Sweden election: Why this viral image is not proof of ‘climate hysteria’

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A misleading image has falsely claimed to show proof of “climate hysteria” in Sweden ahead of the country’s general election.

Users have alleged that a Swedish broadcaster has altered weather map designs and colours to exaggerate global warming.

The claim was also amplified on Twitter by Lars Beckman, an MP for the right-wing Moderate party. 

The Cube, Euronews’ social media newsdesk, has fact-checked the claims.

The viral image claims to show two weather forecasts that were allegedly shared by the same news channel in 1986 and 2022.

Using open-source tools, Euronews found the images were shared by two different broadcasters to display weather patterns and temperature.

The weather map image on the left was first displayed in July 2016, by the state-controlled television broadcaster SVT.

The second image — showing an orange map and ground temperature readings — was taken from a different television network, TV4, in August 2021.

Not only were the images labelled with the incorrect dates, but they were also shared by different broadcasters, who use different graphics to display weather and temperature forecasts.

The misleading image has previously gone viral in Sweden and was re-shared on Facebook this summer ahead of the election on September 11.

Election campaigns often provide fertile ground for online misinformation to spread because of the emotion connected with them.