Likewise, American journalists have plenty of opportunities to place this story in domestic context. The National Research Council, the research arm of the National Academies of Science has released three installments of its five-part report, “America’s Climate Choices,” which look at the science of climate change as well limiting it and adapting to it. The two remaining installments—one about response options and one a summary—are expected later this year. There has also been some interesting research on public opinion about global warming in the U.S.A. poll from Stanford, and one from Yale and George Mason Universities, which recently found high levels of concern, conflicted with others from Gallup and the Pew Research Center, which found much lower levels of worry.

Indeed, with so much material to work with, it is safe to say some front-page coverage—from The New York Times on down to local papers—is warranted, if not long overdue. It has been a bewildering year where climate science is concerned, and readers need to understand that while there is plenty of room to improve the research and communications process, its fundamental tenets remain as solid as ever.

If you'd like to get email from CJR writers and editors, add your email address to our newsletter roll and we'll be in touch.

Curtis Brainard is the editor of The Observatory, CJR's online critique of science and environment reporting. Follow him on Twitter @cbrainard.