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22-09-2016 | Original Article | Issue 6/2016

Environmental Management 6/2016

Climate Change Perceptions of NY State Farmers: The Role of Risk Perceptions and Adaptive Capacity

Journal:
Environmental Management > Issue 6/2016
Authors:
Bruno Takahashi, Morey Burnham, Carol Terracina-Hartman, Amanda R Sopchak, Theresa Selfa

Abstract

Climate change is expected to severely impact agricultural practices in many important food-producing regions, including the Northeast United States. Changing climate conditions, such as increases in the amount of rainfall, will require farmers to adapt. Yet, little is known with regard to farmers’ perceptions and understandings about climate change, especially in the industrialized country context. This paper aims at overcoming this research limitation, as well as determining the existing contextual, cognitive, and psychological barriers that can prevent adoption of sustainable practices of farmers in New York State. The study is framed within the adaptive capacity and risk perception literature, and is based on a qualitative analysis of in-depth interviews with farmers in 21 farms in two counties in Central New York. The results reveal diverging views about the long-term consequences of climate change. Results also reveal that past experience remains as the most important source of information that influences beliefs and perceptions about climate change, confirming previous research.

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