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NASA image of Superstorm Sandy

Climate out of control

TV meteorologists talk about climate change: An interview with Paul Douglas, plus four local TV meteorologists


Ali Turiano
Meteorologist, CF News13


Orlando Weekly: Do you believe our planet is undergoing a significant climate change?
Ali Turiano: I believe there have been changes to the climate, but it is hard to say that the changes are significant.
Climate data has only been collected for less than 200 years. That is just a small sample of data to make such a profound statement.

OW: Are human actions causing this change?
AT: Human actions may add to these changes. I do not think humans are the only variable to the planet's climate change.

OW: Why do you think there is such a controversy over climate change?
AT: I think there is always controversy over topics people do not fully understand. Often times, opinions more than facts, can add to the controversy. On top of that, studies have counteracted each other, making it difficult for understanding of the subject.

OW: Do you think a lot of people deny climate change?
AT: In my career, I have met more people that believe the climate is changing. They are intrigued and interested in learning about weather and climate.

OW: What issue relating to climate change concerns you the most?  
AT: I'm a numbers girl … meaning I just don't think there is enough data for any one stance on climate change. This planet has been evolving for 4.6 billion years. Who's to say how and/or if the climate is supposed to change?

The bottom line is that there are more people inhabiting areas across the globe than ever before. More weather phenomena will be seen and impact more people just because of that fact, which may skew numbers in the long run.

OW: Are super storms like Sandy something we are likely to see more frequently?
AT: That is a great question.
Category One hurricanes are not that rare. In the past 30 years, the Atlantic Basin has averaged six hurricanes each season. It is more likely that many hurricanes in the past were powerful, but no observations of the storms were ever recorded. I go back to averages are not set in stone.

OW: Do you mention climate change during your forecasts?
AT: No. I do not think it is my place to mention climate change, since that is not my area of expertise.


OW: Why do you think TV meteorologists avoid mention of climate change in their forecasts?
AT: It most likely is not their area of expertise either. Plus, I think in our two-minute segments, viewers would rather hear about what that can expect today. To me, it would be more important to speak of an imminent storm danger.