On Saturday, November 13 2021, one of Israel’s leading news outlets, Channel 13, utilized BreezoMeter’s air quality heatmaps during its primetime broadcast to inform its viewers regarding the country’s air quality conditions in the wake of an unexpected series of environmental events.
For me, this adoption of air quality metrics by a mainstream media company means BreezoMeter is one step closer to realizing its mission, and I’m very excited to see more media companies finally taking responsibility by integrating pollution events into standard weather reports.
Israel Struck By Unusual November Weather
It seems like every week we find new examples of climate change’s impact on what we once considered “regular” seasonal weather. This past weekend, strong winds and low moisture led to multiple wildfires sparking across Israel’s Northern and Central regions, while the area was covered in dust storms, during a November the likes of which we haven’t seen in over a decade.
I wish I could say this was a singular incident, but it was only the latest in a chain of unexpected weather events for this time of year. Once again, due to climate change, we’re likely to see more of these abnormalities in the coming months and years.
Channel 13 Adopts New Air Quality Metrics For Weather Report
On Saturday, Channel 13, one of Israel’s most-watched local news sources, discussed this climate-change-related weather phenomenon:
Due to the changes in climate, hot and dry weather seems to have become the new normal for our fall season here in Israel. Where we usually started seeing rain already in September, now we see wildfires sparking more frequently, resulting in the evacuation of entire villages and firefighting personnel staying on-call 24/7 for fear of additional fires igniting, not to mention the increasing frequency and severity of dust storms affecting the region.
During the broadcast, Channel 13’s weather reporter did something I’ve been waiting for years to see mainstream Weather broadcasters do: they covered an air quality event impacting the country and showed BreezoMeter’s color-coded heatmaps to drive the point home for the audience - “Israelis are currently breathing the most polluted air in all of Europe”.
Finally, I can’t tell you how proud I was to witness this leading media outlet understand - climate must become an everyday part of the audience’s lives, and new ‘weather metrics’ that integrate air quality can help save lives on a global scale!
Weather Reports MUST Show The Complete Environmental Picture
Like I said, it’s been a long time coming. But one channel is not enough. Pollution is the biggest environmental threat to public health, and media outlets have been without a full, accurate environmental picture for too long.
It’s time for weather reports to start proactively conveying the full picture of the environment to their audiences, including all events affected by weather and climate, highlighting the impact of air quality and wildfires in particular. This means reporting on air quality, pollution, pollen, and wildfires, both local and far.
We, the audience, for our part, can start adopting new habits that encourage us to check air quality reports regularly and incorporate environmental considerations into our daily decision-making.