Renowned Climatologist Dr. Michael Mann to Speak at W&J

Created: April 18, 2016
Last Updated: January 16, 2020

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WASHINGTON, PA (April 18, 2016) – Renowned climatologist Dr. Michael Mann will give a public lecture at Washington & Jefferson College (W&J) April 20 at 6:30 p.m. in Room 100 of the Dieter-Porter Life Sciences Building.

Mann’s lecture, entitled “Dire Predictions: Understanding Climate Change” is based on his recently updated book by the same name. The event is free and open to the public.

In his lecture, Mann will review evidence for a human influence on the climate of recent decades. He will address the likely future impacts of human-induced climate change, including possible influences on sea levels, severe weather, and water supply.  He also will discuss possible solutions to the climate change problem, the uncertainties that exist in climate change modeling and predictions, and the implications of potential “surprises” and “tipping points” in the climate system.

Mann’s research and publications have put him front and center in the climate change discourse. He currently serves as the Director of the Earth System Science Center at Penn State University, where his research is focused on modeling and predicting the impacts of climate change. His “hockey stick” graph of global temperature contributed to the 2007 Noble Prize awarded to Vice President Al Gore and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

In discussing his upcoming lecture, Mann said a fractured media environment in which reliable sources of information compete with blogs and social media creates a generally challenging environment for communicating science topics, especially that of climate change.

“In the case of climate change, scientific findings are often considered a threat to vested interests, and contentious public debate has thus ensued,” he said. “Yet, the stakes couldn’t be greater — they involve, quite literally, the future habitability of this planet. Given these stakes, it is absolutely critical that the policy debate over what to do about the problem be informed by a sober and objective assessment of the risks involved. Here, the scientific community plays a key role in informing the policy discourse.”

He also emphasized the importance of engaging college students in climate discussions.

“The most severe impacts of climate change are likely to be felt decades from now, well within the lifetime of today’s college students,” Mann said. “There is still time to prevent catastrophic climate changes from occurring, but we have to act quickly. College students have often served as the consciousness of America. They played a critical role in the civil rights and anti-Apartheid movements in decades past, and today they play a critical role in raising awareness about the threat of human-caused climate change and the need to act to reduce our burning of fossil fuels.”

Media interviews with Mann can be arranged prior to his lecture. Please contact W&J Director of Marketing and Communications Erik Rueter at erueter@washjeff.edu, or Content Manager Erin Jones at ejones@washjeff.edu to arrange an interview.

 

About Washington & Jefferson College

Washington & Jefferson College, located in Washington, Pa., is a selective liberal arts college founded in 1781. Committed to providing each of its students with the highest-quality undergraduate education available, W&J offers a traditional arts and sciences curriculum emphasizing interdisciplinary study and independent study work. For more information about W&J, visit www.washjeff.edu, or call 888-W-AND-JAY.

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