Tampering with peer review

From Dr. Cliff Mass

Scientists who try to publish material indicating that “global warming” owing to manmade causes is either weak or not evident, or who doubt the severity of the problem, are not treated well by some.

I have had some first-hand experience with this. I am known as somewhat of a skeptic regarding “global-warming” effects in the North-West – although I do believe that greenhouse gases are a serious problem in the long run.

A group of us noted that the snowpack in the Cascades was not rapidly melting away, in contrast to publications by some local climate scientists and publicized by Mayor Nickels.

The reaction was intense. One of my colleagues, Mark Albright, who was the first to notice the lack of snowpack loss, was fired as associate State Climatologist. The media went wild – we called it “Snowpackgate”, and it got national attention.

I was told in the hallways to keep quiet about it – the denier types would take advantage of it.

We then wrote a paper on the subject and submitted it to the Journal of Climate. The lead author was Mark Stoelinga. I have published roughly 100 papers in my life, and I have never had problems such as those that we had with this paper. The associate editor was very biased. So were some of the reviewers.

The paper went through four review cycles and it was about to be turned down until we appealed to the editor, who proved to be fair and reasonable.

The paper has now been accepted for publication, but it really revealed to me the bias in the system.

The paper is at –


Poor papers with significant technical problems, but reflecting the “official” line, get published easily, while papers like ours, indicating that “global warming” is weaker or delayed, go through hurdle after hurdle.