The United States faces many challenges as a result of climate change, and communities are considering a variety of ways to assess their risks, manage unavoidable impacts and avoid unmanageable impacts. The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is working to support improved communication between scientists, policymakers, and the public about the realities of, risks from, and responses to climate change. The following summarizes these climate change communication projects (see here for links to all AAAS climate change-related work). The AAAS Center for Public Engagement with Science’s Communicating Science workshop program now also includes a climate communication module (see this 45-minute version from the 2021 AAAS Annual Meeting).
AAAS launched the How We Respond project in 2019 and added six new stories in 2021. The website features a report as well as multimedia stories, highlighting communities using scientific information to adapt to climate change impacts and/or reduce greenhouse gas emissions at the local or regional level.
Visit the How You Respond page for more information about climate change communication, and other ways of taking action.
The How We Respond effort builds most directly on several prior AAAS climate change communication activities:
- The What We Know initiative (2013-2015) convened leading climate change scientists and communication researchers and practitioners to develop the 2014 What We Know report, a multimedia website and a media outreach campaign focused on the realities, risks, and responses to climate change.
- The inaugural cohort of AAAS Leshner Leadership Fellows in Public Engagement with Science (2016-2017) included researchers focused on engaging public audiences on climate change. The AAAS Center for Public Engagement commissioned a white paper on Strategic science communication on environmental issues by Matthew C. Nisbet and Ezra Markowitz to support this cohort. For more, visit our Center Research page.
- In 2015, AAAS co-organized Climate Science, 50 Years Later: A Scientific Symposium Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the First Official Climate-Change Warning to a U.S. President. The symposium reviewed what scientific research had revealed over the preceding 50 years and offered a forward-looking assessment of the range of scientific, technological, communication, and policy options for the future. Watch videos from the event and see the Twitter conversation using #Climate50.
AAAS is a non-partisan organization that frequently convenes leading scientific experts and has communicated about climate change for many years.