Its the Cities, Stupid

New study conducted in California (emphasis added):

We investigated air temperature patterns in California from 1950 to 2000. Statistical analyses were used to test the significance of temperature trends in California subregions in an attempt to clarify the spatial and temporal patterns of the occurrence and intensities of warming. Most regions showed a stronger increase in minimum temperatures than with mean and maximum temperatures. Areas of intensive urbanization showed the largest positive trends, while rural, non-agricultural regions showed the least warming. Strong correlations between temperatures and Pacific sea surface temperatures (SSTs) particularly Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) values, also account for temperature variability throughout the state. The analysis of 331 state weather stations associated a number of factors with temperature trends, including urbanization, population, Pacific oceanic conditions and elevation. Using climatic division mean temperature trends, the state had an average warming of 0.99°C (1.79°F) over the 1950–2000 period, or 0.20°C (0.36°F) decade.

Southern California had the highest rates of warming, while the NE Interior Basins division experienced cooling. Large urban sites showed rates over twice those for the state, for the mean maximum temperatures, and over 5 times the state’s mean rate for the minimum temperatures. In comparison, irrigated cropland sites warmed about 0.13°C [per decade] annually, but near 0.40°C for summer and fall minima. Offshore Pacific SSTs warmed 0.09°C decadefor the study period.

So, warming has occured mainly in the urban areas, while the least developped regions have cooled.  Increase of minimum temperatures rathern than daily maximum’s could be a result of CO2, but is more likely a signature of urban heat islands.  In particular, look at Anthony’s map in the linked article.  Notice the red dots for hotter areas and the cool dots for cooler areas.  The red dots are all on… cities.  The blue dots are all in the countryside.  You make the call — urban heat or greenyhouse effect.