Comparison of Temperature Trends Using an Unperturbed Subset of The U.S. Historical Climatology Network

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First Author:
Anthony Watts, Organization Not Listed, Washington,DC United States

Anthony Watts, Organization Not Listed Washington,DC United States

Abstract ID:

Abstract Body:

Climate observations are affected by variations in land use and land cover at all scales, including the microscale.A 410-station subset of U.S. Historical Climatology Network (version 2.5) stations is identified that experienced no changes in time of observation or station moves during the 1979-2008 period. These stations are classified based on proximity to artificial surfaces, buildings, and other such objects with unnatural thermal mass using guidelines established by Leroy (2010). The relatively few stations in the classes with minimal artificial impact are found to have raw temperature trends that are collectively about 2/3 as large as stations in the classes with greater expected artificial impact. The trend differences are largest for minimum temperatures and are statistically significant even at the regional scale and across different types of instrumentation and degrees of urbanization. The homogeneity adjustments applied by the National Centers for Environmental Information (formerly the National Climatic Data Center) greatly reduce those differences but produce trends that are more consistent with the stations with greater expected artificial impact. Trend differences between the Cooperative Observer Network and the Climate Reference Network are not found during the 2005-2014 sub-period of relatively stable temperatures, suggesting that the observed differences are caused by a physical mechanism that is directly or indirectly caused by changing temperatures.

Proposed Session:
A054: Land Use Change Impacts on Atmospheric Composition and Climate

Proposed Section/Focus Group:
Atmospheric Sciences