Scientists use TikTok to explain and combat climate change

Glaciologist Peter Neff shows his 220,000 TikTok followers a sample of ancient ice excavated from Allan Hills in Antarctica, a good example of how scientists are using the platform to explain and combat climate change.

The greenhouse gases trapped inside the site contain valuable information about Earth’s past climate, explains Neff, known on social media as @icy_pete.

As a report published on the website of Japan Todaya growing number of scientists are leveraging the short-form video app to boost climate change literacy, campaign for action, or combat rampant misinformation online.

Some have gone viral and Neff admitted to AFP that TikTok is an ideal avenue to send a message of awareness: “TikTok allows me to give people a lens through which they can embody the experience of being a climate scientist. in Antarctica”.

“I share my inside perspective on how we produce important past weather records without having to spend too much time editing and playing all the games to create perfect content.”

Neff isn’t the only tiktoker scientist

For his part, NASA climate scientist Peter Kalmus began posting videos on the platform after he was arrested in a civil disobedience action organized by the group Scientists Rebellion in Los Angeles in April 2022.

“When you get involved in civil disobedience, you take risks to try to have a positive benefit for society. So you want that civil disobedience action to be seen by as many people as possible,” she expressed.

The most viral video of Kalmus to date shows him locked outside the Wilson Air Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, delivering a speech protesting carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from private jets.

Neff and Kalmus are two of the 17 tiktokers and instagrammers featured in 2023 Climate Creators to Watch, a collaboration between emerging outlet Pique Action and the Harvard School of Public Health.