Radiosonde Daytime Biases and Late-20th Century Warming

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Science  02 Sep 2005:
Vol. 309, Issue 5740, pp. 1556-1559
DOI: 10.1126/science.1115640

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The temperature difference between adjacent 0000 and 1200 UTC weather balloon (radiosonde) reports shows a pervasive tendency toward cooler daytime compared to nighttime observations since the 1970s, especially at tropical stations. Several characteristics of this trend indicate that it is an artifact of systematic reductions over time in the uncorrected error due to daytime solar heating of the instrument and should be absent from accurate climate records. Although other problems may exist, this effect alone is of sufficient magnitude to reconcile radiosonde tropospheric temperature trends and surface trends during the late 20th century.

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