While the media in the US refuses to cover the weekly revelations of shoddy science used in producing the UN’s IPCC reports on global warming, the British press keeps uncovering details of exactly how shoddy the science has been.
Ed Morrissey of Hot Air has dug up another story that broke in England today in the Times of London. This one is in regards to the inaccuracy of the temperature data at the heart of the claim that global temperatures have risen dramatically in recent decades.
The Times of London delivers a separate blow to the AGW movement today in a report on scientific review of the data used to claim man-made warming of the planet over the last few decades. Several researchers have found that the measurements of temperatures in the AGW record that showed temperature increases mainly came from land development and urbanization, not from actual temperature increases. They have made their findings public through peer-reviewed studies that come at a very bad time for the IPCC and AGW advocates:
“The temperature records cannot be relied on as indicators of global change,” said John Christy, professor of atmospheric science at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, a former lead author on the IPCC.
The doubts of Christy and a number of other researchers focus on the thousands of weather stations around the world, which have been used to collect temperature data over the past 150 years.
These stations, they believe, have been seriously compromised by factors such as urbanisation, changes in land use and, in many cases, being moved from site to site.
Christy has published research papers looking at these effects in three different regions: east Africa, and the American states of California and Alabama.
“The story is the same for each one,” he said. “The popular data sets show a lot of warming but the apparent temperature rise was actually caused by local factors affecting the weather stations, such as land development.”
Morrissey goes on to talk about Anthony Watts who runs the Watts Up With That site, and how he has been doing research to detail how construction of heat retaining and producing structures around monitoring stations have resulted in artificially high temperatures. You can read about Watts’ project where he is doing a survey, including photographs, of every USHCN temperature station.
Here are a few pictures from http://www.surfacestations.org/ where the data and photographic evidence is being collected:
Now, in reality there are two factors that plague the temperature data in regards to urbanization around the temperature monitoring stations. First, we have the general heat island effect, which is related to the heat retaining and producing effect that urban construction has and the ‘island’ of heat that surrounds urban areas. Second, are the more direct impacts (pictures above) on the quality of temperature data, such as air conditioning units being installed a few feet away from a temperature gauge, or paving the area underneath a gauge.