Hot Dry Days Increase Perceived Experience With Global Warming

36 Pages Posted: 23 Sep 2019

See all articles by Jennifer Marlon

Jennifer Marlon

Yale University - School of Forestry and Environmental Studies

Xinran Wang

Yale University

Matto Mildenberger

University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) - Department of Political Science

Parrish Bergquist

Georgetown University - McCourt School of Public Policy; Yale University

Sharmistha Swain

Texas Tech University

Katharine Hayhoe

Texas Tech University

Peter Howe

Utah State University - Department of Environment and Society

Edward W. Maibach

George Mason University - Center for Climate Change Communication

Anthony Leiserowitz

Yale University

Date Written: August 7, 2019

Abstract

Public perceptions of climate change in the United States are deeply rooted in cultural values and political identities. Yet, as the public experiences extreme weather and other climate change-related impacts, their perceptions of the issue may shift. Here, we explore whether, when, and where local climate trends have already influenced opinions about global warming in the United States. Using a large national survey dataset (n=13,607), we compare Americans' climate views with corresponding trends in seven different high-resolution climate indicators for the period 2008 to 2015. We find that increases in hot dry day exposure significantly increases individuals' perceptions that they have personally experienced global warming. We do not find robust evidence that other precipitation and temperature anomalies have had a similar effect. We also use multilevel modeling to explore county-level patterns of perceived experiences with climate change. Whereas the individual-level analysis describes the causal relationship between a changing climate and individuals' perceived experience, the multilevel model depicts county-level changes in perceived experience resulting from particular climate trends. Overall, we find that exposure to extreme weather, specifically hot dry days, has a modest influence on perceived experience, independent of the political and socio-demographic factors that dominate U.S. climate opinions today.

Suggested Citation

Marlon, Jennifer and Wang, Xinran and Mildenberger, Matto and Bergquist, Parrish and Swain, Sharmistha and Hayhoe, Katharine and Howe, Peter and Maibach, Edward W. and Leiserowitz, Anthony, Hot Dry Days Increase Perceived Experience With Global Warming (August 7, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3453287 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3453287

Jennifer Marlon (Contact Author)

Yale University - School of Forestry and Environmental Studies ( email )

New Haven, CT 06511
United States

Xinran Wang

Yale University ( email )

New Haven, CT 06520
United States

Matto Mildenberger

University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) - Department of Political Science ( email )

Dept. of Political Science
University of California
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-9420
United States

Parrish Bergquist

Georgetown University - McCourt School of Public Policy ( email )

Old North, Suite 100
37th & O Streets NW
Washington, DC 20057
United States

Yale University ( email )

New Haven, CT 06520
United States

Sharmistha Swain

Texas Tech University ( email )

2500 Broadway
Lubbock, TX 79409
United States

Katharine Hayhoe

Texas Tech University ( email )

2500 Broadway
Lubbock, TX 79409
United States

Peter Howe

Utah State University - Department of Environment and Society ( email )

Logan, UT 84322
United States

Edward W. Maibach

George Mason University - Center for Climate Change Communication ( email )

4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States

Anthony Leiserowitz

Yale University ( email )

New Haven, CT 06520
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
83
Abstract Views
585
rank
423,811
PlumX Metrics