Michael E. Mann
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Michael E. Mann: The Scientist Whose Theories Are Helping to Fight Climate Change

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Mar. 19 2021, Published 4:40 p.m. ET

Michael E. Mann, the author of the book The New Climate War, is one of the most influential climate scientists in the world. His work on climate change has framed much of the present-day debate, and was essential in determining climate change culpability. Mann’s current position on climate change is that we are moving in a positive direction, but do his expert assessments provide enough evidence that we are making a significant and lifesaving impact? 

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michael mann climate change
Source: Getty Images

Who is Michael E. Mann?

Michael E. Mann’s fight against climate change began on the eve of the millennium when he and co-authors Raymond S. Bradley and Malcolm K. Hughes first came out with the “hockey-stick graph.” According to The Guardian, this graph was the first evidence of the direct correlation between human beings and global warming.

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The hockey-stick graph demonstrated a sharp rise in global temperatures since the industrial age, and it’s one of the main tools that modern climate scientists look at when attempting to find a solution. The problem was, this graph also made Mann a target for email hacking, trolling, and personal abuse by those who deny climate change, as well as those whose livelihoods depend on fossil fuels. But Mann wasn’t going to let a little thing like death threats stop him from trying to fix the world. 

michael mann climate change
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How has Michael E. Mann helped climate change?

Besides the obvious proof that the hockey-stick graph demonstrated regarding humanity’s climatory complicity, Mann’s exploration of the subject eventually drew the attention of the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change (IPCC). Together with other authors, editors, and environmental advocate Al Gore, the IPCC won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize and acknowledged Mann’s contribution via an official letter.

Mann’s contributions to our current understanding of climate change have been invaluable. He has continued to write about climate change for years and has weighed in on countless research papers on the subject. At the same time, his research in the areas of paleoclimate reconstruction, climate signal detection, and ocean-atmosphere testing have all provided further proof of his initial findings. 

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michael mann climate change
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How has Michael E. Mann responded to critics?

According to The Guardian, Mann admits that his experience with the dark side of celebrity has been somewhat sobering, though not in the ways you might think. Mann wasn’t concerned for his reputation but for the damage that climate deniers have done to pollute all discourse relating to climate change. He says that corporate-funded disinformation will eventually lead to grim implications for the planet.

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Not one to lose hope, Mann remains staunch in his belief that his work is being put to good use in combating climate change. He believes that headway is being made and that greater understanding will lead to greater success. Mann is hardly alone in this fight, either. According to The Guardian, a recent letter from the U.S. National Academy of Science calls for a stop to all this harassment, which it says distracts governments and scientists from finding solutions. 

michael mann climate change
Source: Getty Images

It appears that no matter the cost, Mann and his colleagues are working to find solutions to climate change. As long as there are people like Mann taking risks for our planet, then the Earth is in good hands. 

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