Global warming and climate change: The never-ending debate
Rajan Alexander 03 September 2012

The debate over global warming has engulfed one and all—climatologists, meteorologists and climate alarming scientists, and the scepticism is quite clear. So why are meteorologists more likely to take to climate scepticism? More on it...

An email forwarded to me informs me that The American Meteorological Society (AMS) has once again re-affirmed their policy supporting anthropological global warming (AGW). But I was totally intrigued why the email chose an innocuous news item to circulate among influential members of our government and media including our prime minister and former environmental minister. 


Was it the point of this email that this policy re-affirmation by AMS was construed by it as a major victory for AGW?  

To answer this, we need first to put AMS into perspective. The debate over global warming has created many predictable adversaries such as between climatologists affiliated the UN Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and sceptic climatologists on one hand and an overwhelming majority of the meteorologist community and climate alarmist scientists on the other hand. 


Surveys after surveys have shown that climate scepticism are pretty widespread among TV weather forecasters most of whom have a degree in meteorology and other related fields in climatology. This gives climate sceptics an undue advantage in moulding public opinion within the climate debate.

“What we’ve recognized is that the everyday person doesn’t come across climatologists, but they do come across meteorologists,” said Melanie Fitzpatrick, a climate scientist for the Union of Concerned Scientists.


The AMS is the largest membership-based organization of meteorologists in the US—about 14,000 strong. This is only because they confer its coveted seal of approval on qualified weather forecasters in the US that are important for career considerations, especially freshers. 80% of their membership is accounted by climate sceptics. 


These include weathermen legends like John Coleman who founded the Weather Channel; Anthony Watts who now administers the world’s most popular climate change blog, WUWT; Joe Bastardi of formerly Accuweather, etc. Because of AMS’ AGW policy, many of these legends cancelled their certification with the AMS. A significant majority though still retaining their membership, cook a snook at the AMS by spewing out their anti-climate alarmism venom on a daily basis. 


So why are meteorologists more likely to take to climate scepticism?


Polls show that a vast majority of weather forecasters, about 75%-80%, distrust models of climate change. Weather models are usually only accurate in predicting five- or seven-day forecasts. A common belief of broadcasters is that climate models are just as fallible.


Joseph D'Aleo the first director of meteorology at The Weather Channel explains, "The forecasters live in the real world. They know models in general, and they know these models don't even get tomorrow right. They aren't going to trust them to be right about what is going to happen in 2100."


We in India should instinctively appreciate this logic having the ready illustration of monsoon predictions going haywire, year after year. This year was no exception—with not a single international model, including those of the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) on course to getting it right. 


So finding themselves totally impotent to stop climate sceptic weathermen from influencing public opinion on the climate debate, the AGW lobby did the next best thing. Get the AMS to endorse AGW. And how would they do that? By offering liberal funding just as the West offers our NGOs to advocate adoption of policies friendly to their interests here in this country.  Lord Monckton, former adviser to Margaret Thatcher, in a lighter vein exposed such funding to AMS in his article Climate ($$$ and) Change. Read here. ( )

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