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NBC Works on 'Connecting the Dots' Between Sandy and Global Warming

In a report for Monday's NBC Nightly News, correspondent Anne Thompson seized on Hurricane Sandy to continue pushing the argument for man-made global warming: "Now some politicians are connecting the dots, blaming the gases that come from burning coal, oil and gas for changing the climate." A clip followed of New York's Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo declaring: "Climate change, extreme weather, call it what you will. It is undeniable." [Listen to the audio]

Thompson did acknowledge that "when it comes to one specific event like Sandy, most scientists are more cautious." However, the segment only featured sound bites of climate experts making dire declarations. The Weather Channel's Tom Moore fretted: "This is something we've never seen before, any of the meteorologists here, for that matter. And it's something very, very unusual."

Jeff Masters, a meteorologist for the global warming advocacy group Weather Underground, announced: "We know that global warming shifts the odds of certain extreme events. So we can't say that Sandy was definitely caused by global warming, but we can say it shifted the odds in its favor." On its website, Weather Underground asserts:

Earth's climate is warming. This time, humans are mostly responsible, and the overwhelming majority of climate scientists agree. Climate change is already causing significant impacts to people and ecosystems, and these impacts will grow much more severe in the coming years.

The third talking head featured was Columbia University Professor Adam Sobel, who warned: "It's not a question of if the sea level will rise, it's a question of how much. And what that depends on is how warm the climate gets and how quickly the ice in Greenland and Antarctica breaks off and falls into the sea."

Thompson wrapped up the story by concluding: "Extreme weather with extreme price tags, becoming more commonplace."

Thompson's report was just the latest in a string of NBC stories since Sandy hit that pushed the climate change agenda. On the October 31 Today, one day after the storm, correspondent Keir Simmons reported on hurricane forecasters and touted how "Global warming could make their work more important than ever."

The following day, on November 1, correspondent Harry Smith appeared on the morning program to tell viewers: "There is a growing consensus that this is all part of a new normal....Many a climate scientist say there is a reason this is happening."

Here is a full transcript of Thompson's November 12 report:

7:00PM ET TEASE:

BRIAN WILLIAMS: Going to extremes, so many still suffering two full weeks now after Hurricane Sandy. And now after the hurricane, then the snow. Now it feels like spring, while winter hits out west.

7:11PM ET SEGMENT:

WILLIAMS: And remember, first there was Sandy. Then last week brought a nor'easter, which brought snow, and sleet, and biting wind to the northeast and the mid-Atlantic. Well, today it felt like spring, a balmy 66 degrees here in New York City, while parts of the west and Midwest get blasted with cold like winter. All of which is prompting a lot of people to ask yet again, what is with these crazy weather extremes? Our report tonight from our chief environmental affairs correspondent Anne Thompson.

ANNE THOMPSON: America has a case of weather whiplash.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN [METEOROLOGIST]: 60 degrees as our high on Friday, and then 28 degrees as our high on Saturday.

THOMPSON: This weekend, the west went from summer to winter overnight.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN [METEOROLOGIST]: And that's winter.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN B [NEWS ANCHOR]: It's winter.

MAN: Insta-winter.

ANNE THOMPSON: Today, the northeast basks in spring-like temperatures, still recovering from Superstorm Sandy, and the nor'easter that covered her debris in a record snowfall.

TOM MOORE [THE WEATHER CHANNEL]: This is something we've never seen before, any of the meteorologists here, for that matter. And it's something very, very unusual.

THOMPSON: You'll get no argument from the people who have to deal with it.

CHRIS CHRISTIE: I said I'm waiting for the locusts and pestilence next.

THOMPSON: This year alone, the nation's endured a withering drought, the largest wildfires in history, and the warmest month on record. In 2011, there were 14 extreme weather events, each doing more than a billion dollars in damage. Now some politicians are connecting the dots, blaming the gases that come from burning coal, oil and gas for changing the climate.

ANDREW CUOMO: Climate change, extreme weather, call it what you will. It is undeniable.

THOMPSON: But when it comes to one specific event like Sandy, most scientists are more cautious.

JEFF MASTERS [WEATHER UNDERGROUND METEOROLOGIST]: We know that global warming shifts the odds of certain extreme events. So we can't say that Sandy was definitely caused by global warming, but we can say it shifted the odds in its favor.

THOMPSON: What they are certain about is that sea levels are rising, about a foot here in the New York area since 1900. Making Sandy's storm surge that much more destructive, forever altering the coastline.

ADAM SOBEL [PROFESSOR, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY]: It's not a question of if the sea level will rise, it's a question of how much. And what that depends on is how warm the climate gets and how quickly the ice in Greenland and Antarctica breaks off and falls into the sea.

THOMPSON: Extreme weather with extreme price tags, becoming more commonplace. Anne Thompson, NBC News, New York.