Climate change watchers were quick to pounce when NOAA on August 28 put out a release with the headline “Greenhouse Gases Likely Drove Near-Record U.S. Warmth in 2006.”

“The real news is that NOAA is acknowledging this in a press release,” one federal agency climate science staffer said. And the online Knight Science Tracker had a similar take: “One cannot be sure whether, three or four years ago when White House efforts to suppress unwelcome climate change news from federal agencies were in a higher gear, this news would have come out so unhindered …. It would be worth asking the federal-payroll authors whether it seems any easier now than a few years ago to enunciate so clearly and publicly these sorts of global warming conclusions.”