American Meteorological Society gives top honors to Dr. James E. Hansen

NASA climate scientist James E. Hansen has been chosen by his peers to receive the 2009 Carl-Gustaf Rossby Research Medal, the highest honor bestowed by the American Meteorological Society (AMS).

Jim Hansen is performing a tremendous job at communicating our science to the public and, more importantly, to policymakers and decision-makers,” said Franco Einaudi, director of the Earth Sciences Division at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

“The debate about global change is often emotional and controversial, and Jim has had the courage to stand up and say what others did not want to hear,” Einaudi added. “He has acquired a credibility that very few scientists have. His success is due in part to his personality, in part to his scientific achievements, and in part to his refusing to sit on the sidelines of the debate.”

As Andrew Revkin notes on his DotEarth Blog:

“Whatever one thinks of James E. Hansen’s mix of climate science and policy advocacy (just explore comments here for a cross-section of views), it’s hard not to take note when the country’s largest organization of weather specialists, the American Meteorological Society, gives this veteran climatologist its top honor.”

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and very timely, considering the story a few days ago re: Rex Murphy and his position that Hansen is not a scientist.

I think that any scientist takes a risk in moving into the area of advocacy.  All of a sudden his/motives, integrity and qualifications are attacked, and who’d really want the publicity?  Hansen is to be commended.  He has the rare ability to do the science AND to explain it to the layman. 

hello deserved i am agree with your comment and supported to you. that any scientist takes a risk in moving into the area of advocacy.ok thanks for discuss on it.
forclosed homes–forclosed homes

I develop more admiration for Hansen the more I study and attempt to understand his view of the science and his policy proposals.  He is leading where no one else is doing it, saying what is in many hearts and on many minds.  I don’t know what we would do without him. 

Hansen’s open letter to Obama is just the latest in a long line of moves he’s made, always attempting to put climate at the center for urgent action.  When everyone wants Obama to succeed and to be seen to be succeeding, Hansen has the courage to plainly state to him that all of his policy as conceived so far is based on a foundation Hansen described in testimony to Congress earlier this year as “a recipe for global disaster”.  Obama has said he will listen to what the scientists have to say, and Hansen’s view is on its way.

Hansen is pressing his case in the way only he can.  He’s stated the National Academy will back him up by replying to any Presidential question with an authoritative report.  He has the endorsement of the President of the National Academy of Sciences who has said Hansen is the best scientist working in this field.  He reminds Obama that President Lincoln set up the National Academy so it could give advice on scientific matters to the President and Congress.  His open letter will be delivered by Obama’s own pick to be his Science Adviser, John Holdren, once Obama is sworn in. I have trouble imagining a better set of formal credentials someone could have if they wanted to get through to a President.  Hansen says to Obama:  “a stream of new data with startling implications” has arrived in the last few years which has led “the relevant experts” to come to “a stark scientific conclusion, that we must reduce greenhouse gases below present amounts to preserve nature and humanity”.  He’s talking about his 325 - 350 ppm target for CO2 recommendation he’s been making since December 2007. 

Who else has the standing or the courage to press the debate like this?  I love this guy.

Al Gore Name Tom Karl a right hand man without any science degree in Climatology as President of the AMS . Then Karl name  Al Gore’s Former Staffer Antonio Socci who is not an Elected official or a contributor on climate science as the AMS Primary spokeman.  James Hansen Advise Al Gore. The AMS  Give Hansen the Carl Gustaff Rossby reaseache Medal and the word use is ” By His PEER” … .Kind of Incestuous is it not?

recast this post in legible English so that we can respond appropriately.

Wilbert Robichaud said: “Al Gore Name Tom Karl a right hand man without any science degree in Climatology as President of the AMS”.

That is complete and utter rubbish. Here is an excerpt from his resume:

“Tom Karl, Ph.D., received his B.S. degree in Meteorology from Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, in 1973, his Masters Degree from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in 1974, and he was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from North Carolina State University in 2002.

Karl has received many awards and recognition for his work in climate, observing systems, and data stewardship including: four Gold Medals from the Department of Commerce and one Bronze Medal; the American Meteorological Society’s Suomi Award; National Associate of the National Academy of Sciences; the NOAA Administrator’s Award, and several others.

He currently is the Director of NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center and NOAA’s Program Manager for Climate Observations and Analysis. A Fellow of the American Meteorological Society and of the American Geophysical Union, Karl has published more than 125 peer-reviewed articles and several books as Editor and Contributor. He has also given numerous testimonies to the U.S. Congress and briefings to Vice President and Presidents of the United States.

In 2002, Karl was elected to serve on the Council of the American Meteorological Society. He has also served as Editor of the Journal of Climate (1997-2000) and as Lead Author of several IPCC reports and Co-Chair of the US National Assessment. He frequently is interviewed in the press and has provided several articles in popular science-related magazines”.

Why don’t you check your sources before cutting and pasting rubbish?


First Al Gore and the IPCC got the Nobel Peace Prize.

Then Paul Krugman got the Nobel Prize in Economics.

And now James Hansen gets a top honour from the AMS.

Surely it’s all part of a Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy… and the Great Final War Between Good and Evil, Freedom and Oppression, is now upon us!

As someone else once said: “If you listen carefully you can hear their heads explode.”


Let’s see ..  a Honary Doctorate in humane letters Wow! so that’s were the “DR” comes from.

NOAA and NAS..Schnieder ?

125 peer review…

IPCC that Nest of crooks again?  You are only confirming how deep the Incest is.

wilbert, you stated that he had no science degree whatsoever in climatology; and it has been demonstrated that this was a false statement.  You should be apologizing rather than trying to smear your betters.

Posting statements that are demonstrably false – Wilbert I think you are violating the DeSmog commenting policy regarding unsubstantiated claims. 

A very well deserved award that only goes a small way to recognising Hansen’s brilliant efforts.

Regulars here will of-course realise that the deniers and fossil-fuel liars denigrate and attempt to impugn objective high profile climate scientists like Hansen. In-fact the more scientists like Hansen are attacked by the hangers-on of the denial industry, then it’s clear that Hansen and others like him are saying the right thing and are having the desired effect.

It’s about time the people in general, industry and government started listening to what he has to say.

In the UK, Prime Minister Gordon Brown, curiously despite his much vaunted awareness of the need to combat climate change by reducing CO2 emissions, Brown seems to be demonstrating his grasp of the need to reduce CO2 emissions by giving the planned third runway at London Airport the go-ahead.

No I don’t understand it either.

It seems that politicians like Brown claim ‘green’ credentials are still not really listening to Hansen and what the science actually says. There is clearly still some way to go.

Yes I have written to PM Brown and my MP.