The public's attitude toward climate change is as variable as day-to-day weather patterns themselves, a new study shows.
A paper published in the aptly named Climatic Change
journal shows that according to twenty years of survey data, people are more likely to believe in climate change during especially cold or warm weather events, informs U.S. News & World Report
. And not surprisingly, when it comes to belief in global warming specifically, the public is more receptive of the idea when it's hot outside.
"What people are learning isn't going very deep," complains study author Simon Donner of the University of British Columbia. "If you had a fundamental feeling for the issue, your opinion wouldn't change with the weather."
Donner blames the press, in part, for preferring to publish stories about climate change during bouts of extreme weather. But the phenomenon isn't a "breaking story," he says, and shouldn't be treated as such:
"Scientists need to get used to being on offense more to make people realize this is an everyday issue - we can't get into the habit of only talking about it during the heat waves."
Via U.S. News & World Report