Climate Researcher Michael Mann to Speak Oct. 22 at Ohio Wesleyan University

Author to Discuss ‘The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars’ as Part of 2013 Sagan National Colloquium
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Michael Mann, Ph.D.

Michael Mann, Ph.D.

DELAWARE, OH – Michael Mann has compared previous attacks on climate-change research to “the pseudo-science that questioned the link between smoking cigarettes and lung cancer, and the false claims questioning the science of acid rain and the hole in the ozone layer.”

Mann, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of Meteorology at Penn State University, will discuss “The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars” at 7 p.m. Oct. 22 in the Benes Rooms of Ohio Wesleyan University’s Hamilton-Williams Campus Center, 40 Rowland Ave., Delaware. The event, which is free and open to the public, is part of Ohio Wesleyan’s 29th annual Sagan National Colloquium, “Interdisciplinary Impacts of Climate Change.” A book signing will follow Mann’s presentation.

“The basic physics and chemistry of how carbon dioxide and other human-produced greenhouse gases trap heat in the lower atmosphere have been understood for nearly two centuries,” Mann writes in a Washington Post editorial. “Overloading the atmosphere with carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels is heating the planet, shrinking the Arctic ice cap, melting glaciers and raising sea levels. It is leading to more widespread drought, more frequent heat waves and more powerful hurricanes. …

“Burying our heads in the sand would leave future generations at the mercy of potentially dangerous changes in our climate,” he concludes.

At Penn State, Mann has joint appointments in the Department of Geosciences and the Earth and Environmental Systems Institute. He also serves as director of the Penn State Earth System Science Center. His research involves using theoretical models and observational data to better understand Earth’s climate system. His books include “Dire Predictions: Understanding Global Warming” (2008) and “The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the Front Lines” (2012).

The title of his latest book refers to the hockey stick-shaped chart created by Mann and his colleagues to demonstrate how global temperatures have risen in conjunction with the increase in industrialization and the use of fossil fuels. The image became iconic in previous battles over the validity of climate-change research and data.

Of Mann’s research, Bill McKibben, founder of the environmental organizations Step It Up and 350.org, has said: “Very few people have sounded more important alarms about our climate future, and very few people have paid a higher price for doing so. Michael Mann is a hero.”

Mann was a lead author on the Observed Climate Variability and Change chapter of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Third Scientific Assessment Report in 2001. He contributed, with other IPCC authors, to the award of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. He also is a co-founder and regular contributor to the award-winning RealClimate website at RealClimate.org.

Mann received undergraduate degrees in physics and applied math from the University of California at Berkeley, a master’s degree in physics from Yale University, and a doctoral degree in geology and geophysics from Yale.

Each year, Ohio Wesleyan’s Sagan National Colloquium addresses an issue of international importance. The Colloquium is funded through an endowment from the late Margaret (Pickett) Sagan and the late John Sagan, both members of the OWU Class of 1948. Past Colloquium speakers have included social activist Gloria Steinem, author Kurt Vonnegut, and former President Gerald Ford.

Upcoming Colloquium presentations are as follows. All lectures will begin at 7 p.m. in the Benes Rooms of Hamilton-Williams Campus Center. Learn more at snc.owu.edu.

Oct. 24 – Environmental ethics and theology panel discussion with Christiana Peppard, Ph.D., a freshwater ethics expert at Fordham University; Madeline Ostrander, a journalist and creator of Tide at the Doorstep, a project focused on place-based stories about climate change and social justice; and Sachie Hopkins-Hayakawa, a student activist leading a campaign to encourage colleges to divest from fossil fuel companies. Ohio Wesleyan philosophy professor Shari Stone-Mediatore, Ph.D., will moderate the discussion.

Oct. 29Alexander Thompson, Ph.D., associate professor of political science and faculty associate of the Mershon Center for International Security Studies at The Ohio State University, discussing “The Evolution of the Global Climate Change Regime.” His research focuses on the design and evolution of international institutions governing climate change. This presentation is scheduled to be streamed online at StreamOWU.

Nov. 5Mary Lou Zeeman, Ph.D., the R. Wells Johnson Professor of Mathematics at Bowdoin College, discussing mathematical modeling of climate. She also is co-director of the Math Climate Research Network, an organization of leading researchers seeking to establish a new area of applied mathematics tailored to climate research. This presentation is scheduled to be streamed online at StreamOWU.

Nov. 7David Schimel, Ph.D., research scientist for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, discussing “Ecology, Ecosystems, and Climate Change.” Schimel was convening lead author for the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with former Vice President Al Gore.

Nov. 12Lonnie Thompson, Ph.D., Distinguished University Professor in the School of Earth Sciences and a research scientist in the Byrd Polar Research Center at The Ohio State University, discussing ice core paleoclimatology. He and the OSU team have developed drilling equipment to acquire paleoclimate histories that have advanced the understanding of the Earth’s climate system. This presentation is scheduled to be streamed online at StreamOWU.

Nov. 14Anthony Leiserowitz, Ph.D., director of the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication and research scientist at the Yale University School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, discussing “Climate Change in the Ohioan Mind.” His research investigates the psychological, cultural, and political factors that influence environmental attitudes, policy support, and behavior. This presentation is scheduled to be streamed online at StreamOWU.

Nov. 19Marshall Shepherd, Ph.D., director of the Atmospheric Sciences program at the University of Georgia, discussing “The ‘Other Climate Change’: How Cities Affect Temperature, Thunderstorms, and Floods.” He conducts research on weather and climate systems using advanced satellites, experimental aircraft, radars, and sophisticated computer models. This presentation is scheduled to be streamed online at StreamOWU.

Nov. 21Anne Cohen, Ph.D., tenured associate scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, discussing ocean acidification and coral reefs. Cohen’s additional research interests include climate change, biomineralization (marine organisms building calcified structures), and paleoceanography. She is involved with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the Center for Ocean Solutions, and the National Network for Oceans and Climate Change Interpretation.

Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier small, private universities, with more than 90 undergraduate majors, sequences, and courses of study, and 23 NCAA Division III varsity sports. Located in Delaware, Ohio, just minutes north of Ohio’s capital and largest city, Columbus, the university combines a globally focused curriculum with off-campus learning and leadership opportunities that translate classroom theory into real-world practice. OWU’s close-knit community of 1,850 students represents 47 states and 57 countries. Ohio Wesleyan was named to the 2013 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction, is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives,” and is included on the “best colleges” lists of U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review. Learn more at www.owu.edu.

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