Global warming and climate change: The never-ending debate

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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Rare 'Blue Moon' to be visible on Friday night

First full moon was on 2nd August and now, sky gazers can see it happeing for the second time during the month on Friday night

New Delhi: A rare 'Blue Moon' awaits sky aficionados on Friday night, reports PTI.
When a second full moon in a calendar month appears in the night sky, the occurrence is known as a 'Blue Moon'.
This month, the first full moon was on 2nd August and now, sky gazers can see it happeing for the second time Friday night at 19:28pm, N Sri Raghunandan Kumar, Director Planetary Society of India told PTI.
The second full moon of any month is referred as a 'Blue Moon' as it happens rarely. The next 'Blue Moon' will occur only after three years on 31 July 2015.
On rare occasions, the moon actually has a blue appearance - often caused by smoke from large-scale fires or excessive dust particles in the atmosphere, Science Popularisation Association of Communicators and Educators (SPACE) president CB Devgun said.
Explaining the phenomena of blue moon, Devgun said the moon cycle takes about 29.53 days to complete that is almost a month. That is why there is one full moon once a month, but a 'Blue Moon' happens once in every two and a half years on an average.
The moon will rise at 6.13pm and will reach its fully illuminated total phase at 7.28pm, Kumar said.
The last time 'Blue Moon' event occurred in December 2009.




7 years ago

The explanation was useful. I knew that "once in a blue moon" means a rare event. But I was not aware of the background

Indian students stranded as UK cancels licence of London Metropolitan University

Current Indian students who are in their second or third years of courses at the London Metropolitan University will need to transfer to another UK university to continue or abandon their courses and return to India within 60 days

London: The licence of a major London-based university to admit Indian and other non-EU students has been revoked by Britain's immigration authorities citing "serious and systemic failings" on the part of the varsity, stranding hundreds of students, reports PTI.


With the next academic year starting shortly (September), plans of many Indian students preparing to travel to study at the London Metropolitan University were thrown into jeopardy, while current students will need to quickly make alternative plans.


"London Metropolitan University's licence to sponsor non-EU students has been revoked after it failed to address serious and systemic failings that were identified by the UK Border Agency six months ago," a UK Border Agency (UKBA) spokesman said.


A task force has been set up to help Indian and other non-EU students affected by the revocation, officials said. The university has over 2,000 international students, including Indians.


Current Indian students who are in their second or third years of courses will need to transfer to another UK university to continue their courses.


If this is not possible, they will need to abandon their courses and return to India within 60 days, according to the rules.


The London Metropolitan University, which recruits heavily from India and has offices in New Delhi and Chennai, is the first British university to have its licence to admit non-EU students revoked under measures to curb student visa abuse.


Universities Minister David Willetts said: "It is important that genuine students who are affected through no fault of their own are offered prompt advice and help, including, if necessary, with finding other institutions at which to finish their studies".


"We are tonight asking HEFCE (Higher Education Funding Council for England) and Universities UK to lead a task force, which will include UKBA and the NUS, to work with London Metropolitan University to support affected students and enable them to continue their studies in the UK. The task force will start work immediately," he added.


"We have been working with them since then, but the latest audit revealed problems with 61 per cent of files randomly sampled," the UKBA spokesman said.


"Allowing London Metropolitan University to continue to sponsor and teach international students was not an option. These are problems with one university, not the whole sector. British universities are among the best in the world, and Britain remains a top class destination for top class international students," the spokesman said.


"We are doing everything possible, working with Universities UK, to assist genuine students that have been affected," he added.


Calls to the University's liason office in New Delhi were greeted with an automated message that the number could not be found.


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