Climate scientist Roy Spencer believes the world surface station temp data may be irreparably corrupt, and essentially worthless in its current form.
I am increasingly convinced that a much simpler, objective analysis of original weather station temperature data is necessary to better understand how spurious influences might have impacted global temperature trends computed by groups such as CRU and NASA/GISS. It seems to me that a simple and easily repeatable methodology should be the starting point. Then, if one can demonstrate that the simple temperature analysis has spurious temperature trends, an objective and easily repeatable adjustment methodology should be the first choice for an improved version of the analysis.
In my opinion, simplicity, objectivity, and repeatability should be of paramount importance. Once one starts making subjective adjustments of individual stations’ data, the ability to replicate work becomes almost impossible.
Therefore, more important than the recently reported “do-over” of a global temperature reanalysis proposed by the UK’s Met Office would be other, independent researchers doing their own global temperature analysis. In my experience, better methods of data analysis come from the ideas of individuals, not from the majority rule of a committee.
Of particular interest to me at this point is a simple and objective method for quantifying and removing the spurious warming arising from the urban heat island (UHI) effect. The recent paper by McKitrick and Michaels suggests that a substantial UHI influence continues to infect the GISS and CRU temperature datasets.
In fact, the results for the U.S. I have presented above almost seem to suggest that the Jones CRUTem3 dataset has a UHI adjustment that is in the wrong direction. Coincidentally, this is also the conclusion of a recent post on Anthony Watts’ blog, discussing a new paper published by SPPI.
It is increasingly apparent that we do not even know how much the world has warmed in recent decades, let alone the reason(s) why. It seems to me we are back to square one
For the record, before anyone raises the canard about satellite data showing a similar trend to the surface stations, it's worth bearing in mind that the satellites are calibrated against the surface data, so if the surface data is wrong the satellite data will be too.