Local contexts as well as levels of exposure play a substantial role in defining a community’s perception of climate and environmental vulnerabilities. In order to assess a community’s adaptation strategies, understanding of how different groups in that community comprehend climate change is crucial. Public risk perception is important as it can induce or confine political, economic, and social actions dealing with particular hazards. Climate change adaptation is a well-established policy discourse in Bangladesh that has made its people more or less aware of it. Similarly, shrimp-farming communities in southwestern Bangladesh understand environmental and climate change in their own ways. In order to understand how the shrimp-farming communities in coastal Bangladesh perceive current climate instabilities, we conducted a qualitative study in shrimp-farming villages in coastal Bangladesh where about 80% of commercial shrimp of the country is cultivated. We compared farmers’ perceptions of local climate change with existing scientific knowledge and found remarkable similarities. Our assessment shows that at least two factors are critical for this outcome: coastal people’s exposure to and experience of frequent climate extremes; and a radical approach to defining climate regimes in Bangladesh by various stakeholders and the media, depicting anthropogenic global warming as a certainty for the country. Thus, a convergence of scientific construct and sociocultural construct construes the level of awareness of the general public about climate change.
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