Helping TV Weathercasters & Journalists report local Climate Change stories
About Climate Matters
Our first Climate Change in the American Mind survey revealed that TV weathercasters are highly trusted sources of information about global warming. They also have unparalleled access to the public, and superior science communication skills. These three factors strongly suggested that TV weathercasters could become an important source of climate change education in communities across America.
Since 2010, with funding from the National Science Foundation – in partnership with Climate Central, the American Meteorological Society, NASA, NOAA, and Yale – we have explored and helped develop the potential of TV weathercasters as local climate educators.
Beginning with a single weathercaster in 2010, our Climate Matters partnership now provides localized broadcast quality materials to more than 1,100 weathercasters nationwide, and is growing rapidly.
Climate Matters’ localized reporting materials are distributed weekly in English and Spanish in more than 94% of U.S. media markets. During the past decade, weathercaster’s on-air reporting of climate stories has increased more than 100-fold, and public understanding of climate change as a locally relevant problem has grown considerably.
Chief Meteorologist Jim Gandy, at WLTX in Columbia, SC, earned his reputation as a leading TV meteorologist by giving his viewers what they want: sound science and interesting visuals in a delivery style that’s crisp and easy to understand. Recently, Gandy expanded his reports to include locally focused climate science information on topics that directly touch viewers’ lives. No controversy here, says Gandy, just good community service.
In 2017, the Climate Matters team partnered with five professional journalism societies to support other journalists interested in reporting local climate change stories. Interested journalists can find the free Climate Matters in the Newsroom reporting resources, and sign up to receive them here.
Weather forecasters increasingly address climate change
In 2022, PBS NewsHour and science correspondent Miles O’Brien featured Climate Matters, as well as our Center’s polling data in their report on the increase in weather forecasters addressing climate change.
The Red-State Weatherwoman on a Climate Change Mission
Also, meet Amber Sullins, chief meteorologist at ABC15 News in Phoenix, who uses Climate Matters materials to tell up to two million people about climate change.
Find out more about our research and work with TV weathercasters.
Climate Matters: A 2020 Census Survey of Society of Environmental Journalists Members
Climate Matters: A 2020 Census Survey of Television Weathercasters in the United States
A 2017 national survey of broadcast meteorologists
TV Meteorologists as Local Climate Change Educators
A 2016 Survey of American Meteorological Society Members About Climate Change
A 2016 National Survey of Broadcast Meteorologists
Climate Matters: A Comprehensive Educational Resource Program for Broadcast Meteorologists
A 2015 National Survey of Broadcast Meteorologists about Climate Change
Weathercaster Views on Informal Climate Education: Similarities and Differences According to Climate Change Attitudes
Climate Change Education through TV Weathercasts: Results of a Field Experiment
If They Like You They Learn From You: How a Brief Weathercaster-Delivered Climate Education Segment is Moderated by Viewer Evaluations of the Weathercaster
Perceptions of Extreme Weather and Climate Change in Virginia
Support Our Work
The work of Mason's Center for Climate Change Communication (4C) would not be possible without the generous financial support we have received from philanthropic foundations and individual donors.
You too can support our important work by donating via a secure online donation form. Your financial contribution will be processed on our behalf by the George Mason University Foundation, and is tax deductible.