That, to me, seems to be the sound of the drama queen's preprint hitting the Internet. First of all, it's exactly the kind of paper that most needs peer review: based on a lot of judgements and classifications and nitty gritty details that only siting wonks can evaluate. (So does a paper like BEST's -- but their conclusion is nothing surprising.)
And it just doesn't compete with the narrative -- record US heat, the US drought, BEST -- that is quickly sweeping by. It smells a little desperate. If it withstands peer review, then it's worth a good look. Until then it looks like PR, which is, of course, exactly how it's being delivered.
(Can I just say that delivering science as PR, or PR as science, is off-putting and worrisome, whether it comes from private groups or professional journals like Nature.)
Then there are the inconvenient facts that
(1) USA48 is 1.6% of the Earth's surface area, and
(2) the trend of the USA48 lower troposphere, as measured by satellites as calculated by UAH, is 0.23 ± 0.08 °C from 1979 to present (95% confidence limit, no correction for autocorrelation). Satellite measurements almost completely avoid the urban heat island problem.
Then, of course, there is the rank hypocrisy:
Anthony Watts, Oct 11 2011: "The Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project puts PR before peer review"
Not to mention:
Anthony Watts, Oct 30 2011: Why didn’t Berkeley Earth wait for peer review?