THE BBC’s educational support resource has come under fire for teaching children about the “positive impacts” of global warming.

The BBC Bitesize service’s climate change page for GCSE students notes that evidence shows the Earth’s temperature is rising due to increasing greenhouse gases, and that this will lead to a “number of negative and positive effects”.

Eight negative impacts include rising sea levels, desertification and increased flooding, more extreme weather events, the extinction of certain species, the spread of diseases, agricultural problems and significant human migration, the service says.

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However eight positive impacts are also listed, with benefits like “new tourist destinations becoming available” and frozen regions being able to grow crops.

The positive impacts section states:

  • "Warmer temperatures and increased Co2 levels, leading to more vigorous plant growth
  • Some animals and plants could benefit and flourish in a changing climate
  • New shipping routes, such as the Northwest passage, would become available
  • More resources, such as oil, becoming available in places such as Alaska and Siberia when the ice melts
  • Energy consumption decreasing due to a warmer climate
  • Longer growing season leading to a higher yields in current farming areas
  • Frozen regions, such as Canada and Siberia, could be able to grow crops
  • New tourist destinations becoming available"

BBC Bitesize also notes there are a number of UK-specific negative and positive impacts from global warming. While it says warmer temperatures could lead to Scottish ski resorts closing due to a lack of snow and some plant species north of the Border becoming extinct, the resource also lists seven positive effects.

According to the web page climate change could lead to new crops like oranges “flourishing” in the UK, higher yields of crops like cereals, lower heating costs due to warmer temperatures, fewer road accidents in the winter, healthier outdoor lifestyles and “growth in the UK tourist industry” due to drier summers.

Activist George Monbiot drew attention to the page, branding it an “absolute disgrace”.

“This is what [BBC Bitesize] is teaching our children about climate breakdown.

“You could come away thinking: ‘on balance, it sounds pretty good’. It could have been written by Exxon.”

The writer attacked the broadcaster for its “long and disgraceful history of both-sidesing the greatest threat to life on Earth”.

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Search engine Ecosia responded: “’A number of negative and positive effects’ such as mass extinction, but new shipping routes?? Sounds like an even trade.”

Others called the educational resource “seriously scary” and added they “despaired” at the content.

In response, BBC Bitesize said it would be “assessing the guides in relation to the latest ed specs from the relevant exam boards”.

But Monbiot asked how “blatant misdirection about the most important issue on Earth” ended up on the service’s teaching materials.

A spokesperson for the BBC said: “We have reviewed the page and are amending the content to be in line with current curricula.”