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TV News Ignores Connections Between Extreme Weather and Global Warming

As extreme weather becomes increasingly common, it has received a fair share of coverage during network news broadcasts. What are often missing from the reports, however, are mentions of climate change and its connection to extreme weather events. The nightly news covers extreme weather events as unusual and newsworthy, but usually without explanation of climate change as an underlying cause.

Extreme weather events in 2013 resulted in 450 news segments of which only sixteen mentioned climate change. As for specific evening news shows, CBS Evening News only used terms like “global warming” and “greenhouse gases” in two of 114 extreme weather reports. ABC World News only mentioned climate change in eight reports out of 200, and NBC Nightly News only mentioned it in six reports out of 136. There was also a CBS report on the unsupported notion that there had been a “pause” in global warming.

There continues to be serious scientific debate on the extent to which current weather events and climate change should be linked. Nonetheless, a majority of American public still makes the connection between climate and weather despite the media’s failure to report on it.


Peter Hart, “Weather—Without Climate.” Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting Extra!, December 2, 2013,

Student Researcher: Noah Tenney, Kayla Silva and Cydney Shorkend (Sonoma State University)

Faculty Evaluator: Peter Phillips (Sonoma State University)

  • Pascal Molineaux March 1, 2014

    Well, should we be surprised? Big networks are tied, ‘foot and toe’ to fossil fuel financing and do their best to downplay and ignore the evident link between the increased frequency and ‘extremeness’ of weather events and human-induced global climate change. With the possible exception of CNN, these networks are pawns of the ‘status quo’ and would have us burry our heads in the sand box and ignore the facts of science and increasingly obvious facts of life….History will judge their silence harshly no doubt.

  • Jay Warren Clark March 2, 2014

    Noah and Peter: Of course there continues to be serious debate, in which climate change is an element.
    What is missing, and is the real censored story is the relationship between extreme weather and the weather modification (chemtrail) programs that are clouding the skies worldwide! This is the real elephant in the room. And, friends, if you don’t have a scientist or a politician at hand to explain this away–just look up. JWC

    • Kevin Schmidt March 2, 2014

      There is no evidence that your mythical chemtrails are in any way responsible for AGW. On the other hand, there is indisputable evidence proving AGW is caused primarily from the burning of fossil fuels and the destruction and burning of rain forests. Plus over 97% of climate scientists, as well as every major scientific organization and academy around the world are in consensus that carbon pollution is the cause of AGW.

  • Brian Stanger March 4, 2014

    What about the connection between the HAARP World-wide network, chemtrails, and weather modification AS the cause of the extreme weather conditions/global warming???

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