Many researchers, climatologist, engineers and environmentalists are expressing deep concerns about changes in the overall climate system of the earth. Does the public perceive climate change to have occurred already? What are their sources of information? This study analyzed the public perception of climate change issues in Zaria city and its environs, Kaduna State, Nigeria. The objective of this paper was to analyze the public’s level of awareness and perception on climate change issues. Four hundred respondents were randomly sampled and administered questionnaire. Open-ended questions were used to ask the respondents whether they had noticed long-term changes in temperature and rainfall. The study revealed that the public perceptions of climatic change in the study area were in line with climatic data records. Eighty-two percent of the respondents are well aware of climate change issues. The electronic media (television and radio) was the major source of awareness on climate change issues followed by schools. The result further revealed that the inhabitants of the city are to a large extent aware of the dynamics of the local climate. Indeed, age, occupation and level of education affected the respondents’ knowledge on climate change issues. Based on these findings, some recommendations were made, which include the need for a comprehensive environmental education, studies on climate change and other environmental issues should be integrated into the primary, secondary and tertiary school curriculum among others.
Key words: Awareness, climate change, climate variability, perception, Zaria city.
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