We present the results of a study using a document-based evaluation method to better understand how residents in vulnerable coastal areas respond to risk communications about sea-level rise (SLR) and to determine whether communications localized for specific populations improve reception. Similar to climate change communication, SLR risk communication presents challenges involving complex science, uncertainty, invisibility, and politicization. To be comprehensible and persuasive, risk messages must be appropriately framed and visually compelling and must take into account risk perceptions and diverse viewpoints. Our approach involves assessing people's encounters with actual risk messages to determine their reactions and responses. Participants in this study had difficulty understanding information and expressed attitudes including fear, fatalism, skepticism, and loss. SLR risks were also perceived as both temporally and spatially distant, creating a challenge for communicators trying to convey a sense of urgency. We conclude by considering the implications audience-focused research for SLR risk communication.
; Kain, D.J
(2015). Sea-Level Rise Risk Communication: Public Understanding, Risk Perception, and Attitudes about Information Environmental Communication
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