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Climate Impacts

Guide: How to better communicate about heat risks

09 January 2023

A new research paper provides insights and guidance on heat risk communication and behaviour change. The authors write:

“There are a range of behaviours that people might take to avoid the negative impacts of heatwaves and very hot weather – these can involve personal protective actions during heat events (such as using a fan, adapting your clothing), preparative measures (e.g. adapting your household by installing blinds or shutters), as well as other actions like seeking out more information, temporarily moving location, or engaging in political action.

Research shows that a very broad range of factors can influence people’s engagement with heat risks. People’s perceptions and behaviours about heat can be influenced by contextual factors (like their location, their physical environment, demographics, socio-cultural  influences), as well as personal level factors (like their knowledge and awareness of risks, past experiences of heat, or pre-existing health conditions).

Communication about heat risks can do much to draw on these influences, including tailoring warning messages to resonate with personal factors, drawing on the role of trusted messengers and clearly attributing risks to climate change.”

Reference article:

  • Authors: Niall McLoughlin, Candice Howarth, Ganga Shreedhar
  • Date: 9th January 2023

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  • Author: National Trust
  • Date: 7th November 2023
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Tracker data: What climate impacts are the public concerned about?

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