Fairbanks Grid Cell,  Alaska

Scientists at the University of Alaska at Fairbanks have recently published a paper describing the Fairbanks urban heat island. An abstract is available from the internet, see bottom of page.  This seems like a good opportunity to look at publicly available temperature data for Fairbanks and see how the Jones / IPCC data corrects for this now documented UHI warming..

In the Jones et al 1985 hard copy documentation (see ref. below), station  lists 702617 FAIRBANKS/EXP STAT. with data from 1915 to 1981 and 701928 UNIVERSITY EXP STA  with data from 1922 to 1981, neither of which were corrected.  Both stations are listed as 147.9 degrees West but UNIVERSITY EXP STA is 64.9 degrees North and  FAIRBANKS/EXP STAT  is  64.8 degrees North.
In the Jones 1994 digital data file,   702610 AK FAIRBANKS/INTL is added  with data from 1942 to 1990  located at the same lat / long  as FAIRBANKS/EXP STAT.
In the 1996 update digital file there are no Fairbanks stations reporting.
The graphic shows the three stations, the two long term stations have little trend but  AK FAIRBANKS/INTL has a warming trend of about 1.8 degrees mainly due to the data only being available from 1942.  What could be the point of this "doubling up" of the Fairbanks warming trend by the addition of AK Fairbanks/Intl in the 1994 update ?

Current Debate:
In response to an emailed comment to Timo Hameranta from Dr Jones,  "We don't use the Fairbanks data.."
I posted the following on the Climate Sceptics website 19 September 2002.
Dear Timo,
Thank you again for your efforts running the Climate Sceptics discussion group which leads to so much interesting email.  Re your mail of 13 September.
I note with interest a comment to you from Phil Jones  "We don't use the Fairbanks data.."  Not sure as to exact meaning of this, maybe it translates as "We don't use the Fairbanks data - NOW.."
Because his team used two Fairbanks stations in their late 80's global compilation and 1991 update,
then added a third station for the 1994 update making,
Global policy makers went to the Rio Earth Summit in 1992 with the benefit of the first version Fairbanks data and to Kyoto with the 1994 update.
Does this mean that Phil Jones now accepts that Fairbanks data is UHI affected ?
Is he still using Anchorage data ?
It would be very helpful to have a full list of  stations that Phil Jones no longer uses with date that usage ceased.
Phil talks about a new study due soon. The documentation for this needs to be vastly improved over earlier efforts. We should be able to access  grid cell trends maybe by a clikkable map a la the GISS site. All station data contributing to those trends should be downloadable, updated to recent months.
Best wishes,
Warwick Hughes

In email correspondence last week Dr Jones replied on 20 September.
Timo, Warrick,
Only the 1982 version used Fairbanks (702610).  The station dropped  out after our mid-1980s homogeneity checks , 1986 version onwards does not have it. The other two  stations 701928 and 702617 were used to find that 702610 had urban warming. They  get used but they both end in 1981.  So no data from the Fairbanks area gets used  after the year 1981.
I am considering putting up the new station data when the new gridded  version goes up later this year. The new gridded data are likely to go up before the  paper comes out. I don't have funds to produce clickable versions, nor to greatly improve the  documentation.

Where does these replies  leave us.
There is no mention of "Fairbanks (702610)" in the 1985 TR022 documentation report ref. below, only the two stations mentioned in my post of 19, September.
I would like to ask members;
What publicly available documentation is there prior to the 1985 TR022 report (ref below) ?
Presumably we are expected to believe  the existence of the 702610 station (1942-1990)  in the Jones 1994 digital station data downloaded from the CRU website in 2000 is a mistake ?
Global economic policy is being influenced by these data yet there are contradictions in documentation such that following the compilation process is next to impossible.  It would be easier to track the Enron lost billions yet global economic policy is being affected more by greenhouse.
Following the publication of the Magee, Curtis & Wendler paper (see abstract below) it must be obvious that the Fairbanks station data for 701928 and 702617( both included  uncorrected to 1981),  includes UHI contamination, unless it is proposed that the Fairbanks Urban Heat Island only took effect  from January 1982.

But there is worse than the inclusion of UHI affected Fairbanks.
In the 1996 update digital file of Jones 1994 station data, only Anchorage is reporting from the 5 degrees grid cell which takes in Fairbanks and Anchorage. Note Anchorage falls exactly on the grid cell boundary so it contributes to two grid cells. However in recent years only Anchorage is contributing annually to the Fairbanks / Anchorage grid point temperature anonaly, unless of course the documentation is not correct.
Maybe some stations are slow to report.
Perhaps it will all be explained in some future paper.
This is a feature of the Jones network in the old USSR too, stations failing to report tend to be more rural leaving the remaining stations with more urban component as years go by, see my report on data quality above 50 degrees north.
Like Fairbanks stations, Jones uses Anchorage uncorrected.
There is a more rural station, Matanuska AES just ~60 km NE of Anchorage and a comparison with Anchorage indicates there could be urbanization warming in Anchorage of  about 0.9 degrees C in 60 years.  Jones 1994 only used Matanuska/Exp Stat.  to 1969, another example of shortened data in the Jones compilations.

(Data for Matanuska AES is from the Western Regional Climate Center website at:
http://www.wrcc.dri.edu/summary/climsmak.html  )

This is another example of how  long term rural temperature trends fail to confirm the existence of "global warming", in an area of the planet where models have long told us the warming will be severe.

These people claiming that the UHI effect is  "properly taken into account by the IPCC" should now explain how the Anchorage and Fairbanks urban heat islands are "properly taken into account".

References from my "about page":
Jones PD , Raper SCB, Cherry BSG, Goodess CM,  Wigley TML, Santer B, Kelly PM,  Bradley RS, Diaz HF, . (1985)  TR022  A Grid Point Surface Air Temperature Data Set for the Northern Hemisphere. Office of Energy  Research ,Carbon Dioxide Research  Division, US Department of Energy. Under Contract No. DE-ACO2-79EV10098

The Urban Heat Island Effect at Fairbanks, Alaska
N. Magee,1   J. Curtis,2, G. Wendler,2
(1) Permanent address: Penn State University, 502 Walker Building, University Park, College Station. PA 16802-5013
(2) Geophysical Institute University of Alaska Fairbanks, Alaska 99775
Abstract: Theoretical & Applied Climatology (Vol. 64, pages 39-47)
Using surface observation comparisons between Fairbanks and rurally situated Eielson Air Force Base in Interior Alaska, the growth of the Fairbanks heat island was studied for the time period 1949-1997. The climate records were examined to distinguish between a general warming trend and the changes due to an increasing heat island effect. Over the 49-year period, the population of Fairbanks grew by more than 500%, while the population of Eielson remained relatively constant. The mean annual heat island observed at the Fairbanks International Airport grew by 0.4°C, with the winter months experiencing a more significant value of 1.0°C. Primary focus was directed toward long-term heat island characterization based on season, wind speed, cloud cover, and time of day. In all cases, minimum temperatures were affected more than maxima and periods of calm or low wind speeds, winter clear sky conditions, and nighttime exhibited the largest heat island effects.

Financial support was obtained from the Alaska Climate Research Center, grant to the Univ of Alaska by the State of Alaska.

Posted 1st October 2002
You read it all first here

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