In 2015 New Hampshire experienced its warmest December on record. The temperature exceeded twentieth century average temperatures by a wider margin than for any month in historical records dating back to 1895. In February 2016, as part of an ongoing study of environmental perceptions, the Granite State Poll asked state residents whether they thought the recent December had been generally colder, warmer, or about average for that month. Only 63 percent remembered it had been above average. The remainder of the winter set a new warmth record as well, so in April 2016 another Granite State Poll asked residents about the season as a whole. This time, 73 percent accurately recalled recent warmth. Political independents and Tea Party supporters, as well as people who do not believe that humans are changing the climate, were less likely to think temperatures had been warm. These results suggest that, even for such immediate phenomena as recent local weather, climate-change beliefs exert some influence on perceptions.
National Issue Brief No. 100
Durham, N.H. : Carsey School of Public Policy, University of New Hampshire
Hamilton, Lawrence C. and Lemcke-Stampone, Mary D., "Was December Warm? Family, Politics, and Recollections of Weather" (2016). The Carsey School of Public Policy at the Scholars' Repository. 276.
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