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March 17, 2014   College of Arts & Sciences | Cold, hard facts

Cold, hard facts

March 17, 2014

J. Marshall Shepherd, the Athletic Association Professor of Geography in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, appeared on CBS' Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer to talk about climate and weather conditions in the U.S.

Shepherd said that weather in the U.S. has been stuck in a pattern with warm temperatures and drought in western states and harsh winter conditions in the East. 

"If you think about a see-saw: one part is up and one part is down in the United States," Shepherd said.

While no single weather event can be traced to climate change, he said, evidence suggests that climate change may be changing weather patterns.

Shepherd told Schieffer, "I tell my students at the University of Georgia, ‘As scientists we have to report the science based on what the peer-reviewed literature says, not based on (what) Twitter, texts or (blogs) say.' "

In observation of Black History Month, Shepherd, the outgoing president of the American Meteorological Association, also appeared on The Weather Channel to promote African-American involvement in his field. Shepherd was the first African-American to earn his doctoral degree in meteorology from Florida State University.

"I've tried to tell a story and be a mentor to get other African-Americans into the field of atmospheric sciences, weather and climate," he said.

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