Wanyun Shao  A. F. McCarthy




Shao, W. & A. F. McCarthy. 2020. Understanding Evangelical Protestant Identity, Religiosity, Extreme Weather, and American Public Perceptions of Global Warming, 2006-2016. Geograpical Review:

Publication URL



This paper presents a comprehensive effort to analyze the relationship between Evangelical Protestant identity and religiosity along with socioeconomic characteristics, political predisposition, and extreme weather events on the one hand, and opinions toward global warming on the other. Using survey data from the Pew Research Center from 2006–2013 and the 2016 American National Election Study merged with extreme weather data from the Center for Disease and Control from 2005–2016, several major findings stand out. First, Evangelical Protestants are less likely to believe in the existence and seriousness of global warming than others. Second, those who are more religious are less likely to view global warming as human caused and a serious problem than their less-religious counterparts. Lastly, the effects of extreme weather represented by heavy precipitation and extreme heat on one’s perceptions of global warming’s existence, cause, and seriousness are largely absent. We suspect that the public awareness of extreme weather events being linked with climate change has been heightened in recent years. More studies using data after 2016 are warranted to examine how extreme weather determines public perceptions of global warming.