The Weather Channel's Pattrn Delivers Exclusive Audience Experience Through Coverage of COP26

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Interested in seeing world leaders debate the fate of the Earth? The Weather Channel's Pattern is likely to be the only U.S. network offering comprehensive coverage of the UN Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland, from October 31 to November 12.

Pattrn will have several teams on the ground in Glasgow, including The Weather Channel's on-camera meteorologist Stephanie Abrams and Chief Environmental Correspondent Dave Malkoff. There will be daily roundtable discussions moderated by Climate Specialist Carl Parker, as well as one-on-one interviews, documentaries and short films from the Pattrn Earth Film Challenge.

Nora Zimmett, Chief Content Officer and Executive Vice President at TWC, told MediaVillage:"We're covering COP26 like the major event that it is: a global conference including critical decision makers. And we're not just providing highlights. We are covering the full 13 days."

The reality of climate change has never been clearer, and there's no shortage of scientific papers proving that without swift action its effects will be long-lasting and devastating. In fact, 97% or more of actively published climate scientists believe that the planet is warming, and that it is caused by human activity.

Although the public is increasingly aware that global warming is happening (seven in 10 people), there's still a big knowledge gap. According to Yale's Program on Climate Change Communication, only about one in five Americans realize the extent of the scientific consensus. And three in 10, according to the same survey, believe that planetary warming is just part of natural cycles.

The Weather Channel created Pattrn to help people "see the Earth changing right before our eyes," according to its officials. Pattrn is free to the public, available on Local Now, Plex and Tubi and distributed across all social platforms. TWC partnered with three dozen organizations to create a home base for clear, understandable reporting on the impact that climate change is having on the planet right now.

According to Zimmett, "We started on Twitter and then became a 24/7 climate and sustainability brand, with free streaming. Our programming combines enterprise reporting, storytelling and documentaries, and it helps fill a huge gap in readily available climate and environmental information. People want to know what they can do."

Scientific papers are daunting for the layman, and the reports published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) can be dense, if not incomprehensible. Here's a sample from the Sixth Assessment Report: "These higher mean ECS and TCR values can be traced to a positive net cloud feedback that is larger in CMIP6 by about 20%." The basic concept, though, is that clouds reflect sunlight and emit infrared radiation to space, which results in a cooling effect.

Says Zimmett: "The public has had to claw through media releases and get to paragraph eight before they get answers to their questions to what global warming means to them. For instance, how will they be affected by rising sea levels? How will their flood insurance change? Will they see an increase in extreme weather events in their states?"

"We are the niche environmental brand that the cool kids rely on," Zimmet said. "The data is not just well done, it gets to the heart of what's important. We deal in facts: Climate change is not partisan, though politicians like to twist it to the left or right."

Some stories on Pattrn now:

  • Around the world, environmentalists are placing blankets over glaciers in an attempt to slow melt during the summer months. But does it work? The results are in from Sweden's Helags glacier.
  • Some 31 countries (including nine of the top 20 emitters) have joined a global pledge to cut methane emissions by at least 30% below 2020 levels by 2030. Methane doesn't last as long as carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, so why are scientists so worried about it?
  • Nearly two million miles of roads across the U.S. are at risk of becoming impassable due to flooding, says a new report from First Street Foundation that details the rising flood risk across America and how it impacts communities.
  • Meet Mabel Baldwin-Schaeffer, NOAA Fisheries Service's first tribal research coordinator. The new position is a step toward better representation for Alaska's Indigenous communities.

"We offer a huge opportunity for audiences to have a destination -- not just for climate change, but for environmental news in general," Zimmett concluded. "The weather is our best ally in explaining climate change. Stronger storms, frequent floods and fires -- these are the harbingers of what is to come, and their intensification is predicted in the scientific literature. What we're seeing is right on time."

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