NBC Issues ‘Disaster Warning’ About Climate Change

Posted on Tue 04/03/2012 by

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By Kyle Drennen ~

At the top of Saturday’s NBC Nightly News, anchor Lester Holt scared viewers with an ominous declaration: “Disaster warning. Scientists sound the alarm. If you think this season’s wild weather is extreme, wait until you hear what’s to come.” Introducing the later report, Holt wondered: “…what has been causing all this strange and extreme weather we’ve been seeing in recent months?”

Holt predicted “a lot more come” as he touted a “new report out this week brought deepening concern about climate change.” Environmental correspondent Anne Thompson described the “wacky and unpredictable winter” with “more than 6,000 daily record highs broken” in the U.S. and “an arctic blasts killing hundreds” in Europe.

Thompson warned: “Scientists say ping-ponging between weather extremes may be an indicator of a much bigger problem: the heat trapping gasses of climate change…Dr. David Easterling of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is a co-author of a United Nations report out this week that points to climate change as leading to extreme weather events since 1950.”

Easterling announced: “The unusually warm days and nights, and to some extent heat waves, you can actually begin making that link between climate change and those events.”

Thompson admitted that scientists like Easterling were not “sure if climate change has played a role in the deadly tornadoes that have roared across the US in recent years.” But still concluded that they were “connecting some of the dots between how we power the planet – burning oil, gas and coal – and our seemingly unusual weather.”

On the March 15 Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams promoted another fearmongering report, declaring: “And tonight there is a new projection that rising seas due to climate change could cause a whole lot of damage much sooner than anyone had previously thought.”

Here is a full transcript of the March 31 report:

6:30PM ET TEASE:

LESTER HOLT: Disaster warning. Scientists sound the alarm. If you think this season’s wild weather is extreme, wait until you hear what’s to come.

6:43PM ET TEASE:

HOLT: When NBC Nightly News continues, scientists sound the alarm about our wild extreme weather and what’s in store for our future.

6:46PM ET SEGMENT:

LESTER HOLT: We’re back now with a question on many people’s minds, what has been causing all this strange and extreme weather we’ve been seeing in recent months? There may be a lot more to come as a new report out this week brought deepening concern about climate change. NBC’s chief environmental correspondent Anne Thompson has more.

ANNE THOMPSON: It’s been a wacky and unpredictable winter. Not much snow and cold in the US. In March alone, more than 6,000 daily record highs broken. Snow blanketed parts of Eastern Europe in February, an arctic blasts killing hundreds. But elsewhere, people are relishing a premature case of spring fever, including here in Scotland, where the daffodils are out early and so are the beach-goers. March 2012 is one for the Scottish record books, with the thermometer climbing as high as 74 degrees when it should hover around 50. Perfect weather to stretch the legs.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: This time of year, it’s usually, you know, pretty stormy. So it’s – we just got to savor the moment. Luckily for me, it’s my long weekend, so I can enjoy it, you know.

THOMPSON: But scientists say ping-ponging between weather extremes may be an indicator of a much bigger problem: the heat trapping gasses of climate change.

DAVID EASTERLING: The warming that we’ve seen actually increases the chances, kinds of loads the dice that we’re going to see these kinds of events more often.

THOMPSON: Dr. David Easterling of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is a co-author of a United Nations report out this week that points to climate change as leading to extreme weather events since 1950.

EASTERLING: The unusually warm days and nights, and to some extent heat waves, you can actually begin making that link between climate change and those events.

THOMPSON: They also link climate change to heavy precipitation and the floods that follow. Some scientists now wonder if the decline in Arctic Sea ice is altering the course of the jet stream and our weather.

EASTERLING: It’s going to impact the climate, but right now we’re not exactly sure how that is impacting the climate.

THOMPSON: Nor are they sure if climate change has played a role in the deadly tornadoes that have roared across the US in recent years. Science connecting some of the dots between how we power the planet – burning oil, gas and coal – and our seemingly unusual weather. Anne Thompson, NBC News, Aberdeen, Scotland.

Kyle Drennen is an MRC News Analyst and contributes posts at NewsBusters.

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