Michael MannMichael E. Mann is a member of the Pennsylvania State University faculty, holding joint positions in the Departments of Meteorology and Geosciences and the Earth and Environmental Systems Institute (EESI). He shared the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 with other scientists who participated in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

(CNN) – Imagine you are sitting in your office simply doing your job and a nasty e-mail pops into your inbox accusing you of being a fraud. You go online and find that some bloggers have written virulent posts about you. That night, you’re at home with your family watching the news and a talking head is lambasting you by name. Later, a powerful politician demands all your e-mails from your former employer.

It sounds surreal. But it all happened to me.

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Adam Corner responds to the simplified notion that the debate about climate change comes down to ‘science versus belief’.  Having got to know quite a number of denialists, there does seem to be a blockage in terms of changing their minds with the peer-reviewed science.  Although it seems incredible, it appears that intelligent people can end up constructing belief systems that are almost impenetrable to scientific reality. Perhaps this is the great peril that we face.  Here is what Adam Corner had to say:In a Guardian comment piece last week, Vicky Pope, a senior Met Office scientist, articulated a view that is frequently expressed by scientists: that climate change is a matter of empirical evidence, not belief.

But a decade of social science research on public attitudes shows that in fact, scepticism about climate change is not primarily due to a misunderstanding of “the science”.

It is true that most people have only a limited amount of knowledge about climate science (as they do about most specialist subjects). And without doubt, free market and fossil-fuel industry lobbyists have shamelessly acted as “merchants of doubt” , exaggerating the level of uncertainty about climate change, or downplaying its importance.

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Siliconrepublic.com, March 22, 2012.  Scientists at the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) have released a new study that has placed the effects of climate change on the world’s ocean ecosystems under the spotlight. They predict climate change alone could reduce the economic value of key ocean services by up to US$2trn a year by 2100.

The scientists are now calling for a global, integrated approach to protect oceans from converging threats.

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Jo Chandler, The Sydney Morning Herald, March 21, 2012

THE update of a 160-year-old global temperature record by British scientists, plugging in additional data collected primarily across the Arctic, has resulted in 2010 now being ranked as the warmest year on record, followed by 2005, and bumping the previously top-ranked El Nino super-heated 1998 to third place.

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Barrie PittockThe Conversation; Dr Barrie Pittock, Honorary Fellow, Marine and Atmospheric Research at CSIRO

Recent wet weather and flooding across eastern Australia has caused many to ask, wasn’t climate change supposed to cause more droughts, not floods? Critics of climate change science have suggested that the recent observed flooding shows the science, and especially the climate modelling, must be wrong. This is a misreading of what climate change scientists have repeatedly stated.

Such misunderstandings would not necessarily matter. But confusion has arisen from these claims, especially among decision-makers from flood-affected areas. These people have a strong interest and responsibility to get the story right in order to make the right policy decisions.

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The Conversation, March 7, 2012

Obtaining a World Heritage listing for a national asset is a source of great pride for any country. The Taj Mahal (1983), Borobudur (1991) and Uluru (2007) are examples where countries have obtained the much coveted UNESCO inscription. Australia is justifiably proud of its heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef, but this week the United Nations is visiting the reef to see whether the listing is still justified.

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Stephan Lewandowsky, The Conversation

“Truth is so precious that she should be attended by a bodyguard of lies.”

Winston Churchill’s famous words were uttered during the war against the Nazis and referred to Operation Bodyguard, a deception that was intended to mislead the German high command about the date and location of the invasion of Normandy. Given the context, few would criticise Churchill’s statement.

Now imagine Bernie Madoff uttering the same words in defense of his acrobatic Ponzi schemes. Few would accept such glaring sophistry.

Where does Dr Peter Gleick’s revelation that he lied to a conservative think tank to access climate change documents fit on this spectrum?

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“The visual nature of the project will also help bridge the gap between scientific knowledge and public awareness,” Professor Hoegh-Guldberg

Diver deploying 360 degree camera to obtain Catlin Seaview Survey images.

Press release, University of Queensland,

A pioneering scientific expedition that will document the health of coral on the Great Barrier Reef will be undertaken as a joint venture between global technology giant Google, the UQ Global Change Institute, not-for-profit organisation Underwater Earth and insurance company Catlin.

The Catlin Seaview Survey, announced in Singapore today, aims to carry out the first comprehensive study of the composition and health of Reef coral to an unprecedented depth range (0-100m). 

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, US environment correspondent.  The Guardian, Feb 17 2012

The Heartland Institute, the libertarian thinktank whose project to undermine science lessons for schoolchildren was exposed this week, faces new scrutiny of its finances – including its donors and tax status.

The Guardian has learned of a whistleblower complaint to the Internal Revenue Service about Heartland’s 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status.

There was also a call from a group of climate scientists who have personally been on the receiving end of attacks from Heartland and bloggers funded by the thinktank, and whose email was posted online after a notorious 2009 hack, for Heartland to “recognise how its attacks on science and scientists have poisoned the debate about climate changepolicy,” in a letter made available exclusively to the Guardian.

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An Open Letter to the Heartland Institute:  Feb 17 2012

As scientists who have had their emails stolen, posted online and grossly misrepresented, we can appreciate the difficulties the Heartland Institute is currently experiencing following the online posting of the organization’s internal documents earlier this week. However, we are greatly disappointed by their content, which indicates the organization is continuing its campaign to discredit mainstream climate science and to undermine the teaching of well-established climate science in the classroom.

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