Earth to CNN: It's Getting Warmer

Blog ››› ››› JOCELYN FONG

Today NASA launched a new satellite that will collect information for climate research and weather forecasting. Reporting on the satellite, CNN meteorologist Chad Meyers said "They want to be able to know whether the earth is actually getting warmer or is it getting colder":

Actually, we already know the answer to that question:

All three major global surface temperature reconstructions show that Earth has warmed since 1880. Most of this warming has occurred since the 1970s, with the 20 warmest years having occurred since 1981 and with all 10 of the warmest years occurring in the past 12 years.

In addition to those three surface temperature reconstructions, satellites have shown for decades that the earth is getting warmer. And just last week, an independent study using new methods confirmed the warming trend shown in the previous global surface temperature records. In fact, the response to the study by climate change contrarians was basically, "We never disputed that Earth is warming."

Meyers has been misinforming CNN's viewers about climate change for years. It's worth recalling Charles Homans' award winning Columbia Journalism Review article examining the phenomenon of TV weathermen who don't believe in manmade climate change:

Most scientists are loath to speak to subjects outside of their own field, and with good reason--you wouldn't expect a dentist to know much about, say, the geological strata of the Grand Canyon. But meteorologists, by virtue of typically being the only people with any science background at their stations, are under the opposite pressure--to be conversant in anything and everything scientific. This is a good thing if you see yourself as a science communicator, someone who sifts the good information from the bad--but it becomes a problem when you start to see scientific authority springing from your own haphazardly informed intuition, as many of the skeptic weathercasters do. Among the certified meteorologists Wilson surveyed in 2008, 79 percent considered it appropriate to educate their communities about climate change. Few of them, however, had taken the steps necessary to fully educate themselves about it. When asked which source of information on climate change they most trusted, 22 percent named the AMS. But the next most popular answer, with 16 percent, was "no one." The third was "myself."

Posted In
Environment & Science, Climate Change
Chad Meyers
CNN Newsroom
We've changed our commenting system to Disqus.
Instructions for signing up and claiming your comment history are located here.
Updated rules for commenting are here.