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New Study: People Distressed, Anxious About Climate Have Less ‘Climate-Specific Knowledge’


“The degree of one’s emotions varies inversely with one’s knowledge of the facts, the less you know the hotter you get.” – Bertrand Russell

Per a new study, people who are less knowledgeable about the climate and environment are more likely to experience climate change anxiety (e.g., “I find myself crying because of climate change”) and distress compared to those more climatically, environmentally knowledgeable.

Conversely, people who are more knowledgeable about the climate and environment experience less anxiety and distress about climate change.

Image Source: Zacher and Rudolph, 2023

For example, when climate-knowledgeable people realize that CO2 can only radiatively affect the top 0.01 mm of the 4,000,000 mm deep ocean by 0.5 W/m² (500 mW/m²) when tripled to 1,071 ppm, they understand that CO2 cannot be a driver – let alone a measurable contributor – to ocean warming.

Image Source: Wong and Minnett, 2018

And since the ocean warming is 93% of what constitutes global “warming of the Earth system,” and global warming has thus only amounted to 0.1°C in the last 50 years, climate-knowledgeable people can be confident that what is occurring today with regard to “global warming” is nothing more or less than unremarkable.

Image Source: Levitus et al., 2012 and ScienceDaily

Especially since the ocean heat content changes since 1750 only bring us 1/3rd of the way back to the global ocean heat levels achieved during the Medieval Warm Period.

Image Source: Gebbie and Huybers, 2019 and Gebbie, 2021



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