One of the biggest names in climate science was in Oklahoma Friday.
Penn State climatologist Dr. Michael Mann spoke at OSU in Stillwater.
We asked Mann how he ended up in the center of the global warming storm.
"I had no idea that my interest in math and science would eventually lead me into the center of this raging public debate about climate change," Mann said.
In the world of global warming, Dr. Michael Mann is one of the more recognized scientists. He's one of three researchers who authored what's been called the "hockey stick graph."
He said it shows that Earth's temperatures have risen sharply since the use of fossil fuels and the industrial revolution.
"It's happening now. We're seeing the impacts of climate change, and nowhere are we seeing it more than in states like Oklahoma," Mann said.
The Oklahoma Climatological Survey agreed and said Oklahoma has been warmer than average, going back 15 years, and in the last two years we've experienced the warmest year, the hottest summer, and the warmest spring on record.
"A record breaking heat event in Oklahoma now will be business as usual. It'll be a commonplace event in the summers of 30 years from now, if we continue on the course that we're on," Mann said.
One of Mann's biggest critics is Senator Jim Inhofe, who has called global warming one of "history's greatest hoaxes." We reached out to him for comment on this story, but were told his travel schedule wouldn't allow it.
But in his latest book, Inhofe says that climate scientists like Mann ignore the other side of the issue, that the hockey stick is flawed. He says Mann used selective data, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, is biased, and that climate scientists should not be playing politics.
Dr. Mann has written his own book and claims that we need to transition away from our reliance on fossil fuels before it's too late. He says that Senator Inhofe could help solve the problem if he stopped pointing fingers.
"He could be part of the solution, but instead he's claiming that the entire world scientific community is engaged in a hoax," Mann said.
Gary McManus, of the Oklahoma Climatological Survey, said Mann's hockey stick graph has been reproduced by many other researchers, and that the majority of the peer-reviewed research on climate change indicates that greenhouse gas emissions are likely one of the causes.