The Weather Channel isn’t known for getting into scrapes with other sites over weather reporting. It tends to focus on noncontroversial stories about oddities in nature (“Steam Rises From Eerie Frozen Tree”) and fairly straightforward weather news (“Second Snowmaker Moving In”).
But at the top of its site Tuesday was a piece pushing back against a Breitbart article that claimed to disprove climate change once and for all.
The article, titled “Global Temperatures Plunge. Icy Silence from Climate Alarmists,” used clips from the Weather Channel and was even shared by the Republican-led House Science, Space and Technology Committee.
— Sci,Space,&Tech Cmte (@HouseScience) December 1, 2016
The Weather Channel wasn’t happy that its video was used in a story that it believed was false, so they decided to fire back. “Though we would prefer to focus on our usual coverage of weather and climate science, in this case we felt it important to add our two cents—especially because a video clip from weather.com (La Niña in Pacific Affects Weather in New England) was prominently featured at the top of the Breitbart article.”
They defended Breitbart’s right to use the video, but wanted to clarify that people should not see it as an endorsement by the Weather Channel. “Breitbart had the legal right to use this clip as part of a content-sharing agreement with another company, but there should be no assumption that The Weather Company endorses the article associated with it.”
The Weather Channel assailed the two central arguments in the Breitbart piece. The first claim, drawn from a Daily Mail article, was that “global land temperatures have plummeted by one degree Celsius since the middle of this year—the biggest and steepest fall on record.” The Weather Channel says that figure is based on only “one satellite-based estimate.”
The second claim in the Breitbart story is that “it can be argued that without the El Niño (and the so-called “Pacific Blob”) 2014-2016 would not have been record warm years.” According to the Weather Channel: “If the El Niño spike is removed, 2016 is still the warmest year on record and 2015 the second warmest.”
The Weather Channel also took the war to Twitter.
— The Weather Channel (@weatherchannel) December 6, 2016