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No easy way to communicate risks of climate change, new research finds

Respondents experienced a virtual simulation of a storm surge induced by a future typhoon in Hong Kong
PR Newswire Asia Online
02 Feb 2023
No easy way

Led by SMU Assistant Professor of Urban Sustainability Terry van Gevelt from the College of Integrative Studies, a research investigated the use of immersive virtual experiences to communicate the risks of climate change to the general public, with a focus on coastal cities in Asia. This latest study, "Using virtual simulations of future extreme weather events to communicate climate change risk", is based on experimental survey data from 1,500 respondents in Hong Kong, conducted in 2021. It found there is no easy way to engage with the general public to communicate the risks of climate change. Contrary to the adage of 'seeing is believing', individuals who saw what the future impacts of climate change may look like were not positively motivated to make behavioural changes. This was particularly true for climate sceptics and for individuals who already live more climate-friendly and sustainable lives.