Europe’s “48°C Horror That Never Was”…ESA, Media Sharply Criticized For Manipulative Reporting

From the NoTricksZone

By P Gosselin 

“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.

More on Heat Waves at our Everything Climate site.

4.8 87 votes
Article Rating
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
July 19, 2023 10:07 pm

Are there no scientific or journalistic malpractice laws in Europe? Fraud statutes?

Reply to  Milo
July 20, 2023 12:00 am

We have freedom of the press.
Sadly, that freedom is enjoyed by arts graduates who are easily fooled.

Rich Davis
Reply to  MCourtney
July 20, 2023 12:52 am

I imagine that you actually believe that. Freedom of the press would look a bit different. ‘Hate speech’ would be a description of a lamentable behavior necessarily tolerated rather than a crime.

The thing about ‘disinformation’ being banned is that the law is immediately used to ban truth inconvenient to power while blatant propaganda lies of those in power proliferate.

Reply to  MCourtney
July 20, 2023 2:12 am

We have controlled puppet press. Free to write what they are dictated. All opposed voices are silenced.

Mr David Guy-Johnson
Reply to  Robertvd
July 20, 2023 3:34 am

Patently and obviously not true. In the UK there are often climatealarm sceptical articles in the Daily Telegraph, Daily Express and Mail

Reply to  Mr David Guy-Johnson
July 20, 2023 4:43 am

Yes, but usually overwhelmed by uncritical parroting of climate alarmist nonsense and Net Zero bullshit. Where are these papers in uncovering the Met Office fraud of the hottest evah UK temperature recorded for 60 seconds beside the runway at RAF Coningsby as 3 Tornado fighters passed by.

Reply to  Mr David Guy-Johnson
July 20, 2023 2:35 pm

Climate realism old chap, keep it honest

Reply to  MCourtney
July 20, 2023 6:30 am

Do not fool yourself, you do not have freedom of press.
Not even freedom of speech.

Reply to  MCourtney
July 20, 2023 1:09 pm

It’s easy to fool someone who wants to be fooled.

Reply to  MCourtney
July 20, 2023 2:18 pm

Speech and the press are less free in Europe than in the US, and it’s getting less free here.

Reply to  MCourtney
July 21, 2023 3:55 am

The world known French press freedom defense group RSF (reporters without borders) is attacking news chanel CNews and wants its broadcast licence to be revoked.

Reply to  Milo
July 20, 2023 2:35 pm

Yes, but unfortunately they’ve all been infected by the Marxists long march

Reply to  Milo
July 21, 2023 3:53 am

Macron promoted the idea of an order for French journalists, like the bar.
Think ABA for the press. Vomit!

Reply to  Milo
July 24, 2023 7:03 am

Then you must include this as well ..
The journal “Lancet” published the chart on left with unequal Y-Axis to downplay fact that cold causes 10X more deaths than heat in Europe. Björn Lomborg corrected this with chart on right. This is disgraceful for a supposedly scientific journal.

July 19, 2023 10:16 pm

Try walking on sand or concrete or tar on a really warm day… without foot protection.

Now we are talking HOT !!!

Rolling Stones had a great song about it..

“Burns the tar up on the roof..”

… where the temperature sensor are often sited.

ps.. originally a “Drifters” song iirc .

Reply to  bnice2000
July 20, 2023 1:59 am

Apparently Euros don’t wear shoes so the temperature needs to be relevant.

Right-Handed Shark
Reply to  bnice2000
July 20, 2023 3:15 am

And your shoes get so hot you wish your tired feet were fire proof”

Unfortunately, the Drifters didn’t see fit to include the reference temperature data in the lyrics. If only they had, we would seldom hear the word “unprecedented” instead of the constant barrage we get today.

Lee Riffee
Reply to  Right-Handed Shark
July 20, 2023 7:46 am

Then there was that other old song with the lyrics “Hot time, summer in the city” and “walking on the sidewalk hotter than a match head”…..gee, so why would people have written songs like that 50+ years ago when there was, apparently, no “climate change”? Back when it never ever got really hot in the summer….

Ron Long
Reply to  bnice2000
July 20, 2023 3:16 am

Not only asphalt or tar, but also black basalt. As I’ve mentioned before, working in the Panamint Mountains in California (they are the west border of Death Valley), an old timer asked us to bring him some beers and a frozen pizza when we came back from town (trona). We did and he said to wait a minute, he threw the frozen pizza on a large black basalt border and it was cooked in ten minutes. Big difference between black objects and free air.

Reply to  bnice2000
July 20, 2023 6:33 am

So blacktop gets hot in the sun. Who knew?

Reply to  Fraizer
July 20, 2023 8:32 am

Here in the north country having a blacktop driveway proves your point in the winter. The snow will melt from the drive from the bottom up. Snow will melt off black shingle roofs.

July 19, 2023 10:24 pm

Fire all the top management at ESA. They are liars and cheats.

Reply to  Bob
July 20, 2023 2:24 am

“liars and cheats”

But those are the required qualifications….

It isn’t just ESA. I recall how CERN shut down any discussion of the results of [Svensmark’s] CLOUD experiment.

Reply to  Bob
July 20, 2023 2:37 pm

Unfortunately, you’d have to replace them with more liars and cheats

Ben Vorlich
July 19, 2023 10:27 pm

Story tip

SNP admits to felling 16 million trees to develop wind farms
Scottish Tory MSP Liam Kerr said figure would astonish the public and communities all over the country had cited concerns about the projects

Reply to  Ben Vorlich
July 19, 2023 11:20 pm

The Scots really have lost the plot

Reply to  Ben Vorlich
July 20, 2023 2:24 am

Highland Clearances.
All driven by ‘landlords’ to increase their income.

Reply to  Ben Vorlich
July 20, 2023 8:04 am

So I guess if someone needed to get permission to do some logging and couldn’t get a permit, just apply as a wind farm and watch the eco-resistance melt away.

Reply to  Ben Vorlich
July 20, 2023 2:38 pm

SNP leadership heads have a great deal in common with tree material

July 19, 2023 11:18 pm

No let up on The BBC, Justin stop oil Rowlatt busy with his tales of doom

“”Heatwave: Is it coming to the UK?””


Reply to  strativarius
July 20, 2023 2:39 pm

Thankfully Justin’s audience of 4 are already in the bunker

Reply to  strativarius
July 21, 2023 6:45 pm

Yep, it’s been cold almost all of July, and now the Old Trafford test is going to lose the best part of two days to rain. Hopefully we can still level the series regardless but it is not warm even by English standards.

Chris Hanley
July 20, 2023 12:05 am

The ESA did not bother to mention how the surface temperature is much hotter than the 2 meter air temperature

A dark pavement surface in full sun can get hot enough to fry an egg: part 1 part 2.
(I’m not sure if fakery was involved in part 2).

Right-Handed Shark
Reply to  Chris Hanley
July 20, 2023 2:24 am

I saw a similar clip on a news programme back when we got our first TV, which if memory serves was 1959. Except that it was a monochrome 6 inch screen, and nobody was screaming “climate change!”

July 20, 2023 12:17 am

If you go to

you can get the temperature and weather for any European city or country. In German, unfortunately but should be navigable with a bit of persistence.

I have not been checking in the last week, but at the moment, and in the forecasts, the only thing that seems to be happening in Spain and Italy is a hot summer.

I thought it a bit odd that in the TV clips which purport to come from places where the temperature is 48C what we see is people walking around quite normally and sitting outside at cafes. That is 118F. People do not behave like that if its really 118F.

In the UK at the moment, in contrast to last year, its positively cold. End of July and its put a coat on when going for a walk.

The hysteria about warm weather is astonishing. I came on one excited story, forget where, maybe BBC, proclaiming in alarm and astonishment that some holiday destination had reached 30C+. The eighties Fahrenheit. Exactly why the British go there every summer in droves.

Eric Vieira
Reply to  michel
July 20, 2023 12:35 am

It’s really easy to debunk such stories: they announced 48°C on Majorca. If one looks at the “weather” for Ibiza, a neighboring island of the Baleares group, one sees 25°C. Complete fake news …

Reply to  michel
July 20, 2023 2:33 am

Here in Barcelona we indeed had some warmer days of about 33ºC. But Barcelona is always warmer than the surrounding landscape (summer and winter) and temperatures during the night don’t cool down because of the urban heat island effect.

Eric Vieira
July 20, 2023 12:32 am

Not only should the measurement be done 2m above the surface, it shouldn’t be done in direct sunlight. That also helps alarmists to “optimise” temperatures.

July 20, 2023 1:15 am

Well if Gosselin is sure of his story fair enough. But I would add that the UK Met Office did predict standard measured air temperatures challenging the 48.8C official WMO Europe record (yes higher temperature readings have been discarded).
And I saw ground temperatures of 60C quoted for Spain.
Additionally, Spain has actually reached 45C recorded proper, and Sardinia and Sicily 46C.
The main dishonesty I’ve noted in the media has been to give the impression that the most serious heat has been much more widespread that it actually was/is.

Ed Zuiderwijk
Reply to  MrGrimNasty
July 20, 2023 6:29 am

The temperature at Palermo today at 16:00 was 35C, a far cry from that ridiculous 48 you parrot here. And, I add, totally normal for a day in high summer.

Reply to  Ed Zuiderwijk
July 20, 2023 7:45 am

Bizarre irrelevant reply. But thanks anyway.

Reply to  MrGrimNasty
July 21, 2023 6:55 pm

These are places that routinely record hot temperatures in summer, and for short periods in specific locations there will be temperatures of 40, 45 or more c. Always has been, and I expect there will be this summer and the next, and many more to come.

Philip Mulholland
July 20, 2023 1:24 am

Ground temperatures in Sicily are at record highs?
Pesky volcano

Reply to  Philip Mulholland
July 21, 2023 6:56 pm

It’s got so hot it made the top of that hill melt!!!

July 20, 2023 1:55 am

One of the places you regularly get the 2 temperatures mentioned is in Formula 1 where they mention track temperature and air temperature. Often there can be up to 20 degrees difference. I always find that information really revealing.

Reply to  Beagle
July 20, 2023 2:39 am

Track temperature is like the urban heat island effect. Radiating out the heat all night long.

Peta of Newark
July 20, 2023 2:00 am

It was somebody’s idea of a ‘joke’.
That’s all. Fake and sick humour is all the rage these days – probably generated by AI.
In fact it would have to have been. Just ask Any Girl these days, boys have completely lost their sense of humour. and cojones.

What you hopefully is the temperature data plots for (a personal weather station near) Villanova, Italy = roughly the centre of where this Hell on Earth was due to happen.
Top half = July 2022
Lower half = July 2023

OK, July ain’t out yet and the highest temp last year was recorded on the 24th but The Average might raise a chuckle/groan.

edit, Sorry its a bit fuzzy so..
July 2022 Max= 39.6°C and Average was 25.8°C

July 2023 (so far) Max = 37.8°C and Average is currently running at 25.7°C

Villanova July Temps 22 vs 23.PNG
Peta of Newark
Reply to  Peta of Newark
July 20, 2023 2:32 am

On the Off Chance anyone wondered where those (normally) high temps (and all the CO₂) came from: see the attached
Also sea-level rise, heat domes and collapsing cities.

Those things are = Nothing – It is also the place where humour and cojones were mashed beyond all recognition.

See a treeless wonderland, mile after mile of bone-dry bare soil exposed to a very hot sun and what little vegetation is there is for cultivation sugar and alcohol
IOW: A picture of Hell – so yes, they were right about one little thing

sigh: They still think it’s gonna happen In The Future.
Look out the window, it’s here now

Via Faentina May 22.jpg
Reply to  Peta of Newark
July 20, 2023 2:35 am


Now, one thing I can tell you about the Italians is they are always complaining…

Che freddo…. che caldo ad bleedin’ nauseam.

The interesting thing about the heatwave is their attention is focused on how other countries’ media is reporting it. Life goes on, tourists come and spend..

Italian media more focused on foreign coverage of heatwave than its effects”

The Guardian must be so miffed that we’ve had another barbecue summer – they’ve been excluded by the jet stream.

July 20, 2023 2:37 am

Land surface temperature IS the “Bodentemperatur” measured 2m above surface, i guess that was a translation error. We call it air temperature (Lufttemperatur) in Germany, but if you look at all the graphs its called land surface temperature. Just look here :

Or am i wrong ?

The real problem with the german press was that they picked an already outdated article from the guardian from one week before. And yes, the temperature can be around 40 deg celsius in those countries, thats normal, just search for Athen in Greece.

Ed Zuiderwijk
Reply to  erik
July 20, 2023 6:37 am

No it is ‘t. Bodentemperatur is the temperature of the ground itself. What you are confusing it with is the temperature at the bottom of the atmosphere, which is the one 2 meters above ground level, where a Stevenson Screen ought to probe it. The ground temperature is, in sunshine, very much higher than the air temperature: have a walk barefooted on your sunlit patio or drive and you know the difference immediately.

Reply to  Ed Zuiderwijk
July 20, 2023 7:02 am

Ah yes, you are right, Bodentemperatur is the ground temperature.

July 20, 2023 3:13 am

Thanks for the article on this. It needed to be pointed out. Absolutely shameless propaganda.

Soon we’ll get the media reporting temperatures (made 1000000x more likely by climate change) hot enough to burn wood[1] or melt rock[2]! Oh the humanity!

[1] measured in active forest fires
[2] measured in actively erupting volcanic caldera

Dave Andrews
Reply to  Tommy2b
July 20, 2023 7:23 am

In the UK the Grauniad has already gone from saying, during the last 12 months or more, that the Arctic is warming three times faster than anywhere else to now saying it is warming more than four times as fast as anywhere else!

Reply to  Dave Andrews
July 20, 2023 10:57 am

They are correct – 3 x 0= 0 and 4 x 0 = 0, so basically any answer is true.

July 20, 2023 3:52 am

Okay, to clarify things :

“Bodentemperatur” is best translated to “ground temperature”,

“Lufttemperatur” is translated to “air temperature”, thats the one we are measuring 2 meter above ground.

The problem is the term “surface temperature” that is used everywhere, which is translated into german also as “Bodentemperatur”.


William Howard
July 20, 2023 4:37 am

What – the media spreading disinformation to push a leftist narrative – who would have ever thought

July 20, 2023 5:10 am

While southern Europe is sweltering in record temperatures, in the Netherlands the summer so far has been relatively cool and wet,

Gerard Cox – ‘T Is Weer Voorbij Die Mooie Zomer (1973)

It’s over that beautiful summer again
That summer that started almost in May
Ah, you thought there was no end to it
But before you know it, the whole summer is long gone

Roger Collier
July 20, 2023 6:07 am

But could you fry an egg on the tarmac? I failed in South UK on the hottest day last year.

Ed Zuiderwijk
Reply to  Roger Collier
July 20, 2023 6:43 am

You should have used the bonnet of your car, because the metal will heat the egg from below by heat conduction from the adjacent area. Won’t work with tarmac, or concrete or brick.

It doesnot add up
Reply to  Roger Collier
July 20, 2023 11:17 am

You used to be able to use the Walkie Talkie to help.

Now they have to detune the hyperbolic mirror in the summer by angling the windows.

Reply to  Roger Collier
July 21, 2023 7:07 pm

You should’ve waited until the Typhoon jets were passing by with their afterburners on. You’d need to time it just right though – maybe someone from the Met Office could help.

July 20, 2023 7:15 am

And the “climate crisis” is dying a slow death. Unfortunately, too slow for the fools who glue their body parts to highways and jet planes. These are mentally ill or, at the least, mental midgets who can’t seem to critically think about what they are doing. Or, maybe, the stipend they receive from the sponsors of the foolishness is too good to ignore. Otherwise, they would have to get a real job. That would be boring.

Reply to  guidvce4
July 20, 2023 8:46 am

I agree. I think they’re past the point of no return. This is desperation. People in Eastern Europe have had a cooler than average summer thus far, so just imagine what they’re thinking when they hear about the Western Europe burning up. The alarmism and the desperation gets worse every year. When long time residents in some areas hear about an “unprecedented weather event”, they’re likely rolling their eyes and ignore the rest of the news. It’s important for us to keep fact checking them and to refer as many people as possible to WUWT.

Right-Handed Shark
Reply to  guidvce4
July 20, 2023 9:52 am

These jokers are getting stupider by the day (from around 2:31:00)

Funny as this is, it is likely to get very serious. If a motorcyclist hits that patch of oil he could end up getting killed. It’s about time these idiots were arrested on sight, and their sponsors locked up for attempted murder. And no, I am not exaggerating.

July 20, 2023 8:25 am

How many times, when watching a baseball game being played on artificial turf, have they shown the temperature at ground level that the outfielder’s feet were suffering under? The difference between surface and air temperature has been shown on TV sport broadcasts for around 50 years.

It doesnot add up
July 20, 2023 10:52 am

I think we need a map that shows the difference between forecasted temperatures and actuals as measured to proper meteorological standards (or at least the closest approach that our instruments allow – I can’t recall seeing a Stevenson screen that was set above the ground to 2m, requiring a step ladder to read the instruments for anyone other than basketball players). Colour the biggest differences in orange, and call it the credibility gap map.

July 20, 2023 2:34 pm

We saw it, we laughed a lot

Eamon Butler
July 20, 2023 3:31 pm

Bottom line, unfortunately, the damage was done. Most people just got the ”hottest ever” message.The reports of the lies and the retractions were virtually non existent. The scam artists have a free platform to promote whatever rubish they want. It doesn’t matter if it’s true or not. They have even said this themselves. The main objective is to get the public terorised into action. That is, voting for the politically corrupt who promote this in the first place, and are heavily invested in it. They establish policies that enable the whole fraud to operate. Trillions of dollars safe in the hands of those climate hypocrites, at the expense of the most vulnerable.

John in Oz
July 20, 2023 6:08 pm

In Australia there is a proposed bill to force removal of mis/dis-information from social media sites or the sites face $millions in fines and gaol time.

Media, schools and, of course, political parties/politicians are exempt.

The misinformation in this article would be allowed for the media in Oz, even though it is blatantly misleading, but if you or I reported it we might be visited by the climate-gestapo

Oriel Kolnai
July 21, 2023 12:29 am

This is just plain weird. Here in Central France, we’ve had a coolish June and the South (Cote d’Azur) was even cooler – 27° tops. Here right now, we’re struggling to make 18° (9.27 Local Time). What on earth are these people on about?

July 21, 2023 6:34 pm

But Greece did hit 48 degrees c! In Elefsina on the 10th of July… in 1977. It’s funny how decades of global warming often results in lower temperatures.

%d bloggers like this:
Verified by MonsterInsights