The U.S. would undermine its own progress by trying to go it alone.
Two of today’s most important global trends are the return of nationalism and the explosion of privately held high-quality data. The potential side effects of both are on vivid display in one unexpected endeavor: weather forecasting.
In his new book, “The Weather Machine: A Journey Inside the Forecast,” journalist Andrew Blum explains how rapidly forecasts have been improving. Quality is gaining roughly a day a decade, so that a 5-day forecast is now about as good as a 4-day forecast was a decade ago, and a 2-day forecast 30 years ago. The improvements, Blum notes, have been achieved not by a single government agency or company but by “an international construction, a carefully conceived and continuously running system of systems, tuned to an endless loop of observing the weather, predicting the weather, and observing it all over again.”