Communicating Climate Change

Policymakers, businesses, the media, and the public are increasingly interested in this complex issue. This generates a multitude of information and opinions about climate change, and presents significant challenges to accurately and effectively communicate the issue.

The information shared on this page aims to offer insights into these communications challenges and highlight credible, relevant sources of related information. This is not a comprehensive list of climate change communications materials. Rather, it is an evolving collection of useful resources to help advance an understanding of the communications challenges posed by the climate issue.

The findings and opinions expressed in these materials do not necessarily reflect views of our organization. We do, however, find them all to offer interesting perspectives.


Communicating climate change science

Challenges in Using Local Data to Communicate Climate Risk
Daniel G. Huber
Joe Casola
Center for Climate and Energy Solutions
August 22, 2013

Communicating About Climate Risks While Avoiding Dire Messaging
Matthew C. Nisbet
big think
May 2, 2011

The role of social and decision sciences in communicating uncertain climate risks
Nick Pidgeon and Baruch Fischhoff
March 29, 2011

A Reporter's Field Notes on The Coverage of Climate Change
Elizabeth Kolbert, The New Yorker
Yale Environment 360
March 11, 2009

Climate Literacy: The Essential Principles of Climate Sciences
U.S. Global Change Research Program
March 2009



Communicating with skeptics

Don't ignore climate skeptics – talk to them differently
Andrew Hoffman
Christian Science Monitor
June 24, 2011

Do Climate Skeptics Change Their Minds?
Brian Merchant
May 12, 2011

Q. and A.: Taking On Climate Skepticism as a Field of Study
Felicity Barringer
New York Times: Green Blog
April 9, 2011

The culture and discourse of climate skeptism
Andrew J. Hoffman
Strategic Organization's So!apbox Editorial Essay

The Scientific Guide to Global Warming Skepticism
John Cook
Skeptical Science
December 8, 2010

Climate Change: Addressing the Major Skeptic Arguments
DB Climate Change Advisors
September 2010

Realities vs. Misconceptions about the Science of Climate Change
Center for Climate and Energy Solutions
August 2009



Messaging: The importance of framing and the media's influence

The Science of Why We Don’t Believe Science
Chris Mooney
April 18, 2011

The Importance of Risk Perception for Effective Climate Change Communication
David Ropeik
Climate Central
December 13, 2010

Communicating Climate Change: Why Frames Matter for Public Engagement
Matthew C. Nisbet, American University
Environment Magazine
March-April 2009

How Much Would You Pay to Save the Planet? The American Press and the Economics of Climate Change
Eric Pooley, Kalb Fellow
Joan Shorenstein Center
January 2009

The Real Swindle
Max Boycoff, James Martin 21st Century Research Fellow at the Environmental Change Institute
February 21, 2008

Moving Beyond Gore's Message: A Look Back (And Ahead) at Climate Change Communications
Matthew C. Nisbet, American University
January 9, 2008



Communicating climate change and social media

The Role of New Media in Engaging the Public with Climate Change
Saffron O’Neill and Maxwell Boykoff
Chapter in Engaging the Public with Climate Change
November 2010

Growing Role for New Media Foreseen as Climate Science/Public Opinion Diverge
Michael J. Coren
Yale Forum on Climate Change and the Media
April 6, 2009

A Two-Step Flow of Influence?: Opinion-Leader Campaigns on Climate Change
Matthew C. Nisbet, American University
John E. Kotcher, National Academies
Science Communication, Sage Publications
March 2009

Communicating Climate Change podcast
Joe Cone, producer



Polls & Studies

Global Warming's Six Americas in May 2011
Anthony Leiserowitz, PhD (Yale Project on Climate Change Communication)
May 2011

American Climate Attitudes
An analysis of public opinion trends and recommendations for advancing public engagement on global warming
Social Capital Project of The Resource Innovation Group
May 2011

Knowledge of Climate Change Across Global Warming’s Six Americas
Anthony Leiserowitz, PhD (Yale Project on Climate Change Communication)
January 2011

Climate Compared: Public Opinion on Climate Change in the United States and Canada
Brookings Institute
April 2011

American Teens’ Knowledge of Climate Change
Yale Project on Climate Change Communication
April 2011

The Energy Learning Curve: Coming from Different Starting Points, the Public Sees Similar Solutions
A report from Public Agenda by Scott Bittle, Jonathan Rochkind and Amber Ott 
April 3, 2009

Global Warming's Six Americas
Anthony Leiserowitz, PhD (Yale Project on Climate Change)
Edward Maibach, MPH, PhD and Connie Roser-Renouf, PhD (George Mason University Center for
Climate Change Communication)

Americans Favor Carbon Cap
The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press
March 25, 2009

Generation Gap in Understanding Climate Change
CSR Europe
March 13, 2009

Increased Number Think Global Warming "Exaggerated"
March 11, 2009

Climate Change and American Public Opinion: The National and State Perspective
Miller Center of Public Affairs, UVA
December 10, 2008



Other Resources


Climate Concepts: Analogies and Useful Descriptions


Climate Change Guide
Met Office, Hadley Center

Creating a Climate for Change

Center for Climate Change Communication (C4)
George Mason University

Yale Forum on Climate Change and the Media

Nature Reports Climate Change podcast