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The Relationships among Actual Weather Events, Perceived Unusual Weather, Media Use, and Global Warming Belief Certainty in China

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  • 1 School of Communication, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, New York
  • | 2 Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center, University of Maryland, College Park, College Park, Maryland
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Abstract

Previous research revealed that if individuals personally experience an unusual weather event as a result of global warming (vs no personal experience), they may hold higher belief certainty that global warming is happening and hence develop more favorable attitudes toward mitigation actions. However, much of the previous research focused on self-reported personal experience and global warming beliefs using cross-sectional surveys; reverse causality is thus possible. Based on weather records and survey data, the present research examined whether actual weather events can influence one’s perceptions of unusual weather and belief certainty. Severe Typhoon Fitow 2013, but not hot summer temperatures, directly predicted the Chinese perceived experience of unusual weather and indirectly predicted their belief certainty and attitudes toward mitigation behavior. However, the effects were relatively small. Possible explanations and implications for environmental education are discussed.

© 2018 American Meteorological Society. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding author: Xiao Wang, hsiaowang@gmail.com

Abstract

Previous research revealed that if individuals personally experience an unusual weather event as a result of global warming (vs no personal experience), they may hold higher belief certainty that global warming is happening and hence develop more favorable attitudes toward mitigation actions. However, much of the previous research focused on self-reported personal experience and global warming beliefs using cross-sectional surveys; reverse causality is thus possible. Based on weather records and survey data, the present research examined whether actual weather events can influence one’s perceptions of unusual weather and belief certainty. Severe Typhoon Fitow 2013, but not hot summer temperatures, directly predicted the Chinese perceived experience of unusual weather and indirectly predicted their belief certainty and attitudes toward mitigation behavior. However, the effects were relatively small. Possible explanations and implications for environmental education are discussed.

© 2018 American Meteorological Society. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding author: Xiao Wang, hsiaowang@gmail.com
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