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“Best Science” and the Problem of Land-based Thermometers (Anthony Watts’s Surfacestations project)

By Indur Goklany -- May 22, 2009
Editor Note: Readings from land-based temperature records are in dispute, with most concern centering on how much of the recorded warming in recent decades is attributable to local versus global processes. Climatologist Patrick Michaels has recently brought attention to the problem, and the post below describes some preliminary findings of an on-going survey comparing real-world thermometer siting practices to recommended standards–and its potential impact on global warming in theory and practice.

President Obama and his administration take pains to stress that their climate and environmental policies will be informed by the best science available. And that is as it should be, but the entire task can be complicated by the fact that sometimes the best available science may not be good enough for the task at hand.

Anthony Watts’s report on the Surfacestations projectIs the U.S.