CNN falsely reported climate change skeptic Gray "predicted last year's hurricane season better than the National Hurricane Center"

››› ››› ROB DIETZ

On CNN Live Today, CNN reporter Mary Snow falsely claimed that "renowned forecaster" William Gray "accurately predicted last year's hurricane season better than the National Hurricane Center." Gray is a scientist from Colorado State University who has spoken against the notion that human beings are responsible for global warming.

On the June 7 edition of CNN Live Today, CNN correspondent Mary Snow falsely claimed that "renowned forecaster" William M. Gray -- professor emeritus of atmospheric science at Colorado State University who has spoken against the notion that human beings are responsible for global warming -- "accurately predicted last year's hurricane season better than the National Hurricane Center." In fact, Gray's predictions for the 2005 hurricane season were virtually the same as those of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA), which runs the National Hurricane Center.

In 2005, Gray and his team at the Tropical Meteorology Project predicted 15 "named" storms, eight hurricanes, and four "intense" hurricanes. The NOAA predicted virtually identical numbers -- between 12 and 15 tropical storms, 7-9 hurricanes, and 3-5 major hurricanes. Both were wrong. As CNN host Anderson Cooper said during a June 1 segment of Anderson Cooper 360, Gray's hurricane predictions were "way off last year":

COOPER: Gray's record, over about 20 years, is one of the most reliable. But he was way off last year. In 2005, [Gray] said there would be 15 named storms, but there were 27. He also expected eight hurricanes, four of which would be intense. But there were 14 hurricanes last year, and seven were major, including Katrina, which left more than 1,800 people dead.

While Snow noted that Gray's view on global warming is "at odds not only with former vice president Al Gore, but with over 2,000 of the world's leading climate scientists," she also repeated Gray's suggestion that the reason more scientists have not joined him in denouncing the threat of global warming is because they "are afraid to voice skepticism." A May 28 Washington Post Magazine article by Joel Achenbach offered a different perspective, reporting that Gray's methodology regarding climate change "is increasingly on the fringe" and noting that "[t]he skeptics don't agree with one another." Pat Michaels, for instance, distanced himself from Gray, saying, that unlike Gray, he "believe[s] in climate change caused by human beings." When Achenbach "ask[ed] Gray who his intellectual soul mates are regarding global warming," Gray responded, "I have nobody really to talk to about this stuff.'"

From the June 7 edition of CNN Live Today:

SNOW: In one corner, former vice president Al Gore making the movie, An Inconvenient Truth, to focus attention on a global crisis.

GORE: The Arctic is experiencing faster melting. If this were to go, sea level worldwide would go up 20 feet.

SNOW: In the other corner, renowned forecaster Dr. William Gray, who accurately predicted last year's hurricane season better than the National Hurricane Center -- two men with a focus on the environment with a divide over the science of global warming, with Gray skeptical that humans are having a major impact on the warming of the planet.

GRAY: I think this threat of human-induced global warming is largely manufactured. I don't think it is real.

SNOW: That puts Dr. Gray at odds not only with former vice president Al Gore, but with over 2,000 of the world's leading climate scientists. They say, yes, because humans are burning things like oil and coal, it's contributing to global warming. So why aren't there more skeptics? Dr. Gray claims that scientists, especially younger ones, are afraid to voice skepticism.

Posted In
Environment & Science, Climate Change
Network/Outlet
CNN
Show/Publication
CNN Live
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