Michael Mann, one of the country’s leading climatologists, has coauthored a major new review and analysis of climate science since the 2007 IPCC report. Mann, Director of Pennsylvania State University’s Earth System Science Center, is much attacked by the anti-scientific disinformers because of his work on the paleoclimate “hockey stick” reconstructions of temperature over the past couple of millennia. Contrary to what the disinformers continue to say, however, the hockey stick was essentially vindicated by the National Academy of Sciences (see NAS Report and RealClimate.org).
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Since some of his email exchanges were made public by the recent illegal hack of documents from the University of East Anglia, he has also distributed a response to various members of the media and bloggers, which I reprint in full below.
Misrepresentation of these emails is so common that the Washington Post issued one of the fastest retractions/corrections in its history. I had blogged on their November 25 op-ed “Climate of Denial” here — The newspaper that publishes George Will (and Sarah Palin) editorializes: “Many “” including us “” find global warming deniers’ claims irresponsible.” Well, one day later, they “clarified” one of their assertions about Mann (see here). So this should be a cautionary tale to the media to go to the primary source before simply repeating what others have said.
Before reprinting Mann’s comments on the key emails, let me focus on what is far more important — the science. As the UK’s Met Office, NERC and the Royal Society recently wrote, “even since the 2007 IPCC Assessment the evidence for dangerous, long-term and potentially irreversible climate change has strengthened.” Now we have the detailed scientific basis for such statements.
Mann is a coauthor of “The Copenhagen Diagnosis,” in which the 26 leading climate researchers document “the key findings in climate change science since the publication of the landmark Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report in 2007.” They “conclude that several important aspects of climate change are occurring at the high end or even beyond the expectations of only a few years ago”:
Without significant mitigation, the report says global mean warming could reach as high as 7 degrees Celsius by 2100.
And that plausible worst case scenario would cause unimaginable harm — including to this country (see UK Met Office: Catastrophic climate change, 13-18°F over most of U.S. and 27°F in the Arctic, could happen in 50 years, but “we do have time to stop it if we cut greenhouse gas emissions soon”). And yes, that scenario is quite different from the simple analysis of what happens if the nation and the world just keep on our current emissions path. We’ve known that end-of-century catastrophe for a while (see “M.I.T. doubles its 2095 warming projection to 10°F “” with 866 ppm and Arctic warming of 20°F“).
None of this will be a surprise to those who follow the scientific literature or read CP. Here are “the most significant recent climate change findings”: