Live TV: Weather? Global Warming? Climate Change?

‘Polar Vortex’ Top Story for TV Programs … and Grist for New Yale Forum Video

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Blanket 24/7 media coverage of the short but frigid ‘Polar Vortex’ temperatures — climate change? global warming? — provides a cornucopia of material for this month’s ‘This is Not Cool’ video.

The holiday season now largely past, most of the nation’s TV and cable news programs, and with them much of the local news too, have turned to the weather — or more specifically to the Polar Vortex. As in blanket 24/7 coverage and commentary.

The record-breaking, though in many cases rather short-lived, night-time lows and record-low daytime high temperatures across much of the country has had TV meteorologists and weathercasters leading their stations’ news feeds day after day. Hour after hour. And, seemingly and for many unbearably, minute after minute. The frigid weather news blitz unquestionably has led to more than a few instances of weather-fatigue among some TV watchers apparently not yet sated with recurring crime-in-the-streets routine local news fare. One can bet that some of those weathercasters themselves are rightly dubious about their own, and more so their colleagues’, gluttonous weather reporting excesses.

It all made for good fun for Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” and host Jon Stewart, who on the program’s first broadcast of 2014 lampooned the Polar Vortex coverage, along with some climate science doubters’ bogus claims, in laugh-out-loud “Global Warming Hoax” and “War on Carbon” spoofs.

And it all makes for fodder and grist for independent videographer Peter Sinclair’s new “This is Not Cool” video for The Yale Forum. With original footage drawn from a series of on-site interviews with climate experts during the recent American Geophysical Union (AGU) fall conference (see Yale Forum coverage), Sinclair’s “Extreme Weather” seven-minute video recaps some of the more notable weather anomalies of 2013 and includes excerpts dating from the first week of January 2014.

It all brings up a lyric fresh from the holiday season … “The weather outside is frightful,” but with the new rendition tending more toward a “…let it warm, let it warm, let it warm” refrain, though from a short-term weather perspective, and not from a long-term climate perspective.

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One Response to ‘Polar Vortex’ Top Story for TV Programs … and Grist for New Yale Forum Video

  1. Joe Witte says:

    Thanks for the video. Very nice. Just a FYI:
    NASAviz (iPad app) has that visualization of the global jet stream Rossby waves: “Aerial Superhighway”, 2012.03.07 A general case study from 2011. Starts with overhead view of north pole. Runs :27

    and NYC NWS has graphic on what a vortex is and is not: ow.ly/i/4dmhP
    (be sure it is P).

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