The psychology of global warming

Improving the fit between the science and the message

Ben R. Newell, Andrew J. Pitman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Citations (Scopus)


Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has reported that the human-induced emissions greenhouse gases have led to increase in temperature and changes in rainfall, wind, humidity, sea level, ocean acidity, and snow cover. The research suggest that numerical information expressed in a frequency format is more easily interpreted and reasoned with and has a greater influence on judgments than identical information presented as percentages (1%) or probabilities. The emissions reductions required to avoid 2°C and the maximum permissible emissions that gives a certain probability of avoiding 2°C are estimated. It depends on rates of emissions, rates of transitioning to a new non-carbon economy, climate to a new non-carbon economy, climate sensitivity, and the probability of abrupt change.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1003-1014
Number of pages12
JournalBulletin of the American Meteorological Society
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2010

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