Received August 16, 1993; revised February 7, I994 A set of exploratory studies and mental model interviews was conducted in order to characterize public understanding of climate change. In general, respondents regarded global warming as both bad and highly likely. Many believed that warming has already occurred. They tended to confuse stratospheric omne depletion with the greenhouse effect and weather with climate. Automobile use, heat and emissions from industrial processes, aerosol spray cans, and pollution in general were frequently perceived as primary causes of global warming. Additionally, the âgreenhouse effectâ was often interpreted literally as the cause of a hot and steamy climate. The effects attributed to climate change often included increased skin cancer and changed agricultural yields. The mitigation and control strategies proposed by interviewees typically focused on general pollution control, with few specific links to carbon dioxide and energy use. Respondents appeared to be relatively unfamiliar with such regulatory developments as the ban on CFCS for nonessential uses. These beliefs must be considered by those designing risk communications or presenting climaterelated policies to the public. KEY WORDS Climate change; global warming; mental model; risk communication; decision making. 1 INTRODUCTION . The last decade has been marked
Risk Analysis – Wiley
Published: Dec 1, 1994
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