SAN FRANCISCO, CA., DEC. 11, 2013 — A Colorado-based veteran climate scientist and a British economist are the 2013 winners of two similar, but separate climate communications prizes awarded this week in San Francisco.

National Center for Atmospheric Research senior scientist Kevin Trenberth is the winner of the AGU’s 2013 $25,000 Climate Communications award, and Nick Stern, of the London School of Economics, is winner of the 2013 Stephen H. Schneider award for Outstanding Climate Communication.

The AGU award, established in 2011, “highlights the importance of promoting scientific literacy, clarity of message, and efforts to foster respected and understanding of science-based values as they relate to the implications of climate change.”

The Schneider award, administered by Climate One of The Commonwealth Club of San Francisco, is given annually to “a natural or social scientist who has made extraordinary scientific contributions and has an outstanding record of communicating the findings effectively to a broad public.”

Trenberth in recent years has become one of the nation’s leading and most respected and highly visible climate scientists, quoted and seen frequently in technical and popular media. Announcing the Schneider award winner, Climate One pointed to Stern’s authorship of the “highly influential report in 2006 on the ‘The Economics of Climate Change: The Stern Review,’ which was commissioned by the UK Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer.”

Climate One characterized “The Stern Review” as concluding that the challenges posed by the warming climate are ones of “risk management on an immense and unprecedented scale.” Stern’s book maintains that “the costs of inaction were far greater than the costs of action,” Climate One said. Stern is chairman of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Previous winners of the AGU climate communications prize are climate scientists Gavin Schmidt, founder of, and Jeffrey Kiehl of NCAR. Previous winners of the Climate One Schneider award are Richard B. Alley of Penn State and Jim Hansen, recently retired from NASA and now at Columbia University.

Editor’s Note: The Yale Forum editor, one of three jurors for the Schneider Award, recused himself on this vote because this site and Stern’s works have similar sources of financial support.

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,...