C3: Climate Change Perception and Communication

Research topic C-3 “Climate change, perception and communication” analyzes the mental models on climate change held by individual actors and compares them across cultures and political boundaries. It deals with the means and practices of the mediated communication process and the dynamics of public discourses on climate change in different culturally embedded societies.


Work is targeting to improve our knowledge on the dynamics of public understanding of climate change as well as on opinion building on mitigation and adaption strategies. For a deeper understanding of interdependencies and complexities of people’s perception and communication on climate change and of their preparedness for proactive adaptive actions a broad empirical basis in different cultures is needed.

Methodologically, the focus is on case studies with regional geohazards in order to detect and analyze the triggering events, main agents and mechanisms in this process as well as their impact on perceptions and mental models. Analysis comprises (different) perceptions of and communication on climate change

  • along different geographical regions (transcultural comparative case studies), at different times (longitudinal studies),
  • in different realms of society (experts vs. lays, science vs. politics, industry vs. NGO etc.), and
  • within the scientific community (e.g. climate change advocates vs. climate change sceptics).

Visit these websites to find out more about our objectives:



Latest C3 Publications

  • Friedrich, T. (2017). Die Lokalisierung des Klimawandels auf den Philippinen. Rezeption, Reproduktion und Kommunikation des Klimawandeldiskurses auf Palawan. PhD Thesis, Springer VS, Wiesbaden. doi:10.1007/978-3-658-18232-8.
  • Köpsel, V., Walsh, C., & Leyshon, C. (2016). Landscape narratives in practice: implications for climate change adaptation. The Geographical Journal. doi:10.1111/geoj.12203.
  • Holdschlag, A., Krause, L., & Ratter, B. (2016). Bioinvasion des Pazifischen Rotfeuerfisches (Pterois volitans). Sozial-ökologische Anpassung in den Bahamas. Geographische Rundschau, 10/2016, 44-50.
  • Taddicken, M., & Reif, A. (2016). Who participates in the climate change online discourse? A typology of Germans’ online engagement. Communications: The European Journal of Communication Research, 41(3), 315-337. doi:10.1515/commun-2016-0012.
  • Ratter, B., Petzold, J., & Sinane, K. (2016). Considering the locals: coastal construction and destruction in times of climate change on Anjouan, Comoros. Natural Resources Forum, 40(3), 112-126. doi:10.1111/1477-8947.12102.