Our planet faces its greatest challenge for millennia: us.
There is now almost unanimous agreement that humans are having enormous impacts on the natural balance of our planet, with consequences that threaten our own existence and the survival of natural ecosystems alike.
The need for drastic change in our behaviour is clear. And yet, the response from political leaders and people in general is weak.
Human actions are driven by many factors, but having a clear understanding of cause and effect is a dominant one. Arguably, this is where communication of scientific evidence has failed to inform opinion sufficiently to drive the actions that are necessary to mitigate the worst impacts on our planet’s future climate.
This session aims to highlight the challenges that exist in communicating climate science and demonstrate ways in which scientific research and evidence can be communicated in a way that is meaningful and persuasive to the public and policy-makers alike. This session will demonstrate the most effective ways to communicate issues relating to climate change which may seem abstract, distant or complex, in a way that makes them relatable. To bring to everybody – not just a learned or engaged minority – the clearest possible picture of cause and effect, Humans vs ecosystems. Crisis vs salvation.
This session will be of interest to all EGU participants who are interested in learning about how they can more effectively share their research with the public and policy-makers to encourage action on climate change. It will also be useful for EGU members who would like to better communicate with those at the General Assembly outside of their area of expertise.

Public information:
Nick Everard: Technical Advisor at the UK Environment Agency
Iain Stewart: Professor of Geoscience Communication at the University of Plymouth and Director of its Sustainable Earth Institute

Michael Mann: Professor of Atmospheric Science at Penn State and Director of the Penn State Earth System Science Center
Jutta Thielen-del Pozo: Head of the Scientific Development Unit at the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission
Simon Clark: Video producer and science communicator
Leo Hickman: Director and editor of CarbonBrief

Convener: Nick Everard | Co-conveners: Hannah Cloke, Hayley Fowler, Rolf Hut, Iain Stewart
| Fri, 08 May, 10:45–12:30 (CEST)

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Friday, 8 May 2020 | Room E1

10:45–11:00 |
Ed Hawkins

So, how do we start those important conversations, particularly with groups who would not normally have those conversations? Effective and simple visualisations is one possible way, especially when they can be spread widely on social media. This presentation will discuss the ‘warming stripes’ and how they have become a global symbol of climate change. They have been used in so many novel ways by a wide variety of people, from rock bands to weather forecasters to politicians, and been seen painted on walls, cars and trams, made into ties, dresses, logos and glass sculptures, and used in light shows and during climate protests.

How to cite: Hawkins, E.: "The most important thing to do about climate change is to talk about it." – Katherine Hayhoe, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-22665, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-22665, 2020.

11:00–11:15 |
Jutta Thielen-del Pozo, Adriaan Eeckels, Paul Hearn, Anne-Mette Jensen-Foreman, and Jan Glovicko

(Research and innovation are essential for a resilient society). Today, scientists have started to understand the complexities of global systems, know how to deal with uncertainties and have computing power for making predictions that did not exist before. As a result, the overall knowledge within the scientific community is increasing rapidly with unprecedented speed, while at the same time there is a tendency that the research fields narrow down and deepen and individual scientists are often so specialised that speaking about their work outside their specific research community becomes a challenge.
The Joint Research Centre of the European Commission operates at the interface between science and policy, and is taking a number of initiatives to address the challenge of how to effectively communicate scientific results to policymakers, citizens and stakeholders.  For policymakers robust data, facts and evidences are important and highly appreciated inputs, but not the only ones. Indeed, policymaking is a long process that requires continuous dialogue and exchange of information with all affected parties throughout the initiation, development and finalisation process. A final report of 500 pages summarising the outcome of a research project delivered towards the end of the drafting for a new regulation may not be taken into account, even if the results are highly relevant. 
Several JRC programmes have been piloted to improve communication with EU policy makers and to engage with citizens. The programmes are diverse and include the building of a network on clear writing, training through eLearning, thematic science-policy workshops, citizen engagement projects and events, exhibiting science at museums and a dedicated art and science programme complete with artistic residences and exhibitions. This presentation will illustrate a few examples of alternative ways for communicating science that provides societal context in an inclusive manner to address societal challenges.

How to cite: Thielen-del Pozo, J., Eeckels, A., Hearn, P., Jensen-Foreman, A.-M., and Glovicko, J.: Talking WITH not talking AT, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-22366, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-22366, 2020.

11:15–11:30 |
Simon Clarke

YouTube is the world's second largest search engine, and serves as a primary source of entertainment for billions of people around the world. Yet while science communication on the website is more popular than ever, discussion of climate science is dominated by - largely scientifically untrained - individuals who are skeptical of the overwhelming scientific consensus that anthropogenic climate change is real. Over the past ten years I have built up an extensive audience communicating science - and climate science in particular - on YouTube, attempting to place credible science in the forefront of the discussion. In this talk I will discuss my approach to making content for the website, dissect successful and less successful projects, review feedback from my audience, and break down my process of converting research into entertaining, educational video content.

How to cite: Clarke, S.: Climate science and YouTube: deniers, memes, and Trojan horses, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-22696, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-22696, 2020.

11:30–11:45 |
Leo Hickman

Leo Hickman will outline his experience of communicating climate change as a journalist and author. Leo has edited the award-winning Carbon Brief since 2015. The UK-based website specialises in publishing clear, data-driven articles and graphics to help improve the understanding of climate change, both in terms of the science and the policy response. Before joining Carbon Brief, Leo spent 16 years at the Guardian as a features journalist and editor covering the environment, particularly climate change. Leo has also authored several books, including "Will Jellyfish Rule the World?" (Puffin, 2009), which explained climate change to Key Stage 3 children.

How to cite: Hickman, L.: Carbon Brief, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-22695, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-22695, 2020.

11:45–12:00 |
Tamsin Edwards

There is no longer such a thing as business as usual. We have put some climate policies in place, taking actions, making progress. Research shows the predicted warming in the year 2100 taking into account those policies: around 3.3 degrees of warming. And we also have pledges for what we intend to do, including those for the Paris Agreement. These would take us a little lower, to 3 degrees. You can watch how these predictions change, over the coming months and years.

The future, then, is already better than we imagined it would be, but still worse than we imagine it could be. And each new policy and pledge will bring the future further down the scale, towards the Paris Agreement targets of 2 and 1.5 degrees. There would still be serious consequences at this level of warming. But climate change is not something that is simply won or lost. It is an arc that we can choose to bend toward justice. We will all be both heroes and villains, and wake up the next day and be heroes again. We will create our story, word by word, deed by deed.

How to cite: Edwards, T.: The future will be both better and worse than we imagine, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-22660, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-22660, 2020.

12:00–12:15 |
Michael Mann

Human-caused climate change is arguably the greatest threat we face as a civilization. Efforts to attack and deny the scientific evidence have constituted a major impediment to action over the past two decades. At a time when we appear to be moving past outright denial of the problem, we face a multi-pronged strategy by polluting interests to distract, deflect, attack, and divide the climate activist community. This involves, among other things, (a) efforts to deflect attention from systemic change and regulatory policy solutions to personal behavior,  (b) doomist framing that disempowers us by exaggerating the threat in such a way as to make catastrophic changes now seem unavoidable, and (c) the promotion of false solutions that seek to enable the continued burning of fossil fuels that is at the very root of the problem. I will discuss what we can do to fight back, emphasizing the importance of both urgency AND agency in efforts to save our planet.

How to cite: Mann, M.: How to Win The New Climate War: The Plan to Take Back Our Planet from the Polluters, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-22288, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-22288, 2020.