Global warming certainly generated a lot of heat – for CNN. Meteorologist Rob Marciano told the October 4 “American Morning” audience: “There are definitely some inaccuracies” in the Al Gore film “An Inconvenient Truth.” After the previous report ended up “stirring a new storm” and generating “a lot of e-mails to our show,” Marciano followed up with even more things Gore got wrong the next day.
“He does talk about tornados, implying that there’s an increase in tornados from global warming, that’s not necessarily true,” said Marciano.
In the earlier report, Marciano had said, “There are definitely some inaccuracies” in the film. “The biggest thing I have a problem with is this implication that Katrina was caused by global warming,” he concluded.
This time, he followed up with quotes from two scientists with conflicting views about hurricanes. “First up is the science and operations officer of the
“He told me,” Marciano said of Landsea, “the best computer models suggest global warming will cause changes in hurricanes. We should see slightly stronger hurricanes, 5 percent stronger 100 years from now. But the concern that we’re seeing drastic increase today due to global warming I think is wrong.”
Marciano explained that there are good reasons for Landsea’s skepticism because the global data “is not as reliable” as the information used by the
see how strong a storm is.” He added that Atlantic hurricanes count for just 15 percent of the global total, so the results could easily be skewed by bad data.
The CNN story then showed the opposite view – the regional director of the national Center for Atmostpheric Research, Greg Holland. He told Marciano “it’s a pity to use a lack of good data as a crutch instead of looking at the total evidence as a whole. The evidence we have about Atlantic hurricanes is that there is a contribution from global warming.”
An actual scientific debate – contradicting the Al Gore assertion that the science is settled and there is only one side to the issue. According to Gore: “The debate's over” about global warming, as he explained on “Today” May 24, 2006. Not on CNN.
Marciano added that the whole hurricane issue is “complicated.” “There’s other factors involved. There’s humidity, there’s wind, pressure fields, dust in the air, the list goes on. There’s much more that goes into making a hurricane, Kiran, than just warm water,” he said.
The report concluded with more on the scientific debate. Marciano included the uncertainty about the issue in his final point saying, “the globe is getting warmer and humans are the likely the main cause of it.”
Anchor Kiran Chetry summed up the network sense of the debate at the end. “Just don’t say anything for a couple more days.”
The Business & Media Institute has extensively critiqued the media’s coverage of global warming in Fire & Ice, which covers a hundred years of coverage of global warming. While journalists have warned of climate change for more than 100 years, the warnings switched from global cooling to warming to cooling and warming again.