Jan 26, 2022 - Economy & Business

AccuWeather enters the climate consulting space

Illustration of a weather report with weather systems.

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

AccuWeather, one of the largest and oldest private sector players in U.S. weather forecasting, is rolling out a new program it's calling "ClimateReady Risk Mitigation." The aim, it says, is to help companies and communities worldwide prepare for climate change impacts.

Why it matters: AccuWeather is joining an increasingly crowded marketplace for climate risk forecasting, with competitors including Jupiter Intelligence, IBM, Moody's, S&P Global, First Street Foundation and XDI.

The intrigue: Unlike many of these players, AccuWeather is not running its own climate models.

  • Instead, it is integrating publicly available, peer-reviewed modeling with a proprietary historical weather database to produce insights that can help companies decide on capital allocations, the siting of factories and offices, and other choices.
  • Its historical database, says company founder and CEO Joel N. Myers, has more than 300 parameters.
  • By contrast, Moody's and S&P have bought up multiple modeling companies, including Moody's 2021 $2 billion purchase of RMS.

Flashback: The product launch is somewhat of an evolution for Myers, who as a prominent member of the U.S. weather community has in the past played down the links between human activity and climate extremes.

  • However, he told Axios that his statements had been taken out of context on previous occasions and that climate science has evolved and solidified over time. He cited the fact that the past 10 years have been the warmest on record.
  • "What's best for science is to stick to the facts, and facts change," he said, noting that scientists need to be open to new evidence.
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