The Grand Portage Reservation is at the northeastern tip of Minnesota. The Air Quality Program has many ongoing projects in order to maintain healthy indoor and outdoor air. These projects include monitoring for regional haze and particulate matter, indoor air quality, invasive plant removal, public outreach, environmental education, alternative energy, and climate change.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

NOAA Paper Demolishes Argument Over U.S. Temperature Trends

One of the most stubborn arguments from the people who deny the reality of climate change is that the sharp upward trend in U.S. temperatures over the last fifty years is due to poor siting of the surface stations that gather the data and the urban heat island effect. This argument is particularly stupid since the trend over time would not be affected even if a station was located in a place where it might read a little high. Imagine two identical urban weather stations; one in an asphalt parking lot and one in a grassy field - the asphalt one would read a few degrees higher, but the temperature trends over time would be identical. It's like saying that if your home scale weighs you three pounds heavier than your doctors scale it is useless to show if you are gaining or losing weight - as long as the bias is consistent then the trend is not affected.

A new paper from NOAA neatly skewers these arguments, complete with a graph showing the lack of difference between the so-called "best sites" and the rest of the weather stations in the network. As you can see both the annual readings and the smoothed trend line match nearly perfectly.

The NOAA paper also points out that there are many ecological indicators that show temperatures are rising rapidly, so dwelling on the minutiae of individual stations while ignoring the preponderance of evidence for rising temperatures is intellectual dishonesty at its worst.

(thanks again to Climate Progress)


Anonymous said...

"stupid" --that's real scientific terminology you have there.

no one seriously denies climate change. everyone understands that climate temperatures have been changing for MILLIONS of years-- long before the invention of the combustion engine and long before man arrived on the scene. the point of argument is whether climate change is a man-caused phenomena and that clearly has not been proven. only 30 years ago scientists were convinced of a coming ice age--now some--not all-- are convinced the world is warming. newsflash--global temperatures will continue to rise and fall just as they have since earth's formation.

this issue has become highly politicized by the left because they need an excuse to further tax the american people. meanwhile, india and china, etc... are free to emit to their productive content.

Stuart said...

I call 'em like I see 'em.

And as for the "scientists convinced of a coming ice age" thirty years ago myth please point me to some journal articles to that effect, because all I have seen were speculative articles in magazines like Newsweek.

The big difference between what is happening now and what has happened in the past is the speed of the changes. Species that are generalists can adapt, but ones that are more specialized will be in trouble. Humans depend on a healthy and vibrant ecosystem, and if food webs begin to break down we are all in trouble.