Nobody is disputing the importance of the peer review process. In fact I read about 100 peer reviewed papers per month in addition to many more abstracts.

However with rapidly accelerating climate change and extreme weather the year or so that it takes between paper submission and publication is far too long.

Thus, many scientists will blog their new findings when they occur, or publish them in open access journals with a very rapid turn-over time.

Also, peer review science is traditionally about narrowing the focus of study to make an incremental novel addition to the existing knowledge. This fails to meet humanities need for knowledge on the climate system as a whole.

It leads to compartmentalization of knowledge, with many niche experts in narrow areas, who fail to understand the overall system and it’s evolution through time.

What I do is research the overall system. Of course examining the overall system does not fit into the traditional hierarchy of study, which is of more specialization rather than an overall view.

It is difficult to have time to do both, given the present angular velocity of Earth rotation.


Paul Beckwith