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Major threats foreseen due to Europe's changing marine environments
Date:9/13/2011

lic Sept. 13 at www.clamer.eu,is the first of its kind to focus on public perceptions of climate change impacts at the coast or in the sea. The poll findings are further explained by in-depth research, carried out by UEA, that involved UK public participants in group discussions.

Highlights:

  • Asked to select from a list the single most serious problem facing the world, 18% of respondents chose climate change, the second highest choice. By comparison, poverty and lack of food and drinking water was chosen by 31%, international terrorism by 16%, and a global economic downturn by 12%.

  • Concern about climate change is undiminished since a Sept. 2009 "Euro-Barometer" survey conducted for the European Union, despite the cool winter of 2010 in Northern Europe and "climategate" attacks on the IPCC and climate scientists.

  • Some 86% of respondents said climate change is caused entirely, mainly or in part by human activities. Only 8% thought it was mainly or entirely caused by natural processes; in the United States, around 32-36% hold this view.

  • Asked to name in their own words "an important environmental issue of relevance to the coastline or sea," only 4% of respondents used the words "climate change," with most citing pollution or overfishing. However, several climate change-related impacts were frequently mentioned, notably coastal erosion, sea level rise, melting ice caps and flooding. Coastal erosion and/or sea level rise and/or climate change were cited by 24% and 27% of Irish and UK respondents respectively.

  • Asked to comment on a list of 15 environmental issues related to the coasts or seas, respondents from all 10 countries said they had the greatest confidence in their understanding of, and were most concerned about, coastal pollution, over-fishing and melting sea ice. In last place, only 14% said they were informed about acidification of the oceans. However, nearly 6
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Contact: Terry Collins
tc@tca.tc
416-538-8712
Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ)
Source:Eurekalert  

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