I wrote a short post recently about the hot air surrounding the new surface temperature record being compiled at Berkeley.
One of the issues was the data sample that was used in preliminary BEST analysis that was being discussed.
UPDATE (31/3/2011 11:58am): Carbon Brief have some graphs to show how similar the 2% sample is to NOAA, GISS and HadCRU.
It seems that Watts was mistaken about the 2% sample of BEST data being from Japan. He updated his post in the last few days:
“ERRATA: I made a mistake regarding the 2% figure, I misheard what was being presented during my visit with the BEST team at Berkeley. As many of you may know I’m about 80% hearing impaired and the presentation made to me was entirely verbal with some printed graphs. Based on the confidentiality I agreed to, I did not get to come back with any of those graphs, notes, or data so I had to rely on what I heard. I simply misheard and thought the 2% were the Japan station analysis graphs that they showed me.
I was in touch with Dr. Richard Muller on 3/28/2011 who graciously pointed out my misinterpretation. I regret the error, and thus issue this correction about the 2% figure being truly a random sample, and not just stations in the Japan test presentation shown to me.”
It’s just a shame that he didn’t notice the contradiction between the BEST statement (“random”) and his own understanding (“Japan”) before writing his post and shouting down commenters asking for clarification (i.e. “Ah I see you are immediately back to wasting everyone’s time…“).