Weather Channel calls out Breitbart over fake climate news

Earth’s lower atmosphere actually set a record high temperature in November 2016.

Feb 28, 2020, 7:25 pm*

Tech

Dell Cameron 

Dell Cameron

Screengrab via The Weather Channel

Breitbart News misrepresented, twisted, and cherry-picked facts for an article about climate change last week titled, “Global Temperatures Plummet. Icy silence from climate alarmists,” according to the Weather Channel, whose reporting Breitbart cited.

James Delingpole, the author of the Breitbart article, misappropriated a video by the Weather Channel’s Kait Parker, an atmospheric scientist, in a deceptive attempt to show that global land temperatures have “plummeted by one degree Celsius since the middle of this year”—or what the site called, “the biggest and steepest fall on record.”

The Weather Channel sharply disputed Delingpole’s report, noting that his figures were cherry-picked from a single “satellite-based estimate of temperatures above land areas in the lower atmosphere.” The Weather Channel continued:

“Data from the other two groups that regularly publish satellite-based temperature estimates show smaller drops, more typical of the decline one would expect after a strong El Niño event.

“Temperatures over land give an incomplete picture of global-scale temperature. Most of the planet – about 70 percent – is covered by water, and the land surface warms and cools more quickly than the ocean.”

Delingpole’s claim—which also cited the British tabloid Daily Mail, where Delingpole was previously published—is further debunked, the Weather Channel asserted, by data from studies monitoring land and ocean temperature that “show the Earth’s lower atmosphere actually set a record high in November 2016.”

Embarrassingly, the U.S. House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology shared Breitbart’s article last week via Twitter, revealing a susceptibility to fake news among GOP officials supported by financial contributions from oil and gas industry lobbyists.

“The next time you write a climate change article and need fact-checking help, please call,” Weather Channel concluded in its address to the far-right website. “We’re here for you. I’m sure we both agree this topic is too important to get wrong.”

Read Weather Channel’s full takedown of Breitbart’s report here.

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*First Published: Dec 6, 2016, 6:37 pm