2006 Year in review

A lighthearted look at the climate science goings-on over the last year:

Best highlight of the gap between the ‘two cultures’:

Justice Scalia: ‘Troposphere, whatever. I told you before I’m not a scientist. That’s why I don’t want to have to deal with global warming’ .

Least effective muzzling of government climate scientist by a junior public affairs political appointee:

George Deutsch met his match in Jim Hansen.

Most puzzling finding that has yet to be replicated:

Methane from plants

Worst reported story and least effectual follow-up press release:

Methane from plants

Best (err… only) climate science documentary on public release:

An Inconvenient Truth.

Most worn out contrarian cliche:

Medieval English vineyards.

Previously prominent contrarian cliche curiously not being used any more:

“The satellites show cooling”

Most bizarre new contrarian claim:

“Global warming stopped in 1998″.

By the same logic, it also stopped in 1973, 1983, and 1990 (only it didn’t).

Most ironic complaint about ‘un-balanced’ climate coverage on CNN:

Pat Michaels (the most interviewed commentator by a factor of two) complaining that he doesn’t get enough exposure.

Most dizzying turn-around of a climate skeptic:

Fred Singer “global warming is not happening” (1998,2000, 2002, 2005) to global warming is “unstoppable” (2006)

Best popular book on the climate change:

Elizabeth Kolbert’s “Field Notes from a Catastrophe

Least unexpected observations:

(Joint winners) 2006 near-record minima in Arctic sea ice extent, near-record maxima in Northern Hemisphere temperatures, resumed increase in ocean heat content, record increases in CO2 emissions

Best resource for future climate model analyses:

PCMDI database of IPCC AR4 simulations. The gift that will keep on giving.

Best actual good news:

Methane concentrations appear to have stabilised. Maybe they can even be coaxed downward….

Biggest increase in uncertainty as a function of more research:

Anything to do with aerosols.

Least apologetic excuse for getting a climate story wrong:

Newsweek explains its 1975 ‘The Cooling World’ story.

Most promising newcomer on the contrarian comedy circuit:

Viscount Monckton of Brenchley

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