New Video: TV Meteorologists Grapple with Climate Change and Extremes

April 24, 2022

Had a number of great conversations with senior TV meteorologists from across the country in the past few months, following up on an investigation I did in 2016. I wanted to know what it’s like out there, and if anything has changed for them as the intensity of the climate signal ramps up.

These folks are seasoned professionals, and over recent years, they’ve dealt with all manner of threats, bluster and blowback from conservative audiences when they bring up the obvious – that climate change has something to do with the steady stream of weather extremes that has been hammering North America in recent years.

For newer mets, the topic is “potentially taboo and even dangerous”, according to Jeff Berardelli, formerly of CBS News, now at WFLA in Tampa. Chris Gloninger at KCCI in Des Moines still shakes his head at some of the responses, but continues on educating both his audience and his fellow broadcasters.

ABC News’ Ginger Zee pointed out that almost half of Americans have had a billion dollar climate event in their own county – so they are starting to ask questions, not only about what is happening, but what they can do about it.

Amber Sullins of ABC 15 in Phoenix said the big break in public attitude was 2020, when the state endured 53 days of over-110°F temperatures, breaking the old record by 20 days. Now, even in her normally-red state, folks generally get it, and are working to adapt, and increasingly mitigate where they can.

Sullin’s station now has a team approach to climate stories they call “Impact Earth” – where the entire professional staff of producers, researchers and camera people focus on an important story, such as the plummeting water levels in Lake Mead.

In a dramatic career change, Eric Sorenson, after 22 years of weather casting for Northwest Illinois and the Rockford area, left the green screen behind and is running for an open congressional seat, to bring the science and the best information directly to policymakers.

I really like this vid, and am so happy to have made the contacts with this network of critically important climate communicators.

One Response to “New Video: TV Meteorologists Grapple with Climate Change and Extremes”

  1. rhymeswithgoalie Says:

    As somebody in in Chris Gloninger’s Twitter thread pointed out, he’s wearing a climate change tie.

    Looked up climate change ties and found a variety:

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