Earlier today I checked in to the WUWT dashboard and was surprised to see that WUWT had the #1 story on all of WordPress.com this morning:
Tonight, checking in again, I discover not only is WUWT still near the top with a follow up story, but the Spencer and Braswell story is dominating the top 10, labels mine:
The last time I’ve seen anything like this, where climate blogs dominated the top ten, was just after Climategate broke. And it’s a significant feat, as these numbers from the wordpress.com home page illustrate:
The best of 367,768 bloggers, 338,405 new posts, 290,328 comments, & 78,762,938 words posted today on WordPress.com.
I’ll bet the editor Wolfgang Wagner of Remote Sensing had no idea this sort of viral reaction would happen. On the downside, it’s a bad move for them and for the integrity of the peer review process, because IMHO, this was handled almost as badly as CRU/UEA handled Climategate itself. As Dr. Roger Pielke Senior says:
The place to refute a published paper is in peer-reviewed papers, not in blogs (or the media). If the paper is not robust, it appropriately should be responded to by paper, not by the resignation of the Editor. In my view, he made a poor decision which has further damaged the scientific process of vetting new research results.
On the upside, this debacle has placed thousands more fresh eyes on the Spencer and Braswell paper, as well as on the folly of the “failed peer review” process claim by the resigned editor of Remote Sensing.
And yet, we have no peer reviewed rebuttal or comment, just a lot of hand waving and noisemaking and claims the paper is “flawed” without any peer reviewed rebuttal to back up those claims. Pielke says:
Moreover, if there is a fundamental flaw in their work, then publishing a Comment in Remote Sensing would have resolved the issue. That is how science is supposed to work. As it is, Wagner has further politicized climate science.
I have a feeling that this won’t end the way Wagner thought it would.
Pielke Sr. has a new post up on an exchange between him and Peter Glieck of the Pacific Institute. It is well worth a read to get some perspective on how the other side thinks.