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Becoming Station Scientists: Opportunities and Obstacles to Reporting on Climate Change

Becoming Station Scientists: Opportunities and Obstacles to Reporting on Climate Change

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Becoming Station Scientists: Opportunities and Obstacles to Reporting on Climate Change

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  1. Becoming Station Scientists: Opportunities and Obstacles to Reporting on Climate Change Dr. Kris Wilson The Weather Doctors Austin, TX drkris@drkris.com

  2. Opportunities and Obstacles to Reporting on Climate Change • “Television Weathercasters as Prominent Science Communicators” –Public Understanding of Science (Jan. 2008) • On-line survey (121 responses) • 11% work at stations with full time science/environment reporter (compare to census) • 74% “agree” or “strongly agree”— comfortable being “station scientist” • 75% already reported on climate change

  3. What are the most common questions you get asked about climate change (from audience)? “Is it real?” “Do you believe in…” “What is the link between CC and local weather?” “If you can’t get the 5 day forecast right, then ……”

  4. What are the most common questions you get asked about climate change (from newsroom)? Not many questions….. “none” “they never ask” “they couldn’t care less” “nothing, they’re not interested.” “What is the link between CC and local weather?” “Do you believe in…” http://www.earthgauge.net/climate-q-a

  5. Who do TV Meteorologists Trust? AMS and its various resources “No one” “Myself”

  6. Who does the public trust as sources of information about global warming ? Scientists (82%) Family and Friends (77%) TV Weather Reporters (66%) Source: Climate Change and the American Mind (George Mason University-Center for Climate Change Communication)

  7. “Fitting the Pieces Together” “What kinds of resources would be most useful to you to increase your ability to report on climate change?” Web site with latest, reliable, unbiased research findings and searchable links Graphics/visuals to show CC story Access to scientists for interviews

  8. “Fitting the Pieces Together” Also PowerPoint presentations to adapt for community talks http://www.meted.ucar.edu/bmet_training.php Full research articles available at http://drkris.com

  9. Reporting on Climate Change Subject of Climate Change—75% 66 50 33 24 92% - At least one speaking event per month 50% - 1-3 times per month; 15% - >7 times

  10. Opportunities and Obstacles to Reporting on Climate Change Q7: What kind of sources do you use most for your CC information? Science Journals=65% Web sites=60% Conferences/Meetings=51% Media Reports=38% Other=13%

  11. Opportunities and Obstacles to Reporting on Climate Change “As a TV weathercaster it is appropriate for me to discuss climate change on-air.” SA Agree Neutral Disagree SD 19% 42% 22% 12% 5% *(n=2.44) “As a TV weathercaster it is appropriate for me to discuss climate change on-line.” SA Agree Neutral Disagree SD 21% 52% 17% 6% 4% *(n=2.19)

  12. Opportunities and Obstacles to Reporting on Climate Change “As a TV weathercaster it is appropriate for me to discuss climate change in community speaking events.” SA Agree Neutral Disagree SD 29% 50% 15% 2% 4% *(n=2.02) “As a TV weathercaster I should be knowledgeable about the basic conclusions of the IPCC assessment.” SA Agree Neutral Disagree SD 28% 52% 13% 5% 2% *(n=2.02)

  13. Opportunities and Obstacles to Reporting on Climate Change “Respond to this IPCC conclusion: ‘Warming of the climate system is unequivocal.’” SA Agree Neutral Disagree SD 17% 28% 21% 20% 14% *(n=2.86) “Respond to this IPCC conclusion “Most of the warming since 1950 is very likely human induced.’” SA Agree Neutral Disagree SD 8% 16% 25% 24% 26% *(n=3.44)

  14. Obstacles to Reporting on Climate Change 41 40 25 21 21