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The winning team “Possibly of the Earth” during the tie-breaker. Credit: Tom Prater / Carbon Brief.
19 November 2019 13:48

The Carbon Brief Quiz 2019

Carbon Brief Staff

19.11.2019 | 1:48pm
FeaturesThe Carbon Brief Quiz 2019

Last Wednesday, Carbon Brief hosted its fifth annual quiz night at a bar in central London.

Thirty-eight teams, featuring more than 300 people, took part in the climate and energy-themed evening, all hoping to win the coveted trophy claimed last year by “BEIS ICE”, a team formed of staff from the “international climate and energy” (ICE) directorate at the UK’s Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

The teams competing this year, as in previous years, were made up of a wide range of people who, in one way or other, work on climate change or energy. The list included journalists, civil servants, climate campaigners, policy advisers, energy experts and scientists.

Organisations represented included: the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC); Met Office; Foreign and Commonwealth Office; Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra); Committee on Climate Change; Sandbag; Carbon Trust; RenewableUK; Friends of the Earth; WWF-UK; ClientEarth; Department for Transport; and three teams from BEIS.

Teams from the Danish Meteorological Institute in Copenhagen and the Priestley International Centre for Climate in Leeds also took part online.

After more than two hours of competitive quizzing, this year’s winners were announced.

A team calling themselves “Possibly of the Earth”, which was formed of people from Friends of the Earth, Climate Outreach and Possible (until recently known as 10:10), won following a tie-breaker.

The team, captained by Alasdair Cameron, were tied with the team formed of Christian Aid and the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU). They jointly topped the table with 73 out of a possible 109 points. Four teams were just one point behind them tied for second place.

A further breakdown of the results shows quite how close it was between the top-placed teams, as well as which teams came top in individual rounds.

Scores after each round

The tiebreaker question asked how many papers the peer-reviewed journal PLOS ONE published in 2018, according to Scopus. The answer was 17,899 and Possibly of the Earth got closest by saying 2,500.

Teams were tested with six rounds of questions – general knowledge, policy, science, two picture rounds and a round of questions set by special guests. This year’s special guests were: Emily Gosden, energy editor of the Times; Kwasi Kwateng, the energy and clean growth minister; Prof Ed Hawkins, professor of climate science at the University of Reading; Prof Katharine Hayhoe, director of the Texas Tech University Climate Science Center; and Tasneem Essop, the executive director of Climate Action Network (CAN) International.

Here are the two picture rounds. In the first, you need to guess the missing word from the journal title from the list of available words. In the second, you need to match the country to its coal demand.

Round 5: Missing words
Rouond 6: Match the country to its coal demand

You can read through all the questions and answers in this PDF document. (We also tweeted throughout the event using the #CBQuiz hashtag.)

Carbon Brief would like to thank all the teams who took part and we look forward to hosting the quiz again in the autumn of 2020. If you would like to participate in next year’s quiz, please contact us in advance.

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