16 Feb 2010:
U.S. Climate Data Reliable
And Did Not Boost Temperatures, Study Says
A study by scientists from the U.S.'s National Climatic Data Center refutes claims from climate change skeptics that data from U.S. weather stations was seriously flawed and exaggerated the rate of temperature increases. The study, published in the Journal of Geophysical Research, says that U.S. weather stations may have actually slightly underestimated temperature increases. Anthony Watts, a former meteorologist who publishes the WattsUpWithThat blog, compiled photo evidence of what he considered poorly located weather stations across the U.S., including locations that could be influenced by artificial heat, such as those near parking lots and air conditioning systems. He concluded that the U.S. records were unreliable, and thus called into question the data used in climate research worldwide. But scientists at the National Climatic Data Center suggest that the data collected at the stations Watts classified as poor were actually more likely to be cooler since they generally used sophisticated measuring equipment known as a Maximum-Minimum Temperature System (MMTS), which tends to be biased toward marginally cooler readings. “These methods have proven time and again to be robust at removing these biases and providing a true climate signal in regional to global temperatures, and we are highly confident in our results,” said Scott Hausman, NCDC’s director.
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Photographer Robert Wintner documents the exquisite beauty and biodiversity of Cuba’s coral reefs, which are largely intact thanks to stifled coastal development in the communist nation. View the gallery.
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The Warriors of Qiugang
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Top Image: aerial view of Iceland
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A three-part series Tainted Harvest
looks at the soil pollution crisis in China, the threat it poses to the food supply, and the complexity of any cleanup. Read the series.