Date of this Version
JOURNAL OF ATMOSPHERIC AND OCEANIC TECHNOLOGY VOLUME 21 pg.1025-1032
The biases of four commonly used air temperature sensors are examined and detailed. Each temperature transducer consists of three components: temperature sensing elements, signal conditioning circuitry, and corresponding analog-to-digital conversion devices or dataloggers. An error analysis of these components was performed to determine the major sources of error in common climate networks. It was found that, regardless of microclimate effects, sensor and electronic errors in air temperature measurements can be larger than those given in the sensor manufacturer’s specifications. The root-sum-of-squares (RSS) error for the HMP35C sensor with CR10X datalogger was above 0.2C, and rapidly increases for both lower (20C) and higher temperatures (30C). Likewise, the largest errors for the maximum-minimum temperature system (MMTS) were at low temperatures (40C). The temperature linearization error in the HO-1088 hygrothermometer produced the largest errors when the temperature was lower than 20C. For the temperature sensor in the U.S. Climate Reference Networks (USCRN), the error was found to be 0.2 to 0.33C over the range 25 to 50C. The results presented here are applicable when data from these sensors are applied to climate studies and should be considered in determining air temperature data continuity and climate data adjustment models.