“Beyond the Hockey Stick: Climate Lessons from The Common Era”
The Department of Earth and Environmental Science invites you to a Climate Week event featuring Dr. Michael E. Mann.
More than two decades ago, my co-authors Raymond Bradley, Malcolm Hughes and I published the now iconic “Hockey Stick” curve. It was a simple graph, derived from large-scale networks of multiple types of climate proxy (“multiproxy”) data such as tree-rings, ice cores, corals and lake sediments, that captured the unprecedented nature of the warming taking place today. And it became a focal point in the debate over human-caused climate change and what to do about it. Yet the apparent simplicity of the hockey stick curve betrays the dynamicism and complexity of the climate history of past centuries and how it can inform our understanding of human-caused climate change and its impacts. I discuss the lessons we can learn from studying paleoclimate records and climate model simulations of the “common era”, the period of the past two millennia during which the “signal” of human-caused warming has risen dramatically from the background of natural variability. - Dr. Michael E. Mann