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How not to measure temperature, part 74 November 19, 2008

Posted by honestclimate in Temperature.
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How not to measure temperature, part 74

From Watts Up With That, November 19, 2008

Sometimes, words fail me in describing the absolute disregard of the placement of NOAA official climate monitoring sites. For example, this one in Clarinda, Iowa submitted by surfacestations volunteer Eric Gamberg:

Click for larger image

The MMTS temperature sensor is the short pole next to the half pickup truck.

For those of you that don’t know, this station is located at the wastewater treatment plant there. I’ve written many times about the placement of stations at WWTP’s being a bad idea due to the localized heat bubble that is created due to all the effluent coming though. The effect is especially noticeable in winter. Often you’ll see steam/water vapor in the air around these sites in winter, and more than one COOP observer has told our volunteers that snow sometimes does not stick to the ground at WWTP’s.

The larger pole appears to be a gas burnoff torch for excess methane. I can’t say how often it is activated (note the automatic ignitor circuit on the pole) but I can tell you that putting an official NOAA climate thermometer within a few feet of such a device is one of the worst examples of thoughtless station placement on the part of NOAA I’ve ever seen. Here is an example of a methane burn-off device at another WWTP.

020806_methane_flare_pipes

click for larger image

We’ll probably never know what the true temperature is in Clarinda because untangling a measurements mess like this is next to impossible. How many days was Tmin and/or Tmax affected at this location by gas burnoff and to what magnitude? We shouldn’t have to ask these questions.

And, adding insult to stupidity, the GISTEMP Homogenization adjustment makes the trend go positive, especially in recent years:

Read the rest of the article, click below link
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/11/19/how-not-to-measure-temperature-part-74

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