TV Weather Forecasters Deny Climate Change--Except the Ones in the Northwest

Say it ain't so, Al.
It makes sense that there's a lack of consensus between Republicans and Democrats when it comes to climate change. But meteorologists and climate scientists? Really? I thought those guys were supposed to be on the same team.

According to a study by researchers at George Mason University, only half of the men and women paid to predict the weather on the evening news believe global warming is actually happening. And a quarter of those surveyed agreed with a statement that said "Global warming is a scam."

So what gives?

It turns out that meteorologists are skeptical of the models climate scientists use to predict weather patterns 20, 50, even 100 years out. To dumb it down quite a bit, TV weather people are disbelieving because the tools they use are only meant to predict weather that's happening, at most, a week from when they're making their predictions. And given how often they screw up their forecast of the near-future, it makes sense that they might be dubious of anyone claiming to know what will happen generations after we're all dead.

The New York Times article describing this ideological split never made mention of any Pacific Northwest forecasters famous for their climate-denying. And if there was one, say, at KOMO or King 5, odds are we would know by now.

Still, I wanted to make sure we weren't missing anyone. So I asked local weather guru, and SW cover boy, Cliff Mass for his take.

"It is true that there is a subset of TV weathermen who don't believe in global warming," he wrote in an e-mail. "Although this is not true of anyone in Northwest as far as I know."

Mass went on to give his own explanation for the split.

"Remember that many TV weathercasters are not really meteorologists...and by that I mean having any kind of real degree in atmospheric sciences and meteorology. Almost none of them have graduate degrees, the kind of level necessary to really have an understanding of the climate system. To put it another way, many TV weathercasters don't have the necessary background to really understand the science of global climate change and their opinions don't really mean much."

Believe in climate change now, green-screen jockeys? Cuz Mass just burnt ya.

comments powered by Disqus