Use forecast to talk about climate change, urges ex-BBC presenter

media can help increase understanding of the science behind heatwaves, floods and storms, the met office said
Media can help increase understanding of the science behind heatwaves, floods and storms, the Met Office said. Photograph: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Bill Giles calls on broadcasters to add slot explaining humans’ impact on climate

— The veteran weatherman Bill Giles is calling on the BBC and other major broadcasters to radically overhaul their forecasts to incorporate information about climate change.

The former head of BBC weather presenters has said more needs to be done by broadcasters to highlight climate change to face the “reality more squarely and openly”.

Giles, who presented weather forecasts at the corporation for nearly two decades, is urging TV channels to come up with a “radical approach to keep viewers properly informed”.

In a piece for Radio Times, Giles, 79, writes: “The hourly forecasts that we now see do an excellent job in giving us the likely weather events over the coming few days, and this must continue. But to properly explain the underlying changes to climate they will need to look much further afield at the weather across the world, reporting and analysing extremes on a daily basis.

the former bbc weatherman bill giles
The former BBC weatherman Bill Giles Photograph: PA

 

“So I am calling on the BBC and the other major broadcasters to incorporate an additional five- to 10-minute slot into the forecast that focuses properly and honestly on the Earth’s changing climate.

“This climate change slot should air at least once a week and would use our technical ability to show weather everywhere in the world to explain in clear, ‘non-jargony’ or technical terms the reasons why our climate is changing – largely due to human influences – and the effects of this on us and all other animals.”

The forecaster, who says he has been highlighting the effects of climate change since the 1980s, warns: “If our mathematics are correct, then a 2°C change will mean that the London summer climate in 2050 would be similar to that of southern France of today – and by 2100 similar to that of Athens.”

A BBC spokesman said: “BBC Weather is already looking at climate change very carefully to see how we can communicate its impacts, particularly on extreme weather events both in the UK and around the world.”

Asked whether it backed Giles’s calls, the Met Office said it “welcomes any opportunities to raise awareness and promote the science of climate change”.

A spokesman added: “As our climate changes, so will the weather we experience on a day to day basis. Working with the media to increase understanding of the science behind how the likelihood of heatwaves, floods or storms may change in the future should be welcomed.”


by Simon Murphy | The Guardian

 

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