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ABC, NBC Claim Link between Iowa Floods and Global Warming

      It was only a matter of time until the mainstream media began ramping up global warming alarmism by connecting flooding in the Midwest to climate change.  


     ABC’s “World News with Charles Gibson” took a page out of the alarmists’ playbook – connecting natural disasters to global warming, which according to the broadcast is caused by mankind’s use of fossil fuels. The segment, which led off the network’s June 19 broadcast, cited a government report that stated there’s definitive evidence such a link exists.


      “[T]oday, the administration report draws a clear link between this destructive and severe weather and the fossil fuels we burn to light our homes and power our cars,” ABC correspondent Barbara Pinto said from a flood-soaked Burlington, Iowa.


     The report is from the politicized U.S. Climate Change Science Program (CCSP), a joint effort of more than a dozen government agencies. Last month, Rick Piltz, director of Climate Science Watch, an alarmist advocacy group, accused the White House of being forced by a court order to release reports issued by the CCSP. However, a spokeswoman from the White House disputed Piltz’s claim.


     The “World News” segment also included a government scientist who has a long history of making these global warming claims.


     “As greenhouse gases increase, the faster they increase, the more extreme weather and climate events we'll be seeing,” said National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) scientist Tom Karl said to “World News.”


      However, Karl’s been making claims about mass floods due to global warming for 13 years. On Sept. 21, 1995, Karl appeared on “CBS This Morning” and alleged the same link between flooding and global warming.


    “We have seen a number of changes in the climate over the past century that would lead us to believe they are, indeed, a unique signature of man’s influence on climate,” Karl said. “Some of these changes include a shift in the changes of rainfall from more moderate, soaking rains to more extreme precipitation events, the type of flooding events that many of us have experienced recently.”


    On Jan. 14, 1997, the NOAA Public Affairs Department issued a release with Karl making similar claims.


     “Although it is impossible to link any particular weather or climate event to global warming, and present-day climate models are not sophisticated enough to accurately pinpoint regions of the globe where changes will be the largest, extreme flooding is expected to become more frequent across the United States due to an increase in precipitation extremes,” Karl said in the release.


     Dr. Pat Michaels, a research professor of environmental sciences at the University of Virginia and visiting scientist with the Marshall Institute in Washington, D.C., disputed Karl’s claim.


     “That’s bunk,” Michaels told the Business & Media Institute. “No one can link an individual weather event with global forcing.”


     Michaels told BMI the NOAA claim is using the occurrence of the flood to suit its own conclusion – one that the flood doesn’t necessarily indicate.


      “Saying that a flood is ‘consistent’ with global warming, given flooding statistics, is as permissible and meaningful as saying that a flood is ‘consistent’ with global cooling, or constant temperatures,” Michaels added. “Climate models – which are all we have for future projection – are always probabilistic and therefore can’t be used in this fashion.”


     “NBC Nightly News” also trotted out Karl and warned of the dangers of global warming, with the Iowa flooding as a backdrop.


     “This is America’s forecast: more torrential rains, more sweltering heat waves and fewer cold snaps,” NBC chief environmental correspondent Anne Thompson said June 19. “That’s the future; this is now.”


     “The bottom line of this report is that observed changes in weather and climate extremes are occurring today. We expect them to continue to occur in the future,” Karl added.


    Thompson concluded, “[I]f greenhouse gases increase at the middle range of projections, heavy precipitation that now happens every 20 years could happen every eight by the end of the century over much of eastern North America.”


     But Kristin Scuderi, a spokeswoman for the White House, told BMI that reporters might be attributing single storms to global warming when scientists are pointing to a broader increase in weather severity.


     “No individual weather event can be tied to climate change and Tom Karl knows that individual weather events cannot be attributed to climate change, but he may have tried to explain that severe storms and floods are likely to increase in a probabalistic sense, a concept not easily understood by most reporters,” she said.


Related Links: 

 

A Special Report from BMI: Global Warming Censored


BMI's Special Report "Fire & Ice: Journalists have warned of climate change for 100 years, but can't decide weather we face an ice or warming"


Climate of Bias: BMI's page devoted entirely to global warming and climate change in the media.