Between hype and decline: recent trends in public perception of climate change


Several surveys around the world claim that the issue of climate change is of declining interest among the population. Hamburg, regularly experiencing storm surges and suffered a major flood in 1962, shows evidence of this tendency in yearly surveys undertaken from 2008 to 2011. Comparing detected trends in public awareness of climate change around the western world, this paper concludes that there is a decline in public concern about climate change in the last few years. A few surveys in the US reaching back to the 1990s indicate that this decline may be intermittent; data suggest that the long-term increase in scientific confidence and in media coverage is not transferred in a parallel long-term increase in public concern about climate change.
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