Research Portal

July 1, 2022

Understanding Climate Change Risk Perception in the USA

Grover, Himanshu; Brody, Samuel D.; Vedlitz, Arnold. (2017). Understanding Climate Change Risk Perception in the USA. International Journal Of Global Warming, 13(2), 113 – 137.

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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.


United-states; Public Support; Experience; Adaptation; Beliefs; Gender; Impact; Policy; Representations; Communication; Climate Change; Risk Perception; Objective Risk; Individual Climate Stress; Individual Capacity; Data Processing; Perceptions; Geographic Information Systems; Mitigation; Interdisciplinary Research; Multivariate Analysis; Environmental Risk; Regression Analysis; Environmental Policy; Perception; Interdisciplinary Studies; Remote Sensing; Information Systems; Analytical Techniques; Surveying; Policies; Research; Capacity; Adaptations; Climatic Changes; Gis; Climatic Analysis; Climate Models; Research & Development--r&d; Climate Change Mitigation; United States--us