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date: 18 August 2017

Communicating Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience

This is an advance summary of a forthcoming article in the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Climate Science. Please check back later for the full article.

Communicating the impacts of climate change and of possible adaptive responses is a relatively recent branch of the larger endeavor of climate change communication. This recent emergence is driven, in large part, by the fact that the impacts and policy, planning, and practice responses have only recently emerged in more widespread public consciousness and discourse, and thus in scholarly treatment. We need to recognize the key conditions under which communication about climate impact and adaptation become important. We need to better understand the key challenges to effective societal engagement and develop evidence-based approaches to communication. These challenges may well be unique in the field of communication, in that they either uniquely combine previously encountered difficulties into novel complexities or are truly unprecedented. To date, scholarship and experience in climate, environmental, or risk communication provide little guidance on how to meet these challenges of communicating effectively with diverse publics and decision-makers, in the face of long-term degradation of the life support system of humanity.