WLOS to host Round Table - "Climate Change: Causes, Impacts, & Solutions"
On Thursday, Oct. 5, News 13 is hosting a Your Voice, Your Future Round Table: “Climate Change: Causes, Impacts, & Solutions.” It will air on Channel 13.3 from 8pm-9pm and will be moderated by our Chief Meteorologist, Jason Boyer.
The panelists are:
- Ellie Johnston – Climate and Energy Lead, Climate Interactive
- Dr. David Easterling – Chief, Observations and Data Records; Director, National Climate Assessment Technical Support Unit Center for Weather and Climate NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information
- Dr. Carl Schreck - CICS-NC
- Dr. Danny Lee – Director, USDA Forest Service’s Eastern Forest Environmental Threat Assessment Center
- Dr. Chris Cooper - Western Carolina University, Political Science & Public Affairs
The Round Table comes as climate change continues to make headlines—both in the political world and the scientific community.
Panelists will answer questions from viewers submitted via social media, email and video.
WNC is no stranger to weather extremes. In 2013 Asheville saw record rain and three years later the area was in a record drought. Also in 2016, wildfires ravaged the mountains. At one point, a U.S. Forest Service fire analyst suggested that global warming could have had a role in the drought & mild weather, fueling the flames.
On the scientific end, NASA says the planet’s average surface temperature has risen about 2 degrees Fahrenheit since the late 19th century. Both NASA and NOAA state that 2016 was the hottest year on record and the third straight year of record warmth.
The National Climate Assessment, produced by hundreds of experts guided by a Federal Advisory Committee, warns about North Atlantic hurricanes. The report states that Category 4 and 5 hurricanes are more frequent since the early 1980s, but it’s not certain whether it’s human or natural causes. The report also states that storm intensity and rainfall rates are expected to increase as the climate warms.
This year, hurricanes Harvey and Irma broke records.
Harvey first made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane and dumped 51 inches of rain in parts of eastern Texas, shattering the U.S. record for rainfall from a single storm.
Irma also hit Florida as a Category 4 storm. Before making landfall, Irma was the strongest hurricane the National Hurricane Center ever recorded in the Atlantic.
As of Sept. 18, 13 named storms, eight hurricanes, and four major hurricanes had formed in the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season according to weather.com. It could be one of the most active seasons on record.
There are differing explanations about the cause of climate change.
The National Climate Assessment states that most climate issues are man-made. Environmental Protection Agency Chief Scott Pruitt recently stated that while “…humans contribute to it in some way…” he said it’s difficult to know the level of impact of humans. When asked about the impact of climate change on hurricanes, President Donald Trump said “we’ve had bigger storms” in reference to hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
In June, President Trump announced that he would withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate change accord, drawing criticism from some world leaders. The President said the agreement imposes “draconian financial and economic burdens” on the U.S. The President has said he would negotiate to reenter the agreement or create a new agreement under different terms.