Climate Reporting 101: How to connect climate with extreme weather

By Mavic Conde


For a typhoon-prone province like Bicol that has experienced the strongest storms in recent years, how do reporters connect climate change with extreme weather?


Climate Covering Now (CCNow) , a global journalism initiative that connects with news outlets to strengthen coverage of climate change as the defining story of our time, has recently released a handy guide on how to do that.


According to CCNow, it can be done by mentioning the characteristics of climate change that scientists have been associating with a warming planet. For instance, “This [super typhoon] comes at a time when human-caused climate change is consistently making storms like it more intense.”


Science is explicit that extreme weather events are more likely to happen because of climate change. According to CCNow, this is a fact reporters can include in reporting even about single events of extreme weather.


CCNow also suggested making a clever analogy like “Climate change isn’t solely to blame for extreme weather, but it supercharges normal weather patterns like steroids.”


CCNow emphasized that evidence on climate change is all around us, from stronger typhoons and intense heat waves to name a few, adding however, that “too often climate is not mentioned in extreme weather reporting.


Ultimately, it reminds that “an extreme weather story that doesn’t mention climate change is incomplete and potentially even inaccurate.”