New USGS study shows heat retaining concrete and asphalt have encroached upon US Climate Stations

“In this study, they have observed over 32% of the USHCN stations exhibited an increase in impervious surface area of ⩾20% between 2001 and 2011. When the 1000 m radius associated with each station was examined, over 52% (over 600) of the stations exhibited an increase in ISA of ⩾20% within at least 1% of the grid cells within that radius.”

Watts Up With That?

A new study from USGS by Keven Gallo and George Xian verifies what we’ve already learned and published on via the Surface Stations project; that concrete and asphalt (aka impervious surfaces) have increased near weather stations that are used to monitor climate. In this case, it is the much studied USHCN, that climate network I presented a poster on at AGU 2015. Details here.

What is most important about this paper is that it quantifies the percentage of stations that have had increased amounts of impervious surface area getting closer to the stations. As I have long since maintained, such things act as heat sinks, which increase the night-time temperature when they released the stored energy from the sun that was absorbed during the day as infrared, warming the air near the thermometer, and thus biasing the minimum temperature upwards.

Tucson-USHCN The University of Arizona Tucson USHCN station, in the middle…

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