Friday, January 29, 2010

Cooling bias? Watts up with that?

Say, speaking of anti-science denial, did you have the good fortune to catch Dr. Jeff Masters of Weather Underground & how the scientific analysis of the actual data shows Anthony Watts' with his head up his WUWT?

You didn't? Well, let's take a look at it together, shall we?

Dr. Jeff Masters posted his astute assessment of Watts & his XOM-funded co-conspirators-in-denial on his WunderBlog just the other day for all to see.
While Watts' publication by the Heartland Institute is a valuable source of information on siting problems of the U.S. network of weather stations, the publication did not undergo peer-review--the process whereby three anonymous scientists who are experts in the field review a manuscript submitted for publication, and offer criticisms on the scientific validity of the results, resulting in revisions to the original paper or outright rejection. The Heartland Institute is an advocacy organization that accepts money from corporate benefactors such as the tobacco industry and fossil fuel industry, and publishes non-peer reviewed science that inevitably supports the interests of the groups paying for the studies. Watts did not actually analyze the data to see if taking out the poorly sited surface stations would have a significant impact on the observed 1.1°F increase in U.S. temperatures over the past century. His study would never have been publishable in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.
So the dedicated expert climate scientists over at NOAA did a scientific study, peer-reviewed no less.
Fortunately, a proper analysis of the impact of these poorly-sited surface stations on the U.S. historical temperature record has now been done by Dr. Matthew Menne and co-authors at NOAA's National Climatic Data Center (NCDC).
And Watt do you think the data, including Watts' own's, actually shows when analyzed using scientific methods?

A cooling bias, we sh*t you not.
Dr. Menne's study computed the average daily minimum and maximum temperatures from the good sites and poor sites. While the poor sites had a slightly warmer average minimum temperature than the good sites (by 0.03°C), the average maximum temperature measured at the poor sites was significantly cooler (by 0.14°C) than the good sites. As a result, overall average temperatures measured at the poor sites were cooler than the good sites. This is the opposite of the conclusion reached by Anthony Watts in his 2009 Heartland Institute publication. New study finds the poor weather stations tend to have a slight COOL bias, not a warm one
Watts up with that!?!

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