It’s by now a no-brainer to say that what we think about climate change is often influenced by what we know of weather change. On a cold day many of us are much less ready to agree that the climate is changing than we are on a warm one.
But now researchers have gone a stage further, trying to establish just why we react to these topical prompts rather than to the evidence of long-term change. And In a series of surveys, they have found that we often respond to the most accessible and immediate information – whether on temperature or something else – that we can find.
The research, published in Nature Climate Change, was completed by the Center for Research on Environmental Decisions (CRED) at Columbia University’s Earth Institute.
One survey examined several possible influences on perceptions of the climate, for example testing 686 people on whether individual words could alter their reactions on a very warm day. But the researchers found that speaking of “global warming” rather than “climate change” made little difference.
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Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc