Meteorologists Reject U.N.’s Global Warming Claims

Meteorologists Reject U.N.’s Global Warming Claims
February 1, 2010

James M. Taylor, J.D.

James M. Taylor is managing editor of Environment & Climate News, a national monthly... (read full bio)

Only one in four American Meteorological Society broadcast meteorologists agrees with United Nations’ claims that humans are primarily responsible for recent global warming, a survey published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society reports.

The survey results contradict the oft-repeated assertion that a consensus of scientists believes humans are causing a global warming crisis.

Objective Methods

The American Meteorological Society (AMS) survey was limited to television weather forecasters who are also meteorologists. A prior survey of all television weather forecasters--including ones without meteorological training--produced a heavy percentage of skeptics. The new survey was designed to determine whether the meteorologists held the same opinion as the broader group of all television weather forecasters.

The survey was conducted by the congressionally funded National Environmental Education Foundation and vetted by an advisory board of climate experts from groups such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Weather Service, and Pew Center for Global Climate Change.

Alarmist Claims Rejected

The AMS study found:

  • Only 24 percent of the survey respondents agree with United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assertion, “Most of the warming since 1950 is very likely human-induced.”
  • Only 19 percent agree with the claim, “Global climate models are reliable in their projection for a warming of the planet.”
  • Only 19 percent agree with the assertion, “Global climate models are reliable in their projections for precipitation and drought.”
  • Only 45 percent disagree with Weather Channel cofounder John Coleman’s strongly worded statement, “Global warming is a scam.”

Others’ Statements Undermined

The survey results support the claims of rank-and-file scientists who say global warming position statements by the bureaucratic branches of groups such as the American Meteorological Society (AMS) are out of touch with the scientific opinions of member scientists.

A position statement by the AMS Council claims, for example, “strong observational evidence and results from modeling studies indicate that, at least over the last 50 years, human activities are a major contributor to climate change” and “there is a clear consensus on projected warming rates from human influences among different models and different emission scenarios.” The survey of AMS meteorologists shows only a small minority of AMS members agree with the AMS bureaucracy’s position statement.

Meteorologists Defy Bureaucrats

Joe D’Aleo, executive director of the International Climate and Environmental Change Assessment Project and first director of meteorology at the Weather Channel, is not surprised by the survey results.

“AMS has tried very hard to brainwash broadcast meteorologists by forcing them to attend conferences and teleconferences with one-sided presentations where global warming evangelism is preached,” D’Aleo said. “Broadcasters send me notifications they get from AMS telling them they must attend these conferences where only the alarmist point of view is preached. This survey shows that broadcast meteorologists are not swayed by these one-sided presentations.

“This survey likely was conducted in an attempt to isolate a ‘more scientifically trained’ subset of broadcast meteorologists that could be touted as more scientifically knowledgeable than television weathercasters as a whole. The survey shows, however, that such an attempt has backfired,” D’Aleo added.

“From my observation, the opinion of broadcast meteorologists on this is issue is similar to the opinions of all fields of practicing meteorologists,” D’Aleo concluded.


James M. Taylor (jtaylor@heartland.org) is a senior fellow of The Heartland Institute and managing editor of Environment & Climate News.


For more information ...

K. Wilson, “Opportunities and Obstacles for Television Weathercasters to Report on Climate Change,” Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, October 2009: http://www.heartland.org/policybot/results/26408/

James M. Taylor, J.D.

James M. Taylor is managing editor of Environment & Climate News, a national monthly... (read full bio)