PD1.1 Broadcast Meteorologists Leading as Climate Change Communicators

Wednesday, 10 January 2018: 1:30 PM
Ballroom B (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
Bernadette Woods Placky, Climate Central, Princeton, NJ; and E. Maibach, J. Morales, and J. Peeters

Broadcast meteorologists leading as climate change communicators

Proposed 90 minute panel discussion

Extreme heat and heavy precipitation are some of the most obvious ties to climate change experienced by the public. These high impact weather events, and other less dramatic climate change impacts, create opportunities for trusted local broadcast meteorologists to communicate the science of climate change and explain its local relevance. We propose a 90-minute panel discussion to illuminate how hundreds of broadcast meteorologists nationwide and internationally are incorporating climate change communication into their role - making connections with weather where appropriate and informing their local audiences. Using longitudinal survey data, we will examine how the views of weathercasters have evolved rapidly in concert with mainstream science, and demonstrate that while the public holds important misconceptions about climate change, most are open to learning more about climate change, including and perhaps especially by their trusted local weathercaster. We will also present the NSF-funded Climate Matters reporting resources that are helping weathercasters become more effective climate communicators, and provide examples of their use. Lastly, we will present a new global broadcast meteorology climate communication initiative. The panel presentation will close with audience discussion. Panelists are below:

Ed Maibach, Director, Center for Climate Change Communication, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA

Bernadette Woods Placky, Climate Central Chief Meteorologist, Climate Matters Director, Princeton, NJ

John Morales, WTVJ Miami, FL, Climadata

Jill Peeters, VTM & Climate Without Borders Founder, Belgium

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