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Climate communication and storytelling


As part of its Assessment Reports (ARs), the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) publishes Summaries for Policymakers (SPMs) that review key findings on climate science and climate change’s potential impacts. We argue that the IPCC could create more engaging SPMs by incorporating narrative features. This project evaluates AR5’s SPM for narrative opportunities, which are elements that could be narratively restructured or strengthened. Storytelling does not compromise the goals of the IPCC but rather helps public audiences understand and relate to the information. We encourage the adoption of storytelling elements to increase public understanding of and engagement with climate science.

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All authors contributed to the paper conception and writing. The first draft of the theory, framework, and introduction of the article were written by EFB. The first draft of the narrative opportunities sections was written by CM. Both EFB and CM revised and edited the paper.

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Correspondence to Emma Frances Bloomfield.

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This article is part of the topical collection “Climate Change Communication and the IPCC”, edited by Saffron O'Neill and Roz Pidcock

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Bloomfield, E.F., Manktelow, C. Climate communication and storytelling. Climatic Change 167, 34 (2021).

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  • Storytelling
  • Science communication
  • Communication strategies
  • Public engagement