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Overcoming challenges to communicating Antarctic climate science
journal contributionposted on 2023-05-19, 17:57 authored by Schroeter, S, Lowther, N, Kelman, E, Arnold, M
The output of current Antarctic climate science is compelling and highlights the global teleconnections of the climate system. However, these findings are as yet failing to resonate with and promote the need for mitigation action among the general public and policymakers in many countries, inhibiting the establishment of concerted global action to combat the escalation of climate change. Subsequently, there is a need to re-evaluate how the general public interprets and understands the complex issues surrounding climate change generally and the impacts of climate change on Antarctica more specifically. Barriers to garnering public support for action are numerous and diverse, from the individual's worldview, cognitive reinforcement and religious beliefs to the misreporting and miscommunication of climate science by the media, as well as the influence of vested interests. In order to combat misinformation and to familiarise the general public with the value of Antarctic science and the importance of research output in guiding climate policy formation, substantial efforts must be made in education, outreach and communication (EOC) strategies. We suggest that the establishment of an Antarctic Climate Education, Outreach and Communication Standing Committee as a part of the highly respected Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research could provide the foundation for boundary work at the interface of climate science and policy, in which EOC strategies are strongly integrated and valued. By raising awareness and increasing public understanding of the complex issues and interactions of Antarctica and the global climate system, the scientific community can better channel the importance of action to mitigate global greenhouse gas emissions to prevent catastrophic climate change and potentially provide the catalyst required for substantial climate change action.
Publication titlePolar Journal
Department/SchoolInstitute for Marine and Antarctic Studies
Place of publicationUnited Kingdom
Rights statementCopyright 2015 Taylor & Francis