Oct 31, 2013
US citizens pay for “solar school” foolishness
Originally published in The Washington Times. Reprinted with permission of author
Solar systems are being installed at hundreds of schools across the United States. Educators use solar panels to teach students about the “miracle” of energy sourced from the sun. But a closer look at these projects shows poor economics and a big bill for citizens.
Earlier this month, the National Resources Defense Fund (NRDC) launched its “Solar Schools” campaign, an effort to raise $54,000 to help “three to five to-be-determined schools move forward with solar rooftop projects.” The NRDC wants to “help every school in the country go solar.” The campaign uses a cute video featuring kids talking about how we’re “polluting the Earth with gas and coal” and how we can save the planet with solar.
Wisconsin is a leader in the solar school effort. More than 50 Wisconsin high schools have installed solar panels since 1996 as part of the SolarWise program sponsored by Wisconsin Public Service (WPS), a state utility. The program solicits donations and provides funds to schools to install photovoltaic solar systems. The WPS website praises the program, stating, “The best way to leave a healthy planet for future generations is by teaching young people to become good stewards of the environment.”
But one has to question the utility of solar panels in Wisconsin, a state beset by low sunlight levels and ample winter snowfall. Last summer, solar panels were installed at Mishicot High School, the 50th school in the SolarWise program, at a cost of $30,000. The panels save the school about $300 per year in electric bills. With a 100 year payback, this system would never be installed by anyone seeking an economic return on investment. Are they teaching economics at Mishicot High?
In Illinois, Lake Zurich Middle School South installed a five-panel one-kilowatt photovoltaic system in August. The Lake Zurich Courier provided the headline, “Lake Zurich, Vernon Hills schools save with solar power.” The panels will save the school a little over $100 per year in electricity charges at a system cost of almost $9,000, a project payback of more than 70 years.
While the school may be saving, Illinois citizens are paying. Ninety percent of project funding came from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation, which was established by a $225 million grant from Commonwealth Edison in 1999, provided from the electricity bills of Illinois citizens.
In Southwest Florida, 90 schools are installing 5 to 10 kilowatt solar arrays to “reduce energy costs and provide a learning opportunity” as part of Florida Power and Light’s “Solar for Schools” initiative. Panels cost from $50,000 to $80,000 and save electricity worth about $600 to $1,000 per year, depending upon the size of the system. With a 70 to 80 year payback, these projects will never pay off, because solar cells need to be replaced after 25 years of operation. Will they teach that to the kids? The program is funded from an energy conservation fee on customer electricity bills.
Solar energy is dilute. When the sun is directly overhead on a clear day, about 1,000 watts of sunshine reaches each square meter of Earth’s surface at the equator after absorption and scattering by the atmosphere. For the southern US, this is reduced to about 800 watts per square meter, since the angle of the sunlight is not quite perpendicular. Solar cells convert about 15 percent of the energy to electricity, meaning that only a single 100 watt bulb can be powered from every card-table-sized surface area of a solar panel, and only at noon on a clear day.
Los Angeles Community College (LACC) adopted solar energy in a big way. One of seven LACC solar systems is the Northwest Parking Lot Solar Farm, installed in 2008. The farm was purchased at a price of $10 million to produce about one megawatt of rated power, a price more than five times the cost of a commercial wind turbine farm on a per-megawatt basis. LACC spent a whopping $33 million to reduce electricity bills by only $600,000 per year. The total cost, including government subsidies, was $44 million to California taxpayers.
Solar energy has excellent uses, such as powering call boxes along highways, or swimming pool heating. But it’s trivial in our overall energy picture. Despite 20 years, billions in state and federal subsidies, and warm, happy solar school programs, solar provided only 1.1 percent of US electricity and only 0.2 percent of US energy in 2012.
Suppose our schools get back to the study of physics and economics and drop the “solar will save the planet” ideology?
Steve Goreham is Executive Director of the Climate Science Coalition of America and author of the book The Mad, Mad, Mad World of Climatism: Mankind and Climate Change Mania.
Oct 28, 2013
European Economic Stability Threatened By Renewable Energy Subsidies
By James Conca
ICECAP NOTE: See more stories about the health hazards, other dangers and the greed politicization of the renewables in this newsletter.
The stability of Europe’s electricity generation is at risk from the warped market structure caused by skyrocketing renewable energy subsidies that have swarmed across the continent over the last decade.
This sentiment was echoed a week ago by the CEOs of Europe’s largest energy companies, who produce almost half of Europe’s electricity. This group joined voices calling for an end to subsidies for wind and solar power, saying the subsidies have led to unacceptably high utility bills for residences and businesses, and even risk causing continent-wide blackouts (Geraldine Amiel WSJ).
The group includes Germany’s E.ON AG, France’s GDF Suez SA and Italy’s Eni SpA, and they unanimously pointed the finger at European governments’ poorly thought out decision at the turn of the millennium to promote renewable energy by any means.
The plan seemed like a good one in the late 1990s as a way to reverse Europe’s reliance on imported fossil fuels, particularly from Russia and the Middle East. But it seems the execution hasn’t matched the good intentions, and the authors of the legislations didn’t understand the markets.
“The importance of renewables has become a threat to the continent’s supply safety,” warned senior global energy analyst, Colette Lewiner, referring to a recent report by a Europe energy firm, Capgemini.
“We’ve failed on all accounts: Europe is threatened by a blackout like in New York a few years ago, prices are shooting up higher, and our carbon emissions keep increasing,” said GDF Suez CEO Gerard Mestrallet ahead of the news conference.
Under these subsidy programs, wind and solar power producers get priority access to the grid and are guaranteed high prices. In France, nuclear power wholesales for about 40Euros/MWhr ($54/MWhr), but electricity generated from wind turbines is guaranteed at 83 Euros/MWhr ($112/MWhr), regardless of demand. Customers have to pick up the difference.
The subsidies enticed enough investors into wind and solar that Germany now has almost 60,000 MWs of wind and solar capacity, or about 25% of that nationís total capacity. Sounds good for the Planet.
The problems began when the global economic meltdown occurred in 2008. Demand for electricity fell throughout Europe, as it did in America, which deflated wholesale electricity prices. However, investors kept plowing money into new wind and solar power because of the guaranteed prices for renewable energy.
Meanwhile, electricity prices have been rising in Europe since 2008, just under 20% for households and just over 20% for businesses, according to Eurostat.
Since renewable capacity kept rising and was forced to be taken, utilities across Europe began closing fossil-fuel power plants that were now less profitable because of the subsidies, including over 50 GWs of gas-fired plants, Mr. Mestrallet said.
I’m a little confused, isn’t gas supposed to be the savior along with renewables? You can’t have a lot of renewables without back-up gas to buffer the intermittency of renewables since gas is the only one you can turn on and off like a light switch.
I understand that Germany is building new coal plants that can ramp up and down faster than ever before, but the replacement of so much gas with renewables means Europe may not be able to respond to dramatic weather effects, like an unusually cold winter when wind and solar can’t produce much.
Exhaust plumes rise from the new Neurath lignit coal-fired power station at Grevenbroich near Aachen, southern Germany. RWE, one of Germany’s major energy provider, invested in new coal conducted power plants that will buffer wind energy as well as replace reliable base-load nuclear. The wisdom of this decision remains to be seen. (Image credit: AFP/Getty Images via daylife)
In a warped parody of free market economics, some countries are building gas-fired plants along their borders to fill this void in rapid-ramping capacity, and that scares the markets even more, since gas is so expensive in Europe, that the price for electricity will climb even higher (EDEM/ESGM).
As the European Commission meets this week to discuss the issue, a parallel threat looms in America as a result of a similarly well-intentioned maze of mandates and subsidies over the last decade. It has been kept at bay only by our much larger energy production and our newly abundant cheap natural gas.
Americans may not be aware that natural gas is not cheap in Europe like it is in America. America’s gas boom has occurred in the absence of a natural gas liquefying infrastructure, which is needed for import/export of natural gas to the world markets. Thus, the more expensive global prices do not affect the price in the U.S.
But that will change. We’re building LNG infrastructure at an amazing pace to exploit the huge gas reserves laid bare by advances in fracking technologies. Within five years, the U.S. will be the major player in the world gas market. Of course, gas prices will double or triple in the U.S. because, like oil, the price will now be set by the global market, not by the U.S. market. And like oil, it doesn’t matter how much you produce in your own country, you pay the global price. Period. Just ask Norway.
So when natural gas prices double, what happens to the price of electricity since gas is so intimately married to renewables? State mandates and renewable production tax credits will still require us to buy renewable energy, even if it’s double the price. We’ve already seen this occur here in the Pacific Northwest in battle between expensive wind and inexpensive hydro (Hydro Takes A Dive For Wind). Hydro lost.
That’s fine when gas is cheap. It won’t be fine when gas is expensive.
See also this report.
Oct 02, 2013
U.S. justices to hear challenge to Obama on climate change
By Anthony Watts
U.S. justices to hear challenge to Obama on climate change
Tue, Oct 15 11:06 AM EDT
By Lawrence Hurley
WASHINGTON (Reuters) In a blow to the Obama administration, the Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to hear a challenge to part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s first wave of regulations aimed at tackling climate change.
By agreeing to hear a single question of the many presented by nine different petitioners, the court set up its biggest environmental dispute since 2007.
That question is whether the EPA correctly determined that its decision to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicles necessarily required it also to regulate emissions from stationary sources.
The EPA regulations are among President Barack Obama’s most significant measures to address climate change. The U.S. Senate in 2010 scuttled his effort to pass a federal law that would, among other things, have set a cap on greenhouse gas emissions.
Mike Stopa, running for congress is a graduate of Suffield Academy and holds an undergraduate degree in Astronomy from Wesleyan University and a Ph. D. in Physics from the University of Maryland. Mike teaches in the Physics Department at Harvard University, where he has served as Research Physicist and Senior Computational Physicist since 2004. He specializes in computation and nanoscience. He is the director of the National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network Computation Project and a recognized expert on nanoscale electronics and computation. He has over 75 publications and over a thousand citations to his work in the physics literature.
Climate Policies Lock Chains on Developing Nations
By Steve Goreham
Originally published in The Washington Times
As part of his climate change initiative announced in June, President Obama declared, “Today I’m calling for an end of public financing for new coal plants overseas unless they deploy carbon capture technologies, or there’s no other viable way for the poorest countries to generate electricity.” Restrictions on financing will reduce the supply and increase the cost of electrical power in developing nations, prolonging global poverty.
The World Bank has followed President Obama’s lead, announcing a shift in policy in July, stating that they will provide, “financial support for greenfield coal power generation projects only in rare circumstances.” The bank has provided hundreds of millions in funding for decades to coal-fired projects throughout the developing world.
Also in July, the Export-Import Bank denied financing for the proposed Thai Binh Two coal-fired power plant in Vietnam after “careful environmental review.” While 98 percent of the population of Vietnam has access to electricity, Vietnamese consume only about 1,100 kilowatt-hours per person per year, about one-twelfth of United States usage. Electricity consumption grew 34 percent in Vietnam from 2008 to 2011. The nation needs more power and international funds for coal-fired power projects. But western ideologues try to prevent Vietnam from using coal.
The President, the World Bank, and the Export-Import Bank have accepted the ideology of Climatism, the belief that mankind is causing dangerous climate change. By restricting loans to poor nations, they hope to stop the planet from warming. But what is certain is that their new policies will raise the cost of electricity in poor nations and prolong global poverty.
In most markets, coal is the lowest-cost fuel for producing electricity. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), world coal and peat usage increased from 24.6 percent of the world’s primary energy supply in 1973 to 28.8 percent of supply in 2011. By comparison, electricity generated from wind and solar sources supplied less that 1 percent of global needs in 2011.
The cost of electricity from natural gas rivals that of coal in the United States, thanks to the hydrofracturing revolution. But natural gas remains a regional fuel. Natural gas prices in Europe are double those in the US and prices in Japan are triple US prices. Until the fracking revolution spreads across the world, the lowest cost fuel for electricity remains coal.
Despite our President’s endorsement, carbon capture technologies are far from a proven solution for electrical power. According the US Department of Energy, carbon capture adds 70 percent to the cost of electricity. In addition, huge quantities of captured carbon dioxide must be transported and stored underground, adding additional cost. There are no utilities currently using carbon capture on a commercial scale.
Coal usage continues to grow. Global coal consumption grew 2.5 percent from 2011 to 2012, the fastest growing hydrocarbon fuel. In 2011, coal was the primary fuel for electricity production in Poland (95%), South Africa (93%), India (86%), China (84%), Australia (72%), Germany (47%), the United States (45%), and Korea (44%). Should we now forbid coal usage in developing nations?
President Obama has stated, “...countries like China and Germany are going all in in the race for clean energy.” But China and Germany are huge coal users and usage is increasing in both nations. More than 50 percent of German electricity now comes from coal as coal fills the gap from closing nuclear plants. Today, China consumes more than 45 percent of the world’s total coal production.
ICECAP NOTE: While the enviro push for renewable wind and solar has caused electricity prices to skyrocket (double) and have 300,000 homes in Germany without electricity because they can’t afford to pay the price. That was in the winter, one of the worst in a century. Are you ready for your electricity prices and gasoline to double as the Obama administration has promised? That on top of the doubling of your cost for health care that the demagogue party has forced on us while promising lower cost and we could keep our doctor. All this for a failed theory that CO2 will have catastrophic effects when there has been none for 17 years as CO2 has increased 1%.
Today, more than 1.2 billion people do not have access to electricity. Hundreds of millions of others struggle with unreliable power. Power outages interrupt factory production, students walk to airports to read under the lights, and schools and hospitals lack vital electrical power.
Electricity is the foundation of a modern industrialized nation. Lack of electricity means poverty, disease, and shortened lifespans. Foolish climate policies lock chains on developing nations.
Steve Goreham is Executive Director of the Climate Science Coalition of America and author of the new book The Mad, Mad, Mad World of Climatism: Mankind and Climate Change Mania.
Sep 30, 2013
17 Year Warming Hiatus Causes Panic Cover Up. IPCC Duplicity Continues.
Dr Tim Ball
UPDATE: See Howard Hayden’s graphics showing how the iPCC confidence grew as the divergence of forecast from reality increased.
“It occurred to me...” every saying has a contradictory saying except “ignorance is bliss”. If an honest man is wrong, after demonstrating that he is wrong, he either stops being wrong or he stops being honest.
T H Huxley said,
“The great tragedy of science - the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact.”
The tragic fact is that global temperature has declined slightly for 17 years while CO2 levels increased. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) hypothesis said that if CO2 increased temperature would increase. The hypothesis is slain.
Instead of acknowledging the hypothesis is wrong, as science requires, the defenders advance bizarre explanations none of which bear examination. According to the IPCC what is happening can’t happen. They were over 90 percent certainty of their results and planned to increase that certitude to 95 percent in their next Report (AR5).
Defenders are making ludicrous and contradictory claims to explain what is happening. They said they were 90+ percent certain warming since 1950 was due to human CO2 with natural causes of little or no consequence. Now they’re saying the lack of warming of the last 17 years is because of natural variability and decreasing solar activity.
The sad thing is leaked emails revealed they knew all along that the evidence doesn’t support what they were saying. In October 2009 Kevin Trenberth, a major architect in the IPCC deceptions, wrote,
“Well I have my own article on where the heck is global warming?...The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment, and it is a travesty that we can’t. The CERES data published in the August BAMS 09 supplement on 2008 shows there should be even more warming: but the data are surely wrong. Our observing system is inadequate.”
Notice his explanation in the last sentence. He acknowledged this paucity in 1995 following the Release of a study on weather data by the National Research Council. He said,
“It’s very clear we do not have a climate of the serving system. This may be a shock to many people who assume that we do know adequately what’s going on with the climate, but we don’t.”
The amount of data has decreased since that time Despite this he worked with the IPCC building computer models that are totally dependent on the amount and accuracy of the data. Despite this he signed the Bali Declaration that said in part,
“The 2007 IPCC report, compiled by several hundred climate scientists, has unequivocally concluded that our climate is warming rapidly, and that we are now at least 90% certain that this is mostly due to human activities.”
Take note of the signatures, because one day we must hold these people accountable.
Trenberth was among the first to defend against the contradictory evidence. He did what was standard practice in the cover ups, provide a response for the media. It is particularly helpful if it cannot be verified or is so remote or arcane that nobody can definitively reject it. He and fellow NCAR employee John Fasullo published a paper suggesting the heat was being stored in the deep oceans. The limitations of this claim are already available. As Anthony Watts writes,
“My question is; show me why some years the deep ocean doesn’t mask global warming.”
Another claim, also made by a senior IPCC member, says 17 years is inadequate to determine anything, a minimum of 30 years is required. The 30 year claim is another of the diversions created in climatology for one purpose, but misused for another. Years ago when people were trying to reconstruct conditions for periods in the past the World Meteorological (WMO) decide that a modern period of instrumental record was required for comparison. It became known as the 30-year Normal. Sadly, it was misused and became a representative for the total instrumental record. For example, in most cases when they say, it was above normal today, they are talking about being above the 30 year normal.
They chose 30 years because 30 is considered a statistically representative sample size (small n) for any population (large N). The WMO calculated the first 30 year normal for 1931 to 1960 because that was the first period they considered they had adequate instrumental data. They have changed the Normal ever since on the assumption the record has improved since which is false. The latest is the period 1981 to 2010 The problem is they have reduced the number of stations since 1960 and especially after 1990.
Apart from those limitations, the length of the record is also a diversion. All of the IPCC projections have temperatures increasing. IPCC science assumes the temperature must increase if CO2 increases. According to their science, regardless of the length a decline is virtually impossible. But this where their duplicity catches up with them. The Science Report outlines the serious limitations of their work, but the Summary for Policymakers (SPM) tells generally uninformed media and public a very different story. The scientists knew of this duplicity, some as Lead Authors were involved in both.
They were the ones that convinced the media and the public of the certainty of their science. As David Wojick, UN IPCC expert reviewer, explained
“...What is systematically omitted from the SPM are precisely the uncertainties and positive counter evidence that might negate the human interference theory. Instead of assessing these objections, the Summary confidently asserts just those findings that support its case. In short, this is advocacy, not assessment.”
The IPCC process, methods and science are complete failures. They cannot be restructured because they began with a deliberately narrow definition of climate change. The IPCC must be eliminated and national weather bureaus, who make up most of the membership, should stop doing research. Research by a bureaucrat is almost guaranteed to be political, nowhere is that more evident than in the IPCC failures. It is exposed by the ugly fact that destroyed their hypothesis.
Sep 27, 2013
Urban Heat Island - could it account for much of the century scale warming attributed to AGW?
Joseph D’Aleo, CCM
Boston, Massachusetts Heat island
UPDATE: Jim Steele has posted this analysis on Watts Up With That that supports the notion that urbanization/bad siting/land use is responsible for much of the warming the last century significant cooling of the early century has elevated the apparent warming of recent decades.
The EPA admits to the Urban Heat island and suggests it will augment AGW by increasing the warmth in the cities. They never imagine that maybe man made warming is mostly UHI/bad siting, land use changes. Here is what the EPA says about UHI:
Heat island refers to urban air and surface temperatures that are higher than nearby rural areas. Many cities and suburbs have air temperatures that are 2 to 10 Fahrenheit (1 to 6 Celsius) warmer than the surrounding natural land cover.
Figure 1 shows a city’s heat island profile. It demonstrates how urban temperatures are typically lower at the urban-rural border than in dense downtown areas. The graphic also show how parks, open land, and bodies of water can create cooler areas].
Figure 1. Heat island profile. (Source: U.S. EPA) Enlarged
The remotely sensed image of Sacramento, California in Figure 2 illustrates the heat island phenomenon. In the aerial photo (left), the white areas, mostly rooftops, are about 140 degrees Fahrenheit (60 degrees Celsius) and the dark areas, primarily vegetative areas or water, are approximately 85-96 degrees Fahrenheit (29-36 degrees Celsius).
Figure 2. Thermally-sensed image of Sacramento. (Source: U.S EPA) Enlarged
The hottest spots are the buildings, seen as white rectangles of various sizes. In the thermal image (right), Sacramento’s rail yard is the orange area east of the Sacramento River, which flows from top to bottom. Red and yellow areas indicate hot spots and generally correspond with urban development, while blue and green areas are cool and generally correspond to the natural environment.
Cities in cold climates may actually benefit from the wintertime warming effect of heat islands. Warmer temperatures can reduce heating energy needs and may help melt ice and snow on roads. In the summertime, however, the same city may experience the negative effects of heat islands.
Causes of heat islands
The reason the city is warmer than the country comes down to a difference between the energy gains and losses of each region. There are a number of factors that contribute to the relative warmth of cities:
Figure 3. Urban ‘canyons’ contribute to heat islands. (Source: PD Photo.org)
During the day in rural areas, the sunlight absorbed near the ground evaporates water from the vegetation and soil. Thus, while there is a net solar energy gain, this is compensated to some degree by evaporative cooling. In cities, where there is less vegetation, the buildings, streets and sidewalks absorb the majority of solar energy input.
Because the city has less water, runoff is greater in the cities because the pavements are largely nonporous (except by the pot holes). Thus, evaporative cooling is less, which contributes to the higher air temperatures.
Waste heat from city buildings, cars and trains is another factor contributing to the warm cities. Heat generated by these objects eventually makes its way into the atmosphere. This heat contribution can be as much as one-third of that received from solar energy.
The thermal properties of buildings add heat to the air by conduction. Tar, asphalt, brick and concrete are better conductors of heat than the vegetation of the rural area.
The canyon structure that tall buildings create enhances the warming. During the day, solar energy is trapped by multiple reflections off the buildings while the infrared heat losses are reduced by absorption.
The urban heat island effects can also be reduced by weather phenomena. The temperature difference between the city and surrounding areas is also a function of the synoptic scale winds. Strong winds reduce the temperature contrast by mixing together the city and rural air.
The urban heat island may also increase cloudiness and precipitation in the city, as a thermal circulation sets up between the city and surrounding region.
Heat islands can occur year-round during the day or night. Urban-rural temperature differences are often largest during calm, clear evenings. This is because rural areas cool off faster at night than cities, which retain much of the heat stored in roads, buildings, and other structures. As a result, the largest urban-rural temperature difference, or maximum heat island effect, is often three to five hours after sunset.
NOTE: See how the high temperatures are more uniform city and rural while nighttime readings are very different with the cities retaining heat.
The old USHCN data set up to 2007 had a UHI adjustment. It showed the 1930s dominated.
The data was at odds with the global temperature curve which had no UHI adjustment.
In response, NOAA removed the UHI replacing it with algorithms that are supposed to detect previously undocumented site changes and by homogenization. This is what resulted - much more in line with the global.
Here is the difference between the original and new politically driven version (courtesy Real Science).
If we had continued with USHCN version 1, the 2000s would be the second warmest decade behind the 1930s.
The dominance of the 1930s certainly shows up in the record highs.
In fact an NCDC paper by Peterson et al of NCDC recently published agreed. The graph is more properly scaled by Dr Richard Keen showing relative magnitude better.
NOAA NCDC presentation showing that as the EPA noted, most of the changes are in the nighttime readings where the cities hold onto the daytime heat. During the day, rural and urban areas come much more in line. The trend in the Tmax according to NOAA is weak with the PDO/AMO/TSI 60-70 year cycle remaining.
The warming is mostly in the T min.
Want an extreme example of UHI - take Des Moines, IA where the official station at the airport in between two runways inside the urban areas and is always warmer than the surroundings even stations within but nearer the edge of the metro area. At 9:31pm Tuesday, August 27, 2013. it was still 88F in DSM although it was as cool as 72F in surrounding stations.
By late morning in the 28th, the differences are much smaller, 1 to 3F.
The real climate signal is in the well sited stations in rural areas. Instead of using these stations to adjust down the urban heat contaminated stations like DSM, the process of homogenization spreads the warmth to the good stations. See Dr Ed Long, formerly of NASA’s analysis that demonstrates this hereOn the Tmax issue, Dick McNider has been really advocating using Tmax in lieu of using Tmim or, therefore, Tmean. See most recently
McNider, R.T., G.J. Steeneveld, B. Holtslag, R. Pielke Sr, S. Mackaro, A. Pour Biazar, J.T. Walters, U.S. Nair, and J.R. Christy, 2012: Response and sensitivity of the nocturnal boundary layer over land to added longwave radiative forcing. J. Geophys. Res., 117, D14106, doi:10.1029/2012JD017578. Copyright (2012) American Geophysical Union.
Klotzbach, P.J., R.A. Pielke Sr., R.A. Pielke Jr., J.R. Christy, and R.T. McNider, 2009: An alternative explanation for differential temperature trends at the surface and in the lower troposphere. J. Geophys. Res., 114, D21102, doi:10.1029/2009JD011841
Klotzbach, P.J., R.A. Pielke Sr., R.A. Pielke Jr., J.R. Christy, and R.T. McNider, 2010: Correction to: ”An alternative explanation for differential temperature trends at the surface and in the lower troposphere. J. Geophys. Res., 114, D21102, doi:10.1029/2009JD011841”, J. Geophys. Res., 115, D1, doi:10.1029/2009JD013655.
I believe that UHI and land use change are a major component of the observed warming trend. Multidecadal cycles in the sun and oceans account for most all of the rest.
BTW, go here and see how Central Park NYC shows what a mess the UHI and versioning by NOAA of data has been and then follow it through the GISS window into station data to convince you there is no way jose we could hope to estimate global changes to a precision of 0.1 F. In the words of John von Neumann, father of the computer and of algorithms, “There’s no sense in being precise when you don’t even know what you’re talking about.”