The Guardian view on weather forecasts: we need the bigger picture | Editorial

Climate must not be confused with local conditions, but remodelled broadcasts could help people understand the dangers we face

Still, and in defiance of decades worth of scientific evidence, vast numbers of people around the world refuse to accept that we are in the process of drastically altering the climate. Vast numbers more lack the information they need to interpret what is going on. This is a global problem whose importance cannot be overstated. It has no single solution. But giving up on trying to halt the damage to life on our planet is not an option. And in this context, this week’s suggestion by the former BBC weather presenter Bill Giles, that forecasts should be adapted to include information about climate change as well as local weather conditions, is extremely welcome.

Weather and climate are not the same thing, and to confuse them would be unhelpful. But the rapidly developing science of weather attribution means that experts are now able to analyse extreme events including floods and heatwaves to determine the contribution of manmade climate change. Last summer’s UK heatwave, for example, was made 30 times more likely by greenhouse gases. Findings such as this could feature in the remodelled broadcasts, and play a valuable role in increasing public understanding. So could information about globally important climate-related events, such as updates on melting ice sheets in Greenland or Antarctica.

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Read More The Guardian view on weather forecasts: we need the bigger picture | Editorial

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