This time, I worked with up and coming AccuWeather journalist Samantha-Rae Tuthill. She asked tough questions and dug deep for this piece. She was really great and I had a lot of fun. She also picked out some good zingers (I bet long-time readers will recognize my pessimism). Check it out if you can!

Whether they call it global warming, climate change or even global cooling, more and more Americans are taking a stand on one side or the other of this hotly debated issue.

According to a survey published last year by the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication, 66 percent of Americans believe that global warming is happening, with 42 percent concerned that it will harm people in the United States between now and the next 10 years. Forty-five percent of Americans believe the country will be harmed by global warming in the next 50 years, with only 16 percent saying that global warming will never harm the U.S.

The arguments on either side of the issue can be broken into three main categories. Those who do not believe in climate change, or at least in man-made climate change, are considered “climate skeptics.” Groups concerned about climate change are primarily split between two camps; those who want to prevent further change and those who want to adapt to changes that do occur.

Dazzling Northern Lights Anticipated Saturday Night

A solar flare that occurred Thursday morning may create a spectacular display of northern lights Saturday evening. The map above shows the viewing conditions for North America, but the lights will also be visible in Europe, expanding south into Scandinavia, most of the British Isles and Russia, even into northern Germany and Poland.
The southern lights could reach as far north as Tasmania and the coast of Victoria, and should also expand over most of New Zealand’s South Island.

AccuWeather is promoting its superior forecast to demonstrate the edge its services provide but some feel it is unfairly throwing the Weather Service under the bus.

AccuWeather’s Smith points out he wrote a whole book praising the NWS (Warnings: The True Story of How Science Tamed the Weather), but that it is not above criticism. “I am the biggest fan of NWS around when they do their job well, but they should be expected to be held accountable when there are issues,” he said.

But placing too much emphasis on the performance of a single forecast can be misleading, according to David Titley, director of the Center for Solutions to Weather and Climate Risk at Penn State University.

“As someone who has done nearly 40 years of operational forecasting, it’s a little like the NFL: on any given day, there’s always one forecast that is best,” Titley said. “A much better way to assess forecast skill is to have impartial, 3rd party verification and transparency over time. The facts will then speak for themselves.”

Smith counters that, as a business, AccuWeather must point to examples in which its services provide added value.