EMS Annual Meeting Abstracts
Vol. 18, EMS2021-130, 2021
EMS Annual Meeting 2021
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

The benefits of using TV-meteorologists as climate change communicators

Anders Doksæter Sivle, Anniken Celine Berger, Mai-Linn Finstad Svehagen, Hans Olav Hygen, and Jelmer Jeuring
Anders Doksæter Sivle et al.
  • The Norwegian Meteorological institute

User surveys indicate that the Norwegian Meteorological Institute (MET Norway) enjoys a very high level of trust in the Norwegian population, being the state agency with the best reputation in Norway 15 years in a row. In our latest annual polling close to 85 percent say they have a high degree of trust in our climate research, while 82 percent have a high degree of trust in our TV meteorologists as climate change communicators. The combined climate science and communication expertise within MET Norway can capitalize on these high levels of trust to advance climate communication for Norwegian society. This is the backdrop for the project TV meteorologists as climate communicators initiated in spring 2019, inspired by similar projects in other countries, especially Climate Matters in the USA.

MET Norway supplies meteorologists to forecast the weather at NRK, the Norwegian national public broadcaster. The TV-meteorologist's assets is that they use language that people understand, and that they can talk about climate change from a local point of view and in relation to the weather situation at a given time. The main objective of this project was therefore to regularly include climate information in the weather forecasts on NRK radio and television. 

In 2019 and 2020 we had 40 stories in the weather forecasts on NRK television. Most of the stories have been related to temperature changes, but also about Arctic sea-ice, flash-floods, and changes in snow cover. The TV-meteorologists involved in the project report that they mainly get positive feedback from the audience. The majority of the stories have also been shared through social media and through press releases to reach other audiences than those that watch TV. Most of these stories have been shared (e.g. retweeted) by multiple users, and we estimate a reach of about 20 percent of Norway's population as realistic.

The TV-meteorologists have also received training in both climate research and climate communication on a monthly basis since the project started. After the project ended in december 2020, 40 percent of the TV-meteorologists said that they feel more comfortable to communicate climate information than before the project started. 

The project is now operationalized in a climate editorial desk on MET, consisting of several climate researchers, TV-meteorologists and communication advisors that meets on a weekly basis. 

How to cite: Sivle, A. D., Berger, A. C., Svehagen, M.-L. F., Hygen, H. O., and Jeuring, J.: The benefits of using TV-meteorologists as climate change communicators, EMS Annual Meeting 2021, online, 6–10 Sep 2021, EMS2021-130, https://doi.org/10.5194/ems2021-130, 2021.

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