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Sunday July 14, 2024

Climate misinformation overshadows record floods worldwide

By AFP
June 12, 2024
A representational image showing submerged streets after heavy rains in Qingyuan city, southern Guangdong province in China. — AFP/File
A representational image showing submerged streets after heavy rains in Qingyuan city, southern Guangdong province in China. — AFP/File

WASHINGTON: Climate skeptics are scapegoating a weather modification technique known as cloud seeding to deny the role of global warming in historic floods that have recently devastated countries from Brazil to Kenya.

Record rainfall brought to some regions by the natural weather cycle El Nino matches an expected increase in extreme events, experts say.

But online, claims have repeatedly been made that geoengineering -- not carbon emissions -- is to blame.

“Dubai airport looks like an apocalyptic movie. Videos of the flooding are insane,” said Robby Starbuck, a conservative American commentator, to his more than 460,000 followers on X in April, after the Gulf city was hit by unprecedented downpours.

“I´ve seen some blaming climate change when the cause is actually from the use of weather modification. Cloud seeding where chemicals are sprayed in clouds to create rain caused this.”

Claims that weather had been manipulated appeared after every major flood this year, including in Zimbabwe, the United Arab Emirates and other nations.