Well the author of the article is certainly a good propagandist if a lousy journalist.
He appears to have not read the preliminary paper abstract (since the paper is under peer review)
I know of no skeptics that don't believe that the Earth has warmed since the Dalton minimum which marked the end of the Little Ice Age, if there hadn't been warming we wouldn't have the sort of crop production we see today.
Muller has not been a 'climate skeptic' to the best of my knowledge and I follow the issue rather closely. It is interesting he went forward with a media blitz before the review has been done. Watts is concerned with this since he was one of the people consulted on this project due to his work with weather station siting.
The temp data is derived from one source not multiple sources as the article you cite implies, again hard to say whether it is ignorance or political intent on the part of the author Roger Pelke Sr comments on this with links to his comments on other sites (inc Wattsupwiththis):
Climate Science: Roger Pielke Sr. | by Roger Pielke Sr.
Then a mathematician weighs in a series of emails about issues in the time series analysis. Read the emails from the bottom of the page up to the top to get the correct order:
Informath >> BEST is Bogus
Comments on the Keenan emails on incorrect statistical methods being used:
A mathematician’s response to BEST | Watts Up With That?
To summarize, most research on global warming relies on a statistical model that should not be used. This invalidates much of the analysis done on global warming. I published an op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal to explain these issues, in plain English, this year.
The largest center for global-warming research in the UK is the Hadley Centre. The Hadley Centre employs a statistician, Doug McNeall. After my op-ed piece appeared, Doug McNeall and I had an e-mail discussion about it. A copy of one of his messages is attached. In the message, he states that the statistical model—a straight line with AR(1) noise—is “simply inadequate”. (He still believes that the world is warming, primarily due to computer simulations of the global climate system.)
Although the AR(1)-based model is known to be inadequate, no one knows what statistical model should be used. There have been various papers in the peer-reviewed literature that suggest possible resolutions, but so far no alternative model has found much acceptance.
When I heard about the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project, I got the impression that it was going to address the statistical issues. So I was extremely curious to see what statistical model would be adopted. I assumed that strong statistical expertise would be brought to the project, and I was trusting that, at a minimum, there would be a big improvement on the AR(1)-based model. Indeed, I said this in an interview with The Register last June.
Judith Curry one of the authors of the 4 papers gives her summary she say work remains to be don, mentions that she thinks this is helping to develop a better data set for land based data and NOTHING more, this study doesn't have anything to do with the thesis that Humans are affeting the ongoing continious climate change that has been occuring for billions of years on earth.
Berkeley Surface Temperatures: Released | Climate Etc.
Here are my summary comments on the papers. I think the most significant paper is the Berkeley Earth Temperature Averaging Process, where Rohde et al. have introduced a new method for analyzing the data that appears to me to be a substantial improvement over existing methods. That said, I suspect there is still considerable research still to be done in this area. The Urban Heat Island effect paper is a nice study, and based upon the reporters’ questions, seems to be the primary paper of interest. Is this paper the final word on the UHI issue? Probably not. I will be interested in the reactions to this paper, since UHI is a contentious issue. The decadal variability study is very provocative (this is the paper for which I had the greatest input), but IMO the study needs to be extended back further in time. The Surface Station quality paper shows nothing surprising, but I understand that Anthony Watts is raising a concern over the paper.
Watts comments on hos agreements and disagreements with the paper (something that is normally part of the peer review and comment process for published papers in science). The reason for these comments is that the process was bypassed because of the publicity blitz in the media:
BEST: What I agree with and what I disagree with – plus a call for additional transparency to prevent “pal” review | Watts Up With That?
One thing we can count on that WON’T normally be transparent is the peer review process, and if that process includes members of the “team” who are well versed enough to but already embracing the results such as Phil Jones has done, then the peer review will turn into “pal review”.
The solution is to make the names of the reviewers known. Since Dr. Muller and BEST wish to upset the apple cart of scientific procedure, putting public review before peer review, and because they make this self-assured and most extraordinary claim in their press release:
That’s some claim. Four papers that have not been peer-reviewed yet, and they KNOW they’ll pass peer review and will be in the next IPCC report? Is it just me or does that sound rigged? Or, is it just the product of an overactive ego on the part of the BEST group?
I say, if BEST and Dr. Muller truly believes in a transparent approach, as they state on the front page of their website…
There is a lot of political jockeying going on right now why? Well the next iteration IPCC report is going to be put together soon. There is a deadline for peer reviewed papers to be included/excluded. So some papers are being rushed in and others are being delayed. This is because of all the hits the warmist have been taking as the data comes in from various papers sources and their predictions made in previous IPCC reports are diverging from measurement in ways that show Humans are the drivers of climate.
Comments on the media coverage of the papers and what the papers actually say from Dr Peyser (a skeptic) who has read the papers in question.
Sceptical Berkeley Scientists Say, “Human Component Of Global Warming May Be Somewhat Overstated” | Watts Up With That?
The most interesting quote from the papers abstract that the media like the article Patters cites is being ignored:
The findings of the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature Project are important because they emphasise the growing realisation that science has underplayed the unknowns and uncertainties in the attribution of the causes of recent climate change. Without doubt, the data compiled and the analysis undertaken, by the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature Project is unambiguous evidence that the root causes of global warming are poorly understood.
The researchers find a strong correlation between North Atlantic temperature cycles lasting decades, and the global land surface temperature. They admit that the influence in recent decades of oceanic temperature cycles has been unappreciated and may explain most, if not all, of the global warming that has taken place, stating the possibility that the “human component of global warming may be somewhat overstated.”
There is the headline missed by all: Scientists say human component of global warming may be overstated.
The article in the OP is crap however it is informative to show how the media mislead the public about what the science is and what is saying.