Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Urban Heat Island in Pictures part 4

Continuing with our look at urban heat island effects, I want to first comment that an anonymous commenter was asked a question about whether or not it is good scientific practice to place climatological thermometers in the hottest places in urban settings. I asked him if this was a good procedure to ensure that we would get a pristine data set. My experience has taught me that warming hysteriacs will no more answer that question than young-earth creationists will answer a question about why there are so many footprints throughout the geologic column, which should indicate an old earth. We will see if I am right.


There is often the claim that small towns don't have urban heat island effects. We will test that claim and find it wanting by using in a small town, population 277. This work was done Warwick Hughes and is excellent work. It can be found at this site.

He used an IR thermal monitor and drove through the small town. When he got to the center of the town, the temperature was 1.7 deg C hotter than the surrounding area.



Why did he see this result? Even small towns today use electricity, air conditioning, cars, cement roads etc. All these things heat up the environment. Below is a google earth of that town. You can see all the houses, each using electricity, presumably heating and AC. This town is the very same size as the little town my ranch is next to.



So when the IPCC crowd says that rural and cities show no difference, one might want to at least think of the possibility that rural areas are also heated up compared to the surrounding areas. Note in the above picture that there are cement roads. Most of the roads where my ranch is are dirt.

Now let's go on to look at another town, Baton Rouge Louisiana. Note how the roads are much hotter than the grassy or tree covered areas. There is a 40 deg C difference in temperature if you leave the natural areas. This will be important when we look at where the meteorology professors at the University of Arizona place their USHCN thermometer.



Every picture I have shown in this series, or almost every picture has shown that the roads are hotter than the surrounding, more natural areas.

Detroit shows the same thing. The cement roads are extremely hot.





So if the meteorologists know that roads are hot, then why in the hell do the professors at the University of Tuscon put their thermometer, which is used in the US Historical Climate Network, on top of cement? Don't they know that roads are hot? Or do they do this to keep the myth alive that they are showing a warming earth?




The meteorology profs at University of Arizona should know better. There is also a power plant one block to the east. In case the readers don't know, power plants put out a lot of heat. I previously 2 days ago, published the picture of Paso Robles, California showing that its thermometer was on cement in a parking lot by the city hall, next to a cement street. Looking at the thermographs of cities, it is quite clear that cement makes for a hot radiating surface that would affect the temperature.

Bartow Florida's station might as well be on cement. It has a pitiful amount of grass under it but it is surrounded by cement streets, parking lot and heat emitting buidling. And this is one of the stations they claim is good for being a baseline for climatological studies.


The thermal images shown above demonstrate that the cement can be 40 deg C hotter than grassy areas. This will affect the US Historical Climate Networks and their accuracy for measuring the global temperature rise.

I will ask the commenter again if placing thermometers on cement, which is 40 deg C hotter than the country side is good scientific practice. No doubt he will wish to talk about everything other than that.

40 comments:

  1. I'll answer your question about placement of thermometers (because I'm not an "hysteriac" whatever that means in this area): No, it's not good scientific practice to place a thermometer near a heat source if you want an unbiased temperature measurement.

    Will you answer a question?
    Can you explain why study after study of the actual temperature data shows that temperature trends don't seem to be affected by the urban heat island effect?

    Jones, 2008 compares several temperature stations in and around London. While it is very true that the temperatures were higher within London than the surrounding rural areas, the trends were very similar. And in this game; trends are what matter, not absolute values.

    You have already mentioned Peterson, 2003 which found no statistically significant difference between rural and urban annual temperature series.

    Peterson, 1999 found similar trends (0.65degC/century vs 0.7degC/century) for all data vs rural-only.

    And surely by this time you have seen the NOAA comparison the 70 best-sited stations (as determined using Anthony Watt's criteria from surfacestation.org!) vs the rest of the 1221 UHCN stations and found no significant difference between the two data set.

    So in posting all your pictures why don't you post that picture? It can be found at
    http://www.ncdc.noa.gov/oa/about/response-v2.pdf

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yes,I will explain why I don't believe the studies you mention. If you had but read some of this blog you would know of Idso and Ball. I will point you to my post http://themigrantmind.blogspot.com/2009/05/homogeneity-how-fast-one-is-pulled-over.html

    Peterson, the guy you so lovingly cite, discussed a 'homogeneity filter' which alters the temperature TREND of a city before it is added into the averages. When one is trying to take lots of raw data and try to determine the trend of the data, the last thing one wants to do is alter the trend of the individual inputs. Yet that is exactly what the homogeneity filter does.

    Peterson says:

    "“The homogeneity adjustments applied to the stations with poor siting
    makes their trend very similar to the trend at the stations with good
    siting.” THOMAS C. PETERSON, “EXAMINATION OF POTENTIAL
    BIASES IN AIR TEMPERATURECAUSED BY POOR STATION
    LOCATIONS,” American Meteorological Society, Aug, 2006, p. 1078 fig 2

    And the believers in global warming get to judge that individual stations showing declining temperatures are obviously poorly sited stations requiring adjustment so that the temperature trend is warming. Thus, the conclusion is forced by the homogeneity filter. This is discussed in the above blog post.

    The last picture in that post is work by Idso and Ball where they took the temperature average of the raw data and subtracted it from the temperature average of the final edited GISS temperature. They noted that every single year, more and more adjustment is applied to the raw data in order to keep the temperature trend rising.

    There simply is no way I will trust the trend of average temperature if one of the edits applied to the data alters the trend of individual raw data. I call this cheating.

    So, when they trot out this study that rural stations don't show a different trend than the urban areas, I know that they have altered the trend of the individual cities to make them all be rising trend. The first picture on my blog post, Fig 2 of Peterson, shows a cooling station altered, after the homogeneity filter so that it comes out as a warming station. Figure 3 shows a warming station altered by the homogeneity filter to be warming even faster.

    Why should I believe such scurrilous, cheating behavior.

    If you think altering the raw input data to match the expectation that the world is warming is fine and dandy, then I have a bridge to sell you. Only the utterly gullible will believe data altered in such a way to make it confirm what is desired--global warming.

    As you read about Reno on that post think of the urban heat island effect I have been posting about. Everyone knows that thermometers in cities are already too hot, yet when Peterson applied the homogeneity filter to Reno he made it hotter. So we have Reno with Urban heat island plus Peterson's estimation that it has to be even hotter than that.

    No, I will never believe data treated in this fashion.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh yeah, I forgot to add a link to a study of the raw urban and rural station and the edited data, after the sleight of hand done by the homogeneity filter--that cheating way of doing science.

    " The raw data provides 0.13 and 0.79
    oC/century temperature increase for the rural and urban environments. The adjusted data
    provides 0.64 and 0.77 o C/century respectively.

    http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/images/stories/papers/originals/Rate_of_Temp_Change_Raw_and_Adjusted_NCDC_Data.pdf

    So here is a study backing up my contention taht it is the editing of the data that makes the rural and urban stations appear close to the same trend. Science by cheating is bad science.

    ReplyDelete
  4. So let me see if I have this straight:

    you don't like any adjustment to the data, even when all the data is treated with the same adjustments (homogeneity) as in the Peterson 1999 article which found no significant difference between rural-only and all of the GHCN data.

    Fair enough. But what about the NOAA data in which they compared the 70 "best sited stations" (as decreed by Anthony Watts) and the amazing similarity to the entire 1221 USHCN stations? Isn't that worth something? If Watt's work in finding bad station sitings has value shouldn't it show up as a significantly different trend from the totality of all the USHCN dataset?

    Then there's one last thing I'm a bit confused by. Earlier you stated when discussing specific humidity as an indicator of rising temperatures: "So why has water vapor risen? Because the sun has increased in its activity since then."

    That would indicate that the atmosphere is warming. Why would we not see that in the temperature station data? Also, why else would the _specific_ humidity increase?

    If it was the variability in the sun that was causing this warming why do we see stratospheric cooling and tropospheric warming (which is what one expects if it is mostly a non-solar forcing responsible for the increase in the temperature.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I noted in the Peterson 1999 article that he agrees that many (but not all) the data has homogeneity adjustments but not all data points have this adjustment due to short time frames or no neighboring stations for the adjustment.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Have you ever taken a logic course. There is a logical fallacy called assuming the consequence. That is what the homogeneity filter does. It assumes what the individual station trends are supposed to be and then makes them match the expectation. That is a logical fallacy that I was taught both in physics and in grad school in philosophy not to commit.

    As to NOAA's study, once again, they were subject to those homogeneity corrections. And I pointed you to a site showing the difference between the raw and the adjusted output between rural and urban. Why didn't you look at that site?

    http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/images/stories/papers/originals/Rate_of_Temp_Change_Raw_and_Adjusted_NCDC_Data.pdf

    As to warming, I haven't said that the world isn't warming. The world has been warming for 250 years, long before we started pouring CO2 into the atmosphere. The warming began in 1750.

    On that scale the world has warmed. But most of that warming isn't due to CO2 cause we weren't emitting that much of it. That warming has caused an increase in water vapor in the atmosphere, but, there is one big fly in that ointment--see below.

    What I have said (and nuance seems to escape many) is that the thermometer record is rising much more than any warming because they put the thermometers next to air conditioners. That data is not reliable. Not that you actually will, but go compare how many degrees the past is suppressed and how much yearly editions of global temperature change the past, with the predominant effect being to cool the past and heat the present. That is the effect of the homogeneity filter. The past shouldn't be changing with every recalculation of the global temperature history.



    People almost never discuss pan evaporation and the problem it presents to our view of the thermal history of the world. If the world is warming and evaporation increasing, why does the pan evaporation all over the world show strong drops in the rates of evaporation over the past 50 years?

    http://themigrantmind.blogspot.com/2009/11/does-pan-evaporation-indicate-cooling.html

    This problem is not so simplistic as the warmists want us to believe. They pick out only the data that supports their position and ignore data like the pan evaporation. El Nino affects the amount of water vapor evaporated, and the watervapor history matches the beat of El Nino and the PDO.

    http://themigrantmind.blogspot.com/2011/01/beat-of-water-vapor.html

    Whatever the mechanics, global temperature as measured by the satellite is marching not to CO2 but to water vapor. CO2 levels don't show this kind of correlation with the temperature.

    ReplyDelete
  7. It is understandable that one would really wish for perfect data. And we all know that no such thing exists. The surface stations were not placed around the country for the purpose of measuring global temperatures.

    Because of that the idea of "stitching" them all together and covering vast blocks of time requires that the data be treated in such a way as to remove all _non-meterological_ issues from it. Otherwise it would be pointless to even use the data (is it the goal to make the scientists not use this data?)

    Some scientists (Wood and Stieg at Univ. of Washington) have actually compared some samplings of raw CRU data to the overall CRU data set to see how far off data that has been treated by homogenization falls from the overall data. They found that for the sets they chose the raw data trends were almost the same as the CRU processed data trends.

    (Sorry the link is realclimate, but at least the data and description of the technique are clearly laid out:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/12/are-the-cru-data-suspect-an-objective-assessment/ )

    The ground station data is not perfect. I don't know anyone ever thought it was. The means of processing data that may have non-meteorological errors in it has been published since about 1944. So it's not really secret and it's been openly discussed for a long, long time.

    Thankfully we don't have to rely just on the surface station data. We have satellite data as well. We also have indications that cannot be "toyed" with from sea level rise to large scale glacial retreat to shrinking ice sheets, ocean warming and ecosystem impacts.

    If the homogeneity filter is problematic, then we need to find out why, when homogenized data is compared to what is going on around us, it seems to all make sense.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Kudos to you for recognizing that the current system isn't good enough for the purpose of measuring long term climate change because it wasn't put there for that purpose. But just because the processes have been out there since 1944 it doesn't mean that those processes can turn crap into a silk purse. So I don't even comprehend why you think the length of time corrections have been used is relevance to the question of whether or not the corrections actually work.

    So, if that is the case, why should we get all hysterical and spend trillions of dollars on a science that has crap data? That makes zero sense to me. It is like saying, the data is no good but that group of guys over there (the IPCC) will tell you (without any good data) what the data actually means and how much money you must give them to study the problem more. That is what it looks like to me.

    That is the silliness of the global warming movement.

    As to the satellite data, has been measured for only 20 years. That is hardly long enough to know long term climate changes. It was also affected by a major El Nino in the late 1990s.

    As to the sea level rise it is already being toyed with. They pick stations that have eustatic subsidence and that makes it appear that the seas are rising when in fact the land is sinking. Even IPCC members now say sea level rise isn't certain.

    http://themigrantmind.blogspot.com/2010/02/ipcc-authors-now-say-oceans-rise-not.html

    Antarctican ice is NOT shrinking, contrary to the hysteriacs claim:

    http://themigrantmind.blogspot.com/2009/10/antarcticas-ice-is-growing-not-melting.html

    Of course, parroting what you and the rest of the sheeple are told to believe is much easier than actually looking at the data. It takes lots of work to examine the data. It takes little effort to read and repeat what is placed in front of you in a journal.

    ReplyDelete
  9. So if I understand correctly the problems are that:

    1. The surface station data is being manipulated by the scientists to make it look like there is warming.

    2. The scientists are also cherry picking tide guage data based on the most "favorable" isostatic rebound data to make it look like sea level is rising. (I am uncertain what they must
    do to the satellite altimeter data...does it require isostatic rebound adjustments? I couldn't find a discussion of that on the NASA JASON page, but maybe it's there.)

    3. The satellite temperature data, while showing an overall upward trend, because it has some wiggles around the trend means we can ignore all the data except the first data point and the very last data point.

    But there's still one question I have: if we are pumping billions of tons of excess CO2, a greenhouse gas, into the atmosphere, enough to alter the isotopic signature of the atmospheric carbon, shouldn't it be warming?

    Are all the paleoenvironmental analyses of CO2's climate sensitivity also wrong? Or are those papers also made up of bad science too?

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