At the Germany-based European Institute for Climate and Energy (EIKE), Helmut Kuntz writes that Germany’s all-time record high temperature recorded last year, 2015, is likely an artifact of the urban heat island effect (UHI) and instrumentation error margins.
In 2015 the Kitzingen weather station located in southern Germany set a new all-time high when it reached 40.3°C — twice: on July 5 and August 7 — breaking the earlier record of 40.2°C set on 27 July 1983 in Gärmersdorf. The whopping margin: a whole 0.1°C! Photo right: Kitzingen station.
So why is Kitzingen suddenly so hot?
EIKE guest writer Josef Kowatsch has often claimed that the UHI has played a major role in producing the warming effect over the past decades. Recently that claim got a boost of support from University of Wurzburg climate researcher Prof. Heiko Paeth, who in an interview with MAIN POST daily here on September 7, 2016, stated that it likely has more to do with station siting then it does with a climate trend.
According to Prof. Paeth, the high reading can be traced back to Kitzingen having certain special features.
First the town of Kitzingen is located at a relatively low elevation some 20 km east of Wurzburg — situated in the Main Valley at the bottom of a sort of a bowl where heat can collect.
Secondly, he tells the MAIN POST that fresh, westerly winds that normally act to cool Germany in the summertime have been obstructed by a commercial district built not long ago where once a US base had been located. The Main Post writes:
What remains is an obstacle for the air flow from the west. The town has blocked off its fresh air feed-in duct, says Paeth. ‘That could be an explanation for the heat.’”
Instrumentation error margin of +-0.4°C
Moreover Kuntz reports that the Kitzingen station was first put into operation in 2005 and the German DWD weather service equipped it with the electronic PT 100 instrument, which in comparison tests has been shown to produce considerably higher readings.