Today I was browsing individual weather stations with long term records. I was looking for stations in rural locations with longterm history, governed by a weather bureau with an equally long term history. I found Thorshavn on Faeroe Islands as a possible candidate.
Looking at this longterm history, I find it interesting that the temperature is no higher today than it was 140 years ago.
I then looked at the northerly city Uppsala in Sweden with an even longer record, however with a long period where the dog had eaten the data. In Uppsala they had no warming over 230 years between 1739 and 1970.
I have always believed the Nordic people to be scientifically conscious and methodical. In my young days I helped reporting daily observations on a small island once a month to DMI in Copenhagen. You could argue about the wind speed, which was not actually measured, but estimated using the Beaufort scale. Temperatures on the other hand, were calibrated and the box placed on an open field with short grass. My impression is that this high standard has been praxis in the Nordic countries for a very long time.
Maybe it is time to forget about obtaining a global mean temperature. Many scientists already say a global temperature is ridiculous. My personal thought is that maybe just a few high quality, long term weather stations give a more accurate picture of trends in the temperature history - even from a global perspective.
Data and graphs from: http://www.appinsys.com/