IT is my prediction that in not so many years time weather station data will be collected more for fun, a sense of history and for site-specific information, than for serious regional and global climate statistics. In the future it will be data from satellites that is recognised as much more reliable for understanding regional and global temperature trends.
The recent debacle with the global temperature data set compiled by the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) from thousands of thermometers in little white boxes all over the world will probably hasten the transition from a primary reliance on thermometer to satellite data.
While we have known for some time, including through the work of Anthony Watts, that many weather stations are poorly maintained and positioned in wrong places – including next to air conditioning outlets on bitumen – the recent GISS saga indicates how subjective the system of compilation can be. Indeed it appears that when Australia sends data in late, rather than wait, the team in New York might be inclined to best guess based on last month’s pattern and climatology.
A problem for those who have hitched their careers to claims that global temperatures will continue to rise is that the satellite data is much less subject to manipulation in favour of confirmation bias.
The latest UAH global temperature data from the satellites, with a trend line added from Klockarman, shows temperatures have gone down a total of 0.37° F. (or 0.205° C.) since the movie ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ was released at the Sundance Film Festival on January 24, 2006.