Quantcast

#MetsUnite to Spread Climate Change Awareness as Heat Wave Season Begins

Climate
West Palm Beach broadcast meteorologist Jeff Berardelli with the graphic used in Thursday's #MetsUnite campaign. Jeff Berardelli

If you tune in to a TV weather report on today's Northern hemisphere summer solstice, you might notice the meteorologist wearing a unique striped tie or necklace that begins in blue and changes to red.

This isn't just a fun summer style. The design is actually University of Reading climate scientist Ed Hawkin's "Warming Stripes" visualization, which represents the change in annual global temperatures from 1850 to 2017. Nearly 100 TV meteorologists are displaying it in some way on Thursday as part of Meteorologists United on Climate Change or #MetsUnite, Weather Underground reported.


#MetsUnite was launched by Jeff Berardelli, a meteorologist with CBS12 (WPEC) in West Palm Beach, Florida.

"The message is simple: humans have become a force of nature. Our influence on the climate matches or exceeds the impact of natural variations. It's real. It's us. It's serious. And while the public opinion ship has veered in a favorable direction, we need an abrupt pivot, right now, to avoid the worst impacts of the iceberg called climate change," he told Weather Underground.

Berardelli was especially inspired by the communication potential of the Warming Stripes design.

"I saw Ed Hawkins Warming Stripes pattern and the simplicity resonated with me. It is our job as meteorologists and station scientists to explain weather and climate in simple, memorable terms," Berardelli told former American Meteorological Society president Dr. Marshall Shepherd for a Forbes opinion piece.

As Shepherd pointed out, TV meteorologists are the only scientists the average citizen encounters daily. But many have been hesitant to discuss climate change with viewers, partly because meteorology and climatology are different fields, so weather forecasters don't always feel comfortable presenting on a topic they might have only taken a single course on to earn their bachelor's degree. Further, a few are climate skeptics, and others are afraid of alienating conservative viewers or have been told by managers to avoid the topic out of fear it might lower ratings, Shepherd wrote.

"Traditionally meteorologists have shied away from climate change communication," Berardelli agreed in an email to Weather Underground. "Some don't want to turn away unreceptive viewers, while others may feel that they don't have a firm enough grasp on all the particulars. But the time has come for meteorologists to step up to the plate. This is our day job, and our reach as a group is vast. If we do not take the helm, who will do it?"

To help out his colleagues, Beradelli made several "Warming Stripes" products available from Zazzle.

Climate Central, a climate education non-profit that already runs a Climate Matters program to train meteorologists in addressing climate issues, has co-sponsored #MetsUnite.

Climate Matters manager Bernadette Woods Placky told Weather Underground that the summer solstice timing for #MetsUnite was an important part of the messaging.

"This is our season of extreme heat. We really want our local communities to know what's going on. There's so much confusion about climate change. These are TV mets delivering the science to really inform our communities," Placky said.

Meteorologists are using the #MetsUnite tag on Twitter to show off their summer gear, and climate science expertise. Log on to see if your local TV weather person has joined in!

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Micromobility is the future of transportation in cities, but cities and investors need to plan ahead to avoid challenges. Jonny Kennaugh / Unsplash

By Carlo Ratti, Ida Auken

On the window of a bike shop in Copenhagen, a sign reads: Your next car is a bike.

Read More Show Less
An American flag waves in the wind at the Phillip Burton Federal Building in San Francisco, California on May 17 where a trial against Monsanto took place. Alva and Alberta Pilliod, were awarded more than $2 billion in damages in their lawsuit against Monsanto, though the judge in the case lowered the damage award to $87 million. JOSH EDELSON / AFP / Getty Images

By Carey Gillam

For the last five years, Chris Stevick has helped his wife Elaine in her battle against a vicious type of cancer that the couple believes was caused by Elaine's repeated use of Monsanto's Roundup herbicide around a California property the couple owned. Now the roles are reversed as Elaine must help Chris face his own cancer.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Butterfly habitats have fallen 77 percent in the last 50 years. Pixabay / Pexels

The last 50 years have been brutal for wildlife. Animals have lost their habitats and seen their numbers plummet. Now a new report from a British conservation group warns that habitat destruction and increased pesticide use has on a trajectory for an "insect apocalypse," which will have dire consequences for humans and all life on Earth, as The Guardian reported.

Read More Show Less
Six of the nineteen wind turbines which were installed on Frodsham Marsh, near the coal-powered Fiddler's Ferry power station, in Helsby, England on Feb. 7, 2017.

Sales of electric cars are surging and the world is generating more and more power from renewable sources, but it is not enough to cut greenhouse gas emissions and to stop the global climate crisis, according to a new report from the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Read More Show Less
"Globally, we're starting to see examples of retailers moving away from plastics and throwaway packaging, but not at the urgency and scale needed to address this crisis." Greenpeace

By Jake Johnson

A Greenpeace report released Tuesday uses a hypothetical "Smart Supermarket" that has done away with environmentally damaging single-use plastics to outline a possible future in which the world's oceans and communities are free of bags, bottles, packaging and other harmful plastic pollutants.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Children are forced to wear masks due to the toxic smoke from peat land fires in Indonesia. Aulia Erlangga / CIFOR

By Irene Banos Ruiz

Pediatricians in New Delhi, India, say children's lungs are no longer pink, but black.

Our warming planet is already impacting the health of the world's children and will shape the future of an entire generation if we fail to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius (35.6°F), the 2019 Lancet Countdown Report on health and climate change shows.

Read More Show Less
Private homes surround a 20 inch gas liquids pipeline which is part of the Mariner East II project on Oct. 5, 2017 in Marchwood, Penn. Robert Nickelsberg / Getty Images

The FBI is looking into how the state of Pennsylvania granted permits for a controversial natural gas pipeline as part of a corruption investigation, the AP reports.

Read More Show Less
Three cows who were washed off their North Carolina island by Hurricane Dorian have been found alive after swimming at least two miles. Carolina Wild Ones / Facebook

Three cows who were washed off their North Carolina island by Hurricane Dorian have been found alive after swimming at least two miles, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

Read More Show Less