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Global warming. Same temperatures, different colors. What's the difference between these maps?

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According to the author of a popular post, the media message about global warming is a social engineering operation. The proof is supposed to be a comparison of two weather maps shown on TV – allegedly from 1998 and 2023 – which show similar temperature heights, but the colors of the maps are different. However, such a comparison is misleading and is one of the most widely spread fake news about global warming.

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A post from July 8 has over 130,000 views on X, illustrated with weather maps of Sweden and Norway. Both show similar numerical values ​​- these are supposedly forecasted temperature values. However, the one showing temperatures from 18 to 25 degrees Celsius and dated 1998 is in shades of green. The other, dated 2023, has a temperature range of 9-25 degrees Celsius – but the color is strong orange, suggesting heat. “In 1998 it was called summer. In 2023 it is called global warming. Social engineering” – he commented author of the post.

The commentary on this map compilation is misleadingX.com

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The post was retweeted almost 800 times and garnered 4.6k likes. A screenshot of the post also started circulating on on FacebookInternet users published maps there with similar comments.

The comparison of these maps from different years is therefore supposed to be proof that global warming is a media invention. This is how commentators interpret it. “It is also called leftist f******” (censored by the editors); “climate religion” – they comment. The alleged color change in the maps at the same temperatures is intended to artificially exaggerate climate change.

Some internet users, however, question the reliability of combining these two maps: “Social engineering is when you show random photos without sources,” one of them noted (original spelling).

Remake of old fake news

As we checked, the graphic was shared by Polish Internet users as early as 2022. Only the dates were different. Instead of 1998, it was 1986, and instead of 2023, it was 2022. The maps were framed differently – Denmark was also visible. As a result, the temperature ranges were slightly different – on the “green” map 18-26 degrees Celsius, and on the “orange” 9-27 degrees. “Summer used to look like this. Today they color it red and call it global warming,” the author commented at the time. entryposting a list. “Falsehood and embellishment!”; “They lie to us in every aspect” – Internet users reacted in the comments.

A post from 2022 comparing two maps with weather forecasts for Sweden and Denmark – also with misleading commentaryX.com

But weather maps compiled in this way are not proof of “media fraud” about global warming. It is simply manipulation. In 2023, this message she verified Swedish AFP Fact Check editorial team. As they stated, it is a “disinformation trick”.

Different map sources, different stations, different dates

As AFP shows, the maps were created by different Swedish media, which simply use different colors in their weather programs. None of the four dates provided by Polish internet users are reflected in reality. The map in green colors actually comes from the end of July 2016, and the orange map from the beginning of August 2021.

The green map comes from a weather forecast on SVT, the Swedish public television channel. AFP journalists compared the map visible in the graphic online with its higher resolution counterpart, which they found on the station's website. Both the numerical values ​​and other elements, such as the cloud symbols or the position of the letter “H”, match.

We have checked that on the website of the public broadcaster in Sweden, under the tab “weather” the illustrations and maps posted are in the same green colour scheme as the 2016 map. Both the current maps from the SVT website and the 2016 map have identical symbols of sun, clouds or rain, which cannot be found on the “orange” map.

Because the second map does not come from SVT, but from the Swedish commercial channel TV4. AFP journalists determined this by performing a reverse search using the Russian internet search engine Yandex. The search led them to an entry on the X website. It turned out that one of the Swedish internet users shared It was also compared to the SVT map, but in a much wider frame, so that journalists could see the original. The station's logo in the upper right corner, the presence of the presenter, and the time and day of the week in the upper left corner allowed us to identify the weather forecast recording for which the map was used. The program from which the map came was broadcast on August 13, 2021, and the visible presenter is Madeleine Westin. At that time, it was not the first time that the station used such a color scheme on the map, and the orange color does not at all indicate extreme heat.

One of the most popular disinformation narratives

About the false narrative spread by these maps informed in 2022, the European Digital Media Observatory (EDMO), which brings together fact-checkers and scientists who fight disinformation. As it explained, “sowing panic by traditional media with fake news or manipulated images” was one of the four main disinformation narratives about climate change in Europe in June 2022. Among the countries where this combination of two maps was shared were, in addition to Poland, Hungary, Spain, Belgium, France, Austria, Germany, the Netherlands and Romania. According to EDMO, this fake had the greatest reach at that time.

“The specificity of such narratives (…) is the attempt to discredit traditional media, whose reports on climate change, according to disinformation narratives, cannot be trusted, as they only spread panic and raise alarm unnecessarily. At the same time, the aforementioned false stories also carry another narrative, according to which climate change is not real, and the current situation would not be so different from what we have already experienced in the past,” notes EDMO.

This is not the first time that disinformation about global warming has appeared on social media. Climate change is a popular topic of conspiracy theories. We have already described several of them in Konkret 24. We explained, among other things, what is the difference between weather and climate and why linking low summer temperatures to the denial of global warming is wrong thinking. We also verified false information that NASA says there is no global warming.

Author:Zuzanna Karczewska

Main image source: Shutterstock



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