Communicating climate science

The science is clear, the climate is changing. Climate science research offers irrefutable evidence of our changing climate, using observations and monitoring of past and current climatic conditions to tell us about changes already occurring. This work also informs climate projections, providing compelling indications of what our future climate could look like in different emission scenarios.

Climate research centres around the globe, including the Met Office Hadley Centre for Climate Science and Services, regularly publish new climate research and contribute to climate science reports such as the assessment reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Scientific publications and climate data provide detailed science and information which can be invaluable to other researchers but which can, at times, be somewhat inaccessible to those less familiar with scientific terminology or data analysis.

Bringing climate science to life

It came as no particular surprise to us that one of the conclusions from the Met Office Climate Science Conference 2021 was that greater ambition in climate science communications is needed. Through the discussions and activities during the conference, it became clear that communications professionals such as designers, artists, actors, writers, singers and comedians need to work closely with scientists, activists, community representatives and others to develop new, more effective ways of talking about climate change. Climate science and data needs to be used to tell stories about climate change which resonate with different groups of people, from policymakers to the developers of climate services, and from businesses to the public.

Poet Mr Gee (@mrgeepoet) wrote a poem during the Met Office Climate Science Conference highlighting key points from the event.

Individuals have different preferences for how they receive information, whether that be through, for example, video, audio, creative design or written communication such as poetry. Finding creative and varied ways to bring climate science to life can help the stories of climate change be told.

Professor Peter Stott is a Met Office Science Fellow in Climate Attribution and also one of the team behind Climate Stories, a multi-disciplinary group passionate about telling stories around climate change. “We know that our climate is changing and we need to share what this means with as many people as possible,” explains Peter. “By exploring creative ways of storytelling, we can help make science accessible for all, raising awareness and encouraging action.”

The art of storytelling

During June, we will be exploring storytelling, considering how we can use climate data and science to raise awareness of climate change and provide individuals, organisations, communities and governments with the information they need to take appropriate action in their lives and work. Follow #GetClimateReady on Twitter as we share examples of ‘storytelling through data’.

Get ready for tomorrow #GetClimateReady

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