By: Christian Haag
September 14 2023
Source: TikTok/Screenshot/Modified by Logically Facts
HAARP cannot cause natural disasters or affect the weather. The wildfires had several causes, and Storm Daniel caused the floods.
Since July and into September, Greece has been plagued by fierce wildfires and disastrous floods. Parts of Rhodes were evacuated in July, the fires in Evros claimed about 20 lives in August, and floods following Storm Daniel have displaced over 4,000 people, killing 15 people in Greece.
In the wake of the natural disasters, false claims have circulated on social media. One predominant claim is that the wildfires and floods in Greece were caused by HAARP, a research facility in Alaska that studies the ionosphere. HAARP has been the target of many conspiracy theories, claiming it can facilitate natural disasters and affect the weather.
Examples of claims can be seen here and here.
However, the claims are false.
HAARP, the High-frequency Active Auroral Research Program, cannot cause or engineer storms or other natural phenomena. The facility is located in Alaska and comprises many antennas that use high-frequency transmissions to study the ionosphere, the boundary between the Earth's lower atmosphere and the vacuum of space.
Robert McCoy, director of the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska, told Climate Feedback that the high-frequency transmissions are relative to shortwave radio, and the amount of high-energy frequency from radio would exceed the transmissions from HAARP. The transmission only causes a small effect on the ionosphere for a few seconds and is used for a few hours every year. The research installation has no capability of affecting or creating natural phenomena such as wildfires or storms.
The wildfires in Greece do not have one single cause. Some are suspected to be caused by natural phenomena such as lightning, and some have been caused by intended or unintended arson. Oftentimes, a spark from a grill, a cigarette, or machinery can be enough to create a wildfire. Whatever the cause, the spread depends on the weather. Greece saw heat records in July, and a mild winter reduced the soil moisture, making it ample ground for fast-spreading forest fires.
Heavy rains due to Storm Daniel caused the floods in Greece. The Times of Israel reported that Storm Daniel began as a low-pressure weather system blocked by a high-pressure system, which caused heavy amounts of rain to fall onto Greece. In the village of Zagora, 750 mm of rain was reported to fall over 24 hours, and 400-600 mm in Thessaly in central Greece, according to the World Meteorological Society. The storm drew energy from the warm Mediterranean seawater, likely due to global warming, and has been dubbed Medicane, an abbreviation for Mediterranean Hurricane.
Similar claims have been fact-checked by Logically Facts before, such as HAARP causing the earthquake in Morocco, the floods in Libya, and that HAARP is used to accelerate climate change through global weather modification.
HAARP cannot cause natural disasters or affect the weather. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false.
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