Sigma: May 7, 2013

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The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the Front Lines

Michael Mann

Tuesday, May 7, 2013 at 7:30 p.m. at the Virginia Air and Space Center in downtown Hampton, Virginia. FREE (no reservations).


A central figure in the controversy over human-caused climate change has been “The Hockey Stick,” a simple, easy-to-understand graph Dr. Mann and colleagues constructed to depict changes in Earth’s temperature back to 1000 AD. The graph was featured in the high-profile “Summary for Policy Makers” of the 2001 report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and it quickly became an icon in the debate over human-caused (“anthropogenic”) climate change. Dr. Mann will tell the story behind the Hockey Stick, using it as a vehicle for exploring broader issues regarding the role of skepticism in science, the uneasy relationship between science and politics, and the dangers that arise when special economic interests attempt to skew the discourse over policy-relevant areas of science.

Michael Mann photo


Dr. Michael E. Mann is Distinguished Professor of Meteorology at Penn State University, and directs the Penn State Earth System Science Center (ESSC). He was a Lead Author on the Observed Climate Variability and Change chapter of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Third Scientific Assessment Report. His awards include NOAA’s outstanding publication award, selection by Scientific American as one of the fifty leading visionaries in science and technology, and the Hans Oeschger Medal of the European Geosciences Union. He contributed, with other IPCC authors, to the award of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. He is a Fellow of both the American Geophysical Union and the American Meteorological Society. Dr. Mann received his undergraduate degrees in Physics and Applied Math from the University of California at Berkeley, an M.S. degree in Physics from Yale University, and a Ph.D. in Geology & Geophysics from Yale University. He is author of more than 150 peer-reviewed and edited publications, and has published two books on climate change.

An image of the poster for this lecture is available.