Cheval Sorin , Bulai Ana, Croitoru Adina-Eliza, Stefan Dorondel, Micu Dana, Mihăilă Dumitru, Sfica Lucian, Tiscovschi Adrian
Theoretical and Applied Climatology volume 149, pages 253–272 (2022)
In the last decades, anthropogenic drivers have significantly influenced the natural climate variability of Earth’s atmosphere. Climate change has become a subject of major interest for different levels of our society, such as national governments, businesses, local administration, or citizens. While national and local policies propose mitigation and adaptation strategies for different sectors, public perception is a key component of any implementation plan. This study investigates the CC perception in Romania, based on a national-scale online survey performed in the spring of 2020, aiming to outline the prominence of environmental and CC issues, level of information and interest, perceived causes, changes perceived in meteorological phenomena at the regional scale, perceived impacts, and the psychological representation of the CC. The study investigates single causal factors of perception. We found that particularly (i) the regional differences on climate change intensity strongly bias the perception of CC causes; (ii) age is very likely to influence the acceptance of CC, the importance of environmental issues, and the levels of information and interest; while (iii) age, gender, and place of residence (rural–urban) are very likely to control the changes perceived in the occurrence of various meteorological phenomena, and their impact. This research is the first statistically relevant analysis (± 4%, statistical significance) developed at national and regional scales and the only study of climate change perception performed during the COVID-19 pandemic in Romania. Its results may represent the baseline for more in-depth research.