graphicTUCSON, AZ., SEPTEMBER 27-28 — Broadcast meteorologists from TV stations in Albuquerque, Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Tucson spent a sunny fall Saturday at the University of Arizona for a workshop on climate change science and the climate change/weather relationship.

Part of a continuing of national and regional workshops aimed at helping TV meteorologists better understand and communicate on related climate and weather issues, the Tucson session, like its predecessors, featured an invited faculty consisting of nationally prominent climatologists, local university science and weather experts, and broadcast meteorologists. The workshop was one of a series organized and managed by the editor of The Yale Forum on Climate Change & The Media, and the Arizona session was supported by grants and technical assistance from Climate Central and from The Grantham Institute for Protection of the Environment, which provides funding to support The Yale Forum.

University of Arizona dendrochronoligist Malcolm Hughes (second from right, and also photo on right) leads tour of climate scientists and TV meteorologists to university’s new Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research Laboratory, LTRR.

Technical presentations provided during the morning session focused on essential climate science background for TV meteorologists; on scientific approaches to understanding the human role in warming; on impacts of clouds and water vapor; and on similarities and differences/strengths and limitations of weather and of climate models. Expert university faculty members addressed region-specific issues such as climate and weather anomalies in the American Southwest; forestry and wildfire issues; and drought, water supply, and American Southwest monsoons.

A post-workshop Saturday 28 “field trip” to the University of Arizona’s renowned Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research was headed by former LTRR Director and current faculty member Malcolm Hughes, who led a subset of workshop participants through a two-hour tour of the new research facility.

Tentative plans call for the next in the series of TV meteorologists climate/weather workshops scheduled for March 2014 in Denver in cooperation with Colorado State University.

Stacks and stacks of carefully cataloged tree samples align like books in an LTRR underground library.
Salt Lake City TV meteorologist Curtis May, left, and climate scientist Ben Santer and meteorologist Joe Witte listen as Hughes, with hat, describes research under way at the tree-ring laboratory.
Salt Lake City meteorologist Jim Kosek, left, listens as Hughes describes a section of LTRR’s main-entrance giant sequoia, which lived from about 215 A.D. to 1915.
A blow-up of the descriptive label on cut from giant sequoia in LTRR main lobby