Open Peer Review Journal – publishing new research into urban heat island UHI effects in global temperature compilations

Dr. Ronan Connolly has sent me their paper Urbanization bias I. Is it a negligible problem for global temperature estimates? R. Connolly, and M. Connolly (2014). Open Peer Rev. J., 28 (Clim. Sci.), ver. 0.1 (non peer reviewed draft). A quick read through has impressed me sufficiently that the authors can be a force to hold to account some of the less than stellar science published by the huge pro IPCC temperature analysis teams. I was particularly taken with their reviewing of the nine errors that Wigley & Jones 1988 claim were made by Wood 1988 in his critique of Jones et al 1986. I have Wood 1988 scanned online and a Table listing my comments on the supposed nine errors of Wood. Readers can now follow both sets of comments on the nine claims by Wigley & Jones and make their own minds up.
If Wood 1988 made an error it was in concentrating his critique too much on the USA – instead of quoting examples from more regions.

6 thoughts on “Open Peer Review Journal – publishing new research into urban heat island UHI effects in global temperature compilations”

  1. Long paper. I didn’t read it all, but a couple of observations on the urban rural temperature comparison methodology, that the authors don’t mention.

    1.Extra-urban temperature effects of urban areas

    There are large and well documented extra-urban effects for precipitation as far away as 200km from the urban area, but with almost no studies on extra urban temperature effects. Even though we can reasonably infer that large effects on precipitation, and hence clouds, will also result in substantial effects on temperatures.

    2. The effect of changes in agricultural practices

    The unstated assumption is that removing UHI and urbanization effects on temperatures will leave a residual climate warming signal.

    The problem is that over the last 60 years there have been widespread changes in agricultural practices known to have temperature effects. Few have attempted to quantify these effects (an exception is a Christy paper which found a >1C effect in California’s agricultural Central Valley). I could list perhaps a dozen changes in agricultural practices that likely affect surface temperatures. The problem is that they vary greatly by region and season.

    Split in 2 because of a WordPress bug.

  2. IMO, for these reasons, urban rural comparisons will never produce a worthwhile estimate of urbanization temperature effects, nor will they result in an accurate measure of global surface temperature effects, with local to regional scale effects, both urban and rural, removed. What is needed is comparisons of urban and rural locations to the most pristine sites we have. Lighthouses away from ports are a good candidate, because there is rarely any urbanization or intensive agriculture nearby.

    Warwick, I noticed you looked at some lighthouse data here.

  3. Philip Bradley:
    I take it you are referring to wind transport of heated air bubbles. I noted when in Sydney in the 90’s that the BOM then talked of Sydney’s air pollution being blown SW as far as Mittagong.
    I notice that John Daly made attempts to assess UHI e.g.

  4. I’m mainly referring to aerosols, with perhaps a much reduced black carbon effect over recent decades.

    Although urban surface heat driven convection plays a role in the wider distribution of urban aerosols.

    The processes aren’t well understood, but it seems urban aerosols seed more persistent clouds (ie less likely to precipitate) over urban areas. Thus allowing water (vapour) to be transported away from urban areas where often a considerable distance downwind the increased water (vapour) results in increased precipitation. I’ve seen suggestions chemical processes play a role in turning persistent clouds into precipitating clouds.

    Google the Weekend Effect.

  5. An interesting discussion of global surface temperatures is at

    particularly the third figure. It indicates that the earlier temperature reconstructions are better than the more recent ones since they agree quite well with the tree ring reconstructions of temperature.

    It is also worth noting that the early “global” temperature records are for the Northern Hemisphere. Using thermometers, one can’t really reconstruct what is happening in the Southern Hemisphere before 1957 (the IGY year) because less than 5% of the SH area was sampled.

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