Climate’s Stolen Valor: Did Mann lie about coining ‘Atlantic multidecadal oscillation’?

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

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.

6 thoughts on “Climate’s Stolen Valor: Did Mann lie about coining ‘Atlantic multidecadal oscillation’?”

  1. “There is no limit to what you can accomplish if you don’t care who gets the credit.” said a very wise man (Ronald Reagan).
    The corrolary is that if you become too concerned with receiving credit for something, you yourself impose limits on what you can accomplish.
    There are many stories out there of people who had the credit for some accomplishment unjustly appropriated from them, with disastrous consequences.

  2. Someone should write to the Food and Agriculture Organization in Rome and check their knowledge of this phenomenon of weather/climate ‘oscillation’ and its effect on fisheries in both the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans. Such knowledge is long-standing and based on real experience of fishermen going back forever… This would debunk any claim by Michael Mann that he “discovered” a periodic change in water temperatures that affect climate – and fish reproduction patterns. FAO will confirm if asked. I have read some of their work on this matter. It is on their website in PDF form if one does some digging.

  3. Al Gore claimed that he invented the internet to boost his image, now we have Mann claiming the creation of a term created by Kerr to boost his image. Does the ego of Mann not have any bounds.

  4. Mr. Mann is a soul mate to Al the Goricle (inventor of the internet) . . . two peas in a pod . . . LOL

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