Jun 27, 2013 4:43 PM by Rob Perillo

Hurricanes, Tornadoes & Climate Change at Broadcast Conference

Numerous weather subjects were covered at the American Meteorological Society's (AMS) Broadcast Conference held in Nashville this week. The conference was attended by more than 200 broadcast meteorologists from the U.S, Canada and Great Britain.

The conference started Tuesday with a day long workshop on what is known about climate change and what direction the planet is heading including anthropogenic influences of carbon dioxide and how global temperatures have responded in recent years. 

While too many topics were covered to enumerate and detail here, the increased complexity and the strides in computing were one of the highlights of the climate workshop including a decidedly scientific tone of information dissemination.

Some take aways of the current state of the atmosphere include that the global warming trend has slowed over the last 10 years which has been directly attributed to aerosols from increased volcanic activity over the last decade.

The volcanic particulates have shielded the earth from solar rays. It remains unclear if this process will continue.

In addition, the deep oceans are being studied and modeled to determine the processes that become the heat sink for the atmosphere. Deep ocean circulations are one of the least understood processes in climate studies.

As for carbon dioxide, it appears that CO2 levels are approaching levels that the planet has not seen for nearly 1 million years.

Temperature-wise, the arctic/antarctic regions continue to show most warming over the last  several decades with lesser effects toward equatorial areas, including Louisiana.

In addition to climate change, post analysis of Hurricane Sandy, including the devastating storm surge were discussed. Most deaths from Sandy were storm surge related.

In other tropical news, over the next two years the National Hurricane Center will be developing specific storm surge warnings, which will be very important to Acadiana's & Louisiana's coastline, especially when storms may not directly threaten Louisiana but are targeting the Texas coast.

In addition, this year NASA & NOAA will add a second Global Hawk Drone that will fly into and over hurricanes helping to better understand the environmental conditions surrounding a storm, and better understand rapid intensification cycles should make for more accurate intensity forecasts.

Severe weather events, including the recent Oklahoma tornadoes were discussed, including a review of storm chasing procedures and the decision making process that chasers and residents in harms way have to make.

As broadcasters, the way(s) we communicate severe weather information and social responses to our information were also covered.

The broadcast conference was held in conjunction with the Conference on Weather Warnings and Communications involving the Emergency Preparedness, Academic and Governmental communities. 



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