Chapter 20: Reporting from vulnerable countries in the Global South
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Extreme weather event attribution studies have gained considerable traction amongst the science community, with the number of such studies increasing from eight in 2012 to 59 in 2018. The type of weather events studied includes heat waves, droughts, and heavy rainfall or floods, in different parts of the world. Typically, these studies assess how much more/less likely or more/less severe a specific weather event became as a result of human-induced climate change. Such studies, often carried out during the actual event, can link the public’s direct experience of the weather with climate change, often portrayed as remote in time and space. The media’s role is central to better public understanding of the science and reality of climate change via its direct adverse impacts. Media scholars are carrying out (as yet, unpublished) studies of the Californian drought in 2014-15, the Indian heat wave and Chennai flooding in 2015 and Australian heat waves. This chapter will summarise the existing scholarship, discuss the challenges facing journalists and add a case study of the UK heatwave of 2018.

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