(I’d be happy to forward to Hansen any comments people have on his quarter-century-long effort to inform the public and policymakers of the grave dangers we face on our current greenhouse gas emissions path — in the face of withering attacks by the right-wing deniers and the attempted muzzling by the Bush administration.)

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The American Meteorological Society awarded the country’s top climate scientist its highest honor, the 2009 Carl-Gustaf Rossby Research Medal [PDF]:

For outstanding contributions to climate modeling, understanding climate change forcings and sensitivity, and for clear communication of climate science in the public arena.

Hansen is the longtime director of the NASA Goddard Institute of Space Studies. NASA also announced:

In a separate announcement on Dec. 30, Hansen was also named by EarthSky Communications and a panel of 600 scientist-advisors as the Scientist Communicator of the Year. Peers cited Hansen as an “outspoken authority on climate change” who had “best communicated with the public about vital science issues or concepts during 2008.”

Kudos to Hansen for these well-deserved awards. I, for one, wouldn’t be writing this blog if it weren’t for him.

This post was created for ClimateProgress.org, a project of the Center for American Progress Action Fund.