Home
This Title All WIREs
WIREs RSS Feed
How to cite this WIREs title:
WIREs Clim Change
Impact Factor: 4.402

Communicating climate change: history, challenges, process and future directions

Full article on Wiley Online Library:   HTML PDF

Can't access this content? Tell your librarian.

Since anthropogenic climate change first emerged on the public agenda in the mid‐to‐late 1980s, public communication of climate change and—more recently—the question of how to communicate it most effectively have witnessed a steep rise. This paper synthesizes what is known, presumed, and still unknown about how to effectively communicate this problem. An introductory historical overview of climate change communication is followed by a discussion of the challenges that communicators face in trying to convey the issue (invisibility of causes, distant impacts, lack of immediacy and direct experience of the impacts, lack of gratification for taking mitigative actions, disbelief in human's global influence, complexity and uncertainty, inadequate signals indicating the need for change, perceptual limits and self‐interest). The core of the paper focuses on key aspects of the communication process (purpose and scope of the communication, audience, framing, messages, messengers, modes and channels of communication, and assessing the outcomes and effectiveness of a communication). These elements are placed in relationship to several contextual factors that affect the communication process. The paper concludes with suggestions for future research on climate change communication. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Figure 1.

Can and will the world reduce global warming? Survey question: Which of the following statements comes closest to your view? Source: Leiserowitz et al.,28 their Figure 35, reprinted with permission by A. Leiserowitz.

[ Normal View | Magnified View ]

Related Articles

Theory and language of climate change communication
Climate Change Master Class

Browse by Topic

Perceptions, Behavior, and Communication of Climate Change > Communication
blog comments powered by Disqus

Access to this WIREs title is by subscription only.

Recommend to Your
Librarian Now!

The latest WIREs articles in your inbox

Sign Up for Article Alerts

Twitter: earth_wise Follow us on Twitter

    AGU’s distinguished editorial team invites submissions ESS. All publication fees waived through 31 December 2014 http://t.co/cLsCywfSQn