariably results in as many urban areas adjusted warmer as cooler and in cooling of the 1930s and 1940s and warming of the recent warm period in the 1980s to early 2000s.

The warming is clearly man-made but the men involved work at NASA and NOAA and in the UK at Hadley.

I had a conversation with NCDC's Tom Karl two years ago when the USHCN version 2 was announced. Tom and I are both University of Wisconsin alumni. I told Tom I had endorsed his 1988 Journal of Climate paper (Urbanization: Its Detection and Effect in the United States Climate Record) having been a fan of the work that Landsberg and Oke on whose work that paper depended on.

I asked him if USHCNv2 would no longer have an urbanization adjustment. After a few moments of silence, he told me he had asked those who had worked on version 2 that question and was reassured that the new algorithms would catch urban warming and other changes. Now we know the UHI change adjustments was replaced by a Change Point Algorithm designed to catch discontinuities in the data suggesting a station move or land use change (moving from a park to a street, paving a road near the instrument, etc). It will never see the slow ramp up of a growing city or town. tahocity_thumb.jpg
sacuhi_thumb.jpg
See full size here.   Change Point Algorithm should catch this.  See full size here.

I asked him about the problems with siting and why they could not speed up the plans for a Climate Reference Network (at that time called NERON). He said he had presented a case for that to NOAA but had it turned down with the excuse from high levels at NOAA that the surface stations did not matter because we had satellite monitoring.

The attitude that the stations don�t matter is manifested in the disregard for the siting as Anthony Watts has found only 12 % satisfactory (3% CRN#1 and 9% CRN#2) and no attempts to resolve the issues Anthony has found and presented to the NCDC staff. Yet here we are two years later and NOAA is ignoring the satellite data they said negated the need for station data at the expense of a global station network in the worse shape in many decades to make politically driven absurd claims about global temperatures. I think every NOAA press release relative to global temperatures until further notice will be filed under BS.

See pdf here.

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