Men more likely than women to be sceptical about climate change, study finds

Thousands of schoolchildren recently protested against the lack of action being taken to tackle climate change

Sabrina Barr
Wednesday 20 February 2019 16:27 GMT
Teenage activist inspires school strikes to protest climate change

Men are less likely than women to believe weather has changed as a result of climate change, a study has found.

According to a study conducted by YouGov, 75 per cent of women are likely to believe that the climate has changed since they were younger, in comparison to 64 per cent of men.

Despite the increase of research into climate change in recent years, the belief that the weather has been affected by changes in global or regional climate patterns isn’t universal.

The lesser number of men who believe the weather has altered since their youth could be down to "climate change scepticism", explains YouGov lead data journalist Matthew Smith.

"Previous research has shown that men tend to be more sceptical about the existence of man-made climate change than women," he writes.

In 2011, a study conducted by Cardiff University found that sceptism with regards to climate change is "strongly determined" by several factors, including gender.

"The tendency for men to be risk-sceptical appears to be linked to their higher propensity to hold anti-egalitarian and individualistic worldviews," the study stated.

The YouGov study also discovered that 70 per cent of Brits are of the opinion that British weather has changed since their youth.

This percentage is consistent across all age groups, except among 18 to 24-year-olds, with only 54 per cent of them sharing the same sentiment.

Smith explains that this statistic shouldn't be surprising, considering their shorter lifespan to date.

On Friday 15 February, thousands of schoolchildren across the UK took part in a coordinated school strike to protest the lack of action being taken to combat climate change.

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In December 2018, the Met Office stated that climate change made 2018's summer heatwave 30 times more likely than it would have been under natural conditions.

Temperatures peaked at 35.6C on 27 July in Felsham, Suffolk.

In October 2018, the UN published a report stating that the world has just 12 years left to avoid the worst possible effects of global warming, which could include record-breaking droughts and rising sea levels.

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