Michael Mann, distinguished professor of atmospheric sciences and director of Penn State’s Earth System Science Center at Penn State, has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, recognizing distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. Membership in the NAS is one of the highest honors given to a scientist or engineer in the United States.
NAS is a private, nonprofit institution established in 1863 by a congressional charter signed by former U.S. President Abraham Lincoln. It recognizes achievement in science by election to membership, and — with the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Medicine — provides science, engineering, and health policy advice to the federal government and other organizations.
This year, the academy elected 120 members and 26 international members to its membership. Mann’s election brings Penn State’s representation to 16 members, and total membership in the academy to 2,403 active members and 501 international members.
Mann conducts research and publishes on his areas of interest in climate science, including climate change, sea level rise, human impact on climate change, climate modeling, and the carbon budget. He is an acknowledged leader in the climate change community. His work in the area of climate change science, especially the reconstruction of global temperatures over the past 1,000 years, has advanced the field.
Current areas of research include model/data comparisons aimed at understanding the long-term behavior of the climate system and its relationship with human climate forcing. Other areas of active research include climate simulation using theoretical models, development of statistical methods for climate signal detection, and investigations of the geophysical and ecological system responses to climate variability and the impacts of climate change on tropical storms and extreme weather events.
Mann has been recognized for his scientific work with the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement in 2019. He received the Hans Oeschger Medal from the European Geosciences Union in 2012 and contributed to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports that received the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. He is the author of more than 200 peer-reviewed and edited publications.
He is a fellow of the Geological Society of America, the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Meteorological Society and the American Geophysical Union.
Mann has received many awards for science communication. In 2018, he received the Climate Communication Prize from the American Geophysical Union and the Award for Public Engagement with Science from the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In 2017, he received the Stephen H. Schneider Award for Outstanding Climate Science Communication from Climate One. Mann was elected an AAAS fellow in 2015.
Mann communicates about the effects of climate change through a variety of media, including his books, which include “Dire Predictions: Understanding Climate Change,” “The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the Front Lines,” and “The Madhouse Effect,” for which he teamed up with Pulitzer Prize-winning political cartoonist Tom Toles to explore public perception of climate change.
Mann also collaborated with author and illustrator Megan Herbert on a children’s book titled “The Tantrum that Saved the World.”
He completed his doctorate at Yale University in 1998.