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

0% expressed concern about that issue.

  • Italian respondents claimed the greatest concern about issues on the list; those from Norway, the Netherlands and Estonia, the least.

  • Not surprisingly, respondents living near the sea claimed more understanding and concern about all 15 issues than those further inland. But in an apparent paradox, Italy, the most southerly of the 10 countries, expressed the most concern about melting Arctic sea ice while Norway, the most northerly, voiced the least concern.

  • Surprisingly, citizens of the low-lying Netherlands worry less about inundation than the 10-nation average (61% of Dutch survey participants cited sea level rise and coastal flooding as concerns compared with 70% across all 10 countries). Meanwhile, Dutch participants trusted their government to deal with climate change adaptation issues more than citizens of the other countries studied. And, compared with all other countries, a lower proportion of Dutch respondents foresaw "major economic impacts from coastal flooding" within the next 20 years.

  • The in-depth research complimenting the survey explains that public concern and awareness depends on the extent to which issues are visible, subject to personal experience, or pose a direct threat to human populations. More remote and distant impacts are shown to be of little relevance to people's lives (such as ocean acidification). Even where there are already tangible and fairly immediate local implications, people still find it hard to make a personal connection with many marine climate change impacts. For instance, even people living in high risk areas seldom see themselves as personally at risk from sea level rise and associated coastal flooding.

  • Asked when they thought particular climate change impacts would become apparent, over half of respondents in all 10 countries said 'changes in the frequency of extreme weather events (e.g. storms),' are already being felt.


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  • Contact: Terry Collins
    tc@tca.tc
    416-538-8712
    Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ)
    Source:Eurekalert  

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