Research press release


Nature Climate Change

IPCC reports become less readable, as media coverage improves



今回、Ralf Barkemeyerたちは、5つの主要なIPCC評価報告書の政策決定者向け要約の言語分析を行った。この分析では、政策決定者向け要約に読みやすさの評価指標を適用し、タブロイド紙の一部(Daily Mail、The Mirror、The Sun)と高級紙の一部(New York Times、Washington Post、The Independent、The Times)に掲載されたIPCC評価報告書の記事だけでなく、科学論文誌NatureとScienceの社説とニュース記事との比較も行った。その結果、政策決定者向け要約は、回を重ねるごとに難解になっており、1990年に発表された第1次評価報告書以降、評価指標の値が低下を続けていることが明らかになった。これに対して、科学論文誌と新聞各紙によるIPCC評価報告書の報道記事の読みやすさは向上した。ただし、マスコミ報道の論調は、おおむねIPCC評価報告書自体よりも悲観的なものになっている。

The most accessible and widely read section of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Assessment Report-the Summary for Policymakers-continues to score poorly in terms of readability, according to new research published in Nature Climate Change. In contrast, scientific media and newspaper coverage of the reports has become increasingly readable.

The IPCC releases an Assessment Report every five years, with an accompanying Summary for Policymakers condensing the key details for a wider audience. In recent years, the IPCC has attempted to improve its communication strategies to overcome miscommunication of these high-profile reports.

Ralf Barkemeyer and colleagues conducted a linguistic analysis of the summaries of the five major IPCC reports. They applied readability metrics to the summaries and compared these to coverage of the reports in a sample of tabloid newspapers (Daily Mail, The Mirror and The Sun) and quality newspapers (New York Times, Washington Post, The Independent and The Times), as well as in editorials and news articles in the science journals Nature and Science. They find that the IPCC Assessment Report Summary for Policymakers has become less readable over time, with scores declining steadily since the first report in 1990. In contrast, they find that the readability of scientific and news coverage of the reports has improved, although the tone of the media coverage is generally more pessimistic than the reports themselves.

The authors suggest that the IPCC needs to find ways to make its reports more readable-possibly by providing science communication training for key contributors-to ensure that the findings and significance of high-profile climate research are not distorted.

doi: 10.1038/nclimate2824

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