Talking Climate Science in a Changing Media Landscape

Tuesday, 16 December 2014: 2:16 PM
Heidi M Cullen, Climate Central, Princeton, NJ, United States
Founded in 2008 by leading scientists and communications experts at Princeton, Yale and Stanford, Climate Central brings together award-winning journalists and internationally recognized scientists to report the science and impacts of climate change through its research and journalism programs. Climate Central works to tackle the misperception that climate change is a distant thing – affecting other people and other places - by demonstrating the local and personal impacts of global warming. This talk will focus on describing three important Climate Central initiatives.

First, our Climate Matters program delivers localized climate information at the regional and local level to weathercasters around the U.S., providing ready-to-use, broadcast quality graphics and analyses that put climate change in a local context. After three years, the program has grown from a pilot with just one TV meteorologist in Columbia, South Carolina to a network of more than 150 weathercasters across the country. Climate Central was also closely involved in the development and production of Years of Living Dangerously - a 9-part global warming documentary that premiered in April 2014. Finally, the World Weather Attribution project is a new initiative that aims to identify the human fingerprint in certain types of extreme weather events, including sea level rise and its contribution to storm surges, extreme heat events, heavy rainfall events/flooding, and drought. Our goal is to objectively and transparently assess certain extreme events and equip journalists and scientists with the tools to provide the larger global warming context in real-time while there is still media interest.