AJCC  Vol.10 No.2 , June 2021
Perceptions of Climate Change in Puerto Rico before and after Hurricane Maria
Abstract: This article analyzes the perceptions of Puerto Rican citizens of global climate change (GCC) before and after an extreme weather event, specifically Hurricane Maria (HM). The purpose of the current article is to evaluate Puerto Ricans’ perceptions of the impact of extreme meteorological phenomena and of GCC before and after HM. This tropical cyclone entered the island as a category IV hurricane on September 17, 2017, causing enormous destruction, loss of life, and economic damage. In this study, two data samples were collected before and after HM struck Puerto Rico (PR) (the second sample was collected approximately six months after the hurricane). Surveyed citizens with general knowledge of GCC increased from 43% to 62%, which the researchers consider a small increase, considering the severe destruction caused by HM. This study also found that Puerto Ricans trust non-profit institutions and the scientific community more than state authorities. Furthermore, 85% of citizens believe that public policies on GCC should be directed by the state (federal, state, and municipal governments); this did not change after HM. In addition, this study found that the poor response of the federal and state governments to the destruction caused by HM increased citizens’ trust in the scientific community.
Cite this paper: Rafael, M. , Santos-Corrada, M. and Sandra, M. (2021) Perceptions of Climate Change in Puerto Rico before and after Hurricane Maria. American Journal of Climate Change, 10, 153-166. doi: 10.4236/ajcc.2021.102007.

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