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The impact of frames highlighting coastal flooding in the USA on climate change beliefs

Abstract

There is a pressing need to find ways to communicate information about climate change effectively and in terms that resonate with diverse audiences. We conducted a survey-experiment to evaluate how textual and visual frames that highlight coastal flooding in two major US cities as a result of future sea level rise shape individuals’ perceptions about the effects on coastal communities, concern for these places, and belief in climate change’s existence. We build on extant literature by focusing on the impact of an understudied frame using animated maps that illustrate future flooding that will occur as global temperatures rise. We find that exposure to such messages increases perceptions that sea level rise will have negative impacts on coastal communities, concern for these communities, and belief in climate change.

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Correspondence to Toby Bolsen.

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Bolsen, T., Kingsland, J. & Palm, R. The impact of frames highlighting coastal flooding in the USA on climate change beliefs. Climatic Change 147, 359–368 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-018-2143-0

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