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Climate & ocean literacy: Helping people to care ethically within planetary boundaries

Climate change (CC) and ocean degradation (OD) are among the greatest threats to humanity. Climate impacts the ocean in massive ways; the ocean is the climate’s most powerful regulator. Separately or combined, they impact every living being and ecological niche, with poorer communities suffering disproportionately. In turn, flora and fauna (incl humans) are suffering. CC and OD are affecting the cryosphere, biodiversity, and food and water security. Given that humans are the prime cause of this devastating change taking us beyond our planetary boundaries, geoethical issues come to the fore.

The 2020 EGU Declaration of the Significance of Geoscience highlights the need for massive and widespread action to help people around the world to become literate about the changes affecting their and their offsprings’ and communities’ lives. The more people are literate about these changes, the more they can make informed decisions, adapt and mitigate. Previous General Assemblies have addressed climate change literacy (CL). Ocean literacy (OL) has developed strongly in recent years, especially with impetus from the UN Ocean Decade. Ocean-climate literacy (OCL) is an imperative that needs to be addressed massively and urgently, both within and beyond the EGU.

We invite colleagues to submit contributions on any aspects of OCL; this can, of course, include CL (without the ocean) and OL (without the climate). We welcome papers related, eg, to learning processes/experiences, instructional materials, curricular innovation, learning games, citizen initiatives, Ocean Decade activities, evaluation, well-used methods, novel approaches and policies, eg, 1. make OCL an essential component in all subjects and at all levels of education; 2. require all people in positions of responsibility (eg, mayors, teachers, doctors, CEOs, ministers, et al) to pass exams on the basics of climate and/or ocean before taking office. Of particular interest are literacy actions that bring in geoethical dimensions. (If your paper is primarily on geoethics, then a better home is the EGU session on geoethics.) The broad aims of such OCL might include encouraging an intergenerational outlook, developing a sense of the geoethical dimensions of OCL, understanding complexities and implementing solutions.

This session is an opportunity for ECSs, scientists, educators, policy influencers, learning resource developers and other practitioners to share their experience, expertise and research on CL and OL.

Public information:

All participants in our session EOS1.8, Climate & ocean literacy, are invited to our Townhall Meeting, TM8, starting 19h, with the title Exploring the nexus of geoethics and climate change education:  https://meetingorganizer.copernicus.org/EGU22/session/44689.  To help enrich this TM, we urge you also to attend the earlier session on geoethics EOS4.1, starting at 13h20,  https://meetingorganizer.copernicus.org/EGU22/session/43042.

Advance notice of a special guest.  We have been working behind the scenes to enable Dr Svitlana Krakovska, Senior Scientist, Ukrainian Hydrometeorological Institute and IPCC author, to attend our session, where she may say a few words.  To know more, see https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/mar/09/ukraine-climate-scientist-russia-invasion-fossil-fuels.  We also expect her to attend our TM8 (see above), where she may do an informal presentation.

Co-organized by CL3.2/OS1, co-sponsored by IAPG
Convener: David Crookall | Co-conveners: Giuseppe Di Capua, Bärbel Winkler, Mario MascagniECSECS, Francesca Santoro
| Tue, 24 May, 17:00–18:30 (CEST)
Room 1.14
Public information:

All participants in our session EOS1.8, Climate & ocean literacy, are invited to our Townhall Meeting, TM8, starting 19h, with the title Exploring the nexus of geoethics and climate change education:  https://meetingorganizer.copernicus.org/EGU22/session/44689.  To help enrich this TM, we urge you also to attend the earlier session on geoethics EOS4.1, starting at 13h20,  https://meetingorganizer.copernicus.org/EGU22/session/43042.

Advance notice of a special guest.  We have been working behind the scenes to enable Dr Svitlana Krakovska, Senior Scientist, Ukrainian Hydrometeorological Institute and IPCC author, to attend our session, where she may say a few words.  To know more, see https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/mar/09/ukraine-climate-scientist-russia-invasion-fossil-fuels.  We also expect her to attend our TM8 (see above), where she may do an informal presentation.

Tue, 24 May, 17:00–18:30

Chairpersons: Giuseppe Di Capua, Bärbel Winkler, David Crookall


Online: Climate

Justine Lepers and Pierre-Antoine Carpentier
Clémence Pichon et al.

While a thorough understanding of the science of climate change is essential, the psycho-social aspect of this phenomenon cannot be ignored. We now know that psychological burdens of climate change are affecting a large number of youth globally (Marks et al., 2021). Research has shown that children tend to manage eco-anxiety through meaning-focussed, problem-focussed or de-emphasizing coping strategies (Ojala, 2012). Effective climate change education (CCE) thus needs to address these affective aspects to enable changes in behaviour, choices, and habits of students. OCE’s pedagogical plan on eco-anxiety provides teachers with a tool to focus on the psychological impact, further building on the cognitive understanding of climate science imparted by other lessons concerning climate science. Taken together, these lessons will build an interdisciplinary and holistic picture and orient students towards positive action to combat climate change.

The proposed research project study will evaluate the effectiveness of OCE’s lesson plan in managing eco-anxiety and provide a better understanding of eco-anxiety in teachers and 9-12 year old.

Hypotheses and research objectives: Currently, the OCE is conducting a pilot evaluation of the lesson plan on emotion. Using a standardised eco-anxiety and anxiety-coping measurement questionnaires, she will collect student and teacher data before and after teachers implement OCE’s activity on emotions regarding climate change,

Research Question and Methods: This study addresses the question whether students and their teachers are able to better manage eco-anxiety and develop an action-oriented attitude upon using OCE’s lesson plan. This will be a randomized controlled trial approach, with up to 80 teachers from France invited to voluntarily participate in the study with their classes. Teachers will be randomly sorted into two groups. Teachers in the treatment group will receive training and conduct two activities in class - one on consequences of global warming, and one on emotions. Those in the control group will conduct only the activity on consequences of global warming. In both cases, propositions of follow-up activities on prospection through artistic expression and project-based activities will be proposed to the participants. Data will be collected from both groups before and after the activities. Standard tools measuring eco-anxiety levels and behavioural approaches will be used for quantitative data ( Hogg et al., 2021; Ojala, 2012). 

Expected Outcome: The study will provide a scientific validation of the education resources created by OCE and help in making our current and future CCE resources more impactful. It will contribute towards a better understanding of eco-anxiety in young children. If found to have a positive impact on eco-anxiety management, this lesson plan will help make CCE more holistic.

How to cite: Pichon, C., Barve, A., Wilgenbus, D., Casati, R., and Klein, S.: Evaluation of OCE’s lesson plan for 9-12 year old students on emotions related to climate change, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-11683, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-11683, 2022.

Simon Klein et al.

The essential role of education in addressing the causes and consequences of anthropogenic climate change is increasingly being recognised at an international level. The Office for Climate Education (OCE) develops educational resources and proposes professional development opportunities to support teachers, worldwide, to mainstream climate change education.

Drawing upon the IPCC Special Report on the Climate Change and Land, the OCE has produced a set of educational resources that cover the scientific and societal dimensions, at local and global levels, while developing students’ reasoning abilities and guiding them to take action (mitigation and/or adaptation) in their schools or communities. These resources include:

  • Ready-to-use teacher handbook that (i) target students from the last years of primary school to the end of lower-secondary school (aged 9 to 15), (ii) include scientific and pedagogical overviews, lesson plans, activities and worksheets, (iii) are interdisciplinary, covering topics in the natural sciences, social sciences, arts and physical education, (iv) promote active pedagogies: inquiry-based science education, role-play, debate, project-based learning, (v) followed by 7 examples of inspiring projects of actions to either mitigate or adapt to climate change impacts, or take part of the science or disseminate climate change knowledge.
  • A specific attention is drawn to tackle eco-anxiety with the development of a class activity focused on emotions.
  • A Summary for teachers of the IPCC Special Report, presented together with a selection of related activities and exercises that can be implemented in the classroom.
  • A set of 10 videos where experts speak about a specific issue related to the link between land and climate change.
  • A set of 6 multimedia activities offering students the possibility of working interactively in different topics related to climate change.

An important concern for climate change education is to assess the impact of the required pedagogy for transforming students’ behaviour to face climate challenges. Therefore, the OCE is conducting an evaluation research project on activities around the emotions related to climate change.

How to cite: Klein, S., Pichon, C., Tricoire, M., Lescarmontier, L., Barve, A., Wilgenbus, D., Sadadou, D., and Guilyardi, E.: Resources for teachers on “Climate Change and Land” and research on eco-anxiety, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-4081, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-4081, 2022.

Adrián López-Quirós and Veronica Guilarte

The consequences of climate change present one of the most pressing issues of our time. It is important to have a well-informed population about the consequences of climate change in order to prepare them to make decisions about it. In this sense, along with the contribution of the media, climate change education (climate literacy) is crucial for the development of climate change knowledge and beliefs. A solid knowledge about climate change not only helps teachers to successfully meet the goal of climate literacy, but also influences student's attitudes regarding practical steps to reduce the impacts of anthropogenic climate change.

A sample of seventy-four pre-service teachers (Master’s students – ‘Master's Degree in Secondary Education, Baccalaureate, Vocational Training and Language Teaching’ at the University of Granada, Melilla Campus), and sixty-nine in-service teachers (from Melilla), allowed to analyse: (1) knowledge, (2) beliefs, and (3) attitudes about climate change. Regarding the study of the first concept, the following items were assessed: (a) knowledge about the causes of climate change, (b) knowledge about the greenhouse effect, (c) knowledge concerning the expected consequences of climate change, and (d) action-related knowledge about climate change. The results presented in this study display that most of the pre- and in-service teachers (from both the scientific itinerary and other itineraries) believe in the existence of climate change and recognize its anthropic cause. However, they still respond to different misconceptions as well as distorted knowledge about the consequences of climate change, affecting their willingness to act on it. Consequently, the Secondary School Curriculum needs to be updated, since it is mainly focused on the scientific explanations of the phenomenon rather than on the social or practical aspects of the problem.

How to cite: López-Quirós, A. and Guilarte, V.: Secondary School Teacher’s Awareness of Climate Change: a comparison of pre-service and in-service teachers from the Spanish North African city of Melilla, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-5701, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-5701, 2022.

Francesco Marcello Falcieri et al.

The 17th International Architecture Exhibition organized by La Biennale di Venezia ran from 22 May to 21 November 2021 with the title “How will we live together?”. Its main were the social and political questions on the rapidly changing social norms, the political polarization between left and right, climate change, and the growing gap between labor and capital. In the context of the exposition the ongoing collaboration between La Biennale and CNR-ISMAR lead to the development of a guided tour in the Central Pavillion and in the Danish pavilion targeted toward primary schools (6-11 years old). The guided visit used the art pieces presented as a starting point to discuss different aspects Ocean Literacy, climate change and human impacts on the environment with on site explanations and activities to be held once back in class. The tour was divided into three sections: 1) how the Earth-system works and what is the Anthropocene; 2) What are the direct impacts of human activities on the oceans; 3) Which are the consequences of those impact on mankind. A total of 41 classes from primary schools in the Veneto region participated the visit and were later monitored for satisfaction and retention of the information provided during the visit.

In the La Biennale CNR-ISMAR collaboration this was a first attempt to create a guided tour on Ocean Literacy using as a starting point an already established architecture exposition.

How to cite: Falcieri, F. M., Ghezzo, M., Castellani, C., and de Manicor, L.: How will we live in the Anthropocene? A scientific guided tour at the 2021 Venice Architecture Biennale., EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-7805, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-7805, 2022.

Online: Climate-ocean & Ocean

Peter Carter

This paper argues that to inform climate-ocean literacy the 2015 Planetary Boundaries (PBs) paper (Will Steffen, 2015) as a guide for “human development on a changing planet” by “a safe operating space for humanity”, requires urgent updating with  extension of boundary indicators. This particularly applies to oceans and to climate change, which are linked. Ocean heath is the ultimate determinant of climate and biosphere. The 2009 PBs abstract said their exceedance “could see human activities push the Earth system outside the stable environmental state of the Holocene, with consequences that are detrimental or even catastrophic for large parts of the world. The 2015 paper said “planetary boundary (PB) framework provides a science-based analysis of the risk that human perturbations will destabilize the ES (Earth System) at the planetary scale.” Risk is the product of likelihood and magnitude. By magnitude, ES destabilization is an unprecedented greatest of risks ever, even at low likelihood. The 2015 paper states, “Three of the PBs (climate change, stratospheric ozone depletion, and ocean acidification) remain essentially unchanged from the earlier analysis” of 2009. However, climate and ocean change indicators have increased to an extreme degree, at an extreme rate, since 2009. PBs (2015) does not include rates of change, though crucial to risk. Future climate change is calculated from climate sensitivity, still put at 3°C by the IPCC, but (properly) up to 6°C with slow feedbacks by PBs (2009), a large risk not addressed in PBs (2015). PBs (2015) makes atmospheric CO2 and radiative forcing the only metrics and puts the CO2 safety limit at “350 ppm CO2 (350-450 ppm)” while 2009 put the limit at 350 ppm. 450 ppm is far above today’s level of 417ppm.  These two metrics are not enough to determine climate safety. Today’s CO2 equivalent of 504 ppm is a commitment above 2°C and the danger limit is 1.5°C. Increasing radiative forcing determines ocean heating. The radiative forcing (RF) limit is given as 1W m2 (2009 and 2015). NOAA (2021) puts RF at 3.183. PBs (2015) determines ocean safety only by ocean acidification, though the rapid ocean heating, ocean de-oxygenation, sea surface temperature increase and ocean carbon sink are crucial. The planetary boundary would be Ocean Change. The sole metric limit given for ocean acidification is aragonite saturation, while the actual metric for ocean acidification is pH.  While the global climate emergency is widely recognized since the 2018 IPCC 1.5°C Report, PBs (2015) puts climate change within the safety (green) zone, with a range of uncertainty (yellow zone). Ocean acidification is put inside the green safety zone. Ocean acidification has increased 30% and is accelerating. Since 1980, ocean heat has increased 235 zettajoules, which is about 3900 times all the energy used by the human world per year. Open ocean oxygen has been declining since 1975.  Ocean warming, acidification and deoxygenation are projected to increase at least for decades.  The 2015 PB limits are far from safe for oceans and climate.

How to cite: Carter, P.: Climate and Oceans Planetary Boundaries: for Climate Literacy, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-10874, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-10874, 2022.

E. Alejandro Herrada et al.

Coastal regions will be highly impacted by climate change due to the rise of sea level and the impacts of warmer sea temperatures on coastal ecosystems. Moreover, for those regions whose economy is highly dependent on coastal activities, such as maritime transport or coastal tourism, the assessment of coastal vulnerability to climate change is crucial to guarantee their economic resilience. Since 2018, the SECOSTA project (https://secosta.wordpress.com/) has launched different citizen science-based programs (SOCLIMPACT, VENOM, DECIMATE) focused on monitoring the impact of climate change on coastal areas. The goal is twofold. On the one side, the SECOSTA project aims to make high school students aware of climate change and of the work developed by scientists. On the other hand, the students contribute to the acquisition of data that will be used in scientific studies afterwards. The SECOSTA project strategy is the following. First, different low cost and open source devices are designed to measure with a reasonable degree of accuracy several parameters (e.g. sea level, atmospheric pressure, beach topobathymetry, sea temperature). Second, high school teachers are trained in dedicated workshops to build those devices with their students. Third, the teachers develop educational multidisciplinary projects in their schools around a particular topic of interest (e.g. sea level rise, ocean warming...) involving the data acquisition. This phase is guided by the scientists who also provide educational resources to help in the development of the educational projects. Finally, the observations obtained by the students are processed by the scientists and incorporated in several research projects as additional datasets.

The project has been successfully implemented creating a robust synergy among researchers, the regional government and secondary schools. To date, close to 20 different secondary schools have taken part in the different initiatives, involving more than 2,000 students per year in the construction of devices, acquisition and processing of data. In light of the success of previous terms, in 2022, the SECOSTA project is going to hold a conference that will serve as a forum for the participating high schools to present the results of their scientific studies. In this presentation we will describe the different steps of the project along with some recommendations about the lessons learned during these years for a successful deployment of citizen-science based projects in secondary schools.

How to cite: Herrada, E. A., Puigdefabregas, J., Agulles, M., Ramos, J., Frank, A., Villalonga, J., Gomis, D., and Jordà, G.: Raising awareness of the impact of climate change on coastal regions. A citizen science-based approach within the SECOSTA project, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-8885, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-8885, 2022.

Konstantina Agiadi

Marine ecosystems are deteriorating worldwide, but scientific monitoring postdates the industrial revolution, leading to a distorted image of the pristine state of the world’s oceans. The Q-MARE working group of PAGES brings together scientists from vastly different disciplines, historians, archaeologists, paleontologists and ecologists to explore pre-industrial baselines and understand the true magnitude and rate of change induced by modern anthropogenic activities, including climate change, specifically biodiversity loss and the sustainability of ecosystems and societies. How did climate and human activities affect marine ecosystems in the pre-industrial Holocene and the Pleistocene? When did humans start having a significant impact on the marine environment? How can data from different sources be combined to inform environmental conservation targets and model marine ecosystems? Through our activities, we aim to determine the state and gaps of knowledge around these questions, but also to inform policy-makers and the public.

How to cite: Agiadi, K.: Shifting baselines revisited: Exploring pre-industrial climate and human impacts on marine ecosystems (Q-MARE, 2022–2025), EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-13171, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-13171, 2022.

Ines Borrione

Environmental education in schools (from child-care to high-school) mostly focuses on teaching features and processes that characterize the local natural environment, so that the geographical context strongly affects what children and older students (and their families) may learn and know about the surroundings and which actions need be taken to protect and conserve it. As a consequence, the community living in a mountain region is less prone to learning about the sea or the ocean, about its main physical, chemical and biological charachteristis, and about the processes that regulate them and how or why day-to-day actions affect the ocean's health and sustainability – the so called “ocean blindness”. Such considerations have led to the organization of a small set of pilot Education and Outreach activities that have been carried out in the schools of the province of Biella, a small-sized city located in the foot-hill of the Alps, 300m above sea-level, and about 200 km away from the nearest coast. These school activities/projects involved a very wide age group, including child care (ages 1-3), kindergarten (ages 3 to 5), elementary (ages 6 to 10) and high-school (ages 14-17) and were aimed at teaching basic marine science concepts learned from more than 10 years of experience as an oceanographer. This contribution presents the results and lessons learned from the first activities carried out in 2021 also providing an example of activities that can be carried out in similar contexts, and of hands-on resources that are available also when operating far away from the coast.

How to cite: Borrione, I.: First steps to countering “ocean blindness” in an alpine region: lessons learned from ocean literacy activities across a wide age group, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-9400, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-9400, 2022.

Stacey Alvarez de la Campa and Mario Mascagni

Schools by the Sea


Environmental literacy, in the climatic and oceanic context, is a new concept in Brazil, and only a few authors have introduced the topic since the 2000s (Prates et al. 2007 and Hadel, 2010).


According to Smythe (1995) there is a deep disconnect between nature and the daily life of people in urbanized areas. Humanity, through progress and technology, no longer embraces their ability to collaborate with nature, seeking instead to establish dominance over it. It seems as if humanity has lost the sensitivity to associate its behavior as harmful or beneficial to the ecosystem in which it lives.


In order to rescue the interrelationship between humanity and nature, and to make the younger population aware of the importance of their individual actions for a more sustainable planet, a project called Schools by the Sea was developed!


The Schools by the Sea project promoted environmental studies with high school students, so that they could apply the theoretical knowledge learned in the classroom to practical activities directly in coastal communities. For example, knowledge of chemistry was discussed using experiments which compared levels of dissolved oxygen in water from polluted streams, compared to water from coastal marine areas. The concepts of ecology and biological succession were discussed based on the observation of the plant and animal organisms of rocky shores in different rock strata. Concepts of geography and geology were also explored by focusing on a discussion of sedimentary deposits exposed in different coastal environments, and concepts of physics and mathematics were discussed based on the development of simple artifacts for wind and marine energy generation. All theoretical knowledge tested in practice during the study of the environment was discussed in an integrated way, in order to emphasize that physical, biological, chemical and geological processes are connected in nature and that man is an integral part of these processes, both benefiting and impacting these processes.


In this way, regardless of the professional area that the young participants of this project chose in the future, it was expected that they would be able to adopt more sustainable practices in an analytical and critical way in relation to the environment in which they live. The project was recurrent annually between 2006 and 2009, subsidized by the extinct Foundation for Aquatic Studies and Research of the Oceanographic Institute of the University of São Paulo (FUNDESPA-IOUSP).


Bibliographic references


HADEL, V. F. Programa de Visitas ao Centro de Biologia Marinha-USP: o monitor na mediação entre a Academia e o grande público. In: PEDRINI, A. de G. (Org.) Educação Ambiental Marinha e Costeira no Brasil. Rio de Janeiro: Eduerj, 2010. p. 93-114.

PRATES, A.P.L.; DUARTE, A.L.M.; FERREIRA, B.P.; GEORGI, C. LOIOLA, L.; HAZIN, M.C.; REINHART, MH. PEREIRA, P. M. Conduta consciente em ambientes recifais. Brasília: Ministério do Meio Ambiente, 2007. 28 p.

SMYTHE, J.C. Environment and Education: a view of a changing scene. Environment Education Research, v. 1, n. 1, p. 1-20, 1995.


How to cite: Alvarez de la Campa, S. and Mascagni, M.: Schools By The Sea Program, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-12897, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-12897, 2022.

In person: Climate

Inez Harker-Schuch

The need for a climate literate public in the face of anthropogenic climate change is an increasingly urgent and necessary task. Defining what it means to be climate literate is situated between divisions of science communication and science education.  On one side, the humanist perspectives of anthropogenic climate change i.e., science risk communication (threats, impacts, and consequences) and, on the other, understanding and sharing in scientific knowledge i.e., science education (the physical and chemical mechanisms that describe Earth’s climate system in equilibrium).  The USGCRP/NOAA defines climate literacy (CL) as "an understanding of your influence on the climate and climate's influence on you and society" and a ‘"climate-literate person understands the essential principles of Earth’s climate system" and, while this CL definition is useful in that it encapsulates the complexity of climate change, drawing in interactions between human actions and the climate system, it positions anthropogenic climate change ahead of the physical science of Earth’s climate.  Prima facie, the initial emphasis on anthropogenic climate change seems inconsequential.  However, efforts in the public education classroom also frequently prioritise or focus on the threat of impacts and consequences, rather than the physical science mechanisms that drive the climate system, and this focus may have serious implications for improving climate literacy in the broader public arena.  Communicating climate change initially as a threat or as a responsibility, especially to children and adolescents, can have undesirable and polarising psychological effects and may negatively influence other mental health disorders. Psychological effects, such as fear or stress, are known to promote apathy, despair, and feelings of helplessness which undermine collective efforts to address climate change. Recent research suggests, however, that providing young people with a solid understanding of the physical science basis of Earth’s climate system prior to teaching them about anthropogenic climate change provides them with a context for coping with climate change as they are better able to construct solutions and perceive the climate dilemma as a ‘system’ rather than as a nebulous, looming threat.  This paper, therefore, proposes a related, but specific, definition for climate science literacy (CSL) that is scoped to the physical processes that are fundamental to, and underpin, the mechanics of anthropogenic climate change that can be utilised in the classroom. In this way, we are anchoring the physical processes of climate change, and – distinct from broader climate literacy – scoping out the complex, dynamic and oftentimes emotive dimension of human influence on the climate system within a knowledge deficit context. We propose, therefore, that the physical science mechanisms that describe Earth’s climate system form the foundation of all climate literacy programmes.  We further propose that the CSL definition for the classroom "is a systematic and integrated understanding of how the natural climate system works in equilibrium, including drivers of natural variation, which forms a foundation for considering the roles of feedback systems and anthropogenic emissions in driving climate change and, therefore, your influence on the climate and climate's influence on you and society".

How to cite: Harker-Schuch, I.: Defining climate literacy: Developing a working definition on what it means to be climate literate, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-2302, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-2302, 2022.

Sylvia Knight et al.

Climate change is the defining crisis of our generation, and it will be the lived reality for generations to come. Yet many people still do not understand the issue or feel able to respond to it adequately, including the very young people whose future will be most affected.

On 15 September 2021, the University of Reading brought together young people, scientists, teachers and educationalists, policymakers and campaigners at a Climate Education Summit to create an action plan for better climate education in schools and colleges in the UK. This is to ensure all young people today and generations to come are equipped with the knowledge and understanding, and are empowered, to respond to and tackle the climate and ecological crisis facing our planet.

No single organisation is able to take this agenda forward alone and so the joint plan will need to be led and contributed to by different groups and by young people themselves, coming together to make real change possible.

Implicit in our plan is that better climate education is needed and that this education should not be solely delivered in a single school subject or groups of subjects, nor confined only to academic study – climate change touches all areas of society and so our plan covers education broadly.

The action plan consists of nine points:

  • Everyone involved in the education of children in school and college settings should be encouraged and supported to access accredited continuing professional development (CPD) to improve their personal understanding of up-to-date data and science of our changing climate and the impacts of these changes.
  • All teacher trainers and initial teacher trainees should be able to access training that empowers them to effectively incorporate climate education within their teaching across all levels and subjects.
  • Teachers and school leaders should be encouraged and empowered, both at a national and local level, to ensure time and space within and beyond the teaching day is included for climate education.
  • Every school and college should identify a senior staff member to lead on climate education and provide them with support and funding.
  • A structured programme or climate award for schools, colleges and youth organisations should be developed, providing a national focus to a range of extracurricular activities and supporting resources to aid delivery.
  • A national scheme of quality assurance of teaching resources for climate education should be developed.
  • A regular national meeting of the dynamic, well-supported, national networks of educators, scientists and young people should be held, to share ideas and promote collaboration among representatives of these groups.
  • Professionals working in climate research and policy, from science and non-science disciplines, should pledge a proportion of their working time to providing help to teacher-led climate education initiatives.
  • A national, guiding framework for all educational providers that outlines compulsory climate education for all young people via schools and colleges should be developed and implemented.

How to cite: Knight, S., Charlton-Perez, A., Aggas, D., and Blair, F.: Developing a National Climate Education Action Plan , EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-677, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-677, 2022.

Janette Bessembinder et al.

Professionals in sectors such as urban planning, energy transition, health, need knowledge about climate change for e.g. designing tunnels, urban planning, risk assessments related to climate change, giving policy advice about adaptation measures. The required climate data and information is often not easy to find, needs to be processed, or there is so much climate data available that it is difficult to determine what should be used in a specific situation. In addition, these professionals often have contact with administrators and citizens who ask them questions about climate change, why certain adaptation measures are taken, etc. However, there are a lot of misunderstandings about climate and climate change and there is a lot of polarization.
Both the Dutch Meteorological Institute (KNMI) and the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (HvA) have a lot of contact with professionals working on climate adaptation and mitigation and they both recognize that professionals need more tailoring of climate data and, at the same time, they need help with the communication about climate change. Based on the experiences of the HvA and KNMI in recent years, they decided in the autumn of 2021 to combine their complementary expertises into a lectorate “Climate literacy” to develop new knowledge for professionals: 

  • about climate data and climate change for more effective use in design, risk assessment, policy advice and to be able to make well-informed decisions. This concerns technical knowledge about access to climate data, good use of climate data and climate scenarios, dealing with uncertainties, better linking of climate data and information to the purpose of the sector (i.e. based on knowledge of the technical systems) and decision support.
  • to effectively increase the “climate literacy” of citizens and administrators (tools, interventions, design methods, communication strategies, policy-making), so they  can act well informed in situations related to climate change. For professional users, reliable and easy to understand climate information is also necessary to create support among stakeholders and the general public. For this, it is necessary to connect with how people experience the environment and to relate causes, consequences and action perspectives to themselves.

During the presentation we will elaborate on why it is important to have a combined focus on the tailoring of climate data and communication for professionals, our experiences in the Netherlands and the ideas for research within this lectorate.

How to cite: Bessembinder, J., Kluck, J., Niederer, S., and Renes, R. J.: Climate literacy for professionals in the Netherlands, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-9472, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-9472, 2022.

In person: Climate-ocean & Ocean

Pimnutcha Promduangsri et al.

Climate change (CC) and ocean degradation (OD) are major threats to the perpetuation of life on planet Earth.  This makes it important for people of all walks to learn about the problems and about how they may contribute to solutions.  It is our responsibility to ensure that the planet remains habitable for humans and for all species.  One way to learn about CC and OD is through experience and direct interaction with the environment.  Experiential learning (Kolb) allows people to learn with both their heads and their hearts, to become engaged with the issues and with their own learning process.  Experience can be real, as in an internship or living with sea-level rise, or it can be contrived, as in a game or simulation.

Many simulation/games have been designed to teach climate and ocean literacy (e.g., review by Ulrich).  Here we will outline our own experience of two online, large-scale participatory simulations – running over several days.  The broad learning objectives for each participant were as follows:

  • to become an even better ocean-climate-coast-literate and geoethical stakeholder and
  • to help other people to become literate in the ocean-climate-coast processes,

in other words,

  • to learn about the ocean, coasts and climate system, to behave in a responsible manner in that system and to learn how to multiply and convey their knowledge and skills to others,
  • to learn how to collaborate effectively with and facilitate the inclusion of a range of stakeholders.

The objective of each online, participatory simulation was to write a collective document, in somewhat similar fashion to drafting an international treaty.  In so doing, participants need to interact, build trust, negotiate, find compromises, listen to others, articulate their own ideas and wishes, draft text, rewrite drafts and so on.  Each simulation is contextualized with a scenario based on real data, but projected into the future.  The interactions are conducted via Discord and Google Drive.  At the end, a structured debrief is conducted.

In this presentation, we will share our experiences and explain the learning processes.  We will outline:

  • The content areas of the online participatory simulations.
  • The pedagogical principles, such as learner-centred participatory simulation, feedback and debriefing.
  • Participants feedback.

We will provide time to answer audience questions, and provide information on how you can participate in the next simulation run.  We hope to see you virtually and in person at the EGU.

How to cite: Promduangsri, P., Promduangsri, P., Alvarez de la Campa, S., Bolouri, F., Mascagni, M., and Parigi, R.: Participatory simulation: Climate and ocean literacy in action, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-1656, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-1656, 2022.

Marko Mlinar et al.

Six young oceanographers (authors of this article), all working at the science institutions in Split (Croatia), connected closely through their work on SHExtreme and StVar-Adri projects. The members of the group previously had, in total, over 30 years of experience in organization and participation in voluntary popular science and educational activities, e.g., Science Festival, Science Factory, FantaSTikon. However, most of this was done in the large cities and at the mainland.

Partly motivated by the “science to all” idea, during 2021 the group had the vision of bringing ocean science to the inhabitants of the Adriatic Sea islands (hours distant to the large cities, having low number of daily connections, with low-count and prevailingly older population), especially children. Their aim was to offer various educational, science-promotive and fun extracurricular activities (main topic being sea) to the islanders, as these activities were rare even in pre-pandemic times and became almost non-existent during 2020/2021.

Thus, during the summer of 2021 “Oceanographers at the Island” held a series of events at three middle Adriatic Islands (Korčula, Ugljan and Hvar). The events included oceanographic science and art workshops for younger (6-10 years) and older (10-14 years) children, sea-topic boardgame gatherings and public talks at local cafes. During the workshops the children have done experiments and meteorological and oceanographic in-situ measurements, followed by the discussions and conclusions on the phenomena. As a result attendees have broadened their knowledge on the thermohaline properties and processes, sea motion and atmosphere-sea interaction. Highly incentive for the children to attend the workshops, selected (board)games, with topics of sea-ecology-strategy, made them revise their knowledge on the sea ecosystem while having fun and feel they, as humans, have an important impact of the present-and-future of their sea-oriented community and the planet. As a commune final product the attending children made posters and picture plates with the messages they found the most important and these were exhibited at the highest visibility places in their community (school or tourist information centre). To strengthen their remembrance on the events and “promises made to the sea” and motivating future science inclusion children were awarded by “The little oceanographer” diploma. General public talks, different at each location, presented an issue of interest for islanders of that particular island. In Vela Luka on Korčula, the topic was a devastating Great Vela Luka flood of 1978 which brought severe destruction to the island, in Vrboska on Hvar, topic were “schigas” – a local phenomenon of sudden sea level oscillations specific for that village; and in Ugljan on Ugljan topic was climate change – of especial interest to community given the numerous natural disasters which occurred during the summer of 2021.

All events were covered by local media (including newspapers, radio, web portals and social networks), and the entire initiative was presented to public by national media. Being praised by the locals and visitors from all age groups, the “Oceanographers at the islands” are continuing their “The sea talks to us, let’s listen to it!” work at new locations in 2022.

How to cite: Mlinar, M., Dunić, N., Karlović, M., Ruić, K., Šepić, J., and Vojković, M.: “The sea talks to us, let’s listen to it!” – ocean science educational activities for children and general population , EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-12332, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-12332, 2022.

Discussion & wrap-up