Many people were left in bewilderment immediately after the 2016 presidential election. Many attempt to compose a reasonable theory to explain the outcome. Using a panel data from 2012 to 2016, this paper recently published on the PNAS find evidence to support the theory of perceived status threat, suggesting that the increasing anxiety among high-status groups, against the backdrop of America's decrease in global dominance and rise of demographic multi-racial diversity, drove the outcome. This theory resonates with what Hochschild's book Strangers in Their Own Land documents.
Climate change in everything: extreme temperature reduces daily oversight of police officers and food safety inspectors
A new paper published on the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences find evidence to suggest that environmental stressors such as hot temperature can negatively affect the psychological and physiological well-being of police officers and food safety inspectors and reduce their daily oversight activities.
Decades of research has been dedicated to finding the solution to Common-pool resource (CPR) dilemmas or the tragedy of the commons. Successful CPR management requires community members to put their "skin in the game," to use Nassim Taleb's words. Specifically, members of a community need to share the same set of social norms, within which the sense of right and wrong can guide members' behaviors. Resources need to be allocated fairly deemed by members. A recent study published on Nature Human Behavior find some evidence that children by the age of six can develop skills to solve CPR dilemmas as adults do.
The New York Time magazine just published a 30000-word long report on the history of climate politics. However, many scientists and historians of science do not think this report accurately portrays the history.
A new study published on Nature Climate Change used comprehensive data from multiple decades and social media data to test whether temperature increase would deteriorate mental well-being and further lead to rising suicide rates. They found evidence in both the U.S. and Mexico.
A new paper published on Economics Letters claims that low rainfall can predict assassinations of Roman Emperors from 27 BC to 476 AD. The logic line is: low rainfall -> low food supplies -> more troop mutinies -> assassination of Roman Emperors. Being creative enough, one can find no shortage of interesting topics to study.
A new NBER working paper shows aggregate-level evidence that indicates cumulative exposure to heat can have detrimental impacts on learning. The authors suggest school air conditioning can help mitigate the adverse effects. Evidently, more studies need to be conducted in developing countries where air conditioning is not universally available.
I enjoyed the visit at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Princeton University. I have had great discussions with Professor Lin and her Hurricane Hazards and Risk Analysis Research Group.
I am honored to be invited to give a seminar talk, entitled "Understanding Human Judgement on Environmental Risks and Hazards in a Geographic Context," at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Princeton University on June 21.
The abstract of the talk is as follows:
"The coupling effects of changing climate and rising concentration of population and assets in the coastal regions have increased the threat of potential damages. There is an urgent need for coastal communities to prepare well for future hazards through mitigation and adaptation measures. A growing number of empirical studies have found that peoples’ motivation of voluntary risk mitigation and adaptation is low unless actual risk can be perceived. Risk perception is thus the precondition for adaptive behavior. It is of both intellectual and practical interests to study what affects individuals’/communities’ risk perceptions. In this talk, I will present four of my previous studies. The first three studies are focused on the individual level and the fourth on the aggregate level. I will start with understanding how local weather and climate affect American public risk perceptions of climate change. I will then discuss how the spatial context represented by past flooding events and estimated flooding risks influence costal residents’ voluntary flood insurance purchase decisions and their support for flood adaptation policies. As many policies are designed and implemented at an aggregate level (i.e., state, county, city), it is necessary to examine aggregate-level risk perceptions. In the fourth study, I will focus on how the contextual hurricane risks in conjunction with community resilience shape county-level perceptions of hurricane-related risks. I will end with a research agenda linking communities’ perception with contextual risks and community resilience. I contend that the cognitive dimension including both risk perceptions and perceived adaptive capacity is not represented in any of the existing community resilience indexes, and therefore needs to be measured, quantified, and incorporated into a more comprehensive index."
Hurricane Harvey dumped record-breaking rain in Houston in 2017. Now, a new study shows that this extreme amounts of rainfalls actually resulted from unprecedented ocean heat content. This study presents some evidence to support the link between global temperature rise with increasing hurricane intensity.