Did Michael Mann falsely claim to coin a famous climate term actually coined by someone else?
In Mann’s new book “The Hockey Stick and Climate Wars” (a.k.a “Mann Kampf”), Mann writes:
The multidecadal oscillation I’d helped discover would nonethless become a cause celebre among climate change contrarians. It would even get a name: the “Atlantic Multidecadal oscillation” (AMO) — a moniker I coined off the cuff in a phone interview with science writer Dick Kerr. [footnote omitted; it reiterates the same claim]
But in an e-mail exchange with Dick Kerr today, Kerr wrote to JunkScience.com:
Steve, yes, I must confess. They just had a paper out on this phenomenon, but I needed a convenient label to write the news story. So I followed meteorological naming conventions and suggested AMO. That was okay with Mike for a news story. Subsequent papers in the literature also found it handy but had no source but my story in Science, so they would cite me. Looks fine because such a citation appears to be a scientific paper in a prestigious journal. “Oscillation” has since begun to fall out of favor because it conveys too strong a sense of regularity. We’ll see how long AMO hangs in there.
Adding credibility to Kerr’s version is the below post on Mann’s RealClimate web site.