The Weather Channel Assures You That It Believes in Climate Change

The company clears the air on greenhouse gasses.

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Photograph by Jeff Mitchell/Getty Images

The Weather Channel on Wednesday affirmed its stance on climate change after one of its founders appeared on Fox News to discuss his skepticism about the phenomenon. 

"Impacts can already be seen, especially in the Arctic, with melting glaciers, thawing permafrost, and rapid retreat and thinning of sea ice, all of which are affecting human populations as well as animals and vegetation," the channel's statement said. "There and elsewhere, rising sea level is increasing coastal vulnerability." 

John Coleman, a longtime weather broadcaster and co-founder of the channel, appeared Monday on "The Kelly File" after writing a letter to the Hammer Forum at UCLA, which was holding a climate change symposium. Coleman's letter criticized the organization for not including speakers who do not believe that human-induced carbon emissions are significantly changing the earth's climate, or who think that there is insufficient evidence of it. 

Coleman has long championed this belief, calling for legal action against Al Gore in 2008. He named several fellow skeptics in his Fox News interview and acknowledged they are often treated with skepticism themselves.

"It's very difficult for anybody to be against it, because the media has told the nation day after day for 20 years that the oceans are rising, the polar bears are dying, the ice is melting, that storms are going to sweep the Earth and we're all going to die of a heat wave," Coleman said. "This is an incredible bad, bad science." 

The Weather Channel did not completely refute Coleman's stance. "To what extent the current warming is due to human activity is complicated because large and sometimes sudden climate changes have occurred throughout our planet's history—most of them before humans could possibly have been a factor," the statement says. 

But it goes on to say that "it is known that burning of fossil fuels injects additional carbon dioxide and other so-called greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. This in turn increases the naturally occurring 'greenhouse effect,' a process in which our atmosphere keeps the earth's surface much warmer than it would otherwise be."

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