Publication Details

Ashcroft, M. B. (2018). Which is more biased: Standardized weather stations or microclimatic sensors?. Ecology and Evolution, 8 (11), 5231-5232.


A recent article in Ecology and Evolution by Terando, Youngsteadt, Meineke, and Prado (2017) compared observations from standardized weather stations (shielded at a height of ~2 m) with those from cheaper microclimatic sensors with custom‐built radiation shields. They found there could be biases of up to 3–5°C under full sun conditions on hot days. They concluded that it is critical to standardize the collection of microclimate data, to reduce biases, and to ensure observations from different studies are comparable. Their results are a valuable contribution to the literature, and ecologists should be paying more attention to limitations of the climate data they use, but as I argue in this letter, I would suggest that increasing standardization is a step backward for ecological studies.



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