Episode 2 – Interview

Interview with Mary Glackin, President of the American Meteorological Society

Given what many experts agree is a mounting and serious climate emergency, the American Meteorological Society is, without doubt, a key influencer.

Its Annual Meeting is the world’s largest yearly gathering of the weather, water, and climate community and also attracts policy and decision makers from government and business.

But faced with a huge and growing body of evidence highlighting the central role of human activity in climate change, these are difficult times for the Society. While many US states have embraced the need to cut carbon emissions, a head of state who is an ardent climate change denier can only make the job of convincing the public of the need for urgent action a harder one.

Business of Weather spoke to Mary Glackin, the current President of the American Meteorological Society, about the challenges that lay ahead. Mary is the 2nd woman in successive years to take on this important role, but only the 5th woman President of the AMS in 100 years …

Episode 1 – Magazine Issue

Sucking carbon dioxide out of the air – 0:00:46

Louise Charles, Communications Manager, Climeworks

Many pundits believe that the opportunity to arrest climate change simply by reducing our carbon emissions has past.

They believe that the nature of the climate emergency is such that if we are to keep the rise in global temperatures below 1.5 or 2 degrees we’ll have to resort to more drastic action such as climate engineering.

For example, removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, seeding the atmosphere with chemicals to absorb sunlight, or putting huge mirrors into orbit to reflect the sun’s rays back into space.

Our first guest is Louise Charles who works for the Swiss company Climeworks. They’re pioneering technology which can literally suck carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and then turn it into useful products.

For more information, visit: www.climeworks.com

Climate change and fresh water – 0:11:27

Dr Mark Fletcher, the Global Water Leader at Arup

There’s one resource in particular that’s critical to life as we know it and its availability is heavily influenced by climate change.

According to the United Nations, by 2025 two-thirds of the world’s population will face a shortage of it, although in one year the average American household uses nearly 500 tonnes of it.

In Nairobi, the urban poor pay 10 times more for it than New Yorkers, while some 30 tonnes of it are required to grow a day’s food for a family of four.

Some 80% of all illness in the developing world is related to it and there is about the same amount of it on Earth now as there was millions of years ago.

It is of course water. And to talk about we speak to leading expert, Dr Mark Fletcher, the Global Water Leader at Arup.

For more information, visit: www.arup.com

Future of the global weather enterprise – 0:22:58

Jim Anderson, Senior Vice President of Global Sales, Earth Networks and Chairman, Association of the Hydro-Meteorological Equipment Industry (HMEI)

The Association of the Hydro-Meteorological Equipment Industry, or HMEI for short, represents some 140 private sector providers of products and services in the meteorological, hydrological, environmental and related fields.

Based in Geneva, HMEI is fully accredited to the World Meteorological Organisation and other UN agencies and actively facilitates co-operation between its members and organisations across the public and private sectors.

HMEI members have a key role to play in helping to address the growing impacts of extreme weather & climate change and I spoke to the recently elected chairman, Jim Anderson, about his own company and the big  challenges ahead for the hydrometeorological industry.

For more informstion, visit: www.hmei.org and www.earthnetworks.com

I’m breathing plastic! – 0:37:50

Steve Allen and Dr Deonie Allen,  EcoLab in Toulouse

Many of us will be aware of Sir David Attenborough’s programme Blue Planet 2 and the problem it highlights of plastic polluting the world’s oceans.

Well, now it seems that plastic is also polluting the air we breathe. In fact, microplastics are being carried everywhere and anywhere by the weather, even to the world’s most remote mountain tops.

A study published in May by Nature Communications claims to show that microplastics are raining down just as hard in remote environments as they are in our cities. 

The study’s authors, a team of scientists from the EcoLab Research Institute near Toulouse, collected samples from high altitudes in the Pyrenees that were far from sources of plastic waste. The nearest village was 6km away, the nearest town 25km, and the nearest city 120km.

They found an average of 365 plastic particles were being deposited per square metre every day.

To discuss this, we spoke to Steve Allen and Dr. Deonie Allen of the EcoLab Research Institute.

For more informtion, visit: www.strath.ac.uk/whystrathclyde/news/microplasticsblownbywindfoundinremotemountainousregion/

Also see: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/dec/27/revealed-microplastic-pollution-is-raining-down-on-city-dwellers

Business opportunities of climate change – 0:48:36

Bill Hosack, CEO and joint founder, Orbital Micro Systems

The weather impacts society at all levels and accurate weather forecasting is crucial to improving  safety, security, and prosperity for businesses and society around the world.

Accurate weather forecasting also has a critical role to play when it comes to addressing the increasing impacts of extreme weather & climate change.

Examples  include early warning systems which predict the impact and timing of severe weather events and help save lives; the development of more resilient power, transport and communications infrastructure; making buildings more energy efficient, not to mention increasing the efficiency of renewable energy; tracking the spread of infectious diseases such as malaria, dengue and zika; and, of course, helping to create significant improvements in agricultural production.

The critical ingredient of accurate weather forecasting is data – lots of it – and the provision of high quality data tailored to the needs of weather affected public and private enterprises offers a rapidly expanding number of new business opportunities.

One company determined to take advantage of these opportunities is Orbital Micro Systems or OMS. To capture this data the company is developing a fleet of micro satellites and the first of these was recently launched from the International Space Station.

To find out more and discuss the growing commercial opportunities of providing high quality weather data, we spoke to the OMS CEO, Bill Hosack.

For more information, visit www.orbitalmicro.com

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The Energy Meteorology Market

4th International Conference on Energy Meteorology, Bari, 27 – 29 June 2017

In this interview, Ian Harper of the Business of Weather interviews Charlie Smith and Dr. Steve Dorling, Associate Dean in the Faculty of Science at the University of East Anglia, about the business opportunities of applying meteorology in the energy sector, especially for business start-ups and SMEs.

About the participants

Charlie Smith is Executive Director, of the Utility Variable-Generation Integration Group. He is a member of the IEEE Power and Energy Society; a member of CIGRE, the International Council on Large Electric Systems; a member of the American Meteorological Society; and a Fellow of the IEEE. He is a guest editor for the IEEE Power and Energy magazine, and a past editor for the IEEE Transactions on Sustainable Energy. Mr. Smith received the IEEE PES Ramakumar Family Renewable Energy Excellence Award in 2014. He received his BSME and MS degrees from MIT in 1970. He currently serves as the Executive Director of the Utility Variable-Generation Integration Group (UVIG). Previously, he served as President of Electrotek Concepts, a power engineering consulting firm. He has over 40 years of experience in the electric power industry.

Dr. Steve Dorling is Associate Dean in the Faculty of Science at the University of East Anglia. As a Chartered Meteorologist since 1997, Dr. Dorling specializes in training and in research which addresses energy-, food- and water security concerns. In 2001 he co-founded Weatherquest Ltd and since then has acted as Innovations Director of this SME which provides weather and climate services to the energy, agriculture, water, media and transport sectors. Steve is co-author of the text “Operational Weather Forecasting” published by Wiley and has held previous positions with Environment Canada and the UK Met Office.

The European Climatic Energy Mixes (ECEM) Demonstrator Project

4th International Conference on Energy Meteorology, Bari, 27 – 29 June 2017

In this interview, Ian Harper of the Business of Weather interviews Dr. Laurent Dubus of EDF and Prof. Alberto Troccoli of the University of East Anglia about the aims and objectives of the European Climatic Energy Mixes (ECEM) Demonstrator Project.

About the participants:

Dr. Laurent Dubus has been working with EDF R&D for 16 years. He is an expert researcher in climate system modeling, weather and climate forecasts, and electrical systems management. His activities focus on the evaluation of weather and climate models, tools and services and the development of new models and applications to improve the management of power systems, in particular for renewable energies.
Laurent Dubus

Prof. Alberto Troccoli, University of East Anglia. Prof. Troccoli has over 20 years of experience in several aspects of meteorology and climate and their application to the energy sector. He has worked at several leading institutions such as NASA, ECMWF (UK), the University of Reading (UK) and CSIRO (Australia). Alberto is the editor of three books, including ‘Weather Matters for Energy’, and convener of the International Conferences Energy & Meteorology. Alberto holds a PhD in physical oceanography from the University of Edinburgh (UK).

Opportunities for SMEs in Energy Meteorology

4th International Conference on Energy Meteorology, Bari, 27 – 29 June 2017

In this interview, Ian Harper of the Business of Weather interviews Giles Dickson CEO of WindEurope and Dr. Steve Dorling, Associate Dean in the Faculty of Science at the University of East Anglia, about the business opportunities of applying meteorology in the energy sector, especially for business start-ups and SMEs. Continue reading “Opportunities for SMEs in Energy Meteorology”