MEDIA
02/25/2015 09:33 am ET Updated Feb 27, 2015

Al Roker Says Harsh Weather Conditions This Winter Are Result Of Climate Change

NBC weather anchor Al Roker believes that the extreme weather conditions the country is experiencing this winter are due to climate change.

"We've been in a pattern now where five weeks in a row there's been a storm that comes up and then reforms off the mid-Atlantic/New England coast and dumps a ton of snow," he told Larry King during an interview Tuesday.

"Is this all part of climate change?" King asked.

"I think it is," Roker replied. "You can't point to any one event and say, 'This is climate change,' but what climate change opens the door for -- allows for -- are more extreme swings of weather."

Roker pointed to the contradiction between the lack of rainfall on the West Coast and the deluge of snow and ice on the East Coast.

"Climate change makes that more possible," he told King, adding that he prefers the term climate change to global warming.

Roker's acknowledgment of the impact of climate change is notable considering the meteorologists and news anchors who have previously denied -- or simply ignored -- the phenomenon while speaking on air.

In October, Weather Channel co-founder John Coleman went on Fox News to publicly denounce man-made global warming as a myth.

Cable and network news as a whole have repeatedly dropped the ball on climate change coverage in recent years. Networks largely ignored the major report released by the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change last March, and have often dodged other opportunities to cover the issue.

A Media Matters report last year found that in 2013, ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox together dedicated just 27 minutes to climate change on the Sunday shows and an hour and 42 minutes on nightly news.

But Roker has long been an advocate for speaking about global warming. Last year, the newsman met with President Barack Obama as part of the White House's effort to find solutions, and pushed the president on why it has taken such a long time to talk about climate change with urgency.

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