Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

U.S. Meteorologists 'Deeply Concerned' Over 5G Roll-Out

Popular
U.S. Meteorologists 'Deeply Concerned' Over 5G Roll-Out
This illustration depicts the Joint Polar Satellite System-1, or JPSS-1, spacecraft designed to provide forecasters with crucial environmental science data to provide a better understanding of changes in the Earth's weather, oceans and climate. Ball Aerospace

U.S. weather forecasters are the latest group to sound the alarm that the race to introduce 5G technologies may have adverse consequences.


In a letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), U.S. meteorologists called the potential for 5G mobile technologies to disrupt communication between weather satellites "deeply concerning," according to the BBC.

The letter was signed by the American Meteorological Society, the National Weather Association and the American Geophysical Union. They oppose a FCC proposal to share a radio spectrum band with mobile companies, arguing that sharing the radio band may lead to a delay in life-saving data, according to Newsweek.

"[Interference will] postpone dissemination of vital information to the public to aid and protect life, property, businesses, and government operations. The loss of seconds can mean the difference between safety and grave risk to life and property," said John Porter, an executive at AccuWeather, in a separate letter to the FCC, as Newsweek reported.

Experts warned that sharing the 1675-1680MHz band could cause delays in public service alerts about severe weather like hurricanes and tornadoes. The letter by the U.S. meteorologists piggy backs on a letter sent to the FCC Chairman by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore) and Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) asking him not to issue 5G licenses "until the FCC approves the passive band protection limits that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) determine are necessary to protect critical satellite‐based measurements of atmospheric water vapor needed to forecast the weather."

Results of the study are expected in 2020.

Wyden and Cantwell said that the "ongoing sale of wireless airwaves could damage the effectiveness of US weather satellites and harm forecasts and predictions relied on to protect safety, property, and national security."

They reprimanded the FCC for beginning the auction "over the objections of NASA, NOAA, and members of the American Meteorological Society (AMS). These entities all argued that out-of-band emissions from future commercial broadband transmissions in the 24GHz band would disrupt the ability to collect water-vapor data measured in a neighboring frequency band (23.6 to 24GHZ) that meteorologists rely on to forecast the weather," as Ars Technica reported.

The extent of the radio wave interference will depend on where new 5G networks are, said Prof. William Webb, independent consultant and author of the book The 5G Myth, as the BBC reported.

"If it's only deployed in city centers, it probably won't cause interference," Webb said to the BBC. "But if it's used in large volumes near the meteorological sites then yes it could."

Prominent U.S. agencies are not the only ones asking for more time before 5G licenses are issued. The new mobile technologies have also faced resistance in Europe. In April, Brussels banned the implementation of 5G technologies due to concerns over radiation.

"I cannot welcome such technology if the radiation standards, which must protect the citizen, are not respected, 5G or not," said Céline Fremault , Brussels' Environment minister, as the Brussels Times reported. "The people of Brussels are not guinea pigs whose health I can sell at a profit. We cannot leave anything to doubt," she added.

Under the current radiation standards in Brussels, a pilot project is not possible. Fremault said she does not intend to make an exception for faster Internet speed.

However, the GSMA — an organization that represents mobile network operators — believes that 5G services and weather sensing services can co-exist, according to the BBC.

"We cannot allow these scare tactics to prevent us from reaping the huge societal and economic benefits of 5G networks," said Brett Tarnutzer, the trade body's head of spectrum, as the BBC reported. "We urge everyone to simply look at the facts and not get drawn in by misleading rhetoric."

54% of parents with school-age children expressed concern that their children could fall behind academically, according to a poll conducted over the summer of 2020. Maria Symchych-Navrotska / Getty Images

By Pamela Davis-Kean

With in-person instruction becoming the exception rather than the norm, 54% of parents with school-age children expressed concern that their children could fall behind academically, according to a poll conducted over the summer of 2020. Initial projections from the Northwest Evaluation Association, which conducts research and creates commonly used standardized tests, suggest that these fears are well-grounded, especially for children from low-income families.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A teenager reads a school English assignment at home after her school shut down because of the COVID-19 pandemic on March 22, 2020 in Brooklyn, New York. Andrew Lichtenstein / Corbis via Getty Images

The pandemic has affected everyone, but mental health experts warn that youth and teens are suffering disproportionately and that depression and suicide rates are increasing.

Read More Show Less

Trending

In an ad released by Republican Voters Against Trump, former coronavirus task force member Olivia Troye roasted the president for his response. Republican Voters Against Trump / YouTube

Yet another former Trump administration staffer has come out with an endorsement for former Vice President Joe Biden, this time in response to President Donald Trump's handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

Read More Show Less
Climate Group

Every September for the past 11 years, non-profit the Climate Group has hosted Climate Week NYC, a chance for business, government, activist and community leaders to come together and discuss solutions to the climate crisis.

Read More Show Less
A field of sunflowers near the Mehrum coal-fired power station, wind turbines and high-voltage lines in the Peine district of Germany on Aug. 3, 2020. Julian Stratenschulte / picture alliance via Getty Images

By Elliot Douglas

The coronavirus pandemic has altered economic priorities for governments around the world. But as wildfires tear up the west coast of the United States and Europe reels after one of its hottest summers on record, tackling climate change remains at the forefront of economic policy.

Read More Show Less

Support Ecowatch