Framing Risk and Uncertainty in Social Science Articles on Climate Change, 1995–2012

  • Christopher Shaw
  • Iina Hellsten
  • Brigitte Nerlich
Part of the Communicating in Professions and Organizations book series (PSPOD)


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.


Climate Change Flood Risk Climate Science Climate Risk Main Frame 
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© Christopher Shaw, Iina Hellsten, and Brigitte Nerlich 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christopher Shaw
  • Iina Hellsten
  • Brigitte Nerlich

There are no affiliations available

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