Reporting on climate comes with an abundance of numbers and data that journalists have to quickly interpret for viewers and readers. While debate rages over what the exact impacts of climate change will be, scientists are overwhelmingly in agreement about the basic facts of climate change. Many of the numbers that scientists track — the amount of sea level rise, the increase in temperature, by how much greenhouse gasses must be reduced — are unfamiliar to the average news consumer, or at the least, are not figures they need to use or process on a daily basis. Given widespread misinformation about climate change, it’s important to be accurate and clear about what the research shows, and avoid contributing to any misuse or misunderstandings of the data.
Below we look at ways to do this while adding to the audience’s understanding of climate. We also have a few specific examples about how to use attribution science, which uses computer models to determine the influence of climate change on cases of extreme weather. This helps especially with making the distinction between weather and climate.
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