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Discussion > What's The Difference Between Measured UHI and Met Office weather forecasts

EM. Just how wrong can you be! I was never marginalized at UEA - quite the opposite. I never pushed my own views about climate change to students. I told them there was other evidence and argument about climate change that they were perhaps not hearing, gave them a flavour of it, and told them to make up their own, but now informed, minds. I discussed my methods of teaching the subject with successive Heads of Department. I behaved honourably throughout - which is more than you sometimes do with your occasional snide and totally unprovoked comments.
You have lost considerable ground here over the past 24 hours.

Oct 30, 2016 at 1:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterACK


You would say that, of course.

On this site I have no ground to lose. Anything I say is automatically assumed to be wrong. Any evidence I link to is aromatically assumed to be fixed. The regulars are rude to me as a matter of course, yet are hypersensitive to the slightest lapse in courtesy on my part.

Yet you need me. When I go away the site becomes much quieter and the traffic is mostly the deluded reassuring each other that their delusions are actually true.

Oct 30, 2016 at 2:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

"You would say that, of course". Because its true. You tried to be hurtful from a position of little knowledge, not no knowledge because I have written repeatedly about my time at UEA and my philosophy of teaching there. You were stupid to attack me where I feel strong.

"On this site I have no ground to lose. Anything I say is automatically assumed to be wrong. Any evidence I link to is aromatically assumed to be fixed. The regulars are rude to me as a matter of course, yet are hypersensitive to the slightest lapse in courtesy on my part".

Perhaps so, so why do you do it? I think you do it because you have no one around you that you consider a peer. You are stimulated by combat here. Yes you are insulted here, often in my opinion without merit. At times you must admit I have risen to your defence (and not been repayed either). There have been some instances where you have got off from your climate hobby horse to enter a more general debate and your particular expertise and experience has been valued and by all. In particular your school teaching experience and living in Northern Ireland are capable of offering us valuable insights.

"Yet you need me. When I go away the site becomes much quieter"
Acknowledged by me at several times in the past. Don't go away, you would be much missed.

Oct 30, 2016 at 3:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterACK

It provides additional evidence that modern temperatures are exceeding those of the Holocene Optimum...
Meanwhile, the receding ice reveals forests at latitudes still too extreme for the trees in them to grow, now, implicating that it was warmer when they grew, and for long enough for the forest to grow to full maturity.

Interestingly, the foot of the article has a note that includes: “The 2015 Paris Agreement thresholds…” No possibility of conflicts of interest, then? Curious how this oh-so-conveniently contradicts what has been commonly accepted for so long (i.e. that the Holocene Optimum was up to 5K warmer than now), yet you cannot even question it. Sad, really – earlier in the discussion, you were showing promising signs of opening your mind just a little. Now it has snapped as tight shut as ever.

Oct 30, 2016 at 6:39 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

EM, just because a Climate Science paper has been Peer Reviewed, and meets the approval by popular Consensus of the Climate Science community, does not mean it is any good. As Gergis has demonstrated, twice, (at considerable expense to taxpayers), Peer Review and Consensus approval in Climate Science are good indicators that something is not right.

I read "The Hockey Stick Illusion" by Andrew Montford after ClimateGate, but it was written before it. I had watched the thread at Climate Audit develop into requests being made for CRU data, without realising or understanding the full significance, or knowing who the characters were. Then I started following more links.

Most of my career has involved trouble shooting. Technical issues are not a problem, until the technical "experts" start lying to protect themselves or others, then things get messy, complicated and very expensive very quickly.

Whether you are aware of it, or not, you seem to be involved with the damage limitation/cover up. You will be aware that I have suggested you start looking to save the good bits of climate science, but you remain in denial that there is anything wrong with the "science" you are promoting.

Climate Science has never produced anything, that anyone would willingly pay for, and none of the scare stories have proved right. Why should taxpayers pay for it?

Insurers have charged extra premiums, but not paid out any more. Insurers like the public to take out as much insurance cover as possible.

Governments like to tax more, but taxing income is a vote loser, so far better to tax the expenditure of taxpayers more ie stealth tax.

Where has all this extra tax gone? Climate Scientists banks, and new Mercedes Limousines for developing countries?

Oct 30, 2016 at 10:51 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie


My apologies. I become really unpleasant when the black dog is biting. Thee usual solution is to stay off BH for a while.

Oct 31, 2016 at 12:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

EM. Apology easily and readily accepted. I did wonder if you were going through a bad patch.
It is interesting that when I was encountering difficulties with the usual suspects here I was given a number of pieces of good advice, I believe from Sandy S (although if it were from someone else I am deeply ashamed for not remembering). One piece of advice was to do what you often do - pursue a conversation until it becomes too intense, then pull away? Your name was especially mentioned with regard to this tactic. A procedure I have since adopted and which I have watched you repeat.
Good luck to both of us!

Oct 31, 2016 at 12:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterACK

ACK 12:30, sounds more sensible than Phil Clarke shouting Boo and Pollocks -or similar

Oct 31, 2016 at 1:57 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

In response to SandyS original question about the difference between UHI and Met Office forecasts, the Met Office tends to forget when it suits them, and the BBC always defers to the expertise of the Met Office because the Met Office has said what they wanted.

As the BBC and Met Office have decided to go forth in separate directions, it will be interesting to see whether the same (?) data is transformed into the same (?) forecasts and interpretations by the same (?) people.

Politics has failed to change the climate or weather, but it can change how accurately both are forecast.

The weather conditions experienced at Heathrow may be of Meteorological Interest, and be of crucial importance to those concerned with Aviation, but have no relevance to the weather in the rest of the UK.

Oct 31, 2016 at 4:40 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

golf charlie
It will be interesting to see how things progress.

Despite all the interesting discussions (I have to catch up on the last three or four days) I'm still unclear on why they are so different.

I did try and explain my problem to one of my sons when he was reading over my shoulder, he has a bit of interest in Climate Change in as much as he's not keen on high prices for energy.

I came up with this explanation.

Temperatures measured by most weather stations are in urban or semi urban areas. These will have a higher measured temperature on days when there is not much wind and even more when skies are clear.

80 days every year the conditions are such that this difference is present.

On these days stations such as Heathrow are +4'C greater than a totally rural weather station in the South East of England (is there such a thing). Whereas Altnahara or Benbecula are pretty close to even more rural areas close by in terms of matching non-UHI influenced temperatures.
Taking a these 80 days and averaging them over a 365 day year will give an average increase of less than 1'C due to urbanisation. This average does assume that UHI is considered to be constant throughout the year.

However applying this throughout the year leads to the question which is bothering me. The highest monthly temperatures tend to be predominantly in the home counties, the lowest tend to be in rural Scotland, rural Wales and East Anglia. The largest urban area I can find for record lows is Perth (Tayside) , similar population to Burton-On-Trent without the warming influence of the East and West Midlands.

All of which confirms what the BBC weather forecast says and still leaves me wondering where the very low values used in the global temperature adjustments and quoted by Entropic Man actually come from. I regard Entropic Man as the messenger and not the author, although he seems happy with the message.

I live in hope (only a tiny bit) that one day when announcing a record high at Heathrow, Kew or Faversham the BBC will include the sentence/caveat "due to urban heat island effects this is much warmer, perhaps more than five degrees, warmer than rural areas close by".

The only way to get UHI out the the global average is to consider each weather station in its own right.

Nov 1, 2016 at 4:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS


Are you sure you are not confusing the UHI effect at a point in time, rather than how it affects the long term trend? Imagine a graph of the temps from two weather stations, one rural, one urban. The urban plot will be higher up the Y-axis than the rural, but from the point of view of the contribution to GW, it is the difference in slope that is relevant: and this has been examined and found not to have a significant effect on the global trend.

By the way, the record highest daily maximum temperature in the UK was 38.5C in 2003. The Met locates the measurement in Faversham, but the station is actually located just South of the hamlet of Brogdale.

Nov 1, 2016 at 5:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Sandy S. BBC's Look East does almost what you hope for. Not uncommonly now it gives a map with temperatures for towns and cities, then there is the briefest comment that rural temperatures will be somewhat lower, followed by a switch of map giving those lower rural temperatures, perhaps accompanied by a comment about the possibility of overnight frost or morning mist or fog.

The main problem I see with UHI effects is that some of the homogenization procedures employed have the effect of changing and thus contaminating rural climate data. My second concern is that UHI effects are commonly linked with poor siteing of urban weather stations and the two effects amplify each other.

Nov 1, 2016 at 5:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterACK

The only way to get UHI out the the global average is to consider each weather station in its own right.

Nov 1, 2016 at 4:33 PM | SandyS

Which is precisely the problem of Heathrow. It did not exist 70 years ago. As an area of tarmac, and concrete plus buildings it keeps getting bigger, and the number of gallons of jet fuel burnt at high temperatures increases.

Weather forecasts were done by farmers for farmers. Seafarers had to do their own. Temperature was more important to farmers than seafarers, but wind strength was the other way round. The most important innovation was the barometer for farmers and seafarers, as it allowed change to be forecast, and gave an idea how bad it was going to get.

The modern Met Office started after WW1 with data from airbases. Wind strength was an educated guess (Beaufort Scale) and looking at a windsock could give direction. Air temperature plus max/min thermometers, plus barometer and rainguage would have been in or near a Stephenson Screen (or similar) close to the Air Traffic Control tent or shed. Temperatures were not that important to pilots, they could tell if it was raining, and they could see the windsock whether thinking of flying, or when flying in and looking to land.

The local farmer would still be more accurate in forecasting tomorrow's weather by looking at the clouds, and having the local knowledge passed down through generations. The local sage/wise woman/herbalist might have foretold the next season's weather by noting daffodils, blossom and frogspawn densities with 50% accuracy.

By WW2 weather data was being recorded and transmitted by radio. RAF Meteorologist James Stagg was able to persuade Eisenhower to postpone D-Day for 24 hours, based on info from ships and aircraft on and around the Atlantic.

At no point was recording temperature to less than 0.5c viable, possible or necessary. Localised UHI was of academic interest, but Gardeners had for centuries built Kitchen Gardens with high walls around them, knowing that brick absorbed heat, radiated heat, blocked wind etc, and with lean-to greenhouses and orientation to the sun, microclimates could be deliberately created.

Historians and archaeologists had long known the climate warmed and cooled.

When climatologists screamed global cooling, nobody said UHI, why bother? When climatologists screamed global warming, and pointed at places like Heathrow, Global Warmists had to reinvent statistics to prove UHI was not the cause, but still quote temperatures for Heathrow.

The Met Office has been recording temperatures for almost 100 years, but has only been pretending they weren't measuring UHI for less than 30. They have adjusted the problem to their maximum benefit

Nov 1, 2016 at 5:48 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Just a quick post, as I'm still short of time.

I left my house in a small town of considerably fewer than 10,000 inhabitants some time before 10am today. By the time it settled down, my car thermometer said the temperature in town at that time was 4.5C. By the time I had driven 3 or 4 miles south (in the same valley, no significant difference in altitude) there was thick frost in the fields, and the car thermometer was reading 1.5C. For what that's worth, while it's not a scientific experiment using finely calibrated measuring equipment, it is empirical evidence supporting my view that what seems to be the view of the establishment that we draw the line for considering UHI at towns with populations of 50,000 upwards, is nonsense.

If I'm correct, how many UHI locations are wrongly categorised as rural or semi-rural, and what effect does that have on the records?

Nov 2, 2016 at 8:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Phil Clarke
I don't think so, I don't actually disagree with the fact there has been a warming trend since the end of the LIA (~1850). Just that during that time frame global population has grown from about 1.2 billion to about 7 billion. Most of that population increase has been in urban areas. If we agree than UHI is not linked to atmospheric CO2 and greenhouse gases, then incorrectly adjusting the effect of UHI means that the global average temperature rise which is mainly, or exclusively, attributed to human emissions of greenhouse gases then we're working on erroneous data. The problem may be compounded by adjusting rural station data because of its not matching models and the urban data on which the models are based.

For most humans who live in urban areas the "climate" they experience is much warmer than than of the ancestors who lived in the same location in its pre-urban 18th century rural heyday. But that can't be assigned to human created greenhouse gases but is real and probably affects other things like rainfall and wind.

I think Paul Homewood amongst others has highlighted some potential problems with Faversham and its consistently high readings against other stations in the area. Compared with Altnahara and Benbecula then Faversham is an urban location. Your pointing out Faversham has actually confirmed my misgivings in this respect..

Nov 2, 2016 at 8:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

Mark Hodgson
For a true greenhouse gas caused increase in global temperatures UHI needs to be correctly and totally removed from the calculation. It's my concern that the adjustments being used are an order of magnitude out, as is indicated by BBC Wether Forecasts which were supplied by the Met Office.

Once UHI is sorted then differentiating natural and greenhouse gas caused warming should be a piece of cake.

Nov 2, 2016 at 8:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

Good to hear another part of the BBC is tacitly agreeing that UHI is a problem, I like the idea of showing it on weather maps, I'll watch East Midlands more closely in future.

I mirror your concerns regarding data issues.

Nov 2, 2016 at 8:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

SandyS & ACK "Data Concern Issues"

The more that Climate Science claims (with Peer Reviewed Papers) to have ironed out problems with UHI, the more suspicious I become.

There are complicated mathematical techniques and terms, but smearing and smudging higher temperatures across cooler areas and recording them as having warmed, is not"Science".

I am having interwebby problems at the moment but try searching "Climate Audit" and "Stieg". Eric Stieg "proved" Antarctica was warming based on not-a-lot of real data. But that is how Real Climate Science works.

Nov 3, 2016 at 12:04 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

If your desire is to develop a value and call it the temperature of the globe then many things need to be done:

1) develop a set of well located fixed sensors that are not effected by human development over time.

2) develop a method of merging the data from these sensors in a way that achieves a valid value.

Step one is challenging, we have UHI. If we are to address UHI, we need to understand it thoroughly and develop a technique that is clear and unambiguous for its removal. I do not think we are 10% down the path of having an acceptable process or understanding.

Step one involves good quality sensors, located away from human influence, for a long period of time. We are a long way from achieving this.

Step two involves processing a matrix of time series data in a suitable and effective manner to reach the 'one figure'. There are competing techniques being used to process this data.

I feel we are a long way off from being able to say with confidence that current 'one figures' have any validity.

I still have the view that the 'best' and 'most stable' sensor from each country should be used to generate the 'one figure'.

There should be less argument due to there being less to argue about!

Nov 3, 2016 at 9:26 AM | Unregistered CommenterSteve Richards

golf charlie
I think Antarctica is a case for study on its own. But you've identified the problem quite well, warm temperatures are smeared out, because they fit with the models based on greenhouse gas warming whereas cooler rural temperatures should be smeared in because UHI is nothing to do with greenhouse gasses.

Nov 3, 2016 at 9:27 AM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

SandyS, Climate Science stated that warming would be noticed first in the Arctic and Antarctic. The Arctic sea ice has obliged and shown reduction, sometimes dramatic, which now seems to have bottomed out. The Antarctic did not comply with the instructions from the Hockey Team. Eric Steig tried to prove the Antarctic was warming.

Based on 30 ish years of evidence, it maybe that we now see Arctic sea ice extent expand, as Antarctic sea ice extent shrinks. Nobody knows, least of all Climate Scientists, based on gheir track records.

Nov 3, 2016 at 11:32 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Based on 30 ish years of evidence, it maybe that we now see Arctic sea ice extent expand

Good luck with that.

On October 20, 2016, Arctic sea ice extent began to set new daily record lows for this time of year. After mid-October, ice growth returned to near-average rates, but extent remained at record low levels through late October.

Nov 3, 2016 at 11:46 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Mark Hodgson, so if someone makes an argument, you find counter intuitive without being able to show it is wrong, you immediately struggling to take it all too seriously? You find it so counter intuitive that it is not ever worth studying?

Major airports likely have some urban heat island and are warmer than the country side. But do you expect such an airport station to be warmer than the city next to it? I would expect the urban heat island in the centre of a city like London to be stronger than the one in Heathrow. You expect Heathrow to be warmer?

Your idea of how an airport looks is likely skewed by your own experience with airports which is biased toward large hubs. This is the weather station at the small Dutch airport closest to my home town. Quite good siting.

Nov 3, 2016 at 12:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterVictor Venema

I would expect the urban heat island in the centre of a city like London to be stronger than the one in Heathrow

Two words: Staines Reservoirs.

Nov 3, 2016 at 1:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Phil Clarke stains climate science.

Did your post have a point?

Nov 3, 2016 at 1:32 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie