RealClimate has awarded "The Australian" one of their prestigious end of year awards - in this case "looniest cesspit of global warming denial" - 2008 Year in review.
Way back at the end of 2006, we did a review of the year's climate science discussion. It's that time of year again and so we've decided to give it another go. Feel free to suggest your own categories and winners…
Most clueless US politician talking about climate change (with the exception of Senator Inhofe who'd always win):
Sarah Palin:Well, we're the only Arctic state, of course, Alaska. So we feel the impacts more than any other state, up there with the changes in climates. And certainly, it is apparent. We have erosion issues. And we have melting sea ice, of course. [….] You know there are - there are man's activities that can be contributed to the issues that we're dealing with now, these impacts. I'm not going to solely blame all of man's activities on changes in climate.
Most puzzling finding from 2008 that has yet to be convincingly replicated:
Methane from plants
Most reckless extrapolation of short term trends:
Michael "All global warming has been erased" Asher (Daily Tech)
This year's most (unsurprisingly) abused study:
Keenlyside et al. initialised climate forecasts (and no, they didn't take our bet).
Climate scientist with biggest disconnect between his peer-reviewed papers and his online discussions:
Most worn out contrarian cliche:
The "Gore Effect". This combines the irrelevant confusion of climate with weather and the slightly manic obsession with Al Gore over the actual science. Do please grow up.
Most bizarre new contrarian claim:
Global warming is caused by undersea volcanoes (and pirates!).
The S. Fred Singer award for the most dizzying turn-around of a climate pseudo-skeptic:
Dennis Avery: "Global warming is likely to continue" (2006) , to global warming is "unstoppable" (2006), to "Say Good-Bye To Global Warming And Hello To Global Cooling!" (2008).
Pottiest peer on the contrarian comedy circuit:
Viscount Monckton of Brenchley
Least unexpected observations:
(Joint winners) 2008 near-record minima in Arctic sea ice extent, last decade of record warmth, long term increases in ocean heat content, record increases in CO2 emissions.
Most consistently wrong media outlet:
The Australian (runner-up the UK Daily Telegraph). Both comfortably beating out the perennial favorite, the Wall Street Journal - maybe things have really changed there?
Best actual good news:
The grown-ups being back in charge starting January 20 (compare with this).
Most inaccurate attempted insinuation about RealClimate:
'The Soros-funded Realclimate.org' Chris Horner
Most revealing insight into some US coal companies and year's best self parody:
Frosty the Coalman (video available here)
Most disturbing trend for science journalism:
The axing of dedicated science units at CNN, the Weather Channel and elsewhere. Can Climate Central and blogging journalists take up the slack?