Flooding, more than heat-related weather events, influence UK residents’ perception of the risks associated with climate change, a survey has shown.

Researchers found that British people perceived heatwaves had become less common in their lifetimes, while flooding had become more common.

They said the results suggested that warnings about future impacts may not be heeded if they only focused on heat.

The findings have been published in the journal Risk Analysis.

“The strength of the relationship between the perceived change in the frequency of flooding and heavy rainfall and concern about climate change was certainly the most striking finding of the study,” explained co-author Andrea Taylor.


An interesting result and we wonder what impact perceptions have in other areas. Housing is a good example. If people hear that the ‘waiting list’ [HCR], is 27,000 people do they assume that there are 27,000 people out there who are either homeless or living in someone elses front room? Possibly. Although this perception would be incorrect it may well colour what people think and feed back through surveys into ‘we need to build more houses.’

It just shows that what we believe is often influenced by incorrect information. The result is that the wrong policy options are pursued!


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