Meteorologists trolled after predicting 40-degree heatwave

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Weather presenters were unfairly targeted during the heatwave (Picture: BBC)

Meteorologists have faced an unprecedented level of trolling from climate change deniers during this month’s extreme heatwave.

They have received hundreds of abusive tweets or emails questioning their reports and telling them to “get a grip” when temperatures hit 40C.

Britain saw mercury surpass the mark for the first time since records began on July 19, as 15 fire services, including London Fire Brigade, declared a state of emergency.

The Met Office estimates that climate change has made the heatwave 10 times more likely.

BBC weatherman Matt Taylor said he had never seen anything like it in his 25 years presenting the weather.

“It’s a more insulting tone than I’ve ever heard. I tuned out for a bit as it got too depressing to read some of the replies,” he said.

“The weather is very emotional. It upsets people so much. What is good for some is bad for others and vice versa.

“Our climate has changed, so our reporting and response must change as well. All we’re trying to do is get people the facts.’

WENNINGTON, GREATER LONDON - JULY 25: Homes destroyed by fire on July 25, 2022 in Wennington, Greater London. On the day that Britain recorded its hottest weather temperatures ever, wildfires swept across England, causing damage to forests, meadows and homes. Wennington in east London saw the worst of the urban damage with houses reduced to rubble. The London Fire Brigade dispatched 15 fire engines and 100 firefighters to the area to tackle the blaze, which blanketed a number of buildings and grasslands. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Wildfires broke out across the country last week and quickly spread to people’s homes (Image: Getty Images)

SHEFFIELD, ENGLAND - JULY 20: Firefighters contain a wildfire that entered nearby homes in the Shiregreen area of ​​Sheffield on July 20, 2022 in Sheffield, England. Multiple fires broke out across the UK yesterday and today as Britain endured a record-breaking heatwave. The temperatures reached 40 degrees and more in many places. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Firefighters battle a wildfire that swept through nearby homes in Sheffield on Wednesday last week (Image: Getty Images)

The Royal Meteorological Society has condemned the trolling after its members faced “public ridicule, allegations of lying or allegations of blackmail”.

“Anecdotally, offensive comments increase when the climate change message is in the story,” said the organization’s executive director, Professor Liz Bentley.

“In a way it’s scary,” said meteorologist Alex Deakin, adding, “I find it more frustrating and offensive to my colleagues — some of the great minds in climate science.”

“Show a little respect and do a little more research than just believing Bob in the pub or Tony on YouTube.”

Tweets aimed at BBC Weather and its moderators contained personal insults and messages like “it’s only summer”.

Many described advice on staying cool as pandering to the “Wake Brigade” or “Snowflakes”.

The remains of chard from houses in the village of Wennington, July 20, 2022. The heatwave fire which has destroyed houses in an east London village has been described as

The charred remains of houses in the village of Wennington, east London (Image: SWNS)

The current low water level at Ryeburn Reservoir in Ripponden, Yorkshire. See SWNS story SWLEreservoir. A scorching summer and lack of rain has uncovered an old bridge at a reservoir after water levels dropped during the heatwave. A lone figure was pictured walking across the old road bridge at Baitings Reservoir near Ripponden, West Yorks. As blowtorch burned Britain in record-breaking temperatures, a rare danger-to-life warning was introduced for parts of northern England. Some beauty spots in the north even dried up enough to expose mud beds and create deep cracks in a desert-like landscape.

There are drought warnings in August (Image: SWNS)

Other tweets accused the Met Office and BBC of spreading “alarmism” and “hysteria” and urged both to “stop scaremongering”.

BBC meteorologist Tomasz Schafernaker added: “What frustrates me most is when I’m accused of twisting the truth. As meteorologists, we report facts. There is no conspiracy.’

Periods of intense heat occur around the world, but these patterns are becoming more common.

For example, nine of the ten hottest days in Britain since 1990 have passed.

BBC Weather said: “It is totally unacceptable for an employee to be abused on social media just for doing their job.”

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at webnews@metro.co.uk.

For more stories like this, Visit our news page.

https://metro.co.uk/2022/07/30/weather-forecasters-trolled-after-predicting-the-40c-heatwave-17095631/ Meteorologists trolled after predicting 40-degree heatwave

Justin Scacco

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