Weather forecasters faced unprecedented levels of trolling during this month’s extreme heat in the UK, according to leading figures in the industry.
The BBC’s team received hundreds of abusive tweets or emails questioning their reports and telling them to “get a grip”, as temperatures hit 40C.
BBC meteorologist Matt Taylor said he had never experienced anything like it in nearly 25 years working in weather.
The Royal Meteorological Society condemned the trolling.
Most of the abuse seems to have been prompted as links were made between the heatwave and climate change.
The UK saw record high temperatures on 19 July, with 40C exceeded for the first time. Dozens of locations saw temperatures above the previous UK record of 38.7C and 15 fire services declared a state of emergency because of a surge in blazes.
The Met Office estimated the heatwave had been made 10 times more likely because of climate change.
The BBC’s Matt Taylor said: “It’s a more abusive tone than I’ve ever received. I switched off a bit from it all as it became too depressing to read some of the responses.”
Met Office and Royal Meteorological Society forecasters were also targeted.
Members of the latter body faced “public ridicule, accusations of lying or suggestions of being blackmailed”, said Royal Meteorological Society chief executive Professor Liz Bentley.
“Anecdotally, abusive comments increase when the message about climate change is intrinsic to the story,” she said.
Met Office lead meteorologist Alex Deakin said “it’s scary in some ways”, adding: “I find it more frustrating and offensive for my colleagues – some of the great minds in climate science. Show a bit of respect and do a bit more research rather than just believe Bob down the pub or Tony on YouTube.”