Climate change is expected to increase the frequency and intensity of drought in certain regions, including Nebraska. While differences in ecological and social vulnerability impact drought response, scholars argue that perceptions of risk and adaptive capacity also play a role in predicting adaptation responses. Drawing on Grothmann and Patt’s model of private proactive adaptation to climate change, based on protection motivation theory, I examine Nebraska residents’ perceptions of drought risk and adaptive capacity to drought at two spatial levels, the community and the region, as well as the predictors of these perceptions. Multivariate analyses demonstrate that rural residence positively predicts perceived drought risk, but negatively predicts perceived adaptive capacity to drought. In addition, perceived drought risk and at least one measure of perceived adaptive capacity both tend to be positively predicted by one’s level of belief in scientific information and one’s level of belief in local experience-based information.
Edwards, Michelle. 2019. "Nebraska Residents’ Perceptions of Drought Risk and Adaptive Capacity to Drought." Journal of Rural Social Sciences, 34(1): Article 5. Available at: https://egrove.olemiss.edu/jrss/vol34/iss1/5