Guest post by Kristen Byrnes Science Foundation Volunteers
(More evidence that we have a broken surface temperature measurement system being used to promote global warming hysteria and more greenhouse gas reduction regulations.)
There is an old joke that goes something like this: The easiest way to starve a government bureaucrat is to hide his lunch money under his work boots. From the files of the National Climate data Center and the Kristen Byrnes Science Foundation comes evidence that this may not be just a joke.
Climate Scientists at the National Climate Data Center noticed an anomaly in the temperature record of the Durham, New Hampshire temperature station (USHCN # 272174). When compared to the local Climate Reference Network station, scientists observed that during the summer, Durham was over 1 degree warmer. During the winter, it was slightly cooler.
The climate scientist was baffled. After viewing the station metadata and discovering no documented station changes, he quickly assumed that the equipment at Durham was faulty. That’s where this part of the story ends.
Fast forward to the summer of 2007; volunteers at the Kristen Byrnes Science Foundation surveyed and photographed this site as well as others in New England. After a weekend of photographing stations, volunteer Casey DePeter and his uncle went to the National Weather Service office in Gray, Maine to request station history records on some of the New England stations. Now, one would expect cooperation from the National Weather Service when school kids are conducting scientific research, especially since all of the stations had been visited and photographed. But no, Casey and his uncle left empty handed after being told by the facility manager that they would have to get permission from the NWS national headquarters. During that visit there was a discussion about the quality of the Durham station, after which, the NWS manager conceded that the station would soon be closed.
A few weeks later KBSF requested documentation from NCDC on the Durham station, and advised NCDC about the probable error in their earlier study of the station. No KBSF emails were responded to and follow-up phone calls were not returned. However, a few weeks later we noticed that the study had disappeared from the NCDC on-line archives.
Here is the Durham MMTS that was documented; can you guess why summer temperatures would be over 1 degree higher than the local reference station?
The station is located at a facility which services passenger busses. NWS and NCDC were notified that the prevailing winds move across the parking lot and over the asphalt roof of the service building where it creates an eddy which causes air to be exchanged between the air conditioner (22 feet away) and the temperature sensor.
So back to the climate scientist who studied the warm anomaly at Durham. Did he pick up the telephone and call the NWS station manager or the coop observer to learn about possible microclimate issues? No. Did he get off his chair and visit the site? No. Was he even aware that microclimate issues exist at USHCN stations? Probably not. He just assumed that the temperature sensor was faulty.
The NWS manager obviously didn’t lift a finger to close the station; below is the latest observers report taken a year later. The NCDC also lists this station as currently active.
In closing, you can easily see that the NWS and NCDC were confronted with an embarrassing error, a waste of the tax-payers dollars. Instead of correcting it they covered their tracks, ran for cover and went about business as usual. Does that sound like the average bureaucrat?
Thanks to the following KBSF volunteers who contributed to this story and images: John Simmons, Casey DePeter, Mike Carson, Tammy Byrnes and Paul Alicia