Michael E. Mann, a Penn State University meterologist and one of the scientists at the forefront of the climate-change discourse, will give a public lecture at Texas A&M University at 7:30 p.m., Thursday (Oct. 4) in room 1105 of the Interdisciplinary Life Sciences Building.
Mann’s lecture, which is free and open to the public, will tell the story behind the “hockey-stick graph,” a symbol of global temperature increases and the rallying point for the debate over climate change.
The “hockey stick,” a graph that depicts changes in Earth’s temperature over time, has become a central figure in the controversy over human-caused climate change. Mann has been at the forefront of the “climate-change wars” for more than a decade.
The graph shows globally averaged surface temperatures going back to the year 1000. A relatively flat line — the handle of the hockey stick — prevailed until the 1950s when the shape changed dramatically. The steep increase in temperatures that has occurred over the last 50 years created the hockey-stick shape.
The graph came to international attention with its inclusion in the high-profile 2001 report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and it quickly became the icon in the debate over human-caused (anthropogenic) increases in global temperatures.
“I will use the hockey stick as a vehicle to explore broader issues regarding the role of skepticism in science, the uneasy relationship between science and politics and the dangers that arise when those with special economic interests attempt to skew the discourse over policy-relevant areas of science,” Mann explains.
Mann says he uses the hockey stick to cut through the fog of disinformation used to deny the reality of climate change. “It is my intent to reveal the real threat to our future,” he adds.
Mann’s presentation is sponsored by the Texas Center for Climate Studies and the College of Geosciences. Parking is available in the Central Parking Garage.
A reception follows, sponsored by the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences as part of the Blue Bell Lecture Series. Mann will also sign copies of his newest book, “The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the Front Lines.”