Climate science education research: a short bibliography

More and more, scientists are becoming interested in understanding the ways in which the general public, students, and even scientists understand climate science. Here is a short – and thus incomplete – set of papers researchers might find useful for developing research questions around climate science in education, communication, or similar fields.

Andersson, B., & Wallin, A. (2000). Students’ understanding of the greenhouse effect, the societal consequences of reducing CO2 emissions and the problem of ozone layer depletion. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 37(10), 1096-1111.

Bodzin, A. M., Anastasio, D., Sahagian, D., Peffer, T., Dempsey, C., & Steelman, R. (2014). Investigating climate change understandings of urban middle-level students. Journal of Geoscience Education, 62(3), 417-430.

Boon, H. J. (2010). Climate change? Who knows? A comparison of secondary students and pre-service teachers. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 35, 104-120.

Bostrom, A., Morgan, M. G., Fischhoff, B., & Read, D. (1994). What do people know about global climate change? 1. Mental models. Risk Analysis, 14(6), 959-970.

Boyes, E., Skamp, K., & Stanisstreet, M. (2009). Australian secondary students’ views about global warming: Beliefs about actions, and willingness to act. Research in Science Education, 39(5), 661-680.

Center for Research on Environmental Decisions [CRED]. (2009). The Psychology of Climate Change Communication: A Guide for Scientists, Journalists, Educators, Political Aides, and the Interested Public. New York: Columbia University, CRED.

Cordero, E., Marie Todd, A., & Abellera, D. (2008). Climate change education and the ecological footprint. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 89(6), 865–872.

Corner, A., Markowitz, E., & Pidgeon, N. (2014). Public engagement with climate change: the role of human values. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change, 5(3), 411-422.

Corner, A., Roberts, O., Chiari, S., Völler, S., Mayrhuber, E. S., Mandl, S., & Monson, K. (2015). How do young people engage with climate change? The role of knowledge, values, message framing, and trusted communicators. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change, 6(5), 523-534.

Feldman, L., Nisbet, M. C., Leiserowitz, A., & Maibach, E. (2010). The climate change generation? Survey analysis of the perceptions and beliefs of young Americans. Joint Report of American University’s School of Communication, The Yale Project on Climate Change, and George Mason University’s Center for Climate Change Communication. Retrieved from:

Francis C., Boyes, E., Qualter, A., & Stanisstreet, M. (1993). Ideas of elementary students about reducing the “greenhouse effect”. Science Education, 77(4), 375-392.

Grotzer, T., & Lincoln, R. (2007). Educating for “intelligent environmental action” in an age of global warming. In Creating a Climate for Change: Communicating Climate Change and Facilitating Social Change, edited by S.C. Moser and L. Dilling, (pp. 266-280). New York: Cambridge University Press

Guy, S., Kashima, Y., Walker, I., & O’Neill, S. (2014). Investigating the effects of knowledge and ideology on climate change beliefs. European Journal of Social Psychology, 44(5), 421-429.

Hamilton, L. C. (2008). Who cares about Polar Regions? Results from a survey of U.S. public opinion. Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research, 40(4), 671-678.

Hamilton, L.C. (2011). Education, politics and opinions about climate change evidence for interaction effects. Climatic Change, 104(2), 231–242.

Harris. S.E., & Gold, A.U. 2017. Learning molecular behaviour may improve student explanatory models of the greenhouse effect. Environmental Education Research,

Hartley, L. M., Wilke, B. J., Schramm, J. W., D’Avanzo, C., & Anderson, C. W. (2011). College students’ understanding of the carbon cycle: Contrasting principle-based and informal reasoning. BioScience, 61(1), 65-75.

Kahan, D. M., Peters, E., Wittlin, M., Slovic, P., Ouellette, L. L., Braman, D., & Mandel, G. (2012). The polarizing impact of science literacy and numeracy on perceived climate change risks. Nature Climate Change, 2(10), 732-735.

Kerr, S. C., & Walz, K. A. (2007). Holes in student understanding: Addressing prevalent misconceptions regarding atmospheric environmental chemistry. Journal of Chemical Education, 84(10), 1693-1696.

Khalid, T. (2001). Pre-service Teachers’ Misconceptions Regarding Three Environmental Issues. Canadian Journal of Environmental Education, 6, 102-120.

Khalid, T. (2003). Pre-service high school teachers’ perceptions of three environmental phenomena. Environmental Education Research, 9(1), 35-50.

Lambert, J. L., & Bleicher, R. E. (2014). Improving Climate Change Communication Starting with Environmental Educators. Journal of Geoscience Education, 62(3), 388-401.

Lambert, J. L., Lindgren, J., & Bleicher, R. (2012). Assessing elementary science methods students’ understanding about global climate change. International Journal of Science Education, 34(8), 1167-1187.

Leiserowitz, A., Maibach, E., Roser-Renouf, C., & Hmielowski, J. (2012). Global Warming’s Six Americas, March, 2012 & Nov. 2011. New Haven, CT: Yale University and George Mason University, Yale Project on Climate Change Communication.

Leiserowitz, A., Smith, N. & Marlon, J.R. (2010) Americans’ Knowledge of Climate Change. Yale University. New Haven, CT: Yale Project on Climate Change Communication. Retrieved from:

Leiserowitz, A., Smith, N., & Marlon, J. R. (2011). American teens’ knowledge of climate change. Yale University. New Haven, CT: Yale Project on Climate Change Communication.

Lenzen, M., & Murray, J. (2001). The Role of Equity and Lifestyles in Education about Climate Change: Experiences from a Large-scale Teacher Development Program. Canadian Journal of Environmental Education, 6, 32-51.

Libarkin, J. C., Thomas, S. R., & Ording, G. (2015). Factor Analysis of Drawings: Application to college student models of the greenhouse effect. International Journal of Science Education, 37(13), 2214-2236.

Libarkin, J.C., Gold, A.U., Harris, S.E. McNeal, K.S., & Bowles, R. (2015). Psychometric Principles in Measurement for Geoscience Education Research: A Climate Change Example. In American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting Abstracts, San Fransciso, CA.

Lombardi, D., & Sinatra, G. M. (2012). College students’ perceptions about the plausibility of human-induced climate change. Research in Science Education, 42(2), 201-217.

Lombardi, D., & Sinatra, G.M. (2013). Emotions about teaching about human-induced climate change. International Journal of Science Education, 35(1), 167-191.

Maibach, E., Roser-Renouf, C., & Leiserowitz, A. (2009). Global warming’s six Americas 2009: An Audience Segmentation Analysis. Yale Project on Climate Change, Yale University and George Mason University, New Haven, CT.

Malka, A., Krosnick, J. A., & Langer, G. (2009). The association of knowledge with concern about global warming: Trusted information sources shape public thinking. Risk Analysis, 29(5), 633-647.

McCaffrey, M. S., & Buhr, S. M. (2008). Clarifying climate confusion: addressing systemic holes, cognitive gaps, and misconceptions through climate literacy. Physical Geography, 29(6), 512-528.

McCright, A. M. (2016). Anti-Reflexivity and Climate Change Skepticism in the US General Public. Human Ecology Review, 22(2), 77–107.

McCright, A. M., & Dunlap, R. E. (2011a). The politicization of climate change and polarization in the American public’s views of global warming, 2001–2010. The Sociological Quarterly, 52(2), 155-194.

McCright, A. M., & Dunlap, R. E. (2011b). Cool dudes: The denial of climate change among conservative white males in the United States. Global Environmental Change, 21(4), 1163-1172.

McNeal, K. S., Hammerman, J. K., Christiansen, J. A., & Carroll, F. J. (2014). Climate change education in the Southeastern US through public dialogue: Not just preaching to the choir. Journal of Geoscience Education, 62(4), 631-644.

McNeal, K. S., Libarkin, J. C., Ledley, T. S., Bardar, E., Haddad, N., Ellins, K., & Dutta, S. (2014). The Role of Research in Online Curriculum Development: The Case of EarthLabs Climate Change and Earth System Modules. Journal of Geoscience Education, 62(4), 560-577.

McNeal, K. S., Spry, J. M., Mitra, R., & Tipton, J. L. (2014). Measuring Student Engagement, Knowledge, and Perceptions of Climate Change in an Introductory Environmental Geology Course. Journal of Geoscience Education, 62(4), 655-667.

Morgan, M. D., & Moran, J. M. (1995). Understanding the greenhouse effect and the ozone shield: An index of scientific literacy among university students. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 76(7), 1185-1190.


Ockwell, D., Whitmarsh, L., & O’Neill, S. (2009). Reorienting climate change communication for effective mitigation: Forcing people to be green or fostering grass-roots engagement? Science Communication, 30, 305-327.

O’Connor, R. E., Bord, R. J., & Fisher, A. (1999). Risk perceptions, general environmental beliefs, and willingness to address climate change. Risk Analysis, 19(3), 461-471.

Papadimitriou, V. (2004). Prospective primary teachers’ understanding of climate change, greenhouse effect, and ozone layer depletion. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 13(2), 299-307.

Porter, D., Weaver, A. J., & Raptis, H. (2012). Assessing students’ learning about fundamental concepts of climate change under two different conditions. Environmental Education Research, 18(5), 665-686.

Rebich, S., & Gautier, C. (2005). Concept mapping to reveal prior knowledge and conceptual change in a mock summit course on global climate change. Journal of Geoscience Education, 53(4), 355-365.


Shepardson, D. P., Niyogi, D., Choi, S., & Charusombat, U. (2009). Seventh grade students’ conceptions of global warming and climate change. Environmental Education Research, 15(5), 549-570.

Shepardson, D. P., Niyogi, D., Choi, S., & Charusombat, U. (2011). Students’ conceptions about the greenhouse effect, global warming, and climate change. Climatic Change, 104(3-4), 481-507.

Shi, J., Visschers, V. H., Siegrist, M., & Arvai, J. (2016). Knowledge as a driver of public perceptions about climate change reassessed. Nature Climate Change, 6(8), 759-762.

Smith, N., & Leiserowitz, A. (2012). The rise of global warming skepticism: Exploring affective image associations in the United States over time. Risk Analysis, 32(6), 1021-1032.

Steg, L., De Groot, J. I., Dreijerink, L., Abrahamse, W., & Siero, F. (2011). General antecedents of personal norms, policy acceptability, and intentions: The role of values, worldviews, and environmental concern. Society and Natural Resources, 24(4), 349-367.

Steg, L., Perlaviciute, G., Van der Werff, E., & Lurvink, J. (2014). The significance of hedonic values for environmentally relevant attitudes, preferences, and actions. Environment and Behavior, 46(2), 163-192.

Sterman, J. D., & Sweeney, L. B. (2007). Understanding public complacency about climate change: Adults’ mental models of climate change violate conservation of matter. Climatic Change, 80(3-4), 213-238.

Stevenson, K. T., Peterson, M. N., Bondell, H. D., Moore, S. E., & Carrier, S. J. (2014). Overcoming skepticism with education: interacting influences of worldview and climate change knowledge on perceived climate change risk among adolescents. Climatic Change, 126(3-4), 293-304.

Sullivan, S. M. B., Ledley, T. S., Lynds, S. E., & Gold, A. U. (2014). Navigating climate science in the classroom: Teacher preparation, perceptions and practices. Journal of Geoscience Education, 62(4), 550-559.

Sundblad, E. L., Biel, A., & Gärling, T. (2007). Cognitive and affective risk judgements related to climate change. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 27(2), 97-106.

Theissen, K. M. (2008). The Earth’s Record of Climate: A Focused-topic Introductory Course. Journal of Geoscience Education, 56(4), 342-353.

Tobler, C., Visschers, V. H., & Siegrist, M. (2012). Consumers’ knowledge about climate change. Climatic Change, 114(2), 189-209.

Viscusi, W. K., & Zeckhauser, R. J. (2006). The perception and valuation of the risks of climate change: a rational and behavioral blend. Climatic Change, 77(1-2), 151-177.

Wachholz, S., Artz, N., & Chene, D. (2014). Warming to the idea: university students’ knowledge and attitudes about climate change. International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, 15(2), 128-141.

Weber, E. U., & Stern, P. C. (2011). Public understanding of climate change in the United States. American Psychologist, 66(4), 315-328.

Wise, S. B. (2010). Climate change in the classroom: Patterns, motivations, and barriers to instruction among Colorado science teachers. Journal of Geoscience Education, 58(5), 297-309.