The Weather Channel's Climate Challenge

Days after John Coleman denied the existence of climate change, the network he created stated that it believes the scientific consensus is correct.

Eric Thayer/Reuters

John Coleman, a retired television meteorologist and founder of The Weather Channel, appeared on Fox News on Monday and claimed that he does not believe in climate change.

"Well, there are 9,000 Ph.D.s and 31 scientists who have signed a petition that says [carbon dioxide] is not a significant greenhouse gas. Oh it's a teeny, itsy-bitsy greenhouse gas, but it's not in any way significant," said Coleman. "And we are sure of it. It's not like something I just made up or just thought of. I've studied and studied and studied."

As it turns out, the Weather Channel doesn't agree. In a statement released Wednesday, the 32-year-old cable network asserted its belief that climate change is real—and that human activity is at least partly responsible.

More than a century's worth of detailed climate observations shows a sharp increase in both carbon dioxide and temperature. These observations, together with computer model simulations and historical climate reconstructions from ice cores, ocean sediments and tree rings all provide strong evidence that the majority of the warming over the past century is a result of human activities.

The statement made no reference to Coleman, whose affiliation with The Weather Channel lasted just one year. The just-retired weatherman, who last worked with San Diego's KUSI before leaving April, is a frequent climate change skeptic. After Al Gore testified about climate change for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 2009, Coleman ridiculed the former vice president and declared that global warming was a "hoax" and "bad science."

Coleman has acknowledged that his resume is a short on rigorous academic training.

"Many people don’t accept my position that there is no significant man-made global warming because I am simply a Television Meteorologist without a Ph.D.," he wrote on his blog earlier this year. "I understand that."

The comments to The Weather Channel statement immediately devolved into an argument between climate change realists and skeptics. One denier, Roald J. Larsen, said "the weather just won’t pay attention to the learned professors."