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CR 26:159-173 (2004)  -  doi:10.3354/cr026159

A test of corrections for extraneous signals in gridded surface temperature data*

Ross McKitrick1,**, Patrick J. Michaels2

1Department of Economics, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario N1G 2W1, Canada
2Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Virginia, Clark Hall, 291 McCormick Rd, PO Box 400123, Charlottesville, Virginia 22904-4123, USA
*Extra information, including the data base and computations, available at:

ABSTRACT: Monthly surface temperature records from 1979 to 2000 were obtained from 218 individual stations in 93 countries and a linear trend coefficient determined for each site. This vector of trends was regressed on measures of local climate, as well as indicators of local economic activity (income, gross domestic product [GDP] growth rates, coal use) and data quality. The spatial pattern of trends is shown to be significantly correlated with non-climatic factors, including economic activity and sociopolitical characteristics of the region. The analysis is then repeated on the corresponding Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) gridded data, and very similar correlations appear, despite previous attempts to remove non-climatic effects. The socioeconomic effects in the data are shown to add up to a net warming bias, although more precise estimation of its magnitude will require further research.

KEY WORDS: Global warming · Temperature measurement · Data quality

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