posted on Nov, 18 2004 @ 08:56 AM
A major argument used by sceptics of global warming is flawed, a UK Met Office study in Nature magazine says.
This argument maintains that much recorded climate data is inherently unreliable because of where weather instruments are situated.
Most are in or near cities, which produce their own heat; so the rapid warming measured over the last century could be just a record of urbanisation.
The Met Office believes its study shows this "urban heat island" idea is wrong.
The analysis has been done by Dr David Parker. He used data for the last 50 years to create two separate graphs. One plots temperatures observed on
calm nights, the other on windy nights.
If the urban heat island hypothesis is correct, he says, instruments should have recorded a bigger temperature rise for calm nights than for windy
ones - because wind blows excess heat away from cities and away from the measuring instruments.