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The latest science on extreme weather, translated for a general audience
May 06, 2024

Droughts, extreme heat, wildfires, flooding, and other types of climate-exacerbated extreme weather are becoming more frequent and intense, and nine out of ten Americans now say that in the last five years they have personally felt the impact of climate change. As these experiences become more common, many people are trying to understand the reasons behind extreme weather and how to stop it from disrupting homes and neighborhoods where they and their family and friends live.

The CO2 Foundation is funding the production of evidence-based journalism by The Conversation U.S. to help the public make more informed decisions about extreme weather brought on by climate change. The shared goal of the Foundation and The Conversation U.S. is to equip readers across the country with accurate, accessible and compelling information that helps them protect themselves and their communities, and also take action to protect the climate.

The Conversation U.S. is a nonprofit, independent news outlet that partners with leading scientists and researchers in the field and publishes their outcomes and findings. Its editors work with these scholars to create accessible articles read by students in classrooms, professors in universities, policymakers and engaged readers in every part of the country and in close to 1,000 news outlets monthly. The Conversation is read about 18 million times a month and all its content is free for anyone to read and republish.

Research shows that different approaches to encouraging behavior change spur engagement in different people. Although information itself is not sufficient to spur behavior change, an accurately informed citizenry in the face of a tsunami of misinformation and climate change denialism is crucial if we are to make a dent in dealing with extreme weather and mitigate climate change. Getting evidence-based stories to the widest public possible–especially as they experience climate change in a personal way–can empower people to absorb and act on information.

Some of the insightful extreme weather content produced thus far by The Conversation US can be found here. With CO2 Foundation support, the newsroom will deliver many more timely and evidence-based stories explaining extreme weather and potential solutions. It will also hold a webinar on the topic and produce an anthology of extreme weather stories that will be published by John Hopkins University Press later this year.