THE BBC's climate editor made "misleading" claims about extreme weather in a Panorama documentary, an investigation has concluded.

The broadcaster's executive complaints unit (ECU) said Wild Weather, which Justin Rowlatt presented last November, wrongly stated weather-related deaths were on the rise.

The ECU noted deaths caused by extreme weather have actually fallen because of improved early warnings and disaster management.

Rowlatt introduced the programme by saying: “The world is getting warmer and our weather is getting ever more unpredictable and dangerous. The death toll is rising around the world and the forecast is that worse is to come.”

The programme also claimed "without qualification" that Madagascar was on the brink of the world's first climate-induced famine, according to the ECU.

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Rowlatt said: “The north of the island is a tropical paradise, famed for its biodiversity. But in the south they’re on the brink of the world’s first climate-induced famine.”

The BBC investigation said Rowlatt’s language on Madagascar mirrored that used by the UN’s World Food Programme, but ultimately decreed that there were “additional factors which made a significant contribution to the shortage of food”.

It is the second time Rowlatt has fallen foul of the corporation's editorial rules in recent months after the ECU found in December he gave an "inaccurate" impression of wind farm subsidies.

He said in a report in June last year that the offshore wind industry was “now virtually subsidy-free”, when that applied only to recently-approved projects.

A correction to the Panorama programme was issued online by BBC News but the broadcaster did not reference this on Wild Weather's iPlayer page due to an "oversight". The ECU said this was unacceptable.

The iPlayer version now features a statement saying: "This edition is subject to clarification. It said the death toll from extreme weather is rising but a recent study shows death rates in historic decline; and that Madagascar faces the first climate-induced famine, which was a claim from a UN agency.”

Rowlatt became the BBC’s first climate editor in September.