UHI Is Severely Corrupting The Temperature Record

Anthony Watts has shown that NOAA temperature anomalies are off by an order of magnitude from legitimate data, largely due to UHI.

ScreenHunter_360 Jun. 08 06.33


h/t to John Silver

Last night I was riding my bike over to the gym about 10 PM, and noticed what I always do. Temperatures in open space are much cooler than temperatures near asphalt. As soon as I leave open space and enter a neighborhood, or particularly a parking lot – the temperature goes up 5-10 degrees Fahrenheit. Most UHI effects are due to proximity to asphalt and brick. Even a small town can suffer significant UHI effects.

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27 Responses to UHI Is Severely Corrupting The Temperature Record

  1. Bliss says:

    This post from Anthony provides hope that a reliable “gold standard” can be used for detecting UHI effects and (hopefully) serve as a more reliable dataset for temperature trends.


  2. gator69 says:

    “Even a small town can suffer significant UHI effects.”

    Location, location, location. We need to remove the ‘U’ from UHI, as it is not exclusively an urban issue. What we have are Heat Islands, everywhere. About 30 minutes from my property is a weather station on top of a roof, next to AC units, in what would be considered a ‘rural’ location.

  3. John Silver says:

    Heh, that was quick. I have linked to that slide on another skeptic site before, but peculiarly, no one reacted.

  4. omanuel says:

    Peaceful reconciliation Is probably the most effective way to end sixty-nine years of “corrupting data” in order to “save the world from nuclear annihilation” in August 1945.


    • omanuel says:

      When “win-lose” solutions fail, try a “win-win” solution! Egos will be the only losers!

    • “Corrupting data” in the earth and life sciences goes back 155 years (to Darwin’s “Origin of Species”), not 69 (and not from “fear of nuclear annihilation” even in the latter). And the corrupters have to reconcile themselves to the truth, not vice-versa. What you are really advocating is that the dishonest and incompetent “see the light”–then they will be reconciled with those of us who are both competent and honest. But the whole point of the growing crisis is that they will NOT see the light until they are literally forced to, and that not by the reasoned arguments of competent critics, but by overwhelming public demand.

      • Ernest Bush says:

        Some Warmists would literally freeze to death before admitting all they believed is a fraud. That’s why people are using words like “religion” and “cult” to describe the AGW crowd. The superiority of good science will never cloud their world view.

  5. Morgan says:

    I had one clown tell me UHI’s were caused by all the CO2 in the cities, from cars, trucks, people. So I took my ExTech CO200 carbon dioxide meter to New york city and guess what? 395 ppm in Queens this winter. Didn’t go to Manhattan. There are 3 million people in Queens, that’s good enough

  6. Mark Luhman says:

    Not only is it the concrete and asphalt, it also the increase in surface that add to UHI, Buildings increase surface area, that allow more heat storage. The indians in the desert southwest did the same with theit pottery a cooking pot would have lines in the bottom that increased the heat absorption, what every was in the pot warmed faster. More surface area means mot heat storage more energy captured.

  7. Robertv says:

    Economists, investment analysts, and politicians have spent much of 2014 bemoaning the terrible economic effects of the winter of 2014. The cold and snow have been continuously blamed for the lackluster job market, disappointing retail sales, tepid business investment and, most notably, much slower than expected GDP growth. Given how optimistic many of these forecasters had been in the waning months of 2013, when the stock market was surging into record territory and the Fed had finally declared that the economy had outgrown the need for continued Quantitative Easing, the weather was an absolutely vital alibi. If not for the excuse of the bad weather, the entire narrative of a sustainable recovery would have been proven false.


  8. I have recently begun working an evening shift in a small town (pop. about 4,000, size about 1 sq mi.) in southwestern PA, one day a week. The past few weeks, the weather has been mild, so I have been driving home with at least one window down in the car. I can feel the temperature drop in the few blocks I drive from the downtown business area into the residential area.

  9. I’m in Germany and at the plant, they have a prairie area between the tech center and the plant. I was stunned at how much cooler the air was flowing in from the prairie. The air over the brick walk was warm, but a slight breeze was bringing in air that was at least 5F cooler. It looked like a midwestern US prairie, very natural looking, and no more than the size of a football field. They have farms and hay fields interspersed everywhere here, except in some major industrial areas. Our plant is in a small town. The same prairie area brings cool air into the office spaces. Not sure if that was intentional, but it’s maintenance free, and gives off a lot more cool air than a grass field does.

  10. Dave Snope says:

    I get a temperature profile plot from my GPS unit every time I ride my bike. I cover 20-40 miles typically, with temperatures varying by 10 degrees. One measurement that is very reliable is that when I travel 1 mile from a dry riverbed to my suburban house, the temperature always rises by 3 degrees F.

  11. Gail Combs says:

    I spent the day sitting on the edge of the woods just into the shade. I was 40 ft from an asphalt roadway.

    Across the street was a pop-up type tent (no sides) – maybe 30 ft away from the road. The difference between the two locations was very noticeable. I was comfortable while they guys in the pop-up were sweltering.

    • Colorado Wellington says:

      You were sitting all day by the road watching two men in a tent without sides?

      • Gail Combs says:

        Actually I was working my butt off earning $525 entertaining kids. The sit down time was rest periods when hubby took over. (Unfortunately the mechanic gets all of that and then some this week for repairs to the equipment.)

        • Colorado Wellington says:

          I realized in some cases I’d be willing to sit all day by the road watching two women in a tent without sides.

  12. B says:

    Where I grew up there was a large area we called ‘the prairie’. It was just undeveloped land that like the rest of the town had been farm fields but had essentially returned to nature. Down the block turn right go a couple blocks and the street ended at the prairie and dirt trails took over. Ten feet in, the temp would feel a good ten degrees colder some evenings. It would be a sudden change too.

    • Gail Combs says:

      Some of the papers that were highlighted on WUWT say that trees try to maintain a temperature of 70F around their leaves. It sure felt like that was what the trees were doing today. (The max today was 82F) with a humidity ~70%

      • Gail Combs says:

        What I found interesting was the difference between the temp in the shade of the popup and the shade of the trees. The wind was the same for both locations and they were less than 100ft apart.

        • Morgan says:

          Much of the light energy that hits chlorophyl is converted into chemical processes, rather than turned into heat. The production of sugar uses a lot of solar energy. Basically, photosynthesis is a cooling process, in the same way that respiration is a warming one. Photosynthesis produces sugar, respiration burns it. Oxidation of sugar releases heat, that is how we stay 98.6. Production of sugar absorbs heat. So rural vegetated areas are cool due to photosynthesis.

        • Gail Combs says:

          Thanks Morgan. I was aware that plants lose water through the stomata but had not considered the transformation of light into sugar instead of heat.

  13. tom0mason says:

    Black roads can add as much as 12 degrees Fahrenheit

    So cost effective – not.

  14. emsnews says:

    Yes, trees eat not only CO2 but also UV.

    I own about 20 acres of prime forest some of the oak trees are more than 250 years old. Want cool?

    Stand under one of these towering giants. They have seen volcanic eruptions which caused winter to come in summer, they have tolerated heat waves and severe blizzards. Not to mention multiple lightning strikes.

    One giant tree that collapsed three years ago, I and my friends sawed apart. We still can’t do the entire lower trunk, it is over 6 feet in diameter. I did do a tree ring reading of one of the upper branches which was over 120 years old.

    The rings were NOT UNIFORM. At all. EVER. Some rings were very small and others thick. The rain variation was great, the temperature variation was enormous. We saw sometimes 20 rings that were fat and 20 that were skinny. Reminded me about the starving and fat cows in the Bible.

    • Morgan says:

      Not so much UV, actually visible light, namely in the orange region of the spectrum. The reason chlorophyl is green is it absorbs orange light. The carotenes also absorb other colors and pass the energy on to the chlorophyl, but trees mainly eat visible light and transduce it into chemical energy, instead of heat.

  15. Dave N says:

    “Last night I was riding my bike over to the gym about 10 PM, and noticed what I always do. Temperatures in open space are much cooler than temperatures near asphalt. As soon as I leave open space and enter a neighborhood, or particularly a parking lot – the temperature goes up 5-10 degrees Fahrenheit”

    Same happens to me in the summer when I ride my bike to work in the early morning; there’s some parklands in between my suburb and the city, and the temperature difference is very noticeable. I haven’t measured it yet, however I expect I will next summer.

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