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It’s like watching the lights go out over the West. Sinan Unur has mapped the surface stations into a beautiful animation. His is 4 minutes long and spans from 1701-2010. I’ve taken some of his snapshots and strung them into a 10 second animation.

You can see as development spreads across the world that more and more places are reporting temperatures. It’s obvious how well documented temperatures were (once) in the US. The decay of the system in the last 20 years is stark.

For details on just how sinister the vanishing of data records is, see my previous post on Anthony Watts and Joe D’Aleo’s extraordinary summary of Policy Driven Deception.

Graphic: Great Dying of Thermometers

The Great Dying of Thermometers

I’m sure one day the chronological spread (and decay) of thermometers will be a useful marker for some socio/economic/historic marker (though it’s hard to put my finger on exactly what). This is not a measure of population growth — some of those dots in Australia 100 years ago are just stations (as in big farms). It’s not just “money” (Europe booms post WWII), it’s not measuring the spread of “English”  though English speaking countries are well represented, Japan suddenly comes “online” in about 1880. What was it exactly, that swept countries up with the idea and the wherewithal to measure temperatures and record them?

The full 4 minute animation is (below), it’s a twinkling silent testament to human endeavor.  You can also rate it on Youtube, or go to Sinan’s site and leave a comment there to say thanks.

Thermometer Locations (1701 – 2010)


The graph below shows the thermometer growth and decline year by year. Since 1980, as temperatures have assumed such encompassing importance, they’ve been funded, studied, and vast bets have been placed; simultaneously, somehow, temperature stations that used to number 6000 have been expanded all the way up to… 1500.

Stations have disappeared from global compilations…

As I said, the lights are going out all over the west.

JoNova, 20 May 2010