From the “Correlation is not Causality” department we have this marvelous little graph. It shows the correlation between USA Jet-A fuel usage and the global temperature. Notice that unlike global CO2 levels, the Jet-A usage rises before the global average temperature.
I’m sure you could try to spin this as jet fuel being a producer of CO2 and so a proxy for CO2 yada yada. I think all that jet exhaust from burning kilotons of kerosene right next to the airport thermometers is a more “proximal causality”… If you want to start assigning causalities, one typically looks at the closest and least diluted causality first.
This graph was originally posted in comments by B. Louis79 on this article:
And another related article or three would be:
So what happens when your “Rural Reference Station” for Urban Heat Island effect is artificially heated with Kilotons of burning kerosene? Hmmmm? Think that might bias your “global warming” figure higher than reality?
I just love the island airport picture at the top of this one:
But Wait, There’s More
In the same article comment thread, Verity Jones, of Digging In The Clay, chipped in with this graph:
Given that the thermometers that are NOT at airports tend to be in towns (near all the cars burning all that oil) it makes sense to look at the fuel BURNING in proximity to the thermometers… And a lot of “fuel” gets consumed on the farm, too. A field of cows has a fairly large amount of oxidation going on.
And, of course, that farm production ends up, eventually, finally, being oxidized as “poo”. Sewage Plant thermometers anyone? Yes, all those sewage plant thermometers found by www.surfacestations.org, where “poo” undergoes a final oxidation, do generate heat. Lots of it.
Some of them even have a ‘methane flare’ where they burn up the methane produced. Others run it through a co-generation plant to make power to run the place. For example, from this article we have:
The plant, which treats 4,500 liters of sewage per second, will use the ultra low-emission microturbines in a combined heat and power (CHP) application. In addition to producing 2.4 megawatts of electricity to power the plant’s equipment and buildings, the excess heat produced by the methane fueled microturbines will help maintain the proper temperature in the plant’s onsite digester used to breakdown sewage.
When you are measuring PART of the heat in megawatts, you can “feel the heat”.
(Disclosure: I own some stock in CPST Capstone Turbine. Not a lot, more of a “toy” position, but it interests me. That’s part of why I know about this topic.)
So I’m left to wonder how many “rural” thermometer are near all the kilotons of hay, silage, and feed corn being “burned” in animals… and sewage. Then again, the number of thermometers at truly rural places and not at airports has been crashing over time:
So maybe “at airports” is the more important place to “Dig Here!” … Then again: megawatts PLUS the thermal component? That sure looks like a “Dig Here!” to me too… “SHI” seems like a suitable acronym for “Sewage Heat Island”. Just don’t put “Thermal effect” on the end of it OK? 8-)