The color of the weather map has not been changed to exaggerate global warming

Thousands of social media users have shared an image of two weather maps, claiming in multiple languages ​​that forecasters have turned the most recent red to exaggerate climate change. It’s wrong; the maps were produced years apart by separate Swedish media organizations, which use different color codes for their weather reports.

“In 1986 it was called a normal summer. Today they are coloring the map red and calling it extreme heat,” says one Facebook post with maps released May 25, 2022.

The two maps side by side show similar temperatures over Sweden. One is green and dated 1986, while the other is orange and dated 2022.

Another one Publish on the social media platform Gab, which was also shared on June 6 on Facebooksays: “Psychological manipulation is well thought out. Colors impact our psyche by association.”

Screenshot of a Facebook post taken on June 7, 2022

Thousands of social media users who shared the same image in French claimed it was evidence of a “global warming scam”. Similar claims showing the same images have been circulating in Hungarian, Polish and Romanianand the claim was also widely shared on Twitter.

However, the years on the maps are incorrect – the first map was released at the end of July 2016 and the second at the beginning of August 2021.

First card of July 2016

A reverse image search on Google reveals that the map pictured to the left of the posts is from a weather report from Swedish TV channel SVT. The report shows the same green card in a bigger and better image.

The map corresponds to the one included in the messages; the listed temperatures are identical, as are the cloud illustrations and the letter “H” in the middle.

This screenshot taken on June 6, 2022 shows the weather forecast on the SVT site (left) and part of the image shared on Facebook (right)

The map on SVT’s website is not from 1986, as the posts claim – the article it appears in details the weather forecast for July 21, 2016.

The TV channel’s forecast for June 8, 2022 also shows that the cards are green, not orange or red. The same goes for the site’s searchable archives of weather reports, available for certain days in 2021 and 2022.

The SVT weather maps also all have visuals showing suns and clouds, which the orange map included in the posts does not.

Second map of August 2021

The second map pictured in the posts was not produced by the same media organization.

A reverse image search on Russian search engine Yandex found the image posted on Twitter in August 2021. A user shared it with Swedish text and a larger frame, featuring it next to the green SVT card.

Screenshot of a tweet from June 1, 2022

The uncropped version of the image offers several clues to the origin of the video, including the numbered “4” logo, the word “Fredag” — “Friday” in Swedish — and the presenter.

A search for the logo shown in the image leads to the website of the Swedish television channel TV4, which identifies the woman as Madeleine Westinone of his weather presenters.

A TV4 video from August 13, 2021 features both Orange Card and Westin. Temperatures and other visual clues confirm that this is the map shared on social media.

Screenshot of a TV4 weather report from June 1, 2022

Orange hues are not unusual for TV4; they also appear in previous weather reports.

2021: the hottest summer in Europe

At the end of April 2022, the Climate Change Service (C3S) of the European observation service Copernicus reported this summer of 2021 has been the hottest on record in Europe, one degree Celsius above the average for the past three decades. Drought and forest fires struck southern Europe, making it one of the most intense fire seasons in Europe for 30 years.

Summer temperature differences (June-August) in Europe from 1950 to 2021 compared to the 1991-2020 average (AFP/Sophie RAMIS, Sylvie HUSSON)

Commenting on the results, C3S director Carlo Buontempo told AFP that “understanding weather and climate extremes is becoming increasingly relevant to key sectors of society”.

Since pre-industrial times, the planet has warmed on average between 1.1 and 1.2°C, Copernicus said – and Europe is warming faster, with an average temperature increase of 2°C.

‘Unmistakable’ global warming

Allegations aimed at minimizing global warming or the role of man in climate change regularly circulate on social networks. AFP has verified numerous allegations in French and in English — including an article that falsely claimed the weather maps had been tampered with to “create green stress”.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is recognized by the international scientific community as a reliable source on global warming. He publishes regular evaluation reports.

Graphic highlighting the main points of a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on urgent measures to be taken to avoid catastrophic global warming (AFP/Kenan AUGEARD, Sophie RAMIS)

In 2021 and 2022, the IPCC published its main sixth assessment reportwarning of the need for urgent action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and avoid catastrophic global warming.

Written by more than 200 scientists from 66 countries, the report reflects the global situation consensus among scientists on human-caused climate change.

“It is unequivocal that human influence has warmed the atmosphere, ocean and land,” the report said. said.

Dale D. Schrum