Extreme weather won’t sway climate skeptics

Experiencing extreme weather is not enough to convince climate change skeptics that humans are damaging the environment, according to a new study based on research at the Annenberg Public Policy Center (APPC). Political identity and exposure to partisan news influence whether people report experiencing certain extreme weather events, according to the research.

polar bear on a patch of ice floating in the ocean

The study, “Enduring Extremes? Polar Vortex, Drought, and Climate Change Beliefs,” was authored by former APPC postdoctoral fellows Benjamin A. Lyons and Ariel Hasell, and APPC distinguished research fellow Natalie Jomini Stroud of the University of Texas at Austin. It was published in the journal Environmental Communication.

The research, conducted at APPC, found that even Americans who lived in areas where a variety of extreme events were recorded—floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, and droughts—were ultimately no more likely to share the same beliefs about climate change as scientists.

Read more at Annenberg Public Policy Center.