Abstract: Heat waves are a public health concern in Australia and unprecedented heat waves have been recorded in Adelaide over recent years. The aim of this study was to examine the perception and attitudes towards heat waves in the context of climate change among a group of residents in Adelaide, an Australian city with a temperate climate. A cross-sectional study was conducted in the summer of 2012 among a sample of 267 residents. The results of the survey found that television (89.9%), radio (71.2%), newspapers (45.3%) were the main sources from which respondents received information about heat waves. The majority of the respondents (73.0%) followed news about heat waves very or somewhat closely. About 26.6% of the respondents were extremely or very concerned about the effects of heat waves on them personally. The main issues that were of personal concern for respondents during a heat wave were their personal comfort (60.7%), their garden (48.7%), and sleeping well (47.6%). Overall, respondents were more concerned about the impacts of heat waves to the society than on themselves. There was a significant association between gender (χ² = 21.2, df = 3, p = 0.000), gross annual household income (p = 0.03) and concern for the societal effects of heat waves. Less than half (43.2%) of the respondents believed that heat waves will extremely or very likely increase in Adelaide according to climate projections. Nearly half (49.3%) believed that the effects of heat waves were already being felt in Adelaide. These findings may inform the reframing and communication strategies for heat waves in Adelaide in the context of climate change.
Keywords: climate change; heat waves; human health; attitudes; survey; Australia
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Akompab, D.A.; Bi, P.; Williams, S.; Grant, J.; Walker, I.A.; Augoustinos, M. Awareness of and Attitudes towards Heat Waves within the Context of Climate Change among a Cohort of Residents in Adelaide, Australia. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10, 1-17.
Akompab DA, Bi P, Williams S, Grant J, Walker IA, Augoustinos M. Awareness of and Attitudes towards Heat Waves within the Context of Climate Change among a Cohort of Residents in Adelaide, Australia. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2013; 10(1):1-17.
Akompab, Derick A.; Bi, Peng; Williams, Susan; Grant, Janet; Walker, Iain A.; Augoustinos, Martha. 2013. "Awareness of and Attitudes towards Heat Waves within the Context of Climate Change among a Cohort of Residents in Adelaide, Australia." Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 10, no. 1: 1-17.