And another new paper challenges temperature data

by William Yeatman on June 8, 2004

in Science

And yet another new scientific paper finds other methodological problems in commonly accepted temperature data. Temperature readings could be positively influenced by “heat island” effects created by the overwhelming proximity of temperature monitoring stations to industrialized regions.

Researchers Jos De Laat and Ahilleas Maurellis, of the Earth Oriented Science Division at the National Institute for Space Research in the Netherlands, conducted a study using a global industrial activity dataset which reveals the spatial distribution of various levels of industrial activity over the planet. De Laat and Maurellis divided the surface of the earth into industrial and non-industrial sectors and plotted their corresponding temperature data from the years 1979 to 2001. They found that, “Measurements of surface and lower tropospheric temperature changes give a very different picture from climate model predictions and show strong observational evidence that the degree of industrialization is correlated with surface temperature increases as well as lower tropospheric temperature changes.” The scientists also added that as the degree of industrialization increases, the temperature increases.

They explained that due to the fact that temperature measurements are most commonly monitored in areas that “are often conducted in the vicinity of human (industrial) activity,” there exists an overstatement of warming. De Laat and Maurellis concluded that, “The observed surface temperature changes might be a result of local surface heating processes and not related to radiative greenhouse gas forcing.” The article was published in Geophysical Research Letters on March 11, 2004. An excellent review of it can be found at

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