Communicating the State of Understanding of Climate and Climate Change

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Tuesday, 6 January 2015: 1:30 PM
222A-C (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Robert Ryan, Consulting Meteorologist, McLean, VA; and J. Dissen

Effective communication of climate and climate change information remains a challenging goal. The scientific terminology and public understanding of “climate” has changed significantly over the years. Scientific understanding of the “climate system” has made major advances in the past decades as the interdependency of the atmosphere, oceans, biosphere, land surfaces, ice, soil moisture , etc., have become part of “climate”. Human responses to climate and climate change have historically been driven by adaptation to relatively slow changes. Observations and research show climate and its many components now is changing at a rate not seen in human history. Can we more effectively communicate the certainty and the uncertainties of climate and climate change for both better public understanding and better decision making in a rapidly changing climate environment? A distinguished panel of science communicators, climate scientists, social scientists, decision makers and users of climate, climate and global change information will address a number of these questions and discuss pertinent issues with the attendees. It is the intent of the CECWCI that review/synopsis of the panel/town hall session will also be widely disseminated and published