Title: Understanding climate change risk perception in the USA

Authors: Himanshu Grover; Samuel D. Brody; Arnold Vedlitz

Addresses: Department of Urban Design and Planning, College of Built Environments, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA ' Department of Marine Sciences, Texas A&M University, Galveston, Texas, USA ' The Bush School of Government & Public Service, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, USA

Abstract: Public perceptions of risk from climate change are an important determinant of the willingness of citizens to support climate change mitigation and adaptation policies. Although there is a growing body of research focusing on a variety of individual, cultural, and organisational factors that affect an individual's perception of risk, only a few studies have adopted a multivariate analytical approach to understand public perceptions of climate change risks. This study extends earlier interdisciplinary research initiatives and proposes a more comprehensive, integrated model for understanding climate change risk perception. Using measures of objective risk, individual climate stress, and individual capacity, we explain public perceptions of climate change risks. The analysis is based on a national representative survey of US citizens. Geographic information systems and spatial analytical techniques are used to supplement the survey data with measures of objective risk associated with the location of each respondent. Analysis of the data using multivariate regression suggests that increased objective risk and individual capacity result in significantly higher perception of risk from climate change, whereas higher individual climate stress results in lower risk perceptions.

Keywords: climate change; risk perception; objective risk; individual climate stress; individual capacity.

DOI: 10.1504/IJGW.2017.086280

International Journal of Global Warming, 2017 Vol.13 No.2, pp.113 - 137

Available online: 17 Aug 2017 *

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