2009 News and Events

ESSC Scientist presented Bjerknes Lecture at Fall American Geophysical Union (AGU) meeting
Dr. Richard Alley recently presented the Bjerknes lecture at the Fall 2009 AGU conference in San Francisco. The lecture, given before thousands of scientists attending the semi-annual meeting, was titled "The Biggest Control Knob: Carbon Dioxide in Earth’s Climate History.”
Watch the lecture >>
Read a synopsis from the blog Serendipity >>

ESSC Director comments on the stolen e-mail controversy
Dr. Michael Mann, director of the ESSC, spoke to several press outlets at the Fall 2009 American Geophysical Union (AGU) meeting. Carolyn Gramling from EARTH magazine and Harvey Leifert from Nature both comment on the discussion with Dr. Mann.
Read more (EARTH magazine blog) >>
Read more (Nature blog) >>

More Copenhagen previews and the stolen e-mail controversy
NPR's On Point with Tom Ashbrook:Dr. Michael Mann joins Juliet Eilperin from the Washington Post, and Carroll Doherty from the Pew Research Center for People and the Press to discuss the upcoming climate summit, recent public opinion polls on climate change, and the release of climate scientists' e-mail conversations. Listen >>
CNN's Campbell Brown: Brooke Baldwin talks to Dr. Michael Mann and others about controversial stolen e-mails. Watch >>
Time Magazine article "The truth behind leaked climate-change e-mails": Bryan Walsh breaks down the controversy surrounding the stolen e-mails and their implications on climate science. Read more >>

Mann et al. 2009 Science articlePast regional cold and warm periods linked to natural climate drivers
A new article by ESSC director Dr. Michael Mann and his colleagues examines intervals of regional warming or cooling and links them to natural climate phenomena including El Nino and the North Atlantic Oscillation. The researchers used proxy data to reconstruct and study spatial temperature patterns over the last 1,500 years.
Read Penn State press release >>
Read the journal article (PDF) >>
Access the data, codes, and other supplementary information for this study >>
Read a synopsis by USA Today's "Science Fair" blog by Dan Vergano >>
Read BBC News coverage >>
Listen to the Scientific American podcast >>

The Diane Rehm Show: Copenhagen Preview
ESSC director Dr. Michael Mann appeared with policy experts and reporters on WAMU's The Diane Rehm Show. The show focused on the upcoming climate summit in Copenhagen, Denmark as well as recent news in climate science and policy.
Listen to the show >>

Copenhagen DiagnosisThe Copenhagen Diagnosis
ESSC director Dr. Michael Mann is among 27 scientists and climate experts who released a report detailing the latest results in climate science. This report, titled The Copenhagen Diagnosis, is intended to provide updated information about climate research and projections to world leaders attending the upcoming climate summit in Copenhagen, Denmark. Download and read the full report on their website.
More information and read the report >>

Climate change may drastically alter Chesapeake Bay
This report from the Smithsonian Institution highlights a recent journal article about the effect of climate change on the Chesapeake Bay. The article by ESSC scientist Dr. Ray Najjar and his colleagues details specific effects on the ecosystem from changes to the temperature of the Bay's waters, rising sealevel, and changes to the acidity of the water.
Read the journal article >>

PSU prof among 30 invited to Vatican conference
ESSC scientist and Geoscience professor Dr. James Kasting was among thirty experts who were invited to a conference on astrobiology convened by the Vatican. The assembled group spent more than three days discussing the possibility of extra-terrestrial life. The Centre Daily Times talked to Dr. Kasting about his experience.

East Antarctic ice sheet may be losing mass
A recent report in Nature Geoscience reports on the recent findings of a NASA satellite mission. The researchers found that the East Antarctic ice sheet has been losing mass for the last three years. ESSC's Dr. Richard Alley, who was not involved with this study, comments that it is not clear whether this melting is due to climate change or not.

ESSC scientist presents at Harvard Climate Symposium
Dr. Richard Alley joined seven other prominent scientists at a symposium organized by Harvard University's Center for the Environment. Harvard's Crimson newspaper recaps the symposium, titled "Climate Change: A Perspective from the Arctic."

Glaciers subject of three NSF grants to Penn State
Penn State geoscience professor and ESSC Scientist Sridhar Anandakrishnan has been awarded three grants through the National Science Foundation Polar Program. The grants, which total nearly a million dollars, are part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding. Anandakrishnan and his group will study glaciers and seismic activity in Norway as well as water under a West Antarctic ice stream.

Stewardship or Sacrifice: Religion and Ethics of Climate Change
ESSC Director Dr. Michael Mann will give a keynote lecture entitled "Dire Predictions: Understanding Global Warming" at an upcoming conference October 7-8, 2009 at the Pasquerilla Spiritual Center at Penn State. Dr. Mann will speak at 7 pm on October 7th. Earlier that day, a panel discussion will feature various climate experts, including ESSC scientists Dr. Ray Najjar and Dr. Ken Davis. The conference is co-sponsored by the Rock Ethics Institute and the Jewish Studies Program.
Article from Penn State's Daily Collegian >>

Earth's glaciers melting at an accelerated rate
Results from surveys of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets by NASA's satellites have shown that the ice sheets are melting and thinning faster than previously anticipated. Dr. Richard Alley comments on the complexities of model projections of ice sheet dynamics, and the possibility of improved models through the use of these data.

Arctic Ecology in Flux, Wingnuts Still in Denial
Daily Kos reports on a study showing that the ecosystem of the Arctic is changing rapidly in response to climate change. Dr. Michael Mann provide some commentary on the study and an update on the observed global trend in temperature.

Arctic temperatures are warmest in 2,000 years
This article from Live Science highlights a recently published study on the human impacts on the Arctic climate. Dr. Michael Mann comments on the study and its implications.

Richard Alley to discuss climate change on "Conversations from Penn State"
ESSC scientist Dr. Richard Alley will discuss ice core and climate change on the WPSU-TV production "Conversations from Penn State." The episode will air on the Big Ten Network at 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 19, and on WPSU-TV at 9 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 20. The show also can be viewed at http://conversations.psu.edu/.

Figure 3 from Mann et al.Nature article estimates Atlantic hurricanes and climate over the past 1,500 years
ESSC director Dr. Michael Mann and his colleagues have recently published a paper in Nature titled, "Atlantic Hurricanes and climate over the Past 1500 Years." This article details their work in reconstructing the North Atlantic tropical system record for the past 1,500 years using a combination of sedimentary records and statistical models of the El Niño/Southern Oscillation, tropical Atlantic sea surface temperatures and the North Atlantic Oscillation.
Read press releases: Penn State, Nature, NSF, University of Massachusetts >>
Watch NSF video press conference >>
Listen to Nature podcast (12:02) >>
NPR's All Things Considered interviews Dr. Mann >>
PRI's To the Point interviews Dr. Mann >>
Other news: Houston Chronicle, BBC, USAToday, New York Times, NYTimes "Climatewire", ScienceNOW, National Post, UPI, Daily Green, NY Daily News , Christian Science Monitor, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Washington Post "Capital Weather Gang", Softpedia, WWL

Book review by ESSC scientist in Science
In a recent issue of Science, Dr. Lee Kump reviews two recent books: a biography of James Lovelock and Lovelock's latest book.
Read more (subscription required) >>

Wind speeds in Kansas show slow down, study says
Dr. Michael Mann offers some comments on a new study of long-term trends in wind speed in the US. The study shows that winds across much of the US have slowed nearly 10% over 30 years.
Another article and comment here >>

Mann comments on twentieth century temperature record
Steven Andrew of the Philadephia Examiner comments on several items of science policy, including global warming. He talks to Dr. Michael Mann about the temperature record in the 20th century, particularly the dip in global temperatures in the 1940s-1950s.

Global warming may be twice as bad as previously expected
USA Today reports on a new study in the Journal of Climate that predicts a 90% probability that global mean temperatures will rise by 9 degrees F by 2100. Dr. Michael Mann comments on the new study.

Researchers make prediction for 2009 North Atlantic Hurricane Season
Dr. Michael Mann and graduate student Tom Sabbatelli have made a prediction for the 2009 Hurricane season using the statistical model outlined in their 2007 paper in the Journal of Geophysical Research.

Image Courtesy of the Tyler PrizeAlley wins Tyler Environmental Prize
ESSC scientist Dr. Richard Alley will share the 2009 Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement. He is being honored for his work in explaining the effects of global warming on the cryosphere, including his work with the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets.
Official Tyler Prize Web Site >>
Recognition from Penn State President >>
Article on Tyler winners from Voice of America >>
Photo Credit: Tyler Prize for Environmental Acheivement

ESSC scientist appears on PBS's NOVA
Dr. Richard Alley was one of several experts who appear on PBS's NOVA program called "Extreme Ice." The episode originally aired on Tuesday, March 24, 2009.
Watch the episode >>

Antarctic ice sheet animationWest Antarctic ice comes and goes, rapidly
A recent article in Nature features the research of ESSC scientist Dr. David Pollard. Pollard and his colleagues modeled the Antarctic ice sheet over the last 5 million years and discovered that the ice sheet has collapsed and regrown several times.
View animation >>
Image Credit: Dr. David Pollard

Climate change show features Penn State faculty
Dr. Michael Mann and Dr. Richard Alley were both interviewed for a program called "How do we know? Physics, Forcings, and Fingerprints," which is part of the National Science Foundation's "To What Degree? What Science is Telling Us About Climate Change" series on the Research Channel.
Watch the show >>

Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets melting, rate unknown
Speaking before attendees of the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Dr. Richard Alley said that the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets are melting, but the amount and rate of the melting is still unknown.

Dr. Richard AlleyPenn State professor channels rock stars to teach rock science
Penn State geoscience professor and ESSC scientist Dr. Richard Alley uses classic rock-n-rolls tunes to help teach his online science course "Geology of the National Parks" (GEOSC 10). Alley uses animations and reworked lyrics to demonstrate basic geology principles.
NPR's Weekend Edition interviews Alley >>
Listen to the songs >>
Photo Credit: Penn State Department of Public Information

Richard Alley’s Orbital and Climate Dance
Andrew Revkin's "Dot Earth" blog on the New York Times' web site highlights Dr. Richard Alley as a professor and communicator who uses innovative techiques to convey complex climate science ideas to students and the public.

NatureNew Research Shows Antarctica Melting, Not Cooling
A new study published in the journal Nature takes a closer look at climate trends in Antarctica and finds that the continent is warming. Co-authored by ESSC director Michael Mann, the study represents a reversal from earlier beliefs that Antarctica was cooling.
Nature editor's summary >>
Dr. Richard Alley comments on NPR's All Things Considered >>

Spring Coming Earlier, Study Says
A new study shows that spring is arriving an average of 1.7 days earlier now than the first half of the 20th century. Dr. Michael Mann comments on the study in this National Geographic article. He notes that the reasons behind the seasonal shift are not well understood.