Experience exceeds awareness of anthropogenic climate change in Greenland

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Although Greenland is a hub for climate science, the climate perceptions of Greenland’s predominantly Indigenous population have remained largely unstudied. Here we present two nationally representative surveys and show that Greenlanders are more likely than residents of top oil-producing Arctic countries to perceive that climate change is happening and about twice as likely to have personally experienced its effects. However, half are unaware that climate change is human-caused and those who are most affected appear to be least aware. Personal experience and awareness of human-induced climate change diverge along an Inuit cultural dimension. Indigenous identity positively predicts climate change experience, whereas subsistence occupation and no post-primary education negatively predict attribution beliefs. Despite Greenland’s centrality to climate research, we uncover a gap between the scientific consensus and Kalaallit views of climate change, particularly among youth. This science–society gulf has implications for local climate adaptation, science communication and knowledge exchange between generations, institutions and communities.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNature Climate Change
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)661-670
Publication statusPublished - 2023

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