February 22, 2011

Joe Bastardi Quits AccuWeather

Global Warming skeptic Joe Bastardi is leaving his job at AccuWeather after 32 years.  Is that important?  Perhaps.  What is important for skeptics to note is that his accuracy made him a target for the Kool Aid crowd and his departure will be no different. 

With that in mind, the announcement has already attracted some disparaging comments.  One in particular caught mt attention - a brief comment that he was/is a meteorologist and not a climate scientist.  That distinction caused me to ask an obvious question.

What is climate science, as opposed to meteorology?  Finding a definition isn't as easy as you would expect.  This definition from Iowa State University provides some detail;

Q. What is climate science, and how does it differ from meteorology and climatology?

A. Climate science is distinguished from the more general discipline of atmospheric science or meteorology by its emphasis on climate as opposed to weather. Climate science is the study of average conditions over some time period, whereas meteorology is the study of actual events. It has been said that "climate is what we expect, and weather is what we get". Climate science is distinguished from climatology by practitioners in the field by the fact that climate science relies heavily on numerical models for the study of climate processes, whereas climatologists primarily use statistical methods to study climate. Climate scientists also use statistical methods to study the output of their numerical models and to compare these results with observations. The distinction is in the wide use of numerical models by climate scientists. These numerical models (in contrast to, say, statistical models or conceptual models) are based on the fundamental laws of physics and have essentially the same basic equations as models used by fluid engineers to study fluid motions in combustion chambers, flow around airplane bodies, and flow in pipes and ducts.
And what is a meteorologist?  According to the American Meteorological Society,

A meteorologist is an individual with specialized education who uses scientific principles to explain, understand, observe or forecast the earth's atmospheric phenomena and/or how the atmosphere affects the earth and life on the planet. This specialized education would be a bachelor's or higher degree in meteorology, or atmospheric science, consistent with the requirements set forth in "The Bachelor's Degree in Meteorology or Atmospheric Science," Bulletin American Meteorological Society, 1987, Vol. 68, No. 12, p. 1570.

There are some cases where an individual has not obtained a B.S. or higher degree in meteorology, but has met the educational requirements set forth in the American Meteorological Society's Interpretive Memorandum effective June 1990, Article III, Section 4 (C), and has at least three years professional experience in meteorology. Such an individual also can be referred to as a meteorologist.

Activities of a meteorologist often are classified into a number of specialized areas. A few examples are: air pollution meteorology, global climate modeling, hydrometeorology, and numerical analysis and forecasting. These activities often require additional specialized education in related subjects.
What's the difference?  It's hard to say.  It seems it depends on who you ask. 

Why do I care? Joe Bastardi, hyper accurate meteorologist and anthropomorphic global warming (AGW) skeptic, has left his job at AccuWeather after 32 years.  Global warming believers argue that he was not a climate scientist as if to denigrate his credentials and diminish the importance of his opinion on AGW (there's examples in the comments section in the linked report).  No matter that he's not alone,  opinions that do not support AGW theory must be discredited at all costs.  Ad hominem attacks are perfectly acceptable.

Joe Bastardi however, is no climatological dilettante. He's pretty darn accurate in what he says.  If he continues to be accurate, the global warming debate should start to cool down after 2013.


  1. I'm shocked.

    He was/is the only weather prognosticator I believe in.

  2. There are others worth believing too, but he was/is good.

  3. And what's AL GORE profession? I don't remind him as a climate sciencist!


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