A made-up global warming theory discussed in the Joe Rogan Experience podcast is spreading on TikTok despite the platform’s new policy against climate disinformation, a new report shared exclusively with The Verge finds.
Seven TikTok videos promoting the so-called “Adam and Eve” theory —which spuriously claims Earth’s magnetic fields will shift and cause catastrophic effects across the planet —garnered more than 20 million views between January and April, according to the report by the nonprofit organization Media Matters for America. The videos include clips from a January 18th episode of The Joe Rogan Experience, amplifying statements Rogan and his guests made that contradict mainstream science.
The videos’ popularity shows how misinformation buried in a three-hour-long podcast episode can easily be plucked out and dispersed widely on TikTok. It’s also a test of TikTok’s recent commitment to “ramp up enforcement” of its newclimate change misinformation policy.
“There’s no proof and no science and no physics behind any of the claims”
“It’s just unfortunate that these things are being put out there,” says Martin Mlynczak, a senior research scientist at the NASA Langley Research Center, in an interview. “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. And there’s no proof and no science and no physics behind any of the claims about the magnetic field change being associated with climate change.”
The viral videos attempt to explain the so-called “Adam and Eve” theory about a reversal of Earth’s magnetic poles. A guest on Rogan’s show, YouTuber Jimmy Corsetti, says the theory is that the planet “flips” roughly every 6,500 years. “It’s a 90-degree flip, but six days later, or on the seventh day, it corrects itself,” he says. “Because of it, the Earth essentially does a standstill — the sun will basically stay in the same spot, causing heating like we’ve never experienced,” Corsetti says in a clip.
There’s no evidence that the planet has or ever will make that kind of 90-degree flip — where the Arctic would be where the Antarctic is and vice versa — Mlynczak tells The Verge. “That is total bogus. If that’s what happened every 6,500 years, we would certainly see it; it would be in all the records ... The amount of energy to bring that about is tremendous. And you know, there’s nothing to initiate it,” he says.
Earth’s magnetic poles are shifting, just not in the way that’s discussed in the podcast and TikTok videos. NASA has a helpful explanation of what’s happening on its website. But in a nutshell: Earth’s magnetic field is constantly changing. Our planet’s magnetic north pole is on the move, shifting toward the Siberian Arctic from Arctic Canada. Earth’s magnetic poles (not the planet itself) have even reversed 183 times over the last 83 million years, paleomagnetic records show.
In a pole reversal, Earth’s magnetic field gradually weakens and then grows in strength in the opposite orientation. That process takes place very slowly — likely spanning over a couple thousand years, according to BrendanReilly,an assistant research professor at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. “It’s very possible that if one was happening in our lifetime, we wouldn’t even know it because the whole process would take many, many generations,” Reilly says.“It’s not just this dramatic thing.”
But there’s plenty of drama in Rogan’s podcast and the TikTok videos it spawned. The TikTok videosfeature Corsetti saying we’re “over 200,000 years overdue” for a “cataclysmic” pole shift, according to theunsupportedAdam and Eve theory. On top of causing global heating, hesaysthe theory isthat equatorial winds traveling “approximately 1,000 miles an hour” will continue their momentum as the planet turns.
“1,000-mile-an-hour winds are past supersonic. Just right there, I mean, the person has no idea what they’re talking about,” Mlynczak tells The Verge. Even the strongest hurricane winds reach only 150 to 160 miles per hour.
The world is not “overdue” for a pole reversal, according to Reilly. That would be like flipping a coin, getting two heads in a row, and saying you’re overdue for tails even though the odds haven’t changed, he says. And even though Earth’s magnetic North pole has begun to shift a little faster — a point Corsetti makes in the podcast — Reilly says that it’s not out of line for what’s typical of Earth’s magnetic field.
In an email to The Verge, Corsetti says the TikTok videos took some of his statements out of context. “Keep in mind that those various TikTok clips are edited portions of my conversation on the Joe Rogan Podcast where I am explaining the difference between ‘mainstream scientific view’ of Pole Shifts, in comparison to the ‘Adam & Eve Story’ — which is certainly not considered accepted Science,” he writes.
The Adam and Eve theory stems from a 1965 book by Chan Thomas, written before there was wide research on climate science. The book caused a stir in conspiracy theory circles after the CIA declassified it in 2013. (Among other things, the book claims that Jesus was abducted by aliens in a “space vehicle.”) The theory today is often framed to imply thatclimate changeis caused by natural forces instead ofburning fossil fuels and isn’t as big of a risk compared to other threats.
Corsetti also walked back some of his statements on climate change in his email to The Verge. In one of the viral videos that came out of the podcast, with more than 352,000 likes, Corsetti says, “I think that the true data on Earth is that the Earth is cold most of the time. That right now we should be grateful that it’s nice and cozy.”
The mountain of evidence shows that the planet is warming as greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels trap heat. The last eight years have been the eight hottest on the books, theWorld Meteorological Organization reported in January. Themost extremesummer heatwave ever recorded in North Americabuckled roadsand triggered aspikein emergency department visits in the Pacific Northwest US in 2021, in just one example of recent record-smashing heatwaves around the world.
“It seems to me that anyone who has eyes to see should understand that we are trashing and negatively changing our environment ... Personally, I drive an electric vehicle,” Corsetti says.
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The popularity of the TikTok videos Corsetti is featured in, which cherry-pick misinformation from Rogan’s podcast and package it with dramatic music and images, shows how easy it is to spread false information on the platform through emotive shortform videos. It’s also telling of how well the platform is enforcing its own policies.
In April, the social media platform committed to “ramp up enforcement of a newclimate change misinformation policywhich removes climate change misinformation that undermines well-established scientific consensus, such as content denying the existence of climate change or the factors that contribute to it.”
And yet, the seven videos that Media Matters flagged in its report are still garnering likes and shares on TikTok. TikTok did not immediately provide a response to The Verge when it reached out for comment.
Spotify lags behind other platforms in failing to instill a clear policy on climate misinformation in its content, says Abbie Richards, one of the authors of the Media Matters report. “Spotify has long-standing policies that help us balance creator expression and listener preferences while minimizing the risk of offline harm. We have multiple measures to ensure that content on Spotify is in keeping with our policies,” Spotify spokesperson Rosa Oh says in an email to The Verge. She declined to comment on the Joe Rogan podcast, and Joe Rogan did not respond to a request for comment.
Rogan has been called out in the past for inviting guests like Randall Carlson who reject widely accepted climate science. “What Randall Carlson said that really freaked me out, he goes, ‘Global warming’s not scary. Global cooling, that’s what’s really scary,’” Rogan says in another one of the misleading clips from his podcast that made its way into a viral TikTok video. While Rogan’s podcast already has a huge reach, the episodes are hours long, and statements like that might have been buried were it not for TikTok users editing it down into more easily shareable content.
“He’s reaching huge audiences with fringe ideas and conspiracy theories [on his podcast]. And then they’re spilling over into these other platforms,” says Media Matters climate and energy program director Allison Fisher.
And that worries scientists like Mlynczak. “I’m concerned because people are misled by these things, and they vote,” he says. “I have two kids, and all of our kids are going to have to deal with the consequences of decisions we make or don’t make about how to deal with climate change.”
Do climate scientists really agree about climate change? ›
Yes, the vast majority of actively publishing climate scientists – 97 percent – agree that humans are causing global warming and climate change.What are the 3 main causes of global warming? ›
Burning fossil fuels, cutting down forests and farming livestock are increasingly influencing the climate and the earth's temperature.When did climate change become an issue? ›
In 1988, global warming and the depletion of the ozone layer became increasingly prominent in the international public debate and political agenda.What is the difference between global warming and climate change? ›
“Global warming” refers to the rise in global temperatures due mainly to the increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. “Climate change” refers to the increasing changes in the measures of climate over a long period of time – including precipitation, temperature, and wind patterns.Was the Earth warmer 12000 years ago than today? ›
The planetary change that accompanied that warming is mind-boggling: 12,000 years ago, most of North America was 36 degrees colder than it is today, largely because of the retreating ice sheets.Is it too late to stop global warming? ›
While the effects of human activities on Earth's climate to date are irreversible on the timescale of humans alive today, every little bit of avoided future temperature increases results in less warming that would otherwise persist for essentially forever.What human activity causes the most harm to the environment? ›
These greenhouse gas emissions have increased the greenhouse effect and caused the earth's surface temperature to rise. Burning fossil fuels changes the climate more than any other human activity.
Fossil fuels – coal, oil and gas – are by far the largest contributor to global climate change, accounting for over 75 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions and nearly 90 per cent of all carbon dioxide emissions.Who is responsible for climate change? ›
With government support, Big Oil doubled down on its polluting exploits, enabling the release of large amounts of carbon dioxide and methane into the earth's atmosphere. Approximately 71 percent of carbon emissions can be traced to just 100 fossil fuel producers since 1988.How bad will climate change be by 2050? ›
Today, just one percent of the planet falls within so-called “barely liveable” hot zones: by 2050, the ratio could rise to almost twenty percent. In 2100, temperatures could rise so high that spending a few hours outside some major capital cities of South Asia and East Asia could be lethal.
What year was climate change the worst? ›
The early 1980s would mark a sharp increase in global temperatures. Many experts point to 1988 as a critical turning point when watershed events placed global warming in the spotlight.What was the first warning of climate change? ›
In 1896, a seminal paper by Swedish scientist Svante Arrhenius first predicted that changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels could substantially alter the surface temperature through the greenhouse effect. In 1938, Guy Callendar connected carbon dioxide increases in Earth's atmosphere to global warming.What will happen if global warming continues? ›
Earth Will Continue to Warm and the Effects Will Be Profound
The potential future effects of global climate change include more frequent wildfires, longer periods of drought in some regions, and an increase in the wind intensity and rainfall from tropical cyclones.
Welcome to the Pliocene. That was the Earth about three to five million years ago, very different to the Earth we inhabit now. But in at least one respect it was rather similar. This is the last time that carbon dioxide (CO2) levels were as high as they are today.Is ozone hole causing climate change? ›
Ozone depletion and climate change are linked in a number of ways, but ozone depletion is not a major cause of climate change. Atmospheric ozone has two effects on the temperature balance of the Earth. It absorbs solar ultraviolet radiation, which heats the stratosphere.Was the Earth ever hotter than it is now? ›
Even after those first scorching millennia, however, the planet has often been much warmer than it is now. One of the warmest times was during the geologic period known as the Neoproterozoic, between 600 and 800 million years ago. Conditions were also frequently sweltering between 500 million and 250 million years ago.Are we in an ice age? ›
Striking during the time period known as the Pleistocene Epoch, this ice age started about 2.6 million years ago and lasted until roughly 11,000 years ago. Like all the others, the most recent ice age brought a series of glacial advances and retreats. In fact, we are technically still in an ice age.Has the Earth been hotter than it is now? ›
Over millions of years, Earth's climate has warmed up and cooled down many times. However, today the planet is warming much faster than it has over human history. Global air temperatures near Earth's surface have gone up about 2 degrees Fahrenheit in the last century.What will happen to Earth in 2030? ›
By 2030, almost all countries will experience “extreme hot” weather every other year due mainly to greenhouse gas pollution by a handful of big emitters, according to a paper published Thursday by Communications Earth & Environment, reinforcing forecasts that the coming year will be one of the hottest on record.How many years do we have left to save the earth? ›
We Have 10 Years Left to Save the World, Says Climate Expert.
How bad will global warming be in 2030? ›
The report released Monday by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) found that the world is likely to surpass its most ambitious climate target — limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above preindustrial temperatures — by the early 2030s.How far is man harming the earth? ›
Nature feeling the squeeze
As a result, humans have directly altered at least 70% of Earth's land, mainly for growing plants and keeping animals. These activities necessitate deforestation, the degradation of land, loss of biodiversity and pollution, and they have the biggest impacts on land and freshwater ecosystems.
- Agriculture. ...
- Deforestation. ...
- Overpopulation & Overconsumption. ...
- Plastic Production. ...
- Emission of Carbon Dioxide and Other Greenhouse Gases. ...
- Destruction of the Reefs. ...
- Production of Black Carbon.
These have been caused by many natural factors, including changes in the sun, emissions from volcanoes, variations in Earth's orbit and levels of carbon dioxide (CO2). Global climate change has typically occurred very slowly, over thousands or millions of years.What are 5 ways to stop global warming? ›
- Change a light. ...
- Drive less. ...
- Recycle more. ...
- Check your tires. ...
- Use less hot water. ...
- Avoid products with a lot of packaging. ...
- Adjust your thermostat. ...
- Plant a tree.
- Save energy at home. ...
- Walk, bike, or take public transport. ...
- Eat more vegetables. ...
- Consider your travel. ...
- Throw away less food. ...
- Reduce, reuse, repair & recycle. ...
- Change your home's source of energy. ...
- Switch to an electric vehicle.
The transportation sector accounts for largest share of U.S. energy-related CO2 emissions. Consumption of fossil fuels accounts for most of the CO2 emissions of the major energy consuming sectors: commercial, industrial, residential, transportation, and electric power.What is the best climate for humans? ›
Often described as moderate in temperature and precipitation, type C climates are the most favorable to human habitation in that they host the largest human population densities on the planet. Type C climates are found mostly in the midlatitudes bordering the tropics.Which countries suffer the most from climate change? ›
Chad. Chad ranks as the world's most climate-vulnerable country on the Notre Dame-Global Adaptation Initiative Index, which examines a country's exposure, sensitivity and capacity to adapt to the negative effects of climate change.How hot will the earth be in 2100? ›
Lucas Zeppetello at Harvard University and his colleagues modelled a range of greenhouse gas emissions scenarios based on global population and economic growth by the end of the century. They found that global average temperature would rise between 2.1°C and 4.3°C by 2100.
Will Earth be habitable in 2100? ›
Though the climate of Earth will be habitable in 2100, we will be experiencing new extremes. Each decade will be different from the previous and next decade. The climate future could be quite bleak.What will life be like in 100 years? ›
The earth would become warmer, the average temperature will increase. There will be several new weather patterns and the sea levels would rise. Eventually humans would die out. If the insect population continues to decline, all birds that depend on insect for food will become extinct.Will 2023 be hotter than 2022? ›
What's next. Heading into 2023, models generally anticipate that the ongoing La Niña event will subside, leading to neutral conditions in the Pacific Ocean and possibly an El Niño in the latter part of the year. That suggests that 2023 will be warmer than 2022 and among the hottest years on record.What is the hottest year on record? ›
Earth's warmest year on record is 2016. Once again, the Arctic experienced the greatest warming relative to the average. The average temperature for that part of the world in 2022 was the highest out of any year dating back to 1900.What countries are least affected by climate change? ›
A paper published by the Anglia Ruskin University in the United Kingdom has identified five countries in geographical locations with “favourable starting conditions” that may allow them to be less touched by the effects of climate change: New Zealand, Iceland, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Ireland.Which country declared climate emergency first? ›
The correct answer is the United Kingdom. The United Kingdom became the first country to declare a climate emergency.What are the scientists warning about climate change? ›
Scientists warned that human-induced climate change is warming the planet to the point where it is causing irreversible damage in some parts of the world. The report was released by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.Where did global warming start? ›
Scientists attribute the global warming trend observed since the mid-20th century to the human expansion of the "greenhouse effect" — warming that results when the atmosphere traps heat radiating from Earth toward space.What will the world look like in 2050? ›
According to a US report, the sea level will increase by 2050. Due to which many cities and islands situated on the shores of the sea will get absorbed in the water. By 2050, 50% of jobs will also be lost because robots will be doing most of the work at that time. Let us tell you that 2050 will be a challenge to death.Can we reverse climate change? ›
While we cannot stop global warming overnight, we can slow the rate and limit the amount of global warming by reducing human emissions of heat-trapping gases and soot (“black carbon”).
What will global warming do after 100 years? ›
Climate Change Over the Past 100 Years. Global surface temperature has been measured since 1880 at a network of ground-based and ocean-based sites. Over the last century, the average surface temperature of the Earth has increased by about 1.0o F.Which country has emitted the most CO2 over time? ›
Cumulative CO₂ emissions from fossil fuel combustion worldwide 1750-2021, by country. The United States was the biggest emitter in history as of 2021, having released 422 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide (GtCO₂) into the atmosphere since the birth of the industrial revolution.What would happen to the climate if we stopped burning fossil fuels today? ›
Because of the existing CO2 in the atmosphere, the Earth will continue to warm even after we stop burning fossil fuels.Which country produces the most CO2? ›
- China. China is the largest emitter of carbon dioxide gas in the world, with 10,668 million metric tons emitted in 2020. ...
- The U.S. The U.S. is the second-largest emitter of CO2, with 4,713 million metric tons of total carbon dioxide emissions in 2020. ...
The long-lamented hole in the ozone layer is slowly mending itself, thanks to the success of an international agreement that banned chemicals that eat away at it, according to a new report from the United Nations (U.N.).What destroys the ozone layer? ›
Ozone Depletion. When chlorine and bromine atoms come into contact with ozone in the stratosphere, they destroy ozone molecules. One chlorine atom can destroy over 100,000 ozone molecules before it is removed from the stratosphere. Ozone can be destroyed more quickly than it is naturally created.Do scientists disagree about the possible effects of global warming? ›
Myth #3: Scientists disagree on the cause of climate change.
Contrary to popular belief, scientists do not disagree that climate change is happening and that it is caused by humans.
Changes to precipitation patterns and sea level are likely to have much greater human impact than the higher temperatures alone. For this reason, scientific research on climate change encompasses far more than surface temperature change. So "global climate change" is the more scientifically accurate term.What are some opposing viewpoints on climate change? ›
Some reject the idea that human-caused climate change exists; others have argued that human-made climate change is occurring but that the extent to which climate is changing and the precise impact of human activity is uncertain.Is the sun not co2 to blame for global warming? ›
No. The Sun can influence Earth's climate, but it isn't responsible for the warming trend we've seen over recent decades. The Sun is a giver of life; it helps keep the planet warm enough for us to survive.
When have scientists known about the problem of global warming? ›
These are the most comprehensive scientific reports produced about climate change worldwide. Since 1990 these reports have consistently found that the Earth is warming, and that the release of greenhouse gases by humans is responsible.Who published why scientists disagree about global warming? ›
Warmer oceans can kill off marine life, lead to more extreme weather and raise sea levels. They are also less efficient at absorbing planet-warming greenhouse gases.Which is better global warming or climate change? ›
In scientific papers, “climate change” is the term used more frequently, studies show, although scientists will use “global warming” when specifically referring to the increase in the Earth's actual surface temperature. In lectures, many scientists say, they use both.When was the last time in Earth's history that CO2 was as high as it is now? ›
Welcome to the Pliocene. That was the Earth about three to five million years ago, very different to the Earth we inhabit now. But in at least one respect it was rather similar. This is the last time that carbon dioxide (CO2) levels were as high as they are today.Who has the worst climate change? ›
Chad. Chad ranks as the world's most climate-vulnerable country on the Notre Dame-Global Adaptation Initiative Index, which examines a country's exposure, sensitivity and capacity to adapt to the negative effects of climate change.Is climate change a theory or law? ›
Answer and Explanation: Yes, climate change is a scientific theory, and a very new one at that.What celebrities disagree with climate change? ›
- #1. Jane Fonda.
- #2. Leonardo DiCaprio.
- #3. Pharrell Williams.
- #4. Mark Ruffalo.
- #5. Shailene Woodley.
- #6. Dave Matthews Band.
- #7. Robert Redford.
- #8. David Attenborough.
'Greenhouse gases' are crucial to keeping our planet at a suitable temperature for life. Without the natural greenhouse effect, the heat emitted by the Earth would simply pass outwards from the Earth's surface into space and the Earth would have an average temperature of about -20°C.Would Earth have been uninhabitable without CO2? ›
Besides CO2 there are other greenhouse gases. These include water vapor, methane, nitrous oxide, and ozone. Without any greenhouse gases, Earth would be an icy wasteland. Greenhouse gases keep our planet livable by holding onto some of Earth's heat energy so that it doesn't all escape into space.
Is the Sun getting colder? ›
By 2050, our sun is expected to be unusually cool. It's what scientists have termed a “grand minimum” — a particularly low point in what is otherwise a steady 11-year cycle. Over this cycle, the sun's tumultuous heart races and rests.