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ABC Blames Global Warming for Extreme Cold Temperatures and Snow

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Brad Wilmouth
Newsbusters
Jan 24, 2011

On Friday’s World News on ABC, correspondent Linsey Davis filed a one-sided report in which she cited the views of climate scientists who blame the recent cold temperatures and high amounts of snowfall on global warming. After recounting the recent extreme weather around the country, Davis continued:

If this winter seems especially brutal, scientists say you’re right. ABC News contacted 10 climate scientists to ask their take, if an extreme winter like the one we’re having is the way of the future. The consensus? Global warming is playing a role by shifting weather patterns in unpredictable ways. Many say the forecast for the future calls for record-breaking precipitation and extreme temperatures year round. And that means winters with more snow.

The ABC correspondent concluded the report by noting the unusually cold temperatures in Boston:

LINSEY DAVIS: Here in Boston, the good news is that the snow has stopped, at least for now. But the bad news is that temperatures are expected to drop below zero for the first time in this area in six years. Diane?

DIANE SAWYER: And this could be the new normal, as you say. Linsey Davis reporting.

Notably, in July 2005, ABC’s World News filed a report touting predictions that hurricane intensity would likely increase due to global warming, omitting the theory that hurricane intensities go through cycles over decades. The report was recycled in September 2007 as a nearly identical piece ran.

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Below is a complete transcript of the report from the Friday, January 21, World News on ABC:

DIANE SAWYER: And up next, millions of people across the East saying enough already with the snow and ice and cold. Another winter storm roared through today. More records were toppled, and it heightened that question: Do the leading scientists now agree that this is global warming? And this is what winter will be from now on? Linsey Davis is in Boston.

LINSEY DAVIS: More than half the country spent the day digging out yet again, a rough winter of broken records. Miami Beach, Florida, has just shivered through their coldest December on record. On the 14th last month, Atlanta dropped to 14 degrees, a record low for the day. More than 55 inches of snow has fallen this season on Hartford, Connecticut, which averages 46 inches in an entire winter. Typically, Boston gets about 42 inches worth of snowfall each year. But just in the last month, this area’s had about 50 inches of snow. That’s an entire season’s worth of snowfall in just the first month of winter.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Feel like I’m in a different state right now. I ain’t never seen nothing like this in Georgia.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Honestly, I think it’s enough is enough.

DAVIS: School administrators are struggling, too, not only with the snow days wracking up, but when to cancel outdoor recess. In Houston, the principal at Frazier Elementary typically keeps the kids inside if the mercury dips below 45 degrees. But in hardy South Dakota, the principle of Parkston Elementary says it has to be below bone-chilling 0 to keep his kids inside. If this winter seems especially brutal, scientists say you’re right. ABC News contacted 10 climate scientists to ask their take, if an extreme winter like the one we’re having is the way of the future. The consensus? Global warming is playing a role by shifting weather patterns in unpredictable ways. Many say the forecast for the future calls for record-breaking precipitation and extreme temperatures year round. And that means winters with more snow.

DR. RICHARD SOMERVILLE, CLIMATE SCIENTIST: In a warmer world, more water evaporates from the ocean and more precipitation falls down from the sky. And that’s what we’re seeing.

DAVIS: Here in Boston, the good news is that the snow has stopped, at least for now. But the bad news is that temperatures are expected to drop below zero for the first time in this area in six years. Diane?

SAWYER: And this could be the new normal, as you say. Linsey Davis reporting.

This article was posted: Monday, January 24, 2011 at 8:41 am





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