Incorrect temperatures were used in snowpack and ecology research
Observations of sharply rising high-elevation temperatures in the western United States were caused by faulty equipment, not climate change, new research suggests.
From 1991 to 2012, the National Water and Climate Center’s Snow Telemetry network, or SNOTEL, reported a 1.16 degree Celsius per decade climb in minimum temperatures at high elevations throughout the mountainous American West. Correcting for flawed temperature sensors, which overstated temperatures by as much as 2 degrees Celsius, new research published January 13 in Geophysical Research Letters reduces this decadal increase to roughly 0.106 degrees. That’s roughly in line with warming at lower altitudes. While not used in global climate research, the flawed data were used by ecologists, hydrologists and regional climate researchers, says lead author Jared Oyler, an earth scientist at the University of Montana in