The media can influence people's views of the climate crisis. If you're opposed to climate action, accurate scientific reporting won't have much impact on you.

People's views of climate science were shifted by reading reporting that accurately reflected scientific findings on the climate, according to an experiment conducted in the US by scientists. They were willing to back policies that would address the issue.

When people were exposed to other media that questioned the validity of climate science, the effect faded.

According to Thomas Wood, associate professor of political science at Ohio State University, the American public responds to scientifically informed reporting. Even the most accurate science reporting fades from people's frames of reference very quickly.

He suggested that the impact of accurate science reporting could be reinforced by repeating it more often. The subjects in our study were willing to read what was written about climate change in our study. He said that what they learned faded very fast. People need to hear the same accurate messages about climate change, that's what we found. It disappears very quickly if they only hear it once.

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In the fall of 2020, the researchers asked online participants to read media articles about accurate climate science.

In the second and third stage of the experiment, the same participants were placed in groups and asked to read from a different scientific article, an opinion piece that cast doubt on climate science, or an article about the partisan debate on the climate crisis.

Participants were asked about their attitudes to policy and their understanding of climate science. Participants were asked if they thought climate change was caused by people. They were asked if they preferred renewable energy.

Some people who had been skeptical of climate science were willing to consider government action on climate breakdown and renewable energy.

The people reverted to their previous stance by the third and fourth stages.

Exposure to science content improves factual accuracy, but the improvements are short-lived and no longer visible by the end of the study. Exposure to opinion content that is not in line with science can affect accuracy. Exposure to news coverage that focuses on partisan conflict does not decrease factual accuracy. The effect of science coverage on support for government action to address climate change fades over time.

Republicans were more likely to deny climate science if they read material that cast doubt on it.

The research was done in the US, where the reporting of science is often politically incorrect, and where many attitudes seem to reflect a partisan approach. The 2020 presidential election was won by Donald Trump, according to most Republicans.