Environment and Society in a Changing World

The Current Climate Change Debate: “Climategate” and More


Dr. Michael Mann
Dr. Michael Mann.
Credit: M. Mann © Penn State University is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

Penn State University houses one of the most prominent climate scientists: Dr. Michael Mann. He is most famous (and contested) for the “hockey stick,” a reconstruction of Northern Hemisphere temperatures that shows a sharp increase in the last 100 years, resembling the blade of a hockey stick.

Consider This: Debates on Climate Change

Explore RealClimate to understand what the debate is all about. Another source to get a general impression on the types of topics that come up in climage change debates is How to Talk to a Climate Sceptic. This site presents common points of skepticism in the climate change debates, and responses to them.


On your own, provide a 2 paragraph summary – in your own words – of what you have learned from the above reading.

Optional Reading Assignment

Back in November of 2009, hundreds of private emails between some of the world's leading climate scientists on climate change at the University of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit were leaked to the media and caused quite a controversy. Climate change skeptics argued that these emails provided the proof that climate scientists had manipulated data to support thier belief that climate change is real, and is caused by human actions. For a more comprensive view on what actually happened, check out the following article: