Investigating the Factors Affecting the Risk Perception of Exposure to Climate Change: A Case Study of Wheat Farmers in Kermanshah

Document Type : مقاله پژوهشی


1 Agriculture and Natural Resources University of Khuzestan

2 Shahid Beheshti University



Climate change is one of the major environmental challenges of the 21st century (Azadi, Yazdanpanah, Forozani & Mahmoudi, 2017; Clayton et al., 2015; Shi, Visschers, & Siegrist, 2015; Yazdanpanah & Zobeidi, 2018; Zobeidi, Yazdanpanah, Forouzani, & Khosravipour, 2016) and, in particular, is one of the most important economic, social and environmental threats to human life (Kittipongvises & Mino, 2015; Hidalgo & Pisano, 2010; Zobeidi, Yazdanpanah, Forouzani, & Khosravipour, 2016). According to a report issued by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 2013 (IPCC), the damage caused by global warming is likely to be irreversible and catastrophic if no global action is quickly taken to stabilize the rise in temperature of the Earth’s surface (Shi, Visschers, & Siegrist, 2015).
In the meantime, farmers of developing countries are the most highly exposed group to climate change, as many of them live at a subsistence level. Therefore, climate change is a particular source of hazard and risk for farmers (Ahsan & Brandt, 2015; Azadi, Yazdanpanah, Forozani & Mahmoudi, 2018). Hence, understanding public risk perception related to possible consequences of climate change is of paramount importance. Not only does risk perception have an important role in shaping climate policy, it is also central in generating support for initiatives for adaptation and mitigation (Lujala, Lein, & Rød, 2015).  Furthermore, understanding public perception of climate-change seems to be crucial for the implementation of appropriate and effective actions, not only because public concern is the precondition for informing people effectively about climate change risks, but also because it has the enormous potential to increase the public’s willingness to change behaviors and to accept policy measures (Shi, Visschers, & Siegrist, 2015).
Research investigating farmers' perceptions of climate change risks is growing because understanding how farmers perceive climate change risks and how this affects their willingness to adopt adaptation practices is critical for developing effective climate change response strategies for the agricultural sector (Li, Juhász-Horváth, Harrison, Pinter, & Rounsevell., 2017). Therefore, risk perceptions are crucial factors that affect their farm production, investment and management decisions. Given this subject, the results of this research can help to shape appropriate policies to increase risk perception and farmers' adaptation to climate change (Ullah, Shivakoti, & Ali, 2015).

Materials and Methods

In this study, a survey research method was used and the main tool for data collection was a questionnaire. Study population was all wheat growers' of Kermanshah county (N=30000). Statistical sample was 380 Wheat growers' determined using Krejcie and Morgan table, and a Multi-Stage Cluster Sampling was also used to collect data from grower using questionnaire. A panel of experts confirmed the face validity of the questionnaire. Moreover, Cronbach’s alpha reliability coefficients for the pilot study assessment were employed to refine the questions to be prepared for the final questionnaire (0.77 to 0.91). To analyze the information, structural equation modeling and statistical analysis methods were used. They were calculated using SPSS24 and AMOS22 software. To get the required map, Arc GIS9.3 software was applied.

Results and Discussion

Regarding demographic variables, the age of the participants ranged from 25 to 84 with a mean value of 48.67 years (S.D. = 12.47). The sample consisted of 13 female farmers (3.7%) and 337 male farmers (96.3%). A Pearson correlation test was used to investigate the relationship between all variables. The results revealed a significant relationship between risk perception and other variables, including trust, knowledge, environmental attitude and concern. We analyzed empirical data from the survey with the help of structural equation modeling. Risk perception was selected as the dependent variable and trust, knowledge, environmental attitude and concern as independent variables and were entered into the SEM. Path relationships revealed that the variables of trust, knowledge, environmental attitude and concern have direct effects on the positive risk perception of climate change. Collectively, these variables account for 31 percent of the variability risk perception of climate change. The most effective variable to predict risk perception of farmers in the face of climate change was environmental attitude that has a direct and significant effect on growers' risk perception.


The aim of this paper was to investigate the factors affecting the risk perception of wheat farmers in Kermanshah County toward climate change. Our analysis revealed that the variables of trust, knowledge, environmental attitude and concern have direct effects on the positive risk perception of climate change. Collectively, these variables account for 31 percent of the variability risk perception of climate change.


آزادی، یوسف؛ یزدان‌پناه، مسعود؛ فروزانی، معصومه؛ محمودی، حسین؛ 1396. ارزیابی رفتار سازگاری گندم‌کاران دیم شهرستان کرمانشاه در رویارویی با تغییرپذیری‌های آب و هوایی: کاربرد نظریه انگیزه حفاظت. کشاورزی بوم‌شناختی. شماره 2. 106-94.
زبیدی، طاهره؛ یزدان‌پناه، مسعود؛ فروزانی، معصومه؛ خسروی‌پور، بهمن؛ 1395. نوع‌شناسی ادراکات کشاورزان گندم‌کار و سبزیکار نسبت به تغییرات آب و هوایی با استفاده از روش‌شناسی کیو (مورد مطالعه: شهرستان حمیدیه خوزستان). پژوهش‌های روستایی. شماره 2. 391-374.
یزدان‌پناه، مسعود؛ زبیدی، طاهره؛ 1396. باورها و درک خطر کشاورزان استان خوزستان نسبت به تغییرات آب و هوایی. مخاطرات محیط طبیعی. شماره 14. 140-123.
یزدان‌پناه، مسعود؛ زبیدی، طاهره؛ زائری، هاجر؛ 1397الف. تبیین سازه‌های روانی مؤثر بر درک خطر مروجان و کارشناسان ترویج کشاورزی استان خوزستان نسبت به تغییرات آب و هوایی. جغرافیا و توسعه. شماره 50. 212-199.
یزدان‌پناه، مسعود؛ فروزانی، معصومه؛ زبیدی، طاهره؛ 1397ب. تعیین عوامل مؤثر بر رفتار سازگاری کشاورزان در مقابله با تغییرات آب و هوایی: مورد مطالعه شهرستان باوی خوزستان. تحقیقات اقتصاد و توسعه کشاورزی ایران. شماره 1. 147-137.
Ahsan D, Brandt US., 2015. Climate change and coastal aquaculture farmers’ risk perceptions: experiences from Bangladesh and Denmark. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, 58: 1649-1665.
Arbuckle JG, Morton LW, Hobbs J., 2013. Farmer beliefs and concerns about climate change and attitudes toward adaptation and mitigation: Evidence from Iowa. Climatic Change, 118: 551-563.
Azadi Y, Yazdanpanah M, Forouzani M, Mahmoudi H., 2018. Farmers’ adaptation choices to climate change: A case study of wheat growers in Western Iran. Journal of Water and Climate Change, (in press).
Bosschaart A, Kuiper W, van der Schee J, Schoonenboom J., 2013. The role of knowledge in students’ flood-risk perception. Natural hazards, 69: 1661-1680.
Bremer J, Linnenluecke M. K., 2017. Determinants of the perceived importance of organisational adaptation to climate change in the Australian energy industry. Australian Journal of Management, 42: 502-521.
Brody SD, Zahran S, Vedlitz A, Grover H., 2008. Examining the relationship between physical vulnerability and public perceptions of global climate change in the United States. Environment and behavior, 40: 72-95.
Carlton SJ, Jacobson SK., 2013. Climate change and coastal environmental risk perceptions in Florida. Journal of environmental management, 130: 32-39.
Christensen R, Knezek G., 2015. The climate change attitude survey: Measuring middle school student beliefs and intentions to enact positive environmental change. International Journal of Environmental and Science Education, 10: 773-788.
Clayton S, Devine-Wright P, Stern PC, Whitmarsh L, Carrico A, Steg L, Swim J, Bonnes M., 2015. Psychological research and global climate change. Nature Climate Change, 5: 640-646.
Eggers M, Kayser M, Isselstein J., 2015. Grassland farmers’ attitudes toward climate change in the North German Plain. Regional Environmental Change, 15: 607-617.‏
Heath Y, Gifford R., 2006. Free-market ideology and environmental degradation the case of belief in global climate change. Environment and Behavior, 38: 48-71.‏
Hidalgo MC, Pisano I., 2010. Determinants of risk perception and willingness to tackle climate change. A pilot study. Psyecology, 1: 105-112.
Kabir MI, Rahman MB, Smith W, Lusha MAF, Azim S, Milton AH., 2016. Knowledge and perception about climate change and human health: findings from a baseline survey among vulnerable communities in Bangladesh. BMC public health, 16: 1.‏
Kettle NP, Dow K., 2016. The role of perceived risk, uncertainty, and trust on coastal climate change adaptation planning. Environment and Behavior, 48: 579-606.
Kittipongvises S, Mino T., 2015. Influence of psychological factors on climate change perceptions held by local farmers in the northeast of Thailand. Applied Environmental Research, 37: 69-78.
Läpple D, Van Rensburg T., 2011. Adoption of organic farming: Are there differences between early and late adoption?. Ecological economics, 70: 1406-1414.
Le Dang H., 2014. Adaptation to climate change: the attitude and behaviour of rice farmers in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam.‏ Doctoral dissertation, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide.
Li S, Juhasz-Horvath L, Harrison PA, Pinter L, Rounsevell MD., 2017. Relating farmer's perceptions of climate change risk to adaptation behaviour in Hungary. Journal of Environmental Management, 185: 21-30.
Lorenzoni I., 2006. “Cross national comparison of image associations with global warming and climate change among laypeople in the united states and great britain”. Journal of Risk Research 9: 265-281.
Lucas C, Leith P, Davison A., 2015. How climate change research undermines trust in everyday life: a review. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change, 6: 79-91.
Lujala P, Lein H, Rød JK., 2016. Climate change, natural hazards, and risk perception: the role of proximity and personal experience. Local Environment, 20: 489-509.
Menny C, Osberghaus D, Pohl M, Werner U., 2011. General knowledge about climate change, factors influencing risk perception and willingness to insure. SSRN Electronic Journal, 11: 1-38.
Milfont TL., 2012. The interplay between knowledge, perceived efficacy, and concern about global warming and climate change: a one‐year longitudinal study. Risk Analysis, 32: 1003-1020.
Milne M, Stenekes N, Russell J., 2008. Climate risk and industry adaptation. Australia: Bureau of Rural Sciences. Available at:
Mumpower JL, Liu X, Vedlitz A., 2016. Predictors of the perceived risk of climate change and preferred resource levels for climate change management programs. Journal of Risk Research, 19: 798-809.
Poortinga W, Pidgeon NF., 2003. Exploring the dimensionality of trust in risk regulation. Risk analysis, 23: 961-972.
Rasool F, Ogunbode CA., 2015. Socio-demographic differences in environmental concern and willingness to pay for addressing global climate change in Pakistan. Asian Journal of Social Science, 43: 273-298.
Reser JP, Bradley GL, Glendon AI, Ellul MC, Callaghan R., 2012. Public risk perceptions, understandings and responses to climate change in Australia and Great Britain. Gold Coast, Qld: Griffith Climate Change Response Adaptation FacilityI. 1-302.
Ritter TE., 2012. Exploring the relationship between risk perception and farmer nutrient management decisions (Doctoral dissertation, The Ohio State University).
Rohrmann B., 2008. Risk perception, risk attitude, risk communication, risk management: A conceptual appraisal. In Global Cooperation in Emergency and Disaster Management, edited by International Emergency Management Society.
Roser-Renouf C, Nisbet MC., 2008. The measurement of key behavioral science constructs in climate change research. International Journal of Sustainability Communication, 3: 37-95.
Shi J, Visschers VH, Siegrist M., 2015. Public perception of climate change: The importance of knowledge and cultural worldviews. Risk Analysis, 35: 2183-2201.
Spence A, Poortinga W, Pidgeon N, Lorenzoni I., 2010. Public perceptions of energy choices: The influence of beliefs about climate change and the environment. Energy and Environment, 21: 385-407.
Syal SS, Wilson RS, Mac Crawford J, Lutz J., 2011. Climate change and human health- what influences the adoption of adaptation programming in the United States public health system?. Mitigation and adaptation strategies for global change, 16: 911-924.
Tobler C, Visschers VH, Siegrist M., 2012. Consumers’ knowledge about climate change. Climatic change, 114: 189-209.
Ullah R, Shivakoti GP, Ali G., 2015. Factors effecting farmers’ risk attitude and risk perceptions: the case of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. International journal of disaster risk reduction, 13: 151-157.
Vignola R, Klinsky S, Tam J, McDaniels T., 2013. Public perception, knowledge and policy support for mitigation and adaption to climate change in Costa Rica: comparisons with North American and European studies. Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, 18: 303-323.
Wei J, Hansen A, Zhang Y, Li H, Liu Q, Sun Y, Bi P.,. 2014. Perception, attitude and behavior in relation to climate change: A survey among CDC health professionals in Shanxi province, China. Environmental research, 134: 301-308.‏
Whitmarsh L., 2008. Are flood victims more concerned about climate change than other people? The role of direct experience in risk perception and behavioural response. Journal of Risk Research, 11: 351-374.‏
Zobeidi T, Yazdanpanah M, Forouzani M, Khosravipour B., 2016. Climate change discourse among Iranian farmers. Climatic change, 138: 521-535