TV Weathercasters' Views of Climate Change Appear to Be Rapidly Evolving

Maibach, Edward ; Mazzone, Raphael ; Drost, Robert ; Myers, Teresa ; Seitter, Keith ; Hayhoe, Katharine ; Ryan, Bob ; Witte, Joe ; Gardiner, Ned ; Hassol, Susan ; Lazo, Jeffrey K. ; Placky, Bernadette ; Sublette, Sean ; Cullen, Heidi

Année de publication
2017
Résumé
Findings from the most recent surveys of TV weathercasters-which are methodologically superior to prior surveys in a number of important ways-suggest that weathercasters' views of climate change may be rapidly evolving. In contrast to prior surveys, which found many weathercasters who were unconvinced of climate change, newer results show that approximately 80% of weathercasters are convinced of human-caused climate change. A majority of weathercasters now indicate that climate change has altered the weather in their media markets over the past 50 years, and many feel there have also been harmful impacts to water resources, agriculture, transportation resources, and human health. Nearly all weathercasters-89%-believe their viewers are at least slightly interested in learning about local impacts. The majority of weathercasters are interested in reporting on local impacts, including extreme precipitation and flooding, drought and water shortages, extreme heat events, air quality, and harm to local wildlife, crops and livestock, and human health; and nearly half had reported on the local impacts in at least one channel over the past 12 months. Thus, it appears that a strong majority of weathercasters are now convinced that human-caused climate change is happening, many feel they are already witnessing harmful impacts in their communities, and many are beginning to explore ways of educating their viewers about these local impacts of global climate change. We believe that the role of local climate educator will soon become a normative practice for broadcast meteorologists-adding a significant and important new role to their job descriptions.

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