After Lunch Posts: Talking Climate Change with Hans von Storch

by Michael Brüggemann

One of the many privileges of holding a Professorship at the University of Hamburg and being involved in the Cluster of Excellence, which unites researchers from different disciplines around the issue of climate change (see CLICCS website ), is that you have the opportunity to meet and have lunch with highly inspiring and thought-provoking people such as Hans von Storch.

Hans von Storch captured by Raimond Spekking (via Wikimedia Commons)

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Why we need airtravel for an accurate weather forecast

by Joana Kollert

Flying is bad for the climate – this is an uncontested fact. However, air traffic is necessary for weather forecasts, as airplanes send live data to weather stations. COVID-19 has caused a massive decline in air travel, hereby affecting the quality of weather forecasts.

Density of meteorological airplane data from AMDAR on 23 March 2020 (Stewart Taylor, EUMETNET)
Density of meteorological airplane data from AMDAR on 2 March 2020 (Stewart Taylor, EUMETNET)

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Let’s focus on the short-term benefits of long-term climate protection!

by Michael Brüggemann

A new study by Samset et al. (2020) in Nature Communcations finds that even under strong and sustained mitigation efforts, it will take the climate system until mid-century to demonstrate a discernible cooling response. Unfortunately, we must accept and live with the frustrating fact that the global climate system is a rather gigantic tanker ship that will change its course only several decades after humanity has decided to pull the emissions steering wheel into another direction. Yet, we should also think about what may motivate immediate action to reduce the risk of climate collapse in the far future. Rather than only fixating on the nebulous, future benefits of present-day climate protection, I would suggest that communicators should focus on highlighting positive short-term side effects of climate protection measures.

Source: Pixabay

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Climate and COVID: The structure of two crises

by Felix Schaumann

Author’s own photo

A common explanation for delayed mitigation action concerning the climate crisis cites the fact that the response of climate policies is only visible on a decadal timespan – thereby affecting neither quarterly profits nor parliamentary terms. COVID19 on the other hand only has a knowledge delay of up to 2 weeks, before infection events reveal their effects.

I would like to explore how these different dynamics of action and response play out and what they mean for the politicisation of science.

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A Short Personal Guide to Climate Change Conversations

by Eduardo Alastrué de Asenjo

As natural scientists, we hopefully learn multiple concepts about uncertainty throughout our education and research, and, at some point, the time will come when we need to put them into practice. This post comes from the necessity of a first approach to assemble some of the multiple guidelines and recommendations that we receive regarding climate change communication. I am not referring particularly to the topic of communication in newspapers or TV, but to a much more mundane request. In this case, my goal is to have a structured set of rules or steps that a natural scientist working on climate change can follow when trying to address a day-to-day conversation on the topic.

Picture taken from Pexels. Author: Oleg Magni

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Ein Bild und tausend Worte: Wie framen deutsche Online-Medien das Thema Ernährung?

von Felicitas Vach

Fortsetzung von “Like this, eat that: Warum wir essen, was wir in den Medien sehen”

Um besser zu verstehen, wie Online-Medien die alltäglichen Entscheidungen von Konsumenten und Medienrezipienten für eine bestimmte Ernährung beeinflussen, spielt die Art und Weise, wie Online-Medien das Thema Ernährung in ihren Beiträgen multimodal framen, eine entscheidende Rolle. Dabei wirken Bilder und Texte zusammen.

Online-Medien greifen oft auf positive und ansprechende Bilder zurück, um eine hohe Reichweite zu generieren. Diese werden in den meisten Redaktionen aber erst nach dem Verfassen des Textes ausgesucht. Da Online-Artikel meist über eine kleinere Vorschau erreicht werden, muss die Überschrift die Leser abholen und zum Weiterlesen des gesamten Artikels anregen. Die Schlagworte aus der Überschrift sind prägend für den ersten Eindruck und definieren deshalb auch die emotionale Einordnung des dazu gehörigen Titelbildes. In meiner qualitativen Inhaltanalyse von Online-Artikeln werden erste Erkenntnisse zur visuellen und verbalen Darstellung des Themenkomplex sichtbar. Continue reading Ein Bild und tausend Worte: Wie framen deutsche Online-Medien das Thema Ernährung?

Warum das Zwei-Grad-Ziel ein (Kommunikations-) Problem ist

von Michael Brüggemann und Fenja De Silva-Schmidt

Thermometer 2 Grad mehrIn seinem Kommentar zur Klimapolitik hat sich der Innenpolitik-Chef der FAZ kürzlich schwer vertippt: Er schreibt, es gäbe „die Verpflichtung, bis 2050 die Erwärmung deutlich unter zwei Grad zu senken“. Dabei ist es natürlich so, dass sich die Zwei-Grad-Grenze, so wie sie die Staatengemeinschaft 2015 in Paris beschlossen hat, auf das Jahr 2100 bezieht. Fehler können passieren und gehören zum journalistischen wie zu jedem anderen Handwerk dazu – genauso wie eine öffentliche Korrektur des Fehlers, mit Publikation möglichst an gleicher Stelle.

Dass ein solcher Fehler bei einer der führenden Qualitätszeitungen vorkommt, hat aber möglicherweise tieferliegende Gründe: Die Zwei-Grad-Grenze bietet keine Anleitung und wenig Anreiz für gute Klimapolitik in der Gegenwart. Continue reading Warum das Zwei-Grad-Ziel ein (Kommunikations-) Problem ist

Public opinion at a tipping point – Germany’s path to engaging with climate protection

As a follow-up on our Nature Climate Change study (Brüggemann et al. 2017) called “The appeasement effect of a United Nations climate summit on the German public”, we have now published a working paper tracing changes in public attitudes and behavioral intentions over a longer period of time.

The paper compares data from our 2015, 2018 and 2019 Down to Earth surveys while also linking changes in public opinion to the media coverage on climate change.

Comparing media attention, climate-friendly behaviour, and behavioural intentions

Continue reading Public opinion at a tipping point – Germany’s path to engaging with climate protection

Is the Corona Crisis good or bad for the climate?

by Joana Kollert 

A few days ago, at the end of March, it snowed! Having never experienced snow this late in Hamburg and with the knowledge that 2019 was the second warmest year on record after 2016, my first thought was: this must be the direct cooling effect due to the COVID-19 induced industrial shutdown.

I felt a strange sense of righteousness, as if all climate change skeptics and politicians could now no longer deny the link between economic growth and global warming. This is of course an extremely oversimplified analysis; it is impossible to link two unexpected snow days in Hamburg with a global slowing down in industrial production . Moreover, climate change is a statistically significant variation in “average weather” over a period of 30 years, such that we cannot make any scientifically sound connections between a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions lasting but a few months and global warming.

Nevertheless, the economic shutdown has led to some directly observable environmental benefits.

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