2011-04-01 10:48:31Abstract from Anthony Watts' upcoming paper
John Cook


This was posted on The Blackboard:

Anthony Watts (Comment#72470)

Zeke, you neglected to mention:

Our upcoming paper, Fall et al 2011 titled “Analysis of the impacts of station exposure on the U.S. Historical Climatology Network temperatures and temperature trends” has this abstract:

The recently concluded Surface Stations Project surveyed 82.5% of the U.S. Historical Climatology Network (USHCN) stations and provided a classification based on exposure conditions of each surveyed station, using a rating system employed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to develop the U.S. Climate Reference Network (USCRN). The unique opportunity offered by this completed survey permits an examination of the relationship between USHCN station siting characteristics and temperature trends at national and regional scales and on differences between USHCN temperatures and North American Regional Reanalysis (NARR) temperatures. This initial study examines temperature differences among different levels of siting quality without controlling for other factors such as instrument type.

Temperature trend estimates vary according to site classification, with poor siting leading to an overestimate of minimum temperature trends and an underestimate of maximum temperature trends, resulting in particular in a substantial difference in estimates of the diurnal temperature range trends. The opposite-signed differences of maximum and minimum temperature trends are similar in magnitude, so that the overall mean temperature trends are nearly identical across site classifications. Homogeneity adjustments tend to reduce trend differences, but statistically significant differences remain for all but average temperature trends. Comparison of observed temperatures with NARR shows that the most poorly-sited stations are warmer compared to NARR than are other stations, and a major portion of this bias is associated with the siting classification rather than the geographical distribution of stations. According to the best-sited stations, the diurnal temperature range in the lower 48 states has no century-scale trend.

2011-04-01 10:56:58


If this is published, we'll have to see how it compares with the BEST results. I'm sure there will be a way to evaluate them over the Watts-only set. Then we can watch them fight it out over who has the better algorithm.

I guess we get to ask Watts for his data dump and analysis software.

It better be good.

2011-04-01 11:24:40


Did BEST say anything about t-max and t-min of daily temperature?  So Anthony's trying to say that over the last century there is no "fingerprint" of greenhouse gas warming in his continental US temperature record.

2011-04-01 11:28:45Maybe we need to start pressuring Watts to release his surface station data
John Cook


He keeps it secret, refuses to release it, he only gave it to Muller because he thought Muller could be trusted to give a good result. Bet he's regretting that decision now. But the hypocrisy of Watts' lack of transparency is breathtaking.

2011-04-01 14:14:55Hmm
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey

Do we know what entity is lined up to publish this?  A reputable journal (hopefully)?  Or another rag pub?

2011-04-01 17:06:35


Then, apart from the diurnal temperature range, even the "Chief of Staff" of surfacestation.org says that station siting is irrelevant as far as the average temperature trend is concerned. Do we have any hope that discussions on the surface temperature datasets is over?

2011-04-01 18:22:04


- On pressuring Watts to release data: We can remind hiim now, but it's not unreasonable for a researcher to keep a lid on the data until he's had at least one publication on it.

- I think Pielke is involved, so he'll want a reputable journal.

2011-04-01 18:22:05

2011-04-01 19:40:29
Mark Richardson

Century scale could be the weasel word.


I expect Watts to cherry pick starting dates, analysis techniques and statistics to get the result he wants. Maybe it will be a valid result, but we'll have to wait for the data to come out. I expect Tamino will eventually flatten him :P

2011-04-01 20:14:54April Fools Day post
James Wight


John, are you still planning that April Fool post about air conditioners causing glacier melt? You have less than four hours!

2011-04-01 21:01:21Nope, April Fool cancelled
John Cook

I was never sure if I was gonna have time to do it and it was fairly low on the priority list. I also described the concept to Dana on skype and his reaction was 'meh'. Maybe it was funnier on my head. :-)