The chief meteorologist of a television news station in Iowa said this week that he was leaving his job to start a career in science, citing in large part the post-traumatic stress disorder that he said he had suffered after he was threatened last year over his on-air coverage of climate change.

Chris Gloninger, 38, who announced on Wednesday that he would leave the station, KCCI in Des Moines, in July, also cited a family health matter as a factor in his decision to quit his position, which he began in July 2021.

Last summer, Mr. Gloninger shared on Twitter the harassing messages that had been sent to him from a single email address. One appeared to threaten his life.

“What’s your home address, we conservative Iowans would like to give you an Iowan welcome you will never forget,” read one of the emails, dated June 24, 2022, that Mr. Gloninger shared. The email appeared to allude to an episode last year in which a man was arrested on charges of attempting to murder Justice Brett Kavanaugh of the Supreme Court.

That message, Mr. Gloninger said in a phone interview on Thursday, was startling and prompted him to call the police. His station arranged for a hotel stay and a security detail for his family soon after, he said, adding that he began seeing a therapist to help deal with the trauma from the episode.

The police identified Danny Hancock, of Lenox, Iowa, as the person who made the threat and charged him last August with third-degree harassment, The Iowa Capital Dispatch reported.

Mr. Hancock accused Mr. Gloninger of peddling a “liberal conspiracy theory” because of his interest in global climate trends in his on-air forecasts.

Mr. Hancock, 64, who could not be reached by phone Thursday, pleaded guilty and was issued a $180.75 fine, according to court records.

Mr. Gloninger said Thursday that after 18 years as a television meteorologist in five states he had accepted a job as a senior scientist with the Woods Hole Group, a Massachusetts-based company that studies climate change. He said he would be focusing on research and planning.

And while that position might not have the “great pulpit” that he had on television to bring attention to a subject that he cares deeply about, he would still be able to educate the public, he said.

“I’m not giving up,” Mr. Gloninger said in the interview. “I’m just shifting so I can do it full-time because I’m that passionate about it.” He said that harassment over his work relating to climate change “isn’t unique to me, it isn’t unique to our profession, and I think that it will continue if we continue to elevate voices that support hate.”

Mr. Gloninger has continued to focus on climate change in his reports.

During a recent broadcast, for instance, he reported on the bad air quality in Iowa brought on by wildfires in Canada. He connected the fires to the warming of the planet.


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