Plenary Session on Communication on climate change

Location & date: Aula, 12 September 2012 (Presentation, PDF, 143 KB)

15:30 – 17:00 Presentations

15:30 – 15:35 Welcome by R. van Dorland

15:35 – 17:00 Four presentations (15 min + 5 min discussion)

Felicity Liggins, MetOffice/Hadley Centre, United Kingdom
Rapunzel scientists: communicating with climate skeptics

Bart Strengers, Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL)
Scientists surveyed about climate changes issues of public contention

Reija Ruuhela, Meteorological Institute, Finland
Climate Service Centre and communication in changing media environment (Presentation, PDF, 2.3 MB)

Rob van Dorland, Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute, Netherlands
Dutch initiatives for climate dialogues between mainstream scientists and skeptics

17:00 – 18:00 Moderated Panel Discussion

Moderator: Szymon Malinowski, Institute of Geophysics, Warzawa University

Panellists: Speakers of the session


Climate change issues are debated heavily in the media since the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is under attack and accused of being politicized or biased. This has changed the public perception on climate science, in some cases putting pressure on politicians to postpone or even cancel adaptation and mitigation measures. Although it is emphasized by the climate research community that the big picture is not affected by an error in the reporting of climate impacts, communicating the state-of-the-art knowledge on climate change is a difficult task. In particular, transferring knowledge on uncertainties on various time and spatial scales remains problematic.

In this session the focus is on various initiatives for assessing differences in views between mainstream scientists and climate skeptics, for publishing rebuttals in the peer review literature, and for organizing climate dialogues and debates. A panel discussion devoted to Communication on Climate Change with the speakers of this session will focus on the various initiatives to inform policy makers and the general public about the scientific findings as opposed to and triggered by the societal debate dominated by climate skeptics.