Abnormal Daily Temperature and Concern about Climate Change Across the United States Academic Article uri icon


  • The relatively low level of concern about climate change among Americans has important implications for climate policy. While many studies have examined individual characteristics associated with climate change attitudes, fewer studies have considered the effects of environmental conditions on such attitudes. Here, we use two national samples of American adults to explore the impact of abnormal daily temperatures on levels of concern about climate change. We test the hypotheses that (1) abnormally warm temperatures, and (2) both abnormally warm and abnormally cool temperatures are associated with higher levels of concern. Using a generalized ordinal logit, we find that the quadratic form of deviation from mean temperature on the date of the survey is significantly associated with higher levels of concern, thus supporting the second hypothesis. We discuss several theoretical frameworks that may explain this result including availability bias, mental models, and implicit stimuli, and the implications for climate policy. © 2014 by The Policy Studies Organization.

altmetric score

  • 3.7

author list (cited authors)

  • Brooks, J., Oxley, D., Vedlitz, A., Zahran, S., & Lindsey, C.

citation count

  • 22

publication date

  • May 2014