20 Oct

Geographical Review Preview: Relating Weather Trends and Residence Length To Local Climate Change Concerns in Knoxville Tennessee

Climate change beliefs and concerns are closely tied to socio-demographic traits and personal experience with extreme weather events. Here, we compare survey participants’ perceptions of extreme weather trends in Knoxville, Tennessee, with observed trends in extreme weather during their residency. We also assess the relationship between climate change concerns and weather perceptions. We find that perceived weather trends, including hot summer days and cold/snowy winters, matched observed trends for some—but not all—residents, depending in part on the length of their residency. Perceived weather trends were also related to level of climate change concerns, belief in its anthropogenic nature, and some socio-demographic characteristics, including income. Our results suggest that as cities in the Southeast continue to grow in population and residents experience the effects of Earth’s changing climate, these factors will play an important role in extreme weather perceptions and attribution to climate change.

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