Michael Mann and ‘Climategate’

December 3, 2009 at 9:55 am 7 comments

The news last week that e-mail exchanges between prominent climate scientists had been hacked and made public — news that, probably not coincidentally, came a couple of weeks before the upcoming international climate conference in Copenhagen — has been overshadowed only by “news” about Tiger Woods’ personal life. Language in some of the e-mails seems to imply that scientists have hidden or altered climate change data. And a Penn State professor has been near the center of it.

Michael E. Mann, professor of meteorology and director of the University’s Earth System Science Center, is one of two climate scientists whose work and reputation are being questioned after the e-mail leak. Mann — one of five Penn State faculty members who participated in our climate change roundtable back in 2007 — has long been a leading voice among those pointing to man-made CO2 emissions as the primary cause of global warming. He’s one of the scientists involved in the Web site realclimate.org. And he’s also a favorite target of those who don’t buy the idea of man-made warming — “skeptics” or “deniers,” depending on your point of view.

Plenty of blog space has been taken up on the topic since the story broke. And while the story continues to develop — a few days ago, the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences released a statement (which you can read in PDF form here) announcing it would, per University policy, “look into the matter further” — we’ve found a few stories that offer a reasoned take on the controversy to date, including this one from Science Magazine, and this from Bloomberg News. You also can read Mann’s own explanation of some of the e-mails in question.

Ryan Jones, senior editor

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Entry filed under: Controversy, Earth & Mineral Sciences, The Penn Stater magazine. Tags: , , , .

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7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. More on ‘Climategate’ «  |  December 11, 2009 at 11:59 am

    [...] I was interested to see them weigh in yesterday on “Climategate,” the brouhaha involving several climate scientists (including Penn State faculty member [...]

  • 2. anon  |  December 16, 2009 at 11:54 am

    bloomberg is misspelled.

  • 3. Ryan Jones  |  December 16, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    So it was, and now fixed. Thanks for the catch.

  • [...] Yesterday we noticed some referrals from pennstatemag.com to blogs about Michael Mann, so we followed the link back and found a post on Michael Mann and Climategate. [...]

  • 5. Ron Land  |  February 15, 2010 at 12:23 am

    Having personally read the complete text of the reports “Climategate Analysis” and “Surface Temperature Records” released by the Science and Public Policy Institute (available at http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/), it seems there is much to be looked into by the University w.r.t. the validity and integrity of Dr. Mann’s work. I would hope an announcement of some kind would be forthcoming sooner rather than later.

  • 6. JohnB  |  February 16, 2010 at 4:00 pm

    The PSU will, of course, find nothing. It is an internal investigation which are designed to cover things up. What is PSU going to say “We screwed up but succeeded in getting millions of dollars from trumped up data”? If the AJ of Pennsylvania undertakes a REAL investigation I will take it more seriously.

  • [...] just say, very strong feelings on the subject of global climate change—and especially on the “climategate” brouhaha involving Penn State meteorology professor Michael Mann. Some of the discourse has been a [...]

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