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Monday, January 24, 2011

Another terrific ABC News story — on the role global warming is playing in extreme winter weather

by Joseph Romm, Climate Progress, January 24, 2011

Earlier this month, ABC ran one of the best climate change stories ever to appear on a major network’s evening news show:  “Raging Waters In Australia and Brazil Product of Global Warming.”

On Friday they aired another very good piece — and now we know the secret of their accurate reporting.  As they explain:
ABC news contacted 10 climate scientists to ask their take, if the extreme winter like the one we’re having is the way of the future.  The consensus:  global warming is playing a role by shifting weather patterns in unpredictable ways.  Many say the forecast for the future calls for record-breaking precipitation and extreme temperatures year-round — and that means winter with more snow.

The dividing line between good climate reporting and bad climate reporting is almost always whether the reporter talked to real climate scientists.  Typically, the more a reporter talks to, the better the story. It is very hard to get the story wrong if you talk to several of the leading climate scientists in any specific subfield.

Here’s the full story:
Kudos to ABC News for doing the basic work of science journalism, in this case, talking to leading climate scientist like, Dr. Richard Somerville, a coordinating lead author on the IPCC’s 2007 review of climate science.

UPDATE:  For a good NY Times story on some of issues surrounding the underlying science, see “Topsy-Turvy Weather Tied to Weaker Arctic ‘Fence.’ ”

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