Individual events provide teachable moments on climate change, provided the bridging material is both scientifically robust and structured to engage the interests of the desired audience.
Practitioner outreach in climate science communications over the last several years has yielded a base of lessons that serve as best practice principles for communicating climate change impacts. Recent experience with cataloging and mapping climate change impacts in real time (www.climatesignals.org) furthers this base of communication knowledge.
Climate Signals is an on-line digital platform for cataloging and mapping the impacts of climate change. The CS platform specifies and details the chains of connections between greenhouse gas emissions and individual climate events. Currently in open-beta release, the platform is designed to to engage and serve the general public, news media, and policy-makers, particularly in real-time during extreme climate events.
Climate Signals consists of a curated relational database of events and their links to climate change, a mapping engine, and a gallery of climate change monitors offering real-time data. For each event in the database, an infographic engine provides a custom attribution “tree” that illustrates the connections to climate change. In addition, links to key contextual resources are aggregated and curated for each event. All event records are fully annotated with detailed source citations and corresponding hyper links. The system of attribution used to link events to climate change in real-time is detailed here. This open-beta release is offered for public user testing and engagement.