An Iowa meteorologist will be leaving his career on television, citing harassment over his coverage of climate change and its impact on weather, he said Friday.
Chris Gloninger, chief meteorologist for CBS affiliate KCCI in Des Moines, told followers on social media this week he's embarking on a new career in hopes of "helping solve the climate crisis" after 18 years in broadcasting.
"I am biding farewell to TV to embark on a new journey dedicated to helping solve the climate crisis," he tweeted. "After a death threat stemming from my climate coverage last year and resulting PTSD, in addition to family health issues, I've decided to begin this journey *now*."
Gloninger and his wife are moving to Massachusetts where he'll be working for the Woods Hole Group, an environmental science and consulting organization.
"There are amazing people here in Iowa here. There's no question what I encountered here was the exception not the rule," Gloninger told NBC News on Friday. "The climate here is a little concerning so we're moving to Massachusetts."
In announcing his upcoming departure, Gloninger posted a series of insulting and threatening messages recently sent to him.
Gloninger insists his departure isn’t allowing critics to get the last word.
"If I got out of it completely, then 100% I'd be giving in. If I stopped talking about it (climate change), that would be giving in," Gloninger said.
"There's an even balance, worrying about the safety of your family but also you can do some good. What this company does is, they are incredible, amazing scientists and engineers doing some of the most detailed modeling of rising sea levels. I can help them communicate that and it's exciting to still be able to engage with the public."
The 38-year-old native of Sag Harbor, New York, said he knew he wanted to be a meteorologist since childhood, when Hurricane Bob slammed the East Coast in 1991.
Gloninger never thought that reporting objective, scientific findings could trigger hateful sentiment.
"That's the problem. That sums up the problem, that people don't care about the facts and they get mad when you talk about the facts and tie it to something that goes against their beliefs," he said Friday.
"It's beliefs over facts and that's where we are right now."
His last day on the job is set for July 7.
A representative for the Hearst-owned TV station could not be immediately reached for comment on Friday.