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21 July 2017

The Cognitive Bias Survival Guide

As a reporter in Tampa was doing a story on an Alligator in the road yesterday, someone drove past and screamed “Fake News!”  I suspect the gator was real, and the story was factual, but this is happening rather frequently. You might ask how people can be so deceived that they will accept news only from those who tell them what they want to hear. Unfortunately, this is the America we …

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19 July 2017

A Different Way of Visualizing The Global Temperature Rise

Gavin Schmidt at NASA GISS posted the graphic below on Twitter Tuesday night and it quickly spread like wildfire. We are used to seeing the graphs with hockey stick endings of the global temperature but showing it in a sequence of normal distributions (bell curves) by month, and ending it with the data of the last two years noted, gives one a new and rather stark perspective. You can see an animation …

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15 July 2017

Weathercasters Views of Climate Change Dramatically Shift

The number of weathercasters who are still sceptical of climate change is rapidly dwindling. I’ve noticed this anecdotally and now there is confirmation in a new paper in BAMS that it indeed the case. I know most of the authors of this paper, and it is worth noting that the survey was among weathercasters which include degreed meteorologists with a science background, and those who may have little in the way …

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7 July 2017

NASA Satellite Sees Air Pollution from Fireworks on the 4th

Suffice to say, those with asthma and other breathing disorders might want to watch the fireworks on TV next year. I was surprised at how strong the signal was. The fact that independence was declared in early July when the atmosphere is fairly quiet with light winds, means the dispersal will be slow. Even more so when you have a low-level temperature inversion that can trap the fine particles near …

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6 July 2017

GOES-16 View of the SAL around Tropical Depression 4.

The image above is from GOES-16 (Ctsy. CIRA) and you can easily see the dry dusty Saharan air to the North and east of Tropical Depression 4. This layer of dusty air is called the SAL for Saharan Air Layer, and it often inhibits tropical cyclones. It’s already impacting TD 4. The new GOES-16 continues to wow we meteorologists. Truly, a new era is underway. Update 12 AM EDT 7 July) …

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4 July 2017

Yet Another Climate Myth Is Gone

Update July 5, 2017: Carl Mears (one of the authors of the paper) has written an excellent FAQ about this subject that is well worth looking at. The myth that the satellite temperature measurements do not match the surface temperature record is one of the most enduring climate myths, but it’s now in the dustbin of history. A new paper in the AMS Journal of Climate has produced the latest reliable …

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1 July 2017

Happy 150th Canada! Here is My Birthday Gift For You

I’ve been lucky enough to stand on all three of Canada’s coasts, from the Arctic shores of Nunavut to the rocky Pacific beaches of B.C., and the windswept beaches of Nova Scotia. I’ve stood on a deserted island in the High Arctic and watched the world go by under the midnight sun from a ship on the fabled north-west passage. In between, I’ve seen endless prairies, beautiful cities and majestic mountains covered …

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29 June 2017

U.S. About to Fall Further Behind in Long Range Weather Forecasting

The Europeans are now testing a new version of their ECMWF model with a resolution of around 9 km, and so far it looks very good. Not that the present model isn’t since we forecasters now depend on it heavily for long range forecasts beyond 2-3 days. The NOAA GFS model is almost always the least accurate and that is not my subjective opinion. Look at the skill scores below …

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25 June 2017

Tom Nichols is Spot On

The Death of Expertise “Tom Nichols, a professor of national security affairs at the US Naval War College, says America has become a country “obsessed with the worship of its own ignorance.” Americans have always been skeptical of intellectuals and experts. Today, says Nichols, that attitude has mutated into outright hostility. In general, Americans have never been so willing to reject the knowledge of those who actually know something. This …

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21 June 2017

Head of the American Meteorological Society To Secretary of Energy: You’re Dead Wrong on Climate.

There is just no doubt anymore that the warming of the last century is due to rising greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Yes, there are a ton of myths out there but no one who understands the basic science has any doubt. Even the latest surveys show that among those in the field the agreement is over 99%. So, when the Secretary of Energy goes on TV and says things …

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