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Watch the webinar: Communicating climate information and uncertainties better: Cognitive psychology insights and practical experiences




November 14, 2018


Researchers, national meteorological agencies and civil society face many challenges when trying to communicate climate information and uncertainty to decision-makers. These challenges include i) making data visualisations and probabilistic information more accessible, ii) building trust with stakeholders, and iii) working with decision-makers, under significant time and resource constraints, to co-produce relevant information.

This webinar shared practical recommendations and a few approaches to generating and communicating climate change information and uncertainties. It drew on insights from cognitive psychology and experiences from Future Climate for Africa’s work in west and southern Africa. This includes engagements to communicate changes in the west African monsoon under climate change, and integrating climate knowledge with urban decision-makers in Lusaka, Windhoek and Maputo. Two approaches received more attention: the use of climate impact narratives, and data visualisation and probabilistic information.

Panel presentations were followed by a Q&A with attendees.

The recording of the webinar is available below:


Ms Emma Visman (VNG Consulting Ltd / King’s College London) and Dr Tanya Warnaars (Centre for Ecology and Hydrology) Communicating changes in the west African monsoon

Emma is engaged in a range of projects seeking to strengthen climate-resilience across  East and West Africa. Engaged in humanitarian operations and conflict prevention action research between 1991-2008, since 2009, she has focused on identifying and developing approaches to support strengthened dialogue between provider and users of climate information across timeframes and decision-making levels.

Tanya manages diverse multi-disciplinary projects, working  to promote the use of science evidence in decision making and good science to policy interfacing on the subject of water and climate change. With a background as an ecohydrologist her technical skills supports her work on facilitating interactions between social and natural scientists to support evidence based decision making in developing countries.

Dr Christopher Jack (University of Cape Town) Using climate risk narratives for city-region scale decision-making

Chris has wide-ranging interests that cover the spectrum from high-performance computing and big data methods, through to societal engagement and decision-making theory and practice. In particular, he is involved in the following areas within Climate Systems Analysis Group (CSAG) of the University of Cape Town and with partners: computer modeling, downscaling (statistical and dynamical), climate systems analysis, informing decision-making theory, tools, and practice.

Dr Jordan Harold and Dr Irene Lorenzoni (University of East Anglia) Challenges and insights from psychology

Jordan is an Applied Cognitive Psychologist at the School of Psychology and Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, University of East Anglia, UK. Jordan has expertise in applying cognitive principles to science communications and has worked with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, scientists and graphic designers to support the communication of scientific findings about climate change with society.

Irene is an Environmental Social Scientist and Senior Lecturer at the School of Environmental Sciences, Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, and 3S Research Group, University of East Anglia, UK. Irene’s expertise is in understandings of, and engagement with, climate change and sustainable development.

The combined presentations are available here. The list of webinar Q&As is available here.