Home
This Title All WIREs
WIREs RSS Feed
How to cite this WIREs title:
WIREs Clim Change
Impact Factor: 3.462

Exposure, instrumentation, and observing practice effects on land temperature measurements

Full article on Wiley Online Library:   HTML PDF

Can't access this content? Tell your librarian.

To monitor climate change adequately and determine the extent to which anthropogenic influences are contributing to observed climate change, it is critical to have land temperature data of a high standard. In particular, it is important to have temperature data whose changes reflect changes in the climate and not changes in other circumstances under which the temperatures were taken. There are numerous factors that can affect land temperature records. Among the most common are changes in instrumentation, changes in local site condition in situ (through urbanization or for other reasons), site relocations, and changes in observing practices. All have the potential, if uncorrected, to have impacts on temperature records at individual locations similar to or greater than the observed century‐scale global warming trend. A number of techniques exist to identify these influences and correct data to take them into account. These have been applied in various ways in climate change analyses and in major data sets used for the assessment of long‐term climate change. These techniques are not perfect and numerous uncertainties remain, especially with respect to daily and sub‐daily temperature data. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Figure 1.

A wall‐mounted Kingston screen at Parry Sound, Canada prior to its removal in 1935.

[ Normal View | Magnified View ]
Figure 2.

The long‐running comparison at the Adelaide Observatory, with a Stevenson screen (left), an octagonal ‘thermometer house’ (middle), and a Glaisher stand (right).

[ Normal View | Magnified View ]
Figure 3.

An observation site at Yunta, Australia (32°34′S, 139°34′E) in 1989.

[ Normal View | Magnified View ]
Figure 4.

The observation site at Cootamundra, Australia (34°38′S, 148°02′E), (a) before and (b) after a move of 1.7 km in 1995. (c) Mean annual minimum temperatures (°C) at Cootamundra before and after the move.

[ Normal View | Magnified View ]
Figure 5.

The instrument enclosure at Amos, Canada (48°34′N, 78°07′W), (a) before and (b) after a site move from low to high ground in 1963. This move was found to increase mean minimum temperatures by 1.3°C.44.

[ Normal View | Magnified View ]
Figure 6.

Number of days with maximum temperatures below 15.0°C (pink) and 14.5°C (blue) at Eddystone Point, Australia (40°59′S, 148°21′E). Note the very close correspondence between 1998 and 2003, and before 1972, when most values were rounded to the nearest degree Celsius or degree Fahrenheit, respectively.

[ Normal View | Magnified View ]

Related Articles

Effects of instrumentation changes on sea surface temperature measured in situ

Browse by Topic

Paleoclimates and Current Trends > Modern Climate Change
blog comments powered by Disqus

Access to this WIREs title is by subscription only.

Recommend to Your
Librarian Now!

The latest WIREs articles in your inbox

Sign Up for Article Alerts

Twitter: earth_wise Follow us on Twitter