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Members of C3W’s affiliated Schools of Psychology and the Welsh School of Architecture in Cardiff have published the first evidence of a link between local climate related impacts and public beliefs about climate change in the very first issue of the new journal Nature Climate Change published online on 20th March 2011. Using data from a survey of 1,822 individuals across the U.K. the researchers’ paper: Spence A., Poortinga, W., Butler, C., and Pidgeon, N.F. ‘Perceptions of climate change and willingness to act sustainably influenced by flood experiences’. Nature Climate Change, 2011; demonstrates that people who reported flooding experiences were more likely to be concerned about climate change, to perceive a greater local vulnerability to its impacts, and also felt more able to have an influence over the issue in the future.

Research team leader, Professor Nick Pidgeon of the School of Psychology in Cardiff University and head of C3W’s Human Dimensions thematic cluster, said,

“This important study provides the first solid evidence for something which has been suspected for some time – that people’s local experience of climate-related events such as flooding will promote higher awareness of the issue. As a result it suggests new ways for engaging people with this most important and pressing of environmental issues.”