609 Preparing to Adapt: Are People's Expectations in Line with Climate Projections?

Tuesday, 14 January 2020
Hall B (Boston Convention and Exhibition Center)
Carley M. Eschliman, Cornell Univ., Ithaca, NY; and E. Kuster, J. T. Ripberger, and A. M. Wootten

Handout (12.0 MB)

In order to prepare for a changing climate, we must first know what changes to expect. Extensive research has allowed climate scientists to grow more confident about the magnitude of climate changes. However, while climate scientists may know what the future could look like, what changes do the public expect? And, how do the public’s expectations compare with climate projections? Our work aims to answer these questions through an investigation of Oklahoman’s expectations of future temperature and precipitation. Drawing from downscaled climate model projections and a state-wide survey of Oklahomans in 2019, we assess the consistency between public expectations and projections. Along with identifying general trends, our work also examines how public expectations and their consistency with projections may relate to demographic and ideological factors, as well as past weather experience. Through our work, we aim to provide climate communicators and adaptation specialists with more quantitative information on public climate opinion, allowing them to better prepare the public for the realities of a changing climate.
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