Tracking climate change? Use the daily highs
Above, examples from Las Vegas illustrate the issue, but aren’t part of the original paper. Source: NWS WSFO, Las Vegas. NV.
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (April 29, 2016) — Scientists using long-term surface temperature data to track climate change caused by greenhouse gases would be best served using only daily high temperature readings without the nighttime lows, according to new research at The University of Alabama in Huntsville.
Using temperature data from Alabama going back to 1883, scientists in UAH’s Earth System Science Center developed and tested various methods for creating stable, reliable long-term climate datasets for three portions of inland Alabama.
In addition to creating some arcane mathematical tools useful for creating climate datasets, the team also found daytime high temperature data is less likely to be contaminated by surface issues — such as deforestation, construction, paving and irrigation — than nighttime low temperatures.
“If you change the surface, say if…
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