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July 2012 not a record breaker according to data from the new NOAA/NCDC U.S. .....
Watts Up With That? ^ | August 8, 2012 | Anthony Watts

Posted on 08/09/2012 7:38:24 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach

I decided to do myself something that so far NOAA has refused to do: give a CONUS average temperature for the United States from the new ‘state of the art’ United States Climate Reference Network (USCRN). After spending millions of dollars to put in this new network from 2002 to 2008, they are still giving us data from the old one when they report a U.S. national average temperature. As readers may recall, I have demonstrated that old COOP/USHCN network used to monitor U.S. climate is a mishmash of urban, semi-urban, rural, airport and non-airport stations, some of which are sited precariously in observers backyards, parking lots, near air conditioner vents, airport tarmac, and in urban heat islands. This is backed up by the 2011 GAO report spurred by my work.

Here is today’s press release from NOAA, “State of the Climate” for July 2012 where they say:

The average temperature for the contiguous U.S. during July was 77.6°F, 3.3°F above the 20th century average, marking the hottest July and the hottest month on record for the nation. The previous warmest July for the nation was July 1936 when the average U.S. temperature was 77.4°F. The warm July temperatures contributed to a record-warm first seven months of the year and the warmest 12-month period the nation has experienced since recordkeeping began in 1895.

OK, that average temperature for the contiguous U.S. during July is easy to replicate and calculate using NOAA’s USCRN network of stations, shown below:

Map of the 114 climate stations in the USCRN, note the even distribution.

In case you aren’t familiar with his network and why it exists, let me cite NOAA/NCDC’s reasoning for its creation. From the USCRN overview page:

The U.S. Climate Reference Network (USCRN) consists of 114 stations developed, deployed, managed, and maintained by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in the continental United States for the express purpose of detecting the national signal of climate change. The vision of the USCRN program is to maintain a sustainable high-quality climate observation network that 50 years from now can with the highest degree of confidence answer the question: How has the climate of the nation changed over the past 50 years? These stations were designed with climate science in mind. Three independent measurements of temperature and precipitation are made at each station, insuring continuity of record and maintenance of well-calibrated and highly accurate observations. The stations are placed in pristine environments expected to be free of development for many decades. Stations are monitored and maintained to high standards, and are calibrated on an annual basis. In addition to temperature and precipitation, these stations also measure solar radiation, surface skin temperature, and surface winds, and are being expanded to include triplicate measurements of soil moisture and soil temperature at five depths, as well as atmospheric relative humidity. Experimental stations have been located in Alaska since 2002 and Hawaii since 2005, providing network experience in polar and tropical regions. Deployment of a complete 29 station USCRN network into Alaska began in 2009. This project is managed by NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center and operated in partnership with NOAA’s Atmospheric Turbulence and Diffusion Division.

So clearly, USCRN is an official effort, sanctioned, endorsed, and accepted by NOAA, and is of the highest quality possible. Here is what a typical USCRN station looks like:

USCRN Station at the Stroud Water Research Center, Avondale, PA

A few other points about the USCRN:

So this means that:

  1. There are no observer or transcription errors to correct.
  2. There is no time of observation bias, nor need for correction of it.
  3. There is no broad scale missing data, requiring filling in data from potentially bad surrounding stations. (FILNET)
  4. There are no needs for bias adjustments for equipment types since all equipment is identical.
  5. There are no need for urbanization adjustments, since all stations are rural and well sited.
  6. There are no regular sensor errors due to air aspiration and triple redundant lab grade sensors. Any errors detected in one sensor are identified and managed by two others, ensuring quality data.
  7. Due to the near perfect geospatial distribution of stations in the USA, there isn’t a need for gridding to get a national average temperature.

Knowing this, I wondered why NOAA has never offered a CONUS monthly temperature from this new network. So, I decided that I’d calculate one myself.

The procedure for a CONUS monthly average temperature from USCRN:

  1. Download each station data set from here: USCRN Quality Controlled Datasets.
  2. Exclude stations that are part of the USHCN-M (modernized USHCN) or USRCRN-Lite stations which are not part of the 114 station USCRN master set.
  3. Exclude stations that are not part of the CONUS (HI and AK)
  4. Load all July USCRN 114 station data into an Excel Spreadsheet, available here: CRN_CONUS_stations_July2012_V1.2
  5. Note stations that have missing monthly totals data. Three in July 2012, Elgin, AZ, (4 missing days) Avondale, PA,(5 missing days) McClellanville, SC, (7 missing days) and  set their data aside to be dealt with separately.
  6. Do sums and calculate CONUS area averages from the Tmax, Tmin, Tavg and Tmean data provided for each station.
  7. Do a separate calculation to see how much difference the stations with missing/partial data make for the entire CONUS.

Here are the results:

USA Monthly Mean for July 2012:   75.72°F 
(111 stations)

USA Monthly Average for July 2012:   75.51°F 
(111 stations)

USA Monthly Mean for July 2012:   75.74°F 
(114 stations, 3 w/ partial missing data, difference  0.02)

USA Monthly Average for July 2012:   75.55°F 
(114 stations, 3 w/ partial missing data, difference  0.04)

============================

Comparison to NOAA’s announcement today:

Using the old network, NOAA says the USA Average Temperature for July 2012 is: 77.6°F

Using the NOAA USCRN data, the USA Average Temperature for July 2012 is: 75.5°F

The difference between the old problematic network and new USCRN is 2.1°F cooler.

This puts July 2012, according to the best official climate monitoring network in the USA at 1.9°F below the  77.4°F July 1936 USA average temperature in the NOAA press release today, not a record by any measure. Dr. Roy Spencer suggested earlier today that he didn’t think so either, saying:

So, all things considered (including unresolved issues about urban heat island effects and other large corrections made to the USHCN data), I would say July was unusually warm. But the long-term integrity of the USHCN dataset depends upon so many uncertain factors, I would say it’s a stretch to to call July 2012 a “record”.

This result also strongly suggests, that a well sited network of stations, as the USCRN is designed from inception to be, is totally free of the errors, biases, adjustments, siting issues, equipment issues, and UHI effects that plague the older COOP USHCN network that is a mishmash of problems that the new USCRN was designed to solve.

It suggests Watts et al 2012 is on the right track when it comes to pointing out the temperature measurement differences between stations with and without such problems. I don’t suggest that my method is a perfect comparison to the older COOP/USHCN network, but the fact that my numbers come close, within the bounds of the positive temperature bias errors noted in Leroy 1999, and that the more “pristine” USCRN network is cooler for absolute monthly temperatures (as would be expected) suggests my numbers aren’t an unreasonable comparison.

NOAA never mentions this new pristine USCRN network in any press releases on climate records or trends, nor do they calculate and display a CONUS value for it. Now we know why. The new “pristine” data it produces is just way too cool for them.

Look for a regular monthly feature using the USCRN data at WUWT. Perhaps NOAA will then be motivated to produce their own monthly CONUS Tavg values from this new network. They’ve had four years to do so since it was completed.

UPDATE: Some people questioned what is the difference between the mean and average temperature values. In the monthly data files from USCRN, there are these two values:

T_MONTHLY_MEAN

T_MONTHLY_AVG

http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/crn/qcdatasets.html

The mean is the monthly (max+min)/2, and the average is the average of all the daily averages.

UPDATE2: I’ve just sent this letter to NCDC – to ncdc.info@ncdc.noaa.gov

Hello,

I apologize for not providing a proper name in the salutation, but none was given on the contact section of the referring web page.

I am attempting to replicate the CONUS  temperature average of 77.6 degrees Fahrenheit for July 2012, listed in the August 8th 2012, State of the Climate Report here: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/

Pursuant to that, would you please provide the following:

1. The data source of the surface temperature record used.

2. The list of stations used from that surface temperature record, including any exclusions and reasons for exclusions.

3. The method used to determine the CONUS average temperature, such as simple area average, gridded average, altitude corrections, bias corrections, etc. Essentially what I’m requesting is the method that can be used to replicate the resultant 77.6F CONUS average value.

4. A flowchart of the procedures in step 3 if available.

5. Any other information you deem relevant to the replication process.

Thank you sincerely for your consideration.

Best Regards,

Anthony Watts

===================================================

Below is the response I got to the email address provided in the SOTC release, some email addresses redacted to prevent spamming.

===================================================

—–Original Message—–
From: mailer-daemon@xxxx.xxxx.xxx
Date: Thursday, August 09, 2012 3:22 PM
To: awatts@xxxxxxx.xxx
Subject: Undeliverable: request for methods used in SOTC press release
Your message did not reach some or all of the intended recipients.
   Sent: Thu, 9 Aug 2012 15:22:43 -0700
   Subject: request for methods used in SOTC press release
The following recipient(s) could not be reached:
ncdc.info@ncdc.noaa.gov
   Error Type: SMTP
   Error Description: No mail servers appear to exists for the recipients address.
   Additional information: Please check that you have not misspelled the recipients email address.
hMailServer


TOPICS: Conspiracy; Science; Weather
KEYWORDS: climatechange; climategate; climategate2; globalwarming; globalwarminghoax
188 Responses to An ‘inconvenient result’ – July 2012 not a record breaker according to data from the new NOAA/NCDC U.S. Climate Reference Network

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Title Modified due to character constraint......

1 posted on 08/09/2012 7:38:29 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach
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To: Paladin2; Rocky; WhiskeyX; BwanaNdege; Sherman Logan; MrB; justa-hairyape; publius911; ...

fyi


2 posted on 08/09/2012 7:42:14 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (The Global Warming Hoax was a Criminal Act....where is Al Gore?)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
Almost 2 inches of rain today which is more than we've seen in southern Michigan all summer. Too little, too late but it could be worse.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Comparing droughts: 1934 and 2012
3 posted on 08/09/2012 7:44:13 PM PDT by cripplecreek (What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
Heretic! Your lack of proper enthusiasm for the AGW belief system has been noted!



Sadly, not sarcasm. Anyone that looks at facts and figures and comes to a reasoned conclusion that doesn't support their agenda/beliefs is attacked.
4 posted on 08/09/2012 7:49:51 PM PDT by ThunderSleeps (Stop obama now! Stop the hussein - insane agenda!)
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To: ThunderSleeps
See this thread from the JoNova blog posted earlier today:

Ray Evans reviews The Denialist Victory ( Man-Made Global Warming Advocate not happy)

5 posted on 08/09/2012 7:59:38 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (The Global Warming Hoax was a Criminal Act....where is Al Gore?)
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To: cripplecreek
maybe 30 years back or so a fellow developed a thesis that the great droughts in China and America follow the same cycles ~ and within those cycles they have a quadrant effect.

That was the strangest part ~ there's a high planes quadrant, a SW quadrant, a SE quadrant and an Ohio Valley/St. Lawrence quadrant.

In one cycle the droughts will affect just one quadrant, and in others two, and maybe three, but rarely four.

He speculated the quadrant rules in both America and China were similar but since the droughts run about 21 years apart, he didn't have enough data to prove much.

The map you provided shows less coverage in the US in this drought than in 1934. That's because it affects only 2 quadrants, and not 3 like in 1934.

Think about that one a second ~ if 34 was the maximum we've experienced and that didn't hit all 4, then what is it like when there's a 4 banger?

I think we know ~ there was a great drought in what is now the United States that came to an end about 1611 or so. It'd been raging for 17 years in most of Virginia ~ which is why there are no 425 year old trees around here. Earlier there'd been a 70 year period of diminished rainfall.

If you ever wondered why the Spanish didn't do much with the Eastern Seaboard, there you have it.

That's a 4 banger ~ and everything dries up everywhere. Populations crash. Grasslands open up from the Gulf to the Great Lakes (DeSoto reported grasslands filled the interior ~ from the Gulf to the Great Lakes ~ not many trees ~ you could literally see everywhere for miles and miles. Efforts to settle in Texas in that period were total disasters.

Pearl Buck wrote about a similar phenomenon in China that she'd heard about. The drought was everywhere ~ not just a short term extension of the Gobi, but everything in Northern and Central China dried up.

I think that's 1813 or so ~ they lost hundreds of millions of people ~ all the way West in the far North to the Kola peninsula.

Good news today ~ it's raining in Indiana and Ohio and a Typhoon made it into Central China.

We will live another day.

6 posted on 08/09/2012 8:03:05 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

I believe 1934 is the record hottest year at least in the upper Midwest. My Mother told of temperatures that summer well above 100 to as much as 115 degrees and the heat wave lasted well into the fall. We have only had a few days of 100+ temps this summer and certainly not like 1995 when we had weeks of temps above 100.


7 posted on 08/09/2012 8:09:20 PM PDT by The Great RJ
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
This is an excellent write up.

One of the big problems with the earlier, legacy climate monitoring stations is that they are poorly sited near artificial sources of heat or cold and they are located in urban heat islands where the temperature are artificially high due the heat absorption of concrete and blacktop pavement and the heat generated by burning fossil fuels and waste heat from electrical use, all in a concentrated area.

Many of these stations were originally located in rural areas when they were installed many decades ago, but have become increasingly surrounded by higher and higher density urban development.

This encroachment accounts for much of the observed temperature increase over time , as well as the gradual increase in measured temperature over time as the locations became increasingly surrounded by urban development and the corresponding increase in the urban heat island effect

8 posted on 08/09/2012 8:19:12 PM PDT by rdcbn
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To: muawiyah
Most interesting Post...thanks for adding it.
9 posted on 08/09/2012 8:21:12 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (The Global Warming Hoax was a Criminal Act....where is Al Gore?)
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To: rdcbn
They have an acronym for that.....UHI....which is the Urban Heat Inpact...or Influence....

You will see it often on the WUWT website.

10 posted on 08/09/2012 8:35:29 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (The Global Warming Hoax was a Criminal Act....where is Al Gore?)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

And if they are gonna extrapolate the US average temperature onto the global trend of climate change, why not include Alaska ? Adding that size of a land mass could only make the average more accurate when extrapolating onto any global trend. Hawaii just does not have enough land mass to make much of a difference.


11 posted on 08/09/2012 8:36:38 PM PDT by justa-hairyape
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Book marked.


12 posted on 08/09/2012 8:54:26 PM PDT by Inyo-Mono (My greatest fear is that when I'm gone my wife will sell my guns for what I told her I paid for them)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
RE: Your response to another Freeper.
"They have an acronym for that.....UHI....which is the Urban Heat Inpact...or Influence...."
Tis the bottom line. The fix was put in a number of years ago, as to shutting down of the many American and Canadian surface stations and their relocation to idiotic sites.
Evil IMHO forces where at work, for many years to reach where they hoped to know be positioned. Those two years of hacked data files sort of put a big damper on their evil doings.
13 posted on 08/09/2012 9:07:58 PM PDT by Marine_Uncle (Honor must be earned.)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Can we really believe the so-called records anymore? I remember back in May 5, 1972 the temp in Tulsa, OK was 105 downtown.

Yet when I try to find this listed the records only show about 92 degrees.


14 posted on 08/09/2012 9:11:30 PM PDT by Ruy Dias de Bivar (Tyrannies demand immense sacrifices of their people to produce trifles.-Marquis de Custine)
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To: Ruy Dias de Bivar

Very interesting....gremlins at work I guess.


15 posted on 08/09/2012 9:39:23 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (The Global Warming Hoax was a Criminal Act....where is Al Gore?)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Here are some temp links. Bookmark them as they are very hard to find on the web page.

Dallas
http://www.weather.com/outlook/health/fitness/wxclimatology/daily/USTX0327?climoMonth=7

Wichita, Ks
http://www.weather.com/outlook/health/fitness/wxclimatology/daily/USKS0620?climoMonth=7

OKC
http://www.weather.com/outlook/health/fitness/wxclimatology/daily/USOK0400?climoMonth=8

Tulsa
http://www.weather.com/outlook/health/fitness/wxclimatology/daily/USOK0537?climoMonth=7


16 posted on 08/09/2012 10:01:19 PM PDT by Ruy Dias de Bivar (Tyrannies demand immense sacrifices of their people to produce trifles.-Marquis de Custine)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Fascinating and bookmarked Ernest—excellent post—we are reminded yet again-—facts are stubborn things.


17 posted on 08/09/2012 10:05:58 PM PDT by hatfieldmccoy (It's not racism..... it's probability, actuarial tables, statistics. Facts are stubborn things.)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

The Govt will only report data when it is consistent with CAGW proponents’ claims.


18 posted on 08/10/2012 12:22:19 AM PDT by Rocky (Obama is pure evil.)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Excellent information and good question for NOAA/NCDC.


19 posted on 08/10/2012 4:46:58 AM PDT by Techster
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Amazing man this Watts fellow


20 posted on 08/10/2012 7:43:48 AM PDT by tubebender
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Bump for later reading


21 posted on 08/10/2012 11:11:06 AM PDT by SuziQ
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To: tubebender

Hey,....he is up there in your part of the woods....you might have even seen him on TV.


22 posted on 08/10/2012 3:07:18 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

We live so far north in Kollifawnia that we have to use Huskies to pull our dune buggies between the Redwood trees...


23 posted on 08/10/2012 3:10:56 PM PDT by tubebender
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