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  1. Abstract

    As climate change intensifies, global publics will experience more unusual weather and extreme weather events. How will individual experiences with these weather trends shape climate change beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors? In this article, we review 73 papers that have studied the relationship between climate change experiences and public opinion. Overall, we find mixed evidence that weather shapes climate opinions. Although there is some support for a weak effect of local temperature and extreme weather events on climate opinion, the heterogeneity of independent variables, dependent variables, study populations, and research designs complicate systematic comparison. To advance research on this critical topic, we suggest that future studies pay careful attention to differences between self-reported and objective weather data, causal identification, and the presence of spatial autocorrelation in weather and climate data. Refining research designs and methods in future studies will help us understand the discrepancies in results, and allow better detection of effects, which have important practical implications for climate communication. As the global population increasingly experiences weather conditions outside the range of historical experience, researchers, communicators, and policymakers need to understand how these experiences shape-and are shaped by-public opinions and behaviors.

  2. Forests account for 60% of lands in Taiwan. Climate change impacts forests in many aspects and is increasingly likely to undermine the ability of forests to provide basic ecosystem services. To help reduce the impact of climate change on Taiwan’s forests, people must be made aware of the relationship between climate change and forests. Based on questionnaires collected from 17 cities in Taiwan, this study applied spatial analysis to assess the respondents’ understanding of climate change and adaptation strategies for forest management. A total of 650 questionnaires were distributed and 488 valid ones were collected. The results show that (1) Most respondents believe that climate change is true and more than half of the respondents have experienced extreme weather events, especially extreme rainfall; (2) Most respondents believe that climate change will affect Taiwan’s forests with the majority recognizing the increasing impact of extreme events being the primary cause, followed by changes in the composition of tree species and the deterioration of forest adaptability due to climate change; (3) Most respondents expressed that forest management should be adjusted for climate change and called for measures being taken to establish mixed forests as well as monitoring forest damage; (4) In order tomore »address the difficulties faced by forest owners on the impact of climate change, the majority of respondents felt that the government should raise forest owners’ understanding on climate change and adaptation policies, while the subsidy incentives must also be adjusted. The results of this study show that the respondents do realize the importance of climate change and forest management so much so their awareness in this matter led to their support for forest adaptation measures and policies.« less
  3. Ponderosa pine forests in the southwestern United States of America are overly dense, increasing the risk of high-intensity stand-replacing wildfires that result in the loss of terrestrial carbon and release of carbon dioxide, contributing to global climate change. Restoration is needed to restore forest structure and function so that a more natural regime of higher frequency, lower intensity wildfires returns. However, restoration has been hampered by the significant cost of restoration and other institutional barriers. To create additional revenue streams to pay for restoration, the National Forest Foundation supported the development of a methodology for the estimation and verification of carbon offsets generated by the restoration of ponderosa pine forests in northern Arizona. The methodology was submitted to the American Carbon Registry, a prominent carbon registry, but it was ultimately rejected. This paper presents a post-mortem examination of that methodology and the reasons it was rejected in order to improve the development of similar methodologies in the future. Using a mixed-methods approach, this paper analyzes the potential atmospheric carbon benefits of the proposed carbon offset methodology and the public and peer-reviewed comments from the associated review of the methodology. Results suggest a misalignment between the priorities of carbon registries andmore »the context-specific ecosystem service benefits of this type of restoration; although findings confirm the potential for reductions in released carbon due to restoration, these results illuminate barriers that complicate registering these reductions as voluntary carbon offsets under current guidelines and best practices, especially on public land. These barriers include substantial uncertainty about the magnitude and timing of carbon benefits. Overcoming these barriers will require active reflexivity by the institutions that register voluntary carbon offsets and the institutions that manage public lands in the United States. Such reflexivity, or reconsideration of the concepts and purposes of carbon offsets and/or forest restoration, will allow future approaches to better align objectives for successfully registering restoration-based voluntary carbon offsets. Therefore, the results of this analysis can inform the development of future methodologies, policies, and projects with similar goals in the same or different landscapes.« less