Science Current Events | Science News | Brightsurf.com
 

Carsey Institute: Americans' Knowledge of Polar Regions Up, But Not Their Concern

February 08, 2012
DURHAM, N.H. - Americans' knowledge of facts about the polar regions of the globe has increased since 2006, but this increase in knowledge has not translated into more concern about changing polar environments, according to new research from the Carsey Institute at the University of New Hampshire.

"People's knowledge of polar regions and issues improved from 2006 to 2010, consistent with hopes that the International Polar Year in 2007 would boost public awareness. Unfortunately, we did not see a companion increase in concern about the environmental changes in these regions, due, in part, to ideological and political divisions," said Lawrence Hamilton, professor of sociology at UNH and a senior fellow at the Carsey Institute.

Carsey Institute researchers, with support from the National Science Foundation, conducted the first comparative analysis of queries about the polar regions, which were included on the General Social Survey in 2006 and 2010. The polar questions covered topics such as climate change, melting ice, rising sea levels, and human or ecological impacts from environmental change. The surveys formed bookends to the International Polar Year in 2007-2008, which focused on scientific research along with outreach and education efforts to raise awareness of polar science.

The researchers found that the public's knowledge about the north and south polar regions showed modest gains between 2006 and 2010. The average "polar knowledge score" improved from 53 to 59 percent.

The surveys also carried an 11-question "science literacy" quiz, testing background knowledge about science. Science literacy did not improve from 2006 to 2010, but people with higher science literacy tend to care more about polar environmental change. More scientifically literate respondents also are more likely to favor reserving the Antarctic for science, rather than opening it to commercial development.

Unlike polar knowledge, concern about climate change in the polar regions showed no up or down trend, and there were no changes in support for reserving the Antarctic for science. However, the researchers found there has been an increase in political disagreement between Democrats and Republicans on climate-related questions.

"Among the environment-related issues, all but reserving Antarctica for science show increasing political polarization - and even support for reserv­ing the Antarctic divides along party lines. Polar issues, like many other topics in science, increasingly are viewed by the public through politically tinted glasses," Hamilton said.

The complete Carsey Institute report about this research is available at http://www.carseyinstitute.unh.edu/CarseySearch/search.php?id=183. The research was conducted by Hamilton, Matthew Cutler, graduate student in sociology, and Andrew Schaefer, graduate student in sociology and a research assistant at the Carsey Institute.

The Carsey Institute conducts policy research on vulnerable children, youth, and families and on sustainable community development. The institute gives policy makers and practitioners the timely, independent resources they need to effect change in their communities. For more information about the Carsey Institute, go to www.carseyinstitute.unh.edu.

The University of New Hampshire, founded in 1866, is a world-class public research university with the feel of a New England liberal arts college. A land, sea, and space-grant university, UNH is the state's flagship public institution, enrolling 12,200 undergraduate and 2,300 graduate students.

University of New Hampshire


Related Polar Regions Current Events and Polar Regions News Articles


Waterloo makes public most complete Antarctic map for climate research
The University of Waterloo has unveiled a new satellite image of Antarctica, and the imagery will help scientists all over the world gain new insight into the effects of climate change.

Certain Arctic lakes store more greenhouse gases than they release
New research, supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF), counters a widely-held scientific view that thawing permafrost uniformly accelerates atmospheric warming, indicating instead that certain Arctic lakes store more greenhouse gases than they emit into the atmosphere.

Antarctic ice sheet is result of CO2 decrease, not continental breakup
Climate modelers from the University of New Hampshire have shown that the most likely explanation for the initiation of Antarctic glaciation during a major climate shift 34 million years ago was decreased carbon dioxide (CO2) levels.

Synchronization of North Atlantic, North Pacific preceded abrupt warming, end of ice age
Scientists have long been concerned that global warming may push Earth's climate system across a "tipping point," where rapid melting of ice and further warming may become irreversible -- a hotly debated scenario with an unclear picture of what this point of no return may look like.

The simpler, the more heat-resistant - scientists uncover the key to adaptation limits of ocean dwellers
The simpler a marine organism is structured, the better it is suited for survival during climate change.

Study shows iron from melting ice sheets may help buffer global warming
A newly-discovered source of oceanic bioavailable iron could have a major impact our understanding of marine food chains and global warming.

'Smoking gun' evidence for theory that Saturn's collapsing magnetic tail causes auroras
University of Leicester researchers have captured stunning images of Saturn's auroras as the planet's magnetic field is battered by charged particles from the Sun.

Science: Surprising Species Shake-up Discovered
The diversity of the world's life forms - from corals to carnivores - is under assault. Decades of scientific studies document the fraying of ecosystems and a grim tally of species extinctions due to destroyed habitat, pollution, climate change, invasives and overharvesting.

Climate change study reveals unappreciated impacts on biodiversity
Shrinking ice sheets and melting ice caps are well known consequences of climate change. But a new study reveals that impacts on biodiversity will be just as severe in other regions of the world.

Today's Antarctic region once as hot as California, Florida
Parts of ancient Antarctica were as warm as today's California coast, and polar regions of the southern Pacific Ocean registered 21st-century Florida heat, according to scientists using a new way to measure past temperatures.
More Polar Regions Current Events and Polar Regions News Articles

Life in a Polar Region (Living in a Biome)

Life in a Polar Region (Living in a Biome)
by Carol K. Lindeen (Author)


Text and photographs introduce the polar region biome, describing its environment, plants, and animals including polar bears, seals, penguins, and arctic foxes.

In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette

In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette
by Hampton Sides (Author)


New York Times bestselling author Hampton Sides returns with a white-knuckle tale of polar exploration and survival in the Gilded Age

In the late nineteenth century, people were obsessed by one of the last unmapped areas of the globe: the North Pole. No one knew what existed beyond the fortress of ice rimming the northern oceans, although theories abounded. The foremost cartographer in the world, a German named August Petermann, believed that warm currents sustained a verdant island at the top of the world. National glory would fall to whoever could plant his flag upon its shores.

James Gordon Bennett, the eccentric and stupendously wealthy owner of The New York Herald, had recently captured the world's attention by dispatching Stanley to Africa to find Dr. Livingstone....

  The Polar Regions (Cambridge Library Collection - Polar Exploration)
by John Richardson (Author)


The Arctic explorer Sir John Richardson (1787-1865), who had accompanied both John Franklin and John Rae on major expeditions, expands here an article which had appeared in the Encyclopaedia Britannica. Organised in two parts, and published in 1861, this work covers first the Arctic and then the largely unexplored Antarctic. Adopting a chronological approach in the first part, Richardson covers Roman knowledge of the far north, Norse voyages, and later exploration by the British, Dutch and Russians. He then deals in detail with the search for the North-West Passage, including the expeditions in search of Sir John Franklin. Later chapters cover Spitsbergen, Arctic weather, ice, currents, geology, vegetation and zoology, as well as the three principal groups of native people: the Inuit,...

The Polar Bear Son: An Inuit Tale

The Polar Bear Son: An Inuit Tale
by Lydia Dabcovich (Author)


A lonely old woman adopts, cares for, and raises a polar bear as if he were her own son, until jealous villagers threaten the bear's life, forcing him to leave his home and his "mother," in a retelling of a traditional Inuit folktale.

Polar Regions (Habitat Survival)

Polar Regions (Habitat Survival)
by Melanie Waldron (Author)


This book explores polar habitats around the world, looking at the plants and animals that live there, and the adaptations that help them to survive. Food webs, maps, and photos help bring the topic to life. Threats to polar habitats are also covered, as well as efforts to preserve them.

Polar Bears Past Bedtime (Magic Tree House, No. 12)

Polar Bears Past Bedtime (Magic Tree House, No. 12)
by Mary Pope Osborne (Author), Sal Murdocca (Illustrator)


Jack and Annie are ready for their next fantasy adventure in the bestselling middle-grade series—the Magic Tree House!

It's icicle city . . .

when the Magic Tree House whisks Jack and Annie to the frozen Arctic. Luckily, a seal hunter on a dogsled lends them warm clothes. Unluckily, they get stuck on cracking ice. Will the giant polar bear save them? Or will Jack and Annie become frozen dinners?

Visit the Magic Tree House website!
MagicTreeHouse.com

Stray Leaves from an Arctic Journal; or, Eighteen Months in the Polar Regions, in Search of Sir John Franklin's Expedition, in the Years 1850-51

Stray Leaves from an Arctic Journal; or, Eighteen Months in the Polar Regions, in Search of Sir John Franklin's Expedition, in the Years 1850-51


This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery.

Escape to the Pole

Escape to the Pole


One hundred years ago Robert Falcon Scott and Roald Amundsen were racing to claim the last great geographic prize, the South Pole. It was an epic battle, a life or death struggle. Now, a century later, Kevin and Jamie know how they feel. The Hot Polish Girl (HPG) is starting to get clucky. Kate is back in the picture. Their carefree bachelor days are numbered. There is only one solution. They set themselves the challenge of trekking, unsupported 2400kms from the Antarctic coast to South Pole and back across the coldest, windiest, highest, driest, most 'est' place on Earth. Along the way they experience abyss-like crevasses, tooth-cracking cold, fickle GPSs and skin-melting frostbite. They are ravaged by auto-cannibalism, attacked by white ninjas and meet girls in bikinis.

Memoirs of Hans Hendrik, the Arctic Traveller, Serving under Kane, Hayes, Hall and Nares, 1853-1876: Translated from the Eskimo Language (Cambridge Library Collection - Polar Exploration)

Memoirs of Hans Hendrik, the Arctic Traveller, Serving under Kane, Hayes, Hall and Nares, 1853-1876: Translated from the Eskimo Language (Cambridge Library Collection - Polar Exploration)
by Hans Hendrik (Author), George Stephens (Editor), Henry Rink (Editor)


First published in 1878, this English translation of the memoirs of Hans Hendrik (c.1834-89), a native Greenlander, provides a valuable alternative perspective on polar exploration in the nineteenth century. Inuit were often employed on Arctic expeditions of the period. Hendrik is remarkable, however, not only because his skills as a guide and hunter were called on repeatedly during several expeditions - notably those led by Elisha Kent Kane, Isaac Israel Hayes, Charles Francis Hall and George Strong Nares - but also because he wrote his own account of these experiences. The memoirs show that Hendrik distinguished himself through his application of survival skills and that he dealt with numerous challenges, including the forced abandonment of ship and drifting for months on an ice floe....

Polar Regions

Polar Regions
by Patrick Hook (Author)


Book by Hook, Patrick

© 2014 BrightSurf.com