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Sunday, February 28, 2010
U.S. Climate Data Compromised by Sensors' Proximity to Heat Sources, Critics Say
A critical cog in the machinery that drives the theory of global warming may be compromised, as temperature sensors across the U.S. appear to be exposed to heat sources that some critics say is corrupting their information.
A critical cog in the machinery that drives the theory of global warming is a small white box not too far from where you live. Inside the box sits a thermometer that tracks the local temperature, which in turn becomes part of a data trail for the monitoring of climate change on Earth.
But there's a problem: Nearly every single weather station the U.S. government uses to measure the country's surface temperature may be compromised. Sensors that are supposed to be in empty clearings are instead exposed to crackling electronics and other unlikely sources of heat, from exhaust pipes and trash-burning barrels to chimneys and human graves.
90 percent of the sensors are too close to potential sources of heat to pass muster, including some very odd sources indeed: