Further legitimate doubts are being raised about the scale of global warming claimed by the U.K. Met Office, following publication of a damning report into U.S. weather stations. The report found that 96% of the weather stations used by the U.S. weather service NOAA were “corrupted” by the localised effects of urbanisation. The U.S. has one of the largest temperature measuring systems in the world, and information from the stations forms an important part of the Met Office HadCRUT5 database.
Since 2013, the Met Office has boosted recent global warming by 30%, depressed past measurements and abolished the temperature pause from 1998 to 2012 – this pause is still discernible in the accurate satellite and meteorological balloon record. Using the HadCRUT5 database means the Met Office can claim continuing warming and further heat records. Anthony Watts, the author of the report, titled Corrupted Climate Stations, noted that data from the stations that have not been corrupted by faulty placement, “show a rate of warming in the United States reduced by almost half compared to all stations”. With a 96% warm-bias in U.S. temperature measurements, “it is impossible to use any statistical methods to derive an accurate climate trend for the U.S.”, added Watts. The same can, of course, be argued to apply to all global sets that use the corrupted U.S. data.
The corruption is caused by close proximity to asphalt, machinery and other heat-producing, heat-trapping, or heat-accentuating objects. “Placing temperature stations in such locations violates NOAA own published standards, and strongly undermines the legitimacy and magnitude of the official consensus on long-term climate warming trends in the United States,” it says.
Of course the Met Office’s own U.K. temperature measuring is subject to considerable urban heat distortions. During the recent brief heatwave (“feels like an apocalypse,” Piers Morgan), three of the four highest temperatures were recorded at airports including Heathrow, one of the least suitable sites it is possible to imagine. Interestingly, the average temperature for the U.K. last month was 16.6°C, the same as the year before and nearly identical to the 16.5°C of 1976. Given that 11 million more people live in the U.K. and urbanisation has rapidly expanded since then, last month was almost certainly cooler than the same glorious period in 1976. In addition, these averages were not far off the temperature of 16°C recorded in 1911.
Frequent upwards adjustments to HadCRUT, and an increasing disconnect with satellite and balloon records, do pose legitimate questions that the state-funded Met Office is actually recording increasing urban heat, and not much warming of the global atmosphere. And further questions can be posed along the lines – is it just a coincidence that the data is beneficial to those arguing the climate is breaking down, and a command-and-control Net Zero solution must be imposed in less than 30 years?
As we reported recently in the Daily Sceptic, Watts also publicised a rarely referenced dataset that NOAA started in 2015, designed to remove all urban heat distortions. Called the U.S. Climate Reference Network (USCRN), it collected data from 114 U.S. stations and was aiming for “superior accuracy and continuity in places that land use will not likely impact during the next five decades”. Over the last 17 years it found very little evidence to indicate a warming trend. In fact it showed that May 2022 was cooler than May 2005. Watts comments that the data the network produces are never mentioned in monthly or yearly climate reports published by NOAA for public consumption.
Much of the Watts report supplies details of the field trips made to NOAA stations. He supplies copious notes and photos of what was found.
The above photo was taken at Fort Pierce in Florida and shows a digital measuring devise (MMTS) sited next to a large building and five air conditioning units pumping out hot air. Watts, a meteorologist by profession, notes that digital devices are often placed next to buildings since installing a cable to a reading devise is more difficult when roads and paths have to be crossed.
Several examples of stations where the siting could be described as “absurd” were noted in the survey. Watts gives further details:
These include a GHCN station at Lava Hot Springs, Idaho – a tourist site at which the MMTS sensor was placed into a natural hole in the ground where hot water for bathing and swimming emanates from the ground: …. a station in Virginia City, Nevada – at which the MMTS was not only missing its protective cap, but also placed near asphalt, generators, and air conditioning units exhausts. Perhaps the most absurd was a UNHCN station in Colfax, California, which was recently moved due to a modernisation upgrade at the California fire station where it is located. The new station has been placed directly above a 20-foot rock wall that absorbs a massive amount of solar energy during the day, and releases it as LWIR [Long Wave Infrared] at night, with heated air rising to the sensor.
In conclusion the report found a “slight warming trend” when examining temperatures from “unperturbed” stations and this was similar to the satellite record compiled by the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH). “This warming trend, however, is approximately half the claimed rate of increase promoted by many in the climate science community,” it was noted. The UAH monthly record is frequently published by the Daily Sceptic as providing the best guide to global temperature. Not only does it show clearly that temperatures paused from 1998-2012 but a current pause is underway, and this has lasted nearly eight years. The inconvenient data are not to everyone’s taste. Earlier this year, Google Adsense ‘demonitised’ the page providing the monthly results on the grounds of “unreliable and harmful claims”.
“The rate of warming as measured by unperturbed surface stations, USCRN and UAH does not represent a climate crisis,” says Watts. Meanwhile it is almost certain that as temperatures rise in the U.K. this week, the Met Office will be reporting from Heathrow. But its addiction to such data, shown to be “corrupted” by the Watts report, is leading to serious doubts about its ability to provide an accurate indication of U.K. and global temperatures.
Chris Morrison is the Daily Sceptic’s Environment Editor.