Another well-deserved honor: Oeschger medal awarded to Michael Mann

Finally, we would be remiss to not mention that Mike has spent much of the past few months touring and lecturing on his experiences as an accidental and reluctant public figure in the debate over human-caused climate change, as detailed in his recent book The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the Front Lines.

P.S. For those at EGU, you should also check out glaciologist Ian Joughin’s award lecture (Wednesday evening) for the Agassiz medal, for his important work in documenting and understanding the acceleration of Antarctica and Greenland’s glaciers.

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97 comments on this post.
  1. Steve Fish:

    This is really great!

  2. Chris Colose:

    Congrats Mike!

    Well deserved.

  3. Jan Galkowski:

    AWESOME, Professor Mann! Congratulations!!

  4. owl905:

    And my congrats make tree.

  5. mike:

    Thanks so much Steve, Chris, Jan, and Owl. Really appreciate the support :)

  6. CM:


    PS. The first link (“Oeschger medal”) dead-ended. Here:

    [thanks, fixed. -editor]

  7. Kevin McKinney:

    Indeed, congratulations!

    P.S. The Agassiz medal link needs a look, too… or perhaps it’s a browser issue. But it didn’t load for me.

  8. Marcus:

    If I had known this a little earlier, I would have shown up to congratulate personally… so on the virtual way: heartly congratulations!


  9. BillS:

    I believe the correct link for the Agassiz Medal is:

  10. Kate:

    Congrats! Well deserved!

  11. MMM:

    Congratulations! Well-deserved!

    One question: on “Most will be aware, for example, that the conclusion that the past few decades are likely the warmest of the past millennium — i.e. the conclusion of the best-known of Mike’s papers in Nature and Geophysical Research Letters –has never been seriously challenged.” I was under the impression that the NRC assessment had slightly downgraded this conclusion, from “likely” to “plausible”. Now, unlike certain skeptics, I realize that even “plausible” is a fairly strong statement (eg, if I said it was plausible that my current hand of cards* was the highest hand of cards that had been observed at my table in the last 1000 games, that would be a fairly strong statement), but I thought it was somewhat lower than “likely”, maybe due to somewhat increased uncertainty bounds?

    (in general, whether for future projections or historical reconstructions or estimates of climate sensitivity, I tend to be sympathetic to arguments of more rather than less uncertainty because I feel like in general, models and statistical approaches are not exhaustive and it is “plausible” that additional factors could lead to either higher or lower estimates than seen with a single approach. I guess the counter-argument to this would be that there are often multiple studies examining the same phenomena, and given Bayesian updating, one could argue that as long as all the estimates are overlapping, the uncertainty could actually be less than any one individual study – see Annan et al, for example)

    *I’d used a specific type of card game, but the spam filter got me…

    [Response:I wrote that sentence, and I stand by it. For one thing, “downgrading” confidence levels somewhat is hardly the same thing as showing a result is wrong (i.e. that the opposite result is true). For another, much as I respect the National Academy, and the various members of the panel that did that assessment, it was in the end their informed opinion being expressed, and there are actually quite a few factual errors in that report (indeed, Steve McIntyre and I had a rare moment of agreement on this, regarding what they said about ice core records in Antarctica). It was not a serious challenge to Mike’s work, which would entail someone publishing something in the literature, with a complete analysis. –eric]

  12. Chris Reynolds:

    Congratulations Dr Mann.

    Don’t ever think the shoddy way you’ve been treated by bullying denialists hasn’t been noticed. Their dishonourable, unworthy, and reprehensible attacks on you speak volumes for their failings, and contrasts starkly with your continued dedication and quality of work.

  13. SteveP:

    Congratulations Mike! Your work is so important. It is good to see it getting appropriate recognition.

  14. Martin Vermeer:

    Yes, congrats for this well deserved recognition!

    BTW where it reads

    … showing that atmospheric concentrations of CO2 during the glacial period was 50% lower than the pre-industrial concentration, a result predicted by Arrhenius nearly a century earlier.

    Is this really correct? 180/280 is quite a bit less than 50%. And IIRC Arrhenius theorized (and stated that this was the motivation for his CO2 studies) that the ice age cycle was caused in full by variations in atmospheric CO2; an idea that has not stood the test of time. But with the too-large value for doubling sensitivity that he obtained, 5.6K, this idea looked even plausible!

  15. Jim:

    Congratulations to Mike, a hero of our cause and our generation. The Oeschger award is particularly apt. Among his many key contributions, Mike showed that in the last 2,000 years, global temperatures have never risen as far or as fast. Carbon isotopes, which Oeschger pioneered, show beyond reasonable doubt that fossil fuel combustion is the source of the CO2 added to the atmosphere.

  16. Tim Kozusko:

    Congratulations Mike!

  17. Dikran Marsupial:

    Congratulations, well deserved, keep up the good work!

  18. mike:

    thanks so much Marcus, Kate, MMM, Chris, Steve, Martin, Tim, Jim, Dikran. The kind words and support really mean a lot.

    Jim: thanks so much for writing about the attacks against climate scientists so cogently and eloquently in “The Inquisition of Climate Science”.

  19. Robert Damon:

    Hi Mike,

    Congratulations on this award — well deserved.
    Oh, and I just finished reading your book — it was a good read. Almost unbelievable what you were put through, but I hope you and your colleagues keep it up.

  20. Edward Greisch:

    Congratulations Dr. Mann! How do you pronounce “Oeschger?”

  21. David Graves:

    It’s only a matter of time before the howls of outrage from WUWT/ corner.

  22. mike:

    thanks Robert(on both counts!), Edward, and Dave. Off to bed now…

  23. tamino:

    Congratulations again. The award is well-deserved for many reasons, including but not limited to pioneering work on paleoclimate, a very productive scientific output, and for aplomb in spite of being a “lightning rod” for personal attacks from anti-science forces.

    Maybe we should start the “Mann number” — Erdős number (“six degrees of Kevin Bacon”) but with co-author distance from Mike Mann.

  24. ScaredAmoeba:


  25. William P:

    Its good to see the truly deserving recognized.

  26. Phil Clarke:

    A great day. Congratulations and thanks to Professor Mann for his exemplarary achievements and career, all the more so for being attained under extraordinary duress.

    And I add my recommendations for the book. A must-read for anyone interested in the political as well as scientific debate.

  27. Juerg Luterbacher:

    I will be one of the convener of this session and I am looking very much forward to Mikes talk!

  28. S. Molnar:

    Well, yes, good for Michael Mann, but I expect RC to “provide the context sometimes missing in mainstream commentary”, which it failed to do in this case: there is no information on what instrument(s) Oeschger played.

  29. barry:

    Congratulations. Well deserved!

  30. Hank Roberts:

    > no information

    Typical of the best teachers — leave something for the students to puzzle about and find out for themselves.

    RC provides the best teaching I’ve had access to in many decades. I hope the time spent on RC — directly, and by attracting and putting forward other scientists to the foreground — is included with everything else Michael Mann does that’s being acknowledged by the award. Thank you.

  31. adelady:

    Congratulations. Well deserved. (And not just because it happens to be an issue close to my heart and important for everyone else whether they know it or not.)

    It’s been earned by outstanding intellectual endeavour and exemplary scientific conduct. Backing it up with resolute integrity and a big dose of personal courage may not be relevant to the award, but it certainly adds to the regard and admiration of all of us.

  32. Steve Bloom:

    Congratulations, Mike!

  33. Susan Anderson:

    Fabulous and well deserved.

  34. David Horton:

    Yes Bravo Michael – and not just for the award!

  35. michael sweet:

    Well deserved recognition for an extraordinary scientist!

  36. tamino:

    I think John F. Kennedy once said that if a politician has no enemies, he’s not doing his job.

    It occurs to me that one of the reasons Mike Mann has been attacked so often and so viciously, is that he’s doing his job so well.

  37. climatehawk1:

    That’s excellent news. Thanks for the background and, of course, congratulations to Dr. Mann on this recognition of his extensive and valuable work.

  38. Jim Larsen:

    Tamino, here’s a short 2006 post where John Fleck attributes Gavin to linking coauthors to show McIntyre’s Mann number is at least as low as 4.



    And congratulations, Dr Mann. Well done.

  39. David B. Benson:

    Well done.

  40. Lynn Vincentnathan:

    Congratulation, Mike. I bought your book.

    I’ve been slogging it out with denialists elsewhere, and your work and the RC site have given me a firm foundation for refuting those guys. Some of them are so evil and mean. But then I guess the good guys would be accepting what the climate scientists have to say, and out doing their best to mitigate AGW, so that leaves only the bad guys in the denialist camps.

  41. Timothy Chase:

    Congratulations! On the award and on your recent book. I was quite impressed with the latter, with how you went into depth on a variety of subjects, the science, math, history, motives, strategies, but kept the work as a whole accessible.

  42. Jaime Frontero:

    Congratulations, Professor Mann.

    Some days it’s just worth turning on your computer…

    And I note, David Graves (@21); that perhaps we should start up a climate award equivalent to the motion picture Razzies. Then perhaps the esteemed Mr. UpWithThat wouldn’t feel so… left out in the cold?

  43. wayne davidson:

    Every Mann needs balance from injustice!

    Such Awards are the best way to express how wrong Mike’s detractors are.

  44. Martin Vermeer:

    Tamino #23, great minds think alike, as was mentioned in the book BTW (on page 165, endnote 11:26).

    …and an Erdős number of four isn’t half bad!

  45. Fred J:

    Was just watching Richard Feynman “The pleasure of finding things out” –

    Would be interested what people here thought about his opinion on awards?

  46. Charles:

    Hearty congratulations, Mike! Aside from the tremendous contributions you have made to the scholarship on climate, you stand as an inspiration for those of us who are new scholars. In the face of some of the most horrendous attacks on your work and character, you have stood firm and yet open to genuine inquiry. You have been stellar example of grace under fire.

  47. mike:

    Thanks so much folks. I really appreciate all of the kind words and support. It really is this sort of support that has helped me through the toughest times (something I actually discussed in the book). Really does mean a lot. So thanks again :)

  48. bill:

    Congratulations indeed – and I’d also like to endorse your book, which I, like many here, thoroughly enjoyed.

  49. Hugh Laue:

    Wonderful and heart warming news. Well deserved Mike.
    Adelady at #31 reflects my feelings “not just because it happens to be an issue close to my heart and important for everyone else whether they know it or not.
    ….. outstanding intellectual endeavour and exemplary scientific conduct. ……. resolute integrity and a big dose of personal courage ….”.
    For me the uncompromising scientific integrity of Mike, indeed the whole RC team, sets a high standard for anyone who wishes to be considered a genuine scientist.

  50. Pete Best:

    its no suprise but still a nice one – congrats to Mike.