Weather forecasters don't agree with warmers

NY Times:

The debate over global warming has created predictable adversaries, pitting environmentalists against industry and coal-state Democrats against coastal liberals.

But it has also created tensions between two groups that might be expected to agree on the issue: climate scientists and meteorologists — especially those who serve as television weather forecasters.

Climatologists, who study weather patterns over time, almost universally endorse the view that the earth is warming and that humans have contributed to climate change. Meteorologists, who predict short-term weather patterns, are not so sure.

Joe Bastardi, for example, a senior forecaster and meteorologist with AccuWeather, maintains that it is more likely that the planet is cooling, and he distrusts the data put forward by climate scientists as evidence for rising global temperatures.

“There is a great deal of consternation among a lot of us over the readjustment of data that is going on and some of the portrayals that we are seeing,” Mr. Bastardi said in a video segment posted recently on the company’s Web site.

Such skepticism is widespread among TV forecasters. A study released on Monday by researchers at George Mason University and the University of Texas at Austin found that only about half of the 571 television weathercasters surveyed believed that global warming was occurring and less than a third believed that climate change was “caused mostly by human activities.”

More than a quarter of the weathercasters in the survey agreed with the statement, “Global warming is a scam,” the researchers found.

The split between climate scientists and meteorologists is gaining attention in political and academic circles because polls show that public skepticism about global warming is increasing, and weather forecasters — especially television forecasters — dominate communications channels to the public: A study released this year by researchers at Yale and George Mason University, for example, found that 56 percent of Americans trusted weathercasters to tell them about global warming far more than they trusted other media or public figures like former Vice President Al Gore or Sarah Palin, the former vice-presidential candidate.

The subject of climate change often comes up during informal chatter with news anchors — the winter’s extreme snowstorms provided fodder for discussion — and even more commonly in speeches given by weather forecasters at Kiwanis Club-like events.

Several well-known forecasters — including John Coleman, in San Diego, and Anthony Watts, a retired Chico, Calif., weatherman who now has a popular blog — have been vociferous in their critiques of global warming.

The dissent has been heightened by recent challenges to climate science, including the discovery of a handful of errors in the landmark 2007 report on global warming by the United NationsIntergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the unauthorized release of hundreds of e-mail messages from a British climate research center last fall that skeptics claim show that climate scientists tried to suppress data.

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The globo warmers hope to coop the weathermen to try to persaude a skeptical public about their beliefs. I would be more willing to believe the globo warmers are acting in good faith if they would listen to what the skeptics are saying rather than dismissing them out of hand as stupid or ignorant. The so called climate scientist are viewed as elitist because they act like elitist instead of scientist with an inquiring mind.

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