The idea that greenhouse gas emissions are warming Earth's atmosphere is one of the most certain concepts in natural science yet as the level of scientific certainty has grown, so has the level of public scepticism about it, note UNSW academics Dr Ben Newell and Professor Andy Pitman.
"Despite the near total lack of evidence to the contrary, a significant portion of the public, journalists and politicians emphasise their serious doubts about the science of global warming," they write in a new article arguing that science communicators should take more account of how people make judgments and decisions when faced with complex uncertain problems.
Their paper, "The Psychology of Global Warming: Improving the Fit between the Science and the Message", appears in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. Dr Newell is a senior lecturer in the School of Psychology and Professor Pitman is co-director of the Climate Change Research Centre.
Read the full story at the Faculty of Science newsroom.
Media contact: Bob Beale| 0411 705 435