Over 90% of TV Weathercasters Now Accept the Reality of Climate Change
Acceptance of climate change and awareness of climate impacts has increased dramatically among TV weathercasters. According to a new survey from the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication, over 90 percent of TV weathercasters have concluded that climate change is happening (versus 54 percent in 2010), and almost 90 percent believe humans are at least partially responsible. Most feel that climate change has influenced the weather in their area, and almost 70 percent feel it’s appropriate to report on the science of climate change.
The ClimateProgress article below explains why this is important: most Americans don’t have a lot of interaction with climate scientists, but they see weathercasters on the news every day. Weathercasters who accept climate science are in a great position to inform their viewers of the realities and impacts of climate change.
Weather and climate aren’t the same thing, of course, but climate change is causing more extreme weather like heavy rains and heat waves, as well as more intense pollen seasons. Weathercasters can help viewers connect the dots between those events. As Jim Gandy, chief meteorologist for WLTX in Columbia, South Carolina, puts it, “The feedback I’m getting from people is they are recognizing this in their personal lives.”
Weather Forecasters Used To Be Among The Country’s Staunchest Climate Deniers. Why That’s Changing Fast.
By Ari Philips, reporter for ClimateProgress.org
Keah Schuenemann, a meteorology professor at the Metropolitan State University of Denver, has never met an atmospheric or climate scientist who doesn’t agree that most of the planet’s warming over the last century is a result of human activity. Weather forecasters though, whom she deals with regularly, are a different story. Schuenemann, who has a PhD in atmospheric and oceanic science from the University of Colorado, Boulder, said she’s been exposed to a “whole slew of forecasters who don’t understand climate science.”
This experience has even influenced her approach to teaching.
“My students can vouch for the fact that I boycott some meteorology software created by some very vocal weather folks who use their weather platform as a means of influencing people with no climate background into thinking the ‘cool kids’ don’t accept the IPCC conclusions,” she told ThinkProgress.
While this type of anti-science affront really bothers Schuenemann, overall she believes meteorology academic programs “are slowly integrating more climate literacy in their curricula.”