Advertisement

Climatic Change

, Volume 135, Issue 3–4, pp 625–638 | Cite as

The effect of tropical cyclones on climate change engagement

  • Corey LangEmail author
  • John David Ryder
Article

Abstract

Personal experience can influence our attitudes and actions concerning climate change. This paper examines the experience-perception link in relation to tropical cyclones using a distinctly revealed preference approach, mitigating biases of prior research in this area. Specifically, we study how people alter their internet searches related to climate change in response to tropical cyclones. Using data for the United States 2006–2012, results suggest that searches related to climate change increase with a lag in the months following an event. This finding indicates that the people are connecting tropical cyclones to the broader narrative of climate change in the aftermath of an event and there may be a window of opportunity for building public support for policy action.

Keywords

Tropical Cyclone Tropical Storm Search Volume Attribute Substitution Wind Radius 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgements

Carrie Gill is thanked for excellent research assistance. Laura Bakkensen and three anonymous referees are thanked for useful comments. This paper is a contribution of the Rhode Island Agricultural Experiment Station (#5431).

Author contributions

Lang conceived of the research. Ryder performed analyses. Lang and Ryder co-wrote paper.

References

  1. Akerlof K, Maibach EW, Fitzgerald D, Cedeno AY, Neuman A (2013) Do people ‘personally experience’ global warming, and if so how, and does it matter? Global Environmental Change 23:81–91CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bakkensen LA, Mendelsohn R (2015) Risk and Adaptation: Evidence from Global Hurricane Damages and Fatalities. University of Arizona Working PaperGoogle Scholar
  3. Beatty TKM, Shimshack JP, Volpe RJ (2015) Disaster preparedness and disaster response: Evidence from bottled water sales before and after tropical cyclones. University of Virginia working paperGoogle Scholar
  4. Choi H, Varian H (2012) Predicting the Present with Google Trends. Economic Record 88:2–9CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. DellaVigna S, Kaplan E (2007) The Fox News Effect: Media Bias and Voting. The Quarterly Journal of Economics 122:1187–1234CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Druckman JN (2015) Eliminating the local warming effect. Nature Climate Change 5:176–177CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Egan PJ, Mullin M (2012) Turning Personal Experience into Political Attitudes: The Effect of Local Weather on Americans’ Perceptions about Global Warming. The Journal of Politics 74:796–809CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Ginsberg J, Mohebbi MH, Patel RS, Brammer L, Smolinski MS, Brilliant L (2009) Detecting influenza epidemics using search engine query data. Nature 457:1012–1014CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Hamilton LC, Stampone MD (2013) Blowin’ in the Wind: Short-Term Weather and Belief in Anthropogenic Climate Change. Weather, Climate, and Society 5:112–119CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Herrnstadt E, Muehlegger E (2014) Weather, salience of climate change and congressional voting. Journal of Environmental Economics and Management 68:435–448CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Howe PD, Boudet H, Leiserowitz A, Maibach EW (2014) Mapping the shadow of experience of extreme weather events. Climatic Change 127:381–389CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Hsiang SM, Narita D (2012) Adaptation to cyclone risk: Evidence from the global cross-section. Climate Change Economics 3(02):1–28CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Hsiang SM (2010) Temperatures and cyclones strongly associated with economic production in the Caribbean and Central America. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 107(35):15367–15372CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Jacobsen GD (2011) The Al Gore Effect: An Inconvenient Truth and Voluntary Carbon Offsets. Journal of Environmental Economics and Management 61:67–78CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Kahn ME, Kotchen MJ (2011) Business cycle effects on concern about climate change: The chilling effect of recession. Climate Change Economics 2:257–273CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Kirilenko AP, Molodtsova T, Stepchenkova SO (2015) People as sensors: Mass media and local temperature influence climate change discussion on Twitter. Global Environmental Change 30:92–100. doi: 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2014.11.003 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Knutson TR et al. (2010) Tropical cyclones and climate change. Nature Geoscience 3:157–163CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Lang C (2014) Do Weather Fluctuations Cause People to Seek Information about Climate Change? Climatic Change 125:291–303CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Li Y, Johnson EJ, Zaval L (2011) Local Warming: Daily Temperature Change Influences Belief in Global Warming. Psychological Science 22:454–459CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Mendelsohn R, Emanuel K, Chonabayashi S, Bakkensen L (2012) The impact of climate change on global tropical cyclone damage. Nature Climate Change 2:205–209CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Peduzzi P et al. (2012) Global trends in tropical cyclone risk. Nature Climate Change 2:289–294CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Podsakoff PM, MacKenzie SB, Lee JY, Podsakoff NP (2003) Common method biases in behavioral research: A critical review of the literature and recommended remedies. Journal of Applied Psychology 88:879–903CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Rappaport EN (2014) Fatalities in the United States from Atlantic Tropical Cyclones: New Data and Interpretation. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 95:341–346CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Sherman-Morris K, Senkbeil J, Carver R (2011) Who’s Googling What? What Internet Searches Reveal about Hurricane Information Seeking. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 92:975–985CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Spence A, Poortinga W, Butler C, Pidgeon NF (2011) Perceptions of climate change and willingness to save energy related to flood experience. Nature Climate Change 1:46–49CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Stephens-Davidowitz S (2013) The effects of racial animus on a black presidential candidate: using Google search data to find what surveys miss. Harvard University Working PaperGoogle Scholar
  27. Stocker TF et al (2013) Climate change 2013: The physical science basis. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Working Group I Contribution to the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) (Cambridge Univ Press, New York). at <http://www.climatechange2013.org/images/report/WG1AR5_Frontmatter_FINAL.pdf>
  28. Strobl E (2011) The economic growth impact of hurricanes: evidence from US coastal counties. Review of Economics and Statistics 93:575–589CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Villarini G, Vecchi GA (2012) Twenty-first-century projections of north Atlantic tropical storms from CMIP5 models. Nat Clim Chang 2:604–607CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Weber EU (2006) Experience-based and description-based perceptions of long-term risk: why global warming does not scare us (yet). Clim Chang 77:103–120CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Zaval L, Keenan EA, Johnson EJ, Weber EU (2014) How warm days increase belief in global warming. Nat Clim Chang 4:143–147CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Environmental and Natural Resource EconomicsUniversity of Rhode IslandKingstonUSA

Personalised recommendations