The role of social and decision sciences in communicating uncertain climate risks

TitleThe role of social and decision sciences in communicating uncertain climate risks
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsPidgeon, N, Fischhoff, B
JournalNature Climate Change
Volume1
Issue1
Pagination35 - 41
Date Published2011
ISBN Number1758-678X
KeywordsCOMMUNICATION, decision making
Abstract

A major challenge facing climate scientists is explaining to non-specialists the risks and uncertainties surrounding potential changes over the coming years, decades and centuries. Although there are many guidelines for climate communication, there is little empirical evidence of their efficacy, whether for dispassionately explaining the science or for persuading people to act in more sustainable ways. Moreover, climate communication faces new challenges as assessments of climate-related changes confront uncertainty more explicitly and adopt risk-based approaches to evaluating impacts. Given its critical importance, public understanding of climate science deserves the strongest possible communications science to convey the practical implications of large, complex, uncertain physical, biological and social processes. Here, we identify the communications science that is needed to meet this challenge and the ambitious, interdisciplinary initiative that its effective application to climate science requires.

Notes

10.1038/nclimate1080

DOI10.1038/nclimate1080