New study: More people concerned about climate change than we think

(Copyright 2022 by WSLS 10 - All rights reserved.)

Happy Monday and welcome to another edition of Beyond The Forecast!

Climate change is one of the biggest hot-button topics in our world right now. Per a new study in the scientific journal Nature Communications, most Americans (65%, to be exact) and Virginians (68%) are concerned about climate change.

What I found interesting about the study is the difference between perception and reality. There is a gulf between how many people we THINK are concerned about climate change and how many are actually concerned.

In Virginia, it’s perceived that only 49% of the population is concerned about climate change. In reality, 68% of people in the Commonwealth are actually concerned.

The gap is even bigger nationally with perception at 43% and reality at 65%.

(Copyright 2022 by WSLS 10 - All rights reserved.)

Why do the misperceptions matter? Well, if you think your neighbor doesn’t care or isn’t concerned about climate change — will you talk to them about it? Probably not.

67% of Americans report that they “rarely” or “never” discuss global warming with friends and family, per surveys done by Yale and George Mason Universities.

Climate Central came up with some ideas on how we can re-align perception with reality. One of the easiest ways you can help is by talking more with your loved ones about climate change and whether you’re concerned or not.

(Copyright 2022 by WSLS 10 - All rights reserved.)

Switching gears from climate to weather, it’s a soggy Labor Day and many of us are under a flood watch. I’m tracking how much rain we could get today and when we trend a little drier in our daily forecast article.

You can always get specific forecast details for your zone, whether it’s the Roanoke Valley, Southside, the Highlands or elsewhere around Southwest and Central Virginia, anytime at Know your zone!

In case you missed it, we’re posting great weather and science content on Here are a few links from the past week to check out:

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-- Justin McKee