Friday, May 14, 2010

Do Surface Stations Located Near Airports Give Corrupt Temperature Readings?

AGW Denialists like Anthony Watts are always complaining about how the Urban Heat Island Effect screws up measurements from weather stations located near airports by injecting non-climatic sources of warming into their temperature records. For example here. Now the lads from Clear Climate Code, who have been attempting to reproduce software used by climate scientists in a more user-friendly programming language, have found a means of comparing airport to non-airport sites so as to see whether or not the concerns of people like Mr. Watts are justified. Their answer?


Anonymous said...

Still hanging on to the "denialist" slur we see.

How's it feel to be a Warmonger?

bigcitylib said...

I prefer the term "greenshirt".

Jon Dursi said...

While I understand it's useful (and good fun) to comprehensively defeat the denialists even on their own terms, this whole talking point always seemed stupid, even by the base and debauched standards of the denialist discourse.

Heat islands, that scientists somehow just never thought of? Then how do you explain the *satellite* records? Or the oceanic records? Is the ocean filled with millions of little Atlantisis (atlantii?) heating up the ocean?


And yes, Fred, denialist is the only applicable term. Most denialists are certainly not skeptics; they've mostly never been actually skeptical about anything in their entire lives; they are True Believers in The Cause, full stop. Skeptics base assessments on evidence, and the evidence on this file has been conclusively in for well over a decade.

Anonymous said...
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Unknown said...

"Denialist" isn't a slur. It's an objective description.

Frank said...

It's amazing how quickly AGW has slipped from the public consciousness. Ban Ki Moonie hectors Harper to include a warmers' agenda at the G20, Harper just yawns. The UN isn't on the guest list is it? IPCC's irreparably damaged 'Patchy' champions the use non-peer reviewed "studies" from eco-NGO's to beef up his flimsy reports. Got to sell the story. The science is too weak and compromised. CRU's Jones admits the science isn't settled in a BBC interview. France's prez Sarko kills that countries cap 'n trade after he loses a regional election. The planet can wait, Sarko's butt needs saving first. Melt down in the euroweenie economies takes over the headlines. No more talk of massive economic restructuring and wealth transfers to third world despots. Bless the CRU leaker.

Mark Richard Francis said...

Oh, Elroy,

Science is never settled. No one's yet to actually see a singe cancer cell pop into existence due to smoking. We have only massively inferred causality that cigarettes are carcinogenic, which is evidence, not proof. So, Elroy, would you start up a two-pack-a-day habit?

Relax. The science isn't settled. Smoke away.

And, oh, the science of antibiotics? Unsettled too. Best not use any yet.

What does "the science isn't settled" mean anyway? It's so vague to be meaningless. Let's take Elroy's example of Jones. He completely accepts AGW to be real, but has complaints that we can't properly break down Earth's energy budget yet (we do know the sums though). That's unsettled science but hardly has anything to do with defeating AGW, does it?

Amid thousands of pages of the latest IPCC report, years after its publication, a couple of inconsequential errors pop up (and one botched reference on what is correct information), and suddenly, TA DA!, the whole damn thing is unreliable! Oh, please.

Anyway, topic at hand: the heat island effect affecting temperatures and thus making them unreliable is an old one, long since disproved. First, many weather stations in urban areas have been shown to not be affected, and, second, those that are have the same rate of increase in warming as those which don't.

Frank said...

Mark. Al Gore and Suzuki think so. And no less an authority than BCL himself has argued the science is settled. The last I remember was in a response to a comment by Harvie somebody, I believe?

JohnMashey said...

I prefer the more accurate phrase "the science is settled enough" which is how real scientists tend to talk.

The "science is settled" is just the short from of that, meaning we know enough to know we have serious problems, and we have a choice between bad and worse, or possibly awful, but mostly for people's descendants, given the lags.

The smoking analogy is not quite right. Elroy shouldn't start ... what he should do miss make sure that any descendants he has start smoking between ages of 12-18, so most can get locked into nicotine addiction with no choice in the matter. That's a better analog of decisions affecting climate change. I.e., the decisions of one generation don't affect it so much as they do the later ones.

In some ways, the basics of AGW are *more* well-understood than cigarette/disease links. The former at least has standard physics, conservation of energy, quantum mechanics, etc to explain why big increases in GHGs make the planet warmer. The tobacco/disease biology is much more complicated by comparison.

Holly Stick said...

As Gavin pointed out at realclimate long ago, "the science is settled" is a denialist meme, not something a scientist would say.

So elroy, prove your claim that: "...And no less an authority than BCL himself has argued the science is settled...."

Fred from BC said...

Holly Stick said...

As Gavin pointed out at realclimate long ago, "the science is settled" is a denialist meme, not something a scientist would say.

Al Gore is a "denialist"?

The EPA and the Sierra Club, too?

And all those Clinton government officials...all "denialists"?

sharonapple88 said...

HollyStick:As Gavin pointed out at realclimate long ago, "the science is settled" is a denialist meme, not something a scientist would say.

FredfromBC:Al Gore is a "denialist"? The EPA and the Sierra Club, too?And all those Clinton government officials...all "denialists"?

Me: Well, they're not scientists.

An interesting note from William M. Connolley on the history of the phrase.

William M. Connolley: "The science is settled" is a slogan attributed by opponents of the Kyoto Protocol and global warming theory to supporters notably in the Clinton administration. There are no known examples of its use outside the skeptic press, though some of the statements that were made have similar implications."