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