TROPICAL GEOGRAPHY ›› 2017, Vol. 37 ›› Issue (3): 365-371.doi: 10.13284/j.cnki.rddl.002932

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Exploring Local Residents’ Perceptions and Adaptation Intention to Climate Change

WANG Wei-Ching1,LIN Chung-Hsien2   

  1. (1.School of Business,Nan-Fang college of Sun Yat-sen University,Guangzhou 510970,China; 2.Construction College,Feng-Chia University,Taichung 40724,Taiwan)
  • Online:2017-05-05 Published:2017-05-05


The various effects caused by climate change are the main focus of different fields of current scientific research. Recent developments in climate change research have found that the assessment of residents’ perceptions of climate change and their adaptation intention can help us understand how to convey appropriate information about climate change to them to prepare for their travel, work, or living. Several researchers have indicated the nature of perception of climate change, which depends on the specific groups or study context. The study on climate change in the context of tourism and travel is needed, especially the exploration on different geographic areas or regions. However, few researches attempt to explore residents’ perceptions and their adaptation intention to climate change. Furthermore, the explanations of the way in which residents’ climate change perceptions impact generating more adaptation intention are not provided. The purpose of this article is to detect the urban residents’ and coastal destination residents’ perceptions of climate change in Taiwan. In addition, the relationship between perceptions of climate change and adaptation intention for both urban residents and coastal destination residents are examined. Therefore, a better understanding of exploring local residents’ perceptions and adaptation intention to climate change would help management organizations plan the spaces and places for residents. The sample of this study consisted of Taichung (urban) residents and Kenting (costal destination) local residents, who were 18 years of age and older. Data were collected more than a 4-week timeframe at different periods of time, which were chosen randomly from July through September 2014. The experienced interviewers with a student ID marker used a convenient sampling method to select and intercept Taichung and Kenting residents to be involved in an on-site self-administrated survey. A total of 597 Taichung surveys and 675 Kenting surveys were usable. By conducting independent samples t-test, the results showed that there were statistically significant differences in many climate change perceptions between Taichung and Kenting residents. Namely, the Kenting residents’ perceptions of climate change about tourist attractions were higher than Taichung residents’ perceptions of climate change. In addition, the results, obtained by performing the logistic regression analysis of the impact of climate change perceptions on adaptation intention, indicated that the effect of climate change perception on adaptation intention for the costal destination residents was higher than that for urban residents. Namely, coastal destination residents were highly sensitive to climate changes, which even directly linked to their economics and household income. Thus, the more psychological attention of coastal destination residents is specific (i.e., lower psychological distance), the more the occurrence of an adaptive behavior will be possible. On the contrary, climate change is a part of life for urban residents, who may use a gear to adjust personal micro-climate. Thus, the psychological attention of urban residents is so abstract (i.e., higher psychological distance) that the occurrence of an adaptive behavior is less. The findings suggest that in addition to further strengthening the climate change perceptions of residents, the future efforts of management organizations to understand residents’ adaptation intention to climate change should consider the geographic areas of residents.

Key words: climate change perception, adaptation intention, city, coastal destination, Taiwan