The Second Version


More Climate Indicators

Most of the discussion about climate change (whether anthropogenic or not) is about temperature records, and little else. Hurricane activity received some attention, but as far as I'm aware, little effort is being made to record and analyze the variation of all other climate parameters.

On the other hand, there is the intellectually poor habit on all sides of using single events - be it flood, draught, heathwaves or cold spells - as proof for or against AGW. Single events prove almost nothing in a field like climate science, where changes are measured on a timescale of decades at the very least.

In order to gain a more complete picture of climate changes, in my opinion it is necessary to have a much broader dataset than mere temperature records (which, in addition, are subject to severe distortion due to station features and location). What should be included in the dataset is MSL (Mean Sea Level) pressure, precipitation (amount and type), wind speed and direction, cloud cover and relative humidity. It would be useful to also add 850 mb geopotential height and 850 mb temperature, but its measurement is rather complicate - it requires weather balloons.

The good thing about the variables I listed is that they are routinely measured every few hours by meteo stations and observers at airports and used to prepare the METAR broadcasts. This observation network is spread all over the developed world and produces a vast amount of data with high temporal resolution - and massive archives are already available, I think.

Of course it takes much more work to collect and analyze these data compared to a simple temperature record, but I think that it is of imperative importance to provide in-depth and tranparent information about climate, when it has so severe policy implications.

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