The benefits of using TV meteorologists as climate change communicators

The project “The benefits of using TV meteorologists as climate change communicators”, established by the Norwegian Meteorological Institute (MET Norway), was selected to receive the EMS Outreach and Communication Award 2021. The main objective of the project is to integrate research-based climate material into weather presentations so that members of the public are informed and engaged about human-caused climate change.

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By educating and using TV meteorologists as climate communicators, MET Norway reaches a large part of the population through well-established channels. In this way knowledge about climate change is brought closer to people’s everyday lives and their experience of the weather so that connections between weather and climate become clearer to the public. This project is a good example of what can be achieved when scientists, meteorologists, designers and communication advisors work closely together.

A key to engagement is to provide a local angle to the often abstract and global phenomenon of climate change. The project team believes it is important to link knowledge about climate change to people’s everyday lives and their experience of the weather.The project was launched in 2019 and has since produced 40 climate stories on the national TV-news. These news stories have covered temperature changes, Arctic sea-ice, flash-floods, and changes in snow cover. The stories are also shared through social media and press releases to reach beyond TV and radio users. The TV meteorologists have included climate communication in their weather forecasts, and were also interviewed live by the news hosts in the studio. Climate change has become a natural part of the weather conversation on TV, radio and social media. Good, visual products have been developed to make the message more accessible for the audience. All these initiatives have resulted in enhanced coverage of climate issues.

The project team is composed of:

  • TV meteorologists Kristian Gislefoss, Rafael Escobar Løvdahl and Bente Wahl;
  • Climate researchers Hans Olav Hygen, Ketil Isaksen and Gunnar Livik;
  • Communication experts Mai-Linn Finstad Svehagen, Anniken Celine Berger, Amalie Kvame Holm and Anders D. Sivle.

At MET Norway, the project owner is Oddvar Paulsen, Director of the Organisation and Communication Department. Day-to-day management of the project was shared between the Forecasting Department (A. Sivle) and the Communication Department (A. Berger & A. Holm). The project was funded by the Research Council of Norway.

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