The study, published today 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."
Basil Waugh | EurekAlert!
WAKE-UP provides new treatment option for stroke patients | International study led by UKE
17.05.2018 | Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf
First form of therapy for childhood dementia CLN2 developed
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At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.
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So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics
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The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...
A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.
The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...
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