Survey Says: Alaskans are Not Happy about Global Warming

A vast majority of Alaskans (81 percent) believes that global warming is happening, and of that group, an even vaster majority (93 percent) believes that it’s a problem, according to a new study funded by the National Science Foundation and Columbia University’s Center for Research on Environmental Decisions. In May and June this year, researchers surveyed 1,016 Alaskan adults about their opinions and beliefs about global warming.

Since climate change has already begun to cause big changes in the Last Frontier state, it’s not surprising that most of the state’s residents are worried about it. But some of the study’s findings weren’t so obvious. For instance, researchers found that “more Semi-Urban and Rural Alaskans believe that global warming is currently dangerous and a serious threat to themselves, their families, and their local communities than do Urban and Northern Urban Alaskans.” They also found that a majority of Alaskans believe that climate change is likely to result in more tourism in Alaska.

It’s interesting to note that those same rural Alaskans who are more worried about global warming than their urban counterparts are also less likely to reap the benefits of increased tourism. We don’t know whether there’s an actual correlation or not, but we’d be curious to find out.