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The Hockey Stick and the Climate WarsDispatches from the Front Lines$
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Michael Mann

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780231152556

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231152556.001.0001

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Climate Science Comes of Age

Climate Science Comes of Age

(p.11) Chapter 2 Climate Science Comes of Age
The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars

Michael E. Mann

Columbia University Press

This chapter focuses on the accumulation of scientific evidence in support of the view that there was a “discernible human influence on climate,” at a time when climate science was just coming of age. In the early 1990s, major research centers around the world were using some of the fastest supercomputers available to run ever-more sophisticated models of Earth's climate. Important new observations were coming in. An increasing number of climate measurements were showing agreement with model predictions that implicate greenhouse gases in climate change. The chapter discusses the five steps that enabled scientists to establish human-caused climate change, from the increase in atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide to the burning of fossil fuels, to the use of climate models to reproduce the observed global warming. It also outlines the “six stages of denial” by climate change contrarians.

Keywords:   climate change, human-caused climate change, climate, climate science, climate measurements, greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide, fossil fuels, climate models, global warming

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