Friday, October 9, 2009

What's Up With TV Weathercasters?

Oct. 19 Update: The Yale Forum on Climate Change & The Media had a post in July on broadcast meteorologists behaving more responsibly.

Oct. 14 Update: The Great Beyond blog at Nature gives the shorter Paul Hudson:
Two scientists who have previously said they didn’t believe in global warming still don’t believe in global warming.
"Climate sceptics celebrate BBC story"

Oct. 11 Update: The BBC article is now being Telegraphed as:
BBC's surreptitious U-turn on global warming
The BBC's amazing U-turn on climate change

Original post:
Given that meteorology is so closely related to climatology, it seems rather odd that weather forecasters, particularly broadcasters, have such a hard time understanding the science of global warming. Here in the Washington DC metro area, one notable exception is Bob Ryan, a former president of the American Meteorological Society, who has spoken out on the air and online about the subject. Other members of the broadcast media are either reluctant to become involved in a perceived controversy or are vehement critics of the science. In the latter category is one local weekend substitute who teamed up several years ago to routinely bash the science with a colleague from Baltimore in a one-hour weekly weather program on a squawk radio station (today's top story: "Marylands Own Steny Hoyer Says Screw You to the People").

Online, of course, one of the most notorious anti-science sites is run by a former broadcast meteorologist.

The latest entry in the science-bashing derby comes from across the pond. In an article today on the BBC web site, What happened to global warming?, Paul Hudson, listed as "Climate correspondent, BBC News", repeats the discredited meme of no warming since 1998. The Beeb is normally a reliable source for science coverage, but among other inaccuracies, this article also parrots the recent misrepresentation of a paper by Latif. Who is Paul Hudson? His Beeb bio lists him as a former UK Met Office forecaster who is now a "presenter", as they say over there, on BBC Look North, which is apparently the BBC local service for Yorkshire and the North Midlands.

Do the harsh lights of the TV studio fry the parts of the brain responsible for processing science? My theory is that these folks just become unable to see the forest for the trees when they spend so much energy focusing on hour-to-hour and day-to-day weather.


Stevo said...

It's hard to see how the part of the brain processing science could possibly go wrong. It's a very simple flowchart.

Listen to what reputable scientists say.

Seems pretty easy to me. Maybe the weathermen are just over-educated?

papertiger said...

who ya gonna believe? Unnamed climate scientists (and they have to go unnamed because once their identity is revealed we find out all of their fraud perpetraited in service to AGW) or your eyes when the Phillies vs Rockies playoff game is called on account of snow?

CapitalClimate said...

Wow, that's really amazing. A trace of snow was measured on 2 consecutive days in Denver! In October. That's so much more impressive than the 15 inches in 24 hours in September 1936.

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