The world’s weather presenters are effective communicators ideally positioned to address the public on the issue of climate change, including its causes, impacts, and adaptation and mitigation options. Television viewers like and trust their local weather presenters, whom they recognize as experts on day-to-day weather as well as on extreme events.
To encourage weather presenters to engage more fully in the issue of climate change, the WMO organized a workshop in Paris on “How the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report can inform news reports on weather and climate.” It was held on 2–3 April, immediately after the launch in Yokohama of the second volume of the Report. Eighty TV presenters from around the world were able to participate thanks to support from the Government of Denmark. The Paris-based Météo et Climat, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and the UN Foundation also contributed to the workshop.
The first part of the workshop consisted of presentations by leading IPCC scientists who explained the results of the Working Group I report on The Physical Science Basis and the Working Group II report on Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability. The second part focused on the challenge of how to communicate more effectively about climate change.
Participants responded enthusiastically to the IPCC presentations. The clearer understanding gained will permit weather presenters to recognize and acknowledge the role of climate change in their daily reports and in other forums where they are active. WMO will continue to enhance its collaboration with the IPCC and others to support the efforts of weather presenters to inform their viewers about the scientific facts of climate change.