Please post any comments you’d like Gavin to see here, and I’ll send them his way.
AGU: “In recognition of his exceptional work as a climate communicator, the American Geophysical Union (AGU) has selected Gavin Schmidt as the recipient of its inaugural Climate Communications Prize.”
One of the great things about climate blogging is that you get to know so many other terrific bloggers. One of the best is NASA’s Gavin Schmidt, winner of the first ever $25,000 Climate Communications Prize from the American Geophysical Union, the largest organization of earth and space scientists. News release here.
Schmidt is the “driving force” behind, RealClimate, one of the sites that inspired me to blog. I have gotten to know him over the years, and he is one of the most tireless champions of climate science in the world. And he does not suffer deniers gladly.
I have excerpted and reposted his insightful and incisive writing here many times. Who can forget his evisceration of Judith Curry (see “BEST climate joke: Hockey Stick fight at the you’re-not-OK Corral“)?
Gavin was particularly amazing during the Climategate nonsense. And yet he delivering straightforward yet powerful scientific answers, such as this response to a commenter who asked, “Gavin, In your opinion, what percentage of global warming is due to human causes vs. natural causes?”:
Over the last 40 or so years, natural drivers would have caused cooling, and so the warming there has been (and some) is caused by a combination of human drivers and some degree of internal variability. I would judge the maximum amplitude of the internal variability to be roughly 0.1 deg C over that time period, and so given the warming of ~0.5 deg C, I’d say somewhere between 80 to 120% of the warming. Slightly larger range if you want a large range for the internal stuff. – gavin
In short, virtually all of the warming in recent decades is from human causes. Sorry deniers.
So what exactly is the AGU’s Climate Communications Prize given for?
This new Union prize, generously funded by Nature’s Own, will honor an AGU member-scientist for the communication of climate science. The prize highlights the importance of promoting scientific literacy, clarity of message, and efforts to foster respect and understanding of science-based values as they relate to the implications of climate change.
That is Schmidt to a tee.
Here’s more on him from the release:
Schmidt, an influential climate modeler who has authored more than 80 scientific papers, has also in recent years become a high-proifle figure in the often contentious public discussion of climate….
In 2009, Schmidt and photographer Joshua Wolfe created and coedited Climate Change: Picturing the Science. The book frames essays by Schmidt and others with climate-related photos from around the world taken by leading photographers for National Geographic, Smithsonian and other magazines. Popular Mechanics called it “the first book anyone seeking a layman’s understanding of the science of global warming should read.”
… The nomination, signed by scientists and journalists from 10 institutions and publications in the United States and Europe, said Schmidt “has proven an articulate, rigorous and resolute defender of research and the scientific method. …. providing a scientific context that is sometimes missing in the mainstream media.” Noting a stark disconnect between the growing scientific consensus that humans are influencing climate and declining U.S. public acceptance of the idea, the nominators said, “There has never been a more important time for truthful, dispassionate, factual and accessible communication. … There is no other scientist with the combination of intellect, agility and plain-speaking sensibility than Gavin Schmidt, who educates, not alienates, the public.”
In a 2009 interview, Schmidt told the website The Edge, “I don’t advocate for political solutions. If I do advocate for something … my advocacy is much more towards having more intelligent discussions.”
The award “will be presented with the prize at the union’s fall meeting in San Francisco, Dec. 5-9,” which I am currently planning to attend (since I’m scheduled to deliver a talk).
Once again, Kudos to Gavin for well-deserved recognition. Please add your comments below.