Surprise! Satellites show that thermometers don’t lie

Official weather stations are more standardized than this consumer one, which helps them track global temperature trends.

Enlarge / Official weather
stations are more standardized than this consumer one, which helps
them track global temperature trends. (credit: Raymond
Shobe
)

Taking a human’s temperature is easy. Taking a pet’s
temperature is similarly straightforward, if a bit rude. Taking a
planet’s temperature, on the other hand, is much more of a
challenge. The temperature isn’t the same everywhere, so one
thermometer won’t get it done. Weather stations on land near
population centers are relatively common, but remote areas and the
vast oceans also need to be represented.

On top of this geographical span, researchers have to deal with
the reality that various issues like equipment changes have to be
accounted for to ensure that the data is consistent over a century
or more.

A handful of teams around the world separately maintain surface
temperature datasets, including NASA, NOAA, the UK Met Office, and
the Japan Meteorological Agency. The differences between their
results are so small that only climate scientists could find them
noteworthy. They all show pretty much exactly the same amount of
global warming over time. But this hasn’t stopped conspiratorial
critics from claiming that temperature measurements are somehow
manipulated to create the appearance of warming where none exists.
(These critics never explain how this cabal of scientists got
shrinking glaciers, rising sea levels, and migrating species to
play along.)

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Source: FS – All – Science – News
Surprise! Satellites show that thermometers don’t lie