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Temperature Adjustments In Alabama

March 29, 2014

By Paul Homewood

 

multigraph

http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/cag/

 

 

I briefly mentioned the new nClimDiv Dataset, introduced by NOAA this month. Let’s take a closer look at how it affects Alabama.

A comparison of the annual mean temperature for 1934 & 2012, under the new NCDC system shows:

 

1934 2012 Diff
63.4F 64.9F 1.5F

http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/cag/

 

So they claim that 2012 was 1.5F warmer, but is this supported by the individual temperature records?

 

There are only 13 stations that have records for both 1934 and 2012, and they are listed in the Appendix. They are distributed across eight Climate Divisions.

Using the State Climatological reports for 1934 and 2012, we can compare annual mean temperatures for the two years. These are then averaged within each division, and these divisional averages are weighted by area to give a Statewide figure.

 

To summarise the results:

 

  1934 2012 Diff
NCDC 63.4 64.9 1.5
Station averages 64.9 65.1 0.2
Difference     1.3

 

Somehow, the new NCDC system finds an extra 1.3F of warming, that does not exist on the individual station analysis.

It is worth pointing out that only one site, Gadsden, records a difference of 1.5F or more. According to Wiki, Gadsden has a population of 37000, and the station metadata shows the weather station slap bang in the middle of a water works. It may be that Gadsden is therefore not a reliable site, and it certainly is an outlier.

It is true that temperatures since the 1930’s have been adjusted for TOBS (Time of Observation Bias), but according to NOAA, this should only account for about 0.3F, which still leaves a gap of 1.0F to explain.

 

http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/img/climate/research/ushcn/ts.ushcn_anom25_diffs_pg.gif

 

The usual excuse thrown for these differences is the all encompassing “homogenisation”. But the above stations are all discrete records, and have no need to be homogenised. And as can be seen from the Appendix, which shows populations, many of the sites have quite sizeable populations, so some allowance should be made for UHI.

 

It is clear that the new NCDC system is not reflecting the reality on the ground, and is artificially adding a significant amount to the warming trend since the 1930’s.

 

 

APPENDIX A

Alabama Annual Mean Temperatures

 
DIV POP 1934 2012 DIFF
X 1000
1 DECATUR 84 63.8 63.4 -0.4
2 SCOTTSBORO 14 61.7 62.3 0.6
ST BERNARD R 60.8 61.7 0.9
DIV 2
61.3 62.0 0.8
3 CENTREVILLE R 64.4 63 -1.4
CLANTON R 64.4 63.9 -0.5
DIV 3
64.4 63.5 -1.0
4 GADSDEN 37 62.6 65.6 3.0
5 AUBURN 57 65.5 64.8 -0.7
6 SELMA 24 66.4 66.4 0.0
UNION SPRINGS R 66 64.3 -1.7
DIV 6
66.2 65.4 -0.9
7 BREWTON R 66.6 68 1.4
GREENVILLE R 66.7 64.4 -2.3
THOMASVILLE R 64.5 66.8 2.3
DIV 7
65.9 66.4 0.5

8 MOBILE 443 67.7 69 1.3
R = <10,000

 

 

APPENDIX B

Temperatures Weighted By Division

WEIGHTED TEMPERATURE
DIV 1934 2012 1934 2012
1 63.8 63.4 5.7 5.7
2 61.3 62 6.0 6.0
3 64.4 63.5 9.5 9.4
4 62.6 65.6 4.9 5.1
5 65.5 64.8 6.4 6.3
6 66.2 65.4 9.9 9.8
7 65.9 66.4 18.8 18.9
8 67.7 69 3.8 3.9
STATE 64.9 65.1

 

 

APPENDIX C

Divisional Areas

AREA SQ MILES WEIGHTED
1 4609 0.0893043984
2 5027 0.097403604
3 7648 0.1481883356
4 4000 0.0775043596
5 5006 0.0969967061
6 7716 0.1495059097
7 14719 0.2851966673
8 2885 0.0559000194
TOTAL AREA 51610
5 Comments
  1. Chuck L permalink
    March 29, 2014 9:14 pm

    Anything to keep the global warming illusion alive. I wonder if original raw data is or will continue to be available.

  2. Don permalink
    March 30, 2014 2:16 am

    Great post, re-posted at DTT dot com.

  3. March 30, 2014 3:40 am

    Thanks, Paul. Good article.
    This is my view, inspired by your findings:
    NCDC have introduced a new method for calculating state (but not national), temperatures in the USA. The new method makes the past cooler, creating a false impression of present warming at the state level. The national figures remain unaffected. This is because they were already being calculated under the new system, creating a similar false impression.

    I have put it up in my climate and meteorology pages, with a link to your work.

  4. Brian H permalink
    August 15, 2014 11:01 am

    An average equal to the solitary highest value? Nice work, if you can get it.

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