“The most intense climate lie”: Last week it was all over the news: Temperatures in southern Europe skyrocketing to 48°C! But none of it was true.
Surface temperature chart: European Space Agency (ESA)
The hysteria was started when climate sensationalist media outlets in Germany and elsewhere, like the Relotius Spiegel, uncritically cited a sloppily and manipulatively formulated July 13 report from the European Space Agency (ESA), that first referred to “air” temperature:
Temperatures are sizzling across Europe this week amid an intense and prolonged period of heat. And it’s only just begun. Italy, Spain, France, Germany and Poland are all facing a major heatwave with air temperatures expected to climb to 48°C on the islands of Sicily and Sardinia – potentially the hottest temperatures ever recorded in Europe.”
The original ESA report continued, only later specifying that it was in fact referring to surface temperature (emphasis added):
The animation below uses data from the Copernicus Sentinel-3 mission’s radiometer instrument and shows the land surface temperature across Italy between 9 and 10 July. As the image clearly shows, in some cities the surface of the land exceeded 45°C, including Rome, Naples, Taranto and Foggia. Along the east slopes of Mount Etna in Sicily, many temperatures were recorded as over 50°C.”
Meant here were not the standard temperatures recorded at 2 meters above ground level that we always here in daily weather reports, which are much cooler, but rather those right at the ground surface. That crucial difference went totally unnoticed by media and journalists, who reported of new record high temperatures. By the time the ploy was exposed by careful readers, the news had already gone around the world.
Yesterday, the ESA issued a (vague) clarification explaining the difference between surface and air temperature at 2 meters above ground, yet continued to mislead:
Land surface temperature is how hot the ‘surface’ of Earth feels to the touch. Air temperature, given in our daily weather forecasts, is a measure of how hot the air is above the ground.”
The ESA did not bother to mention how the surface temperature is much hotter than the 2 meter air temperature.
“Most intense climate lie”
“What we experienced over the past days was most intense climate lie since temperature recording began,” reported Germany’s Achtung Reichelt here on the implications of the ESA’s sloppy, manipulative press release and the media firestorm that ensued: “The problem with that report is that none of it is true.”
In Sicily the temperature reached only 32°C over the weekend – a far cry from 48°C, which illustrates the great difference between ground surface temperature and readings taken 2 meters above the ground.
Once the trickery was exposed, Spiegel quietly changed the wording in its July 14 report:
Image cropped from Achtung Reichelt.
Spiegel changed the text (left) from 48°C with “many heat deaths” over to (right): “48°C …but that the measurements were not the usual air temperature – which can be considerably lower.”
It’s clear that the authorities and media tries to pull a fast one on the public, but were caught again thanks to careful readers.