Continuing our fact check of Al Gore’s rant in Davos we come to his claim that CO2 emissions are causing “the rain bombs”. The what? We hadn’t heard of rain bombs before. Nor is it a term meteorologists use. For instance, weatherzone.com asks “Is a ‘rain bomb’ really a thing?” And answers no: “there is no such thing as a ‘rain bomb’ in the field of meteorology.” Nor is Gore’s neologism likely to catch on the way “Atmospheric River” did, because not only is it not used by meteorologists whereas “atmospheric river” is, they actively detest the term.
According to Mark Gibbs, an oceanographer and climate researcher from Queensland University of Technology, “Every meteorologist I know hates this term. I have no idea where it came from, but it pops up in the media all the time, and it’s not an accurate term at all.”
In the Washington Post back in 2016, meteorologist Angela Fritz warned that use of overwrought metaphors like “rain bombs” brings the profession into disrepute. The correct term is “microbursts” which are an actual thing (and have been for a long time). Fritz notes: “Bloomberg reports that microbursts are “informally known” as rain bombs, but I’ve personally never heard that term and I am actually a meteorologist who actually uses words to communicate with the public about the weather.” Use of terms like rain bombs “gives us a bad name” she added.
Well OK then. But sitting silently year after year while people like Al Gore and Greta Thunberg spout increasingly loopy nonsense about climate change also gives your profession a bad name. So maybe it’s time to do something about that one too. Oh, and the constant claims that weather is getting worse when you know it’s not.