Natural Resources, School of


Document Type


Date of this Version



2005 American Meteorological Society


In 2004 a new aspirated surface air temperature system was officially deployed nationally in the U.S. Climate Reference Network (USCRN) commissioned by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Admin- istration. The primary goal of the USCRN is to provide future long-term and high-quality homogeneous observations of surface air temperature and precipitation that can be coupled to past long-term observations for the detection and attribution of present and future climate change. In this paper two precision air temperature systems are included for evaluating the new USCRN air temperature system based on a 1-yr side-by-side field comparison. The measurement errors of the USCRN temperature sensor are systemati- cally analyzed, and the components of error attributable to the datalogger, lead wires, fixed resistors, and the temperature coefficient of the resistors are presented. Although the current configuration is adequate, a more desirable configuration of USCRN temperature sensor coupled with the datalogger is proposed as a means of further reducing the uncertainty for the USCRN temperature measurement.