Friday, March 5, 2021

No, this photo doesn’t show a frozen USS Al Gore Global Warming Research Vessel

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If Your Time is short

  • There is no such boat.

As snow and ice blankets much of the country, an image of a frozen boat in a harbor has spread on social media.

“Now, this is funny, I don’t care who you are,” a description of the image says. The boat is labeled: “USS Al Gore Global Warming Research Vessel.”

This post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)

For years former Vice President Al Gore has warned about the dangers of climate change and advocated for action to mitigate it. But there is no USS Al Gore Global Warming Research Vessel.

“USS” is a prefix used in official documents to identify a commissioned ship of the U.S. Navy. It stands for “United States Ship.”

Alfred, Anderson and Wright are among the Navy ships listed in military records kept by the National Archives, but there’s no Al Gore. (The Al in his name, by the way, is short for Albert — not Alfred). The Alfred was named in honor of Alfred the Great, the king of Wessex credited with building the first English naval force, according to the Naval History and Heritage Command.

We also didn’t find the USS Al Gore listed in the military’s Naval Vessel Register.

We couldn’t identify the boat that’s pictured in the Facebook post. But it’s appeared online for more than 15 years and doing a reverse image search, some posts describe it as a boat in Lac Leman, in Versoix, Switzerland, after an ice storm.

Climate change deniers sometimes point to cold weather as evidence that global warming is a hoax. But experts say that extreme cold weather like some communities in the United States are experiencing could be linked to climate change.

As Judah Cohen, the director of seasonal forecasting at Atmospheric and Environmental research, told the New York Times: “Severe weather is much more frequent when the Arctic is warmest. It’s not in spite of climate change, but related to climate change.”

We rate this claim False.

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