CR 63:191-201 (2015)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/cr01295

Farmers’ perceptions of climate change in China: the influence of social networks and farm assets

Lingling Hou, Jikun Huang*, Jinxia Wang

Center for Chinese Agricultural Policy, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Jia 11 Datun Road, Anwai, Beijing 100101, China
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Farmers’ perceptions of the local climate reflect their awareness of climate change and may affect their adaptation behaviors. However, current literature suffers a knowledge gap on farmers’ perceptions of climate change. This study examines farmers’ perceptions of annual mean temperature, the consistency of these perceptions with meteorological record data, and what influences this relationship. The study found that >70% of farmers in China perceived an increasing trend of annual mean temperature over the past 10 yr, while only 8% of farmers perceived a decreasing trend. Moreover, only 18% of farmers perceived a temperature change that was consistent with the meteorological record data. Econometric analysis shows that social networks can improve a farmer’s ability to correctly perceive temperature changes. Additionally, those with a larger farm size are more likely to be able to consistently perceive temperature. This study concludes with several policy and research implications.


KEY WORDS: Social networks · Farm assets · Perception · Consistency · Climate change · China


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Cite this article as: Hou L, Huang J, Wang J (2015) Farmers’ perceptions of climate change in China: the influence of social networks and farm assets. Clim Res 63:191-201. https://doi.org/10.3354/cr01295

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