National Weather Service Official Says Climate Models Have Drawbacks For Forecasters.

An estimated 100 people turned out at the statehouse during the week-end to draw attention to climate change. The demonstration was part of a larger national effort to gain popular support for so-called “green” policies to reduce global warming. While recent climate reports indicate average temperatures are rising. One National Weather Service official says he’s skeptical about climate predictions and extrapolations of current trends.

Bob Livezey is chief of Climate Services for the National Weather Service. He spends his working day developing seasonal weather forecasts for the continental United States. The forecasts are based on something called climate models.

During a visit to Ohio State University, Livzey says the climate models developed during the past seven years are a good approximation of the balance of forces that determine large weather patterns. But, he says the models also have drawbacks.

Livzey says all the climate models generally indicate warmer temperatures across the globe perhaps two and a half to three degrees celsius owing mostly to so-called greenghouse gases and human activity.

And Livzey adds that the climate models say the most noticeable and dramatic changes in global temperatures will occur in latitudes above 40 degrees…or north of Columbus to the North Pole. The change in global climate has also drawn the attention of researchers. Ohio State is among major universities that has identified climate change and related studies as a priority and recently brought top government officials from Iceland to the Columbus campus. Iceland says it wants to serve as model for other countries in their efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions…Andreas Alnards works with the soil conservation service in Iceland. He notes some irony in the discussion of ways to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

Alnards says at its simplest…all the discussion and research on climate change centers on balancing one principle.

While Alnards says Iceland is using a combination of so-called carbon sinks and carbon sequestration. The United States, other countries, local governments, and some private companies around the globe are all developing policies to reduce greenhouse gases

Tom Borgerding WOSU News