Multiple publications shared hundreds of times worldwide claim that microwave frequencies emitted by 5G cell towers and radar stations are a major contributor to global warming. But experts told AFP that while the infrastructure needed to support 5G networks may contribute marginally to global warming, there is no evidence that microwave frequencies from 5G cell towers contribute to climate change. According to the United Nations, fossil fuels are by far the largest contributor to global climate change, accounting for more than 75 percent of global greenhouse emissions.
“You don’t blanket the Earth in cell towers and radar stations all emitting fixed microwave frequencies at an ever-increasing level if you’re worried about global warming…” reads the text on an image shared on Facebook here on July 25, 2022 .
It was shared on a Facebook group called “We Say NO To 5G in Australia”, which has more than 19,000 followers.
The image shows the Earth inside a microwave oven that has cell towers and radar stations protruding from the top.
The labels “SBX-1”, “NEXRAD” and “HAARP” can be seen on some of the protrusions and refer to the various types of radar used by the United States.
The hashtags “#EMFRadiation #WeaponizedWiFi #AMicrowavedPlanet #Stop5G #SinkTheSmartGrid” are also included at the bottom of the image.
Screenshot of the misleading Facebook post, taken on August 29, 2022.
The same image was also shared along with a similar claim by users in Australia and the United States, as well as other anti-5G groups in New Zealand and Denmark.
However, the claim is misleading, according to experts.
Global warming claim
Dr Sarah Loughran, director of radiation research and advice at the Australian Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA), told AFP: “There is no evidence that radio waves, microwave frequencies or 5G technologies are linked to or contributing to global warming . in any way”.
He went on to say that the claim “cell towers emit fixed microwave frequencies at an increasing level” is also false.
“Cell towers use radio waves to connect mobile devices and the emissions must comply with the exposure limits set out in the Australian Safety Standard,” he said.
Fossil fuels — coal, oil and natural gas — remain the biggest contributor to global climate change, accounting for more than 75 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, according to the United Nations.
Other contributors include electricity production, well production, forest destruction, transport use, food production, energy use and over-consumption of buildings, according to the UN.
In contrast, the telecommunications sector contributes about 1.4 percent as outlined by experts in this report by the Stockholm-based telecommunications company Ericsson.
Dr Diep Nguyen, a senior lecturer at the University of Technology Sydney, told AFP that linking 5G technology to global warming was “too extreme” because any activity that requires energy could contribute to climate change.
He said 5G technology is more energy efficient than 4G or 3G networks.
“5G consumes more energy than 4G overall, but for energy per unit of data, 5G is much more energy efficient than 4G and others,” he said.
It is not harmful to humans
Experts previously told AFP that there is no evidence that 5G is harmful to the human body and dismissed false claims that it created the new coronavirus.
“There are no adverse health effects caused by exposure to 5G,” Rodney Croft, a professor at the University of Wollongong, told AFP.
“‘Radiation’ refers to both ionizing and non-ionizing radiation, and although ionizing radiation (such as from X-rays or nuclear reactions) can cause serious health effects such as cancer, non-ionizing radiation at the levels associated with 5G it cannot cause any health effects,” he said.
According to the Australian Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA), mobile phone towers in Australia emit low-level radio frequency (RF) electromagnetic energy that does not affect human health.
“No adverse health effects are expected from continuous exposure to RF EME emitted by antennas on mobile phone base stations,” it says.