Climatic Change

, Volume 150, Issue 3–4, pp 417–431 | Cite as

Drivers of response to extreme weather warnings among marine fishermen

  • Krishna MalakarEmail author
  • Trupti Mishra
  • Anand Patwardhan


Extreme weather events, such as storms and cyclones, pose dire occupational hazards in marine fishing. Thus, warnings against such events can reduce risks to the life and property of fishing communities. This study is an attempt to assess the factors driving fishermen’s decision to respond to weather warnings. Mixed methods, such as exploratory fieldwork, literature review, and focus group discussions, helped in identifying the available weather warnings and hypothesizing the probable factors influencing response to the warnings in the marine fishing community in Maharashtra, India. The plausible drivers of response include perceived potential risk, credibility of the warning and its disseminators, community social capital, and other demographic characteristics. Data from a household survey, comprising 601 fishermen, is used to empirically test the hypotheses. The results suggest that trust in the source and disseminator of the warning is related to higher response rates. There is heterogeneity in the role of community social capital as a motivator to respond. Further, fishermen perceiving traditional information to be more reliable are less likely to respond frequently to the warnings. The findings of the study are relevant for designing interventions which can prompt high response rates to weather warnings from fishermen.



We are thankful to the participants of the group discussions and survey for their time and enthusiasm. We would also like to thank Mr. Dineshkumar Singh (Tata Consultancy Services - Innovation Lab Mumbai) for his help in identifying the weather warnings available to the community.


This work is supported by the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India [11DST078].

Supplementary material

10584_2018_2284_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (520 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 520 kb)


  1. Agrawal A (1995) Dismantling the divide between indigenous and scientific knowledge. Dev Chang 26:413–439. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ahsan MN, Takeuchi K, Vink K, Warner J (2016) Factors affecting the evacuation decisions of coastal households during Cyclone Aila in Bangladesh. Environ Hazards 15:16–42. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Alam E, Collins AE (2010) Cyclone disaster vulnerability and response experiences in coastal Bangladesh. Disasters 34:931–954. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Anderson DM, Overpeck JT, Gupta AK (2002) Increase in the Asian southwest monsoon during the past four centuries. Science (80-) 297:596–599. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Anderson-Berry L, Achilles T, Panchuk S et al (2018) Sending a message: how significant events have influenced the warnings landscape in Australia. Int J Disaster Risk Reduct. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Below TB, Mutabazi KD, Kirschke D et al (2012) Can farmers’ adaptation to climate change be explained by socio-economic household-level variables? Glob Environ Chang 22:223–235. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bradford RA, O’Sullivan JJ, Van Der Craats IM et al (2012) Risk perception - issues for flood management in Europe. Nat Hazards Earth Syst Sci 12:2299–2309. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Christian MS, Bradley JC, Wallace JC, Burke MJ (2009) Workplace safety: a meta-analysis of the roles of person and situation factors. J Appl Psychol 94:1103–1127. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. CMFRI (2010) India marine fisheries census 2010. CMFRI, KochiGoogle Scholar
  10. Cook AJ, Kerr GN, Moore K (2002) Attitudes and intentions towards purchasing GM food. J Econ Psychol 23:557–572. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Cutter SL, Boruff BJ, Shirley WL (2003) Social vulnerability to environmental hazards. Soc Sci Q 84:242–261. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Demski C, Capstick S, Pidgeon N et al (2017) Experience of extreme weather affects climate change mitigation and adaptation responses. Clim Chang 140:149–164. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Deressa TT, Hassan RM, Ringler C et al (2009) Determinants of farmers’ choice of adaptation methods to climate change in the Nile Basin of Ethiopia. Glob Environ Chang 19:248–255. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Dow K, Cutter SL (1998) Crying wolf: repeat responses to hurricane evacuation orders. Coast Manag 26:237–252. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Eggert H, Lokina RB (2007) Small-scale fishermen and risk preferences. Mar Resour Econ 22:49–67. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Fan S, Chen-Kang C, Mukherjee A (2005) Rural and urban dynamics and poverty: evidence from China and India. FCND discussion papers 196, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Washington DCGoogle Scholar
  17. Golden JH, Adams CR (2000) The tornado problem: forecast, warning, and response. Nat Hazards Rev 1:107–118CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Griffin MA, Neal A (2000) Perceptions of safety at work: a framework for linking safety climate to safety performance, knowledge, and motivation. J Occup Health Psychol 5:347–358. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Grothmann T, Patt A (2005) Adaptive capacity and human cognition: the process of individual adaptation to climate change. Glob Environ Chang 15:199–213. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. H. John Heinz Center for Science Economics and the Environment (2000) The hidden costs of coastal hazards: implications for risk assessment and mitigation. Island Press, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  21. Haque U, Hashizume M, Kolivras KN et al (2012) Reduced death rates from cyclones in Bangladesh: what more needs to be done? Bull World Health Organ 90:150–156. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Hoffmann R, Muttarak R (2017) Learn from the past, prepare for the future: impacts of education and experience on disaster preparedness in the Philippines and Thailand. World Dev 96:32–51. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Horowitz JK, Lichtenberg E (1993) Insurance, moral hazard, and chemical use in agriculture. Am J Agric Econ 75:926–935. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. IPCC (2012) Managing the risks of extreme events and disasters to advance climate change adaptation. A Special Report of Working Groups I and II of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  25. Kim S (2017) Public service motivation, organizational social capital, and knowledge sharing in the Korean public sector. Public Perform Manag Rev 41:1–22. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Le Dang H, Li E, Bruwer J, Nuberg I (2014) Farmers’ perceptions of climate variability and barriers to adaptation: lessons learned from an exploratory study in Vietnam. Mitig Adapt Strateg Glob Chang 19:531–548. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Malakar K, Mishra T, Patwardhan A (2018) A framework to investigate drivers of adaptation decisions in marine fishing: evidence from urban, semi-urban and rural communities. Sci Total Environ 637–638:758–770. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Mase AS, Gramig BM, Prokopy LS (2017) Climate change beliefs, risk perceptions, and adaptation behavior among Midwestern U.S. crop farmers. Clim Risk Manag 15:8–17. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. McDonald RI, Chai HY, Newell BR (2015) Personal experience and the “psychological distance” of climate change: an integrative review. J Environ Psychol 44:109–118. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. McEwen L, Hall T, Hunt J et al (2002) Flood warning, warning response and planning control issues associated with caravan parks: the April 1998 floods on the lower Avon floodplain, Midlands region, UK. Appl Geogr 22:271–305. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Menard SW (2002) Applied logistic regression analysis. Sage Publications, SageCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Mendelsohn R, Emanuel K, Chonabayashi S, Bakkensen L (2012) The impact of climate change on global tropical cyclone damage. Nat Clim Chang 2:205–209. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Mileti D (1995) Factors related to flood warning response. US-Italy Research Workshop on the Hydrometeorology, Impacts, and Management of Extreme Floods, Perugia, pp 1–17Google Scholar
  34. Morss RE, Hayden MH (2010) Storm surge and “certain death”: interviews with Texas coastal residents following hurricane Ike. Weather Clim Soc 2:174–189. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Nirmale V (2001) Indigenous knowledge in management of marine fisheries in Maharashtra. Dissertation, Central Institute of Fisheries EducationGoogle Scholar
  36. Nyong A, Adesina F, Osman Elasha B (2007) The value of indigenous knowledge in climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies in the African Sahel. Mitig Adapt Strateg Glob Chang 12:787–797. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Orlove B, Roncoli C, Kabugo M, Majugu A (2010) Indigenous climate knowledge in southern Uganda: the multiple components of a dynamic regional system. Clim Chang 100:243–265. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Parker DJ, Priest SJ, Tapsell SM (2009) Understanding and enhancing the public’s behavioural response to flood warning information. Meteorol Appl 114:103–114. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Patt AG, Schröter D (2008) Perceptions of climate risk in Mozambique: implications for the success of adaptation strategies. Glob Environ Chang 18:458–467. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Paul SK (2011) Determinants of evacuation response to cyclone warning in coastal areas of Bangladesh: a comparative study. Orient Geogr 55:57–83Google Scholar
  41. Paul SK, Routray JK (2013) An analysis of the causes of non-responses to cyclone warnings and the use of indigenous knowledge for cyclone forecasting in Bangladesh. In: Filho WL (ed) Climate change and disaster risk management, climate change management. Springer, Berlin, pp 15–39Google Scholar
  42. Pelling M, High C (2005) Understanding adaptation: what can social capital offer assessments of adaptive capacity? Glob Environ Chang 15:308–319. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Pfeiffer L, Gratz T (2016) The effect of rights-based fisheries management on risk taking and fishing safety. Proc Natl Acad Sci 113:2615–2620. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Phillips BD, Morrow BH (2007) Social science research needs: focus on vulnerable populations, forecasting, and warnings. Nat Hazards Rev 8:61–68CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Powell SW, O’Hair HD (2008) Communicating weather information to the public: people’s reactions and understandings of weather information and terminology. In: Preprints, 3rd Symposium on Policy and Socioeconomic Impacts. American Meteorological Society, New Orleans, LouisianaGoogle Scholar
  46. Sarkar S, Mehta BS (2010) Income inequality in India: pre- and post-reform periods. Econ Polit Wkly 45:45–55Google Scholar
  47. Sharma U, Patt A (2012) Disaster warning response: the effects of different types of personal experience. Nat Hazards 60:409–423. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Sharma U, Patwardhan A, Parthasarathy D (2009) Assessing adaptive capacity to tropical cyclones in the east coast of India: a pilot study of public response to cyclone warning information. Clim Chang 94:189–209. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Sharma U, Patwardhan A, Patt AG (2013) Education as a determinant of response to cyclone warnings: evidence from coastal zones in India. Ecol Soc 18.
  50. Sherman-Morris K (2005) Tornadoes, television and trust—a closer look at the influence of the local weathercaster during severe weather. Environ Hazards 6:201–210. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Siegrist M, Gutscher H, Earle TC (2005) Perception of risk: the influence of general trust, and general confidence. J Risk Res 8:145–156. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Sinn H-W (1996) Social insurance, incentives and risk taking. Int Tax Public Financ 3:259–280. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Smith VH, Goodwin BK (1996) Crop insurance, moral hazard, and agricultural chemical use. Am J Agric Econ 78:428. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Smith MD, Wilen JE (2005) Heterogeneous and correlated risk preferences in commercial fishermen: the perfect storm dilemma. J Risk Uncertain 31:53–71. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Spence A, Poortinga W, Butler C, Pidgeon NF (2011) Perceptions of climate change and willingness to save energy related to flood experience. Nat Clim Chang 1:46–49. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Thomas DSG, Twyman C, Osbahr H, Hewitson B (2007) Adaptation to climate change and variability: farmer responses to intra-seasonal precipitation trends in South Africa. Clim Chang 83:301–322. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Tucker CM, Eakin H, Castellanos EJ (2010) Perceptions of risk and adaptation: coffee producers, market shocks, and extreme weather in Central America and Mexico. Glob Environ Chang 20:23–32. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Widén-Wulff G, Ginman M (2004) Explaining knowledge sharing in organizations through the dimensions of social capital. J Inf Sci 30:448–458. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Wolf J, Adger WN, Lorenzoni I et al (2010) Social capital, individual responses to heat waves and climate change adaptation: an empirical study of two UK cities. Glob Environ Chang 20:44–52. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Yohe G, Tol RSJ (2002) Indicators for social and economic coping capacity- moving toward a working definition of adaptive capacity. Glob Environ Chang 12:25–40CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Young IR, Zieger S, Babanin AV (2011) Global trends in wind speed and wave height. Science (80-) 332:451–455. CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Krishna Malakar
    • 1
    Email author
  • Trupti Mishra
    • 1
    • 2
  • Anand Patwardhan
    • 3
  1. 1.Interdisciplinary Program (IDP) in Climate StudiesIndian Institute of Technology BombayMumbaiIndia
  2. 2.Shailesh J. Mehta School of ManagementIndian Institute of Technology BombayMumbaiIndia
  3. 3.School of Public PolicyUniversity of MarylandCollege ParkUSA

Personalised recommendations