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REPORT: (Un)Natural disasters – Communicating linkages between extreme events and climate change

This article reviews the issues faced in communicating the linkages between human-induced climate change and extreme weather, advancements in event attribution science, and offers suggestions for improvement in communication.

The science of attributing extreme weather and climate events has progressed in recent years to enable an analysis of the role of human causes while an event is still in the media. However, there is still widespread confusion about the linkages between human-induced climate change and extreme weather, not only among the public, but also among some meteorologists and others in the scientific community. This is an issue of communication as well as of science.

Many people have received the erroneous message that individual extreme weather events cannot be linked to human-induced climate change, while others attribute some weather events to climate change where there is no clear evidence of linkages. In order to advise adaptation planning and mitigation options, there is a need to communicate more effectively what the most up-to-date science says about event attribution, and to include appropriate information on linkages when reporting extreme weather and climate events in the media.

Download the full report here: (Un)Natural disasters – Communicating linkages between extreme events and climate change