Kentucky State Climatologist Says Extensive Data is Available for Decision Makers on Climate Change

Jun 5, 2017

The Kentucky Mesonet site at Draffenville in Marshall County includes a temperature sensor and wind monitor at the top of the tower.
Credit Kentucky Mesonet

The Kentucky state climatologist said scientists must continue to provide updated climate information to U.S. decision makers.  

The comments come after President Donald Trump’s decision to remove the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement. 

State Climatologist Stuart Foster oversees the Kentucky Mesonet with weather and climate monitoring stations across the state. Foster is director of the Kentucky Climate Center and said Mesonet provides extensive data that’s available to state policy makers. 

Foster said there are natural climate variations from year-to-year.

              

“For the average person it can be difficult sometimes to see, or maybe to convince yourself, that climate can be changing. But within the scientific community, people that spend their careers studying these things, there’s really a growing consensus that our climate is changing and that human activity is making an impact on that.” One of the major factors is greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels.

Climate varies considerably from year-to-year, so long-term data can provide perspective, said Foster.

“If we look at our record for the last 120 or 125 years, we’ve certainly seen over the last few decades a warming trend in Kentucky. And, in fact, the 12-month period from last March through the end of February this year was the warmest 12-month period in Kentucky.”

Many American cities, states and businesses have announced that they are moving forward with their own plans, and collaborative efforts, to meet the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement.