Some long time Climate Audit readers may remember this famous picture of the USHCN climate station of record in Detroit Lakes, MN.
This is what I wrote on July 26th, 2007 about it in:
This picture, taken by www.surfacestations.org volunteer Don Kostuch is the Detroit Lakes, MN USHCN climate station of record. The Stevenson Screen is sinking into the swamp and the MMTS sensor is kept at a comfortable temperature thanks to the nearby A/C units.
The complete set of pictures is here
From NASA’s GISS, the plot makes it pretty easy to see there was no discernible multi-decadal temperature trend until the A/C units were installed. And it’s not hard to figure out when that was.
And as you know, that curious jump in the GISS record, even though it coincided with the placement of the a/c heat exchangers (I checked with the chief engineer of the radio station and he pulled the invoices to check), it turns out that wasn’t the most important issue.
Steve McIntyre of Climate Audit saw something else, mainly because other nearby stations had the nearly the same odd jump in the data. That jump turned out to be discovery of a data splicing glitch in the NASA GISS processes joining the data pre and post year 2000.
It became known as The GISS Y2K glitch. It changed the balance of GISS surface temperature reporting, bringing 1998 down as no longer the hottest year on record. Here’s a writeup on it from Steve on the data itself.
Yesterday, volunteer Mark Ewens sent me some updated pictures of the Detroit Lakes site. It appears the embarrasment of having such a terrible station siting has forced the local NWS office into making some siting improvements:
As you can see, the MMTS has been moved away from the a/c units and the building. The Stevenson Screen appears to be gone. Interesting story about the Stevenson Screen, it was originally moved out of that center location where the MMTS has been now, because there was concern that somebody might break the mercury thermometers inside, and the mercury would prompt a “wetlands hazmat response”, which would be any EPA field agent’s dream, a double whammy.
Here are more pictures:
About a year ago I indicated that the MMTS at the Detroit Lakes 1NNE Coop site was moved. See attached the pictures I took last week while on a trip. Obviously not optimal, but much better. Like almost all radio stations this one is located in a swamp, so I’ve got limited options to work with. The observer did note that he has noticed a marked decrease in the average temperatures since the move – and not just due to global cooling!
The MMTS is ~80 feet from the building. The brown stalks are the left over winter kill of the saw grass thatis common in the swampy area of west central Minnesota.
Mark EwensGrand Forks ND
Apparently, the NWS thought enough of the criticism of the siting next to a/c heat exchangers to do something about it. And, I’ve been hearing from time to time, that stations that volunteers have visited and we have showcased in “How Not To Measure Temperature, Part X” have been quietly cleaned up.
While that is encouraging, the fact remains that it took a team of concerned citizens and some international embarrassment to get NOAA to fix quality control problems in climate monitoring stations that they should have recognized and corrected long ago.