If you haven’t had your fill of global warming alarm, there could be even more coming to the Internet.
Dr. Heidi Cullen, The Weather Channel’s “climate expert,” according to Weather.com, and host of “Forecast Earth,” was a panelist at the forum “Covering a Changing Climate: The Media Challenge” held at Harvard University in Boston, Mass., on April 30. She told the audience she was looking to use the Internet – primarily Weather.com and Google Earth – to add visual elements to her message.
“[I] split my time between The Weather Channel and this think tank in Princeton and one of the things we’ve been trying to do is work with Google Earth essentially. And for me, coming from The Weather Channel, the most powerful tool that exists is Weather.com and you type in your zip code and you get a forecast out five days.”
TWC’s Weather.com is one of the most visited Web sites on the Internet. It frequently ranks in the top five of the “News and Media Category Weekly Report” put out by Hitwise, a firm that monitors Web traffic.
Cullen joined the think tank Climate Central in January 2008. The group “is about using the best science to build a road map for the future in order to help us navigate the tough choices ahead,” she said to Variety on January 17.
She said one of the most-asked questions about climate change she is confronted with refers to coastal flooding.
“And literally, what single question I get asked the most is, ‘You know, I own coastal property – should I sell it?’ Things like that,” Cullen said. She likened precautions against the threat of a house fire to dealing with global warming as it pertained to coastal erosion.
She said one of her goals is to create a model using Google Earth that will simulate the effects of climate change in high-resolution that the public can grasp, but not just in the long-term, like 2100, but in the near-term, 2030.
“[I]f you run that model out, in time, and by the year 2050, the summer of 2003 will be happening every other year. And, by the end of the century, 2003 will be a relatively cool summer. And that’s what people need to see and say, ‘Oh s***! That’s bad.’”
But according to an article written by Dr. Tim Ball and Tom Harris in August 2007, basing judgment on the use of computer models with one variable is not a sound way to make assessments on the climate.
“The meaning of these revelations is clear: computer models are the basis of all forecasts used by alarmists,” Ball and Harris wrote. “These models used temperature data that is now known to be suspect or completely wrong.”
In December 2006, Cullen argued on her blog that weathercasters who had doubts about human influence on global warming should be punished with decertification by the American Meteorological Society. Her remarks were considered over-the-top by many; however, she told the audience she was “horrified” that her objectivity had been questioned.