Did the plane freeze to the ground and was it on its way to the Climate Change Conference in Dubai?

False – the statement is untrue, there is no evidence to support it, the author is lying or unintentionally misleading 

At the beginning of December, Munich was paralysed by a snow storm. A video of a small private plane being cleared of snow by rescue services at the Munich Airport was widely shared on social media. The video was accompanied by a claim that the plane was frozen to the ground and, ironically, was scheduled to fly to the UN Climate Change Conference in Dubai. But none of this is true. The plane was not meant to go to Dubai, it was not frozen to ground, and even if it had been, that would not prove that climate change is not real.

The video from the airport was republished in different countries and on different internet platforms. The “frozen” plane and the plan to take it to the UN Climate Conference in Dubai was also reported by several media outlets, including the Polish-based Nexta – their X (formerly Twitter) post was “liked” by more than 4 000 people.

Photo: Screenshot from X. The post says that a plane scheduled to fly to Dubai froze to the ground due to a snowstorm.

The video became popular also in Latvia. Similarly to Nexta, the site also reported on the incident:

“Not only have all the flights at the Munich Airport been cancelled due to a heavy snowfall, one plane even froze to the runway (…) Ironically, the plane was supposed to go to the UN Climate Change Conference in Dubai.”

Photo: screenshot from Facebook.

The article vaguely refers to social media as the source of the information. Re:Check wrote to the editors to ask where did the information come from and whether it had been checked before publication, but did not receive a reply. However, an X user whose post on the event gained traction, wrote in Latvian that it was the most ironic video of the year.

Re:Check first contacted the Munich Airport for more information. Florian Steuer, the airport’s public relations officer, responded in writing that one of the planes parked on the airport apron had tilted backwards on 4 December due to snow. He indicated that he did not know where the plane was intended to go.

The plane’s aircraft number OE-HUB is visible in the video and it belongs to the Austrian company Bairline Fluggesellschaft. Re:Check contacted Nico Just, a spokesman for the company, in writing. He confirmed that it was a company plane: “The video shows our aircraft, but it was not scheduled to fly to Dubai.” Also, the plane was not frozen, but tilted backwards because of the amount of snow on its tail.

Several social media users shared the video and the snow storm as proof that, in general, global warming and climate change are not happening. However, isolated extreme and unusual weather events in one part of the world do not prove that average temperatures are not rising globally or that climate change does not exist. Since 1980 every decade has been warmer than the one before. The last nine years have been the hottest since humans began recording annual temperatures, with October this year reaching a peak in the history of annual temperature measurements.

Photo: Global average temperature by year, comparing the average temperature between 1850 and 1900. Source: UK Met Office.

In recent years, climate change denial has become a particularly popular fallacy in the Baltic States. But this view is contradicted by almost all the world’s climate scientists and their research, which confirms that the dramatic rise in global average temperatures over the last 150 years is mainly the result of human activity.

Conclusion: The plane in the video was not supposed to fly to the UN Climate Change Conference. Instead of freezing to the ground of the runway, the plane tilted backwards in the parking area due to the heavy snow cover on its tail. The record snowfall in Munich is not an indication that global average temperatures are not rising or that climate change is not happening.

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