This is part of our ongoing series on the importance of voting and what is at stake in this election in 2020, this time in discussion with the great climate scientist, Dr. Michael Mann.
Dr. Mann is an American climatologist and geophysicist, currently director of the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University, who has contributed to the scientific understanding of historic climate change based on the temperature record of the past thousand years. He has pioneered techniques to find patterns in past climate change, and to isolate climate signals from noisy data.
As lead author of a paper produced in 1998 with co-authors Raymond S. Bradley and Malcolm K. Hughes, Mann used advanced statistical techniques to find regional variations in a hemispherical climate reconstruction covering the past 600 years. In 1999 the same team used these techniques to produce a reconstruction over the past 1,000 years (MBH99), which was dubbed the “hockey stick graph” because of its shape. He was one of eight lead authors of the “Observed Climate Variability and Change” chapter of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Third Scientific Assessment Report published in 2001. A graph based on the MBH99 paper was highlighted in several parts of the report, and was given wide publicity. The IPCC acknowledged that his work, along with that of the many other lead authors and review editors, contributed to the award of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize, which was won jointly by the IPCC and Al Gore.
Mann was organizing committee chair for the National Academy of Sciences Frontiers of Science in 2003 and has received a number of honors and awards including selection by Scientific American as one of the fifty leading visionaries in science and technology in 2002. In 2012 he was inducted as a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union and was awarded the Hans Oeschger Medal of the European Geosciences Union. In 2013 he was elected a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society, and awarded the status of distinguished professor in Penn State’s College of Earth and Mineral Sciences. In 2017 he was elected as a Fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry.
Mann is author of more than 200 peer-reviewed and edited publications. He has also published four books: Dire Predictions: Understanding Global Warming (2008), The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the Front Lines (2012), and, together with co-author Tom Toles, The Madhouse Effect: How Climate Change Denial Is Threatening Our Planet, Destroying Our Politics, and Driving Us Crazy (2016, and with Megan Herbert The Tantrum That Saved the World (2018). In 2012, the European Geosciences Union described his publication record as “outstanding for a scientist of his relatively young age.” Mann is also a co-founder and contributor to the climatology blog RealClimate.
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