Improving how scientists communicate about Climate Change

A great little article by Susan Joy Hassol in an issue of AGU’s EOS from last month listed a bunch of science words that should be avoided. Think about what these mean to a scientist versus in more general parlance:

enhanced (use intensify or increase)

aerosol

positive (use upward, self-reinforcing, etc)

radiation (use energy)

theory (use, e.g., “our physical understanding of how this works”)

sign, sign error

values

regime

bias

error

manipulation

scheme

risk

uncertainty (use range)

ecology (! means environmentalism to the lay!)

discipline

organic

exotic

And always spend time thinking in advance of metaphors to express answers to common questions and misconceptions…

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