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Framing risk and uncertainty in social science articles on climate change, 1995–2012

Shaw, Chris; Hellsten, Iina; Nerlich, Brigitte


Chris Shaw

Iina Hellsten

Brigitte Nerlich


Jonathan Crichton

Christopher N. Candlin

Arthur S. Firkins


The issue of climate change is intimately linked to notions of risk and uncertainty, concepts that pose challenges to climate science, climate change communication, and science-society interactions. While a large majority of climate scientists are increasingly certain about the causes of climate change and the risks posed by its impacts (see IPCC, 2013 and 2014), public perception of climate change is still largely framed by uncertainty, especially regarding impacts (Poortinga et al., 2011). Social scientists and communication researchers have begun to advocate moving from a framing of climate change in terms of uncertainty to one that focuses on risk (Painter, 2013; Silverman, 2013) and they hope that this shift in framing may generate greater public support for climate mitigation policies.

Acceptance Date Jan 3, 2015
Publication Date Feb 3, 2016
Deposit Date May 10, 2016
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Book Title Communicating risk
ISBN 978-1-349-55659-5
Keywords risk, climate change, communication
Public URL
Publisher URL