This is a blog. On it are fannish squees, liberal politics, and the occasional personal post.
Here’s a hint why: Scientists. Lots of them. In the past year, PBS’ coverage included interviews with 29 climate scientists — more than ABC, CBS and NBC combined.
Another reason: More coverage. Together, the nightly news programs on ABC, CBS and NBC devoted only 12 segments to climate change in 2012. PBS dedicated 23 segments to the issue.
Given that the National Climatic Data Center announced Tuesday that 2012 was the hottest year in recorded history for the contiguous U.S., these statistics are downright shameful for news media. And their silence speaks volumes about how the anti-science right-wing has affected the national debate, when the reality of man-made climate change is overwhelming acknowledged by the vast majority of scientists.
We’ve got approximately half as much sea ice in the Arctic in the fall now as we did say, 30 years or so ago — there’s been this dramatic decrease. There is emerging research — my colleagues and I published a paper last February on this — suggesting that as that sea ice melts it’s changing the jet stream, a current that steers weather in the mid-latitudes, places like New York. As sea ice melts, our research suggests that the jet stream is going to tend to get weaker. As the jet stream gets weaker, it’s easier for storms to stagnate or in some cases, maybe even move to the west, which is what this storm did.
Most hurricanes, as they get as far north as a place like New York, especially late in the season — September, October — [the] standard pattern is for that strong jet stream to push those storms to the east. What we saw with this storm was that it moved to the west. It’s a very unusual track and I would say it’s a big research question whether we might see in general more stormy weather and storms taking a track like that as sea ice melts.