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Fact check: Image altered to show CNN headline about climate change – USA TODAY

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The claim: Image shows CNN headline claiming climate change will return next summer

Increased news coverage of climate change impacts has spurred an increase of climate misinformation online.  

A Sept. 8 Instagram post, which accrued more than 30 likes in a week, is just one example. The post claimed CNN ran a story announcing the return of climate change next summer. 

The purported image spread widely on Twitter and Instagram. One Sept. 9 Instagram post accrued more than 700 likes in a week before it was deleted.

The headline of the purported story reads, “As temperatures cool this fall, it’s important to remember that climate change will be back next summer.” 

Many social media users took the supposed headline seriously. 

“I gots (sic) some news for them: when you have a really hot summer, it almost guarantees a really cold winter,” the Instagram user wrote. “But I’m sure that’s considered climate change too.” 

But a spokesperson for CNN told USA TODAY the article and the headline in the image are fabricated.

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USA TODAY reached out to the user who shared the image for comment.

CNN headline is not real

The image in the social media post does not depict a real headline, and CNN never wrote such a story, said Emily Kuhn, a spokesperson for CNN. 

Such a story was not published on CNN’s website and does not appear on either of CNN’s main Twitter accounts

However, CNN did run a story with the same bylines, Amanda Davies and Ben Morse, and the same dateline, Sept. 4, 2022, as the purported story. While that story was about climate change, it was a piece about a Formula One driver considering the impact his sport has on climate change

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The image featured below the purported CNN headline matches a Shutterstock image captioned, “Climate change and Global warming concept burning.” The same stock image has been used before in medical papers and news articles

Our rating: Altered

Based on our research, we rate ALTERED an image that purports to show CNN ran a headline claiming climate change will return next summer. A spokesperson for CNN said the story and the headline are not real. 

Our fact-check sources:

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Our fact-check work is supported in part by a grant from Facebook.

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