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Michael Mann: The Warming of the Planet is Established

December 21, 2012; 5:00 AM ET

AccuWeather.com's Evan Myers sat down with controversial climate scientist Michael Mann in a three-part series to discuss the climate change debate.

The 'debate', however, is becoming a thing of the past in the scientific community, Mann explained in segment three of the interview.

"The warming of the planet, that's established..." he said.

But Mann does not argue whether there is disbelief among non-scientists.

"I think there's some contrarians who will probably never be convinced. There are still geologists that don't accept plate tectonics. Generationally, now there's very few but there are still a few around that question plate tectonics. There are scientists who still question the link between smoking tobacco products and human health impacts like lung cancer," he said.

"There are many things that are accepted by the scientific community where you can still find a handful of contrarians, devil's advocates if you like, who are willing to say that we don't accept the consensus view on this. You know, on some level that's healthy if it's done in good faith."

But in the past few years, he says the funding for climate change research has shifted. With the scientific community in acceptance of climate change, funding is being spent less and less on proving the occurrence, but rather on determining what effect climate change will have on features such as El Nino.

Despite the amount of research being done, Mann admits that some uncertainty remains in what effects the warming planet will have.

"It's possible that the impacts could be less than the models are predicting but its also possible that they'll be worse," he said.

"And some of the data that are coming in, whether it's the melting of the ice sheets, the melting of Arctic sea ice, the increased drought conditions in large parts of the northern hemisphere, the evidence that's coming in is starting to suggest that uncertainty may be breaking against us, the impacts may be coming faster and they may be worse than the models are predicting."

The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of AccuWeather, Inc. or AccuWeather.com

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Climate Change
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