Thousands gather this week in San Francisco for the American Geophysical Union’s annual meeting. This week’s posts will focus on developments at the meeting.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA. Dec. 3, 2012 — First come the poster tubes. The ubiquitous poster tubes.

As far away as the East Coast, and certainly internationally, they for many are the first visual signature that once again, as every year, is “AGU Week.”

In this writer’s case, the first poster tube of the December 3-7 week showed up, almost magically, at the relaxingly small and comfortable Newport News/Williamsburg airport, awaiting a Frontier Airlines flight via Denver to San Francisco. The drenching West Coast “Pineapple Express” had been punishing the City by the Bay and surroundings with successive bus loads of rain and daunting winds.

AGU appeared on the verge of being rained-out.

On arriving Denver, one celebrated news of only a one-hour delay into San Francisco.

The San Francisco-bound flight was, of course, AGU heavy. So much so, in fact, that a savvy flight attendant quickly designated a specific overhead bin — over seats in rows 22-24, if I recall — for poster tubes only.

An initial Sunday discussion group brought together climate policy wonks with a dozen or so of the most widely recognized climate scientists. Their focus: how to communicate convincingly and authoritatively to a wide range of nonscientist audiences the salience and importance this particular set of experts by now fully accept.

Early Monday morning, like ants scampering this way and that, AGU-goers head toward Moscone Center. Again the poster tubes, and one can’t help noticing the youthfulness and global diversity of these tube-carriers. Soon, the poster tubes are outnumbered by the name badges dangling from virtually every neck.

They’re everywhere, they’re everywhere.

It indeed is AGU Week. More than 22,000 attendees from every corner of the world. Far too much brain candy for any one person to sample, with sessions in science, education, and public categories … and far more. A veritable who’s who of climate scientists. Hundreds attending as Press.

Far more, of course, hallway and breakfast/lunch/dinner and coffee break/libations sit-downs.

Stay tuned.

Bud Ward

Bud Ward is Editor of Yale Climate Connections. He started his environmental journalism career in 1974. He later served as Assistant Director of the U.S. Congress's National Commission on Air Quality,...