Follies in Measuring Global Warming II New England Colleges

Admin, Tuesday 21 August 2007 - 21:24:46

Follies in Measuring Global Warming II
New England Colleges

by: Kristen Byrnes

Thanks to the hard work of KBSF and volunteers, New England is the first region of the country where all active USHCN temperature stations have been photo-documented. 5 of the stations we surveyed are at great colleges here in New England. I don't know if any of the worlds leading climate scientists went to school at any of these colleges, but a few of them teach there.

To prevent inaccuracies in measuring temperature, the National Weather Service has guidelines for the sites where temperature stations are located. These include being 100 feet from pavement, that the station is farther than 4 times the height of trees or buildings, that it is 2 m above ground, not on a slope or near a body of water unless it is representative of the area and that it is not near any artificial heat sources.

To be fair to the colleges below, I don't know if they are involved in installing temperature stations so the poor siting should not reflect the quality of the colleges. All of these sites are used by NOAA and NASA GISS in measuring global warming and have been approved by the National Weather Service.

University of Connecticut Logo

Located at the University of Connecticut Plant Sciences School, this weather station is in a tight race for the best sited college station in all of New England.
UConn at Storrs is a well-known Agricultural Campus that boasts a great Liberal Arts program.

University of Connecticut Weather Monitoring Station

USHCN # 68138
NASA GISS # 425725080020

We thought the only problem with this site was that it violates the NWS distance to pavement, but the NCDC also lists the greenhouse and trees (wind blocks) in their obstruction/exposure section. The white birdhouse on the right is the old homemade shelter.

University of Connecticut Weather Monitoring Station

University of Massachusetts - Amherst Logo

According to their website, "The University of Massachusetts Amherst is the flagship campus of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts' university system." Are you a Music fan? Starting this year, you can take one of two courses on The History of the Greatful Dead!

University of Massachusetts - Amherst Weather Monitoring Station

USHCN # 190120
NASA GISS # 425744910010

This is not the worst sited station in the country because concrete, pavement and buildings surround it on only three sides. In case anyone at NCDC reads this, there's mistake on the MMS equipment tab because that's an MMTS, not a Max-Min, it might be lacking an adjustment.

University of Massachusetts - Amherst Weather Monitoring Station

Dartmouth Logo

"Founded in 1769 and a member of the Ivy League, Dartmouth includes an undergraduate arts and sciences program and four graduate schools: Arts and Sciences Graduate Programs, Dartmouth Medical School, Thayer School of Engineering, and Tuck School of Business."
Located in Hanover, NH, Dartmouth is also home to the famous Shattuck Observatory where the USHCN weather station is located between the building and parking lot, which is upslope from numerous large buildings and surrounded by trees.

Dartmouth Weather Monitoring Station

USHCN # 273850
NASA GISS # 425726040020

Dartmouth Weather Monitoring Station

University of Maine Logo

Located way up in potato country at the Aroostook Research Farm, this USHCN station is probably the best sited of all the New England colleges. The parking lot is only 47 feet away and the building and shack are not enough of an obstruction to the wind to be listed by NCDC.

University of Maine at Presque Isle Weather Monitoring Station

USHCN # 176937
NASA GISS # 425727130030

University of Maine at Presque Isle Weather Monitoring Station

University of Maine at Orono logo

University of Maine at Orono is considered to have one of the best Earth Sciences departments in the country. Their atmospheric science classes are offered a study opportunity of a lifetime, because;
Up in the sky!
It's a bird!
No, it's a plane!
No, it's the USHCN weather station on top of the 3-story physics building!

University of Maine at Presque Isle Weather Monitoring Station

USHCN # 176430
NASA GISS # 425726190030

This site is obviously a little higher than the usual 2 meters above ground that is required by NWS. On any given day, students might study the effects of the 3 air conditioners directly below the temperature station or the nearby chimney, none of which are listed by NCDC's exposure/obstruction report.

© Kristen Byrnes and Ponder the Maunder - All Rights Reserved. Reprinted on with Permission.


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