Last week, Breitbart News decided to twist a story from the Weather Channel into a climate change denying pretzel in an effort to prove to their readers that the earth is not getting warmer. But the channel, which usually has nothing to do with politics, just opened up a can of whoop-ass on the right-wing site.
On Tuesday, the Weather Channel’s Kait Parker posted a video in which she fried Breitbart for using footage of her to push their whack job theory that climate change is nothing more than a hoax.
They used a completely unrelated video about La Nina — with my face in it — to attempt to back [up] their point,” Parker said.
She then broke it down point by point, after explaining the difference between facts and opinions, which Breitbart and their readers seem to have a difficult time comprehending. In the video accompanying the article, they debunked Breitbart’s bullsh*t as follows:
CLAIM: “Global land temperatures have plummeted by one degree Celsius since the middle of this year – the biggest and steepest fall on record.”
TRUTH: This number comes from one satellite-based estimate of temperatures above land areas in the lower atmosphere. 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. Land-plus-ocean data from the other two satellite groups, released after the Breitbart article, show that Earth’s lower atmosphere actually set a record high in November 2016.
CLAIM: “It can be argued that without the El Niño (and the so-called “Pacific Blob”) 2014-2016 would not have been record warm years.” (David Whitehouse, Global Warming Policy Foundation, quoted by Breitbart)
TRUTH: NOAA data show that the 2014-16 El Niño did not even begin until October 2014. It was a borderline event until mid-2015, barely above the El Niño threshold. El Niño clearly added to the strength of the record global warmth observed since late 2015. However, if the El Niño spike is removed, 2016 is still the warmest year on record and 2015 the second warmest, according to climate scientist Zeke Hausfather (Berkeley Earth).
CLAIM: “Many think that 2017 will be cooler than previous years. Myles Allen of Oxford University says that by the time of the next big United Nations climate conference, global temperatures are likely to be no warmer than the Paris COP in 2015. This would be a strange thing to happen if, as some climate scientists have claimed, recent years would have been a record even without the El Niño.” (David Rose, U.K. Daily Mail, quoted by Breitbart)
TRUTH: There is nothing unusual about a drop in global surface temperatures when going from El Niño to La Nina. These ups and downs occur on top of the long-term warming trend that remains when the El Niño and La Niña signals are removed. If there were no long-term trend, then we would see global record lows occurring during the strongest La Niña events. However, the last year to see global temperatures hit a record low was 1911, and the most recent year that fell below the 20th-century average was 1976.
Parker ended her rant by giving Breitbart, and scientists, a little advice: “So next time you’re thinking about publishing a cherry-picked article, try consulting a scientist first. And to all my fellow scientists out there, let’s make the facts louder than the opinions.”
You can watch Parker’s video in its entirety, here.
Featured image via video screen capture
April has studied political science, psychology, and philosophy. Back in the good old days she was a reporter for “old fashioned” print newspapers. In addition to news and politics, she also blogs about service dogs and disability advocacy. As a black woman with a disability, she is fed up with the right-wingers who would prefer that she and others like her didn’t exist.