Weather forecasters faced accusations of scaremongering during this month’s extreme heatwave

Weather forecasters faced accusations of LYING and scaremongering during this month’s extreme heatwave as leading meteorologists condemn unprecedented levels of trolling in hundreds of abusive tweets and emails

  • The Met Office’s lead meteorologist asked for ‘a bit of respect’  for his colleagues
  • It comes after reports linking the heatwave to climate change riled up viewers
  • Climate change made the unprecedented temperatures ‘ten times more likely’  
  • Online abusers even accused TV meteorologists of lying and being blackmailed

Weather forecasters have been the target of ‘unprecedented levels of trolling’ this month, as keyboard warriors took to social media to accuse TV meteorologists of spreading hysteria during the heatwave. 

The BBC‘s weather team said they were inundated with comments on social media telling them to ‘get a grip’, while others questioned the accuracy of their reports as the nation sweltered in heat that got as high as 40C.

Social media trolls seemed most whipped up by reports linking the heatwave with secular trends caused by climate change, according to the Royal Meteorological Society. 

The mercury hit an unprecedented 40.3C (104.5F) in Coningsby and 40.2C (104.4F) at London Heathrow Airport at 12.50pm on July 19 – around an hour after a reading of 39.1C (102.4F) in Charlwood, Surrey, beat the previous all-time UK high of 38.7C (101.7F) in Cambridge in July 2019. 

As temperatures hit all time highs, 15 fire services declared a state of emergency as they struggled to extinguish blazes that were springing up with a frightening rapidity.

Meteorologists have been the target of 'depressing' amounts of trolling in July, as keyboard warriors accused them of spreading hysteria during the heatwave. Pictured: BBC meteorologist Matt Taylor said the abuse had been 'depressing'

Meteorologists have been the target of ‘depressing’ amounts of trolling in July, as keyboard warriors accused them of spreading hysteria during the heatwave. Pictured: BBC meteorologist Matt Taylor said the abuse had been ‘depressing’

 

According to the Met Office, climate change made the heatwave ten times more likely – although it is not possible to conclude causation definitively. 

BBC meteorologist Matt Taylor said he had found the amount of online abuse levelled at him this month ‘depressing’.

He said: ‘Ít’s a more abusive tone than I’ve ever received. 

‘I switched off a bit from it all as it became too depressing to read some of the responses.’

The Royal Meteorological Society also weighed in on the pushback received by their members during the heatwave.

The society’s chief executive Professor Liz Bentley said members had faced ‘public ridicule, accusations of lying or suggestions of being blackmailed’.

The mercury hit an unprecedented 40.3C (104.5F) in Coningsby and 40.2C (104.4F) at London Heathrow Airport at 12.50pm on July 19

The mercury hit an unprecedented 40.3C (104.5F) in Coningsby and 40.2C (104.4F) at London Heathrow Airport at 12.50pm on July 19

Social media trolls seemed most whipped up by reports linking the heatwave with secular trends caused by climate change, according to the Royal Meteorological Society

Social media trolls seemed most whipped up by reports linking the heatwave with secular trends caused by climate change, according to the Royal Meteorological Society

Many social media users dismissed July's heatwave as being 'no different' to that experienced in the UK in the summer of 1976 - a claim that the BBC called 'false'

Many social media users dismissed July’s heatwave as being ‘no different’ to that experienced in the UK in the summer of 1976 – a claim that the BBC called ‘false’

‘Anecdotally, abusive comments increase when the message about climate change is intrinsic to the story’, she said.

The Met Office’s lead meteorologist Alex Deakin urged trolls to ‘show a bit of respect’ for his beleaguered colleagues.

He told the BBC: ‘I find it more frustrating and offensive for my colleagues – some of the great minds in climate science. 

‘Show a bit of respect and do a bit more research rather than just believe Bob down the pub or Tony on YouTube.’

Some viewers took to Twitter to write personal, venom-filled attacks on BBC meteorologists.

One wrote: ‘When will you be apologising for such pathetic, absurd fear mongering nonsense?’

‘Of [sic] perhaps you should resign in disgrace?’

Another shared a conspiratorial interpretation of events, alleging without any evidence that the heatwave had been caused by ‘aircraft dispersing substances that blocked the sun and created a heat dome to trap heat within it in order to give off a greenhouse effect so gov can use these statistics to justify their climate change agenda’.

Many social media users dismissed July’s heatwave as being ‘no different’ to that experienced in the UK in the summer of 1976.

The BBC said that claim was ‘false’, pointing out that the peak temperature in 1976 was 35.9C, more than four degrees lower than the 40.3C reached on July 19 this year.

According to the Met Office, nine of out 10 of the hottest days ever recorded in the UK have occurred since 1990, with the peak of 1976 ranking only 13th on that list. 

Source

Related posts