Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Blowing hot and cold: U.S. belief in climate change shifts with weather

Date:
February 5, 2013
Source:
University of British Columbia
Summary:
A study of American attitudes toward climate change finds that local weather -- temperature, in particular -- is a major influence on public and media opinions on the reality of global warming.

A University of British Columbia study of American attitudes toward climate change finds that local weather -- temperature, in particular -- is a major influence on public and media opinions on the reality of global warming.

The study, published February 5 by the journal Climatic Change, finds a strong connection between U.S. weather trends and public and media attitudes towards climate science over the past 20 years -- with skepticism about global warming increasing during cold snaps and concern about climate change growing during hot spells.

"Our findings help to explain some of the significant fluctuations and inconsistencies in U.S. public opinion on climate change," says UBC Geography Prof. Simon Donner who conducted the study with former student Jeremy McDaniels (now at Oxford University).

The researchers used 1990-2010 data from U.S. public opinion polls and media coverage by major U.S. newspapers, including The New York Times, Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and USA Today. They evaluated the relationship between average national temperatures and opinion polls on climate change, along with the quantity and nature of media editorials and opinion pieces related to climate change.

While many factors affect climate change attitudes -- political views, media coverage, personal experience and values -- the researchers suggest that headline-making weather can strongly influence climate beliefs, especially for individuals without strong convictions for or against climate change.

"Our study demonstrates just how much local weather can influence people's opinions on global warming," says Donner. "We find that, unfortunately, a cold winter is enough to make some people, including many newspaper editors and opinion leaders, doubt the overwhelming scientific consensus on the issue."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of British Columbia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Simon D. Donner, Jeremy McDaniels. The influence of national temperature fluctuations on opinions about climate change in the U.S. since 1990. Climatic Change, 2013; DOI: 10.1007/s10584-012-0690-3

Cite This Page:

University of British Columbia. "Blowing hot and cold: U.S. belief in climate change shifts with weather." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 February 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130205083058.htm>.
University of British Columbia. (2013, February 5). Blowing hot and cold: U.S. belief in climate change shifts with weather. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130205083058.htm
University of British Columbia. "Blowing hot and cold: U.S. belief in climate change shifts with weather." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130205083058.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve

Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve

AP (July 31, 2014) Seacrest Wolf Preserve on the northern Florida panhandle allows more than 10,000 visitors each year to get up close and personal with Arctic and British Columbian Wolves. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers

Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers

AP (July 31, 2014) With Florida's panther population rebounding, some ranchers complain the protected predators are once again killing their calves. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Big Waves In Arctic Ocean Threaten Polar Ice

Big Waves In Arctic Ocean Threaten Polar Ice

Newsy (July 30, 2014) Big waves in parts of the Arctic Ocean are unprecedented, mainly because they used to be covered in ice. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

AP (July 30, 2014) Thousands of people are trekking to a Bavarian farmer's field to check out a mysterious set of crop circles. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins