CRG Media Constructions of Climate Change

As a central forum for information dissemination and opinion formation, mass media are crucial for the societal uptake of climate change and for climate politics. The CliSAP Research Group “Media Constructions of Climate Change” sheds light on mass media communication on climate change as well as its scientific and non-scientific drivers and effects. We analyze

  • the way in which scientists, politicians, civil society organisations, business actors and others seek to advance their views and positions in the mass media and the public sphere in general,
  • how the media represent climate change, and how these representations vary from country to country,
  • how users perceive and evaluate the media representations of climate change and how this influences their attitudes and actions.

The Research Group is attached to the Chair of Communication Science, esp. Climate and Science Communication, at the Universität Hamburg. For more information on our teaching, please visit our university website.

For updates on our research projects, please visit our blog.


  • The Impact of Climate Conferences
    The UN climate summits are international public events which receive intense media coverage. We combine different views and approaches to the communication of the COP21 in Paris 2015.
  • Contested Climate Communication
    Climate change and climate governance affect and involve many actors with potentially diverging values and interests. We analyze the communication of scientists, politicians, NGOs, and companies, the media debates resulting from these efforts and how audience members assess them.
  • International Climate Communication
    Studies on climate communication usually focus on Western countries and short time periods – although climate change as well as many of the respective policies are global processes. Therefore, we analyze climate communication in an international and long-term perspective.
  • Communication of Expert Knowledge on Climate Change
    Diagnoses and projections of climate change are complex scientific constructs and, as such, difficult to communicate and understand. The group analyzes the communication of scientific and expert knowledge in mass media and online media.
  • Interdisciplinary Projects
    Within and beyond the CliSAP context, the research group also collaborates in various interdisciplinary projects, conferences and initiatives, i.e. together with sociologists, economists, geographers and (other) natural scientists.



Latest Research Group Publications

  • Brüggemann, M., Neverla, I., Hoppe, I., & Walter, S. (2016). Klimawandel in den Medien. CliSAP Working Paper.
  • Metag, J., Schäfer, M. S., & Füchslin, T. (2015). Global Warming’s Five Germanys. A Typology of Germans’ Views on Climate Change and their Patterns of Media Use and Information. Public Understanding of Science, 3, 1-18. doi:10.1177/0963662515592558.
  • Schmitt, J. B., Arlt, D., Hoppe, I., Schmidt, F., & Brüggemann, M. (2015). UN-Klimakonferenz 2015 – Wissen, Einstellungen und Zweifel der Deutschen zum Thema Klimapolitik. CliSAP Working Paper.
  • Ivanova, A. (2015). Transnationalisierung von Öffentlichkeit am Beispiel des Klimawandels. Eine länder- und zeitvergleichende Analyse der Berichterstattung in Printmedien. PhD Thesis, Universität Hamburg, Hamburg.
  • Ivanova, A., Schmidt, A., & Schäfer, M. (2014). Global Climate Change, Global Public Sphere? Media Attention for Climate Change in 27 Countries. In M. J. Canel, & K. Voltmer (Eds.), Comparing political communication across time and space: New studies in an emerging field (pp. 210-227). Basinkstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. doi:10.1057/9781137366474.0020.

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