Fox News, which has a very bad track record of promoting fake stories about things like snowstorms and cold temperatures in January “disproving” climate change thought they found a smoking gun. An image of an observatory in Hawaii was photographed buried in snow and meteorologists say more snow may be on the way.
— Fox News (@FoxNews) December 4, 2016
Other (mostly right-leaning) newspapers covered the story with equal breathlessness. The Los Angeles Times was particularly bold.
— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) December 4, 2016
Snow? In Hawaii?! So much for climate change! Checkmate science!
Not so fast.
Even a small peek into the facts and one finds that this story is bunk. There is no there, there. For instance, contrary to the headlines that make it seem out of the ordinary, snowfall on Hawaii’s mountains is perfectly ordinary. It happens every year.
The Weather Channel, unlike Fox News, made that clear:
According to Ken Rubin, an assistant professor of geology and geophysics at the University of Hawaii, “It snows here every year, but only at the very summits of our three tallest volcanoes (Mauna Loa, Mauna Kea and Haleakala).
“The snow level almost never gets below 9,000 feet in Hawaii during the winter, but since these mountains are taller than 13,600 feet, 13,700 feet and 10,000 feet, respectively, they get dusted with snow a few times a year,” he added. “It rarely stays on the ground for more than a few days though.”
A Hawaiian meteorologist, Ryan Lyman, patiently explained to the Associated Press that this amount of snowfall isn’t even abnormal.
That’s a significant amount of snowfall, but not uncommon for the summits, meteorologists say.
Lyman said recent winters have seen totals of 30 to 36 inches.
And because the elevations of Hawaii’s mountains are so high, the snowfall has less to do with the premise that this proves the planet is cool, and everything to do with the amount of precipitation. And climate change actually wreaks havoc on the amount of moisture in the air. Storms get bigger. Rains get more intense. And, occasionally, snowfall actually grows. The very thing that conservatives are saying disproves climate change actually supports it.
But unfortunately, the crowd who treats every Fox News tweet as serious news seized on the headline and used it to validate their false belief that climate change isn’t real.
— Brad Moseley (@DoubleEagle49) December 4, 2016
@FoxNews where are all the global warming people hiding
— Tom Mccormick (@realTMcCormick) December 4, 2016
@FoxNews damn global warming… this must stop!!
— Fire Thompson Now (@mhebbrin) December 4, 2016
Well done, Fox. You made the country a bit more misinformed. Another banner day for the “news” network.
Meanwhile, scientists might want you to share this terrifying series of images showing the melting of the polar ice caps instead of a misleading story about Hawaii’s average snowfall.
— CNN (@CNN) November 3, 2016
Featured image via the Weather Channel