A (mis)alignment of farmer experience and perceptions of climate change in the U.S. inland Pacific Northwest

Alexander Maas, Chloe Wardropper, Gabrielle Roesch-McNally, John Abatzoglou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Climate change is expected to have heterogeneous effects on agriculture across the USA, where temperature and precipitation regimes are already changing. While the overall effect of climate change on agriculture is uncertain, farmers’ perceptions of current and future climate and weather conditions will be a key factor in how they adapt. This paper analyzes data from paired surveys (N = 817) and natural variation from baseline weather across the inland Pacific Northwest (iPNW), to determine if long-term, gradual changes in precipitation, and temperature distributions affect farmers’ weather perceptions and intentions to adapt. We note that some areas in the iPNW have experienced significant changes in weather, while others have remained relatively constant. However, we find no relationship between changes in temperature and precipitation distributions and individuals’ perceptions and intentions to adapt. Our findings provide evidence that gradual, long-term changes in weather are temporally incongruous with human perception, which can impede support for climate action policy and adaptation strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1011-1029
Number of pages19
JournalClimatic Change
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 1 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Agricultural adaptation
  • Climate change
  • Experience
  • Perceptions
  • Weather
  • Wheat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Atmospheric Science


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